Chapter 4: Merrily We Surf Along

Mia took a deep breath as she walked into the meeting. This was it. Her first big contribution to Genovia, it had to go well. She smiled at Andrew, who was at the back of the room taking notes.

Andrew grinned, ten minutes into Mias' speech, and the MPs present had begun to see her point. Even the grumpy Lord Crawley had settled down, albeit after a tense moment where Mia introduced his brother as architect. That was never going to end well. Standing, he offered his arm to her as the left, the shell-shocked MPs still trying to understand the whirlwind of change they had experienced. No royal had been so stubbornly set on something for years!

They strolled down the long hall together.

"You were magnificent, my dear, it was beautiful to watch! You will make a fine queen, I'm sure."

Mia blushed. "Thank you Andrew. I just really wanted to do something for those children, and I do have all that space that's hardly ever used…"

"I agree. The parliament members have spent too long enjoying their 'perks' anyway. It's good to shake things up a bit."

Mia laughed.

As they wandered through the many winding hallways, talk turned to their upcoming separation. Andrew would be returning to Britain that afternoon for the stag do that the members of his former regiment were throwing for him. Mia of course would be having her hen in the castle. As she put it 'a last chance to have some fun as a princess, before having to be grown up when she became queen!'

Andrews car had pulled out of the palace drive a mere ten minutes before the guests started to arrive. Mia had rushed to change; luckily this was only a pyjama party! Despite their time together being so short, she hadn't realised how much she would miss him till he was gone. Pulling her thoughts together, she entered the ballroom, and grinned at the sight. Princesses from around the world, gathered peacefully, and staring at the giant ramp, that had definitely not been there last time they were here.

She raised her voice to be heard above the crowd.

"Everyone! It's time for mattress surfing!"

The music was turned up, and the sound of fun and laughter echoed throughout the royal family's home, as it had not done for many years.

Meanwhile somewhere in the palace…

Under the cover of the noise form the bachelorette party, three people were gathered around a table, talking softly.

"You are sure of this?"

Of the three who occupied the small room, two were trying with all their might not to give in to their anger at the information they had just received. The third, a person Mia would have recognised as the local woman who had spoken to her at the parade, but Clarisse and Joseph knew her better as Gretchen, housekeeper of Viscount Mabrey and bearer of very bad news.

"Yes sir." The woman looked up from her seat, her hands wrapped around the cup of tea before her, its warmth giving her the strength to go on.

"No-one ever notices the servants you see, and he was speaking aloud his plans. If it was anything else, I would believe it only angry ranting, but this… He genuinely believes in his delusion, and will stop at nothing to bring about its end. He means to kill the Princess!"

AN: Just a short one, and you would not believe how long this refused to come together. I tried to make it longer, but this is where it wanted to end. I hope to have the next one up before the end of January, a long wait I know, but tis the season, family events and job hunting take precedence over writing right now. Thanks for sticking with me, and don't forget to feed the author. Please review! L-L