Hanging desperately to the warmth of summer, the air carried with it the subtle smell of the season's last blooms. The gardens had a stillness settled in them that was only magnified by the bustle radiating from the magnificent home they surrounded.
Inside, guests who lacked temperance were falling over themselves on couches, making a raucous scene, too drunk to care about public etiquette. It was clear this celebration was being used as an excuse for all manner of debauchery. But who would say anything when they were merely celebrating the beloved youngest daughter of the Marquess?
It was indeed a joyous occasion. After thirteen long years, she had finally awoken from her seemingly endless slumber. And everyone had come to see if the tales of her beauty were true. Of course, no one was disappointed.
Her silky, purple-black hair was swirled into an elaborate design, pinned in place by small light blue gems. With her every movement, it appeared as if the night sky itself chose to adorn her gentle face. Her glowing, pale skin was in stark contrast to the dark hues of purple and voilet found in her elaborate gown.
With eyes of midnight blue, those who caught her gaze were willingly drowned in their depths. Soft pink gems decorated her neck and dangled brightly from her ears, enhancing the shy pink hue of her full lips, making them even more enticing.
Men and women alike clamored to greet her as she was announced to the room, savoring the fleeting moments of her attention. Her smile, instead of being filled with joy, seemed to exude a dignified grace only found in the most elegant women of high society.
“Count and Countess Tawdren, I am elated you were able to make the trip,” Selene greeted the next in line warmly. “How has your son been adjusting to academy life?”
Their eyes lit up at the mention of their only child.
“He has taken to academy life quite well,” Count Tawdren beamed. “Sometimes it seems like he is more at home there than where he grew up.”
“I do hope he finds the time to visit us during his breaks,” his wife sighed, placing a hand gently on her cheek. “He seems to have very little time to respond to our letters.”
“I am sure he is merely enjoying what the academy has to offer,” Selene gave a soft, lighthearted chuckle. “I hope I get the chance to meet him during your next visit.”
As the line continued to inch towards its end, Selene gave an internal sigh of relief. Though her public face showed no cracks, she was beginning to succumb to the exhaustion of these short pleasantries.
Almost as if on cue, music began to fill the air as the last of her guests hurried from her presence to gossip about their first meeting with the increasingly mysterious youngest daughter of the Vizio household.