The Grand Concert Hall certainly lived up to its name. Soaring arches and stone columns surrounded an entranceway like nothing Elletra had ever seen.
The doorman, flanked by two guards of his own, barely glanced at his list before turning and announcing:
“The Honourable Baron aul Janse-Lomberg and Lady Fiamma!”
If this was unexpected, Hawkeye didn’t react; amidst the polite applause he took her arm, bowed to the hall, and descended the steps to the dance floor while flashing a dazzling smile at the assembled nobility. Elletra couldn’t believe the ease with which he switched from the man she knew to the Earl’s younger son.
She glanced at him, and in the tension in his shoulders saw that perhaps the transition was not quite as effortless as it seemed.
“You’re not like them,” she whispered into his ear. “Not even a bit.”
“I’m the son of the Earl,” he murmured without looking at her. “It’s in my blood.”
He let go of her briefly in order to shake the hand of the new Minister for Foreign Relations.