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Ariella quickly excused herself from the luncheon, running up the grand staircase and into the confinements of her room. Her head was spinning with anxiety.

She looked around the room for Mae, finally sighing in relief when she realized she was nowhere to be found. She needed a minute to collect herself.

Ariella began racking her mind about the conversation she had heard earlier as she sat on the love seat. The debutantes surely couldn't have been talking about her, seeing as though they had been in each other's unfortunate company all night. But who could they have been talking about?

She felt herself becoming overwhelmed in hysterics, unable to catch her breath. She knew she was making more of a deal out of the situation than it was really worth, but she couldn't seem to stop herself. She knew the girls were talking about Cal, but who was the woman they were referring to?

Before she could stop herself, she was on her way to the Prince's room, a scowl across her lips.

She was going to confront him.

She knocked three times against his door, gaining no acknowledgement. She waited for him to answer for what seemed to be forever, until she gave into her anger and pushed open the door.

Callan walked out of a door to the left of the grand room, reading a piece of parchment, the only thing on his body being a silk cloth tied around his waist.

"Dear lord," Ariella muttered, covering her eyes.

Cal looked up from his reading, sliding off his pair of reading spectacles and eyed Ariella curiously for a moment, "You couldn't wait just a moment, love? As you can see, I am a bit indisposed at the moment," he smirked, laying the sheet of parchment down on the mahogany end table.

Ariella cleared her throat, keeping her eyes covered by her hand, "I have come to confront y-you," she said, her intimidating voice entirely unconvincing.

"And what have I done now?" He asked, walking towards her.

"I am not entirely sure, but I assume it's very ungentlemanlike," she muttered softly.

He raised an eyebrow, "Why have you come to confront me then if you don't even know your own motive?" He asked playfully, reaching up to pry her hand away from her eyes.

She squeezed her eyes shut, refusing to look at him, "Then I beg you tell me what Mademoiselle Henriette was referring to when she talked of you and a particular woman."

"I have been known to be with many a woman, darling, I'm afraid you'll have to clarify the name of this woman."

Ariella inhaled sharply, "You don't need to flaunt your reputation about, Cal, if anything, it makes you less appealing," she said snidely, "And to answer your question, I don't know the name of the woman, but I know she's a debutante."

An unfamiliar expression crossed Cal's face for a split second, "I suppose I couldn't tell you."

"I'll get it out of you eventually, you just wait, my Prince," she said mischievously.

Cal sighed, "Now would you please open your eyes, love?"

She shook her head and took a step backwards. With an abrupt squeal, she had tripped over her gown and was now laying on the ground.

Cal laughed, "What am I going to do with you?"

Ariella looked at him, her eyes getting used to the light, his lightly tanned skin and golden hair shimmering against the flickering candlelight. His chest mimicked a statue carved to absolute perfection. She caught her breath, blinking a few times to make sure she wasn't dreaming, "Y-you should-"

"You should what?" He asked, helping her up from the floor.

"You should put on a chemise, Callan, if anyone were to walk in-" she stopped herself as she was caught in his arms.

"No one will walk in," he said softly, inching towards her lips.

"Callan.." she breathed, closing her eyes as their lips touched.

Cal reached back to unpin her dark curls, letting them fall across her back, "Roses," he muttered against her lips, more to himself than to Ariella.

She lifted her hands up to Cal's hair, moving her lips away from his to trail across his jawline.

"I believe you were about to tell me s-something-" he sighed as Ariella began to lead him towards the left side of the room, "B-before we were interrupted by your m-" Ariella stopped his speech with a kiss, pushing him up against the wall.

"My maid?" She asked, her lips against his neck.

Cal felt himself losing control, his heart beginning to beat faster. He grabbed Ariella by the arms and pushed her up against the wall, sliding the sleeve of her gown off of her shoulder, "Yes, her," he finally said.

Ariella began to melt against him, her bones becoming liquid, she grasped his back for support as he began kissing her collarbone. She wrapped her legs around his waist, falling against his hard chest. Cal lifted her up like she weighed no more than a penny, lifting his lips up to hers to kiss her like she had never been kissed before. Ariella sighed against his lips in satisfaction, clawing against his bare back, "What I was going to say was-" she stopped herself to catch her breath.

"Say it," he whispered.

"I-" she stuttered involuntarily, "I'm falling in love with you."

Cal smiled against her lips, "Darling," he said softly, "I am in love with you."

She couldn't help the smile that formed on her lips just then, it was as if her mind had been clouded all of her life and now she could finally think clearly. She giggled at his boyish smile as he released her from his strong arms, setting her softly back on the wooden floor.

"Couldn't you tell the moment I met you?" He asked, still smiling brightly, "Or do I need to say it again?"

She cupped his cheek in her hand, "Perhaps one more time."

He leant his head back in a hearty chuckle, "Dear lord, Ariella, I love you, I love you, I love you!"

She smiled, content, and crossed her arms, "Now I suppose that will suffice."

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