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♪ We wait for the bell                                        And we dream of somewhere else ♪{Paramore—Daydreaming}

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♪ We wait for the bell
                                        And we dream of somewhere else ♪

"Our founders named the Totresian territories, regions, and counties after their chief cities." Sir Wells, his thick French accent dragging Céleste out of her daydreams, paced at the front of the room. "Can anyone tell me why that is?"

Five ladies, seated on their white cushioned chaises, drew their eyes up from their quills and papers, confusion smearing across their delicate features.

But a sixth lady, gaze wandering around the classroom, was unsurprised by the man's question. She sighed as she stared at the golden curtains framing one of the imposing windows.

To better define who their leading noble is.

How she wished to jump out, beyond those curtains; to enjoy the weather before night arrived, before the crisp air turned too cold, before the sky threatened to release icy rage.

"Ladies, have we not read the chapter on Totresian territories, as I requested?" asked Sir Wells, his tone sharp. Two of the girls bit their lips and looked down to their laps.

Sir Wells crossed his arms.

Céleste also peered into her lap—but her face wasn't scrunching in shame at not having completed the assignment. She had done it—but she had other books to read before bed, too. Such as the one she was hiding under the bulky Totresian History tome placed on her thighs.

The Golden Girl—Anonymous

Knowing her favorite book was there, hidden from her teacher, fueled her daydreams. Rendered her lessons more vivid and warmed her heart.

Sir Wells pivoted, his finger in the air, his other hand behind his back as he spoke. He dictated yet another lesson for the ladies to copy; but Céleste's quill remained dry, as if she had never dipped it in ink.

The man's voice muffled as, instead of paying attention, she imagined herself in a navy ball gown, a mask over her porcelain features. Her lips red, her hair piled atop her head with ribbons and flowers, her blue-gray eyes sparkling with delight.

A ballroom took form before her. Emerald walls. Floors of pure gold. Open windows cluttered with candles, gleaming and flickering in the wind.

She watched masked guests arrive. Dancing in a sea of colors. Happy teals, ruby reds, and dazzling silvers speckled the dance-floor, swirling and swaying to a lively tune. The chandeliers above sprinkled their skin with sparkles and illuminated their fancy attire.

But one couple in the middle of the room dominated them all.

The woman, in a white-feathered dress, with a mask of gold and silver, like a daisy flower; and the man, his deep green and black suit contrasting her bright innocence, smiling wide.

The Golden Girl (#2 in the GOLDEN series) ✔Where stories live. Discover now