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[#3a1256 [b "Indeed, you are right, and once the gentlemen begin to satisfy themselves with pipes and cigars, the room just becomes stuffy anyway. I prefer the scents of books and old leather with a fireplace filled with applewood."] She purred as she took his arm and produced a fan from a clip at her hip and began to gently fan herself softly for a breeze as she let her other arm tuck into his, resting her hand atop his. She allowed him to lead her to the garden, ignoring the hushed whispers, giggles, and snickers that began behind them. Let them speak, they didn't know who she really was, Miss Fortune was known for being that of a "Wandering Lover", finding her target and toying with him all night. If one was to believe the rumors. None of them were true. If any knew the real Miss Fortune, she was still virtuous in all aspects with self-respect. Just because there were rumors, didn't make them true. Most men that tried were drunk and never given the chance, they would drink until they blacked out, and any dreams they had was their own choices to tell or not. When the rumors first started, Lady Natalia was appalled, but then she thought about it. What better way to keep things from being led to her than to think that Miss Fortune was a rather well-known vixen and Lady Natalia was the shy, pure, Quiet Lady of the Demonas fortune that kept to herself ever since her family had known tragedy. She didn't attend too many parties, and she was only seen in public when she needed to be. If anyone was ever to piece the two together, they would be one dazzling and dangerous mind, and perhaps even very seductive.
A real treat was the only he could think in the way of describing the young woman in ehich he found his company most taken with. She was elegant and well mannered as were most the young ladies he had come in contact with. But she was so very different as well. She could hold a conversation and seemed to want more out of life. A delicious little mystery and he could very much say he wanted to find out just what she hid. There was a danger and edge to her. One that called his name and made him not draw back as one with "a brain" would do. No, it simply intrigued him all the more.
Sir Prize had yet to try and steal anything. Oh he very well could have with how close they had been near the other all night. He just hadn't seen the need as she kept him so very drawn in.
An arm was held out to her at the end of the dance and when he heard those softly purred words. [b "My thoughts exactly, my dear. And the ballroom is a little warm. Some fresh air could do us some good."] Scandalous for sure, but entirely exciting. A new thrill to be had. And yet another chance for the pair of them to be alone. He kept the arm held out, waiting for her to take it and to take the lead.
He was a puzzle wrapped in one gorgeously delicious package. She wasn't sure what it was about this man, but she found herself wanting to know more. Wanting to see what all he was capable of. Though he was ever the most mannered, as well as skillfully talented in dancing, he still held that slight edge about him that claimed he could be dangerous and fun as well. Miss Fortune had yet to even try to pluck anything from his person as she most normally did with someone she spent this much time in one evening with.
The song ended and she gave the appropriate applause for it when he asked if she would like another dance or perhaps a walk in the garden. Others might think it scandalous should they escape to the garden, but it only excited her more. [#3a1256 [b "I think a walk in the garden would be lovely. It's such a beautiful night tonight, no reason to spend all of it indoors."]] she was nearly purring, no man had ever kept her attention so easily before and she rather liked it.
The young woman before him definitely had captured his attention. The light banter between them had a natural and fun feel to it. Not something he could say there to be with many of the young ladies he had been in the company of. She was by far the LEAST boring young lady he had met. Easily she kept up with him and she had a sharp mind. It was not one of silly dreams and desires. Not a girl at all wishing to simply grab the attention of a man just because she could.
At that playful smirk that came to her lips, the man found a small one coming to his own lips. [b "Ah but that is not very fair. At least one hint or thing is all I ask for, my dear. Though I can very much see the point. What is a night such as this without the mystery, the fun, and the surprises?"] Came soft words as the smirk soon found itself turned into one of his more real and genuine smiles.
[b "And as to knowing the man beneathe the mask as you happened to say, I do not believe either of us know that about the other. I just know that you happen to be a treat compared to all others I have met."] The man said as yet again the music stopped. He did take a couple steps back, bow, and bring her gloved hand to his lips as he kissed the back of it. Though he did not let it go after. [b "Did you happen to care for another dance? Or perhaps a walk in the garden?"]
With each playful banter between them, she would find her smile growing more and more. He was able to flatter and banter, and keep up with her far more easily than any man she'd ever met. He asked of her desires and she couldn't help the playful smirk that took her darkly painted lips.
