Chapter 9

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Dinner was finally served, and Kat found herself at the front of the line to get food. She had danced almost every single dance, with nearly every eligible young man at the ball, twice with Eric. Both dances he tried to get her to forget the dance, but he could not thwart her. She found herself seated between her sister-in law Eleanor and an older woman, Mrs Brodeur who had a reputation for knowing the gossip. She soon was in conversation with the two and was quite happy until none other than Lord Eric sat across from her. She scowled at him and he grinned gleefully like an imp back. Mrs Brodeur watched the interaction and chuckled.

“Oh Baroness, isn't it wonderful to see a young couple who can mess around and have fun for each other?”

Eleanor raised her eyebrows at Kat, knowing that they were not messing around and truly despised each other, but so a scandal wasn't caused, she turned to the lady.

“Yes, quite. It is so sad to see so many couples these days rush into marriages that they think is for love.”

Mrs Brodeur was disappointed, she was hoping for some sort of scandal, but she continued in conversation with Eleanor, and Kat listened attentively as they talked about many things.

Finally the food came, but rather than in small and multiple courses, all of the savoury was put in the middle and everyone began to reach across each other to serve themselves. It was not as dignified as Kat would have expected the fancy regency to eat, but she guessed that it was because they could fit more food in without the tight lacing corsets of the late 1800s. 

The food was extremely foreign to Kat. They were all shaped as objects and different fruits such as pineapples. Kat ate to her heart's content, and soon the conversation started up again.

“My, Lady Katherine, I have to say, you are looking beautiful tonight!”

Mrs Brodeur exclaimed. She turned to Eric.

“Wouldn't  You say so my Lord?”

Kat felt awkward and uncomfortable, and it seemed that Eric did too as he swallowed and reluctantly answered with a feeble ‘yes’, before realising that this was his opportunity to embarrass Kat and make up for lost time during the dances. He lost his awkward demeanor and put on his signature dashing smile.

“Yes she is looking quite exquisite, no other lady looks quite as beautiful as you this evening.”

Kat tilted her head and raised her brows. Thankfully the gossipy Mrs Brodeur did not pick up on his bluff, and cooed.

“Oh yes, it was fate you two were arranged to marry each other, you truly are perfect and love each other.”

Kat laughed awkwardly before kicking Eric swiftly in the shin, under the table.
~~~
After dinner, Kat did not feel quite up to dancing and the thought of rigorous exercise after the lavish meal made her feel sick. Alas she knew the rule that she could not refuse a dance so when she was offered a dance by some man, she had to write it on her dance card. When she finished writing it with her pencil, she noticed a dance listed towards the end; the waltz. She smiled,  that was piece of cake, she had watched enough dancing with the stars to know how to waltz.

Her dance card was nearly full, except for one dance right in the middle which she was relieved about,  she definitely needed a break. The next dance was announced and the man that wrote in her dance card earlier came to collect her. She took his hand and was led to the center of the ballroom into two straight lines, and she faced her partner. They bowed and continued and the dance began. As she danced, she made some mistakes and almost crashed into her partner and when he saw how worried she looked at her mistake, he smiled and whispered in her ear.

"Do not fret, I know what it's like to mess up. One time I tripped and landed on my nose breaking it!"

Kats eyes widened and she threw her head back and laughed gaining the attention of many fellow dancers, including her fiance Eric who had something to whisper in her ear himself when they next moved into the circle where people held bands and skipped around.

"I see you have found a new flirtation."
His tone was joking but his facial expression was not. Kat laughed out loud at the notion of him being envious of her dancing partner and she voiced her opinion. He did not deny her accusations of being jealous but instead pursed his lips and the circle broke off at the exact time and everyone moved back into the two lines.

Kats dancing partner had seen the interaction and he laughed himself.
"Have I riled up your fiancee?"
Kat shook her head and smirked.
"I think so, but he will never admit it."

They both laughed and the music ended. The crowd clapped and men lead their partners back to their companions.

"I never got your name sir."
Shouted Kat over the noise.

"Mr Donovan!"
He shouted back.

Kat held out her hand so that Mr Donovan could shake it and he took it reluctantly.
"Pleased to make your acquaintance!"

Mr Donovan laughed.
"You are funny and I do hope we can be friends!"

Kat nodded and laughed in agreement before she was approached by Eric. She realised that his name was put down for the waltz and she mentally rolled her eyes. Of course he was booked for the most romantic dance.
She was lead once again to the ballroom floor. She laughed to herself at the description of the dance by the announcer. "Scandalous new dance."
It was funny to think that the waltz was once as scandalous as twerking.

Eric held his hand out and Kat took it. She had a sharp intake of breath as he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him, their faces inches from each other and gazing into each others eyes. She placed her own hand on the side of his shoulder, the music started and they began to turn.
~~~
She lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling recalling the events of the evening. The rest of the ball had gone smoothly and she had continued her lucky streak of not having many mistakes in the dances. She found herself blushing as she recalled dancing the waltz after dinner. Erics firm hands around her waist, and occasionally glancing into his eyes before looking back over his shoulder at the other couples. She smacked herself on her cheeks. No she couldn't begin to like him, not when she didn't belong in this timeline, she had to go to the future, back home.

All of a sudden she realised she had to get home, she missed her mum, and she wanted to go to art school. She racked her brain for answers, she needed to get home but she didn't know how. All she knew was that she fell asleep reading ‘Emma’, but the book was not to be released for another 8 years, and she didn't want to be stuck here for another 8 years, that meant she would actually have to get married to that loathsome man. 

For the first time since going back in time, Cat felt scared and she found herself crying herself to sleep.

She missed her mum.

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