But all these personages could not impress him, for once his eyes had chanced upon her, the rest of the party vanished from his sight.
She might have been just twenty years old, with the look of womanhood just settling into her features. Her hair was light brown, streaming rebelliously down her back. Her eyes were siphons, greedily sucking in all around her. Her nose and mouth were music in counterpoint, and her figure was a triumph of symmetry. She wore a gown of gold and black that clung lovingly to her, exposing only a tantalizing glimpse of waist on her left side.
To say that he was attracted to her would be to say that space was black. But did he dare approach such a goddess? He sprayed himself a drink to bolster his courage and walked with feigned unconcern in her direction. She watched him approach, an unreadable expression in her eyes. She looked at him as though she knew everything about him, more than he knew himself. Her lips traced the faint outlines of a smile.
Her expression gave him the courage to speak. “Interesting party, don’t you think?”
“I suppose so, if you enjoy this sort of thing.”
Such ennui in a girl so young surprised him. “Don’t you?”
She shook her head. “I’ve been to too many of them.”
He was handling the conversation badly, he knew, but her nearness jumbled his thoughts. “Who are you?” he blurted out.
The answer was so self–evident that he wondered why he’d had to ask. “Then this party is for you.”
“Yes, it’s my birthday. My father decided to celebrate it with a party, like they used to do centuries ago.” Her smile broadened, and he basked in its warmth. “Are you enjoying yourself?” she continued.
“Yes, now that I’ve met you.” The words slipped out before he could stop them. He wondered what had prompted him to say that. She would probably think he was some naive young puppy in the throes of his first infatuation, and that was not the impression he wanted to give.