"Star light, star bright...the first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might...." The young girl paused as footsteps sounded behind her, turning away from the window. "Hello, mother."

The matronly woman smiled warmly at her only child, taking a seat beside the lovely young woman. "What are you thinking about, Arraine?"

"Well, I..." Stopping short, Arraine twisted a lock of her blond hair around a finger, trying to find the right words. "I just wish that you and father did not arrange this union." She finally said lowly.

Sighing, her parent rubbed her temples wearily. "Daughter, we are just looking after your needs! Lord Senirum is quite elderly, yes, but he is also very wealthy. You should be honored that he took a shine to you." Seeing the disappointment on her progeny's face, she offered a small smile. "Be happy, my lovely girl. This betrothal will be beneficial to everyone, you'll see. In time, you'll see."

Arraine raised her eyes to answer, but a pealing ring rang through the air. "My goodness," the older woman exclaimed. "Who could be calling at this hour?" Getting up, she walked to the door in a dignified manner. Opening it just enough to view the outside, she frowned at the person outside. "Yes?"

From where she sat, Arraine could see a young boy standing in the doorway. A tight-fitting cap was planted over his short brown locks, giving him a prim look. Saluting the women respectfully, he held out an envelope to her mother. "Urgent news from the house of Lord Senirum, Lady Sana."

Curious, Sana took the item he proffered and nodded her thanks. "Here, for your troubles." The little messenger eagerly took the money she offered, and bowed gratefully.

"Thank you, Lady!" With another nod, he took off out of sight.

"Well?" Arraine said listlessly. "What does it say?" Probably another love letter from the old man. He constantly showered her with woos, affection, and promises. But she shrugged it off nonchalantly.

With a be-patient-young-lady look on her face, the woman gracefully slit open the white envelope. With equal carefulness, she drew out the letter within and unfolded it. A reserved look on her features, the proper aura quickly faded as her eyes scanned the written words. "Oh my goodness!!"

Taking in her mother's pale and stricken expression, Arraine rose cautiously. "Is something wrong?" She was taken aback as large teardrops started to roll down the older female's cheeks.

"Oh, it's terrible!" Great sobs escaped her lips, tears plishing quietly to the floor. The cries attracted several servants and her husband, rushing in quickly.

"My dear, what is wrong?" Arraine watched her father hold her mother close, trying to comfort her. "What has happened?"

"L-Lord S-Senirum...." She let out another great sob. "He's d-dead!"

At that, Arraine inhaled sharply. So he'd died after all. Of course they had known about his heart troubles, but thought that he'd atleast live long enough to take Arraine as his wife. Now, her parent's hopes had been shattered.

Tearing her eyes away from her despairing parents, Arraine slipped through the shocked servants and headed towards the staircase. She couldn't help but feel a sense of relief, despite the sadness that now hung in the air.

Reaching her room, she threw open the door and shut it again. With a tired sigh, she let herself fall backwards onto the bed, shutting her eyes and ignoring the sobs from downstairs.

"Something amiss, old chum?"

Not bothering to sit up, Arraine turned her head to face the speaker. A boy about her age, he sat contentedly on the other end of her bed, grinning. "Quinn," She said exasperatedly. "Didn't I tell you to stop coming in through my window?" She scowled at his wide smile. "My parents will think I'm having sex with you or something."

This only made him smile widen, and he tapped her arm playfully. "I wouldn't mind making their nightmare come true!"

"You wish, you cretin." Sitting up, Arraine hugged her knees tightly. "Senirum's died."

Suddenly solemn, Quinn frowned. "How'd the old man pass away?" At her shrug, he nodded good-naturedly. "Probably his heart, that's what the whole village has pegged it up to." Another grin split his face, and he leaned in to whisper in Arraine's ear. "It looks like you won't have to lose your virginity to that old man after all."

With a fierce scowl, she pushed him off her bed. "How insensitive can you be, Quinn!? Don't you dare poke fun at me!"

Dodging another one of her swings at him, Quinn pulled himself back into sitting position. "I was just saying!" Finding her neutral again, he scooted closer. "Are you sure that..."

"That what?" She inquired. Crossing her arms over her chest, Arraine frowned at her friend. "What are you up to now, Quinn?" To her complete surprise, he seized her wrists in his hands. "Quinn!"

Gently as he could, he lowered her onto the smooth sheets, shifting himself on top of her. "Can't you reconsider your answer?" He kissed her neck softly, running his tongue over her warm skin.

"I said no, and I mean it!" She whispered urgently. "Get off me before my parents come in!" She gasped as he shifted a hand over her chest. "Quinn, stop."

"Arraine, please." He kissed her neck again, this time suckling the flesh harder. Feeling her struggle against him, he ran a hand down her side, stroking her between the legs heavily.

Her inward struggle suddenly stopped, and Arraine involuntarily let out a moan. Hands at his shoulders, she wavered in indecision. She'd told him that her feelings for him could never match his own for her, but it felt so good with his hands stroking her. "Quinn....No!" With a burst of energy, she quickly pushed his body off hers.

Caught off guard, Quinn landed on the ground, dazed. He watched her scowl darkly, heading towards the open window. "Where are you going?"

"Out! And don't you dare follow me!"