You can tell so much about a person by the way they dance…

Silently, the opening strains of a waltz played. Mirabelle extended her hand to her imaginary dance partner and let him lead her to the middle of the floor. She curtsied and he placed his hand on her waist and began to pull her in time with the music. He led her through a turn and Mirabelle saw Lucien in the doorway. He was leaning against the frame, watching her. Still not ready to reach out to him, she continued her imaginary waltz.
“May I join you?” Lucien asked from a few feet away. Mirabelle couldn’t stop her lips from tilting.
“As you can see, I’m dancing with Lord What’shisname. You’ll have to wait your turn.” She responded regally. His brows pulled together and he stepped back. When Mirabelle went through the turn, she saw him lounging against the wall. His arms were crossed and he was frowning. “You’ll have to excuse him, Lord What’shisname. There’s no accounting for his manners. He acts as if he owns the place.”
Lucien’s mouth opened to object but he closed it and narrowed his eyes at Mirabelle. She continued her revolutions for a few more minutes before she swept to an elegant halt and curtsied. Lucien pushed from the wall and approached Mirabelle.
“I’m sorry. I promised this dance to Mr. Someoneorother, Your Grace.” She said impishly as she curtsied once more.
“You’re choosing to dance with a mere Mister instead of me?” He asked incredulously.
“I’ll remind you that my father and brothers were mere Misters. If Alastair hadn’t been knighted and Gilles hadn’t inherited, they would still be.” Mirabelle scolded as she revolved.
“My apologies. There are many Misters that are perfectly admirable but your Mr. Someoneorother, I find lacking.”
“Pray excuse his deplorable manners, Mr. Someoneorother. I think you’re a remarkable dancer. In fact, you might be the best dancer I’ve ever had the pleasure of waltzing with.” Mirabelle barely suppressed her smile as she went into a turn. Lucien was a masterful dancer but she was enjoying teasing him. He was, in her opinion the best of the many waltz partners she’d ever had. Mirabelle noted that her and Lucien hadn’t danced since Gilles’ and Elise’s ball. Would it be different? She wondered. She’d heard countless times that waltzing with him was as close as a woman could get to making love to him without taking her gown off. Her smile turned wry. Their waltzes had always been enjoyable but completely proper. Lucien would probably hold her further from him now. “You’re holding me a bit too close, Mr. Someoneorother. I’m afraid that won’t improve his opinion of you.”
“Your Mr. Someoneorother is fat and balding. I think you’d enjoy waltzing with me more.”
“Nonsense. I’m sure you’re imagining that. I think he’s quite charming.”
Lucien stepped away from the wall and strode towards Mirabelle again. She decided to sweep to a halt and turned towards him. He bowed low.
“May I have this waltz?” His expression was utterly charming, flirtatious and confidant. Mirabelle rolled her eyes. It would amount to nothing, she knew.
“I’m afraid I’ve promised all of my dances for the evening, Your Grace.” She said haughtily. When he stood, his mouth hung open in shock.
Lucien dove for Mirabelle but she skipped backwards, out of his reach and laughed. She danced further out of his reach and he charged towards her. She gasped and twirled away just as his fingers tried to wrap around her arm. If it hadn’t been for a partition, she would have dodged him again. Lucien’s hands closed about her waist and he hauled Mirabelle against him. If Mr. Someoneorother had held her a bit too close, Lucien was holding her a lot too close. His arm locked around her, pressing her against him from chest to thigh. The fingers of his other hand curled around hers. He turned and led them to the center of the floor, Mirabelle’s toes hovered above the parquet and he maneuvered her like she was made of air.
Her eyes were trapped by Lucien’s and her breath came in little pants. She was mesmerized as he moved them through the room. The smell of him, sandalwood and citrus, surrounded her and she closed her eyes and let her head fall forward as she let it fill her. Lucien’s breath huffed softly against her ear, causing her to shiver. He steered her through a turn, his thighs parted hers and she was sure his lips brushed her ear, she gasped and squeezed his shoulder. Mirabelle almost moaned out loud when she felt the hand at her back stroke her spine. She opened her eyes and let her cheek drag against his as she looked up, into his. Their lips were so close, Mirabelle could feel his breath upon them. She licked them and Lucien angled his head, she felt his lips brush hers as his hand drifted downwards. His palm glided over her bottom and he pressed her against him as they went through another turn. Mirabelle felt him, rigid and hard, pressing into the apex of her thighs. She felt heavy and so hot between her legs, slick and wet as his tongue traced the line between her lips. She trembled and opened for Lucien. His tongue caressed hers and the moan she’d suppressed moments earlier escaped her and he pulled her harder against him.
Abruptly, Mirabelle felt cool air surround her and realized she was no longer moving. Lucien had her at arms distance and he was looking away from her. His breathing was labored and his jaw twitched.
“Lucien?” Mirabelle was shaking, her legs felt like water. He cleared his throat and looked at her.
“I’m sorry.” He released her hand and let go of her waist as he stepped back.
“You’re sorry?” She whispered, completely confused. Lucien cleared his throat again and nodded.
“If you’ll excuse me, there’s something that requires my attention.” With that, he turned on his heel and strode quickly from the room.
For a moment, Mirabelle wanted to scream that she required his attention but she was so stunned and surprisingly hurt that she could only sink to the floor and stare at his back as he fled the room. She was completely at a loss. It was as if she’d had been allowed a peek at the the Lucien she was desperate for only to have the strange, tense Lucien slam the door.

You can tell so much about a person by the way they dance…

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