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Thread: All This is For You. [Backdated] August 20, 217 [The Grand Hall | Open]

  1. #21
    House Baptiste Amelia Baptiste's Avatar  
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    In truth, Amelia was only half paying attention to her children. It was a luxury she was allowed, now that they were, although she would hardly admit it, adults in their own rights. But as was often the case, her mind was a few different places. She was attentive to the ceremony at hand, of course, but she was also worried about Evangeline. Winston was an excellent caretaker, of course, and she did not think her oldest girl could be in better hands, but she couldn't help thinking of things she was imagining Winston forgetting about. Was he remembering the teas that could help? Keeping her still and quiet to conserve her energy? Of course he was, but it was a mother's place to worry.

    She heard Henry say something, but it wasn't until Annemarie repeated it that Amelia caught it. Her brow immediately furrowed in confusion, and she looked first at Henry, and then to Annemarie. "Henry my boy, she's half your age!" Truth be told, Amelia had begun to get used to the fact that Henry was likely to not settle down and have a family; she tried to keep from nagging him about it, but at his age, with how little interest he'd displayed...well, it was easier to say that she was pinning her hopes for grandchildren onto her girls.

    "She is quite pretty, though," Amelia conceded, "for such a young thing. And she's doing quite well, too."

    ---
    @Annemarie Baptiste @Henry Baptiste

  2. #22
    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    The worst was over and she had her family's approval, she could see it in their faces. Nataliah gave her a smile, and so did Jacquelyn, then the look in Lochlan's eyes, plus his whisper of encouragement, made Tatianna want to laugh. Chin up was the instruction, and it was a good one, so she lifted her chin to what she hoped was an appropriately regal height. Once she stood and took his hand, standing on the dais beside him, she told herself that this was a moment to remember for all of her life. She had been given a life. Her life. And it was very sweet, no matter what happened. She was alive, and she would continue to live.

    "Thank you for this, Lochlan," she whispered to her brother, her eyes falling on a certain handsome rake of a lord. The blue softened, pleased to see he'd kept his word and stayed for her reception. "I know how hard you, Jacquelyn and Nataliah worked. I'm grateful." Tatianna smiled at her brother, that soft, sweet curve of her lips. Years had been spent away from her brothers and sister, but there were years ahead to make up for it. She would do them proud, she hoped. As the applause washed over them, she asked impishly, "Does this mean I get to dance tonight?"


    @Lochlan Farrand-Calhoun

  3. #23
    House Gardiner Reed Gardiner's Avatar  
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    "It's occurred to both of us. Besides," he chuckled at Marcus, "you already have a room of your own in Baldell, practically. All you need to do is just start calling yourself Gardiner instead of Romanov, and that'll seal the deal." Reed was kidding, of course, knowing that the pride of family ran strong in Marcus, even if he wasn't very much like his scholarly family. Wilhelm more then made up for Marcus's preference for the social whirl - the younger brother was solitary and almost obsessed with his pursuits into human anatomy.

    Reed preferred his figure studies to be on live, willing women, but that wasn't the point.

    Watching his friend from the corner of his eyes as the Princess passed and joined her family, Reed was suddenly full of remarkably bad ideas. Such as encouraging Marcus in his interest in the youngest pretty blond princess. It wouldn't be anything serious, he was sure, because they probably had the poor girl's life mapped out from here, but she could live a little before that happened. And he could easily see that Marcus found the young lady rather attractive, if not enticing. The clearing of Marcus's throat just proved it.

    Smothering his grin, he leaned over and murmured, "Go ask her to dance. Since you're the life of every party, why not show her the fun she's been missing in the temple. You'd make quite an impression on her." Everyone else too, but why not? Life was short and meant to be lived!


    @Marcus Romanov

  4. #24
    House Romanov Marcus Romanov's Avatar  
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    “I believe my room at your home even looks more accommodating than mine as well.” Marcus laughed with the Gardiner lord before the jest of changing names was thrown out into the wind as well. That’s what he liked most about Reed, the man was just as laid back as he was. That’s what probably made relations between the Romanovs and Gardiners so good to begin with. At least he was good for something in regards to providing politic camaraderie with one of the Balfourian houses. “I believe Elsa is more likely to be able to accomplish that feat than I, good sir. I adore you…but not to that extent.”

    Obviously this was a joke of more underlying tones of facetiousness. He enjoyed the chuckling and innuendos that it entailed before the princess was finally finished with being presented and all had clapped in joyous tidings over the formal introduction of a new royal. Well, technically she wasn’t ‘new’ but in most regards she had been kept isolated up until now. The sacrifice that ultimately ended up being saved.

