December Writing Challenge: Day 3

Prompt: „Call me Xavier, you will join me in the end, and you will be the last“

“Call me Xavier,” he says while bowing low to brush her hand with his lips. She blushes lightly, and pulls her hand back gently – as though admonishing him for a societal slight. A smile crosses his face and he straightens up.

“You may call me Penelope.” she responds after a moment of awkward silence. Her hands want to fidget, and it’s taking every bit of self-control to remain still. There is something about him.

“Penelope, then.” He repeats the name, as though running it through a processor in the back of his mind so that he never forgets it. “Care to dance?” The answer is obviously yes. She wants nothing more than to grab at him with her hands and drag him onto the dance floor, but as a lady of society – she cannot simply grab at her men.

“I suppose.” Indifferent, she flicks her eyes towards and from the dance floor, as though it couldn’t interest her less. For this time of night, it was surprisingly active – even her eldest two sisters were dancing with their husbands. Her single attendance had been somewhat of an internal family argument, but her parents couldn’t argue with facts. Penelope was in her mid-twenties, and if she did not want to take a man to the ball, then they had no way of forcing her to.

“I’m sure I could convince you.” Looking back at Xavier, Penelope weighed her options. Option 1) she could say no, and continue moping in the corner of the room, drinking as much sherry as she could stomach. Option 2) She could say yes. The worst outcome of the scenario was an uncomfortable dance number, before she returned back to her sentry post, and the positives were practically boundless. Her family, nosy as they were, was likely to be delighted and would stop badgering her about other issues… like her living situation, and her lack of a man.

“How would you do that?” The words were out of her mouth before she could take them back. It wasn’t as though she enjoyed causing men to work for her, but she couldn’t help it. She was curious to see what this man would do to have one dance with her. His eyebrows rose at her comment, but the corners of his mouth twisted upward in what could be considered a smirk, though to Penelope it seemed like a playful smile.

“Well for starters.” He began, “I would cater to your every whim, making sure not to – how to put this indelicately – cause you to swoon.”

“Excuse me.” she interrupted him, cheeks flaming- quite embarrassed by the forwardness of this… this guest. Who had even invited him? “I am not one for swooning, sir.”

“That’s not what I’m implying at all. I just am saying what I’ve seen from experience.” He shot a smile at her, and she felt herself slightly relax, just drunken confidence, no doubt.

“Alright.” She acceded, “One dance. One dance and then I’ll need you to cater to my whims, as you put it, throughout the rest of the night.” Xavier held out his hand, and with a little trepidation, she clasped it – and allowed him to lead her to the dance floor.

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