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Magic Touch: Prelude by dragontatto Planet Venus, Sister Planet of Earth, 2103 Grace O'Connor spun around happily, showing her mother, her prom dress. It was a full skirted affair with off the shoulder sleeves in a pale blue. When she had first seen it in the window of store she knew that it was everything that she could have asked for. "It's lovely, dear." Her mother said affectionately. "You will knock his socks off." "Mother!" Gracie protested "How many times do I have to remind you that Rand is going with me as a friend? He'll be expected to marry a princess one day. He's not looking for a serious relationship. I'm a safe date to take to the prom." "So you say, my love. But don't forget the prophesy." "Aw, Mother. I can't believe that you believe something that Auntie Clara told you when I was but a few minutes old?" "Auntie Clara has always been right, sweetheart. She says that you will find your true mate during the final dance of the prom." "Yes, I know but you keep forgetting that this is Rand's prom, not mine." "But it would be if you wanted it to. You have more than enough credits to graduate this year." Before Gracie could comeback with a suitable argument, the door bell rang. Spinning, she rushed to the door. "I'll get it." She hollered to her father. "No you won't, Grace O'Connor. Prince or no prince, your young man is going to go through the same traditions as any other young man on the night of his prom. Including the uncomfortable conversion with his date's father. Go wait with you mother." Colin told his daughter. "Oh, Daddy. I'm not his date." She protested as her father opened the door. Standing on the doorstep was Prince Randall Carthwright. "Really?" Colin asked his daughter over his shoulder. "Shall I ask him?" At her embarrassed flush, he turned back to Rand. "Well, young man. Is my daughter your date for the prom?" Colin asked with a devilish gleam in his eyes. "Yes, sir." Rand replied, trying to catch a glimpse of Gracie. "See there Grace, it's settled. You are his date. Quit trying to fool yourself into believing anything different." Turning back towards the Prince, Colin shook the hand that Rand had extended to him. "How are you this evening, sir." Rand asked very solemnly. "Good, young man. I suppose you would like to see my daughter?" Colin asked him dryly. "Yes, Sir." Rand said with a twinkle in his eye. The mock formality between them was just that. He had called Colin, Uncle Colin since his boyhood. "Well, come in then." Colin said with laughter in his voice. "Yes, sir." Rand replied as he crossed the threshold. Any amusement Rand had been feeling disappeared when he caught sight of Gracie. "Damn, you clean up good, Gracie." He said hoarsely. Something inside of him awoke. Frowning slightly he tried to identify the new sensation but was distracted when Gracie stepped forward with a flower to pin on his lapel. Looking down he saw that it was one of her prized orchids from her garden. "I thought you might like this." Gracie said with a smile. "I know that most other flowers make you sneeze. But you seem to tolerate these okay." "Yes, since you enchanted your mother's garden, I've been able to enjoy the flowers without the annoying sneezing." Later that evening, after they arrived at the prom, amide the usual fanfare that always followed the Prince, Gracie tried to relax. She wasn't use to all the publicity that he took for granted. Usually she would see him at the palace and in private quarters at that. Rand seemed to enjoy the quiet time they shared. With each flash of the reporter's cameras, Gracie withdrew more and more. Gracie thought that it wouldn't be so bad if the cameras didn't come equipped with nosy reporters. One particular reporter went as far as eluding to the fact that every girl and boy lost their virginity on prom night. And if she was planning on breaking the prince in proper. Luckily for the reporter Rand hadn't heard the snide comment that the reporter had said. When the dancing began, Gracie began to loosen up. She loved dancing and it showed. She danced several fast dances with Rand along with Jonathan, the third musketeer of their group. When the music slowed after several fast dances, Gracie was looking forward to being able to get a glass of cold punch. As she left the floor, she felt a warm hand grasp her elbow. Looking over her shoulder she smiled at Rand. "You want a drink too?" She asked breathlessly from all the dancing. "No. You're my date, you get the first slow dance." he said as he drug her back onto the dance floor. After pulling her into his arms, he whispered, "you have to protect me from them." "Who?" She whispered back. "The princess and her ladies." "Get real, Rand. They are harmless and you know it. You can't run from the Princess forever. Eventually one day you will have