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Ariella could feel herself being drawn to the Prince, a man she had only known for but a day. She didn't want to feel this way about anyone, let alone a prince, but she couldn't help herself. It felt like Cal was compelling her with the way he spoke so velvety, the way he would touch her arm ever so slightly, and how he would lean closer to her just far enough that she would find herself trapped in his eyes. She loved every minute of it.

Cal shook his head laughing, "No, it's not like that!"

"Then how is it like?" she teased.

"Well it's not like I sleep around on a regular basis, at least I get to know the woman a little first."

She smirked mischievously, "Key word, 'little'," they had been out on the balcony for about thirty minutes, talking and laughing. She knew she was right about wanting to meet him, "Well, Your Highness, I assure you, whatever you intend for me, I won't be as easy as the others."

He joked as if he was taken aback, "Now that would be ungentlemanlike," he looked playfully disgusted, "You perceive me as a man who only wants one thing."

"Don't they all?" she smiled, looking down to the gardens below them.

He pondered her question, following her eyes to the gardens, "I guess you're right.. just some of us don't blatantly discuss it with every woman they meet."

"And what category would you place yourself in, my Prince?"

He shook his head, smiling, "Whatever my Lady wants is what I'll be."

Ariella rested her chin on her hand, leaning against the railing of the balcony, "I'm afraid I can never be your lady," she said with a somewhat melancholy tone after a pause.

"And why is that?"

She looked over at him, rolling her eyes, "You're the Prince of Frencia, I'm not a Princess, and I don't particularly want to be married to anyone anytime soon."

Cal looked at her curiously for a moment, "Why not?"

"Not every lady you meet swoons at the sight of you," she murmured, turning towards the gradens once more.

"On the contrary, Mademoiselle, they almost always do," he muttered sarcastically, almost too low for her to hear.

"Hmph," she glowered, getting annoyed by his obvious arrogance, "Well not me."

He laughed at her irritated expression, "Then it's a good thing that I always love a challenge."

"If I didn't know better, Your Highness, I'd have to say you'd come across as a narcissist."

He laughed, "And if I didn't know better, Mademoiselle, I'd say you come across as a bit stuck up."

She glared at him, turning around and walking back towards the ballroom, "Then why are you talking to me?"

"Oh give me a chance, I was only jesting," he said, still chuckling.

"I'll see you later, Your highness," she said as she paused in the doorway that led back into the ballroom, "Or perhaps not."

And she was gone again.

Cal watched her as she left, making no effort to stop her. When he could see her no longer, he turned his eyes back to the gardens below. A small smile lifted his lips as he thought of their conversation. If it was even possible, he realized maybe he liked her even more than he already had.

The ball had almost come to a close as she re-entered, though there were still a few members of the court playing cards on the far wall. Ariella passed through the grand room, her footsteps echoing along the pristine tiled floor.

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