Prelude

There used to be a time where Olivia actually cared about what people thought of her. She was the Crowned Princess of Andorra, someone to be admired and looked up too. But she didn't care about any of that, not anymore; not since her father remarried and her younger half-sister came into her life. The same half-sister that was part of the cause for Olivia's parents to divorce. At least her brother was still in his position as heir to the throne, even though her step-mother was attempting to get him disowned. Fruitless effort, as her father wasn't even the king! Her grandfather was and he decided who would be his heir…there was no law saying it had to be his son, so if he a skipped a generation all would be well.

Still gone were the days when she would watch what she said in order to be politically correct. Now she didn't care if she pissed someone off or angered the church. She didn't care if she made her father angry; he deserved everything she said about him or to him. She had her plan; she knew where she wanted to be in ten years and she knew how to get there. And of course there would be several hurtles in her way, but she would overcome them.

Chapter Three

"Olivia."

"Did you need something Zach?" She didn't bother to look at him.

"Is everything okay?"

She made a noise and shrugged. "Of course. Why wouldn't it be?"

"You've been in a pissy mood since you came back from your run this morning and you still haven't showered."

"Are you complaining about my hygiene or the fact that I haven't bothered to be my normal sunny self? A sunny self that I can assure you is just a front in the first place. I've never been that happy."

"Who pissed you off today?"

"Mother Nature."

He chuckled. "You got your period then."

"No you idiot. Mother nature as in the fact that its pouring out. Did you not see me come back from my run completely drenched or are you blind?" She tried hard to keep the anger out of her voice.

"No, just selective in what I see."

"So you enjoy seeing me in a bad mood then?"

"I just think it's funny that your mad because it starting raining during your run."

'No, the mad part comes from me tripping because I saw Kale McAdams running this morning too and there was no way I was going to let him see me in this neighborhood.' She couldn't say that out loud though.

She showed Zach her palms, "I tripped. That's why I'm mad. Good enough for you?"

"Okay. Just try to cheer up, the rain is dreary enough. We don't need you bringing the mood down even further." With that he was gone from the room.

Olivia rolled over in bed and looked out the window. Well at least the weather was fit for her mood. Pouring rain. She couldn't help but smile at the irony. She was angry about random little things and it was pouring rain outside. At least it was a Saturday and she didn't have to brave school. Her first week hadn't exactly been what she wanted, but at least the bullying only really amounted to words and not physical actions like pushing and forcing someone into a locker…though there were no lockers at the school.

"Andromeda."

Only one person called her that. "Hey mom."

She felt the bed sink in slightly as her mother settled onto the edge.

"I figured you would be at the mall right now, spending your father's money," there was no spite in her mother's words, regardless of how Olivia knew she felt about her ex-husband.

"I'm not really in the mood for shopping right now," she admitted. "There are a few people at school who I don't get along with and I just want to avoid them."

"And what makes you think that they're at the mall?"

Olivia smirked, "I heard them talking about it yesterday."

"Ah. Well how about if the two of us take a drive into the city and we can spend copious amounts of your father's money of clothes we probably will never wear." Her mother stood. "Shall we?"

"You know I have no complaints about spending Father's money," she shifted. "Just let me shower and get ready."

Forty-five minutes later they were settled into her mother's Beemer, with Annabelle in the backseat. Her mother's excuse for bringing Olivia's stepsister along was that it was 'a chance for all three of them to bond'. Well, okay then. She had no problem with that. But a quick glance back at the younger of the three revealed a sullen atmosphere. Uh oh. Apparently, her step-sister didn't want to be a part of this expedition.

"Annabelle," Olivia twisted in the seat to look back at her. "Which store is your favorite for clothes shopping?"

The thirteen year old blond, who would definitely be a bombshell in her adulthood, shrugged. "It doesn't really matter to me, I'll buy clothes from anywhere."

"I'm more of an American Eagle fan, though I do wear those high end designer clothes on occasion."

"I've never shopped at American Eagle."

"Well we're going to have to take you there. They may not be high end, but their clothes are still well made and very comfortable," Olivia's mother said.

"Cool."

Olivia winked at her mother. Maybe this day would actually be the best time she had this week…but she wasn't going to get her hopes up. She adjusted her seat belt so it wasn't digging into her shoulder and reached over to switch radio stations to something a little less classical. Claire de Lune may be her favorite classical song but to a thirteen year old whose idea of music was Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers, it would be like sitting through hell. She really needed to pull her violin out of the back of her closet and make sure it still worked...and hadn't been damaged in the plane ride.

"How about this?" Annabelle asked, holding up a light green halter top with a bow in the chest area.

Olivia glanced at it once, pulled it from her stepsister's hand and shoved it back onto the clothing rack. "Here," she pulled off another halter top, only this one was without the bow. "This will look better on you," and definitely won't emphasize the chest that teenage boys were probably already staring at.

