“Maybe I’ve changed,” I retorted smartly, but my smirk betrayed me. Andrien chuckled softly.
“Oh, Marina, you haven’t changed in the slightest.” We laughed and I couldn’t deny that his offer tempted me…
It occurred to me that the music was playing too softly for dancing and the floor was suddenly much less crowded. “What’s going on?” I wondered. Andrien looked about and returned a worried gaze to me.
“It’s time. I have to go, but please, Marina…will you?” I gaped at him in disbelief. He hurried off before I could answer. As servants ushered guests to their seats, I made my way to the serving boy with the champagne. I sipped it primly, enjoying the coolness of the drink and the friendly warmth it created in my throat. The king, in all his splendor and finery, took to the center of the floor with the queen and prince in tow. My heart sped up and I tossed away propriety and downed the rest of my champagne.
“Lords and ladies,” the announcer called, “His Majesty, King Geraud Niodeme Andre Charmant.”