Chapter One

Three Words

Nesrin paced angrily before her relatively calm father; sparkling, paper-thin butterfly wings swaying with every step she took. She was unable to glare at him in the eye since he told her the three words that she never wanted to hear him say. "You are betrothed."

"I won't marry whom ever it is that you would have me marry; I won't," she said defiantly while never failing to miss a stride and managing to keep her voice low no matter how much she wanted to scream off his head at the moment.

She would have tried to strangle him were it not for the oak desk that blocked her path to him. His study was the only place where he felt safe and relaxed, but that seemed to change by the sound of his soft voice the moment he told her the news.

"This was arranged long ago by both your mother and I, and now that you have come of age, it is time that you marry him," her father said with little emotion. Just because it was preordained didn't mean that he wanted his only daughter, his only child to marry; leaving him even more alone in the world than he already was.

He looked only a few years older than his daughter but his haunting gray eyes held the wisdom of nearly a thousand years and counting.

Nesrin paused in her vigorous pacing, glancing at her father through glimmering emerald eyes that were raging with a fire that he had never witnessed before. "Do I know him?"

"It is doubtful," he began grimly; not able to keep her frightening gaze. "He lives at least five days away. His family is known for being so secluded. It's a wonder how so many people know of them."

Nesrin gave a depressed sigh as her father wrapped his blue-tinted wings around his broad shoulders as if to fend off the cold. "May I at least know the name of the one I am to marry?"

"Damian of Nightenbrush," he whisperedin a low tone as if it would cause less harm if he spoke softer; her father's hope that his daughter wouldn't recognize the infamous name.

It was too much to ask for.

"Prince Damian, the Season Tamer?" Nesrin asked. Her father meekly nodded in response to her astonished question but said nothing more.

The Season Tamer… such an odd name for such a simple task of keeping the Seasons in check without so much as lifting as hand, saying a spell, or using an ounce of magic to do it with.

"So when is this 'wedding' to take place?" she asked; still not even the slightest bit pleased. She was hoping on knowing the man she was destined to marry and playing a few tricks on him. A complete stranger would be something different; something that took far more planning than she wanted to give.

"In two moons…" he murmured, but just loud enough for her sensitive and slightly pointed ears to pick up.

Nesrin felt her legs buckle and her heart fill with dread and fear at his words. "You have got to be kidding me!"

Silver bells chimed away in the blistery night wind as Nesrin sat quietly in a white wooden chair on her spacious balcony; staring out at the starry black sky and making wish after wish on every star she saw.

Her forest green evening dress matched her eyes perfectly, and her honey blond hair had been pinned up in a tight bun to keep the long tresses out of her pale face and saddened eyes.

Her wings were practically see-through but could disappear entirely when she was out walking with other creatures; mainly because of the humans. There were soft rainbow veins that highlighted them, making them give off a faint incandescent glow.

A tentative knock was heard at the door, followed by a unique female voice. "Nesrin? Are you coming down? The party is awfully boring without you."

Nesrin opened the door telekinetically and a fairy dressed in a royal blue gown with long ebony hair walked into the breezy room; intense azure eyes on her princess and future queen.

"Is he here?" Nesrin despondently asked her old maid and long-time friend.

"And waiting for you downstairs," she replied; an unreadable smile on her ruby-red lips.

"I'll be down soon, Bianca," she said; never moving from her seat on the balcony to indicate that she was going to do what she had said she would.

Bianca hesitated before exiting the room; the train of her dress and the tips of her wings being the last things that left the quaint room.

When her friend was finally gone, Nesrin relished in the quiet once more, inhaling the heavenly sent of the night-blooming jasmine. She had no intention of ever joining the celebration party that would mark her as a man's property.

Joyful laughter of two men and the very distinguished giggle of Bianca were heard just below her veranda. Curiosity filled her as she hung her head over the railing to sneak a peak at the laughing trio.

Her father was standing beside Bianca and both of their eyes were fixated on a man before them. It was too dark to get a good look at him and since his back was turned to her, she couldn't have made an educated guess as to who it was, either.

"I suppose I should make and appearance and then sneak back out," she whispered to herself. "Father would have my head if he knew I was in my room for the entire party."

Her mind was quickly made up and she soon scurried down the winding staircase to the party below, careful to avoid the two searching pairs of eyes for her presence.

As she tried to keep a low profile among the guests, some couldn't resist calling out to her "Congratulations!" or "Hail the future Queen!" She would only end up turning the other way entirely, clinging to the walls if she could, only to stay out of their sights.

When she neared the garden that was directly below her balcony, her sneaking around became more like eaves dropping.

"I cannot wait to see her face when she comes down to meet you," the King cooed.

"She always did like to take her time with things," the Prince added; striking a smile on Bianca's face.

How would he know that I like to take my time? Nesrin thought as she listened more intently to what they had to say about her.

Her father spoke again, drunk off of happiness. "And to think that you two have-"

"Princess! Care to dance?" a voice called to her from across the dance floor that made her eyes bulge in fear of being spotted by the ones she was trying not be seen by.

She was still hidden from their view but she could hear three footsteps headed her way.

"Um…I'd be delighted," she thought quick as her dancing partner arrived at her side and led her to the center of the dance floor that was already occupied by numerous dancers.

The King, Damian, and Bianca arrive at the wall she had been using for cover just as she was swept away into a dance.

Damian's golden eyes followed her as she moved across the dance floor. Each step she took matched each beat to the music and the gleam in those jade eyes seemed to set his heart on fire.

"It seems she is enjoying herself," the King stated; sad that it was not Damian who was the one dancing with her, "Why don't you ask her to dance, Damian?" he questioned upon seeing the longing look to do just that in Damian's eyes of gold.

Damian hesitated, unsure whether or not she would accept his request, but his short moment of hesitation was just long enough for Nesrin to break the dance and scurry into the adjoining room once the song had ended; feeling those watching eyes on her every step of the way.

He followed her, wanting to ask her so many questions that she seemed intent on avoiding, but it couldn't last for long. The day after tomorrow was their wedding.

Nesrin dashed through the crowded dinning halls, narrowly missing a poor-soul-of-a-servant holding a silver plate of delicacies that would have fallen to the floor if she didn't catch them first.

She could feel him following her; penetrating eyes never falling from their spot on her back and feet never missing a step with hers. It was a chase that she couldn't avoid.

She didn't want to see him. Didn't want to one-day fall in love with him like her mother had with her father. Didn't want to give her life up when she had barely begun to live.

(That's Chapter One!!! I've been meaning to post this for months and I finally have. Hope you like it.)