Author's Note: Okay... there are people here who will murder me for posting a new story before completing my other stories... sorry but... I just couldn't resist!!! Heheheh... as for the other stories, I'm having trouble transferring all of my old files to my new computer the bloody floppy drive thing won't work... I'm really, really, REALLY sorry about the delay... And btw, I might never finish this story. I love it so much... but I've only done two chapters so far in like one year... heheheh. So don't expect a continuation... -

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- Chapter One

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1062 Anjou, France

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Anacelle Jacqueline Baptiste-Rainfroy glumly stared out at the sheep-filled from her second-story balcony. It had been almost three summers since she'd last seen her parents. They had been hopeful and happy, ready to leave for Athens to attend the wedding of Jacques Rainfroy, the brother of Anacelle's father. Uncle Jacques had been on his grand tour when he met with a beautiful Greek woman and proposed marriage. -

- Six months, they had said. Six months and they would be back with many presents for Anacelle and Alessandro, her older brother. Six months had passed, a year, two years. Still there was no news from the count. -

- Today marked the end of her ignorance of their fates. Alessandro, who was twenty, just received the sorrowful news that they had died in a shipwreck on the way home from Greece. -

- This meant that he was the new Count of Anjou. -

- Alessandro wasn't home today. He was probably checking on the progress of the walls, which were being built around the château for defense. Anacelle sighed and walked back inside her family's grand and almost finished château by the river. It was a cold winter and the wise men of Anjou predicted rare snow up north, maybe even here for the first time in a decade. -

- The house was no warmer than outside, and Anacelle shivered. She ordered a chambermaid to add more wood into the tiny stone fireplace and added a thick sheepskin cloth to her attire, but nothing seemed to make the cold leave the room. -

- Anacelle was used to hotter, even sweltering climates, and was a stranger to this sudden arrival of winter. Alas, maybe it was a sign of bad things to come. The Normans and Bretons, their neighbors, were always attacking them left and right, trying to claim their lands. -

- After a few moments of staring moodily into the fire, she rose up and headed for the door. Her small hand was on the handle when she heard the chambermaid gossiping with the kitchen maid in the hallway. -

- "Have you seen the travelers?" -

- "What? There are travelers in Anjou? Wherefore? Why?" -

- "They are just passing by. They are nobles! I saw them as I was going back to the kitchen, carrying my the milk I just---" -

- "Where are they? Are they handsome? Tall?" -

- Anacelle smiled when she heard the two girls giggling and pressed her ear to the door. She dearly wanted to join their conversation, but it wasn't allowed. She would have to settle for listening---eavesdropping---on them, but the two girls suddenly stopped talking. Footsteps were heard outside, which slowly faded away as they left. -

- They were going to have a look at the nobles, Anacelle would bet her best slippers on it. She opened the door and sighed. She would have wanted to have a look as well, but she knew it was improper of her to do so. -

- Anacelle instead headed for the small chapel on the west end of the château where she would offer a prayer for her deceased parents. She stopped at a mirror further down the hall to see if her light brown braids were fixed. Who knew, she might perchance happen upon those handsome noblemen. -

- After scolding herself for vanity, she then resumed her walking. The chapel was connected to the château by a passage on the second level of the house that was lined with arched windows. It was a beautiful walk, truly. It was like crossing a long, beautiful bridge with many paneless windows. -

- At the end of the passage were the upper rooms of the priest, and a spiral stairway that led to the sanctuary. Anacelle planned to light two candles for her parents. She wondered if uncle Jacques was happily married. No news came from him, either. -

- Anacelle stopped walking in the middle of the passage and looked out one of the arched windows. A tear slipped unnoticed down her smooth cheek and fell. She was so lonely. The unhappy and yet beautiful girl stood alone on the crossway, which connected the chapel from the big, empty manor where she lived. It was such a sad picture that anyone who saw it would feel the poignancy, the raw feeling of loneliness coming from the girl. -

- Beneath her, a young man felt something wet fall on his head. Was it raining? He looked away from the two young women staring at him with unabashed admiration and looked up. To his surprise, he found himself staring at the bottom of a passageway connecting the chapel and the château, but he couldn't see if there was anyone on it. -

- Lord Hans Milford Beckham of Brighthelmstone urged his horse forward, stopped ten feet away from where he had been and looked up at the passageway. There he saw the most beautiful young woman he had ever seen in his life. -

- Hans was entranced. He couldn't look away from her. -

- She had long, dark brown hair, braided in two sides and joined at the back of her head. She was wearing a plain white gown belted just below her waist with a gold sash. The dress was cut expertly, and it was obviously a dress made for gentry. He couldn't tell what color her eyes were, but he was sure he would find them; whatever color they were, beautiful. -

- Then he saw her wipe her cheek with a small white handkerchief. Was she crying? Was it her teardrop what he felt on his head a while ago? He wished he could talk to her. Suddenly, a strong wind pushed her forward and he heard her gasp when her handkerchief was blown away. -

- Hans watched the maiden reach out for it instinctively. His heart almost stopped when he thought she would fall, but she was able to keep her feet on the inside of the window. The white handkerchief floated down, and Hans immediately got off his horse. -

- This scene was almost a repeat of the other maidens who "accidentally" dropped their white handkerchiefs. He wondered if this maiden was apt in the ways of the women at court, of if she knew of the ways of courtly love. He watched her as he walked to where the handkerchief had fallen. She was staring at it, and when he came to her line of vision, her beautiful eyes widened. -

- It wasn't an act, he realized. She was staring at him in surprise, her pink lips forming an O. Hank was once again reminded of her beauty. She looked like an angel. A very surprised angel. Why, she was a blushing angel! -

- He just couldn't resist. -

- He winked at her. -

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Author's Note: Thank you for reading! Please review and help me out here. And like I said, don't be dreadfully disappointed if no other chapter shows up. ^_^