Hey guys! It's Scarlett here...

This is my story Crimson Tears. Read the preface first, or the whole story won't make sense. Please give this a try before you "X" out of the fic. I don't want to see your mouse moving to the "X" or the "back" button. Don't, just don't do it. It gets better. I promise you. Oh, and if you read this, please have the common courtesy to review:)

I like to hear from my readers. Please no flames—if you got something to say, PM me. Just don't bomb my review box. If you liked it or have CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, feel free to bomb my review box. And yes, I'm well aware of Arallis's childish behavior. She's fourteen, going on fifteen. This is a fantasy fic, but imagine it taking place in the Medieval times if it weren't fantasy.

And the "T" rating will come to play in the future, don't you worry about a thing my little readers. We've gots the romance, the passion, the destruction, the violence, the action, just…alert the story and stay with me, kay? I'll try to update every weekend or before if I'm feeling loved (*cough cough* REVIEWS REVIEWS REVIEWS cough cough*).

And anon reviews, I'll try to reply to you too when I post. It makes it kind of hard when you anon peeps ask me questions and I can't reply by PM-ing you because (oh, that's right) y'all can't PM. Duh:0) ONE MORE THING. THERE IS SOME INCEST BETWEEN BROTHER AND SISTER. NOTHING TOO BAD. JUST BROTHERLY SISTERLY LOVE.

Okay, I'll shut up now and let you read. And remember, please guys review!


Bernami was quite a fruitful country with lush forests and wide open plains of grass and meadows. King Tovert of the Tarth family ruled with his new queen, Nepharine, and their four children Jophrey, Wil, Prue and Arallis. Bernami's neighboring country was Teres, and it was a barren waste-land country, where it was hard to find food and grow things. They had naught but leafless trees that bequeathed them no fruit, and grass-less fields with wilted flowers. King Preceran and Queen Delia (of the Smythe family) had just married and had their first son, Lukas, a few years before she became pregnant with Princess Seraphine. There was a time when Teres had gone through a famine, and Bernami supplied them with the goods they needed. Once Teres was a wealthy country again, they sent slaves, animals, and many goods to Bernami in order to pay back the great loan.

The time dwelled on, and eventually a famine unleashed itself upon Teres and starved the people. King Preceran turned to Bernami once more for help in this terrible time, but found himself harshly rejected by King Tovert. This only made the king angrier; he had paid back the loans he owed to the fruitful country, so what was the harm in helping them again? Little did he know that on the other side of the story a nightmare was building in the streets of Bernami. Slaves were going mad with killing their masters and the children, the animals were much too unhealthy to eat or use for work, and the goods were poisoned and rotten.

But Teres was growing weaker by the very second. Women and children were dying of hunger and thirst; men were being killed in their hunt to find food for their families. This was the last straw for both countries. Thus the war of the sixth age had begun.

Chapter 1

"I brought you some tea," Princess Arallis's eldest brother Jophrey said, joining her by the river. "I don't want any," Arallis replied, whirling a stone to the other side of the bank. "I got your favorite, 'Rallis. Chamomile." Jophrey watched his sister hike up her mass of maroon skirts to leap from stone to stone across the river. "I said, I don't want any." She snapped back at him, using one hand to push back her mane of long golden curls. Arallis lost her footing on a rock and slipped, falling into the cool waters.

"Arallis, are you okay?" Her brother shouted, jumping abruptly from his sitting position. "It's these skirts," She complained to him, avoiding the question of her well-being, and not caring to sit up. The shallow waters washed over her face and it left a refreshing feeling. "Why can't we just wear trousers like men?" This time she sat up and ripped at her bulge of skirts, flinging them all away until she was left in her underclothes. She was not ashamed to parade herself in her underclothes in front of her brother.

Arallis of Bernami was not like her sister Prue Tarth, who adored dresses and pounds of make-up to wear. The only thing they had in common with each other was their appearance. Both sisters had long and curly golden manes with a pair of aquamarine eyes that were as azure as the sky; most folks mistook the two young princesses for twins. Arallis's brothers looked mostly the same as well with shoulder length golden hair and dark blue eyes. But her eldest brother Jophrey was the closer to her than her sister Prue or her other brother Wil.

"That would be unladylike, 'Rallis." Jophrey said with a small chuckle. "I could not see women walking the streets with trousers instead of skirts." In an act of annoyance, she sent a small wave of water flying at her brother. "I could get used to roaming around in my undergarments." She smiled proudly at this, though she knew the real truth. "Perhaps maybe we could have a special day where women wear trousers and men wear dresses!"

