Chapter one: A special occasion
I gazed at my reflection, wondering if the lovely maiden in the image was truly me. The maiden had long silky chocolate hair that was now up and
curled into a delicate bun, withstrands of hair flowing out in perfect order to the bares of her tendrils. She also had rich green emerald eyes that were framed with deep black lashes, and
beautifully aligned eye make-up. Her lips were a creamy peach, and full.
I sat there on my chair, looking at her; it surprises me what Luke could do to me.
“Duchess? Duchess Anastasia?” I looked to Luke; he was wearing a face of concern and confusion. Luke was a middle aged man with light hair, which was graying a bit, but his
face retained youth, and especially his soulful silver eyes. Luke was in charge of my hair and make-up, and if I might say so myself, he was very talented at it. He could make anyone turn into
“Are you alright, your highness?” Luke asked placing a goblet on my parlor desk.
“Yes, yes, of course. It amazes me what you can do to my reflection, I look completely aberrant, in a positive aspect that is.” I spoke in between my gaze.
He smiled slightly, handing me the water filled goblet.
“I truly am honored that you approve of your reflection that I have built, but if I may say, without my work, you would still retain flawless beauty.”
I smiled at his comment, taking the goblet from his hands. I took a long sip, and then placed it back on the mahogany desk.
Natalie; my personal servant if you may, came into the room, and to my desk. “You look lovely, Duchess.” She said staring in awe at my reflection.
Natalie had been my servant since I was six, we had become best friends over the ten years, she was still quite youthful, but a bit tired looking today. Earlier today, we
had gone out to the shopping square to pick out my dress for tonight. I must have worn her out.
“Duchess, the ball is to start in a matter of minutes; you are to make your entrance in half an hour.” She brushed a strand of shining black hair out of her ashen face and
smiled at me.
“Natalie, why don’t rest for the night, I thank you for your service, but I won’t be needing anything tonight. And you too Luke” I looked at them both in their shocked
expression, as I grinned. “I thank you both.”
“No, no, Duchess.” They both said in unison. I laughed under my breath.
“And now you have the order to take the rest of the night off. I will truly be fine, if there is anything, I will call.” I said glancing back at my reflection.
“Are you sure, your highness?” Luke asked, looking at the mirror with the lovely maiden.
“Yes, I’m the utmost positive. Good night to you both.” I said smiling at them.
They both quickly disappeared after wishing me a wonderful evening. I let out a sigh of relief, and then drifted away into my thoughts. Mother had said that she was to make a
speech at the ball, telling what the occasion was for. I had been wondering all day, especially now, minutes away from entering the celebration for who knows what. I stood up, barely retaining
conciseness with the suffocating corset. Really, who wore these things anymore? It’s the twenty-first century for god sake! But mother had been clear to dress formal, and when mother says
formal she means renaissance style.
I looked to my full length mirror, seeing the maiden in a tightly worn dress that pushed her breasts out, and her stomach in. She looked twice my age. But in fact, she did
look beautiful. But at least the dress was black, my favorite color. It was layered in a gothic way, with tight satin wraps.
I looked away from the mirror, heading out of my dress pavilion. I made my way down to the garden and started to read quietly, waiting to be called to enter the
After fifteen minutes, Sage, my second assistant came to my side.
“It’s time, your highness.”
I took a deep breath, and stood, making my way to the ballroom entrance. I reached the doors, and Sage opened them for me. I entered, making my way down the long stairs,
watching at eyes that were in awe. I tried to smile, and continue breathing.
I finally made my way down catching a few glances of handsome strangers that were very well dress. One had silky blonde hair, and breathtaking blue eyes, but his eyes weren’t
to mine, they were staring at my chest.
My face burned to a crimson red. How dare he look that way at the Duchess of Balamia? Why…he… my mother interrupted my thoughts as she held out her hand to me. She
was wearing the same form of dress, and here brown hair was done quite similarto mine. I took her hand without hesitation, glancing at the guy once more. He winked.
He winked? Is that any way to show respect? I was infuriated, but retained my posture. We came
to a table arrangement, and I sat gracefully, the blonde sitting across my table.
My mother on the other hand stood, waiting for the crowd to all be seated and listening. She took her spoon and tapped it on her water glass, a sign for attention.
“I thank you all for coming. This is a very special occasion.” I could see that she was looking at the guy who winked at me earlier. “This is the engagement
ball of Anastasia Cornelius and Kendrick Leopold the fifth.”
And by the way she was looking at the blonde guy, and her eyes glistening, I knew, deep down that his name was in fact Kendrick.
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