No Names

I was dared to write a story without using names. It’s a snippet, but name-free.

The young woman stood at the top of the stairs. If it wasn’t enough to have her staring at him down several acres of white marble, she was also looking down her nose at him. Apparently the lady did not like what she saw.

He shrugged mentally, keeping his visible reaction to a knowing smirk. After all, it wasn’t her choice. If he decided she’d make a suitable bride, mistress for his home and mother for his heirs, then that is what she would become.

By showing her disdain at the outset, she merely encouraged him to be as irritating as he could possibly manage and if that extended to a marriage she’d set herself against, well, it wouldn’t be the worst thing he’d done in his life.

He swept an exaggerated bow. “My Lady.”

She raised a brow, the gaze just a shade from being a glare now. “I am not Your Lady, Sir.”

Now he shrugged. “You might be. I haven’t decided yet.”

He scanned her up and down, smirked a second time, turned on his heel and left.

He heard about the aftermath over breakfast the next morning. His valet served up the gossip along with his coffee and eggs.

“Seemed you left not a moment too soon, Sir. The lady’s maid informs me that a rather valuable vase met its end against the door very shortly after you closed it.”

He blinked. “That’s quite a throw.”

“I’m told she stormed down the stairs to have the last word, which you prevented with your exit, sir.”

He grinned. “Nice to know I’ve made an impression. Let’s see how she sets about convincing me to look elsewhere for my wife.”

He returned the next day to meet with her father and take tea with her mother. She knew he was there and remained in her room until directly summoned. Her entry into the drawing room was graceful and furious.

He rose to make his bows, then said. “Now don’t make yourself comfortable, you’ll need to rug up.”

She blinked, startled into speech. “But why?”

“We’re going ice skating.”

She looked at her mother, who was beaming bright enough to challenge the sun. “I was just telling His Lordship how much you enjoyed skating and how you’d just been saying this morning that you’d love to take a turn on the ice if there was only a good place to do so.”

This, unfortunately, was completely true.

She replied. “I wasn’t aware of any ice rinks in the area.”

He smiled and raised a brow. “No public ones.”

He jaw dropped. Surely not. He couldn’t be claiming to be able to get them into the Crown Princess’s private rink at the Western Palace.

He smiled again, the gestured towards the door. “Her Royal Highness likes the cold, so do make sure you dress warmly.”

Lost for words and annoyed beyond belief that he’d managed to hit upon an outing completely suited to her interests and wishes, she turned on her heel and left the room, calling for her maid as she mounted the stairs to her room.

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