— Beatrice and Verrick—
Mention: Thea, Prince Felix
Beatrice resisted the urge to yawn. All the people she wanted to strike a conversation with had left her, either to go enjoy the finest wine of Camillia or to talk with the other nobles within the party. She stood by herself while smiling idly, wondering if she should do either of the two. To other people, she would appear as if she was admiring the event and its attendees and she would always smile kindly at them which helped retain the idea that the Varian princess was as kind and courteous as she was confident and regal.
In truth, Beatrice was bored out of her mind. Aside from the fiasco that happened earlier, nothing noteworthy of excitement had happened. It was all the same old exchange of bows and perfect white smiles as the air was rich with the sounds of idle small talk and fake laughter. She honestly preferred to be in the company of children, hanging around in the Varian orphanage, teaching them life lessons, and singing songs of joy with them rather than feel her face getting tired from putting up a smile all night long.
She glanced over at her parents and no matter how much she was poised and elegant, her mom could always see right through her. Queen Rosa and Beatrice exchanged knowing looks and the queen nodded solemnly at her daughter, letting her know that she can relate on what she was going through but as women of and in power, they must continue through the end. King Alixandre saw the look on both their faces and looked at Beatrice worryingly, with the princess giving her father a reassuring smile to let him know everything’s okay.
As such, she continued to do her duties as a princess and mingled with the crowd until the announcement of the dances was made. All the men should draw lots and approach the women whose names appeared on their pieces of paper. Luckily and perhaps very strangely, no one drew Beatrice’s name. It was quite confusing to the other nobles that of all the men who picked a paper, none of them picked out the Varian princess. She also made sure to be the last to pick from the bowl so when it was her turn, there were no papers left to pick out. She acted disappointed but on the inside, she was very relieved.
Beatrice was content with just watching her peers dance with their partners while sitting beside her parents and taking a sip of her glass here and there. Her eyes were mainly on her brother and Verrick’s dances, particularly on the latter when she found out his partner was Thea. Beatrice knew of her and her family. So far, she knew they were one of the most respected families in Varian. She and Thea exchanged a few conversations here and there. Thea was a bit of a wildcard in Beatrice’s eyes but even she could tell Thea was sincere and kind in thought and in action, albeit she did have some tendencies that would make Beatrice raise her brow at once in a while.
For instance, Beatrice watched as Thea gave Verrick a kiss on the cheek. Thea seemed to be laughing while telling him something and her bodyguard acted flustered. Verrick, a man who always voiced his displeasure to the nobles even when he thought his princess could not hear him, was flustered because of a noble? Beatrice took a long sip of her drink, wondering what they were talking about.
As Verrick was half dragged towards the Princess, He noticed she was sitting with her parents while taking a drink. Having just ended their dance, it was clear that the princess didn’t actually dance at all. Was it a plot to embarrass her? A mistake? Did her partner…or she… refuse? He cursed himself for not paying more attention during his dance Yet at the same time, he felt slightly relieved.
The confidence Thea had shoved into him quickly left as they made their way closer. It didn’t help that she had to be next to her parents. Thea could probably feel him trying to slow down her pace even just a little bit. But before they knew it, they were there standing in front of his Queen, King and Princess. Arms linked with Lady Thea, he did not attempt to pull away from her as he stood there. He bowed slightly to the King and Queen. He then asked quite bluntly “Did they not offer her royal highness a paper for the dance?”
Thea looked over at Verrick and blinked, having expected him to ask something else entirely. She wanted to flick him, but she refrained and turned back to look at her King, Queen, and Princess. “Perhaps her Highness wasn’t fond of who she was to dance with or maybe she knew they were a bad dancer? If that’s the case, I think you deserve a dance with someone quite skilled. I know I got lucky with my dance as Verrick is a fabulous dance partner.” She glanced up at Verrick with a grin, but her eyes held a look that said ‘ask her or I will’.
Verrick glanced at Thea as she offered up other theories then around them continued as he normally did. However he for some reason didn’t listen to Lady Thea, for a moment. Not realizing she would literally jump right into it. He stood there for a moment in silence when he realized no one was talking. Looking back to the King, Queen and Beatrice, then quickly to Thea who was looking at him with a ‘look’. He pulled his head back and gave her a look as well ‘What NOW?’ as his brain finally gained some traction on what she was attempting. Looking to the princess, then to Thea, then to the Princess. He cleared his throat and tried to regain some composure.
” I agree, you do deserve a dance with a skilled partner… I would hardly say I am that skilled partner…” he paused again while he looked at Princess Beatrice… finding the words stuck in his throat he looked down and closed his eyes. Which turned into a very formal bow. “Would you honor me with a dance, your Highness?”
