For the Honor of the Lady – Chapter Nine – Unspeakable
“Yes, Ashton! We really made love! It was heaven!”
“Half the pleasure is to tell about it…”
“It was unspeakable! He tormented me sensually and delighted in my helplessness. I could swear he kissed my forehead in the morning,” said Lily who had finally regained control over her verbal expressions after the hot cup of coffee.
“I am messing with you. You have to keep such things for yourself, cupcake. They become more precious that way.”
“I haven’t said anything. But now the entire court is blithering. It’s the sorted gossip subject of all the maids in the neighborhood, and most butlers, and all the spinsters, all the married and single folk, and all the Cavaliers who have nothing better to do with their time, the entire court and the entire village, everyone… my honor is stained and there’s nothing that can be done about it but laugh. The best thing about it is, people react in such a ridiculous way. When I enter the hall – everybody looks away – nobody greets me hello or goodbye. If I wave at somebody – no one waves back. Men are simply unbearable – even guys who aren’t as high-ranked as I afford advances. High-born princes hand my hand over to the next dancer as if I am a used handkerchief. I have never been present to such a vicious circus. The other day the shoe-maker was smiling to me invitingly, auld lecher, and the carriage driver was shortening the distance between us, while he was helping me to get on.”
While Lily was contemplating her new position in society, Black entered the room dark as a storm. Ashton opened his mouth to say “good day to you, brother,” but he saw the look in Black eyes and decided to remain silent.
“We have to put her in detention, Ashton. Your sister is a vicious harlot!”
“She is not vicious, Black, she is in love” – answered Ashton, who was the only person who wasn’t afraid of Black’s schemes. You see, Black was influential like the Universe when he decided to conspire against someone.
“I am not going to fight for her honor anymore.” Black spat words like venom. “I am not going to call her my sister anymore.”
“How dare you!” – Lily reacted and left the room. She was the second person who wasn’t afraid of Black.
I searched for him with hungry eyes, but he was nowhere to be seen. The ballroom was full of unforgiving looks and pursed lips hidden behind ornate fans…Even if they exchanged some words with me, those words smelled of lies. They behaved as if I was someone leprous, but I had expected this, so I passed the well-to-dos with my nose in the air…But the only person I expected consolation from wasn’t in the ballroom.
Several weeks passed like this with the taste of painful neglect. Finally, August appeared in the ballroom, with a woman hanging on his arm, who was blond and looked innocent as an angel and I immediately despised her. I couldn’t believe my eyes when he took her in the midst of the dancefloor and shortened the distance between their bodies until it no longer existed. He wasn’t simply dancing, he was breathing her in and their cheeks looked rosy for excitement.
First I decided, that has something to do with Black. You can’t believe what schemes he is capable of…I couldn’t fathom how, but probably he has said something to August, which explains his long absence from balls and the appearance of the young foreign lady. She was of blue blood, otherwise, she wouldn’t be allowed to enter Louis’s court. And in front of my disbelieving eyes, they danced without a break for maybe an hour almost without moving. What could Black have done to make August devastate me like this?
I decided to act. I approached the couple, which looked intoxicated with each other and asked them if the lady would allow me to steal her cavalier for the next dance. August whispered something in her ear and took me where I belonged. “Is she your friend, August?” – I demanded… and he replied: “More of an acquaintance.” After relaxing in his hands for the duration of two melodies, I retreated from his warm hug, telling him that now he can continue coupling with her. Which he did!
If he had turned me down, I would call him “a traitor of love.” But that was August, the same August who had held me close to his heart and whose name I had repeated in an amorous daze. Why would I call him “a traitor of love.” – that’s ugly. He was dancing with this girl – yes – yet he behaved with me in the same way.
“Probably she is some foreign cousin of him and he is just showing her around…” Ashton tried to guess why August gravitates around the foreign lady…”Yes, but he hangs around her on every party, she verily is the absolute opposite of self-sufficient.”
Then from Louis, who was the only one who kept gossiping with me, I learned she’s a high-born Eastern Princess, which explained why when she wasn’t dancing with August, she turned into the life of the party. Everybody invited her to dance and wanted to chat with her. Suddenly, she had everything I wanted to have, but I had to pretend I don’t care. Torn with jealousy, wretched with love… I complained to the King. Louis spilled to me the juicy gossip that actually August likes the girl and dances with her, and he doesn’t mind dancing with me as well, but his feelings are elsewhere.
Wasn’t that but the cruelest surprise?
“Thank you,” I said to Louis the Magnifique.
“Which is why, I will have to assign you another teacher in etiquette, Lily.”
“No!” – I thought almost broken in pieces. But this time I didn’t give vents to my thoughts. Louis the Magnifique hadn’t heard “No,” since he was ten. Waiting for every next ball to come, so that I may see him with his new flame was going to be a really unspeakable torture.
“Thank you,” I said to Louis the Magnifique.