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     A Ball to Remember [Braleah]

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    Kaleah Page
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    PostSubject: A Ball to Remember [Braleah]   Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:36 pm

    In a million years, in all her wildest day dreams, in all the places she visited when reading books, Kaleah had never once imagined this would ever happen. Brandon, a person she had thought would make a good friend, had become so much more. Somewhere along the lines, friendship had turned into emotions, and emotions had turned... well, into this. Who could've ever guessed that a simple village girl like her would have ever caught the fancy of a real-life Prince? And, not just any Prince, but an established, famous one, so sought after by so many?

    And to think she'd done so without once utilizing any of the tactics she 'learnt' in her classes.

    Kaleah turned away from the mirror with a soft sigh. The past month had been tough; there'd been an accident in the village, leaving Phil and Lily injured rather badly. Neither had died, but there had been a few moments throughout the week where they'd come close. Kaleah had gone back to be with them, only returning after they were in the clear. As a result, she'd fallen far behind in her work, not so much as thinking about homework during those days.

    She'd caught up as best she could once she'd returned, of course, but it was still too late, and she slipped down from first to second to third. Third wasn't bad, but it wasn't what she wanted; still, Brandon understood, and not once was it brought up, not when the pairings for their end-term-ball (and final exam) were announced and he was put with Annabelle, who'd used Kaleah's absense to climb the ladder.

    Once -- and only once -- did she apologise, not for choosing her childhood best friends over a ball but for the fact he was stuck with Annabelle. He shrugged her off, telling her with a smile that he understood, and then asked her if there was anything he could do for Phil and Lily.

    They recovered, and life returned to normal -- or as normal as it could. Stepping away from the mirror, she grabbed her clutch purse and headed out to meet her date for the evening. Whoever thought to pair according to grades and class positions deserved all the glitter bombs in existance, but Kaleah gritted her teeth, smiled, and pretended everything was alright.

    She let him -- Andrew -- lead her to the main hall. He was nice, that much she'd give him, but he was so... faked. Everything seemed to be rehearsed, as though reciting lines from a book. Perhaps he was, she couldn't be certain until she asked Brandon later. He led her to a table, where dinner was to be served before they danced and whatnot, and to her utmost delight, she noted the nameplates there.

    It seemed that the top three students were seated at the same table. That meant Brandon would be there, along with Annabelle, and while the latter was never good company, Brandon... well, Brandon she could have fun with. Letting Andrew pull out her chair, she murmured her thanks and took her seat, her dress falling neatly under her.

    Light footsteps made her turn her head slightly, a genuine smile taking over her fake one as she noted that exact couple heading over. She stood, curtsied as was proper. "Brandon, how lovely to see you," she said, tone carrying just the slightest of dry sarcasm. "And Annabelle -- you look wonderful." She took her seat again, allowing her eyes to travel momentarily to Brandon's before turning away entirely. "I'm starving; I wonder what they're serving," she commented, knowing full well a Princess was not supposed to do so.

    _________________________________________________________
    "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
    "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."
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    Brandon Everett
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    PostSubject: Re: A Ball to Remember [Braleah]   Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:57 pm

    As Brandon fixed a forest green bowtie around his neck, he couldn't help but think back to that fateful night four months ago.

    He remembered how nervous he'd felt. He'd sat before kings and queens, debated politics with them, discussed important matters pertaining to the kingdom, but none of that could compare to the nervousness he'd felt when declaring his feelings for Kaleah. The timing had been just right and with adrenaline shooting through his veins making his heart go double time, he'd spoken from his heart and laid himself out for her to see. Of course, he'd been rather playful - he was Brandon after all - but there was no denying the sincerity in his eyes and in his tone.

    The nervousness didn't come from doubt about his feelings. He was sure of his intentions towards Kaleah, had been sure for a long time. His nervousness stemmed from the fact that he did not know if she reciprocated his feelings. Of course, they'd been exchanging countless messages, a majority of them rather flirtatious, but from the way they interacated be it in class or during their late night adventures, he got the impression that she only thought of him as a friend and nothing more. To be completely open and honest was something he'd wanted to do for a long time but with it came the element of rejection. They'd built such a good friendship that he didn't want to ruin it, but he hadn't been able to hold back any longer.

    To learn that she felt the same way towards him had left him on cloud nine. He hadn't kissed her yet, though he wanted to, not wanting to rush things to much. They'd go with the flow and follow where the current took them. There was no point forcing things that would come naturally at some later time.

