I stand still and shocked. Not just from his Majesty’s comment, but from that fact that..
Me.. and Jabeth.. share the same birthday? How.. convenient.
I look at him and he looks at me, my face feels warmer then normal (I'm probably blushing, again).
Dad looks to everyone and says, “Now, we will continue with the festivities.” He claps his hands and the music starts again. People stand for a moment, hesitant and uncertain, before grabbing their partner and starting it up again.
Oh my stars..
Dad grabs my hand and Jabeth’s. “Go, go!” He shoves us towards the crowd, urging us to dance. Meanwhile I’m as red as a tomato and Jabeth is now as white as a sheet.
My Dad my be a King, but he is still a Dad.
I sigh, giving up and grab Jabeth’s arm. Dragging him to the middle floor. Thanks for the help, Dad.
I stop in the middle of the dance floor, placing my hand on Jabeth’s shoulder and then grabbing his left with my right. I stand up straight and loosen my grip, ready to dance.
Jabeth just stands limp, whiter then a ghost and his eyes drained of warmth.
I furrow my brow and lower my voice. “Hello?”
Jabeth swallows and looks at me, we just stand in the center of the room. We look ready to dance, but we don't move and inch from where we stand.
I would be laughing if I was someone else.
I look up at my fiance and ask, “Are you okay.”
His mouth is a grim line, but he firmly nods.
He doesn’t move at first, but then looks around, observing the crowd. He puts a hand on my waist, and hoists up his arms, a little too high and stiff.
I quirk a brow and follow his gaze. He watches a man, taller then six feet, with an upturned nose and mustache as he looks over the head of a portly woman who could be a pig more or less a woman. Her breasts almost hang out over bodice and her face is so pudgy you can’t see her eyes. The plume bustle she wears is much to small for her figure and a head of red curls sits pinned on her scalp.
The man looks over her head as they waltz very smoothly for such a difference in size and shape. Jabeth watches them and tries the same thing, pulling me along as he spins in a circle.
“J-Ja-What are you doing?!” I ask, tripping over my feet as he flings me around.
“Dancing.” He replies, his eyes trained on the man. He's actually being serious.
I scowl. “This isn’t dancing, this isn’t even waltzing.”
He shrugs, keeping his eyes on the man. “I’m not very good.”
I stop in my dragged tracks, halting Jabeth with a jerk.
I look up at him, when it dawns on me. I grin a little teasingly. “You don’t know how to dance, do you?”
Jabeth’s poker face is good, but when he swallows, letting his adam’s apple bob, it’s what gives him away.
I gasp and plant my hands on my hips. “You can't dance!”
“SSHH!” He presses a hand over my mouth to shut me up, which makes my face warm. My lips are pressed against his warm palm, and not gonna lie, it makes my stomach flip.
Josie, knock it off.
Jabeth gives me a cold, but boyish look with his signature glare. “Listen! I’m a future King! And if you announce to the whole fucking realms I can’t dance then-”
“Then what?” I ask, muffled under hid mouth. The second my lips move, Jabeth jerks his hand away, as if I’ve burned him.
“Then they'll find me pathetic! It's embarrassing you know!" Jabeth hisses at me, looking over his shoulder to see if anyone heard us.
"So please keep your thoughts and comments to yourself before I announce to every person in this ball room that you secretly read books about gemstones." Jabeth snaps at me.
I gasp. “You wouldn’t.”
Jabeth narrows his eyes at me. “I would, and I will.”
I huff and cross my arms, “Okay. Fine.”
We both stand across from each other, as figures swirl around in colorful dresses of pink, blue, yellow and red.
I sigh and cross my arms, frustrated. This is getting us nowhere. It's like I'm talking to a seven year old. “Okay, then do you want me to teach you?”
He blinks, taken aback by my sudden offer. “What?”
“Do you want me to teach you?” My voice softens a bit. I shouldn't be so harsh towards him, after all we only just recently agreed to be a bit more.. oh, whats the word.. agreeable?
Jabeth looks back at the man and woman as they swiftly move across the room. He then meets my eyes and nods.
I smile, a genuine one, but it goes as quickly as it had come.. wait.. he’s leaving tomorrow morning. I can’t teach him. One night isn’t enough.
I look back up at him. “I forgot, you're leaving tomorrow. Do you have anyone in the Hell’s who can teach you?”
He shakes his head. “No. My mother made us take lessons when we were younger. My brothers just fucked around and I was a slow learner, always have been.”
My eyes widen slightly. You too...?
He shrugs. “I guess that means it wasn’t meant to be.”
He fakes a yawn. “Oh boy, I am really tired.. I guess I will see myself off.” He starts for the exit, but then stops, and turns around until we're facing one another once more. Dancers swirl around us, but our eyes don't sway from each other.
He smiles, something very faint. It warms his face, much in contrast to the usual cold facade Jabeth has plastered onto his fine features. He bows, “It was a pleasure to meet you.. your Royal Highness. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality.”
I curtsy, “The pleasure was mine, your Royal Highness. Have a safe trip back.”
He bows his head and struts out of the ballroom. Slowly but surely, his tall, and lean-figure disappears among the sea of dancers, until it is just me standing alone in the middle of the ballroom, watching his broad back retreat.
Tomorrow Jabeth and his family will be leaving the Hell's, and normally, it's the job for the head of the royal family to see them off.
Within the whole week I've known Jabeth, I've discovered some things that I never would've guessed.
A small smile tugs at my lips. Maybe.. we aren’t so different after all.