Spotting a Creature
I walked into the Ballroom and heard the sounds of tinkling crystal and murmuring voices come to a hard stop. All eyes turned to me curiously.
Like they always do.
Women watched me hungrily. Men studied me with contemptuous gazes. Hating when one such as I arrived at this manner of gala. Where young ladies of breeding were already far scarcer than the men hunting them.
But that’s not the kind of woman I’m hunting tonight, anyway. I was looking for a creature a bit warmer.
I stepped from the darkness of the open mahogany entryway framed by two massive doors propped open. I took in the luminescence of hundreds of candles. Burning from the chandelier above to cast rainbows of light through the dangling shards of crystal adorning it. The scent of human sweat was dulled by the strong aroma of bird roasting in the kitchens with glazed vegetables and sweet scent of rare fruit along the tables.
But something else had drawn my senses as I scanned the room.
She was small. Barely coming up to my shoulder. But possessing a regal air that exuded confidence and drew the eye. She wore a gold ball gown but instead of normal hoops and bustles, hers was scandalously slinky. More like something a mistress to one of these wealthy lords, would wear.
But no one dared say such a thing to this woman.
Curling brown hair was framed atop her head and wound with sparkling gold beads that mimicked the glitter of her dress. I couldn’t resist instantly envisioning the woman absent the dress, hair down with those beads aglitter through her locks. Sparkling in dim candlelight as she moved atop me. Covered in a fine sheen of woman’s sweat. This woman would be no shrinking violet trying to cover herself.
She’d wear her nudity as proudly as she does that dress. I was very sure of that. And it made me ache to have her.
She turned her head and huge brown eyes caught sight of me. Framed by the longest lashes I’d ever seen. Wine glass in hand, she gracefully caught her skirt and swept away from her friends. Aiming my direction.
Yes. Come right here, Sweet Thing.
Candlelight from that chandelier made her dress explode in light and her lush skin seem to glow. Impossibly smooth.
“Drew!” A man stepped in my view and caught my hand in a liberal shake. Giving my shoulder a friendly swat.
I found myself peering around Charles. Gaze locked on the ravishing creature approaching.
“You look quite mesmerized.” Jacob frowned.
“Quite.” I agreed.
I am mesmerized.
She was fascinating.
When she reached us, Jacob moved aside. His eyes widening and brows lifting as though his gaze couldn’t take in enough of her.
I know that feeling.
Jacob’s eyes drifted down her profile. Lingering on the full up thrusting breasts nearly spilling from the fitted gown. The tiny waist looking as though she needed grabbed around the waist and drawn closer. And full lush hips rounding to shapely legs framed by that slinky gown.
The luminescence of the light in the room shimmering through her dress to perfectly outline her beneath those skirts.
I could see every inch of her, and my palms itched to touch her.
“Who is she?” Jacob breathed.
“I don’t know. But I intend to…”
“From that look, you’re intending to know her quite intimately. Are you sure about that here? It is quite the public setting?” Jacob frowned at me, but I was in no mood for his lecturing.
I reached to catch his shoulder and pushed him from my eyeline.
Just as she arrived.
“Good Evening.” I bowed over her outstretched hand.
Precisely as she expected me to.
Proffering it to me as though she were a queen expecting her signet to be honored.
I obligingly grasped that delicate hand. Holding it longer than appropriate as my green eyes lifted to give her a long look.
Her brown eyes went hooded. Long lashes dropping over her eyes to conceal whatever it was she was thinking. I’d dearly love to know.
“Care to join me for a tour of the parlor?” I purred.
“Indeed.” Her doe eyes flicked around the Ballroom. Giving Jacob staring at the interchange, a dismissive glance. Before landing on me again. “I’d dearly love to see more of this lovely house.”
“I’d dearly like to show you?”
“Suppose the owner would mind?” She asked coyly.
“Not in the least. I’m quite close with him and I assure you, he’d not object.” Offering her my forearm I waited for her to step next to me and slip her small hand between my side and forearm to rest her fingertips lightly atop it.
Waiting for me to guide her.
So easily led…I thought. Pleased.