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My true love gave to me… nine ladies dancing.

The Spring Ball was one of the most eagerly anticipated events of high society. Everyone who was anyone would be there. Dressmakers, jewellers and hairdressers raised their prices accordingly in the preceding months as genteel ladies battled to have the most impressive and unique outfits possible.

Genevieve, without even trying, had achieved what most of the eager ladies had not. By refusing to bedeck herself in the pastel colours and floral patterns currently favoured by fashion, and instead opting for a simple black and white pin stripe dress, she was the only lady at the ball in a completely unique outfit.

As the musicians struck up another waltz, Genevieve watched the other ladies consult their dance cards and swap partners. The titled and the rich, all whirling together on the dance floor. She idly counted one Princess, two Duchesses, a Countess and eight Ladies as they waltzed past. These affairs were so dull, she thought. Always the same people, always the same dances.

She sighed and made her way towards the punchbowl. She didn’t exactly need to look at her dance card to know that it was empty but since she had been forced to attend, at least she could enjoy the drinks. She ladled a generous serving into her glass, knocked it back and started to refill it.

“Splendid punch, eh?”

She looked up. There was a strange gentleman leaning against the table beside her – strange not only in that she didn’t know him, but also strange in appearance. His hair was pure white and worn long, held back from his face by a pair of flight goggles slid up onto the top of his head. He had a smartly trimmed goatee beard and moustache, also white, and he wore an unusually designed suit, cut from an unfamiliar fabric with a jacket that buttoned up one side. He winked at Genevieve as he reached for a glass of punch and downed it in one, just as she had.

“Let’s see what our legs have got to say about all this faffery,” he said, depositing the empty glass on the table and sweeping Genevieve onto the dance floor.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note- It was only a matter of time before The Twelve Days of Christmas led me to a new Genevieve Moore story. The other Genevieve stories, for your reference, are Wave Goodbye, Parties & Pistons, and The General’s Daughter. Oh, and On The Second Day Of Christmas (which had slipped my mind- I ought to keep better track of my stories!)

As for the strange white-haired gentleman- well, I think he’ll get a proper introduction tomorrow!)

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