---Gwyneth---

I can't believe it! There's less than a week until the Midwinter Ball. The last two months have gone by so quickly. I've already got my dress ready and I've picked out a cute pair of sapphire-colored slippers to go with it. I've even determined how I'll style my hair and what jewelry I'll wear. There's just one problem.

I don't have an escort.

The reason for this is that I've declined every boy who has offered to escort me. I want to wait and see if Sir Sebastian will ask me. I hope with all my heart that he'll ask to be my escort to the Ball.

But as each day comes and goes, I have a feeling that he won't. I think I've scared him. Ever since I figured out I love him, I've been blushing nonstop whenever he talks to me and I've been so shy to talk to him. A sudden change comes over me when I'm near him and I become one of the things I hate most—a silly little Lady whose thoughts are only focused on one boy.

Even if he doesn't ask me to the ball, I can still love him. I can still look at him and hope that he'll embrace or kiss me. With each passing day, the urge to tell him of my feelings grows stronger. He's like a drug that I can't get enough of. I have to have him.

A foot stepping on my toe brings me back to reality and I wince. The boy I am practicing dancing with says sorry and I nod in forgiveness. I'm in my third period Etiquette class where I am dancing with one of the boys from the Fighting Strategies class. Garret and Sir Sebastian are far away from me, dancing with the other ladies. I look over my partner's shoulder at Sir Sebastian. He's dancing with Lady Cynthia, the headmistress's granddaughter and a snooty little princess. I can see her batting her eyelashes in a flirting manner and Sir Sebastian starts making her laugh.

I can't help it. I get mad. The air around me starts to make a popping sound as jealousy makes my blood boil. All of a sudden, the energy in the air starts to become larger and creates energy spheres. They become visible and suddenly everyone in the room is staring at me when the spheres begin to explode. Energy flies across the room, spraying everyone. The other students scream as the sparks from the exploding energy spheres fall down on them.

I stand in the middle of the room, staring at everyone else with distaste. The sparks from the spheres don't hurt at all. They just feel like a very strong wind current.

The professor comes over to me and snaps, "Lady Gwyneth, just because you are a mage and a noble, it does not mean you don't have to learn to control your skills!"

I look at the floor, my anger subsiding. I do know how to control my skills. I just don't know how that happened. I always have control over my skills. And making the energy in the air around me explode isn't one of my skills. Unless…I've finally got my second skill!

The professor's voice brings my attention back to the rest of the class. "Students, I want to test your individual dancing talents now. Everyone pick a dance partner and sit down."

Whispers start among the other students. This is new. The professor always picks our partners, so choosing our own partners is exciting.

As I watch the other students quickly turn into pairs, I try to find a partner. I must look stupid, standing in the middle of the room, waiting for someone to come up to me and ask to be my partner.

"You look lonely." Sir Sebastian comes to stand next to me and grabs my arm. He pulls me to a bench at the back of the room where all the other pairs of students are sitting. The other girls start to glare at me and I can't help but return their glares with a smug grin.

Sir Sebastian and I sit next to Garret and his dance partner. He still hasn't let go of my arm.

As the professor calls up each pair, one by one, to dance in front of the class, I can't help but wait impatiently for Sir Sebastian's and my turn.

I feel his hand sliding down my arm to my hand. Then, he takes my hand in his, sending shivers up and down my spine. I look over at him to see him looking back at me. My face heats up and I try to looks away but he holds my chin and stares deeply into my eyes. My breathing becomes uneven as I lean closer to him. But then he pulls back and I curse myself. I must look like a fool to him!

But it's not because I look like a fool that he pulls away. It's because the professor calls us up to the front of the class almost a second after he pulls away. I try to stand up on shaky legs and find it hard to walk to the front of the room. But somehow I manage.

When we stand in front of the room, the professor orders us to get into our dancing positions. I stand in front of Sir Sebastian and put one arm around his neck. He slips one of his hands around my waist and takes my hand in the other. When instructed to, we begin to dance.

I lose all track of time when Sir Sebastian starts twirling me around the room. My hand in his and his other hand on my waist feel so right, so perfect. My eyes are focused on him alone and nothing else. We stare at each other for what seems like forever.

