Chapter 36

How long had I been in this room? I paced the floor, looking around. There was no secret passageway out of this room. I had thought that perhaps there might have been. After all, it was Papa's room. But one of the guards had told me that Papa was moved to this room by the orders of the king. It was after he had said that he'd rather die than marry anyone other than Mama.

No, there would be no hidden doors. I should've realized that before. I sat on the edge of my bed. What had once felt like a sea of comfort was now suffocating me. I had to get out of this room.

I stepped to the balcony and gazed down. It was so far! If I jumped, I'd surely die. There had to be another way. Returning to my bed, I cried out in frustration. I ripped apart the bed, throwing blankets and sheets across the room. Breathing hard, I almost didn't catch the voices outside the room.

"What do you mean I can't see her?" Vinny's outraged voice demanded.

"Prince Vincent, it was ordered by the queen."

"So, you do know who I am."

I almost laughed at that voice. It was the same voice he used when taunting me.

"Then you also must know that any impoliteness toward me may result in…a war…" He trailed off, leaving the rest to the guards' imaginations.

"You can…speak through the door. That is the best I can do," one guard declared.

The other one seemed appalled. "But Lance…is that wise?"

"She said that nobody could enter the princess's room. Speaking through the door isn't entering."

I heard silence, then…

"Why are the two of you listening as well?" Vinny demanded.

There were a few crashes and choice words spoken.

"Give me ten minutes alone here," Vinny ordered. "Then I may decide to be merciful to your worthless kingdom."

"Ten minutes," Lance replied. "No more than that."

The decrescendo of footsteps told me when they were far enough away.

"Are you there?" I called out, leaning against the door.

"Honestly, Helena. How did you manage this? Have you no tact?" I could imagine the smirk on his face.

"You're a hypocrite," I declared. "The pot calling the kettle black…"

There was silence on the other end of the door. "Are you crying?" he said at last, no longer smug.

"No, I-" I raised my hand to my forehead, only now noticing the tears that were spilling down my cheeks. "I can't stay here another minute! She wants me to stay here forever! She's mad!"

"Then you probably want me to save you," he said dryly.

"You said you would!" I pointed out.

He sighed. "Why am I always saving you? Helena, you are the most troublesome girl I've ever met."

"Do you know how to get me out?" I asked, hopeful.


"What will I do? What will I do?" I cried. "She's going to marry me off to some Exultian noble, and I'll have to stay here for the rest of my life!"

"Helena, calm down," Vinny's voice said. "Panicking isn't going to do any good. Although I did warn you-"

"This isn't the time to say I-told-you-so!" I shrieked. "What are we going to do?"

"You are going to calm down. We'll figure out something, I promise."

"But what if we don't? I can't stay here forever…I'd rather die than-" My gaze traveled to the balcony. How easy would it be to jump off?

"Stay away from the balcony," he ordered.

How did he know what I was thinking?

"Have I ever broken a promise to you?" he demanded.

"No," I replied after a moment of deliberation.

"Then leave it to me. I promise you that you won't be married off to an Exultian noble. It's impossible for anyone to take you away from my side. Alright?"

Despite the circumstances, a warm feeling encompassed me, and I felt a smile spread across my face.

"Because…I promised your parents…well, Aunt Dru and Uncle Alex." He continued muttering, obviously embarrassed.

"I understand," I said. The smile wouldn't leave my face. "Thank you."

He chuckled softly. "What are you saying? I haven't saved you yet."

"But you will," I replied. Somehow, I believed it.

"Prince Vincent, your time is up!" Lance's voice declared.

I heard the crescendo of footsteps as the guards returned to their post.

"That wasn't ten minutes," Vinny said in an irritated tone.

"King Peter is on his way here. If we aren't here when he arrives… You do understand, right?"

"Oh, yes. You'd rather have a war than be dismissed by your king. Of course I understand."

