Not much action yet, I know. It'll start in the next chapter when Cassandra's learning to use her abilities.

A Fallen Princess

Chapter Two

Six Years Later

Queen Regina watched her children playing together in the courtyard below. Cassandra would grow into a beautiful young woman, that was obvious. Regina had visions of her future at night sometimes. Sometimes the dreams troubled her, other times they cheered her. Right now, she was just watching her children play.

Her eldest, Pyralis Griffith, had been a failure, only pyrokinetic. He was twelve right now and had her bright red hair and emerald eyes that twinkled when he smiled. He was smiling right now as his sister, this being her sixth birthday, played hide and seek with him.

Today was pivotal for another reason. Today was the day that Cassandra's abilities would show.

"Ninety-eight...ninety-nine...one hundred!" Pyralis counted. "Ready or not, here I come!"

Regina smiled. Cassandra was behind a bush cut into the shape of Belle Gemme, a star. Each district was colored appropriately. It didn't make a very good hiding place, but then again, it was hard for Cassandra to hide, seeing as she was wearing an elegant, iridescent silk dress. Regina winked at the six-year-old, who giggled and waved.

"Cassie, where are you?" Pyralis called. "You're really good at this."

Cassandra muffled another giggle.

"What was that?"

"I'm over here, silly!" Cassandra laughed.

Pyralis jumped out from behind the bushes.

"Found ya!"

Cassandra was laughing when it happened.

She cried out and grabbed her head with both her hands. Regina leaped up from her chair and ran to her daughter, uncaring of the twigs and tears that were appearing in her long cotton skirt. She scooped her daughter up and held her in both her arms. The child's emerald eyes were wide in fear and her straight red hair was so tangled it looked curly.

"So many voices," she whispered. "In my head..."

Regina's stomach jumped into her throat. She was a telepath.

"Cassie, honey," her mother whispered to her. "I'm thinking three words. What words am I thinking?"

A look of deep concentration came onto her face. Looking deep into her eyes, Regina saw that they had turned into a dark blue color.

"I love you," Cassandra murmured. "You're thinking 'I love you.'"

"Is there anything else inside your head?" Regina asked, her heart beating like a drum.

"Sparks," Cassandra said. "Lots of sparks."

"Can you use the sparks?"

Cassandra pointed at a daisy, staring at it with now-violet eyes. It uprooted itself and slowly floated into her hand. How to test the others?

"Cassie, baby? Do you think you can set the flower on fire without touching it, like Pyralis can?"

With a fierce glare with suddenly red eyes, the daisy burst into flames. Cassandra cried out as it burned her hand.

"Do you think you can fix it, like Mommy fixes her cuts?" Regina asked, practically holding her breath.

Cassandra nodded and touched the cut, her eyes now grey. The burn healed instantly. That was faster than even Regina could heal!

"One last thing, honey," Cassandra asked. "Can you tell me what Daddy's giving you for your birthday?"

Cassandra scared into space with black eyes, searching time. Regina knew the process well.

"A necklace in the shape of Belle Gemme with colored parts."

Regina was numb in shock. That was all five! Cassandra was the Celui!

"Call your father," she said to Pyralis. "Tell him we have the Celui."

"What's the Celui?" Cassandra asked curiously.

"It's..."

Pyralis's sentence trailed of into nothing when he looked at his little sister. Her hair had lightened to snow-white, and her eyes were as gold as Regina's necklace. The Celui, without a doubt.

"Now," Regina said in a hushed voice.

Pyralis immediately began running towards the palace. Cassandra sat up and looked at her mother, her head tilted slightly.

"What's everyone so excited about, Mother?" she asked.

"You have a gift, honey," Regina said proudly. "You're going to learn to use the gift."

Regina monitored Cassandra's face closely for a few seconds, gauging her response. After a few moments, a grin slowly spread across the princess's face.

"When can I start?"

*~*~*

King Elroy Griffith was sprawled across his throne when his eldest came unceremoniously running into the hall. One did not burst into the Opal Palace throne room without good reason. Very good reason.

"What are you doing here, boy?" he snapped in his deep, booming voice.

"It's Cassandra," he panted. "She's the Celui!"

Suddenly the court was all ears.

"Where is she?" Lady Cayenne Hugh, Queen Regina's friend, asked eagerly.

"In the garden."

Lady Cayenne stood and curtsied, difficult in her wide skirts and tight bodice.

"If you'll excuse me, your highness. The queen will be wanting me outside."

She backed out of the room so as not to show her backside to the king. The accursed telepath could tell what he thought about the child. Scowling, Elroy sank further into his throne, scowling at the attendants rushing behind Lady Cayenne as fast as they could without turning around.