Optilocus (now known as Gearford), Antiford; 1866
The Royal Ball to celebrate the birth of Prince Archibald was a week away. Such a prominent celebration meant delegates from across Orr would travel to Antiford for the event.
Princess Bethany was escorting her youngest daughters, the Lady Isabella and the Lady Alice, to the Saks District to find the perfect gowns for the event, much to the Princess’s chagrin.
“The royal tailor would do fine.”
“But the gentleman from Kuu will be there mother and Wilkins' designs are uninspired.” Isabella bemoaned.
Alice snickered under her breath at her sister’s dramatics but secretly agreed.
They came upon a reasonable looking shop and Isabella was delighted with the selection. She was soon picking through her options with her mother and the shop’s designer. Alice found herself impressed as well, not just with the lovely dresses, but with the handsome man assisting at the shop.
Daniel Adams soon noticed her glances and was struck by the shy beauty. “I have the perfect dress for you today, miss,” bringing over a sumptuous violet frock. The gown was truly beautiful with a modestly bustled skirt and flowing chiffon sleeves.
“Why, you have picked my favorite color.”
“Ah yes, I have a knack for such things – some call it magic,” he smiled playfully.
“Truly, a tailor and a magician?”
He laughed, “I am no tailor, my mother designs and makes these dresses. I am a businessman, second to the manager at one of the largest textile factories in Antiford.”
“Quite impressive sir.”
And while Isabella and her mother continued their search for a dress to impress a Kuuvian gentleman, Alice laughed at Daniel’s jokes, and Daniel was charmed by the lady’s wit and intelligence.
An hour or so later, Isabella finally decided on a dress.
“We should probably fetch a carriage to get back to the castle,” remarked Princess Bethany.
“The castle?” Daniel asked shocked.
Alice blushed, realizing they were never announced since they were only shopping.
The night of the ball arrived, ladies and gentleman gathering in their finest, making quite the colorful display. Alice joined the fun for the first few dances, but was soon weary of pretentious men asking about the interests of her cousins. She was not as desirable a target, being last in line for the throne after all. She sought some fresh air in the gardens, hoping to clear her head.
As she walked along the path she heard a noise ahead. Curious as to who else would escape to the garden during such a grand event, she found herself face to face with Daniel, a bit scuffed up but beaming at the sight of her.
“Let’s just say I am one very lucky man to actually find you in the gardens which bear your name.”
She smiled, then laughed as he handed her a violet.