There was silence, then. "Y-you jest. Surely, you jest! Exultia cannot go to war with Astaire! We don't have the resources or the manpower. Our economy right now is-"

"You should've thought of that before angering me. You do understand, right?" Those words must've been said with the smirk. "The only way you can make me believe that you are truly sorry is if you let me in that room."

"But, the king-"

"I'll be back later," Vinny said casually.

I heard the sound of his footsteps slowly fade. The guards were unnerved.

"Do you think he was serious, Richard?" Lance asked.

"He looked serious," Richard replied.

"A war would ruin us. He must know that a war-"

The sound of footsteps made the guard stop his nervous babble. They were probably standing at attention, in wait of their king.

"Let me see my daughter," he all but growled.

Whichever guard was unlocking the door fumbled with the key as he tried to shove it in the lock. It clattered to the ground.

"Give me the key." My father's voice was deadly calm.

I stepped away from the door, opting to sit on my bed. Heat flooded my cheeks as I saw the disarray of my room. If Mama saw this room or…worse yet, Melissa, then I would be reprimanded. As quickly as the embarrassment came, it was gone, replaced by a feeling of key turned in the lock, and the door opened.

To give him credit, he stood tall and regally. He really did give off the impression of a mighty ruler. The two guards gaped in the room after him. They were surprised by the state my room was in, but I gave them little attention. Instead, I glared at my father defiantly. If he said one word about my room, I'd…

"Leave us," Father said to the guards.

The two raced out the door, but I saw their heads peering in.

"And close the door," Father added, not even glancing at them. After he heard the click of the door, Father stepped further into the room. His shoulders slumped, and he shook his head pitifully. "I'm sorry. Can you forgive me?" He surprised me further by kneeling in front of me, his head bowed. "This is my fault. Don't blame your mother. I once thought that if I catered to her whims, she'd eventually grow to love me."

What was I supposed to do?

"I understand if you hate me. I'm sure Alexander hates me, too." He let out a laugh, but it held no humor. "I thought that I was doing the right thing, becoming king…placing my people before myself. Well, I did indulge in one weakness. It's become my downfall. He knew it, too! He knew when I was chasing after her all those years ago. I was just as smitten as those other fools. I let her use me to get close to him. I had actually felt betrayed when he declared that he would marry her. But he had it all planned from the start. It was his escape. And now you…you're locked in the very same room as him.

"I never understood why he loved such an…ordinary woman. He had Cindy! She was beautiful! She was perfect! But now…I understand. It was the largest mistake of my life, and it kept growing! She was so selfish, my Cindy. It's painful even now to know that I will never have sons by her. My children are born with some kind of deformity, and I'm sorry for all the pain it has caused you. And now…to look almost exactly like her…I should've sent you back when I first saw you.

"I couldn't, though. Please forgive my selfishness!"

Unable to stand seeing him kneel before me, I knelt at his side and grabbed his hands in my own. "I don't hate you. You're my father, and you've always tried to do what is right! I could never hate you. You are part of the reason I exist in this world."

His eyes met mine, and he nodded. "There are times when I hate myself," he said, standing and helping me up. "When I see you, I keep thinking: that's my daughter! She's going to become something special. I feel so proud of you, but it hasn't been because of me. Alexander and Drusilla have raised you well. I love you more than you'll ever know." A smile came across his face. "And you can tell Prince Vincent that I didn't hug you before because I felt too overwhelmed, not because I don't love you." With those words, he gathered me into a hug.

Tears perked my eyes as I hugged him in return. Mama had been right. My father had always loved me. I could imagine him earnestly writing letters to Mama and Papa and anxiously awaiting a reply. It must've been so hard on him.

"Why did you let me go?" I asked him, pulling away.

"Everyone was telling me to kill you," he said somberly. "It was the wishes of the counsel and …your mother. I was going to defy them and keep you despite what they said. But my mother…" he paused, pain reflected in his gaze. "…she told me that a very wise woman had saved her from herself. This woman told her to watch after her grandchild and protect it. She told me that sometimes the course of action most painful may be the best course of action to take. Rather than have me defy the wishes of your mother and the people of the kingdom, she sent a letter to Alexander and the wise woman who had spoken to her. I tried to steel my heart against you. I had to let you go, but I didn't want to. I spoke harshly to you, refused to pick you up. I did it to ease the pain of losing you…and I did it to persuade Alexander and Drusilla to take you.

