• Chapter I: The Gypsy's Dance
    "And here we have the noble Count Vathek & Countess Talitha with a gift for Your Grace." The royal announcer stated, reading yet two MORE names from the infinately long scroll.

    Prince Arcaius sighed as the wealthy couple walked up the stairs to his throne. His ocean blue eyes were dull & bored. He already knew what his so called "gift" would be. "We present to you only the finest gold & silver & jewels, young prince." Count Vathek stated, motioning to his servants that were carrying countless of chests of gold, silver, & jewels.

    Archaius only yawned, but he stopped being rude immidiately when he felt his mother's, Queen Abelia's eyes giving him a stern look. So instead of yawning, the young prince simply nodded his head in approval at the Count & Countess's gift. But inside, he wanted nothing more than to leave this horrid ball & lock himself in his library.

    Archaius ran his hand though his shoulder-length blonde hair, making it stand on end. "How insane!" The prince thought to himself as he watched the Count & his wife walk away. "I've only turned 16 years! It's nothing worthy of being celebrated..." But alas, his mother had insisted on giving him the finest ball to celebrate his 16th birthday. He & his father, King Lium, shared the same exact thoughts on this ball: It was pointless. But of course they both had different reasons for their thinking. King Lium thought that spoiling the boy, would be his undoing.

    Archaius simply didn't feel like being bothered with fake people with smiling masks, who could care less about who he truly was. Of COURSE they were only here to show off their wealth & riches, all of them trying to compete with each other. "How disgusting..." Archaius thought. They were all the same to him. Sniveling rats on top of mountains of gold.

    But something, or should I say SOMEONE at the ball seemed to be of the Prince's interest. Out of the crowed of Princes & Princesses, of Counts & Countesses, yes out of the crowd of wealthy aristocrats came forth a low & poor Gypsy girl. The prince leaned forward in his throne as he watched the girl walk up the stairs without even being announced. A purple veil covered her eyes, but Archaius could see that her pale rose lips were turned up in a gentle smile.

    He could here everyone whispering: "Who is that filthy Gypsy?" "Does she DARE think that the prince would have even the slightest interest in what she has to offer?"

    Even the announcer himself couldn't help but be shocked, too shocked to even speak. And then she finally spoke, "Good day, young Prince. I hope you don't think wrong of me... But as it is your 16th birthday, I have come with a humble gift for Your Grace." Her voice was but a whisper, so much so that Archaius almost didn't here her.

    It was then that Archaius noticed that the Gypsy girl held nothing in her hands. "Then what could she possibly have to give me?" He thought. But he was intrigued, none the less. And he smirked as he said, "Then what do you have to offer?"

    And the Gypsy girl returned his smirk. And she so daringly leaned closer to his ear & whispered something. The people were postively outraged now. How DARE she be so bold?! But before anyone could say anything, the Prince spoke first: "Royal Players, play on your intruments a lively melody." And so, although they were confused, the Royal Music Players began to play.

    And so, it all began. The Gypsy girl lost her soul to the music & she began to dance. She spun & twirled & jumped, the golden bells hanging from her skirt jingling along with the music. The Prince, as well as everyone else, was mesmerized. "The way she dances...It's almost as though her feet don't even touch the floor." He thought in wonder.

    The Gypsy girl removed her purple veil & twirled it around herself as she continued to dance. And Archaius became even MORE mesmerized by her beauty. Pale skin, as white as a dove,deep green eyes, & the darkest hair he'd ever seen. And she went on dancing & hypnotizing everyone in the room. Spinning & twirling within the swirls of purple created by her veil.

    Suddenly, she danced back up the steps to the throne in which Archaius sat. And she twirled until she sat herself right in his lap & gasps filled the room. She wrapped her veil around Archaius' neck & pulled his face closer, so much closer to her own.

    Archaius' heart was beating rapidly, galloping like a stallion, soaring like an eagle. The Gypsy's emrald green eyes met his eyes of ocean blue. And her warm breath ghosted over his lips as she whispered: "This dance has been my gift to Your Grace."

    And with that, the Mysterious Gypsy girl danced down the steps once again, & in a swirl of purple smoke...

    She was gone.

    The entire ballroom fell silent. The King was shocked, the Queen was silently furious, & Archaius... Was intoxicated by the memory of the Gypsy girl. The memory of her whispers, the memory of her eyes, the memory of her scent, of her dance. Of HER.

    And after all of the comotion, after things settled down, the ball went on as planned. One by one, more of the guests were anounced & gave their gifts. But Archaius paid them no mind. For his thoughts were on one thing & one thing only:

    Finding the Gypsy that gave him the most wonderful gift of them all.

    And find her, he would.