    He watched as she looked out about the crowd until that moment when the two of them locked gazes. Immediately her features softened and the nerves melted away, Marcus could pick up on that in a heartbeat, as though he were attuned to her aura. Reed eventually closed in and murmured in his ear. The Gardiner lord must have picked up on it, and the suggestion was more than a simple nudging in regards to what he was recommending. To that Marcus returned a smirk before a servant passed by and he set his unfinished cup upon the tray.

    “If I also recall correctly…I did, in fact, promise her I would stay. A dance or two would only be polite.” He replied, giving a wink to Reed in response and moving forward into the crowd. Marcus wasn’t going to let anyone, not even their fellow Baptiste friends, to take first dibs on a dance with the princess. Tatianna was a special case, and an itch he craved to scratch.

    Casually he made his way through the crowd, keeping his eyes upon her the entire trek forward. He was crazy. In his mind he knew this was the craziest thing to do in front of all these people. It made an indelible impression upon quite a few people. Even his parents suddenly looked over in shock as they saw their son make his way through the crowd until he was about twenty feet away. With his hands behind his back, he kept his eyes firmly upon her and a roguish smile upon his face. He didn’t have to say anything to convey what she would have likely picked up on. Marcus was waiting for her.

    ‘Dance with me.’

    @Reed Gardiner @Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun @Lochlan Farrand-Calhoun
    Last edited by Marcus Romanov; 06-04-2014 at 09:19 PM.

  5. #25
    House Gardiner Reed Gardiner's Avatar  
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    There was a reason he enjoyed his friendship with Marcus. They shared numerous perspectives on living life to the fullest, enjoying themselves as often and in as many ways as possible, and seldom taking life so seriously. True, Reed was locked in more to his position by virtue of being the lord of the house, but Baldell largely ran itself and his brother Mace was no small amount of help either. The man was back in Baldell as they spoke, preferring the company of his horse and the fields to the whirl of Court.

    "Your sister's a little young for me, Marcus," he quipped teasingly. "But maybe Mace will realize there are female people in the world and we can bring you into our family's fold that way." Elsa was barely seventeen, Mace a few years older. He wasn't really that serious about pursuing marriages for his siblings yet, nor did Reed think Marcus's father was in any real haste to marry off his younger daughter, or Raelyn for that matter.

    He joined in on the applause, continuing to watch Marcus from the corner of his eye. There was definitely something going on in his friend's mind where the tall, blond princess was concerned. Reed knew that look too well, glancing to his friend as Marcus answered his ribbing with a wink before moving off. Left behind, he watched his friend make his way closer to where the princess stood and merely smiled at her. His smile faded a little, not sure what to think of that smile and turned his attention to Tatianna, curious to see how she would react to Marcus's approach.

  6. #26
    House Farrand-Calhoun Lochlan Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Lochlan turned to his youngest sister as she beamed toward him. Her words touched his heart and he knew that he was doing the right thing for her. With his hands holding both of her's now he answered her thanks with his eternal offer of support. "Ask for anything, sister, and you will receive it from me without question." He meant every word. Anything she wanted he'd find a way to deliver it and all she would have to do is say the word.

    "You get to do whatever you want, short of burning down the castle." He teased. "Go have fun. Eat, drink, be happy, and dance until your feet hurt." He let go of her hands and for a moment he caught a glimpse of a young man looking up to the dais. He was surely taking in the beauty of his sister, as every Balfour man and woman should. He would watch the boy but it was Tatianna's time to shine and for now he would dance with his wife and be happy.

    "Jacquelyn, my love, let's dance. I feel a great need to hold you close." The last comment was a whisper but he knew she'd hear him and as Tatianna moved off to make use of the music so would they.

    @Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun @Jacquelyn
    Last edited by Lochlan Farrand-Calhoun; 06-04-2014 at 09:48 PM.

  7. #27
    House Baptiste Henry Baptiste's Avatar  
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    He almost stepped back when Annemarie called him out on his comment but he could feel his face grow hot as he blushed. "Well she is pretty." When his mother piped up he was able to clear his throat and go back to smiling. "What is it that father is always saying? Age is only a number? How old you are is how old you let yourself be?" He quickly moved on.

