Friday, December 6, 2013
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. epilogue:The Swing of Things
Epilogue: The Swing of Things
Fairy Godmother or royal fiancée, there was no escaping a fancy dress ball.
"Relax," Jon murmured in Kate ear. He tightened the arm that was hooked around hers, the closest they could get to a hug without breaking position. Rupert had just stepped through the curtain, and once the applause died down they would be next. "You used to attend these things for a living."
"I was usually hiding out in the corridor," Kate whispered back, fighting the urge to reach and touch the complicated upsweep the hairdresser had erected on top of her head. There was no tiara, thankfully - there'd nearly been a fight over that - but there were enough jeweled pins in there to let her eat comfortably for a year. It was mildly terrifying. "If I can do that for *this* ball, I promise you I'll calm down in no time."
"But then I'd miss you." Though her eyes were still fixed on the curtain in front of them, Kate could hear the smile in Jon's voice. "Unless I could hide out in the corridor, too. Then I'm all for it."
"Don't be ridiculous," the queen said from behind her. Her own hairstyle was twice as tall, though thankfully she'd been talked out of the songbirds. "Our fairy princess looks far too fabulous to even consider running off."
Before Kate could respond to that, the trumpeting started. Taking a deep breath, she let Jon guide her through the curtain and to the waiting crowd beyond.
"His Highness Prince Jonathan Alistair Crispin Lorimer Charming, heir to the throne of Somewhere, and his bride-to-be Katharine Mary Elizabeth Francesca Harris!"
As the applause started, Kate leaned close to Jon. "I don't have any middle name," she whispered fiercely. "How exactly did I end up with three of them!"
Jon sent a narrow-eyed look in the announcer's direction. The announcer very deliberately refused to meet his gaze. "I keep meaning to fire him, don't I?"
Kate sighed. "I'll start reminding you." As they started their slow, dignified walk down the stairs, the trumpeter started again in preparation for the king and queen's announcement. Immediately, the gathered guests forgot she existed and turned their attention back to the curtain.
It was an enormous relief.
"See?" Jon whispered once they'd been safely swallowed up by the crowd. "You survived it."
"The first five minutes, yes." Even as the relief uncoiled inside her, Kate tightened her hold on Jon's arm. "I still have the rest of the night to get through."
"Compliment their hair," Lawton offered, suddenly appearing next to them with a glass of ridiculously pink champagne in his hands. "If they have no hair, compliment their no doubt hideously expensive dinner jacket."
Jon raised an eyebrow at him. "And after that?"
Lawton smirked. "Why, she should stab them with her shoe and flee, of course."
"No, she should dance." Rellie emerged from between two women with skirts clearly designed to smuggle dwarf armies, dragging Ned along behind her. Somewhere in the distance, music started playing. "People aren't moving away like they're supposed to, but I figure if I step on enough toes we should be fine."
Ned, looking dazed but happy, let himself be carried along. "I love it when she does that."
Rellie stopped, surveying the patch of dance floor. "This should work." She smiled at Ned, holding out her other hand, and they quickly moved into dance position.
"That sounds like an excellent idea, milady." Jon turned to Kate, holding out his own hand. "Shall we?"
She felt the corners of her mouth curve upward. "Shouldn't you be reminding everyone what a wonderful heir to the throne they have looking out for them?"
His smile was soft. "I'd rather enjoy how lucky I am that you said yes."
Kate melted. Jon had a rather alarming talent for doing that. "It's hard to say no to you."
Jon's smile widened into a grin as they settled into position. "Not that you didn't try."She returned the grin as he whisked her into the dance. "Clearly, my heart wasn't in it."