Masquerade

Summary: When it only takes one dance to know that it's love

Booming fireworks sounded loudly over the conversations of the mansion, carriages daintily arriving in the colorful night. Diamonds and rubies, golds and reds, infinite color and life as far as the eye could see. Ladies wore gowns that sparkled and glittered and men wore elegant uniforms of the military and the like. Not a face recognizable, all hidden by magical masks that made even the closest of friends impossible to find. Gossip, laughter, music, and clacking of glass filled the large mansion, the night of a new year was truly the most vibrate of all nights.

"Lady Blythe?" A young woman asked, "Is that you?"

The woman laughed, removing her navy blue and shimmering white mask to reveal herself to her dear friend.

"Lady Edlyn, I see you've finally arrived." Lady Blythe let out a soft chuckle, "Did young Vala not wish to come?"

"Of course she did, but her father preferred that she be locked in study." Lady Edlyn placed a gloved hand over her cheek, "Vala is busy with friends while her father now stands complaining to other gentlemen about the new year."

The two ladies laughed and continued to talk about other matters.

"Well Missy if you must know," a young teen girl said with her chin lifted, "Lord Bolton and I are progressing fairly unlike you and Sir. West."

Vala stood among her friends of ladies, or so they're suppose to be, as they chatted about nonsense.

"I would suspect true ladies would be talking about important matters," Vala giggled, "not gossiping about their true loves who are nothing but characters from a book."

The other girls giggled as the two who recently were arguing smilingly blush.

"A lady can dream can't she?" Missy asked dreamily, "I know you dream about Lord Sherwood's son, Lysandre."

"At least he's flesh and blood, not paper and ink." Vala smiled sweetly, "Besides, a child such as myself cannot help but dream of such a kind man like Lysandre."

"He's quite the charmer is he not?" another young girl squealed, "There isn't a lady, young nor old, who can control their wondering eyes from admiring his beauty."

"I hear that Lord Sherwood is eager to see his son wed, supposedly Lysandre searching for his bride at tonight's ball."

Vala sighed is blissful fascination, "What I would give to become his wife, but I am no proper lady."

"Don't think that way about yourself, Vala." Missy soothed gently, "You may not have the proper manners that a lady would have acquired by now but you have charm and kindness."

"There isn't a soul in this life that can match you."

Vala bowed her head and smiled kindly, "I believe I need some fresh air, would anyone like to come?"

"I'll walk with you." a girl with beautiful blue eyes said, "I feel a bit cramped with so many people."

The other girls stayed in their large group as Vala and the young girl walked onto the rose infested balcony.

"I always enjoyed these nights," the girl said, "Such life never exists until a new year."

"I'm sorry, but I don't believe we've ever exchanged names." Vala said kindly, "I'm Vala, daughter of Lord King and Lady Edlyn. You are?"

"Ena, Daughter of Lord Sherwood and younger sister of Lysandre."

Vala blushed, "La-Lady Ena?"

"Oh, please don't be embarrassed." Ena pleaded softly, "I won't tell my brother of your heart's desire."

Vala blushed more so as the memory of her confession begun to sink in.

"Miss. Vala please, if you faint my brother will never forgive me." Ena pleaded, "He's eager to dance with you Miss. Vala."

"Sister?" Vala felt an even greater blush form on her cheeks, Lysandre now stood behind Vala and Ena with a smile on his handsome face.

"Brother, I found her as you asked," Ena said quietly, "the rest is up to you."

"Miss. Vala?" Lysandre said softly, "Would you mind coming with me?"

"I..I'd prefer to be alone." Vala stuttered.

"Miss. Vala, standing in the cold is not healthy. At least let me take you to the grand library so you could be warmed by the fire."

Before she could object to his proposal, Vala soon found herself being dragged back inside to the grand library. It amazed her that no one noticed them, then again the entertainers were really fascinating.

"Please Lysandre," Vala pleaded, "this is not necessary."

"Vala, if you are to refuse a cozy fire then at least allow me to ask for a dance." He smiled wickedly, it was alone in the same room or together in public eyes.

Angry at herself for the knowledge of her weakness Vala attempted to place blame on Lysandre.

"It's rude to make a lady repeat herself." Vala said with as much authority as she could gather but she could hear her empty word fail to make their false point.

"Don't use such pitiful excuses with me Vala, learn to accept yourself and happiness will bow before you."

Taking her hand he led her to the floor and began to dance. Lysandre wore no mask and soon all eyes were watching this lady, who not many knew, and Lysandre dance. Whispers were spread, mentioning of the fairy tail Cinderella sung quietly as they danced. Vala, safely hidden by her decorated mask, still blushed. Her beautiful red gown swirled with Lysandre's careful steps. A scene truly from a fantasy.

When their dance ended Lysandre pulled Vala away from the crowds and brought her to an indoor garden.

"You've been taught well." He said softly, "Perhaps your instructor was Sir. Colton?"

"How..?"

"Only Sir. Colton can teach such a dance, who did you believe to have taught me?"

Vala looked away, her emotions began to play with her again. She didn't want to believe that their destinies were becoming intertwined but her heart continued to long.

"Vala, fighting will not help you." Lysandre lifted her chin with his finger and smiled, "True can always be found when least expected."

"What..?"

Lysandre pressed his lips gently against hers. Lysandre, son of Lord Sherwood, had always been infatuated with Miss. Vala since he first saw her at Lady Hertha's wedding two years ago. The way she smiled so innocently warmed his once cold heart from its blistering pain, he knew then that he had fallen for a scared little mouse but what could he do? Love didn't discriminate.

A/N: This is my buddy Zenin's Christmas present! This one isn't adoptable because Zenin is a greedy little girl!