Many of you have been asking/pleading for me to update, however, I have never been really happy with the way the first six or seven chapters turned out or the story line that I first came up with. So I am completely starting over. Those reviewers that have been with me from the start...please be patient. I am doing my best to make this story better and more fulfilling. Once the new version starts to come out, don't be surprised by a complete change in style, plot, and characters (this includes the main characters). Chapters 12-15 should remain very similiar to their orignial versions, but I'm not completely sure yet. Anything else is open game. Thanks for your patience and encouragement.

New Plot Summary: Princess Delia Naomi Retalin of Falton is being sent away to marry the Crown Princeof Jezed in order to unite the two countries. But on the way to meet her fiance, she is kidnapped by the Prince of Thieves. Offered the oppurtunity to become his partner, she disappears into the underworld wanting nothing to do with her former life. Four years later, a series of events begins to unfold that takes the new Princess of Thieves, Raelanna Swift, on a journey that will unravel everything she knows about herself and the world around her. Will she be able to save not only herself, but the country she had hoped to forget?

Chapter One: Prologue

I hated being a princess.

It was the first thought that entered my head when I awoke each morning to the sound of the bell tolling the hour. It was the thought that entered my head while I sat upon the dais next to my parents watching another peasant get sentenced to hang because he chose to feed his family rather than pay his taxes. It was the thought that entered my head when I was being fitted for a new gown or a new pair of shoes. It was the last thought that I fell asleep to every night in my oversized bed that could have comfortably fit six of me.

I was the Princess Delia Naomi Retalin of the country Falton and I hated every bit of it.

I'm not sure when the loathing of my political position began, but I think it must have been the year I discovered that I was to be engaged the Crown Prince of Jezed. I can clearly recall the meeting that I had been forced to attend.

The room was a small stuffy one that my father used on rare occasions to impress company. The furniture was finely crafted and oozed the idea of wealth and power. I remember the hard backed chair I sat in with my feet dangling over the edge. At the time I had been only ten years old. The dress I was wearing was too tight across my chest and too big around my legs. I was sure that I was going to trip over the humongous skirt, fall to the floor and die due to the lack of air. My normally straight red hair had been pulled back severely then twisted, spun, and pinned in such a way that my entire head was throbbing with pain.

My father was sitting in a large armchair next to mine. His coal black hair was combed to perfection, as always, with a heavy golden crown resting just above his brow. His long nose hungover a coal black mustache and beard with a stern mouth placed somewhere in the middle. Hard, blue eyes stared coldly at the pair seated across from us.

The King of Jezed was a well built man. His blond hair was the color of spun corn with bright green eyes placed beneath thick blond eyebrows. His son was the spitting image of his fatherexcept for the eyes. His eyes were blue like my father's, but his had a warmer glow. Like me, he had yet to be tainted by the evils of the world. I believe that he was only about twelve when this meeting occurred.

I don't remember much of the negotiations. I was too enthralled with the boy sitting directly across from me. He was intriguing. Besides my younger sisters, I had never seen another child my age. I had always been secluded from other children since I was a princess. It was only then that I realized how lonely I really was. I wanted someone to talk to. I wanted someone to have fun with, and I thought this boy could help me.

He, however, seemed to think differently. When he caught me staring at him, his blue eyes narrowed into a menacing glare. I remember being offended and hurt. I remember it so very clearly. I wanted to belong. I wanted friends. I wanted attention that was not the respectful yet fearful looks that servants and diplomats gave me.

After the meeting my father asked me if I liked the boy I had seen. I replied in a haughty way that I didn't care for him at all. My father laughed mercilessly at my response and once more left me to my own devices. To this day I still do not understand his reaction, but then again, I rarely understand anyone in my family.

I am the odd one out, so to speak,and it is why I felt so alone in my own home. To start I look nothing like the rest of my family. My bright auburn hair is shiny and straight while all three of my sisters have curly blond hair just like my mother. Like my father, my eyes are blue, but they could not be more different. His are cold and uncaring with a lighter blue tone making them look like ice. My own are a deep blue with an inner fire that correlates to my temper. Quite often I have been told that when I am particularly mad, my eyes start to brighten with that inner fire. My mother and sisters have brown eyes that could quite easily be compared to dirt. Additionly, around my right wrist there is a thin band of skin tattoed with strange letters. My father says it is my marking as the oldest child of the King and Queen of Falton. If I had been a boy it would have marked me as the Crown Prince.

My personality also differed from the rest of my family. The biggest differencewas my desire to learn the art of weaponry. Not even my father knew how to handle a sword. My sisters cringed at the thought of using a sharp metal object to do anything more than cut their meat. My desire to use weapons became stronger with each passing year, and Icould only guess as to its meaning.

I also had a problem with my extremely short temper. After the incident with the Prince of Jezed, my temper began to flare out of control. It seemed to everyone else that I was always mad. Perhaps it was the unladylike way I used to throw things around my room after losing an argument with my father. My sisters and my motherwere all the same. They looked at everything with a calm eye and avoided conflict of any kind. When my father said something that they would not approve of, they demurely bowed their heads and walked out of the room. I, on the other hand, went looking for trouble. My father and I constantly argued with one another in private. We argued about everything under the sun, causing an unbelievable amount of tension between us.

To calm myself and keep myself from throwing things, I learned to read and spent countless hours pouring over any kind of book that I could get my hands on. The library two floors below my roomwas my haven. When Iwas not forced to attend my lessons or accompany my parents to some social affair, I would curl up into a little ball with a book nestled between my chin and my knees. I have read almost every book in the library. Only my youngest sister, Yolanna, seemed to share this passion, though herswas not as acute as my own. Yolanna would sometimes join me for an hour or two, but she never stayed long. She would much rather be out with her other sisters watching plays and practicing dances.

For nearly sixteen years of my life, I felt like an outcast in my own home. My sisters shared none of my same interests, and so, wecameto a silent agreement that we would avoid speaking with each other unless forced to. Even the time I spend with Yolannawas spent in complete silence. My motherwas nothing but a porcelain mask that my father uses like a pawn in a game of chess. Because of this we were never close, and I was never able to discuss physical changes, new emotions, and my blood cycle with her. The relationship with my father was a very powerful one. That is, he had power over me, and he knew it. Even still, I couldn't help but provoke him. It was my small way of rebelling that often landed me in more hot water than I had bargained for.

My sixteenth birthdaycame fast, and I could see in my mind's eye what sort of queen I would become one day. I was scared. Scared of becoming my mother or worse; becoming my father. However, the challenges I would face to become queen were not the ones that I was expecting.

This is were my story begins.