A collab between @SilverPaw and @13org
Wulfric arrived at his destination a minute or two before the announcement for the next dances. Mayet was surrounded by family members, though by the looks of things, whatever conversation they were having had run its course, and the group around her was now dispersing. Some of the regulars of these events had already paired with each other, avoiding the scramble that usually followed right before the free dance started. Others had naturally found one person whom they were currently exhibiting their interest in.
The prince supposed he fell into the latter category, if any. Without interrupting the flow of things, Wulfric stepped closer to Mayet. He offered everyone still in vicinity the proper greetings, though they were not as highly formal as his initial introduction. He was, of course, still appropriately polite – but not overly respectful to the point where it would be seen as obsequious.
Then, he turned the full weight of his attention on his target. “Shehzadi Mayet, I believe I promised you a dance?”
the question was naturally rhetorical. At exactly the moment when Wulfric offered her his gloved palm, an attendant proclaimed the beginning of the second dance. “Ah, and just in time, it seems,”
he smirked. He couldn’t have timed that any better.
Mayet was about to stand up to search for Wulfric after she finished talking with her siblings when, much to her surprise, she found her next dance partner came to her, offering her his hand as he greeted those who were still nearby and hadn't gone searching for their own partners.”Prince Wulfric. Your timing was indeed impeccable."
Mayet said with a satisfied smile as she took his hand and stood up, much to Nala's dismay, who replied with a huff, already knowing she would have to deal with a lot waiting again."Oh, don't be like that, Nala! I said this one would be the last dance."
Mayet said in a lower tone, gently petting Nala's head as she stood up as well.
Once Mayet was ready, and her animal companion appeased, he lifted his left palm, along with his partner’s right that she’d placed in it. This was to get into the starting waltz position, and along with that, he extended his right arm in open invitation. Once Mayet approached, he wrapped it around her upper back, and began the dance."I am glad you didn't forget your promise. Especially such an... unique partner for your first dance... I was afraid I was going to have to go there and forcefully take what was promised me."
Mayet said with a mischievous, teasing smile towards Wulfric.“I am not so forgetful. Neither am I in the habit of reneging upon my given word,”
the prince assured her. At the comment of his first dance, his lips quirked. “It was certainly an unusual match, though not the reason for my delay. That was mostly due to,”
he sighed, “well, ensuring my sister’s wellbeing at first. Afterwards, I was catching up to some acquaintances.”
Wulfric then shook his head. “Ah, but I do not wish to sound as if I am making excuses.”"Don't worry. There was no delay, Prince Wulfric. Your timing was perfect. I was just about to get up."
Mayet said with a smile as she heard Wulfric's explanation regarding the reasons why he was delayed.
A short moment passed as they moved a few steps. “Rather, would you tell me how your own paired dance was? You seemed to be enjoying yourself. Did Lord Ravenwood impress you?”
he asked curiously.
There was no hint of jealousy, for Wulfric honestly did not envy them spending a good time together. However, he felt compelled to find out more about Mayet’s tastes in people, whether her interest in them was platonic, romantic, or otherwise. He wished to know her better, and discovering her likes and dislikes would contribute to that.
The moment Wulfric asked about her dance with Roman, Mayet couldn't help but let out a mischievous expression, certainly amused by his question."Lord Roman is a... refreshing person. Honest and straightforward, but nothing more."
Mayet said with an amused, provocative smirk.
Wulfric hummed thoughtfully. It seemed that Mayet valued such honesty. Given he considered her to be a fairly open person, he wondered if that meant she disliked schemes. But perhaps it was for her as it was for him; that she appreciated the usefulness of sincerity in others."His reaction to my small... provocations were definitely bold and risky though. Amusing, but still risky. I am not known to be as tolerant to those who offend me as my sister Nahir..."
she said with a dangerous smile.
Wulfric nodded to show his understanding. Truthfully though, he did not yet know where the line between amusement and offense lied for Mayet, especially since she seemed to be implying that Roman had nearly crossed it. Anyhow, she was clearly warning him to keep mindful of this risk."With that said... It was quite interesting to know that he is a master smith and know a bit more about his work. I definitely plan to keep him in mind, should I need more jewelry or a new blade."
Mayet said as she continued dancing together with Wulfric.
Their steps were slow and purposeful, in accordance with the music. Before changing directions with a turn, Wulfric had them sway to and fro, bodies tilting to one side and another, movements clear and smooth."His proposal was quite interesting though... He offered to make me a custom piece in exchange for a sparring session with me, with the condition of me helping him, should he win."
Mayet said with an amused chuckle, almost as if she found the idea of someone asking to spar with her and thinking they had a chance to win against her something worthy of laughter.“Oh, a spar between Lord Ravenwood and yourself?”
Wulfric’s interest was sparked. He’d known Mayet was a warrior herself, and had meant to ask for a duel himself, though as he’d already invited her to hunting, he’d intended to suggest combat at some future date. “If I have the time, and if you allow it, I should like to observe,”
he requested. “We could arrange for a match between the two of us, as well,”
Mayet let out a mischievous, amused smirk as she listened to Wulfric's request for observing the spar and even try sparring himself as well."Oh, now that would definitely be interesting. I am sure Lord Roman wouldn't mind as well."
Mayet said with a smirk."No need to be jealous though, Prince Wulfric, as you are definitely the one I'm more curious about at the moment."