Suddenly, he stops and I almost stumble at the abrupt halt. It takes me two minutes to realize the teacher ordered us to stop dancing. We go back to the bench and sit down. Garret and his partner start dancing.

I try to focus on my brother and his partner, but even that is impossible. Especially with Sir Sebastian beside me.


During the resting period, I escape from my brother and Sir Sebastian. I end up walking down a lone corridor in the east wing of the school. My feet hurt, so I sit up on a windowsill and take off my slippers. My toes hurt especially because of the many times they have been stepped on this week. Every boy in this stupid school probably couldn't stop stepping on a girl's foot even if he tried not to!

Sir Sebastian didn't step on my feet. I admire that.

I giggle and whisper to myself, "He's so perfect. He's everything I want in a man."

"And who would that be?" a voice asks.

I almost fall off the windowsill when I look up and see Sir Sebastian right in front of me!

Cursing myself, I answer, my cheeks growing red, "No one important."

Sir Sebastian sits next to me and stares at my exposed foot. I blush more and put my slipper back on. He shakes his head in amusement and says, "He must be important if you think he's everything you want in a man."

I cringe. He's right. I flap my hand at him and say, "It's nothing, all right? I don't want you prying into my business."

He puts his hands up and says, "If you say so."

We're silent and I become uncomfortable. What's he doing here? Did he follow me like he did that day that drunk grabbed me? Or is it just pure coincidence?

I clear my throat and say, "You're a very talented dancer, Sir Sebastian."

He looks at me proudly with a smug, crooked grin. I punch his shoulder and say, "Don't think too much of my compliments, you moron."

He laughs and rubs his shoulder. At first I start to hope that I didn't hurt him, but then, remembering his smug grin, I decide that he deserved it.

"Thanks, though. You're a pretty talented dancer, also, Lady Gwyneth." He says.

I cringe and command, "Don't call me lady."

"Then don't call me 'sir'."

We stare at each other. My eyes are narrowed in annoyance, his are wide with teasing. I look away and say, "If you want, Sebastian."

"That's more like it!" he cheers, patting my shoulder. I smack his hand away and laugh.

I turn around on the windowsill and watch the students outside. They're throwing snowballs at each other, or skating on the pond that froze over last week. I still haven't been able to find any time to skate yet. I'll have to do that in the next couple of days before the Midwinter Ball. Because when it's over, I'll have to go back to the Citadel with Garret and spend two weeks there.

A warm hand touches the side of my face. I turn to face Sebastian, opening my mouth to ask what he's doing. But as soon as I do so, he lays his mouth on mine and starts to kiss me passionately. I'm shocked for a minute, but then I begin to kiss him back, wrapping my arms around his neck and pulling him closer to me. He slides his hands up and down my arms as my fingers get entwined in his hair and I deepen the kiss.

After several seconds more, we stop and I try to calm my excitement. When I look at him, he is staring back at me, desire in his eyes. He brings his hand up to the side of my face and strokes my cheek. I shiver visibly at his touch.

"Gwyneth?" He asks, kissing my neck lightly.

My breathing becomes heavy as his lips move down my neck. "Yes?"

He stops and I silently beg for him to continue. But he looks into my eyes and asks, "Will you let me escort you to the Midwinter Ball?"

I nod my head vigorously and pull him closer, wanting to kiss him again. He gets off the windowsill and gives me one last kiss before walking away. I watch him leave, trying to breath normally. When he is gone, I jump off the windowsill and practically start jumping up and down in the air in my excitement. Energy spheres start to form and explode around me, but I don't care.

I'm going to the Midwinter Ball with Sebastian!


how was that? i know i haven't updated in a while, but i was thinking about changing the next couple of chapters before i updated again...don't expect another chapter soon because i want to change the next chapter but i can't because it's on my other computer which isn't plugged in or something like that.....

anyway, i hoped u people liked this chapter....i thought it was okay...just PLEASE review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if i don't get a lot more reviews for this story, i'm going to remove it....so, that's a sign that u people should review!!!!!!!!!!!!! please?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!