Chapter One: Ballroom Dancing with the Enemy
Mr and Mrs Wendtworth stepped into the ballroom, the chatter and excitement almost overwhelming to the newly married couple.
"Charles, what if they make assumptions about..." Mrs Wendtworth's voice trailed off and she traced a hand over the bump on her stomach, glancing up at her husband in worry. Mr Wendtworth sighed softly and placed his hand on hers for a moment, smiling at her.
"It'll be alright, Rose. Ah, look, here's Mr and Mrs Furth." He shot the couple approaching them a dazzling smile and held out his hand for each of them to shake. Mrs Wendtworth swallowed back her nerves and did the same, studying the couple. They didn't look as young as her, but only about ten years older. They studied Mr and Mrs Wendtworth like they were a meal, and it unnerved Mrs Wendtworth. Especially when Mrs Furth saw Mrs Wendtworth's stomach and widened her eyes, whispering something to her husband quickly before acting natural once again. Mrs Wendtworth shifted on her feet nervously, tempted to bite her lip.
"Hello, Mr Wendtworth." Mr Furth said hello first, shaking hands with Mr Wendtworth before turning to Mrs Wendtworth, a smile playing at his lips. "Ah, yes, the entrancing Mrs Wendtworth. You look dazzling. It's a real pleasure to meet you." he said kindly, although Mrs Wendtworth could hear a smirk in his voice as they shook hands. Mr Furth stepped back and Mrs Furth stepped forward then, giving Mr Wendtworth a small smile.
"Mr Wendtworth, lovely to see you again." she said kindly, her voice warm. She turned to Mrs Wendtworth, her small smile becoming a warm grin. "Mrs Wendtworth, I've been so eager to meet you!" she exclaimed, leaning forward. Mrs Wendtworth did the same and they kissed eachother's cheeks, Mrs Furth smiling warmly at her. The couple linked arms again, smiling once more at Mr and Mrs Wendtworth before saying goodbye and turning away.
"They seem nice, I suppose." Mrs Wendtworth whispered to her husband, watching as the couple walked away. Mrs Furth's cherry red hair bounced as she walked and Mrs Wendtworth could see Mr Furth whispering in her ear.
"Yes, I've worked with them for quite some time." Mr Wendtworth said, smiling slightly before leading his flustered wife through the crowd to seat themselves at a table. Mrs Wendtworth relaxed in her seat, taking a deep breath of relief and smiling at her husband gratefully from across the table. Mr Wendtworth smiled back at her before his smile faded and he stood up, walking over to whisper in his wife's ear.
"I need to talk to Ian, will you stay here or would you like to come with me?" he asked, and Mrs Wendtworth scrunched up her face in thought.
"I'll stay here if that's alright, honey." she said back in his ear, and he nodded before quickly moving his way through the crowd of people. For a few minutes she sat alone, looking around at the fluster of the ball. Most were standing up chattering away while others sat at tables, also chattering. Either way there was no end to the deafening speech.
"Excuse me, Mrs Wendtworth?" A deep voice asked, and Mrs Wendtworth looked up to see an older looking man smiling warmly at her. She recognized this man, but made no comment. She just sat there awkwardly while he smiled at her, trying to work out who he was. Although, his next words gave it away entirely. "I am Mr Henry Rhodes, headmaster of Mount Ridge Academy."
Mrs Wendtworth's breath caught in her throat before she jumped up, holding out her hand for him to shake. He shook hers calmly, a smirk playing at his lips.
"Mr Rhodes," Mrs Wendtworth began to stutter, her words catching in her throat before she took a deep breath, clearing it with an embarrassed smile. "I am Mrs Rose Wendtworth. My husband is a professor at your academy and I have just heard so much about you." she said warmly, forcing a smile on her face.
"Ah, yes. Well, Charles is one of the good ones. The children are actually eager to take his class." Mr Rhodes chuckled, and Mrs Wendtworth laughed a little. Just then Mrs Wendtworth heard contemporary music begin to play and her body ached to get up and dance, but she couldn't see her husband anywhere. Mr Rhodes turned his head slightly, seeming to search the crowd before turning back to Mrs Wendtworth, a small smile spreading across his face.
"Mrs Wendtworth, would you like to dance?" Mr Rhodes offered, holding out a hand for her to take. She hesitated, her thoughts spiralling in her head before she took his hand and let him lead her through the crowd. As they began to waltz, Mr Rhodes began looking around for a few seconds, sighing.
"I don't know where on earth my wife has gone. You will meet her sometime tonight, nonetheless." Mr Rhodes told her and she nodded, searching the crowd of people for her husband too. "So, Mrs Wendtworth, I noticed. You are expecting?" His voice was hushed, just loud enough for her to hear.
Mrs Wendtworth snapped back to Mr Rhodes' attention, blinking at him in confusion before she realized what he meant.
"Oh," she started to speak, blushing red. "Yes, well, it has been about six months so far." she admitted, and Mr Rhodes looked at her in shock.
"And you have only just gotten married to Charles?" Mr Rhodes questioned skeptically, and Mrs Wendtworth blushed even deeper.
"We, well, I, was worried about the consequences of marrying at our young age." She admitted to the older man, and he just nodded at her understandingly.
"Makes sense, I suppose. But you love eachother, yes?" He asked, worry creeping into his voice.
"Oh, of course. Very much." She said quickly but confidently, her blush disappearing. Mr Rhodes was the first to know the whole story. They continued to dance in silence until the song ended and when it did Mrs Wendtworth stepped away from Mr Rhodes awkwardly, and he smiled.
"Well, I wish you the best of luck with your child Mrs Wendtworth." He told her quietly and she smiled at him and nodded, placing one hand on her stomach.
"Thank you so much, Mr Rhodes. And I'll be sure to meet your wife sometime tonight." She replied politely and he nodded at her, turning his head slightly to wave at someone in the crowd. He glanced back at her once more with a small smile and walked quickly through the crowd, leaving her alone again. Mrs Wendtworth found her way back to her seat and sat down, smoothing out her long black dress with a sigh.
"I saw you dancing with Mr Rhodes." A voice suddenly said in her ear and she jumped, glancing back to see Mr Wendtworth just behind her.
"Gosh, honey, you scared me!" she exclaimed as he sat opposite her.
"Sorry, Rose. But tell me, did it all go well with Mr Rhodes?" He questioned and she smiled slightly, nodding at him.
"He seemed like a nice man." She told him and Mr Wendtworth sighed in relief.
"Well, thank goodness you two get along well." Mr Wendtworth breathed, and Mrs Wendtworth smiled widely. Mr Wendtworth reached across the table to place her hand in his, complete and utter love in his eyes.
"Now all we need to do is survive the rest of the night." Mr Wendtworth sighed, smirking at his wife. Mrs Wendtworth noticed a strange tone in his voice but shrugged it off, smiling back at him lovingly. Yet she had no idea of the future the young couple would face.