Chapter Twenty-Eight:

Unfortunately, the Crown Princess of Pacifica never got the chance to apologize to Tawny and Magenta, since all of the centaurs and centaurettes ended up leaving the Magical Creatures' Convention early due to some unexpected emergency in their home realm, and the fairies, for some reason known only to them, chose to leave along with them. The final two days of the convention seemed to float right by to Princess Nerissa, an exhausting blur of swimming races in the open ocean and delicious feasts of crispy fried kelp and luscious seaberry coffee cake in the Aqua Magica Inn's five-sea-star restaurant which culminated in a formal ball. The Keeper of Pacifica's Enchanted Royal Aquamarine, Lady Violet, and Lady Coral spent precisely three and a half hours getting themselves ready for the dance. While Violet, whose skin had changed back to its natural ivory tone earlier that afternoon, slipped into a one-shouldered blouse made out of the petals of lavender sea-blossoms and a matching sea-satin tail sash, and Coral pulled an elegantly understated, pale yellow, one-piece dress on over her head, Nerissa rummaged through her shell-case, searching for something that she deemed suitable to wear as Lord Zale held her in his strong arms while they whirled and twirled around the dance floor for what will most likely be the last time for quite a while. Sighing deeply, she finally settled on a green form-fitting woven seaweed top and silver sea-tulle miniskirt. "Ooh, Rissie, you'll match Lord Zale's tail!" Lady Violet bellowed.

The ballroom of the Inn was a very magnificent room indeed which happened to be at least three times the size of the one back at the Pacifican Royal Palace and that boasted solid Atlantean sea-gold walls that were so shiny that they perfectly reflected the soft pastels and warm jewel tones of the dancing Sea Nymphs' devastatingly glamorous evening ensembles and the rich rainbow of colors of their partners' muscular fishtails. As the Sea Swingers played one romantic slow jazz tune after another, Crown Princess Nerissa and Zale gazed into each other's eyes while they gracefully sea-waltzed, Adam Fonda was the furthest thing from the young half-mermaid's mind. At roughly around midnight, Lord Zale pulled away from the Pacifican Princess. "I've had a positively wonderful time tonight, sweet Princess, but I am afraid that I really must be going right about now".

Nerissa's face fell. "Why?"

"A Sea-Shuttle to the South Pacific Consort Academy leaves in a few minutes. I'm sorry, Nerissa, but if I don't hurry, I could miss it!"

"Zale, wait!" Princess Nerissa called after him, but in a flash he was gone.

Will Nerissa's heart remain faithful to Lord Zale even when he is thousands of miles away, or will sparks fly between her and Adam?

Will Vanessa find out what her best friend has been hiding from her any time soon?

What new adventures await Nerissa and her friends back in Sunshine Valley?

Find out all this and more in Nerissa Sanderson, The Part-Time Mermaid of Sunshine Valley, CA #4: A Mermaid's Song…Coming Soon…In Early 2012!