"But losing you was the most painful experience of my life. When Alexander was playing with you in the sitting room, I had to fight myself to walk away and leave it alone. You agreed to leave with them, and I thought that I had finally made the right decision. I was able to keep my head held high…until you waved goodbye on your way to their carriage.

"I remember it so well. The butler had shut the door and turned to me, grim faced. "It's a shame to see her leave," he told me. Then, he gasped. "Your Highness," he said, "you are crying!" I didn't believe him until I touched my face and realized that I was, indeed, crying. Your mother was pregnant at that time, and she had Aurora soon after to occupy her time. She soon tired of her and handed her to nannies. That's another of my regrets. I was busy with my duties as king, so I rarely saw either of them. In my spare time, I was writing letters to Drusilla. I was obsessed with knowing how you were doing: what kind of seashells you picked up on the beach, how many times you fought with Christopher, how often you avoided Vincent, how well you were doing without me in your life.

"I must seem like a horrible person. No, a horrible father. Compared to Alexander, I'm unworthy of being called your father. But…I still love you. As your father, I have to protect you. Even if it means defying your mother."

My mouth fell open in shock, and he grinned at me. It surprised me how alike they were: him and Papa. "You're not a horrible father," I declared, smiling as well. "You've just made some bad choices."

"They couldn't all have been bad," he replied, winking. "I've got you for a daughter."

Vinny was wrong. My father loved me more than I had ever known.

"Now, how can we get you out without your mother knowing?" he asked, looking around. His gaze landed on the blankets I had tossed around the room. Instantly, he was scooping them up and knotting them together. When he was finished, he had created a blanket rope. He walked to the balcony and knotted the last blanket to the railing. "When it grows dark outside, I want you to climb down that rope. There are some horses in the stable. I'll make sure that nobody's there tonight."

"Thank you," I said, stunned.

He smiled at me. "I can't have my daughter a prisoner in my castle." He walked to the door.

Biting my lip, I called out to him. "Father, I love you!"

He stopped walking. "I love you too," he replied gruffly. Then, he stepped out of my room. The door was once again locked, but I didn't feel trapped anymore. No, I had a way of escaping. But how could I tell Vinny and Eve?

I contemplated writing a letter telling them that I had left, but they probably wouldn't be the first ones to find me gone. Hadn't Vinny said that he would be returning? When? What if he forgot about me? And Eve! Where was she? I had left her in my room with Vinny… Did she know that I was being held captive too?

What about Cordie, Robert, Francis, and Melina? They knew nothing about what had happened! I couldn't just leave them here! They'd be blamed for it although it was my father who helped me escape. Nobody would think to accuse him though. It was smart of him to act distant until the door was closed. He really was like Papa in many ways. If only he hadn't been torn apart by my mother, the counsel and my sister, I was sure that he would've been much happier.

And yet, he was still a stranger to me. I hadn't even spent a night here, and I was already leaving. More than anything, I longed to return home to Calamity Shores. Glancing out the window, I was surprised to find that it was dark outside. If I were to make an escape, now would be the time.

My stomach growled, and I paused. Would they expect me for dinner, or would the food be sent up? What if they came in as I was climbing down? What if they alerted the rest of the guard, and I never escaped? Again, I was panicking.

I had no choice. If I didn't leave now, I might never have the opportunity to leave again. I gathered my cloak and gloves. Turning, I surveyed the room. I was leaving my clothes behind… What did it matter? Clothes were just that: material objects that could be bought again.

A horrible realization hit me. I had no money, not even a bronze piece. If I had to, I could survive until I reached home. I could always say that I wished to see the witch of Exultia. There was a possibility that she'd be willing to help me. Then she'd ask me where Melina was. No, I couldn't go to her. Mama had told me which plants were edible…and there was…what was that place called? Ah, yes. Nasarette.

