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The day of the ball came around and Mary-Kate found herself feeling very nervous.

"I don't know what's wrong with me" She said to Ashley as she smoothed her dress. "I'm not usually this nervous"

"It's probably just because you haven't seen each other in so long" Ashley explained.

"Maybe..." Mary-Kate didn't sound too convinced

~*~

Jonathon and Tom talked a little as they waited for Ashley and Mary-Kate to come down the stairs.

"Look man. I know you and Fredrick are friends, and I am really sorry about this" Tom apologized.

"Don't worry about it" Jonathon said. "Fredrick's kind of mad at the moment but I understand how you feel. If it were Ashley I'd do the same thing you're doing."

"Thanks" Tom was distracted from the conversation as he watched Mary-Kate slowly walk down the stairs "Wow!" He said when she finally reached him.

She just smiled shyly and they walked into the ballroom.

~*~

Fredrick felt filled with a burning jealousy as he stood outside the castle looking in the window. It should be him in there, dancing in Mary-Kate's arms, Not Tom! He kicked the wall really hard then bounced around the lawn clutching his foot.

He heard voices moving towards the door and quickly ducked behind a book.

~*~

"I like her hair thing" Tom whispered to Mary-Kate as they dance "It looks like a cat died on her head"

Mary-Kate had to fight back giggles. He was right, the ladies fluffy hair clip definitely looked like a dead animal. "Stop it!" She scolded him "You're so cruel!"

"Sorry" He acted the part but didn't mean it. "Have you noticed we're the only couple under 30 here? Well, of course, except for Ashley and Josh" He glanced over at them where they were dancing together gazing into each others eyes in an almost sickening way "But I think we can overlook them. They're only here physically"

"You're right" Mary-Kate said glancing around "Those two are inseperable" She said with a grin.

"Wanna go outside?" He asked "It's kind of stuffy in here"

"Sure" Mary-Kate said prying, with much effort, her head from his shoulder. He took her hand and led her outside.

Mary-Kate shivered a little as she remembered the last time she'd been out here. She'd been really scared that minute before Tom showed who he was. Tom noticed her shivering and wrapped an arm around her. Together they walked down to the rivers edge.

They just kind of stood there for awhile, both lost in memories, afraid to disturb the peace that seemed to envelop the river and themselves. Tom still had his arm wrapped around Mary-Kate and she was thinking back to that time on the boat in the lake, and the various kisses they shared that day. The thought made her blush a little.

Tom was also thinking of that day and how much he wished he could revisit it. And for a moment he imagined it was that day. That's probably why he kissed Mary-Kate.

He just leaned down wrapping both arms tightly around her. By the way her whole body stiffened he could tell she was surprised, he thought she was going to pull away but she didn't. Instead she kissed him back.
Chapter 9

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