    "But we shouldn't speak this way about the royal family anyway. It's not proper." He went back to looking out over the crowd. He wondered if he'd have any fun at this party or if he'd just eat and sit with his mother. Henry noted how much he missed his father in situations like these. He could sit down with Winston and discuss how ill people would be toward the end of the night. Maybe make some money the next day helping them recover from the excess in drink they consumed the night before.

    Though, while everyone was clapping and King Lochlan spoke to his sister, it dawned on him that his family was truly shocked he found someone 'pretty'. Oh well. He had no use for marriage, though he would have to one day so he could be Lord and have an heir of his own. That wouldn't be any time soon though. So until then he'd study and learn as much as he could. Children were just noisy, dirty, distractions.

  8. #28
    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Luckily for Lochlan, Tatianna wasn't going to ask for anything enormous any time soon. She was happy enough to be here, to be with her family, and alive beyond his coronation. Every thing, every day here-after was a gift, as far as she was concerned. Given leave to go and enjoy herself now that the formalities were done, she watched as he went to claim Jacquelyn's hand for a dance. Perhaps some day she would be fortunate enough to have what her brother and his wife shared.

    Turning, she caught sight of Marcus again, this time much closer and looking directly at her with a smile that promised trouble and fun and every thing Lochlan just encouraged her in. He didn't have to speak a word, she understood that look sent towards her with no difficulty. He was asking her to dance. The very first dance of the night, no less. It was her right to choose who to honor with the first dance and since Lochlan was off to dance with Jacquelyn, Nataliah with King Cailen and Langston was off to his own choice, why not bestow her hand for the dance on someone who wanted the pleasure of her company?

    Gathering her skirts, she stepped down from the dais with a bright smile as the musicians hurried to settle in and begin. Tatianna didn't go to him, but wondered if he would come closer and take her hand to lead her out onto the floor. After all, as Lochlan had implied, it was her night. Surely he was willing to come and sweep her into that dance?


    @Marcus Romanov

  9. #29
    House Romanov Marcus Romanov's Avatar  
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    When the King released Tatianna to go play with the rest of them, the smile transformed in to a devious smirk. The princess swept up her skirts and made her way down to the floor. However she didn’t come to him; instead she took her time upon the floor and somehow found a way to linger a bit. For someone who was just learning to live she seemed to have a firm grasp on the art of flirting already.

    If that was the way she wanted things, then he was not to deny her. Not on this night.

    Making his way over, he came a few paces in front of her and bowed politely, “Your Royal Highness.”

    All the while there was a Cheshire look on his features as his bright blue eyes met hers and soon offered her a hand. To all those watching it was a benign gesture for now. Nothing out of the ordinary when a young man wanted to collect a dance. Not just any dance either: The First Dance.

    “Would you honor me with the first dance of the evening, My Princess?” Looking up he gave her a quick flash of a wink as he awaited her response. He could now feel his parents’ eyes burning into the back of his skull as he felt no shame in stealing the first dance from any of the other eligible lords that would have likely benefitted from proffering the first dance. Patiently he waited for her to gather the courage to take a chance and make Balfourian history between a princess and the second son of a second son.

  10. #30
    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    Delighted when he did indeed approach her, her eyes were a brilliant blue, sparkling with laughter and a little excitement that came from a young woman's discovery of power over a man who found her attractive. Playing out the formalities made her want to laugh, but it was every bit a dance as what they were about to engage in and Tatianna enjoyed it, a nod acknowledging his bow. "Lord Marcus."

    She saw the mischief in his grin as she slipped her fingers into his hand to allow him to lead her to the dance floor. As partners went, she probably was committing a faux pas in selecting a second son of a second son for her first dance as the newly-recognized Princess of Balfour. There were plenty of other eligible lords and heirs that would have their noses put out of joint in having her hand secured by Marcus, but she did not spare any of them a single thought. Not tonight. There would be plenty of times and other first dances where politics would be considered, just not this time.

    "It is I who would be honored, my lord." Mouthing the correct response, she broke out in a laugh at his rogue's wink. "But I will warn you, I am not the most skilled of dancers. I may have to persuade the King to award you a medal of bravery when we are finished." Two could play this game, and clearly, Tatianna was proving a quick study.

  11. #31
    House Romanov Marcus Romanov's Avatar  
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    That was all he needed. That one moment of acceptance. He knew she was playing him, but that was part of the fun of it all. Tatianna was the bright sun within the entire court, and Marcus would share in that energy as she slipped her delicate fingers into his palm. Gingerly his hand clasped around them, and with slow strides he came around from behind as he wrapped an arm around her body from the same hand that held hers.