But that would be the first place they'd search.

I couldn't worry about such things. If I did, I'd never leave. Sighing, I calmed my nerves and opened the balcony door. The blanket rope was the only thing I saw. And then I panicked.

What if the rope fell apart while I was climbing down? What if my grip slipped, and I fell to my death? I backed away from the balcony. No, I couldn't. I didn't want to die! But if I didn't go…

Why did my mother say happy birthday to me? It wasn't my birthday yet! I didn't turn fourteen until…tomorrow? Was tomorrow already December third? I only had two years left…two years to become the most beloved in all the lands. I needed to hurry!

I shut the balcony door behind me and grabbed the rope in a tight grip. If I didn't look down, everything would be fine. I crossed the railing, still keeping my grip. This was good! This was fine. I stepped off into the air, and it suddenly wasn't fine. I was hanging in the air, and it felt like my arms weren't going to be able to keep me up.

A scream threatened to escape my lips. I forcefully gritted my teeth. It couldn't end like this! I'd still be hanging here when the guards came. They'd merely have to pull the rope up to have me again. Then they'd take away my blankets.

I twisted my leg into the rope, trying to steady myself. Then, I slowly began to lower myself hand-over-hand at a snail's pace. When my feet finally touched the ground, I sighed in relief. I had made it! Stepping away from the rope, I promptly ran into another person, and we both fell into the snow. This time, I couldn't stop the scream that escaped my lips.

But my scream had no sound. Shocked, I closed my mouth and turned to the person who I had run into. Melina brushed off the snow from her skirt. Then, she looked up at the rope.

"Interesting," she said softly. "I've always been afraid to use blankets as a rope. I can never tie the knots right." She giggled. "Really, though, I'm surprised you managed to get down on your own." Her smile fell from her lips, changing into a pensive expression. "We can't have them finding this, can we?" she asked me. She waved her hand in the air, and the blanket rope vanished.

Where did the blankets go? I opened my mouth to ask her, but my words didn't make a sound.

She smiled at me. "I knew there was something I forgot."

Instantly, I was able to speak. "What happened to the blankets?"

"They're on your bed, the same way they were before you made a mess of your room. I'm still shocked that you managed to make it down on your own."

I frowned. "Really? Why?"

"No reason," she replied flippantly.

I followed her to the stable, my steps crunching in the snow. I looked down and noticed that my footprints disappeared immediately after I made them. "You really are a witch," I said in awe.

"Yes," she said, smiling. "It certainly has its benefits."

I nodded. "Where are the others?" I asked, watching her reach for a horse. It didn't make a sound and followed her every order.

"What others?"

"Our other companions," I answered. What was wrong with her? Could she have forgotten about them?

"They're not coming. They'll probably meet up with us later." She shrugged and handed me the horse she had tamed. Then, she reached for another horse.

"Probably? You're not certain? How did you get out here? How did you know I'd be here?"

"You're getting too loud," she said in a reprimanding tone. "They'll meet us later. If they were to come now, it would be easier to find us. I have to use magic tonight as it is."

I found myself calming at her words. I'd see them again. That was good.

"You should be more worried about how you're going to fulfill your end of the bargain in two years." She mounted her horse and motioned for me to do the same.

I climbed on top of the horse and grabbed the reigns. "Where are we going?" I asked.

She smiled at me. "You really are too trusting, Helena. Very few people would agree to follow a witch without answers to their questions. You need to think of a different name. Everyone will be searching for you."

I paused, deep in thought. What was the name of the princess in Sleeping Beauty? Briar Rose or Rosette, but either way, they had one thing in common.

"Rose." Worried, I looked at her. "Do you think that it's unwise?"

"No," she replied. "As long as you can remember to answer to the name, I think that it's a wise choice." She glanced back at the castle as if she saw or heard something that I was unable to. Had we been discovered? "Follow me," she ordered, urging her horse into the woods.