"Thank you!"

Olivia felt a glimmer of hope as Annabelle gave her a genuine smile. Maybe she and her step-sister would be able to create a relationship. After Annabelle had disappeared into the dressing room, Olivia headed towards the shoes. She was in need of some flip flops and where better to get them but Old Navy? A few minutes later she was walking back in the direction of the dressing rooms with black, navy blue, and brown flip flops in her shopping bag. Just as she reached the door to Annabelle's dressing room she saw him. Kale McAdams was walking in her direction with Jason Phillips. She hoped they hadn't seen her and wouldn't see her. She stepped quickly into the adjacent dressing room stall and shut the door.

"Hey Annabelle," she heard Kale greet her stepsister.

'Shit. I can't very well go out there when he is; then the game will be up and my fun would be gone.'

"Hello Kale…Jason."

The time it took for her stepsister to acknowledge Jason was telling. Either Annabelle didn't like him all that much or she had a crush on him. Olivia hoped it was the latter and definitely not the former or she'd feel bad about playing him. Her devilish plans would go down the drain and she would have to rethink everything and make contingency—what was she thinking? This wasn't a military operation and there she was thinking about contingency plans?

She removed her reading glasses—why was she wearing them anyway?—and rubbed the bridge of her nose. Focus, she admonished. Had she missed anything? Thankfully not. She took a deep calming breath and let herself relax and focus on the conversation going on outside her dressing room door.

"Who are you here with?" that was from Jason.

"Cute top; you have pretty good taste," came from Kale at the same time.

Olivia could just imagine that Annabelle was blushing. "Ah, thanks. I think. But my stepsister picked it out, not me." She ignored Jason's question entirely.

"Is your stepsister here then?"

"Dammit," Olivia muttered under her breath.

"With her and my stepmother. I don't know where they are right now though; Andy," Olivia breathed a sigh of relief, "is probably looking around for clothes or something...though she doesn't really seem the type to spend hours shopping for clothes."

"What does she look like? I'll go find her," Jason spoke up.

There was a snicker from Annabelle, "Sorry Jason, but I'd rather make her happy today and something tells me that you would be the last person on this earth who could cheer her up."

She scrunched her nose. Was she seriously that bad of company today?

"She needs cheering up?"

"What? You wound me Belle, you think I wouldn't be able to make a girl happy?" Jason sounded a tad angry.

Olivia almost laughed out loud at that one, but she stopped herself knowing it would probably be a bad idea. She shifted closer to the door instead and practically held her breath.

"After the week she had at school you're both probably the last people she'd want to see."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Kale seemed to be offended.

"I'm only thirteen, how am I supposed to know what happens in the mind of a college student?"

"Your female. Is it that time of the month for her or something?" Jason asked and not even seconds later there was the sound of someone getting hit. "Hey! What the hell was that for, Kale?"

There was a snort. "Just because she's having a bad week doesn't mean it's because she has her period!"

Olivia shifted uncomfortably. Kale was defending her? Someone he disliked? Not that he knew that Annabelle's step sister and his nemesis at school were one and the same, but it was odd nonetheless.

"She fell when she was out running and skinned her palms," Annabelle told them. "I heard muttering when she came in about idiots and how she hasn't tripped while running since she first joined the track team in high school."

"That's a stupid thing to be mad about," Kale commented.

'You can stop talking now, Annabelle. I don't need you spilling everything about me,' Olivia hissed in her brain.

"Well," Annabelle had a bored tone in her voice, "I need to finish trying these on. I'll see you guys later."

"Of course. Let's go Jason."

Barely a few seconds passed when Annabelle spoke again, "You can come out Andy. They're gone."

Slowly she opened the door and grinned sheepishly only one question on her mind. Annabelle motioned towards a mirror.

"I saw you walk in and hide when you saw them. I figured you didn't want them to know you were there so I didn't tell them." She wet her lips. "I take it you don't really like them."

"It's not that I don't like them, it's just that they don't like me. They think I'm at the school on a scholarship. They have no idea I'm Zach's step-sister and I'd like to keep it that way for awhile. Do you think you could keep it a secret?"

"Of course." The girl turned to enter her dressing room and then turned back. "So what do you think?" She motioned towards the halter top and skirt she wore.

"Thanks Annabelle. And it's perfect."

Well that was one crisis averted. What else would be to come in the coming weeks? Frankly, Olivia didn't want to know.

Please review!

to Nire: Don't worry about it. I've clicked submit a ton of times before meaning too. I was planning on taking the character descriptions slowly; not putting too much out there at once. I went back and fixed the things you noted in your review, so you may want to go back and reread the two chapters. I would never think you didn't like the story. Your review is the type of review I want to get from my readers, so thank you.