Chapter Six: Jasmine

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The city centre was as busy as it had been earlier, only now it was crowded with people who were dressed up for the party.

Devon accosted me within seconds of my arrival. She was wearing a short, off the shoulder white dress with a diamond studded belt. Her arms and neck were encrusted with dazzling rocks and long, honey blond hair hung loose at her shoulders. Through it ran a single streak of silver, the arrival of which had prompted elation a few weeks earlier.

"You look great!" she squealed. "I love that dress on you!"

"Thanks." I smiled, suppressing a laugh at her over excited mood: nobody got excited about parties the way Devon did, even though partying seemed ingrained inside pretty much every Arcan's nature - she took sparkling to an entirely different level. "You look really amazing too," I said sincerely; she looked effortlessly stunning in a way I could never dream of achieving.

"Thanks," she gushed. "I got the dress yesterday and the bracelets are all from Auntie Grace."

"Where's Im?" I asked, glancing round.

"Still getting ready, I think." She rolled her eyes. "She'd rather be two hours late than turn up looking a fraction less than perfect." I laughed. I loved Imogen, but she was ridiculously obsessed with her appearance. Whenever we went shopping together she would spend twice as long in the changing rooms trying on new clothes as me and Devon did put together and ever since she'd learnt her dad's key-number a few years ago she'd bought twice as much as well.

I looked around at the centre. Our everyday, white-wash streets had been transformed unbelievably into a stunning party location, sparkling as if it had been strewn with diamonds. We had parties in the Arcan Realm all the time, but this was the best one I had seen in a while. "Wow Devon, everything looks amazing, you've really outdone yourself this time."

"That's me, Devon, party organiser extraordinaire!" She giggled. "You wouldn't believe how much fun I had planning this place. Have you seen the dance floor yet? It changes colour every time someone steps on it." She led me over towards the dance floor, which was already full of people laughing with delight and I stepped onto it, causing it to change from red to steel blue.

She had just stepped on to it behind me, transforming the floor into a pale purple, when Brody came over to us.

"Hey, Devon. Hi, Jasmine." I smiled brightly at him. I liked Brody, he was lovely and it was obvious that he had a huge crush on Devon, although he'd never build up the guts to tell her. "The place looks really great."

"Err, thanks," she replied, unenthusiastically, causing poor Brody to turn an unattractive shade of red. Devon must have been the only person in the Realm clueless of Brody's attachment to her and always responded awkwardly to his compliments. I elbowed her deftly in the ribs and hissed "Be nice!" in her ear while Brody fiddled with the buttons on his jacket. "And thank you for your help," she added, more graciously. Brody beamed at her, but didn't say anything else.

"Devon was just telling me how much she wanted to dance, Brody." I decided the situation caused for a little more prompting. "But she doesn't have a partner." I smiled encouragingly. I couldn't have been any more obvious about it if I had tried.

"Oh, that's a shame." He'd gone back to playing with his buttons. "Well... I'll see you guys later." He walked away again, still bright red. I let out a sigh of frustration.

"What did you do that for?" Devon glared at me. "I never said that I wanted to dance!"

"Oh come on, Dev, give him a bit of help. It's obvious he's crazy about you!"

"Brody?" She pulled a face. "No way!"

"Aw, poor, Brody, is he not quite dashing enough to be your Prince?" Imogen laughed as she appeared on our left.

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