I looked toward the castle, looking for any sign of light—any sign of the guards—but there was nothing. Everything was quiet. There was still time to return. The windows facing us were all dark, foreboding and distant. Even Melina had said that most people would not willingly follow a witch. Yet, I couldn't have my life decided for me. I needed to make my own choices. My life was in my hands, and I was to do with it as I chose. Gone was the feeling of uncertainty, but my adventure was surely just beginning.

I followed Melina deep into the forest and was shocked when we came across a small cottage, brightly lit with smoke billowing from the chimney.

"I never knew that there was a cottage so close to the castle," I declared in awe.

She didn't even afford me a glance. Instead, she tied her horse to a tree, leaving me to follow her lead. "There isn't. Nobody will know your whereabouts tonight. My master isn't the only one who can manipulate the world around her."

This knowledge shouldn't have surprised me, but it did. "What if somebody stumbles upon us?"

A small smile crossed her face. "As of right now, we are no longer in Exultia."

"Then where are we?"

"We are in a place that shouldn't exist, yet does." Her expression was serious as she regarded me, and I shivered beneath her scrutiny. "You must be cold and tired." She led me inside the cottage, the door creaking as it swung open.

We passed by a mirror, and I gasped in shock. Melina's hair became dark and straight, although her eyes were still the same color. She had gained weight in her reflection, and her facial features had changed. But it wasn't her reflection that frightened me.

My hair remained the same, but that was the only thing that hadn't changed. My eyes were now a pale blue color, and I squinted and cocked my head. The girl in the mirror was thin, almost to the point of being sickly. Her features were so plain. Her face was long, her eyes too narrow and cheeks gaunt. She had no real figure, looking more like a boy than a girl.

"We cannot allow anyone to recognize us. Whispers and rumors will somehow reach the walls of the castle and fall upon the ears of the queen. She'll find you and lock you back in your room: this time without sheets."

I continued to gape at my reflection, not really listening to what Melina was saying. "You did this?" I asked, scrutinizing her.

She nodded. "Aren't you tired?"

I turned and surveyed my side. "I really look strange in the refection, but I don't see anything when I look at myself." I held out a hand in front of my face, studying it. In the mirror, my fingers were crooked and deformed.

"It's a masking spell. Only those under the spell can see their true forms. Everyone else will see you as the girl in the mirror."

I nodded and looked back at my reflection. Then I wrinkled my nose. "Did you have to make me so…different?"

Instead of answering, she pulled me away from the mirror. We walked to a small bedroom, and she opened a chest at the foot of the bed. Pulling out a nightgown, she handed it to me. When I continued to stand there, staring at her, she finally spoke.

"If you are attractive to others, then it'll be much easier to recognize you. Such a sharp contrast to how you really look will hide your true identity from the guards and knights who are, without a doubt, in search of you as we speak. Please, princess, ready yourself for bed, and go to sleep. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow."

I nodded, and she left the room. Now alone, I had time to contemplate things. Would it have been better to stay at the castle? Right now everyone was probably searching for me. Vinny, Eve, Robert, Cordie…even Francis: what were they doing? They must've been worried. But if I stayed, my mother would have forced me to stay at her side. I wasn't a puppet, and I had a quest that I had to accomplish. She had Aurora…she should've focused her attention on my sister instead of me.

I wasn't worried that Vinny would be blamed for my disappearance. He couldn't be…not if Exultia wanted peace with Astaire. But…how would he see through this disguise? Not even he could tell that it was really me. How was I supposed to meet back up with them? I couldn't do this all alone! But I wasn't alone. Not really. I had Melina…

Could I really trust her, though? She frightened me more than I was willing to admit. Gone was the feeling that she wasn't dangerous. If she really was merely an apprentice, then what did it take to be a master witch? What was she lacking? Or was there something she wasn't telling me?

No, I was thinking too much. Everything would be fine. Somehow, everything would work out. Why would the witch of Exultia send her apprentice if it wouldn't be fine? Vinny was smart. He'd have to figure out that it was me somehow. My heart ached at the idea of never seeing him again. If everyone saw me as Rose, the boyish, gaunt girl with gnarled fingers, how could Vinny find Helena?