    When news of an accident in her village came, he'd been shocked and concerned. As a Prince, it was part of his duty to visit every place in his whole kingdom. He'd seen disaster strike before and knew the effect it could have on the people. He hadn't stopped Kaleah from returning - he'd have done the same if he could - and had supported her as much as he possibly could, lending a listening ear when she needed it and being there for her.

    It didn't help that Annabelle took the opportunity to come out on top. It had crossed his mind to perform poorer in some of his classes so his rank would drop and he wouldn't be paired with her. But he had a duty to his Kingdom and his parents and was mature enough to not let a dimwitted girl like Annabelle get in the way of that. He'd been disheartened that he wasn't put with Kaleah, but hadn't once blamed her or felt the need to. It was quite the opposite actually, he fully understood that she needed to go back to her village to see her friends.

    She'd apologised but he'd waved it off. There was nothing to apologise for, nothing to be sorry for. She did what needed to be done, she had her priorities in the right place and he woudld've done the same had their positions been reversed. He'd offered his help instead, in any way that he could.

    After putting the finishing touches on his hair, he headed towards Annabelle's room to escort her to the ball. She was dressed in a fancy, frilly, nightmare of a gown that hindered her from walking at anything other than a snail's pace, responding to her fawning over him as politely and gentlemanly as he could.

    The ballroom was resplendent, with light music going and tasteful decorations. Certainly more tasteful than the piece of work Annabelle was wearing. He lead her to their table, eyes lighting up when he saw that Kaleah was also seated there. It was time for some fun.

    "The same to you, Kaleah," he responded, matching her tone as he returned her curtsey with a bow, but sincerity in his eyes. She was dressed perfectly in a gown that complimented her figure and her complexion. It was understated yet elegant. Absolutely perfect. Absolutely Kaleah. "Yes, isn't Annabelle just amazing in her dress? I don't think anyone in this room can match her for her...beauty." Only Kaleah, he knew, could tell that he meant the complete opposite of what he'd said. Well, he wasn't entirely untruthful. She was amazingly atrocious and no one in the room could compare to that. It wasn't that Annabelle herself was unattractive. No, she had pretty eyes and a slender figure. She just needed a better taste in fashion.

    He pulled out a seat for Annabelle before seating himself just as Kaleah piped up about starving. He hid his grin behind a polite smile. Annabelle of course, muttered a nasty comment at Kaleah's lack of manners. Ignoring her, Brandon said, "We shall soon see, I suppose. I do hope they serve sponge cake. It is my particular favourite, especially with a layer of blueberries." He was referencing his disaster-turned-edible-dessert that they had on their courship assignement.
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    PostSubject: Re: A Ball to Remember [Braleah]   Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:25 am

    "You are absolutely correct," she agreed, eyes twinkling in understanding and amusement. "All this... pink ... reminds me remarkably of one Dolores, don't you agree? Such a fantastic character she was." Of course, Kaleah was referencing Harry Potter, hoping that Brandon would remember that Dolores Umbridge had been described as 'toad-looking' on multiple occasions.

    "Now, now, Brandon," she said, a flirtatious tone to her voice; he'd know she was messing around, but the others wouldn't. Flirting was, however, one of the things they'd be graded on -- and she wasn't so dumb as to think there weren't eyes and ears everywhere. It was, after all, an exam. "You know what your parents say about dessert before the main course." There was no point hiding that she'd not only met them, but conversed with them; while it had been a big deal and the result of many late-night and day-time whispers among her classmates, Brandon and her had come up with a good excuse.

    After the lake, they'd worked even harder on a pretence friendship, making it seem as though they were talking and meeting properly, in meal-times and dual classes; it was boring, having to pretend to be so proper, but their midnight escapes made it worthwhile. They could, at the very least, have some basis for being good friends if they were seen together in proper settings.

    Her lips twitched as a laugh bubbled up and she bit it back. If this was what Brandon was going to play at... She flashed him a polite smile.

    "I'm not entirely sure blueberries would be in season this time of year, I'm afraid. Perhaps we could settle for some of my mother's tarts? You did say you liked them. She was experimenting with some new flavours and sent some over this morning, so they're still fresh." Originally, she had intended to keep it hush hush and give him some via owl or raven after the ball, but seeing Annabelle and having heard her muttered comment, Kaleah was in no mood to play nice. Of course, outwardly, everything was said innocently and in perfect Princess tone, so nobody could claim she was doing anything, but her words had been carefully chosen so as to irk Annabelle.

