The Ball: Dance with the Queen

Midway through the evening, the Queen makes her way over to where the younger Chanicut representative stands to the side of the dance floor, drinking wine and ignoring the stares. His attention is immediately caught by her approach, which he watches with an air of disinterest until he realizes she was heading toward him.

He quaffs the remaining wine in his cup and sets it down without looking on a nearby flat surface, ready for when she arrives and gives him a curtsy.

"Care for a turn about the floor, sir?"

He bows deeply at her invitation, reaching for her hand. "Your honor is my delight," he answers formally and then leads her onto the floor to join the dance.

The Queen’s touch is light as she settles one hand on his shoulder and the other in his hand. "How are you enjoying things so far?"

Kendall glances about at the other dancers as they step onto the floor, then assumes a stance similar to those of the men and begins leading her about with smooth and graceful movements. "Dinner was most educational," he answers. "Though I did not recognize any of the dishes, many were appetizing nonetheless."

He pauses through a couple more steps then speaks again when she comes back into easy speaking range. "May I inquire about the first dance that you executed with the King this evening? It seemed a very formal affair, quite of a different order than I have seen thus far in Amber."

"Tis the King's dance with his Queen, started eons ago by Oberon and Cymnea as I recall. It was also the first time we danced it together as I was pregnant when we were wed and was not able to partake,” she explains. “It has been a very long time since it has been performed.”

"I see. We have one very similar in Chaos, which is danced in the Royal Court. All the Families of the Houses must learn it. I danced it first in public at my Recognition," he adds.

"Your house must have been very proud? How many people would attend a ball like this at your court?"

“I conducted myself with all due decorum, yes. Thank you," he answers. "At the Royal Court, attendance at balls may number over 2000. However, these are not common. At Chanicut, this number would be considered small. However, Chanicut is a large House, with many members."

He pauses as the dance takes her away, then spins her about and brings her back to his arms, movements too precise and dramatic to be called intimate. "I do remember my first view of the Royal Court executing the Dance of Houses. Twas magnificent."

He could see that the Queen was imagining his description in her mind as she spoke. "I hope someday to see that. You could give me a tour," she remarks with a charming smile.

"It would be my privilege," Kendall answers, and he offers a restrained smile. "Chanicut Ways itself is a place of wonder and splendor, and the Royal Court is beyond any poor description I may have to offer. Perhaps I could demonstrate the Dance of Houses to you," he suggests, a faintly tentative note, "as it appears you have a grasp of the basics required from your King's Dance."

"Oh I would love that," she says with excitement. "I adore trying new things and I would love to see it danced here, even if we did a pale job of it."

Kendall appears uncomfortable with her answer somehow. "I hope you did not believe me to suggest that we dance it here," he indicates the crowded ballroom with a glance.

"Right now?" She chuckles. "Heavens no, last thing I need is for my court to see me trip over my feet."

He is relieved by her answer, face losing the faintly stressed look as he lets her move away again. "I believe we will have much to do in our meetings then," he observes.

The Queen laughs. "It will be a nice break from the paperwork. I, of course, can use my children as an excuse to leave them."

Kendall nods with the blankly agreeable expression of someone not really understanding what that has to do with anything, but going along with what she's saying for now. "That brings up a question I will have for you later, then, regarding children. It would appear only certain people have brought theirs to this event. Is there a custom behind this?"

"Well tonight I wanted the children to see a court function and some of the people here. Normally children are not present, but obviously we can make exceptions where fitting," she explains. "Some people feel children are not appropriate for court, though I disagree. There are functions that children are suited for and should attend, for their own enjoyment and education as well as to remind the adults just why we do what we do and who we are building a kingdom for."

The dance movements bring another pause before she can continue her thought. "Juliette is past the age were she should have been introduced to the crown and court, but the war and such things made that impossible. So we are catching up with her. Much depends on the child and whether or not they will behave."

Kendall shakes his head, looking mystified. "Never in all my youth was I permitted to attend such functions. Not until my Recognition, when I was acknowledged before the King as the Second Son of Chanicut. There are no functions at which children are exposed to such danger."

"Our court is not as dangerous as that or I would not bring my children to it,” the Queen replies. "Our realms are very different. I suspect this is only the beginning of things you will see that are different, vastly different."

The music fades, and Kendall steps away, grasping her hand and dropping into a deep, courtly bow. "Indeed, Majesty. I have only recently begun to understand the enormity of my task here."

Queen Morgana gives him a breathtaking smile. "We are here to offer you assistance in that, my fair Kendall. Thank you for the lovely dance,” she adds, her skin slightly flushed.

"You are most welcome," he replies, and a flash of a smile appears, quickly gone. He escorts her off the floor and then kisses her hand before departing. "Your offer is most gracious. I do have some ideas about which I would like to speak with you. But we shall reserve those for another day," he finishes.

Morgana nods her head. "Agreed and I look forward to hearing them. Enjoy the rest of your evening." He nods in return, then leaves her to continue making his rounds of the guests.

Back to the list of Kendall's game threads.
The Ball: A Turn About the Floor

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