    Softly he murmured in her ear, “Nonsense my dear princess. If you’ve already figured out how to play the game of hearts then I think you’ll master dancing in no time. Shall we give them all a show?”

    Releasing her, he offered and arm for her to take before leading her to the dance floor. Already he saw his mother looking as though someone had just flashed their birthday suit at her. Well at least he had their attention, and as he made his way to the center he met eyes with Reed and flashed a smirk before twirling Tatianna into place as the music had already begun.

    The first few steps were simple enough since it started with some basic steps forward and back as they faced each other. But as there were turns and pivots, Marcus would lead her by the soft touch of hands, guiding her through any misgivings she might have had about the dance floor. Occasionally his hand would guide her pivots and twirls by placing it delicately around her waist. His fingers gliding across the silks of her fabrics and he enjoyed the feel of her as the sensation was like a forbidden fruit that he was simply nipping at with subtle touches and hints.

    Pulling her back against his chest he took the moment to whisper, “First kiss…”

    He released her then pulled her back in so that they were nearly chest to chest. His lips were several inches away for somewhat propriety’s sake, but the gesture was still somewhat intimate, “First dance…”

    Once again they changed positions and her back touched against his chest as he pulled her through the music and he softly murmured, “Shall I bring you more firsts, Princess?”

  12. #32
    House Farrand-Calhoun Tatianna Farrand-Calhoun's Avatar  
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    This was proving to be a very fun game she was playing with Marcus. He made her shiver when he prowled around her, his hand coming around her for a moment and his voice was a warm breath against her ear. She tilted her head to listen, blushing a little as she nodded. A show, was it? Hopefully Tatianna wasn't about to embarrass him with her awkward dancing, but she would do her best, encouraged by his confidence in her.

    Twirled into place, her focus was entirely on Marcus and not on anyone else who was watching. He was an excellent dancer, guiding her through the movements of the dance so that it seemed effortless. She was floating through the pivots and the turns, aware when his hand rested at her waist for those brief moments by the sudden warmth that permeated her gown. As tall as she was, he was taller still, not troubled by her height and making her feel as if they soared. Her smile grew until it was almost dazzling thanks to the pleasure of the dance and the partner who steered her masterfully.

    Caught against his chest, she looked up at him, her eyes meeting his blue to blue. Her breath caught as he reminded her of her first kiss, and now this, her first dance. Both with him, before he asked that terribly dangerous questions. More firsts with him could be so very dangerous, but equally as exciting. Again, his lips near her ear made her shiver a little before she twirled a step or two away. "I am curious to know what these firsts might be, my lord..."

  13. #33
    House Gardiner Rosemary Gardiner's Avatar  
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    After her comments about the King, Rosemary felt like she could casually slip into observance mode as Princess Tatianna was formally introduced to all of Balfour. Like everyone else, she clapped politely but was ultimately bored with the whole ordeal. Already she was looking for ways to escape once the formalities were done and over with, but during that time something strange happened.

    Glancing over to her brother, she noticed Marcus had eye contact locked on with the princess. Immediately she picked up on this because whenever the Romanov playboy set his sights on someone, he often wasn’t too far away from making the kill. But there was no way that the guy would make a play for the princess…would he?

    Nudging Elsa she then pointed her friend’s brother and asked, “Look at this. Your brother isn’t stupid enough to-…”

    Just as she was about to finish her sentence she saw him make a move towards the front. Eyes wide with shock, she looked to Elsa before turning to her brother and silently mouthing, ‘What is he doing?’

    The whole scene played out before them and while one half of her was all for Marcus hitting up the princess, it was probably not a good idea to do it in front of a huge audience like this. Leaning to Elsa’s side she murmured, “Your brother has a set of brass balls. Is he looking for the King to cut them from between his legs?"


    @Elsa Romanov

    @Reed Gardiner

  14. #34
    Junior Member Gabriel Blackthorne's Avatar  
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    What a curious display before him. An assortment of nobles and royals, all milling about, congratulating themselves for their greatness, whether real or delusional. The entire purpose of the assembly was greet the new royal princess, though she likely had absolutely no idea just what she was getting herself into. The poor dear was as hapless as a lamb being cast toward a pack of hungry, bloodthirsty wolves. Would she herself turn into a wolf, or would some other wolf of court tuck her away, keeping her safe and precious? Gabriel almost snorted at the notion. A princess being tucked away in a high tower while her captor did as he pleased was such a tired, old and boring notion.