”At the very least I won't step on your toes…I think…”
My work here is done. Thea thought to herself happily and then curtsied to the group. ”And on that note I do believe I need to go find Prince Felix. Have a lovely evening.” She turned and left their company, feeling quite pleased with herself.
Beatrice smiled and nodded at them in greeting. ”Lady Thea. Verrick. You both were wonderful dancers.” She praised, then paused for a bit before replying to Thea’s question. ”I am afraid they ran out of papers from the bowl when it was my turn to pick but, no worries. It is much more fun to watch and enjoy the spectacle so I am not complaining.” She said.
She and her parents then listened to Thea and Verrick’s awkward way of explaining something. It was like Thea was trying to nudge Verrick to speak up but he looked too shy to even look at Beatrice. The two of them reminded her of the kids at the orphanage that were too shy to ask for something from her, and the thought alone made her resist laughing.
When Verrick did finally find his voice and asked Beatrice if he could dance with her, she was taken aback. King Alixandre awkwardly looked around and suddenly gained an interest on the ceiling while still listening in on the conversation, whereas Queen Rosa raised her eyebrow and smirked at the two of them. As Thea left with a confident spring in her step, Beatrice kept looking at Verrick the whole time. He had been a part of most of her life. No matter how nagging he might be sometimes, she knew there was never a bad bone in his body. She also knew he would never lie about the important things and with the way he was looking at her now, Beatrice could tell this was the most genuine and sincere she had seen Verrick yet.
It took her a good while to do something but eventually, Beatrice cleared her throat. ”Y-Ye… Yes. Yes, you may.” She stammered, reaching her hand out for him to take and guide her to the dance floor. ”I shall try not to step on your toes either.” Beatrice joked, chuckling and smirking at Verrick.
Verrick sighed inwardly as Thea abruptly left. She made it painfully clear she was here to make sure he actually asked Beatrice for the dance he almost felt like a child again.. Much like when mother dragged him by ear to apologize to Mrs Carrigan for breaking both of her boy’s noses due to them purposefully knocking his desert to the ground.
It felt like it was an eternity after he asked for a dance, so much he started to worry that he was right all along. He noticed out of the corner of his eye the King finding nothing on the ceiling fascinating while the Queen simply had a smirk. It only made the wait all the more awkward and brutal.
The princess cleared her throat and said yes. He felt a sudden wave of relief rush through him. He reached up and took her hand gently into his hesitating for a moment
, with a small hint of a smile when she used his same joke on him. ”I appreciate the thought, your highness... But my feet are already numb from the innumerable amount of times you’ve stomped on them when I was out of line.” He said with a warm tone.He looked to the King and Queen and gave a bow of his head once again before starting to lead the princess towards the dancefloor.
He felt another wave of nervousness come over him, but he pushed it to the side he turned again and placed his hand on the small of her back. He then looked into her eyes…as he has done many times before, but not this close. As they waited for the music to start he was at a loss for words. But he cleared his throat once more, looking around them and asking quite softly and Seriously in his gruff voice. ”This is…supposed to be a Jig right?”
As she was being guided to the dance floor, Beatrice could see eyes on her and Verrick. Most were probably surprised and confused as to what was happening. Out of all the plethora of rich and regal princes and nobles out there, why did the princess of Varian choose her bodyguard as her dance partner? Beatrice was also aware of her somewhat breaking tradition by not dancing with a prince which she knew she was supposed to do as a soon to be queen of her kingdom. However, she knew that her mother knew being a rebel sometimes did not hurt no one.
She felt Verrick's big, warm hand on her back and in turn she put one of her hands on his shoulder. They have never been this physically close together before and Beatrice was now only aware of that fact. She pushed down the nervousness and self-awkwardness she was feeling. As her mother would say, leave all that to the man.
"Jigs are for late-night parties at taverns. I am sure you know that." Beatrice teased and chuckled at him. She grabbed his other hand with her free one and put hers atop of his. Verrick's hand surrounded Beatrice's but there was nothing constricting about it. Rather, it made the princess feel safe and sound in his presence. His palm was rough from his experiences in life yet he was still very gentle with her. She looked up to him and smiled. "Deep breaths and remember to relax." Beatrice said just as the music was about to start.
Verrick nodded, feinting understanding. ”Of course…. You are right again.” He knew of course, he just used the line to throw her off a bit more for what he had prepared. When she looked up at him and smiled he felt more relaxed before she even said to relax. He simply smiled and took a breath like she said and when the slower waltz music started, he began as well.
