Dancing provides a time for happy socializing and romance…
Excerpt from The Lady and The Captain:
Sarah had danced before at balls held at Brightwood Manor in her home village of Urlingford. She was therefore not afraid to step forth. The quadrille and country dances were familiar to her.
She glided back and forth with little effort on the smooth planks of the top deck in a pair of light-blue dancing slippers. The crossed silver ribbons peeked out from beneath her gown’s lace as she twirled under the glittering fairy lights.
Robert, a gleam of admiration in his hazel eyes, took one of her outstretched gloved hands and turned her gently around. She spun gracefully in his guiding arms.
Caught up in the music and the unwavering attraction of seeking out the young commander in the ritual of dance, she barely remembered to switch partners, much to the delight of those watching. All were attentive to the romantic gestures of the handsome couple before them. Many laughed at the face the young woman made as she left the commander’s side to dance with her next partner.
When the dance ended, flushed from being the focus of the admiring stares of the handsome officer before her, Sarah finished the quadrille with a gracious curtsey.
The crew applauded the dancers and musicians. The ladies quickly unfolded their silk-covered fans, fluttering them back and forth, giving overheated faces a quick refreshing wave of air. Already many were red-cheeked and merry from the spirits passed around.
The second mate appeared at Robert’s side and before she had a moment to straighten, Sarah was claimed for the next dance.
Was it a flight of fancy on her part or did a look of reluctance on the part of Lieutenant Smythe pass across his face as he permitted his second in command to dance with her? Sarah’s heart did a little trip at the thought.
Lieutenant Litton noticed his commander’s reaction.
“Buck up, Commander,” he said cheerfully bowing over her hand. “I just want to dance with your pretty betrothed once. I promise to safely return her to your care when I’m done, sir.” But this was not to be . . . as if recognizing a golden opportunity to needle their usually placid first lieutenant, all the superior officers and masters aboard took turns stepping in front of the first mate.
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