“It is decided,” King Nordin boomed, though he looked unhappy. His brow was furrowed and his lips were twisted. “As soon as we can, we need to get as many medical staff working towards a cure. Any other topics you would like to discuss?”
The crowd stayed silent.
“Okay, that dismisses our formalities. Now we will transition to ballroom dancing.”
The royals quickly rose and proceeded to the dance floor.
Shimmering lights hung from the ceiling, illuminating the dance floor with a soft glow. A massive chandelier hung down, the silver-tinted crystals twinkling.
Andrea made her way down the stairs in awe, always forgetting how beautiful the dance floor could be.
Her black boots touched the marble, and a soft, twirling melody began. Servants wielding stringed instruments strummed gently, standing against the crystalline walls.
It was only then Andrea realized she had nowhere to go.
Naturally the kings and queens paired up with their spouses, and many siblings danced together, giggling at the slow waltz.
But Princess Andrea didn’t have any friends. Or siblings. Or a husband, for that matter. So she just stood, hoping nobody realized she was alone.
“Is that you, High Princess Andrea?” a voice asked. She turned around. It was Prince Darian, smirking.
“Please don’t call me that,” she snapped, surprised at how sharp her voice sounded. She found herself naturally annoyed at Prince Darian, the way he walked, talked, and acted.
“No need to be rude,” he laughed. “I just want to dance.”
Andrea was revolted. But he . . . he . . .
She couldn’t exactly turn down an offer to dance, could she? Not if she wanted to make her parents angry.
She nodded slowly, and before she knew it, she was swept into the dance swiftly. Prince Darian almost made her look graceful. He was an amazing dancer, she grudgingly admitted. It was sort of true.
“So, how are you?” he asked. She was surprised at how he managed to keep a conversation while dancing.
“Okay, I guess,” she muttered. Things were getting awkward quickly. Why did she have to be so nice and let random princes dance with her?
“I always have such a good time at the Kingdom Ball,” he said, winking. What was it with him and winking? She felt her cheeks heat up in anger.
“How is it to live in Argentrea?” he asked.
“Fine,” Andrea huffed.
“You don’t have to be mean,” Darian said, looking genuinely angry. “I’m just trying to make friends.”
“Sorry,” Andrea said truthfully. She didn’t realize he had the same problem as her.
He dropped her hands, and like that, the magical dance was over. Hurt leaked into Andrea. Wait—didn’t she just hate him two seconds ago?
“Please don’t walk away,” she whispered as he started to move. “I don’t have any friends either.”
His hazel eyes stared into hers, full of tears she didn’t know were there. Her eyes filled too.
But just like that, a scream shattered the tension between them.