It wasn't becoming the most beloved in the lands that frightened me. No, it was what would happen after. I still didn't understand how Vinny felt…or how I felt for that matter. What if I never woke up? I would sleep for an eternity…until I died. I looked down at my hands, noticing that they were trembling. It was the unknown that terrified me the most. Clasping my hands together, I lay in bed beneath the covers.

As much as I tried to keep from falling asleep, my eyelids refused to stay open. It wasn't long before I was completely asleep, dreaming of never waking again. Elsewhere, there were people worrying about me: an angry prince and a frantic maid. They'd be searching for me with as much fervor as the knights and guards whose lives were threatened by the queen.

The wind blew softly, speaking words that I would never hear. The whispers carried by it spoke of the impending invasion: the genocide and slavery that were to come if the future wasn't changed. There were ears that heard it, though: a woman more powerful than I could imagine. Unbeknownst to me, she was conversing in soft tones with a man on the other side of a magic mirror. What they were talking about was known to nobody but themselves and the wind. A prophecy had yet to be fulfilled, and there were deaths that would approach quicker than any of us could predict.

"Lycan," the woman said softly, touching the mirror as if she could touch him.

His fingers met hers on his side of the glass, eyes as golden as hers glinting with anticipation of what would come. "You look well, Melina," he replied. "How long has it been? Five hundred years?"

Crickets chirped behind him, joined by owls and wolves: a symphony of the forest.

My eyes shot open. Something wasn't right. I threw back my covers and jumped from the bed. The voices: had I imagined them? No…they continued even now, indistinguishable to my ears. Who was Melina talking to? I paused in the hallway, leaning against the wall, calming my breathing so that I would not disturb the conversation.

Melina's voice was clear as she spoke. "I need your help. Eriwyn is no longer alive, or I'd ask her. Do you still have the scroll from Isodor?"

"Yes." The other voice was low and gravelly. For some reason, it sent my heart fluttering.

"Don't make any rash decisions until I meet you." Her voice was commanding, holding a slight twinge of fear.

"How soon?" he replied.

"Will you give me a year?" she asked.

"A year is a long time," he stated in a taunting voice.

"Lycan!" Melina whined.

He chuckled. "Am I correct in assuming that you are bringing those that will save the lands?"

"Yes. We'll be in Zephyr within the year."

I gasped. We were going to Zephyr? I had never been there before. The forests were dangerous, and there were mountains on the border between it and Astaire. Realizing belatedly that I had made a sound, I clasped my hand over my mouth and held my breath.

"I will see you soon. Take care of yourself," Melina said in a rushed voice. Footsteps echoed in my ears, fueled by the pounding of my heart. I quickly scrambled up and raced to my room, diving back into bed and covering up.

The footsteps stopped in my room, and I heard a sigh. "I know that you're awake," Melina stated.

I squeezed my eyes closed, wondering what she would do. Would she hurt me? Would she turn me into a toad? I had heard something that I wasn't supposed to!

"I understand your feelings. You have no reason to trust me, but please sleep. I won't harm you. You are vital to stopping this invasion."

I didn't speak until I heard her turn to leave. "How?" I asked. "I have no swordsman skills. I'm not wise or clever."

"You'll gain the people's trust and hearts. They'll listen to you. And…"

"And?" I sat up, watching her silhouette in the dark. Even now, her golden eyes seemed to glitter and glow.

"I cannot tell you. Not yet. All I can say is that you will carry the hope of everyone."

With those words, she left me to my thoughts and dreams that held no meaning. I was sure that she was trying to tell me something. She was hinting with her cryptic words. If Mama were here, she'd be able to understand. Surely, when she said carry, she meant something more.