Taking a large step forward, remembering to sweep his foot below her dress so as to not step on it, he guided her backwards a step and then a step to her left. Using his hands to gently indicate where he was going. Pausing for a moment before guiding her to her right and pivoting clockwise while taking another step to her left, before repeating the steps again. Each step was smooth and natural, as if he had been dancing for years. While he looked to his left mostly to make sure they didn’t run into anyone else, he carefully watched the princess' reaction.
Beatrice was trained in almost every type of dancing that was suitable for classy events like these; it was part of her training to be a prim and proper princess after all. She was familiar with the type of waltz that Verrick decided to do with their very first dance, and her being in awe at her loyal bodyguard would have been evident on her face.
"My, my. I did not know there is this side to you, Sir O'Hare." She said, smirking and sounding very impressed by her dance partner. "Come on then. Let us show these peasants what true dancing looks like." With that said, Beatrice flawlessly followed Verrick and the pair danced like they have been doing so for years. Despite their constant teasings from earlier, none of them stepped on each other's toes. They swayed to the soothing beat of the orchestra's music, dancing gracefully as if they were floating and gliding along the floor. During their dance, Beatrice would glance at Verrick with awe and confidence in her eyes as she was proud of him.
Verrick smiled more genuine than he normally had, after eight years. He could still surprise her. He was surprised at her reaction, she did not normally enjoy balls such as these, preferring to simply watch like she said earlier. But it made him feel more relaxed that she was so ready to show up the rest of the nobles with their dance. “As you wish…” he said with a slight bow of his head. Before beginning to spread out their steps more, as they started to cover more ground, passing other partnerships, he began to spin with her more. The motion caused her dress to billow out and shimmer more in the candlelight. The jewels on her dress sparkled as they caught each flicker of light and what showed more brightly was her violet eyes and smile.
Despite him keeping an eye out of where he was looking, if you were to ask him who else was dancing on the floor, he honestly would think there was no one else. Despite passing Thea and Felix multiple times. His eyes were on her. After the brief speed up of their dance he slowed down once again. He was at a loss for words, He wished to say something but he couldn’t. He was content with just seeing her smile
The pair continued to dance, their movements perfectly in sync with each other. Beatrice felt so at ease with Verrick, she could close her eyes in the middle of the dance and not have any fear about stepping on each other's foot. That was how in tune they were together, and it showed the unshakable trust the princess had with her bodyguard. She loved the feeling of the wind brushing past them as they moved along, the feeling of the music that seemed to soothe her to her core, and the feeling of Verrick's comforting, assuring presence with her.
King Alixandre watched the pair with his jaw dropped, completely in awe at their beautiful dancing. would often be his daughter's partner during her dancing lessons when she was younger, and he would not deny she was the better dancer of the two of them, and he would often watch Beatrice dance elegantly with her partner all the time. However, this was truly the first time he saw her being sincerely at ease, happy even. Queen Rosa, on the other hand, was still watching the pair in approval and amazement, but there was something else in her eyes as well. One could not simply tell what the queen was thinking, although from another's perspective, it might seem like she actually looked concerned.
Verrick soon realized the dance was coming to an end. As much as he didn’t want it to. He raised his leading hand up and guided her into a double spin, before guiding her same hand around his neck. In the same motion he wrapped his left arm behind her back, his hand just between her shoulder plates as they stood against each other and leaned her back into a low dip. While his right hand gripped her waist for added support. Their noses almost touched as he lowered her, and he held her there for three long seconds.
Those three seconds felt like an eternity for him as he looked into her eyes, before slowly bringing her up and to the final resting position. Clearing his throat ”Thank you for the ”Jigg”your highness.” he said with a smirk. He then took her hand and bowed, giving it a gentle kiss. “It shall be a memory I cherish for the rest of my life.”
Beatrice did not realize she was panting until the music has finished and their dancing was done. Everything about their dance felt electric, like it was something she could feel that she could do for hours on end and she would not regret a single moment of it. She enjoyed it just as much as playing with the children of her kingdom, but perhaps it was much more. She had never felt anything like this before with other men and she was confused as she did not know what exactly what this feeling was.
She smirked when Verrick thanked her for the ‘jigg’. While he bowed down to kiss the back of her hand, she picked up the skirt of her dress with her other free hand and bowed before him as well. A princess bowing before her bodyguard would be such a shocker to the other stuck-up nobles, it was something that they would not think an heir to the throne would not do. Beatrice paid them no such mind as her focus was only on the man before her. ”Well, at least you did not step on my toes after all. Good job.” She said, chuckling.