    Nonetheless, Gabriel Blackthorne found himself studying this curious new creature to the court. the newly styled Princess Tatianna certainly possessed the beauty to convey herself as a royal, but Gabriel was far more interested in her conviction. Would she rise above or would she merely be like every other pretty like princess that came into world, blossomed into womanhood and ultimately became a broodmare to some lord? The thought in his made the already present smile on his lips grow a touch. Amusing. For now, Gabriel watched Marcus and Tatianna watched with a detached interest. It only lasted few moments before his gaze went elsewhere.

    The Blackthornes had arrived along with the rest of the nobles, especially since Remy requested they did so. It was only logical. Remy enjoyed keeping a positive face to the banking house. While Remy may have been here to mingle, shmooze and charm the family goals forward, Gabriel was here to protect and observe. The man was dressed in black, as usual, and yet he cut a handsome figure in the drab clothing. The faint smile on his face, a seemingly permanent fixture, appeared to be welcoming even though it never quite reached his eyes.


    @Remy Blackthorne

  15. #35
    Junior Member Remy Blackthorne's Avatar  
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    The recent change in regime compelled the Blackthorne presence within Silesia, attending first the coronation of the new King and the beheading of the last within the same event, then opting to remain for the introduction of the Princess whose birth originally intended her to be the Sacrifice. Instead, she was spared that fate, her eldest brother replacing her at the block. A barbaric practice, to be sure, but it was a tradition that held considerable weight in some of the minds of those notables gathered to observe royal blood spilled with the anointing of a new Crowned Head.

    Remy stood with his brother beside him, quietly observing the young woman's procession to where the King stood ready to receive her and acknowledge her as Princess before the gathered court. A tender innocent lamb, one who would need toughening and a greater level of sophistication than he noted in her lovely eyes if she was to survive in the Balfourian court. Already, he could see the wolves beginning to slaver with greedy speculation. A pity Gabriel was so instrumental to his purposes; he could garner considerable favor with the new King in offering his brother's services as guardian to the girl. She would need a stalwart protector, especially against the notorious wolf whom he recognized in Marcus Romanov.

    For now, he did not attempt to intervene, taking advantage of his proximity to the drama he felt certain was forthcoming. The King was protective of his sister, Remy had already noted that, yet young Romanov was not a man to refuse a challenge. His actions were assuredly not going unnoticed, if the concerned looks from Gardiners and Romanovs meant anything. Turning aside to his brother, he spoke quietly, "I may need you to remain in the city for a while, keep watch over our golden little princess until we determine her worth. She is already drawing attention from those who seek to use her."


    @Gabriel Blackthorne

  16. #36
    House Romanov Elsa Romanov's Avatar  
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    Elsa watched the Princess, admiring her gown and wishing she could look that way. Except that she wasn't tall, blond and born royal. She was small, dark, and the youngest daughter of a branch from a noble house. There were a number of differences. Then again, she wouldn't be able to do what she liked with Rosemary if she was a Princess. As trade-offs went, maybe Elsa Romanov had the better end of the deal.

    Seeing where her friend looked, she blinked to see her brother staring at the Princess. Elsa felt her heart sink. She knew that look in Marcus's eyes too well. Feeling the nudge, she sighed as Rosemary started to ask if Marcus was stupid enough to do what he was about to do. "Yes, I'm afraid he is," she whispered back to Rosemary, wincing a little as she observed her brother work his magic. And if she was any judge, the Princess was primed to fall for it.

    Hearing her friend, she grimaced. "I wish I knew, but someone needs to stop him before the King notices. Could you maybe ask your brother to help?" Lord Gardiner could be sensible enough to influence Marcus before King Lochlan reacted as badly as she feared.


    @Rosemary Gardiner

  17. #37
    House Gardiner Reed Gardiner's Avatar  
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    Reed realized his folly two minutes way too late. Before he could stop Marcus and protest that he'd been kidding, the Romanov lord was on his way to confront and demand his dance from the princess. He wanted to groan in despair, seeing that wolfish look, but there was a tiny seed of hope that Marcus would be on his best behavior where the Princess was concerned.

    He was wrong. Reed rubbed a hand over his face, catching his sister's look with a grimace. I don't know, but I definitely don't like it. This could not end well, especially considering how Marcus 'danced' with Tatianna. It wasn't a dance, if Reed knew his friend, or not merely a dance, but a prelude to seduction. Some times, Marcus played with fire a little too closely for his own good. Tonight was probably going to see his friend scorched if not burned to a crisp.