[#3a1256 [b "Now if I tell you all things that I desired, there would be no little mystery game between us. And I do believe that I am growing rather fond of such games. You seem to be so different from all the other men in my days. It makes me wonder if I know the man behind the mask."]] She smiled up at him, her smile more than the put on that she used on others. She found she would be giving him genuine smiles.
Flattery and charm were his game. The main things he used when he was luring in his victims. But with her, that was not at all the point. For the first time in his life, Sir Prize, or when not the thief, Sir Alden meant every word hey spoke. And that in itself was a surprise for the man. He NEVER thought he would find one to "make an honest man" of him. Quite a funny thought since he was more than sure that both had their little secrets.
[b "All of that seems to be quite the flattery. Though from your words it is apparent you want so much more than all the common promises. And what may I ask do you wish to have? Clearly no man has been able to make that offer.. If I may take a guess...would it have to be danger and perhaps excitement? Something no 'proper' young woman would think of?"] Not at all him trying to make any assumptions or trying to say that he knew her. But it was his way of saying she simply did not strike him as being as daft as half of the other young women in the ballroom. From the moment he laid eyes on her and had met her for their first dance, something about her was different. Alluring.
The way he spoke of being drawn to her only reflected the way she was being drawn to him. His bright blue eyes like gems calling to her, beckoning her gaze. He spoke of how some ladies were quite beautiful, but then he sounded bored until he spoke of her.
[#3a1256 [b "My such flattery..... and they can try for my attention if they wish, but sadly they are full of promises that I have heard a million times... Money, luxury, spoils... anything my petite little heart would wish for. As if they truly know what it is I wish for..."]] She sighed softly, allowing the sorrowful look to fill her expression as she followed his lead in the dance.
To be honest, she had all of that. What she wanted was a thrill. An adventure. She had not yet married, because she was looking for that one man who would understand what she did and why she did it. But too many wanted her money, or to spoil her with money. She was already very wealthy. She didn't steal to increase that wealth, she did it for the thrill of the hunt, the adrenaline of almost getting caught. But none understood that.
The young woman amazed him to no ends. Easily did she keep up with him and she was not daft enough to be speaking of the fashions of their time. Nor did she speak of a future she wished to have. No, she kept a topic of conversation and kept it interesting. Even cared to see what he thought. Completely a refreshing change. The fact that their was that lilt to her voice that if he were being very honest happened to draw him in.
[b "Ah, the night has been one of interest. Some of the ladies I shall admit to being rather appalled by and hope not to meet again. And then there are others such as you that I hope I may see more of, my dear. As to catching eyes, the only I wish to for the night are the beautiful ones of you. But I can see that I am not the only with a horde of admirers."] The man said, words soft as they danced and those they passed happened to watch and to whisper.
She was close enough that he could have easily tried to steal something from her. A bracelet, a brooch, or even some coin.. But the man found he did not wish to do so. There was just something about her. Besides, Sir Prize had managed a few items over the night from his other partners that he had danced with.
Amazing how taken he seemed with this one young woman. The spell those sparkling blue eyes seemed to have him under. Something though did tell him to keep an eye on her. After all, one could never judge a book by their cover.
She gave him that sweet smile once more. [#3a1256 [b "Oh I do believe I am. I've seemed to meet some very interesting men tonight. Some..... more than others... What of you, Sir? Are you enjoying this evening as well? You've certainly held the eye of nearly every maiden in attendance..."]] she purred back to him as she followed his lead from one dance to another, not willing to give up this talk just yet. She'd rather not feel another elderman trying to rut against her.
She had managed a few trinkets already in her possession. Mostly cufflinks, or jacket pins. Made of golds, silvers, and gems. She even swiped a coin purse from a few of them. It's not easy to do so when they are hefty, but her dresses were made to keep the jingling silent.
When she did move closer, there was the moment of an inner groan. She was a little minx and knew how to be a tease for sure. But he was very good and had learned to control any such urges upon growing up. [b "Ah, yes.. that is how some of the young ladies are as well.. Though if I am to be honest, my own style depends upon what you wish it to."] He muttered, eyes locking with her's for just a moment.
And then he did lead her for the dance, all else seeming to fade into the background. [b "Those are my requests.. And it makes me very happy to hear that I am not asking too very much of you."] The words were softly spoken and a smile graced his lips.
Sir Alden, or in this very instant, Sir Prize was one to honour tradition. And he was very much one who respected ladies and their wishes. A value he grew up learning and one he would always keep. His line of work or not, the man just had simple morals that stayed.