    Hopefully, Brandon would realise what she was up to.

    Just then, the other two people meant to be at their table arrived, and Kaleah busied herself with greeting them as expected, seating herself when it was done. The table now full, she glanced around momentarily, wishing she could be anywhere else with Brandon than there. But at long as she was with him, she'd be alright -- that much she knew.

    A moment of silence passed before Kaleah turned once more to him. "It seems your tie matches my dress," she commented, the slightest of dryness touching it so only those who knew her well would realise it was even there. "I'm almost afraid to ask if you had planned this; I must insist on being original. I would hate for anyone to copy my style."

    She was mocking the others, of course, although he couldn't have known the drama that ensued earlier that day when two of the Princesses had realised they'd picked dresses of identical colours. Oh, he knew it often happened -- she needed someone to rant to and keep her sane, after all, while the girls around her bickered about matching shoes with earrings and whatnot -- just not this particular instance. She was certain he'd realise she was hinting at a bigger story, and just for added effect, she allowed her eyes to flicker towards Annabelle, indicating, hopefully, she'd been involved.

    _________________________________________________________
    "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."
    "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."
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    PostSubject: Re: A Ball to Remember [Braleah]   Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:59 pm

    "Dolores..." Brandon trailed off, putting his finger to his chin in a show of trying to remember. He had, of course, read the whole of the Harry Potter series as part of his education, rather enjoying the world that Rowling had created. "Oh, yes. I remember Dolores. Quite the the character indeed, and particularly fond of toads if I recall correctly." He paused for dramatic effect. "I wonder if she ever tried kissing any and if they ever turned into a prince."

    "My parents have always told me 'life is short; eat dessert first' and I have never strayed from their wisdom," he replied in a mock serious tone. In truth, his parents had never said that and it was something he'd come up with to goad them into letting him have dessert first, even if it was just a small taste. It never worked.

    "I believe in the power of magic and of love," Brandon said as dramatically as he could while still adhering to the rules of ettiquette. "Anything can happen - even blueberries out of season - if you believe and love." At the mention of her mother's tarts, Brandon's eyes lit up. Kaleah's mum was an excellent cook and baker and though he didn't doubt that she'd sent the tarts over, he had a feeling that Kaleah had brought it up to annoy Annabelle and get a back at her nasty remark.

    One glance at his date for the night confirmed his thoughts. She was seething in jealousy, sporting an almost red look that blotched her usually porcelain skin. It was well known throughout the school that he and Kaleah were good friends, the dashing charming Prince and the not-so-conventional Princess who wasn't actually a princess. If Annabelle thought that she'd "secured" him just because they were paired together, she was dead wrong.

    "Oh, I'd love to! Your mum makes the best tarts. I can drop by your room later and get them," Brandon answered, peeking at Annabelle out of the corner of his eyes and seeing her get a shade redder. "Send her my regards please, and to Phil and Lilly as well."

    Annabelle then interrupted in her high-pitched voice with the complaint that it was rude to ignore one's date and flirt with another person's date.

    "Rude? I'm being polite by carrying on a conversation that a princess started," Brandon said. "The polite thing to do, Annabelle, would be to either join in or keep silent until you have something constructive to add."

    That shut her up for good and Brandon turned his head away so that none but Kaleah could see his eye roll.

    The other couple arrived and Brandon did the necessary bowing, complimenting, and handshaking before they took their seats.

    He grinned at her observation but didn't admit that he'd chosen the tie for the very fact that it matched the colour of Kaleah's dress. They could pair him up with Annabelle, but his heart was with Kaleah. Instead of going down that route, he decided on a different course of action.

    There had been times when Kaleah ranted to him about the stupid behaviour of the other princesses and how they had to have different dresses and none the same, not even colour. He'd laughed together with her, knowing that she needed someone to talk about the nonesene of the other girls.

    The flicker of her eyes to Annabelle - added together with what she'd said and the stories she'd related - told him that Annabelle was involved in a skirmish of matched colours not too long ago.

    "Oh, dear!" he exclaimed, faking as much shock as he could. "Oh, this is such a crime! It is unacceptable. My humblest apologies, dear Princess. I never meant to infringe upon your style. This is a disgrace! Perhaps I should go and change." He'd used phrases from the incidents that Kaleah related to him, remembering it well because it was just too funny. Turning to Annabelle, he asked, "What do you think, Annabelle? Should I go chagne my tie?"

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