She walked into the room with grace. A young woman of breeding, her whole life spent training for her season. If my information was correct, she was well educated, speaking fluent French and German, well versed in the arts, playing both the piano and violin passably well, and painting acceptable watercolors. She had an attractive face and was shapely of figure, with a long delicate neck. She was quite pleasing, but would not be considered a great beauty, exactly what I required.
I followed her discreetly, watching her interactions. She was polite and attentive her conversation, mildly interesting without being controversial. I had once been like her in breeding and training, but my tastes and pursuits had taken me off of the path to marriage.
Her father was a minor Baron with little wealth. Her looks, talents, and social acumen would do much to find a respectable match. Greater resources could secure a great match. The best dresses, costly jewels, and good connections could catch the eye of a man with superior wealth and title. With my help, she could ensnare a Duke’s son within the year.
She was most charming while dancing, her steps perfect, putting me in mind of a swan. I would have loved to dance with her, but that is not done. I was impatient, but the matter was too vital to risk approaching her. My reputation, while not common knowledge, was well deserved and not to be associated with her.
When she finally walked away from the ballroom, I followed. No one was in the antechamber of the washroom, so I sat on the velvet couch to wait. She stopped to check her reflection in the mirror before leaving, making sure every hair was in place. I stood behind her, making eye contact with her reflection.
“Miss Kensington, may I call you Clare? I am Ms. Carlisle. Your services are required, on order of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, concerning the very existence of the Realm.”