The prime minister entered Princess Pirouette’s antechamber, where she’d been waiting for him. She wore a pale green dress that highlighted her eyes. Green ribbons of a darker shade adorned the skirt, tied into delicate little bows. The only jewelry that she wore was her engagement ring, a large sapphire surrounded by diamonds. Her wig was a mass of white curls with green bows, some of which fell down her neck and shoulders. For one so young, she looked every inch a woman.
The prime minister bowed low, taking off his tricornered hat with a gallant sweep. “Thank you, Your Royal Highness for granting me this audience,” he said in his sonorous voice.
“Not at all,” replied Pirouette. “How may I be of service?”
Looking around the room, he made note of all the women present and said, “Would it be unbefitting to ask Your Highness if we may have some privacy?”
Pirouette laughed. “At court, there’s no such thing as privacy!” She waved a hand and said, “Please leave,” and no sooner said but the room emptied, except for Abigail Hoffenhoff, the Princess’ official dresser and confidant. “You too, Abby,” said Pirouette. “Scoot!”
After a moment, Pirouette looked at the prime minister warily (for she knew him not to be her friend). “Do go on, my lord,” she said quietly. Never before had she realized what a handsome man the prime minister was. In fact, his face looked as if it had been chiseled from stone, so smooth was his skin. With his strong jaw and sensuous lips, he was very handsome indeed, but there was a hint of cruelty in his eyes that Pirouette always found unsettling.
The prime minister cleared his throat and then spoke, “As the Crown Princess, I don’t need to tell you that you have a great destiny before you. Someday, perhaps sooner than we expect, you will be queen.”