William sat in the back of his carriage, nervously smoothing down his trousers.  He hated feeling nervous but at this point he had a right to feel this way.  He was the next in line to the throne and his father was beginning to grow weak, he wouldn't last much longer. 

Secondly he needed to find a wife.  Lady Danielle was his father's choice for him and William wasn't disappointed with the selection his father had made.  Danielle was young, pretty and of sufficient social standing to merit the hand of a prince.  The only thing that concerned William was love.  He didn't love Danielle.  Although he knew as the heir to the throne the thought shouldn't have even crossed his mind, it was becoming more of a problem as his fathers strength dimmed.

They drew to a halt outside Lord Ean's house.  Well, it was more of a mansion but to Williams eyes it was only small.  The driver opened the carriage door and William stepped out.  Taking a deep breath he walked towards the front door, which opened as he drew nearer.  He thought he saw a flash of red pass a window but it was only there for a moment.

'It's just the nerves,' William told himself as he entered the house.

Lord Ean, his wife Lady Isabelle and Danielle were waiting for him.  He bowed to them and thanked Lord Ean for his generous hospitality.  While they were exchanging formal greetings William heard muffled whispering off to his left.  He turned to see who it was and caught the eye of a young girl.  He froze as a pair of emerald eyes locked with his own.

'Your Highness?'  Lord Ean watched his guest's still face with a little worry.  'Sir William?'  At the sound of his name, William turned back to his host.

'Excuse me sir.  I just thought I saw someone over there.'  William gestured to where he had seen the girl.  She had vanished.

'Please pardon me Sir William, that was probably one of our servants.  There has been a lot of excitement about your visit.  Would you like to come through to the parlour.'  William nodded politely and followed his host and hostess deeper into the house.

Tea was brought and pleasant conversation was made but throughout all this, those stunning emerald eyes were etched onto William's mind.  They haunted him.  William needed to know about that girl.  Something inside was pulling him to her, he just didn't know what it was.

The End

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