•N I N E T E E N•

190 20 13

♪ This is not the love you've had before                                             This is something else, this is something else ♪{Snow Patrol-Life On Earth}

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

♪ This is not the love you've had before
This is something else, this is something else ♪
{Snow Patrol-Life On Earth}

Once they finished their drinks, Marguerite and Céleste deposited their glasses and cruised over to the Ballroom doors, next to which the eight contenders lingered.

Though each girl was different, a similar pattern showed on all their expressions, and thin red lines coated the whites of their eyes.

Marguerite beckoned her students away from the doors. "We will retire for the evening." Her voice was so soft, she wasn't sure they heard it over the small orchestra still playing off to the side. "It is best to leave now, while the night is young; you have two long days ahead of you."

Four of the ladies-and Céleste-rushed over to the dais to excuse themselves in front of the King and Queen, but Charlotte pouted, clenching her fists. "Are we not the guests of honor? Should we not stay later, to entertain these fine men? Try to speak with the Princes?" Her words slithered through a thin-lipped smile while she scanned the nobles scattered around the room.

Though she wasn't wrong, Marguerite remembered her own Presentation Ceremony. How she and the other ladies had stayed up late, drinking and eating too much food, even dancing with courtiers-though Marguerite had only watched. The flashes of her dizzying conversations with Antoine, her confessions to Adelaide... all raced through her mind as she glared at Charlotte.

"But it is also respectable to retire early. It shows proper conduct. Restraint. Shows you do not wish to impose on society so quickly. Believe me, the royals will prefer it; what with the Inaugural Ball in two days... they have a lot to worry about."

Charlotte grimaced, huffing as she clutched her skirts and hurried over to the dais just as the other girls returned.

Marguerite also had to bid goodnight to the royals; and she released a relieved breath when, approaching the Queen, she noticed Antoine wasn't on the dais with with her.

Dipping into a curtsy, Marguerite kept her chin tucked to the base of her neck. "I seek your permission to retire, Your Majesty."

Adelaide's brusque wave of dismissal prompted her to rise up. The redhead swished her glass of alcohol, licking her lips. "Yes, yes, smart choice, I must say." She barely paid Marguerite any mind as she spoke. "Do what you must to get the girls comfortable. They must not get into the kind of trouble we did!"

Before the inebriated woman could utter anything else about their past, Marguerite swiveled and rushed to the doors.

She led the young ladies back through the corridors, through the entrance hall, and up the stairs; but once they arrived on the first floor landing, Esther stopped. All ladies paused, though Charlotte and Julia marched a few steps ahead before realizing the herd had slowed down.

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