Until You by NotSew – Chapter 3

Republisher’s Note: We find the good people of Springfield instead living in the Richmond of the 1800s. The Santos family, while well established in Europe, has only recently arrived. Carmen has decided the family will do whatever is necessary to succeed here too, even if that means marrying her son to an American. Danny has no interest in marrying, if you’ve seen one girl, you’ve seen them all.

Author’s Note: It’s the night of the gala and our hero and heroine meet for the first time, but there is a catch. By the way our two unconventional misses, Michelle and Dru, don’t disappoint in their gala attire. Both are wearing highly unfashionable colors. Michelle in a deep maroon and Dru in midnight blue. And of course they are the most attractive females in attendance.

Until You by NotSew – Chapter 3

“It was nice to see you again, Mr. Lemay. Please give my regards to Mrs. Lemay,” Michelle said smiling brightly.

“Please give my regards also,” Dru said with an equally bright smile on her face.

The two watched as Mr. Lemay disappeared into the sea of richly dressed dancers, then turned to each other and rolled their eyes.

“See. What did I tell you? Bore. This gala is a total bore,” Michelle said her eyes scanning lazily over the ballroom.

“I know. I’ve had more fun watching my mother knit a shawl,” Dru said drolly.

Michelle laughed out loud, drawing stares from the people around them.

“Look Michelle, it appears as if Westcott is finally over his obsession with you.”

Michelle followed the line of Dru’s finger to see her former beau falling over himself to gain the attention of Marah Lewis.

“Should we warn her what an utter cad he is,” Dru said.

“We could.”

Michelle’s eyes skimmed people socializing in groups by the far wall.

Her gaze was drawn to the broad dark clad back of a man that was not familiar to her. Silky dark curls brushed the top of his jacket collar. He was taller than the men he was standing with, one of which she recognized as Ray Weston.

A dark beauty breezed by behind him saying something in greeting and the man turned to return the welcome giving Michelle a frontal view of him for the first time.

Air filled Michelle’s lungs in a gasp that was almost painful.

He was the almost too beautiful to look at. A dark angel with a face sculpted by the gods. Thickly lashed obsidian eyes smiled at the girl who was now being drawn away by William Lewis. His firm lips were curled into a smile as he watched the girl’s retreating back sending a trill of excitement through Michelle’s body.

“Yoohoo. Michelle. Where are you?”

“Huh…oh. I’m nowhere. I’m here.”

“That is not what the glazed look in your eyes says.”

“Oh fiddle! Glazed look? Really Dru,” Michelle said trying to sound unflustered.

Dru made a tisking sound with her mouth and turned to smile at passerby.

“Dru, who is that man over there standing with Ray Weston,” Michelle asked placing her hand on Dru’s arm.

“You mean the incredibly handsome man standing next to Ray?”

“Don’t stare, Dru,” said Michelle blushing pink, “Yes. Who is he?”

“I believe he is one of the guests of honor.

“He’s a Santos?”

“Uh huh. The younger son Danny. And the man standing with them is his older brother, Michael.”

“How do you know so much about them?”

“I don’t know much. Mother and I met them the other day while shopping in German Village.”

“You failed to mention this to me,” Michelle said throwing Dru an accusing look.

“I didn’t think you’d be interested.”

“I’m not,” Michelle said trying to peer around a couple who now stood in front of them to get a better look at Danny.

“Since I am acquainted with him I could give you an introduction,” Dru said with a knowing smile.

Michelle’s heart skipped a beat at the thought of being within mere feet of him. She smiled tremulously at Dru and nodded her head.

Danny watched Pilar’s fleeing figure as she wove into the crowd of dancers on the arm of William Lewis.

He turned back around and sent his cousin Ray a sardonic smile.

“She has all of your school chums wrapped around her finger.”

“I know. The other day I saw Crumley, our butler, leading Oliver Davidson into a sitting room. I then proceeded to strike up a conversation with him, thinking he was here to see me, only to be informed that he was in reality there to see Pilar.”

Danny and Mick shared a hearty laugh at their cousin’s expense.

“She’s giving all your American misses a run for their money,” Mick said his voice full of humor.

“How could she not?” Danny said mockingly, “they are hardly any competition for her.”

“Not true,” Ray said in good spirit, “I happen to know a few young women that could hold their own against anybody, even Pilar.”

Mick shot Danny a pointed look, “Do tell,” he said to his cousin.

“Oh please, Ray,” Danny said in a incredulous voice, “I have yet to meet one female here that didn’t have addled senses. My experience with the American female population is that they are all ninny-headed, weak-kneed dollies.”

“Excuse me,” came an angry female voice from behind Danny.

Danny turned to face the sparkling mad eyes of the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. He felt the air leave his lungs and his body began to thrum with the surge of awareness.

“Michelle. Drucilla,” Ray greeted nervously at Danny’s side.

“You were saying,” Michelle said to Danny not even sparing Ray a glance.

Danny gathered his scattered wits.

“I don’t believe we’ve been introduced. My name is Daniel, Danny, Santos.”

“I don’t care to be introduced to someone who thinks I’m…what was it? Oh yes, ninny-headed and weak-kneed.”

“I meant no offense to you.”

“And yet, surprisingly enough, I find that I’m offended.”

“Really, Michelle,” Dru said taking Michelle’s arm, “Let it pass. I’m sure Mr. Santos meant no harm.”

“I agree, Dru,” Ray said nervously eying Michelle, ” Danny was only relaying to me a story one of the chaps back home told him.”

Mick stood off to the side silently laughing behind his hand.

“Now why don’t I believe you,” Michelle said breaking eye contact with Danny to send Ray a doubting glance.

“Perhaps because you recognize what I said to be the truth,” Danny muttered without thinking.

Bloody hell, Santos! He cursed silently to himself.

Dru and Ray both moaned with the realization of what Danny’s words would bring.

“I don’t have to stand here and take this from some…some foreigner,” Michelle spat the last word out like it was dirty, “I demand redemption on the dueling field.”

“Pardon me,” Danny said amused at the spitfire who stood before him.

Mick was now laughing openly off to the side.

“I’m challenging you to a duel.”

“Not again,” Dru moaned.

“You can’t be serious,” Danny said lifting a brow, “I don’t play life threatening games with little girls.”

“I can assure you I’m not a little girl.”

Danny’s eyes slowly made a trip down Michelle’s body. As his gaze made its way back up it lingering excessively on her soft luscious lips.

“No. I can see that you are quite grown,” he said smiling seductively into her flashing eyes.

Dru took Michelle’s arms forcibly turning her away from Danny.

“Michelle, let’s just go. If you go through with this we may not get invited anywhere ever again.”

At the same time Dru was counseling Michelle, Ray was doing the same with Danny.

“Really Danny, there was no need to goad the chit. My mother would kill me if I let you get mixed up with her.”

Danny continued to stare at the soon to be retreating back of Michelle. Excitement unlike any he had ever known flowed through his veins.

“I accept your challenge,” Danny’s voice rang out.


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