Chapter 40

Day passed through into evening. From the place at her window, the birthday princess watched the guests line inside, hurrying in at the threat of rain and tip-toeing over ground already dampened and soaping with water. There were no stars, no moonlight that evening, nor that night, only the gloomy canopy of grey bloaking the silver rays and the sky's twinkling pearls. The day Aedryn's youngest princess turned fifteen years was overall a nasty one; it did not affect Cassandra much other then putting her mood down. There were no pleasures she could take of her own on her special day anyways. It was all spent in exessive attention to every detail of her appearance. For her prince, she must be perfect.

A year. A year until she moved away from the only place she had known so she could live with that prince, the one she had the least idea of who he was. She was stepping into the unknown, moving only as people said she should and she had to. Well, she would get some answers tonight, that was for certain. that too frightened her. Knowing. Knowing that he could be completely horrid, and so could the rest of her life.

It was not long before all the partiers filled the setting of her entrance, all instructed by the invitation to dress themselves in blues--pale blues, indigos, navies--purples--lavenders, violets--and to trim themselves in silvers and whites. How odd it was, surreal, entering into the scene of the night. While there were no stars outdoors, it was quite a midnight wonderland indoors, with a million candles alight, sending the infinite number of sparkling items covering the room glimmering.  Marie had been right--as Cassandra entered, the effect of the mirrored walls behind the tree-pillars gave the effect of an even more enormous number of persons there than there was, standing like winter fae in their all their grey-blue, purple majesty.

And to head them all, the largest gathering of trees at the end crowned the gathering of thrones, standing out in with their golden hue. Upon them sat the rest of the royals, excepting they were decked in complete white, the ladies' faces powdered. Her mother had some scary beauty about her, as if she was truly a deathly specter, but also, a delicate fairy queen.

Cassandra stood in contrast to them all, though. Much of her gown rippled that silver blue, encrusted and embroidered with diamonds so as she moved, she sparkled as the rest of the room did. A long train of veil, an irredescent, almost transparent silver, came from the center of her chest, encircling her shoulders, barren from the extraordinarily low neckline and open arms of the dress, and tumbled down her back and behind her feet. Atop her head was one of the heaviest tiaras she ever had worn, silver, jeweled crags, tallest in the center, of diamond pointing upwards as if indicating her relation to the stars. She appeared a fallen piece of starlight, a jewel of the heavens.

And now to wait. To wait for the moment many of the onlookers wished to see.

For the entrance of Prince Alezander.

The End

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