Growing up, I didn’t have much of a friendship with the prince in the neighboring kingdom of the Ravens. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him. He actually had a very likeable personality and we were amiable acquaintances. We just didn’t run the same friendship circles despite being around the same age. I remember being brought along to visit his family when I was a small child and he was just a toddler. He hadn’t been much of a playmate back then since he spent most of our visit napping or clinging to his mother. Then about a year or two later at another formal event there was a masquerade at his family’s castle. I remember he was dressed in a full dragon costume and ran around the whole ball, stealing the show as he was fawned over by everyone. The little brat had even accidentally whacked me right in the family jewels with that swinging tail of his! It had been painful and embarrassing and I admit for a short time, I didn’t like him very much.
Now several years later, that young prince was to be crowned King and there was to be a Presentation in his honor as well; not just any celebratory ball. That meant he was presenting and putting himself out there to be courted which made this coronation even bigger! Being a prince of the Lion Queendom, myself, and third in line for the throne, I had an obligation to attend along with my family.
On that day, all the royal families, their bannerman, and all the citizens who could gather to the castle welcomed the newest King! I was seated with my Queen and our family, waiting on the ceremony to begin. Soon, the King of the Ravens and the High Elder approached the dais and the ceremony began. The double doors opened and the prince came forward dressed in the colors of his house and looking more grown up than I’d ever seen him before. I felt something inside me stir as he passed by, and I caught myself thinking he looked quite handsome and that he’d really grown into himself.
It had been a spectacular ceremony and as I watched him kneeling before the High Elder to accept his crown, I felt pride for him. He’d come a long way and from my understanding, he was loved and respected by the people of his Kingdom. The people were very happy to have their prince ascend to the throne.
Finally, the crown was placed upon the prince’s head and he rose as a king! As he turned to face the cheering crowd, I was suddenly hit harder in the gut with how much the young man had grown. He wasn’t just handsome. He was stunning and beautiful and that smile shined so bright as the High Elder declared him King! I applauded along with everyone, smiling and happy for him. As he cast his gaze over the cheering crowd, his eyes suddenly met mine. I felt like I couldn’t look away and for a moment, neither could he. I caught the tiny blush that touched his cheeks as he smiled more before looking away with a touch of shyness. At that second I felt as if a zap of electricity hit me in the chest; like lightning but somehow it felt like the sweetest pain in the world. I’d been attracted to people before but not like this. Something told me this was special. I hadn’t come with the intention on courting and wooing this man, but if just a glance was that electrifying? Heh, I’d be an idiot not to try. One thing I knew for certain? I was going to ask him for a dance.
It didn’t take very long and soon everything was set up for the new king’s Presentation. The tables were spread out and chairs rearranged and the dance floor was sectioned off. There were some musicians off to the side finishing setting up as a buffet of delicious food was served up. But my focus was on the young man who was standing with his family and receiving many hugs and congratulations from his loved ones.
Traditionally, Presentations begin with the young man or woman presenting themselves to the single royals and nobles with some sort of demonstration that represents themselves. Many people resort to singing but some people play instruments or can paint or recite poetry. This new King, however, was known for being a phenomenal dancer. So when it was time for the Presentation to start, I was not surprised to watch as he took his mother’s hand and guided her to the center of the dance floor. The music began playing a upbeat ballroom waltz. Together, mother and son moved across the dance floor flawlessly. It was clear to see they had amazing dancing chemistry! The King moved in a way that showed off his mother’s ability to move yet still managed to shine all on his own.
As they danced, my eyes followed how the young King moved, how his body dipped and shifted with each step. It was as if I had a small beast inside me, crouched and patiently waiting for the opportune moment; a predator stalking its prey.
Once their dance ended, his mother hugged him tightly and kissed his forehead. The pride and joy on her face was so beautifully palpable. After a moment, she stepped back and curtsied to her son before taking her leave. It would have been easy to step up at that moment and claim the first dance. However, I chose to wait. I watched as the new object of my affection received the attention of a young Lord and was asked for a dance.
Even as I was joined by some of my own friends a short time later, I let them talk amongst themselves. I watched as the young King danced with many young ladies and a few young men. It was clear he was the best dancer out there but he always smiled and had a kind word or two for his dance partners whether he led or let himself be led. I studied his likes and dislikes by how he reacted to his dance partners. He got along with everyone but I could tell he wasn’t really connecting with anyone. Remembering that moment after his ascension and how our gaze met, I could feel the beast within my chest purring with anticipation.
It was about an hour into the Presentation when the King took some time to walk to the buffet and refreshment table. While he was there, he was congratulated by a few friends, all of them laughing and smiling. But even as he joined in the conversation, I noticed his gaze wandering my direction before he caught himself, quickly turning his attention back to his friends. After catching him doing it again a few minutes later, I decided it was time for me to make my move. I waited until he was finishing up his punch when I began to make my way over.
I drew upon all the confidence I could muster as I stepped up behind the handsome man I’d found myself so suddenly drawn to. Was this even normal? It felt as powerful as lightning! As he stepped away from the refreshment table, I licked my lips and smiled warmly before clearing my throat to gain his attention. Hearing me, he began to turn to see who was requesting his attention. As soon as he laid eyes on me, they lit up and the sweetest smile spread across his lips. I smiled more as my gaze met his. Once again, that warmth spread from deep within my chest and my inner beast purred happily.
"Good evening, Your Majesty. Would you do me the honor of joining me for the next dance?" I asked, my gaze never wavering from his even as I bowed before him. I extended my hand in offering and he didn’t hesitate to extend his hand to take mine. A soft chuckle escaped him as he responded, "I thought you’d never ask." As soon as our fingers touched, I drew him closer and gazed into his eyes with a smile as he lifted his gaze to meet mine. "Make me move, Lion," he urged me, a hint of challenge in his gaze. A chuckle rumbled deep in my chest as my hand took his waist and I murmured, "With pleasure, Raven."
Now that he was in my arms, I had every intention of keeping him there. And the way he was looking at me, I knew he had every intention of letting me.
Thank you to Vin Raven-Mysterious/Be My Mannequin? Pose Store for posing with me! Be sure to check out his phenomenal photography in People In Photo!
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