Chapter one

“Paul, would you kiss me?” Gwendolyn rolled over in the grass, onto her stomach and batted her eyelids.

The question caught Paul unaware. He dropped the dandelion with which he had been playing. “ are asking me to....” Paul couldn’t finish his sentence. He often felt this way when speaking with the girl he had longed for as long as he could remember.

Gwendolyn rolled on her back, lazily raising her arms and legs into the air. The yellow dress she wore slid down her legs, revealing the hint of her frilly underthings. “I’m not asking you to *do* anything, I’m just asking if you *would*”. She moved her arms and legs in unison as if she were an elephant marching on the clouds.

“You know I’d kiss you, Gwendolyn” Paul knew it was unbecoming of a gentleman to stare at a lady’s legs but he couldn’t bring himself to look away. “I’d *marry* you. In a heartbeat”. He regretted saying that as soon as it came from his mouth. He had been doing so well. So cool, so coy. Now he was practically throwing himself at her, just like he always did.

The elephant’s march was called to a halt as Gwendolyn sighed and tilted her head back to look Paul in the eyes.  “I can’t marry you, Paul. You know that.” She rolled over and sat up so that she was eye to eye with him. “I am the miller’s daughter” here she tossed her head to the side in a mock show of importance. The gesture was meant to signify her boredom of such material things, but Paul knew that being the miller’s daughter was a large part of who Gwendolyn was. Her father was very rich and spared no expense to pamper his only daughter. “I’ll tell you what” she began, noticing joy drain from Paul’s face “go and make lots of money and then we can run away together and be happy, forever!”.

She smiled. When she smiled, stars forgot their orbits, leaves refused to fall from the trees and Paul felt that the world could be a better place.

“While you are doing that” she began “ I’ll see if father needs anything.” She got up, kissed Paul lightly on the forehead, and skipped home.

Paul watched her until she was out of sight, wondering how he was going to make ‘lots of money’.

The End

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