A/N: Hi there! This was the first story I'd ever posted on ff.net… It's from a while back, but I found it while looking through my old files and decided to fix it up… add more detail, make it better… Anyway, I hope you like it….and reviews would be very lovely!! Constructive criticism is appreciated ~ melissa-grace

Enigma

Prologue

By: melissa-grace

The sound of crashing waves against tall, majestic cliffs sounded in her head. The distinct scent of the warm breeze and the ocean overcame her sense of smell, and the sight of endless, pure water flashed across her eyes. Every time the sky was this clear, she would be reminded of that exotic place, far from where she was.

It was such a clear blue, that it felt as if the whole world was inside a blue glass ball, yet it still kept a feeling of endlessness; the brilliant sun made it glow with an unidentifiable joy and serenity. This was the kind of blue sky that made her forget all the troubles of the world, as if they had all been erased. It made her feel as if she were weightless. It made her feel free.

Sitting by the window on top of a makeshift window seat made from an old family chest, beautifully carved with intricate designs centred around an equally beautiful and small yet impenetrable lock, she reached her slender fingers toward the shining blue, thinking for a moment that if she could only reach it, she could capture the same joy she saw in that endless sky. For a fleeting moment, it was as if she had done it, but the cool feel against her fingertips reminded her that it was only the glass of the window, that the sky could never be touched, and that the joy could never be captured to become her own…

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 "Daydreaming again, sister?"

A sneering female voice interrupted Sapphira's melancholy thoughts. The red-headed figure smirked towards her younger sibling. She had been walking to her chambers when she glimpsed her ever-quiet sister by that window of hers. The young one was always drawn to that room, with that damned chest, and that damned window. For what reason, Alina could never understand. She still wondered how their father could ever see any potential in her to study the same subjects that she did, or ever think her younger sister could rule over any land, be it large or small. The girl spent more time in her own head than she did in the real world.

As Alina saw her sister reach out and touch the window, she took it to be a childish gesture reinforcing her isolation from Society's Elite - a representation of how she knew she would never find a match of suitable standing and how she knew she would never be accepted as a peer of the Elite. She had to take advantage of what she perceived to be as a small moment of weakness on Sapphira's part; it was too tempting to resist.

            "No, sister." Sapphira nearly gagged on the term of address.

            A silence passed between the two twin sisters, and the tension in the air was almost palpable.

            "Then what are you looking at? The handsome courtiers down below that will never be yours?"

            Silence.

            "Or perhaps it is the ladies you watch with envy because you will never be like them?"

            Sapphira knew she was different ever since she was little. Even though she was in all actuality, Alina's twin, the two couldn't be more different. Her eyes were a dark blue which at first glance appeared black, her hair was black, and she had a slightly darker olive-coloured skin that identified her as having exotic blood in her veins. Not only did she look different, but her manner was contrary to the typical members of the high-class Society in the kingdom of Illaria. She was an enigma to most. Beautiful to behold, kind, and yet withdrawn and mysterious at the same time. Alina, however, was considered more of a classic beauty with her dark red hair and green eyes, showing easily for any who cared to look closely the burning anger that always seemed to reside within her being.

            Although Sapphira was only 17 summers old, she held a wisdom in her eyes that was rare to anyone, young or old. She spoke little, and she spoke less at social gatherings. Of course, she would go through the necessary formalities, but once she had done her part with the greetings, she would only smile politely, nod at the right moment, and excuse herself at the earliest time she thought would not arouse peculiar discussion on her part. There was enough of that already. People were drawn to her character, yet no matter how noble it may have been, her characteristics only served as another topic for gossip. As such, hardly anyone ever approached the young princess. She was of another world, and most are afraid of what they do not understand.

            "Of course you'll never fit in. You can't even speak."

            To this, Alina's twin sister gave a response: "I speak when there is something worth speaking about. Or rather, someone worth speaking to."

            Sapphira's sister, Alina, grew red with fury. She had always been the fiery one in the family as much as Sapphira had always been the calm one. She threw tantrums when she didn't get her way, and although she was the eldest by seconds, she was far less mature than her twin. And so, she picked up the nearest item and attempted to throw it at her sister. Alina had never been good with her aim.

            Sapphira watched as the item hit the window in front of her face, blinked, and raised a questioning eyebrow.

            "A slipper." Sapphira moved to speak, but instead chose to shake her head.

She turned to look at her sister for the first time that day. "Really Leena, you could have done better than that." She paused, and then: "A slipper?!"

            Alina, crown princess of Illaria, glared daggers at the figure by the window and stalked out the door emitting a cry of anger.

            And Sapphira laughed.