☆ The Queen's Judgement ☆
Today, only the queen's eyes matter. A glimmer of displeasure can cause a young lady's value plummet to unthinkable depths.
Quite literally, Prudence Featherington fainted before Her Majesty upon her displeased stares. This occurence resulted to loud gasps from the attendees that can be heard beyond the walls of the room.
Outside the hall, the news was brought to our attention when one of the attendees exited the hall.
Viscountess Bridgerton politely asked the lady as she was passing by. "May I please be enlightened on what the commotion inside was about?"
Her eyes grew wider upon seeing that it was Lady Bridgerton talking to her. Their namesake quite has an effect to common people. "Oh, uhm," she stuttered. "One of the Featherington ladies fainted."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."
The lady forced a smile. "May I please excuse myself, Viscountess?"
She nodded, and let the lady on her way. Instantly, she looked at Daphne, her eyes full of trust. "How are you feeling Daphne?"
She took a deep sigh before responding, "I'm barely keeping my nerves together, Mother. But I assure you that I'm aiming for perfection."
Lady Bridgerton kissed her on the forehead. Beside her, the charming Viscount have bid farewell. "Eloise and I will be heading inside. Ace your presentation for the Queen, sister."
Daphne Bridgerton winked at him. From the distance, I could see that she had squeezed her Mothers hands as her siblings went inside of the hall.
Almost immediately, the Herald had called out her name. "Miss Daphne Bridgerton, presented by her mother, the right honorable, the Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton."
I watched the entrance doors of the hall opened, as the viscountess escorted her daughter. The hall was packed with watchers, and on the end was the queen awaiting for the next debutante. In this case, it was Daphne Bridgerton.
Before I could take the scenery all in, the doors slowly closed, leaving everything that is currently happening to my imagination.
On my side, I felt mother tugging at my arms, motioning me to move forward. I'll be the next debutante to be presented to Her Majesty.
"Nervous?" asked my mother, her eyes full of concern. She pulled my arms closer to her and rested her head on my shoulders.
"Just a little," I confessed, heart beating so loud that I'm afraid it may beat out of my chest. "It's kind of frightening to succeed Miss Daphne."
"You'll get the Queen's approval, sister," assured Georgia waiting in the sidelines. "We'll be here watching."
I tried to smile naturally, but my emotions were on a level high.
My nerves have been acting up ever since I woke up, and at this moment, it's no different. Thoughts have been flooding my head, and none of which can be controlled. Minutes have passed, which felt like seconds in my state of mind.
I was then brought back to reality when I heard the door, slowly creaked as it opened. This signals that Daphne Bridgerton was finished and had already been judged by the queen which ultimately means, it's my turn for the spotlight.
Loudly, the Herald's voice boomed as he announced my arrival. "Miss Calypso Nightingale, presented by her mother, the right honorable Lady Rosemary Nightingale."
As if on cue, I lifted up my cheeks onto a smile aimed to please the people around me. All eyes were pinned on me, some obviously pleased at how I looked while some, quite distasteful.
Among the watchers, I saw the other ladies previously presented. All of whom were magnificently dressed for the occasion. On the corner of the hall, I think I might have caught a glimpse of Philippa fanning her sister Prudence after the incident.
The beating of my heart was crazy inside my chest. In fact, I think it sounded louder than the sound of my footsteps on this marbled floor. Despite this, I try to look casual and unnerved by all the stares on me and the possibility of being shred to pieces by the queen's remarks.
From my right side, I caught a glimpse of Viscount Anthony Bridgerton. I looked at his direction and momentarily, our eyes met. He must have recognized me from earlier because he smiled. And all I did was to look away. Not returning his smile.
My cheeks felt hot, not only because of the idea that the viscount has smiled at me but also because of the fact that he is currently staring at me. While walking, I hoped that my face wouldn't blush so much at the thought of him.
The sudden rush of emotions were replaced by the fear once again. With every step, I got closer and closer to where the queen was seated.
She sat with disinterest evident on her face. Her maid was fanning her using a fan made of white feathers, the same color as her long bulbous gown.
Right before reaching the platform of her throne, my mother and I stopped to bow. Mother said that only the ladies with her approval gets the Queen to stand up her throne and take a closer look.
With my head faced down, I waited for any sound of movement from the queen. In my mind, I was praying that the lords hear my request of the queen noticing my face. Just like my sisters, I want to be praised by Her Royal Highness.
Suddenly, there it was. A quiet thump of the feet walking towards me. It was enough for my heart to scream in joy. I didn't disappoint.
She stretched her hand and gently lifted my chin to expose my face. As directed by her graceful movements, I stood up from my cursty. Looking face to face with the queen was quite terrifying and amazing both at the same time. You are anticipating for her comments as you bask in her glory by being near her presence. In that moment, the young Calypso in me that has always wanted to meet the queen was screaming in elation.
"Elegant, my dear," she smiled and slowly moved back towards her throne.
For weeks, her words stayed embedded in my mind. Along with that was the face of a viscount that I just can't keep out of my head.
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Stealing Glances || Anthony BridgertonFanfiction
All her life, Calypso Nightingale has always lived in the shadows of her four older sisters. She stayed in the sidelines watching as they find their love matches, all of whom during their first seasons. With her sisters' perfect records, pressure ha...