I lifted my head, quickly kissing his cheek like I would do with the servants when they did a good job, it was swift and in a few seconds my head was back against his chest again.
He stiffened ever so slightly in surprise for a split second, before relaxing again. "I wasn't expecting that," he laughed slightly.
"I'm sorry," I lifted my head to look at him, my eyes glistening slightly.
"Its fine, Melissa," he said with a smile and I smiled back, kissing his cheek again, a little slower this time so as not to shock him before I rested my head on his shoulder, hugging him a little tighter. "Thank you, Angel," I chuckled slightly.
He laughed quietly, "Glad to be of service."
I shook my head, I was so magic. "It's so cold out... but I'm so warm, how do you do that?"
"Oh, you know. That heavenly glow I get from being such an angel," he snickered
"I wouldn't laugh like that about such things," I whispered.
"I'm no angel. Far, far from it."
"Then you can be my angel." I coughed awkwardly, "umm, guardian angel?"
"I can try, I suppose."
"You seem to be making me fall faster, Gabriel."
"Oh, no need. I just fear my restraint will only last so long," you see, I was never one to not give in to my emotions.
"Perhaps we should return to the party, then."
He took my hand and stood, helping me to my feet. "It is your party, after all."
I nodded and rose, straightening out my dress, and running a hand briefly through my hair, "how do I look?"
I blushed again and sighed, I guess I would have to get used to the colour red. "Thank you, Angel," I repeated walking slowly and elegantly back down the cobbled path. “A woman’s proper etiquette should be poised and elegant.” I hated that teacher, she was so mean.
"I do my best not to make a habit of lying," he murmured as we moved back towards the party almost reluctantly.
"I shall remember that," I nodded, briefly kissing his cheek once more while we were still out of sight. "I hope your lover will forgive me for stealing you so."
"We both know that I have to show my face at parties occasionally. Being temporarily stolen is to be expected."
"This shall be my only party; I refuse to go to others as my social skills are appalling. So this will probably be the only time I get to steal you." I sighed heavily.
"Parties exist to practice social skills."
I huffed again, "I truly hate them! All the men... the boys..." I shuddered.
"You don't seem to have had much of a problem with me tonight," he chuckled.
"I've avoided eye contact, only reason I came to you was because my father pushed me. I'm glad I did though."
"But surely, if you have somehow managed to fall for me since your father pushed you over to me; doesn't that make it more painful or annoying?"
"Not really, but..." I was cut off as my father grabbed my arm, roughly tugging me away. "Ow! Let go of me... please, sir." He doesn’t like me calling him father in public.
Gabriel watched, surprised, "excuse me sir, I was talking with Miss Rose!" he protested. I looked at him, my eyes wide as I shook my head, persuading him not to do anything rash.
"Father, please." Oops. He brought his hand firmly across my cheek and I smelt the alcohol lining his breath. "I'm sorry... sir," I bowed in apology, my wrist still in his iron grip. As he ignored Gabriel’s protesting.
"Please allow me one more dance with Miss Rose, sir."
"Eugh, if you want the little rat, boy," he growled, throwing me to Gabriel, my feet stumbling over one another.
Gabriel caught my arm and steadied me and I looked up at him and smiled weakly, my wrist a little red, (see I told you about that colour) I was also sure my cheek was the same. My eyes watered with the pain as my cheek stung. I sighed, my voice trembling as I spoke, "you wanted a dance, master Emerson."
"Yes..." he trailed off, putting his hand on my waist, "and to get your father to stop being a-" he paused, flushing slightly, "apologies. My lover has clearly rubbed off on me more than I thought."
"I don't mind, my father's been like that for as long as I can remember." I mirrored his stance, although I don't think I was in the mood for dancing. "Yet it still upsets me so much," I whimpered. I fiercely bit back the tears but I knew it would only be so long...
"I can imagine it would... I'm sorry you have to live with someone so vulgar."
"Don't be sorry for something that cannot be helped and is not your fault. I won't have you sharing any of my burdens, Angel," I whispered, cursing myself for not bringing my handkerchief with me as my tears finally spilt over and I looked back at the floor.
"Am I not meant to be your guardian angel?" he asked with a weak smile in his voice.
"What is an angel that is too heavy to fly?" I whispered but he was quiet, turning his concentration to the dance.
As the music dimmed and slowed I cursed the musicians, "I'd love to spend this final moment with you, but, I'm such a mess I can't even see my feet."
"Smile for me," he murmured, the words bringing back a memory I had nearly forgotten in Gabriel’s presence.
"I have to go soon; I should like to see you smile once more before I leave." I walked from the dance floor, sort of pulling him away. There I wiped away my tears as best I could, looked up to him and smiled, but it faltered, quickly slipping again.
He smiled comfortingly, wiping away the rest of the tears before kissing me gently on the cheek. I gasped, my heart almost stopping, "will I ever see you again?"
"Most likely. Our families are likely to invite each other for parties and the like."
"I don't do parties, you know that," I took a breath, remembering the feeling of his lips on my cheek as I smiled softly up at him.
"I know. But we're bound to be made to go at some point in the future."
"I guess if you're there I won't need much persuading."
"I'm flattered. But really, try and find another who can be a better guardian angel than I."
"I really must be going, Melissa. I'm sorry," he murmured.
My bottom lip trembled again. "You...my... why?"
He put a finger over my lips. "Hush. You'll find someone better than me, I promise."
"What if I don't want someone better!?" I protested, even behind his finger. "What if I want you?"
"You don't know me, Melissa; you will find someone far more worthy of your attention."
"No!" I shook my head, "you said you needed to marry into a rich family, then that's all I'll be. What made you change so suddenly?"
"I don't want you to cling to something that may never happen. That's no way to live."
"Why do you think I gave up on love? Then I saw the hope and..." I gulped. "Why?" He just gave me all my hope, rekindled my dreams and then tore them out of me again. I know, I fell too quickly, I always do.
"There's plenty of hope. You're very young to give up on love, you know," he frowned.
"Don't give me that bull-!" I growled, stupid peasants, "you're my angel. You can't give up on me."
"I'm not giving up on you. I said maybe one day."
"Then you held me and relit my hopes." I sighed, "You're lover must be waiting for you, you should go return to their arms. I'm sure she'd be a lot warmer than I."
"I shall be your friend and guardian angel if you so wish, Melissa, but I am eschewing marriage for as long as I possibly can. If my parents give up, I never will marry, I’m sorry," he murmured, kissing me quickly on the cheek once more, "farewell, Melissa."
I gulped and closed my eyes. Ahh, I have nothing left to lose. I ran after him, down the courtyard and took another breath, stopping I turned him with my arm, I didn’t care about my rudeness or how improper it was, I was sure I would never see him again. I planted my lips on his, it was weird... my first time, Nothing left to lose.
His eyes widened, surprised and for a moment, a short, sweet moment, he kissed back. Pulling away, he half smiled, "good night, Melissa."
"Night, good would be a personal preference Gabriel." He nodded, walking away and I watched him walk a little bit away down the courtyard before I sighed once more, "Gabriel!" I called.
"Yes?" he asked, pausing to turn and look at me.
A smile pulled at his lips, "good night," he repeated, nodding once more. I walked back up to the manor and sat on the step, watching as his figure disappeared and I cried into my knees once more. How could he do that? He... I gulped, shaking my head as I buried my head in my arms.