Jophrey laughed at this. "Are you hearing yourself correctly, my little love? You would give our poor mother a heart attack." Arallis growled at the nickname that her brother had given her when she was four, and at the mention of her mother. "Oh, to hell with our mother," she said. "I wish I could do what I want without someone telling me otherwise. I despise being told that I am behaving improperly, and I despise being told that I am just a child. I'm fourteen and going on fifteen, brother. I'm a woman, now."

"A woman you say?" Her brother raised his eyebrows, amused. "Indeed," she replied with a laugh. "Do I not look the part? Mother says I'm beginning to develop curves like Prue."

Jophrey chuckled. "You may not be a woman yet in spirit, but yes, you do look the part," he said. Arallis stomped her tiny foot on the ground. "See? This is exactly what I mean! I am not a child!" Her brother smiled at his sister's childish behavior.

"Sometimes I truly dislike being a princess. Do you not wonder what it would be like to be in a commoner's shoes? Or even a peasant's shoes?" Jophrey shook his head as she came bounding gracefully back out of the river. "No, not really. But I'm sure they wonder what it's like to be a princess like you, 'Rallis. To do nothing all day but watch the maids do work for you." She entwined her fingers into his and squeezed. "But silly princesses have no say in things. Our job is to just sit there and look pretty while everyone else gets to deal with the action."

"You are angry." It was a statement, not a question. "About the war," Arallis exhaled deeply as she made herself comfortable on the grass beside him. "Why shouldn't I be?" she asked him. Jophrey put his large, masculine hands on her tiny shoulders. "Bernami and Teres have been at it for years upon years. It is time for this to end."

Arallis shrugged his hands off of her shoulders. "Wars are horrid! So many good men are killed. It's bad enough that father takes young men off of the streets to fight in the war. Women are forced into hiding and children go hungry because the money for food goes to the troops to keep the soldiers healthy and fit." Jophrey understood what she meant, but this is what had to be done. Gray storm clouds rolled over the sky, and the first rumble of thunder sounded in their ears.

Soon, the first raindrop plopped into the river and more followed. "Come, m'love, back to the castle with me before the storm gets too bad," he said, tugging gently on her fragile arm. "But I am already wet." she pointed out. Jophrey frowned and replied, "You know well that frolicking 'round in the midst of a thunderstorm can be dangerous," her brother said, gently taking her face in his hands and kissing her cheek.

Never one to deny him, she agreed. Jophrey hoisted her up onto his horse and set off for the castle.

"What have you two done to yourselves?" Arallis's older sister Prue asked in disbelief. "You look like two hogs after rolling around in a mud puddle. And you smell like one too, if I might add."

"Shut your mouth!" Arallis growled, her wet hair sticking to her forehead. Prue snorted as she picked up her skirts and trotted out of the room. The younger girl raised her hand to throw silt and dirt onto her sister's new red dress. "Ah, ah, ah, love. None of that." Jophrey grabbed her hand and forced it down at her side. "Let's go get you into the bathing chambers."

The handmaidens sponged the dirt off of her skin. Jophrey entered the room in his robes. He smiled as he saw his little sister being scrubbed pink. Arallis had had so much dirt and dried mud on her body, and when she was being washed it took several tries to free the grime of her skin. Her flesh was pink and slightly stung to touch.

"Enjoying your bath, sweet sister?" He chuckled as she flinched at the handmaidens touched. Arallis looked up at Jophrey; she hadn't even known his presence. "Lavinia told me to deliver a bucket of hot water to your bath. You've been lounging for at least an hour now."

"That's not my fault," Arallis replied. "The handmaidens aren't finished cleaning my body… and making me look pretty again." Jophrey placed his lips on her forehead. "You don't need handmaidens to make yourself look beautiful," he murmured into her ear. The younger girl was tickled pink by his words. "And you do not need the butlers and servants to make yourself look handsome."

He ran his fingers through her blonde curls. The handmaidens all stared with widened eyes as his fingers traced her jaw. "He's not supposed to be in here," one maiden said. "It does not seem right to me, either," said another. Lately they'd been noticing strange behavior coming from both brother and sister. They'd become closer than ever since their father's royal announcement of a war.

"Do not soak much longer in the bath, m'love. You'll begin to look like a wrinkled prune." Jophrey smiled as he poured more hot water into her tub, almost overflowing it. Arallis sunk a littler deeper down into the water, until the point where it touched her chin. "I enjoy soaking," she replied defiantly.

Jophrey beamed as he walked out of the room. For the maidens, all tension had gone out like a light. For Arallis…the girl had lost her playmate. For Jophrey, he'd lost his beautiful little muse.


SO? What do you think? Please review! Lots of love,

Scarlett Berry