Really, Truly Beautiful

She twirled on the spot, doing her best impression of a ballerina while she watched the skirt of her dress flair out in a wide, blue arc of velvet, the fabric rippling like water as she eventually slowed and then stopped.

Her companion stood watching her with a smile on his lips, his own attire much less eloquent and much simpler. His formal military regalia matched her dress in color, the deep blue doing wonders to bring out his eyes, and he stood at attention as she continued to twirl.

“You must think me silly.” She managed at last, covertly checking her appearance in the mirror. “It’s just… It’s been a long time since I felt like this.”

“Felt like what, may I ask?” He chuckled as he watched her hands catch at the rich fabric of her dress, eyes dipping down to look over the midnight velvet. She truly looked like a beautiful moon, he thought, all that pale skin amid the sea of dark blue.

“Really, truly beautiful.” It was a whisper, a secret she trusted him with in the private little moment they had managed to sneak away before the main event. “I know it’s silly, but I feel like a princess in this— like I could walk out there right now and have some foreign prince ask me to dance.”

He chuckled along with her, watching the way she kept stealing glances of herself in the mirror, like she didn’t quite believe it was her in the glass. “You are really, truly beautiful.” He pointed out softly, deliberately leaving out the ‘look’ that she always hated so much. “And who knows? Perhaps you’ll step outside and a prince will come ask you to dance.”

“Oh, don’t be ridiculous.” She covered easily, her cheeks tinting pink as she fiddled with her hair once more. It was perfect, just like the rest of her appearance, but it gave her a reason to not look him in the eye. “I’m not that attractive.”

“As it so happens, you are.” He strode over to her and smiled, offering her his hand. “Now, may I have this dance?”

She stared at him, blinking until it seemed her brain was functioning once again, her fingers alighting into his waiting palm as a brilliant smile spilled onto her lips. “You most certainly may.”

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