    Reed stole a look at the King, dancing with the Queen, almost praying that Lochlan or Jacquelyn hadn't noticed the overtly sensual movements aimed at the innocent young Princess. He knew if he was watching, someone else was too and they probably wouldn't hesitate to bring the King's attention to what was going on. Stepping to the edge of the floor, he reached for his sister, hoping to head off the disaster if possible.

    "Dance with me," he muttered, "We have to do something before Marcus gets himself sent to the block."


    @Rosemary Gardiner

  18. #38
    House Gardiner Rosemary Gardiner's Avatar  
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    Elsa seemed sadly unsurprised by this whole display, and to be frank Rosemary should have been as well. Marcus was not really the type to blow being cautious but there were moments of stupidity that Rosemary knew he was capable of performing. Smirking back to her best friend she replied, “You might have one less brother in your life pretty soon. I’ll be surprised if the King doesn’t see this any moment.”

    Naturally Elsa didn’t want her brother in trouble, and glancing over to the parents it was obvious that they wanted this scene to be over too. The request to see if Reed could help intervene was something that Rosemary was already considering as she continued to mouth some silent conversation back to him. Stepping over towards her direction, Rosemary heard him request to dance. A playful smile crossed her face as she shook her head softly and said, “For you, dear brother, anything.”

    Her hand slipped into his, and she almost wished it wasn’t under the circumstances of retrieving a Romanov knucklehead. But alas, it was up to the Gardiner siblings to help their neighbor playboy curb his actions. Swiftly taking her position, she let her brother lead the way and followed his every step.

    “Next time I hope to procure a dance from you for purposes of simply enjoying your time.” A faint giggle came from her before she casually added further, “I’m assuming I am to collect Marcus as my new dance partner in a moment?”

    @Reed Gardiner

  19. #39
    Member Jacquelyn's Avatar  
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    "Jacquelyn, my love, let's dance. I feel a great need to hold you close."

    The queen looped her arm through her husband's, watching with a smile as Tatianna went off to seek her enjoyment for the evening. She worried for the girl, whether loosing her without any sort of chaperone into the masses of nobility that had assembled was a good idea, but she would not question the king's logic. It was something of a comfort that she knew Nataliah would be watching her little sister with a keen eye, and content with that knowledge, she turned her attention to her husband.

    "I am yours to lead," she whispered, moving easily with Lochlan down from the dais. This was how it was supposed to be...how it should have been this whole time. She was finally with the right man, and the nation finally had a united royal family. No more tyrants, no more abuse, no more selfish leadership; this was a rebirth for everyone.

    Stepping gracefully into the movement of the dance, the king and queen were a radiant couple, moving as one through the steps and turns. Jacquelyn heard something of a quiet fuss somewhere in the crowd, but as things kept flowing smoothly she didn't take much more notice than that. This was a new time for her, and she resolved to be less paranoid than she had been forced to be under Luther's reign. "After all this, do you have much more business to do? Or will I finally get you to myself for a time?"

    ---
    @Lochlan Farrand-Calhoun

  20. #40
    House Shellten Nataliah's Avatar  

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    Nataliah stood and watched as the king and queen peeled off to go enjoy themselves, and she was glad to see them go. With everything those two had been through, both separately and apart, they deserved every happiness they could cling onto. Turning to find her sister, Nat had hoped that perhaps they could go down into the crowd together, but when her eyes found the younger princess she saw she had been left behind. It didn't bother her; she was proud of Tatianna for striking out on her own.

    It was only when she saw the look on the face of the man that Tatianna was walking toward that she began to dislike the situation. There was a chaos in his smile, and although there was a time when Nat would have wished for a man to look on her like that, she knew the implications. Still, she kept her face passive, watching as the man - a Romanov, if she wasn't mistaken - took up Tianna easily, comfortably, and swirl her around the dance floor. It seemed that Tatianna was enjoying herself, and that was the strongest reason that kept Nataliah from cutting in; she had to give Tianna space, let her experience, let her learn. As long as it looked like the younger princess was still safe and happy, Nat would not intervene.

    Making her way to where Cailen and his uncle sat, Nataliah came to stand beside the younger of the two, her eyes rarely leaving the space on the floor which Marcus and Tatianna occupied. "You know," she said quietly, so that only those nearest her would hear, "I'm not sure if I want to go up and thank that man for showing my sister a good time, or punch him for looking at my little sister like that."

    ---
    @Cailen Shellten

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