Chapter 1

I sit in my room nervous as ever. I’m to meet my husband to be at the masquerade tonight. My heart is racing.

Is he handsome? Does he fit what I want in a man? Is he respectful? All these questions cloud my mind as I sit in front of my mirror.

“Princess Leah (Lay-uh)?” I hear my servant, Alice.

“Come in, Alice,” I instruct her as I play around in my hair.

She cracks the door open, “Princess Leah, dear, are you ready?”

“Not quite, Alice.”

“What’s wrong?”

“I’m just nervous.”

“Nervous about?”

“Meeting my husband to be.”

“Oh, child. It’s only natural.”

“I know, I know.”

“Where’s your dress?”

“Over there,” I say and point toward the closet.

“Come on. Put it on. It looks beautiful on you.”

“Alice…”

“Leah, come on now. He’s waiting on you.”

“He’s here?!” I panic.

“He just got here and he’s searching for you.”

“Oh my, oh my.” Now I’m even more nervous and I still haven’t even seen him yet.

“Come on now, girl. Let’s go,” Alice instructs me as I got over to her and slept the dress on. “Oh, Leah, you’re beautiful,” she smiles as I walk over to my full mirror.

I was wearing a beautiful white dress with a corset. I’m used to corsets but this one makes my breasts look bigger than when I wear my others.

“Here, Princess. Your mask,” Alice hands my my matching mask. I put it on and slipped on my white slippers that matched. I’m not so big into heels. “You look beautiful, Princess.”

“Thank you, Alice,” I exhaled and tossle my curly hair.

“Oh, your hair looks fine. Come on,” she says and directs me downstairs. I take deep slow breaths each step I take.

When I finally get downstairs, my heart is racing so much I feel as though it will explode.

“Alice, where is he?” I whispered. “Somewhere around here. Have fun, dear,” she said and walked away as I looked at everyone dancing. He doesn’t know what I look like and I don’t know what he looks like. Great.

I walk around holding up my dress so it doesn’t get stepped on, “hello, Elizabeth,” I greet my best friend.

“Leah? Is that you? Darling, you look splendid!” She smiles and hugs me. “Anna, Joan, Georgia, this is my best friend, Princess Leah.”

“Princess Leah?! I’ve always wanted to meet you,” I fake smile back. I really hope father doesn’t surprise me by bringing my husband to be to me.

Elizabeth and her friends continue to talk as I look around for anyone that could be him.

“Elizabeth, I’m going to look around,” I whisper to her.

“Alright, see you later,” she smiles and continues talking.

I walk away to find my mother, but I forget she’s sleeping. It’s better that I-

“Princess Leah! Wherever you are, please come up to the stand!” Duke Adam shouts as he looks around for me. I’m reluctant to go up there, but I go anyway. “Ahh, Princess Leah. You look marvelous this evening,” he says with a smile and hugs me. I smile and break away from the hug as I play with my fingers. My palms are so sweaty. I’m so nervous. “Sir Rupert, please come to the stand.” Rupert? What kind of… oh my gawd. He’s the man I decided not to give money to last week.

“Hello, Princess,” he smiles a dirty smile and kisses my hand. Remind me to wash my hands immediately after this.

“Princess Leah and Rupert are engaged and plan to marry in two months!” Duke Adam shouts with a smile. Daddy could have done so much better. “How ‘bout a kiss for the audience?” Duke asks me.

“How ‘bout we get to know each other first. Excuse us,” I say and grab Rupert’s hand.

“Congratulations, Princess!” Everyone says.

I ignore them and go to a private room.

“What are we doing here?” Rupert asked as I shut the door.

“Remember me?” I asked with a small smile.

“Of course. You’re Princess Leah,” he smiled.

“Well yeah, but do you remember what happened last week?”

“Your dad, the King, came and got me.”

“No, Rupert, what happened between you and I?”

“Something happened between us?!” He asked excitedly.

“Not like that.”

“Oh…”

“Remember when you asked me to give you change?”

“No.”

“Well, you asked me for money and I said no.”

“I don’t remember that.”

“Really?”

“Nope. I don’t remember it. I try not to remember the bad things that happen to me.”

Awwh. That made me smile. Well, there’s one positive about him. “Oh, well, that’s good.”

“I’m glad you’re going to be my wife in two months. I think you’re the most beautiful girl in the kingdom.”

“Thank you, Rupert. Why don’t we go out and mingle? We’ll hang out tomorrow okay?”

“Alright. After you, your highness,” he said and opened the door.

“Thank you,” I said and walked out. He walked over to the Duke smiling as big as ever. He better not say we did anything.




I stand by a column observing everyone dance. Why can’t I be a good dancer? Or maybe it’s because I’ve never tried. Sigh.

“That was quite a show up there,” someone says to me. I turn around to see a tall man with a red mask on. His complexion is gorgeous and his eyes of what I can see are breathtaking.

“What do you mean?” I manage to say.

“It looks like you really didn’t like Sir Rupert,” he said and saluted. I laugh a little. “So you’re Princess Leah. I’m Knight Michael,” he says and shakes my hand with a beautiful smile. His smile… oh my goodness.

“Knight Michael? I’ve never seen you before.”

“I’m new here.”

“New? Hmm. I didn’t see you at the ceremony.”

“I was sick that day.”

“Excuses, excuses.”

“No, it’s not,” he smiles again. God, if he smiles like that again I think I’m going to melt. “So, what did you get to know about Rupert?”

“Nothing. Just that he tries not to remember the bad things that happen to him.”

“How did that come up?”

“Last week, I saw him on the street and he asked me for money and I told him no.”

“That’s harsh,” he laughed.

“I know, I know,” I laughed too and looked down.

He lifted my chin with his finger and looked in my eyes, “you have beautiful eyes.”

“Thank you. So do do.”

“Well, thanks. Would you mind if I ask for a dance? Duke Adam or anyone won’t be mad will they?”

“They shouldn’t. I’m just dancing.”

“Alright,” he smiles and takes my hand. We stand in the middle of the dance floor and he takes my hand.

“Knight Michael-”

“Call me ‘Michael.’”

“Okay. Well, Michael, I don’t know how to dance.”

“I’ll teach you,” he said and put my hand on his shoulder as he held the other and put his other hand on my lower back. “Just follow my feet,” he said and pulled me a little closer to him to the point that I was laying on his chest. I’ve never been this close to a man before. But I’m loving this feeling.

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