You thought the story had been left behind? I know. Sorry.
It’s back, right through until the end.
Let’s find out what happens to Nadine as she arrives on the dance floor…
(If you need to catch up, the last chapter of this story was “The Pauper Princess” and the story started here if you need to go right back to the beginning, which you should, if you haven’t yet.)
“Now, I’ll lead. You follow.” ( — A Vampire Romance, Part Two)
“You’re a selfish asshole,” were the first words that came out of the mouth of the child who met them at the end of the hall. Caleb’s younger brother wore his hair down, long and curly about his shoulders, the opposite of his brother. Wayward strands of the pale blond locks showered his face, not quite disguising the frown that now played across his strong eyebrows.
Nadine started in fright at the outburst.
“This is my brother Levi,” Caleb introduced him to Nadine. “You’ll have to forgive his personality.”
Levi Adams was slim and rather tall for the age his face portrayed him to be. This was accentuated by the long formal coat he wore, in the darkest shade of midnight blue. It was the kind of coat that creased carefully in all the places, telling everyone who looked closely just how finely tailored it was. Needless to say, he wore it with the confidence of a young and successful millionaire as he took Nadine’s hand and smiled, bowed formally, and planted a light kiss on her knuckles.
“You are so cold!” Nadine told him, like she would have spoken to a younger child, because she couldn’t image him being older than ten at most. She was so enthralled by the immaculate child, and the news that Caleb had a younger brother, that she held his hand a second too long after he let her go.
“Aren’t we all, dear Nadine, aren’t we all?” He pulled his hand away and glanced pointedly toward his brother as he replied.
She stood in shock as the boy turned away from her and put his hands to the mammoth ballroom doors, pushing them open with a show of ease. Caleb gathered her arm up in his once more, as they wordlessly followed Levi into the ballroom and Nadine’s eyes soared toward the ceiling.
Arches of spindle-thin iron and glass latticework greeted them, a great domed palace looking just as fragile as a snowflake balanced on the point of a needle. It was a delicate masterpiece of engineering from an era long gone, and it thoroughly captured all of Nadine’s wonder and imagination. A fairy king’s ballroom, spun of spiderwebs and dew bubbles, splitting a golden sunset into a thousand twinkling reflections
And not only that. Beneath the golden dome, couples of all ages and races were caught in the dance — surely not all the same family? — mismatched, yet graceful and perfect as they moved, seeming so learned in their dance that they could have done it blind.
“So, tell me Nadine,” Caleb’s grim expression turned up at the corners into a short, brutal smile, “do you know how to dance?”
A laugh exploded out of her mouth. “No. Not like this. Of course not.” She covered her mouth with embarrassment.
He was caught looking at her again. It was now as simple as meeting her gaze and he was caught, each time further entrapped by her than he had been before.
It was immensely frustrating. He couldn’t look away. She held him captive. And, for the second time that evening, he took too long to react, or move, or speak, or even breathe.
So Nadine filled the silence, “I mean, like, you know how I dance, I believe,” she blushed, “So. Let’s say we drop a base line, and a proper drum beat under this, and throw in a singer with some kind of sexy, gravelly voice, and I will own this dance floor, but under the status quo, no. Noooo—!” She squawked, and covered her mouth with the back of her hand as Caleb took her waist and swept her into the dance.
Afterward she did think that it could have been a terrible fail, with her fumbling to deep her balance as he tried to be manly and sweep her off her feet — a truly terrible fail. Except it wasn’t. It did work, and it did feel rather graceful, because Caleb literally did sweep her off her feet and spin her around the room.
At which point she burst out into laughter again. The most embarrasing, childish giggle of delight that had ever escaped from her own two lips. Caleb smiled, genuinely. A smile of pleasure in her delight, as he carefully placed her down close to him and whispered in her ear, “Now, I’ll lead. You follow,” and smartly pulled her into the dance.