short story, story promptCarys loves the adoration and attention she receives from the young men, and finally succeeds in gaining the attention of one particular man, whose reputation will secure much more adulation for her in the future. But is she throwing away a possible chance at love and happiness?


Carys giggled as the young lords surrounding her jostled one another for her attentions. She wasn’t even the girl for whom this lavish ball had been thrown for, but it certainly felt like she was the centre of attention. To be honest, she wasn’t even sure who the ball was in honour of. She had simply accepted the invitation as she did every other invitation. She’d take any chance to get dressed up in her finery and be adored by the young lords, princes and even the odd rich merchant’s son.

“Lady Carys, would you do me the honour of the next dance?” A handsome young man with deep blue eyes joined the group. “It would certainly make my evening perfect if I were able to dance with the most beautiful woman here tonight.”

Allowing herself to blush prettily (something she had spent many, many hours practicing and honing in front of the mirror), she held out her gloved hand and let him lead her to the centre of the ballroom floor. Finally, she thought to herself. The Prince of the Eastern Isles has asked me to dance! I thought I’d have to work a lot harder to get him interested.

The Prince of the Eastern Isles was known in the noble circles as being aloof and particular towards women. He was said to only bestow his attentions upon those he thought of as stunningly beautiful. She had to admit, it gave her ego a massive boost to be sought out by such a man. Obviously, she already knew that she was gorgeous, but to have this man prove it in front of hundreds of nobles was very satisfying. She would have no end of hopeful men trailing after her now – she would be drowning in their admiration and desire!

“Lady Carys, I hear that you are to pick a husband soon,” he began conversationally.

Carys resisted the urge to grimace. Ladies did not make faces in polite company. “That is indeed what my father has insisted upon,” she replied, hoping her voice sounded pleasant enough.

He gave her a sly look. “You don’t seem entirely pleased about that.”

Apparently, her voice had not been sufficiently pleasant. “I don’t feel that I am ready for marriage.” If she were married, the attention showered on her by the gentlemen would cease. She would become a nobody in the ballroom, overshadowed by even the plainest of women, simply because she had a ring on her finger. No, she was definitely not ready to give up the adoration and praise.

“Not even if the right man came along?” he asked her, his voice slightly teasing.

She tossed her head. “I haven’t met him yet, so I couldn’t say.”

“Well, there are certainly plenty of young hopefuls here who would be happy to make you his wife,” the Prince continued. “I would consider myself among those hopefuls.”

His blue eyes caught hers. If she was honest with herself, he was the most handsome man in the room, but even he couldn’t sway her away from the adulation she was going to receive after having danced with the man who only gave his attentions to those he considered beautiful. After this dance, she would be known as the most irresistibly attractive woman in the room. Men would be falling over to introduce themselves to her.

“Your offer is … appreciated. I’ll be sure to keep you in mind.”

No. Marriage could wait for a few years. She wasn’t ready to give this up, not even for the most handsome man in the room.

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