A/N: Welcome to my new story! I had inspiration to write an old south romance... so here it is! And it may seem a bit like Gone With the Wind in this first chapter, butthe storywon't be. I promise. : ) Please review! Then I'll update sooner if ya do!

Chapter 1

Lynn Anita Gentry was the prettiest belle in all of Georgia, and she knew it too. There wasn't a girl out there who wasn't jealous of her and how many young men wanted her. Not to mention her money too; her family was the wealthiest family in all of Georgia. But Lynn liked to think that they were the richest family in the entire world, but her Mammy just told her that that was the most ridiculous thing she ever heard. But Lynn told her that she didn't think it ridiculous at all, for what state out there was richer than Georgia? And if her family was the richest in Georgia, then they must be the wealthiest in the whole world. After she said that, her Mammy would just laugh and continue whatever it was that she was doing.

Not only was Lynn proud of her looks and money, but of her ancestors as well. She was English and Danish, and not afraid to show it. Her ancestors were of the highest class in England. Her mother even told her that they were kings and queens, though Lynn wasn't sure if she was telling the truth. But still, even her mother saying it proved to her that she was a princess and should very well be treated like one. Anyone who treated her otherwise was met with a harsh tongue. Her mother never approved of her temper, but what was she to do about it? She didn't want her daughter turning on her as well. Lynn always wondered what her father would have thought of her now, but always firmly believed that he was proud of her. When Lynn was only 5, her father got tuberculosis. He had it for only a week before he died. Many people say that after her fathers death was when Lynn took up her temper. But of course, no one blamed her for it, for it was not her fault that she lost her father at such a young age.

Today, as Lynn was lying in her bed, she was as joyous as she could be. For she thought today would be the day that her favorite beau would propose to her at the ball being held in honor of her mothers' birthday. Of course Lynn had no clue how old her mother was turning, but she was looking forwards to the ball. Not only would she become engaged, but she would also get to wear her pretty new dress and show it off to all the other girls there. Though, Lynn thought, I could just show up in my under dressings and I'd still be the prettiest girl there! She giggled to herself. Today will be such a happy day!

Just then her Mammy walked in carrying Lynn's breakfast tray.

"Hello, Mammy!" she cried as she watched the tray being set down on the table.

"Chile, why you so happy? We git so much ter do today, why, I might just fall over from all the stuff piled on mah shoulders!"

"Oh, Mammy, don't fret so. You know you can get anything done that we ask you to do."

"I knows chile, I know," she mumbled. "Now we gotta git you dressed."

Lynn slammed her hands down beside her on her bed. "It's to early. Can't I stay in bed?"

"Now you know that you have ter git dressed earlier for Miss Beverly's celebration."

"Oh, I know. But I just love to lie in bed and feel the warm sun on my face in the morning," complained Lynn.

"Come on now, chile, git yourself outta bed and let me dress you."

Lynn pouted but never the less rose out of her bed. She didn't know why she had to be rushed so, it was supposed to be a fun day, not hurried along. She continued to pout as Mammy began to dress her, pulling the strings on her corset tighter and tighter, until Lynn's waist was a mere 18 inches. Then Mammy shuffled over to the closet and pulled the dress that was to be worn today. It was pink with white flowers and big, fluffy sleeves. It was also layered with ruffles at the bottom and flared out with the perfect size hoop. When Lynn saw her dress, she couldn't help but smile. The pink would look fabulous with her golden blonde curls, and the white sash would accent her tiny waist wonderfully. She couldn't help but be filled with glee at how the other girls would be filled with jealousy. And how the boys would stare and ask her to dance! There wouldn't be one dance that she wouldn't be part of. She could only hope that the wretched Anne Smith would have no men to dance with. That girl was so vile! Lynn knew that Anne, out of all the girls, was jealous of her the most, and this caused Lynn to love to flaunt how many men she had to choose from even more. How Lynn loved to see the look in Anne's eyes when all the men in the county surrounded her! They would glint maliciously and her face would twist up and get horrid looking.

She'll never get any men with that look on her face all the time, thought Lynn happily. I bet she'll become an old maid! Just like that sister of hers! Oh what's her name… oh yes! Maybelle! She's already forty and has never married or had any Beaux! That's just a no good family if you ask me.

After Lynn was all dressed and ready for the barbeque, she went down stairs and greeted her mother in a hug. It was her birthday after all, and Lynn wouldn't let anyone ruin it, not ever herself.

"Oh Mother!" Lynn cried as she embraced Beverly.

"Lynn, darling!" hr mother replied. "You look so nice."

"But not as nice as you look mother," said Lynn as she drew back from the hug. "You look as lovely as you did when you were 20!"

Beverly laughed. "Don't flatter me so darling! It's your big day as well."

Lynn blushed. "Mother, nothing is for certain yet. Though I do hope it is a big day for me as well."

"We all do," agreed her mother lovingly.

"Stop it, mother! You're making me blush!"

"Well good," said her mother sternly. "Then your cheeks will look pinker and you'll be even lovelier."

Lynn smiled serenely at her mother. How does she always know what to say? She thought proudly. She's the best mother in the whole county and she's all mine!

"Mother!" cried a voice from the staircase.

"Molly!" Beverly cried back. "How's my baby girl?"

Lynn rolled her eyes. Maybe she did have to share her, but Lynn knew that her mother loved her best! Just knew it! Also, she hated that name "baby girl" that her mother always called Molly. She's not that young. Only fourteen, she thought maliciously. If I could, I would claw that giddy smile on Molly's face and tear out her hair. But mother would never approve, and I could never do anything to harm mother.

So she just sighed and forced a smile on her face as her mother took them out to the yard to greet their guests. It was nearly 11 am, the time for the party to begin. Even though Lynn had a fake smile on her face, no one seemed to notice, and as the guest piled in, they all said how lovely she looked. Of course she smiled and laughed like any girl would and told them how kind they were.

As it was nearing 11:15, she was starting to get worried for her favorite beau, Nicholas Thame, was not here yet. She started to panic and think that he had been taken ill or got in an accident. She worried that he wasn't going to come at all, and then she would become an old maid! And she just couldn't let that happen! Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm herself, but was at no success until she saw another carriage pulling up, one that she immediately recognized as being the Thames'. Her heart cried out with joy as she saw Nicholas step out of the carriage. Then he turned and held out his hand for a woman to step out of the carriage. This struck Lynn as odd, for his mother had died years ago. So if it wasn't her then that could only mean… her hand flew to her chest as full realization hit her as she saw a young woman step out of the carriage.

No, she thought, it couldn't be a date. He loves me. And… And look at her, she is positively hideous. I am much more beautiful than she is. Why did he bring her here if hewants to marryme? Perhaps she's not a date, just a friend. Yes, that's it. Just a friend. I've been to lots of parties with men as just friends.

With that dilemma settled, she complied herself and went to greet the newly arrived guests. She wouldn't dare let this little set back keep her from having a good time.

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