It was night time. The mansion was spectacularly illuminated. Grandeur was everywhere. Members of Royalty were enjoying themselves. The orchestra was great and the dance floor was occupied.
All these nobility was suffocating for Roselyn. She was severely uncomfortable among those people of Royalty. She wasn't a noble herself. A distant cousin of hers, with whom she has been friends since childhood, came from a wealthy family and was married to a distinct nobleman. This cousin, Susan was invited to that ball. But her husband was away on a business trip and Roselyn was paying her a visit. So she dragged her along. Now Roselyn was regretting coming. She didn't like splendor; simplicity was always her choice. Among such extravaganza she was at unease.
Susan had been dancing most of the evening al Roselyn stood watching. Dancing was her last choice of entertainment. Susan had given her basic dance lesson for this event but she was reluctant to apply it practically. The gown Susan had made her wear was too heavy and the corset was killing her. Besides, the dress was red, which didn't quite suite her pale skin. Her coal-black hair, pale skin, light brown eyes, red dress and red lipstick made her feel as if she were a vampire. Susan's creamy-white skin was better suited for such dress up.
Roselyn sighed and looked around. Everyone was chatting easily with one another. She felt like an alien. Just then she saw a handsome young man among a bunch of people. No, simply 'handsome' didn't justify his beauty. He was extremely gorgeous and stunningly good-looking. His elegant attire only complemented his appearance. The other men around him seemed dim next to his dazzling existence. All on a sudden he turned his head and looked at her. Their eyes met. He nodded slightly at her direction and smiled. Roselyn felt embarrassed. She was staring at him and got caught. He was looking straight at her and there was no one else near her. She felt her ears growing warm. She somehow pulled a smile to her lips, returned the nod and quickly walked away.
She escaped to the veranda, leaned against the railing and calmed herself by taking deep breaths. The open air did her good; her mind cleared. Suddenly she turned her face to the hall and froze.
The man from earlier was behind her. He came near and stood beside her.
"The breeze is soothing. It was getting sickly sweet inside, wasn't it?" He presented her a brilliant smile.
Roselyn felt bewildered. She couldn't understand his reason for being there. His enchanting voice had furthermore dazed her. It was gentler and more manly than any voice she had heard. However, she forced a reply out of her throat, "Y-yes, my lord." He had such a graceful aura that she automatically addressed him as 'lord'.
The man laughed, which was also gorgeous, and said, "Please, call me Ewin, my lady."
The address made Roselyn blush. She said, "Call me Roselyn, please."
"Roselyn!" Ewin's face beamed even more. "A wonderful name for a beautiful lady."
Roselyn blushed even more.
Ewin held out his hand to her. "May I have this dance, Rose?"
Her heart skipped a beat. She didn't like being called Rose. It was too common a flower. But now it sounded wonderful.
Unable to say anything, She gave him her hand and he escorted her to the dance floor. They started to dance.
In the beginning, Roselyn was extremely nervous and feared that she might step on his foot. A while later when she settled, she coyly looked up at his face. She was a tall girl and he was a very tall man. He was looking right at her. She quickly averted her eyes.
"Rose is my favorite flower, especially red roses." Ewin said. "Wild roses are so much more beautiful than those in the gardens. There's a river a little far away, on its bank grow wild red roses. So pretty!" With a brisk pause he added, "just like you."
Roselyn was blushing, and was angry at herself for feeling so elated at the praising. "I wish I could see them... the roses."
"I could show you, if you allow me." He said.
"That would be kind of you." Was all she could say.
The dance ended after a while, which seemed a mere moment to Roselyn. After the dance Ewin was offering her a drink when she heard her cousin.
"Rose, There you are!" Susan was walking toward them. When she neared them she looked quite stunned. Was it because of Ewin's magnificence? Roselyn wondered.
"My, Count Ronal! What a pleasant surprise." Susan exclaimed. "I haven't seen you since the last London Season."
"Lady Trancy!" Ewin replied with a smile. "Yes, I haven't been attending social events for a while. But coming today was a good decision." He had stolen a glance at Roselyn while uttering the last sentence.
Susan looked like the happiest woman on Earth. "I see you have already met with my cousin Rose."
"Yes," this time Ewin clearly looked at Roselyn. "But I didn't have the knowledge that she was your cousin."
At that time, Roselyn was completely puzzled. She had just danced with a Count!
Susan had to leave then, it had gotten quite late; which meant Roselyn had to leave as well. Count Ronal accompanied them to their carriage. He kissed Susan's hand before she got into the carriage, and turned to Roselyn.
"It was a pleasure to have met you, Rose, my dear." Saying this he took her hand and gently kissed.
Rose blushed to the color of a red rose and said, "It was my honor to have made your acquaintance." Then she got into the carriage and the door closed. He waved his hand as they departed.
Once they were on the road Susan exclaimed. "Rose! That was Count Ronal you danced with. He's the heart throb of almost every girl I know." Then admitted shyly that he had been her first crush.
Roselyn's eyes widened, "He was that man you told me about?"
"Yes." Then Susan said with glee, "I think he has taken a liking into you."
"Unlikely." Roselyn laughed. "What makes you think that?"
"My intuition." Susan said confidently.
Though Roselyn didn't believe her cousin, she did wonder what the Count thought of her. After all, he was royalty and she was a nobody.