[b "Aside from the last dance, have you thus far been having a good eveing, my dear?"] The man asked as they danced. He knew that he had and it had only become more interesting since the moment he had laid eyes upon her.
She smiled at the man and stepped closer in their dance, though with the sizeable skirts she wore, no one outside of them would know the difference. [#39116e [b "Well I am still very grateful. Seems the younger ones are too flighty, and the older ones are too ruddy. Which shall you be?"]] IT wasn't a normal tease from any Proper Lady but she couldn't help but to try and get a rise out of this man. Something about him was so different, that if she were not careful, she would end up falling into his bright blue stare.
[#39116e [b "If all you request is a few dances and some company, then I can only be so gracious as to grant such small favors."]] She purred softly. Anyone else would have requested stolen moments or a scandalous kiss behind a closed door. He requested a couple of dances and her company. It was a refreshing change, and even though her line of work choice was not the most honest, she was glad to see that some men had some respect for ladies.
The man had been watching the whole time. Between both their partners, the man was sure a reprieve was needed. It had been the aim of his cutting in the way he had. A way to save her and a way also to keep the promise that he had made. Talk about..what was the term? "Killing two birds with one stone". And it was only all the sweeter when he saw that smile of hers and the sparkle come back to her eyes.
It was only when they were at an appropriate place for the dance and in position did bright blue orbs meet another set of bright blue orbs. [b "A true gentleman never leaves a lady to struggle, my dear. They also never go back on their words. So as it would stand, you owe me nothing.. Just this dance and perhaps one more and the honour of your company for a short while."]
Business. This night had been about business. And yet it seemed to have become more. How in the name of sanity had that happened? It was as if this young woman had a spell of sorts upon him. One he could not seem to escape from.
She was starting to lose her composure when the song ended and a new dance came to light. She thought she may have to dance with this man another turn as he almost seemed like he wouldn't give up his hold. But that blue-eyed enigma returned asking for the next dance and kissing her hand. She gave an almost relieved yet poised smile. She gave a look of apology to the elder man. [#39116e [b "He did make a promise...."]] she said coyly as she took to step with Sir Prize. She let him lead her to a proper starting place with the song and take a stance.
[#39116e [b "I honestly do not think that I have ever been saved in such impeccable timing before. I suppose I owe you my gratitude, Sir"]] She grinned glancing up to him beneath her lashes. It wasn't that she didn't like a man who knew what he wanted and how, but the man had been out of her comfort zone, and she wasn't here on pleasure. Tonight was business, or at least it was before Sir Prize came into her gaze.
The man had been so very curious as to how Miss Fortune would react to his very own brand of flirting. His brand of making a spectacle for all to see. It had been easy to make the pretty little thing blush and giggle. And he did almost feel guilty to use her in such a way. But when his glance caught the very woman he was hoping to make jealous, Sir Prize's sense of remorse dimmed. She was still toying with the young man and it was so very disheartening. So the man kept his own games.
Another dance had come and to be proper and polite, Sir Prize asked another ti dance. Clearly the woman was older and more experienced than the wisp of a girl he had been flirting with before. And she proved to make things awkward, though he kept his manners and as polite as he was able.
The moment the dance was over, Sir Prize sought yet another partner. And since it had been two dances between the last, the man found his way back to Miss Fortune. [b "Care to be my partner for this dance, my dear?"] He asked as he had cut in between her and her last partner, his hand taking hers and lefting it to his lips as he bowed.
She had seen out of the corner of her eye, that he was flirting and toying with some wisp of a girl a few years younger than herself. This only fueled her more so to make a display with the young man. He leaned in to whisper of her beauty, as well as a few things no lady should hear in her position. She merely giggled and gave a blush to look to the man coyly. [#39116e [b "Such things you say!"]] she said giving a playful swat to his arm. They danced and flirted, and the song changed and she was asked to dance by another. She gave an apologetic smile to the young man and went to dance with the slightly older gentleman.
This song was one of a slower and closer tone, so the man kept her close against him. His thick suit did nothing to hide his eagerness to get to know her. She kept a sweet and 'oblivious' smile to her features, but there was no mistaking the pressing through her skirts that touched her thigh. She continued to play clueless, but she definitely chose this one to take from before the night was over. a little "traumatic compensation" for putting her through this. The song couldn't be over soon enough.
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