"Hello," said Robert, his tone containing no emotion. "You dance well."
"Thank you," murmured Violeta, but she felt as though icy blizzards were blowing around her.
Robert remained silent.
"That was my cousin Zack," she felt the need to say.
Robert looked surprised. Some warmth and colour returned to his voice as he clarified Violeta's statement.
"The man with whom you danced?"
Slowly said Robert "And if you do not mind my asking, what kind of relationship exists between you?"
Violeta was slightly bewildered by his directness. Said she "We love each other as cousins, nothing more. But, sir, if you do not mind my asking, why should you ask?" The princess surprised herself with her boldness but made no move to take back her words, reasoning that she had a right to know this.
Robert shrugged his shoulders, smiling. "I was merely checking that you were not being inconsistent."
"Inconsistent?" asked Violeta, greatly confused now.
"Yes. You told me some fascinating things earlier and kept up a constant monologue for an entire ten minutes. And I would hate to think you were paying the same degree of attention to another."
"Why?" asked the princess, mystified. "And how is this relevant to relationships at all?"
Robert smiled. "Attention can have a great influence on relationships. As for your first question, I grow jealous quite quickly."
Violeta laughed, believing that the prince was joking and this entire conversation was some form of amusement for him.
"And what would incline a celebrity such as yourself to be jealous of anyone with whom I associated?" asked she, intending to play along and hopefully discover more about this well-known prince.
To her immense surprise, Robert's expression grew very serious.
"Why, do you not know?" asked he softly.
Violeta shook her head, intrigued.
"I thought you were only playing with me," continued the prince in that same gentle voice which queerly made her feel like she was floating in a sea of feathers.
"No," said she. Blushing, admitted she "I would not have had the confidence before you asked me about my cousin and me."
Robert smiled mysteriously. "Then I shall wait and surprise you later. For now, would you like to dance?"
Violeta, shocked, stepped back slightly.
"W-with you," said she in a stutter.
"Is there something wrong with me?" asked Robert, confused.
"No," confessed Violeta. "I merely thought there may be something wrong with me."
Robert laughed. "And what would incline you to think so?"
"Truth be told, I am no one special. I may be a princess but in comparison to you, I am hardly anyone."
Robert's expression changed and he now looked touched. The warmth and appreciation in his eyes caused the heart of Violeta to flutter like the fragile wings of a butterfly.
"Do you truly believe that?" asked the prince softly.
"Yes," murmured the princess, averting her gaze in embarrassment.
Robert raised his hand and tilted Violeta's chin upwards so that he could gaze into her eyes.
To the princess, it felt like time had stopped. She was staring into the eyes of the most handsome prince in the land and nothing she had ever experienced could match this moment.
"Do you not even feel special on the anniversary of your birthday?" asked Robert quietly.
As if hypnotised by the prince's striking appearance, answered Violeta "Not when standing in your vicinity."
"Perhaps I can change your mind," whispered he, before leaning in to kiss her.