The cousin group had a great time talking to Ambrose and Barbara. Neither Ambrose nor Barbara let on by words or actions how eager they were to finish the conversation. Ambrose, in particular, was very charming. The cousins were hopelessly in love with him by the time the conversation was over.
The rest of the guests petered out. Some were too tired to think, much less talk. So, they left after just a quick wave at the bride and groom.
The hostess was the last person to stop at their table.
Ambrose smiled at her. “Thank you for making this event so special.”
“It was my pleasure, Mr. Ambrose Smith.”
“Your violin playing was…” Barbara stopped and thought about it. “Beautiful doesn’t seem like a strong enough word. Magnificent sounds so overblown. Excellent is just a weak word altogether.”
The hostess smiled at her and it was a surprisingly genuine smile. “Go with wonderful and I’ll be happy. It sounds insufficient until you break it in half — Wonder and Full. Full of wonder. That describes my violin playing perfectly.”
Ambrose grinned. “You do have a very good point.”
“Before you leave, I have one more song I wish to play for the both of you. It is a fae song of love and strength and hope and joy. Do you wish to hear it?”
“Absolutely!” Barbara said.
The hostess tucked the violin in the crook of her neck and adjusted the strings.
She began her song.
It was a sweet, tremulous melody. It seemed so delicate. It brought to mind images of porcelain and thin glass that could shatter from a harsh look. An undercurrent of strength ran through it, like a back support or a supportive embrace.
She swayed to the music and the strength grew, creating mental images of iron bars and steel frames and cement blocks.
Her bow skipped across the strings up into a piercing tune that made Ambrose want to stand up and sing. It made him want to laugh. It made him want to hold Barbara and dance with her all night.
Ambrose looked at Barbara and he could see that she felt it too.
She hugged his arm and leaned her face against it.
He kissed her head. “What do you say? One more dance?”
She smiled up at him. “You know I’ll never refuse such an offer.”
They stood and danced in the empty banquet hall. But it wasn’t a waltz. Nor was it a slow one-two.
It was a dance that matched the sound and the feel of the music. It was a dance of joy and of love. He didn’t tell her what steps to make or when to turn. He didn’t need to. It was a dance of pure expression.
They ended it breathless and wrapped in each other’s arms.
Desire raced through his veins and muscles.
I want you, Barbara. I want you so much.
She smiled. “Then, we should go.”
He smiled back. “Agreed.”