Once upon a time in a kingdom called Fairytale, there lived a dashing young prince by the name of Danek Winsome. His rugged good looks put all others to shame - a tousle of dirty blond hair and deep blue eyes that were so dark they appeared almost black. Thus Prince Danek (or Dan, as he was often fondly addressed by his close friends) had a bounty of female admirers and a never-ending string of courtiers always tagging along behind him. The entire palace staff and household were at his heels, and if he so wished, they would come and lick his feet, so ready were they to obey him.
However, like all human beings Dan had his flaws, and as comes with such wealth and handsome charm, naturally his flaw should be that he was extremely conceited and narcissistic, which many a times led others to believe he was quite the heart-breaker. He believed that since he had so many admirers that must mean that everyone in the land of Fairytale must adore him. But for one girl this wasn't the case. Her name was Fahtmari, and as her name indicated, she was the only foreigner at the royal court of Fairytale. Ever since Prince Danek had met Fahtmari, he had been fascinated with her uniquely different culture and the ways she did even the simplest things, like dress and eat. One day while he was studying in the grand library of his palace, he came upon Fahtmari sitting by herself in the Love and Marriage section of the place, reading a book on famous historical romances.
Arrogant as he was, Dan walked straight up to her, grabbed the book out of her small hands and said with a smirk on his face, "I see the foreign lady likes to fill her mind with romantic notions."
"Ah, the great prince has decided to grace me with his presence." Fahtmari was not amused. She snatched the book away from him and tucked it back neatly into a shelf, and then stood up. She had to look up to see his face, since Fahtmari was so small compared to his towering height, and that did not make her pleased. As the prince looked down upon her with that stupid smile still on his face, she had the sudden urge to slap it right out of him. But of course she couldn't do that, so she swallowed her desires and pasted a brilliant smile on her face. "Did you merely come to tease me about my choice of reading material or do you have an actual purpose here, Your Highness?" she asked.
Prince Danek looked taken aback. Never had a courtier, especially a female one, spoken to him in such a way before. At first his face became a scowl, and he thought of punishing her for her insolence then decided against it. She was, after all, a good friend. "No," he replied, shaking his head. "I came by to see you."
"To see me? And to what do I owe this great honor?"
"Lady, if I so wished I could send quite a good number of guards right now after you and send you to the dungeons for the way you behave towards me."
"Oh, you could never do that, Your Highness." Prince Danek found Fahtmari's knowing smile excruciatingly annoying. He stomped his foot.
"Yes, I certainly could. And I will."
"No you won't. For we are friends, are we not? And it would break all rules of friendship for someone, even a prince, to send a good and loyal friend to the dungeons."
Prince Danek blinked, and then suddenly smiled. Perfect. This was what he had been going for all along. Fahtmari backed away warily; she had learned long ago to be afraid of times when the prince smiled like that. A person who smiled like that never had good things in his mind.
"So we are friends, then?"
"I believe I just said that, Your Highness."
"Then why don't you call me Dan? Why the formality?"
"I'm sorry Your High - Dan. I guess being away from your court for so long has taught me some manners."
Prince Danek raised an eyebrow. "Is my court so unruly that you had to be gone so long? I missed your company greatly."
Fahtmari allowed herself to smile. The prince had his moments, like everyone else. He only had to be given a chance to express himself. "Thank you, Dan. I missed you, too."
Prince Danek looked around the library excitedly, checking to make sure no one was nearby. And then he cornered an unsuspecting Fahtmari up against one of the shelves, tilted his head to one side and grinned. "Then come with me to the annual Midnight Dance, won't you? All the great nobility will be present, and of course, I will host it."
Fahtmari frowned and pushed the prince away from herself. To hell with that chance. He didn't deserve anything. Prince Danek with his one great flaw thought that her silence meant she was too shy to say yes and his heart surged with happiness. He was too much of a kingly dolt to see her frown, or take note of the fact that she had just pushed him away from her.
"Great!" he cried. "I'll seek out the best seamstresses and bring them here to the palace so that you may have your dress designed and made to your liking. I assume that's fair?"
Fahtmari rolled her eyes. He just did not get it. And probably never would. "Dan," she said, "get this into your head. I am not going to the dance, and especially not with you."