Another Encounter

Flustered, I burst from his grasp and down the hallway, shutting the door at my back. My chest rose and fell in great heaves of breath and emotion, as I rested my head against the stability of the door while my feelings and anxieties felt so turbulent. No longer did I seem to trust my legs after such an encounter.

Over and over the brief even ran in my mind, different tastes in my mouth both embittered and delightfully sweet. Gathering my senses, I laughed to myself. “Ha! I am not that easy!” Such an encounter would only strengthen my iron resolve to stay far clear from a man such as he, and not to let my intrigue at his mystery pull at me any longer. Now the elusiveness to him had been somewhat stripped away. I knew know what he was all about, it appeared, some of the suspicions, the rumor appearing truth. Yet, this time, it was me he was after.

Somewhat smug in my self-satisfaction at keeping him at bay, and too the wild emotion which came at the sight of him, I sighed and observed where I was to stay the night. The room was both modern and extravagant, with the most stylish of furniture, a glassy floor shone to perfection clicking under foot as I stepped, great windows opening to the gardens and beyond. Feeling quite exposed to the open world, I found the button which with a click drew the shades in one swift, smooth motion and wrapped me in security and shadow. Though still in the shadow, I could not help but shudder to myself, wrapping my arms around myself as if the shadows almost reminded me of him, as if they were him, trying to take a hold on me once more…

I moved to the vanity table, where slowly I began to wash my face and comb my hair. As I ran my fingers through a soft, dark ringlet I could not help but pause and drift into my mirror’s reflection, unaware as I began to reminisce, to recall of how he had just earlier moved his fingers gently through it…the foreign touch, feel…so…lovely in its particular fashion…

I jolted from my daydreams and hastily continued on from that chore, finding a nightdress to change into and promptly slipping into it. I incessantly shook my pondering of Julio and the evening which had come to pass from my head.

As I laid down to sleep, I decided to stay resolutely firm with Julio, not to guide him on in any particular fashion and address him with the most polite, curt formalities as I may. In my time here, I may even turn a few charms upon Prince Samuel, so perhaps it would deter him from even trying anything. I would remain unwavering, unfaltering under his dark gaze, would resist my deep, most intense curiosity of him, and remain cool, collected, and uninterested just as I was trained proper.

While I felt great pride at my pledge, and my action of giving him a deserving slap across the face, I could not help but linger, both in dreams and thoughts, upon that brief moment in the garden and feel something of pleasure from it.

~~~~~

It was early morning when I rose, and I prepared myself with the utmost care. Just as I was finishing, the window of my room became a great screen which depicted my mother, over which she probed me over the previous night, advised me for this following day, and insisted that I pull my hair back today in place of leaving it down.

After my conversation with Mother, and duly pulling my long hair into a high, loose bun set neatly atop my head, several perfect curls falling free against my face, I slipped from my bedroom into the long hall in attempt to find my way about. I had never been to this part of the palace, and it seemed to satisfy my inquisitive side while all else appeared to still be quiet and slumbering at this hour.

It was not long before I lost my way in the various vast halls and corridors, the endless doorways and passages. The only noise at the moment was the gentle clack of my shoes and the swish of the trail of my long, luxurious skirt upon the finely polished floor. I began to wonder if I was alone in this place and if I was able to find my way out.

I supposed it was the perfect opportunity for Julio to arrive, and he did, seeming to step from the shadows in the most silent of fashions and manage to give me quite a scare. He smiled in that carefree, charming way as he took my arm, “I did not mean to frighten you, My Lady. My apologies.”

I swallowed through a lump in my throat, raised my chin, and felt particularly pleased of myself not for blushing. Before I could reply, he went on, “How coincidental to bump into you at this hour in this place of the palace. I hope you slept well.”

“Yes, thank you,” I nodded curtly. I lifted my eyes to his, keeping my own strong, confident, and steady, masked of any girlish, fretful emotion. “Have you any idea where the breakfast room is? I fear I have been wandering for a while and may be late for breakfast.”

He offered his arm smoothly, “I was just coming to retrieve you for breakfast. Right this way.”

Are there no

other servants to guide me about this place? I thought irritably to myself, though I too hid it with a cool, pristine smile and gave him my own arm.

The End

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