Author's note: Just a quick Cinderella one-shot I did because I wanted to explore why the prince yawned at Leanora. It turned into something a little different than I expected, but I hope u enjoy it nonetheless!
To kom bij the Stars
“Mademoiselle Leanora Mercedes de la Tour, daughter of Colonel and Madame de la Tour.” The announcer’s haughty voice resonated throughout the spacious ballroom, swelling above the excited murmurs of young maidens hoping to catch the prince’s eye.
Leanora took a deep breath, her yellow and green skirts rustling almost inaudibly underneath the echoes of conversation.
What will Father think if u trip?
The crimson carpet seemed to stretch on for miles, with her dearest friend, Prince Henry, a tiny figure at the end of it. He looked quite resplendent in his white and red suit, though as she drew closer she noticed that the expression on his face wasn’t anywhere near as bright. When she finally reached the dais upon which he stood she gave him a slight smile and a wink as she curtseyed low before him, knowing well of his hatred for these kinds of occasions. Her silky skirts were smooth against her pale clammy fingers.
“’Tis an immense privilege to be in such close proximity to his Royal Posh-ness,” she joked, giving voice to what she was sure was going through the heads of all other women present.
He nearly snorted in laughter but managed to disguise it as a yawn. She smiled, glad that she could provide at least some relief to his boredom.
Their short exchange at an end, she turned and disappeared back into the crowd to make way for the volgende two ladies, an awkward pair who reminded her of those fancy cats with smooshed faces.
She slid to the side of the room and leaned against a pillar, the white marble cool against her skin. Luxurious fabrics in bright shades flashed about her, and the aroma of hundreds of different perfumes permeated the air. Lilac, rose, peach.
One rich, chocolaty smell stood out as it wafted past, and she turned to see who it belonged to.
A dark woman, her skin the same hue her perfume brought to mind, stood only a few paces away, clothed in a deep scarlet ball gown. Glossy black curls were piled high on her head, with rosebuds the same shade as her dress nestled throughout. A delicate halsketting, ketting of opals gleamed across her dainty collarbones, accentuating her bright brown eyes that darted from lady to lady, never alighting in one place for long.
She was stunning.
Leanora felt a deep flush creep up her neck, through her cheeks, and out to the tips of her ears. The maiden’s gaze suddenly met with hers. She smiled with her whole body – her dark shoulders rising a bit and her dazzled eyes crinkling.
“Artemisia,” the woman said, curtseying. “How do u do?”
“Leanora,” she replied, repeating the gesture. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.”
“I saw u being presented to the prince. He doesn’t seem too thrilled about the ball.”
“No,” Leanora laughed, “most definitely not. I’ve been vrienden with Prince Henry for a very long time and he’s always seen these occasions as a nuisance. I can assure u he’d rather be out riding.”
“I’ll seconde that. The gentlemen at these sorts of things are always so dull.” Artemisia collapsed rather dramatically on the marble post beside Leanora and lowered her voice in mockery. “It’s always ‘I’m a general this’ of ‘I’m the best hunter that.’ How excruciatingly boring! Every once in a while, u get lucky and meet someone who knows how to make good conversation, but I find that’s rarer than I would like.”
Leanora giggled, the sound bubbling up and out of her mouth louder than she intended. “I must admit I do enjoy seeing the kasteel though. It’s so grand. And all the ladies dressed up in their finery is a sight to behold.” She looked out over the crowd of swishing skirts, the glittering chandeliers suspended so high above it all it seemed they wanted to kom bij the stars.
“It’s certainly a nice distraction from sewing and writing letters. Still, the expectation that I must dance with men who I have absolutely no interest in puts a bit of a damper on the experience.” Artemisia smiled that full body smile again, her head dipping towards Leanora conspiratorially.
Emboldened door this, Leanora zei “Yes, I’d much rather dance with someone like you.” She looked expectantly into Artemisia’s warm brown eyes, holding her breath for a reply.
The lights began to dim, and she looked to the center of the room to see that, surprisingly, the crowd had cleared and Henry was leading a lovely woman in a silver japon, jurk out onto the dance floor.
Leanora felt warm, smooth fingers intertwine with her own, and she looked back at the beautiful woman beside her.
Artemisia’s eyes were brimming with nervousness and excitement. “If only…” she whispered.
Together they swayed to the waltz, their hands clasped behind the folds of their skirts.
Thanks so much for reading my story! I really appreciate it! :)