Mayet said, with a mischievous smile as she held him closer to her.“I shall endeavour to keep it that way,”
he smirked. Of course, he would strive to keep her attention only as long as his own interest in her did not wane.“You are a man shrouded in secrets, aren’t you, Prince Wulfric?”
Mayet asked, looking at him with sharp, but undeniably amused eyes.
The prince intentionally smiled mysteriously. “You could say,”
he answered, with the slightest teasing drawl. He subtly gathered Mayet closer as he lead them into a double turn. “I do believe there is no one without their share of secrets,”
he confided in a whisper. “Though most mysteries tend to resolve themselves with growing familiarity,”
he gazed into Mayet’s eyes meaningfully. He did wonder if there was anything in particular she wished to know of him, though. He considered it natural to reveal little to those you did not trust, and the two of them had barely met today. Depending on what level of transparency she expected… well, there might come a time when she judged whatever kernels of truth he decided to offer as disappointingly little. But that should not be anytime soon - if ever.
Mayet heard his words with sharp, curious eyes, analyzing him as he spoke. Despite the rumors and secrets that seemed to surround him, Prince Wulfric was still an deeply interesting man."I don't dislike secrets. Unraveling them, most of the times, proves to be quite exciting."
Mayet said, accompanying Wulfric as they danced."Although... I do hate being used..."
Mayet said with a piercing glare as she suddenly made her grasp on Wulfric firmer, spinning along with him, breaking the tempo of the dance due to her sudden, quick turn before swiftly returning back to the same rhythm from before.
Wulfric tensed briefly when he was suddenly gripped more tightly, but that was enough of a cue for him to follow Mayet’s faster turn. He noted her warning, but merely smiled in response."I learned a few things by watching the other nobles dance and after practicing with Lord Roman."
Mayet said with a mischievous smirk and a chuckle.“So I see.”
Raising a brow in challenge, he brought them into an even more pronounced oversway, his left leg crouched in front of him, his right extended behind. The position was mirrored for his dancing partner. They were quite deeply into each other’s space, thighs and abdomens brushing against each other as they rotated their upper bodies to one side. In time with the music, they rose once again, extended arms sketching an elegant ellipsoid as they swayed to the other side. They did this a second time, then lunged back in the previous direction. The last move was similar to the first one, though quicker. Afterwards, as the song was due to end soon, Wulfric eased them into simpler steps.
Despite the complicated movements, Mayet was able to follow Wulfric's steps, although that demanded absolute concentration and even then, due to her being largely unfamiliar with Caesonian dances, there were a few occasions where she had to quickly correct her steps in order to not step on Prince Wulfric's feet. After all, not counting the dance she had with Roman earlier, it the first time she was dancing the Caesonian dances. The only experience she could count on was her own agility and footwork, developed due to the years and years of combat training.
While Mayet's movements were agile and graceful to the other nobles that were watching her and the corrections she had to make to her own movements done in a discreet and almost imperceptible manner, Prince Wulfric would certainly be able to feel the sudden shift in her muscles and center of mass, due to how close they were to each other.
Still, Mayet couldn't help but find that dance rather exciting. Not due to the music or anything, but more due to the partner she was dancing with. The elegant movements had to be performed carefully and precisely, with little room for error so they could flow perfectly with her own partner's. In some aspects, it was somewhat similar to a sparring session."Quite a show-off aren't you? Or perhaps did you forget that this is only my second time dancing the Caesonian Waltz?"
Mayet asked, laughing as Wulfric led them back to the previous rhythm and way easier stept. It didn't take much to notice that Mayet was enjoying herself quite a bit.“Shall we say that I felt inspired?”
he answered, a teasing note in his voice. It might have been somewhat petty on his part, but he had felt provoked by her claiming the lead momentarily. Her claim of having learned the dance well so far just added to the fact that he wanted to show her something more. “Regardless of your inexperience in this type of dance, your deftness more than makes up for it.”
This had been the case with Wystan as well; being otherwise physically skilled, such as in combat, did transfer to some extent to capability in dancing. “Besides, if we ever do an Alidasht dance instead, you are sure to have me at a disadvantage.”"I never expected Caesonian dances could be this... intense. They do look really boring to watch, after all."
Mayet said with a surprised tone and a chuckle.“Many believe our dances to be boring, either to watch, learn, or dance,”
Wulfric shook his head pensively. “I understand that perspective to an extent, however…When you advance beyond the deceptively simple basics, even the waltz can be wondrous.”"Indeed it is deceptively complex, despite how simple it looks and depending on the partner, it can be surprisingly entertaining as well."
Mayet said with a mischievous smirk, clearly indicating that what made the dance interesting for her wasn’t the movements or the music, but the partner she was dancing with.
Far too absorbed into their conversation and their dance, Mayet didn’t notice that they were drawing a lot of attention, earning them a lot of stares and murmurs from the other nobles, both due to the way they were dancing and who were they dancing with. Wulfric on the other hand, did notice the stares, but ignored them. Whatever rumours were forming, he could find out later.
With the dance nearing its end, Mayet looked to Wulfric with a satisfied expression as the music started to slow down.“I look forward getting to know more about you and your secrets…”
Mayet said with an amused smile."Spending more time with you will definitely be very... interesting."
she said, with a provocative smile.“Thankfully, we have the whole of summer ahead of us to do so,”
his lowered voice nearly resembled a purr. Yes, there would be many opportunities to put to the test this seeming initial compatibility of theirs.