Pomp in her sinuous gown she stands; eyes coy as her waiting hand slides like silk into his.

Their bodies briskly sweep as he leads her across the hall, the dance peppered with her little accidents – a brush of breast on his arm, a glimpse of garter on pale thigh. But soon he guides her back, forgotten now for the hand of another standing in wait.

As the wine runs low with patriarchal grumbling, he abandons one lady for the next. And the spectators swallow hard anticipation with each circle of the floor, for surely amongst these jewels there must be the one!

Yet upon midnight’s chime, his hand releases the final to her place, leaving a sighing wake of disappointment on his way to the balcony. The batting eyes drop facades as his guests are ushered toward their quarters for the night.

When all has left, he stands alone in silence, the moon his only voyeur.

Just then the door opens and a servant enters. He moves to leave the young man to his duties, yet with his own little accident, their hands brush in passing, and for the briefest moment, their eyes meet with a knowing smile.

© 2011 J. Chris Lawrence.