When I fell asleep, I felt a grim satisfaction in the knowledge that I was important. Obviously Melina and this "Lycan" were powerful people. The witch of Exultia was also powerful. They needed me. The fates of everyone in the kingdoms rested in my hands. I had the power to decide what the outcome would be…

To Be Continued…

Author's Note: So, Lycan has finally been introduced (for those of you who were wondering about him). As to who he is, where he came from, and what he means to Melina…you'll have to wait and see. All that's left now is the epilogue, and it's actually fairly interesting (told in 3rd person P.O.V.). Peter isn't as horrible as some of you thought! Hah! And he did something to oppose Cindy. But now…Helena's separated from Eve and Vinny. What's going to happen to her? You'll have to wait and see in the second book. It's a pretty good cliffie, though, isn't it?

Special thanks to the following reviewers: Shayla, The Light of Earendil, chbi29angel, Carrie, Leah, XXbrightXeyedXbeautyXX, Faith Adeline, Written, Merlin, AestheticBreezyDoll, emrevolemina, and miss-life. You guys are the best!


If I were to send you a picture, how would I go about doing it?

The easiest way would be to send it to my e-mail. I tried writing on here last time, but FP took it off and left a gap, so it didn't make any sense at all. Anyway, you can go to my profile and click on the e-mail thing. That'll work.

Is it okay if my picture isn't anime?

Yes! It also doesn't matter how good or bad the picture is. You'll get a double update no matter what you send. Actually, the characters aren't anime-like in my head, but my sister won't draw a real-life looking picture. So, I'm stuck with anime-looking ones. But either way, it's fine!

What do the characters look like again?

Helena has blonde, wavy hair and blue-green eyes. She's beautiful with perfect features…except that one leg is shorter than the other. Vincent has dark, somewhat long hair (not quite long enough to tie back), and green eyes. He's lean, muscular, but not bulky. He's also taller than Helena, but shorter than Robert. Eve has dark hair and brown eyes. She's slightly tanned and is actually of island descent. Chris has brown hair (tied back) and brown eyes. He's not as handsome as Alex was back in OSTSG, but he's not as plain as Dru was either. Eric has violet eyes and dark hair. Cordie also has dark hair, but she has blue eyes (and she's taller than Helena). George has brown hair and hazel eyes. Aurora has brown hair and different colored eyes: green and brown (yes, I changed it). Robert has blonde hair and blue eyes. He's handsome, albeit not as handsome as Vinny. If there are any more characters that you want to know about, let me know. I've pretty much said the most important ones.

Do you ever get annoyed with reviewers who make you hungry with all this talk of food?

Nah, I usually update after I eat, anyway. Plus the computer's right by the kitchen, so it's easy access to cookies and such.

I'm curious as to what kind of music you listen to…?

I like all music except for country, heavy metal, some rap and a few various songs I've heard too much to like anymore (certain annoying pop songs). My favorite kind of music is rock/alternative. I love Panic! at the Disco, Finger Eleven, Sixx A.M., Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Breaking Benjamin, etc. But I'm also a fan of old school rock too, like Pink Floyd, Metallica, Lynryd Skynyrd… My all time favorite song is "Hotel California" by The Eagles.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

I like Moose Tracks (you know, the one with the peanut butter cups). But I also like various fruity ice cream too. But Moose Tracks is definitely my fav.


For some reason, I give away far too many things in this section… Much more than what I would without it, but questions must have answers. So, if you don't want any surprises ruined, please ignore this section!

Is Chris going to end up marrying Aurora?

Nope. He'll become king of Exultia by a different means. He and Aurora are cousins, and it would be somewhat strange to have them get together.

Are you going to kill Eve?

whistles and looks away Alright, fine! Yes! I'm going to kill her off. But I won't say where or when or how or…well, I've already said why… I'm not going to change my mind about this, and I will not say any more on this subject. Eve dies in the second book. Not now (obviously). Yes, it will crush Helena. That's why she must die.

Will Cindy ever get her comeuppance?

Yes, she will end up alone…but it won't be for a while. She'll be kicked out of her kingdom! Ah, I've been giving away far too many things as it is. No more giving away things!

A/N: Well, all that's left is the epilogue to part one. Maybe I'll put up the side story now. Maybe…