to marry her. Princes always marry Princesses. But I'll dance with you anyways." She finished as he spun her around. "Nope. I'll pick my own bride. No princesses for this prince. Maybe I'll marry you Gracie." "Right." She laughed. "I just can see me marrying the future King. What's wrong with this picture?" She joked, her mind contemplating the idea. It sounded like a daydream come true. "You laugh now." Rand joked. "Just wait and see." The rest of the evening flew by like a dream. Somehow she had managed to avoid the worst of the reporters, and had danced most of the night away with Jonathan and Rand. She never realized that none of the other boys approached her. Then came the time for the crowning of the King and Queen of the prom. It didn't surprise her when they choose Rand and Princess Deanna. Standing along the edge of the crowd she noticed how perfect they looked together. When they took their spin around the dance floor, Gracie decided that Rand wasn't for her. As much as she wanted it to be so, he was destined for bigger and better things than his father's adviser's daughter. But she made a vow to enjoy the rest of her night. After the end of the school year Rand would be going off to college and she wouldn't be seeing much of him. When they called for the last dance of the night, Rand collected Gracie from Jonathan and pulled her back out onto the nearly deserted dance floor. She never saw the look of hatred that Princess Deanna, shot her way. But it wouldn't have surprised her. She had butted heads with the arrogant princess earlier in the ladies bathroom. The princess had made some comment about Rand taking her out of pity. She had let it roll off her back and went back out to dance with Rand. She was going to enjoy every last moment she had with him. As the music started he smiled softly and pulled her close as they started to move. "Have a good time tonight, Gracie?' "Yes." "Good." He replied as he pulled her even closer. All night, he had been trying to figure out what had stirred earlier tonight when he picked her up. The same sensation had swept through him every time he had gotten within touching distance of Gracie. It had finally come to him as he pulled her closer to him as they danced. MINE! The revelation cause him stumble against Gracie. After he nearly stepped on her toe, he told himself to get a grip on himself. As the lights grew dimmer, he looked down at his best friend. He had never thought that his mate would be so close at hand. She was so young as he was. His mind whirling he tried to take in the complications this revelation was going to cause. He had to give them both time. Staring down at the top of her head he decided to wait until they were both out of school before claiming her. NO, MINE, the inner voice shrieked. Eventually, he soothed it. Just then Gracie lifted her head to look at him. He stared like a starving man at her soft lips. What he wouldn't give to steal a kiss from her. Leaning down he gave her every opportunity to pull back. Just as his lips started to brush against hers, the spotlight landed on them. His head shot up with surprise. When Gracie pulled back he looked back at her. Just in time to see a bolt of lightening come from Princess Deanna. Turning in unison they both projected a shield to protect themselves. Rand growled angrily and pulled Gracie closer to him. "You alright?" He asked harshly. "Yes" When Rand released her, she smiled almost sadly at him. "I guess your Princess is a bit jealous." "She's not mine!" Rand said hotly. "You are!" "Yes, I am. Jealous that she will one day take my place. " She replied deliberately ignoring the undercurrents she could feel flowing between them. She knew that she wanted to be his to the deepest part of her being. But she was to proud to throw herself at him, like every other woman that came into contact with him. It was just a moment out of time. She wouldn't let him make any claims in this moment. Maybe never. Rand and Jonathan pulled away from Gracie's house after dropping her off. Sitting beside his other best friend, Rand stared rather moodily at the ceiling of the limo. "You want to talk about it." Jonathan asked as he loosened his tie. "She's the one." Rand said without looking over at him. "I suspected as much." Jonathan said "And after your powers intertwined on the dance floor it was pretty much a dead giveaway." "What!" Rand exclaimed looking over at Jonathan with shock on his face. "Yes. That shield that you two threw up could have withstood a nuclear bomb instead of a little measly lightening bolt that Princess Deanna tried to throw at you." "So what do I do?" "Does she realize it yet?" "I told her that she was but she didn't take me seriously." "Well, it's either bide your time or bring her kicking and screaming into your world."
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