The following day, Kel and Dom could be seen making their way to the large doors through which they would be announced.
Dom was looking handsome in a sky blue flowing shirt and white breaches. Kel was wearing a sky blue dress to match her husband's shirt, but had flatly refused to wear a corset - "I need to be able to breathe" and makeup.
Dom was extremely suspicious as they lined up behind Raoul and Buri, because Kel was radiating satisfaction – unusual for a woman who had been constantly denied doing as she wanted. Dom had a slight suspicion as to the reason for her satisfaction, but as of yet he had no idea what type of punishment would be bad enough for Raoul that his wife would be this happy.
They were introduced and slowly made their way down the steps.
The first part of this ball consisted of standing around and listening to all the palace gossips. They went and talked to all their friends; Alanna and George, Neal and Yuki, and quite a few of Kel's knight friends.
Kel was idly following Dom around amongst her friends, talking only when the situation demanded it. She finally caught Buri's eyes, and while Raoul was not looking hand signed to her "it's time."
Buri allowed herself a small grin, and a few moments later she could be seen exiting the hall.
As the band struck up a tune, Dom asked Kel if she would like to dance. She accepted happily.
They danced for a while, and each time Kel took a glance at Raoul, he seemed to be getting more and more concerned. He was standing near the wall, stiff as a post, staring about himself, looking lost.
After a while, Kel told Dom that she was tired, and she ambled off towards Raoul.
"Good evening, Raoul, how are you?"
He seemed to come out of a trance as he noticed her standing beside him. "Kel, have you seen Buri? She left ages ago to relieve herself and she hasn't returned."
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about her. She is fine." Kel responded pleasantly.
Raoul looked at her properly, and asked her suspiciously "How do you know she is fine? You have been dancing for ages. And what has you so damn happy to be here?" He added, blatantly realising that whenever she had been made to attend a ball, she had sulked with him.
"I am just enjoying getting my revenge." She said simply, grinning wolfishly at him.
"Wha…??" He stood there silent for a moment. "How the heck is this revenge?"
"Oh, you will find out." Kel's grin grew larger, and Raoul suddenly felt even worse.
"What did you do? And Why?"
Kel just looked at him and arched one eyebrow, appraising him. She decided that this was probably the best part of her plan, the big unveiling. Revelling in his uncertainty, she cleared her throat.
"Did you honestly forget that the first time you dragged me from the practise courts I swore to get my revenge? Here it is. You forgot that I know what frightens you more than any kind of public humiliation."
Raoul, guessing where her plan was leading, turned deathly pale, "You wouldn't." He said sharply, quietly.
Kel nodded her head, "Oh, but I did."
"I don't believe you." Raoul said, clinging to this one last hope.
"I will explain fully the brilliance of my plan for you then. Uh hem. A week ago I requested an audience with the King. I asked him to hold a ball, and to force all those at the palace to attend. You know, my Lord, you really should have been nicer to him. He asked why I would like this particular evening and he agreed immediately; he still hasn't gotten over all of your efforts during the Progress to avoid joining it. Tonight you are to sit this whole meal through next to the most persistent match making mothers in the kingdom, who are yet to believe their daughter's chances are zero, even though you are already married." Kel finished with a flourish.
Raoul thought this over, his face loosing more colour "you didn't stop there though, did you?" He whispered.
"You catch on very quick, my lord. I contrived to make sure that Buri would leave; she agreed as she understood my pains at being denied my pleasure." I said pointedly, reminding him that he had done the same to Buri when she had been pregnant with Daniel.
"You are a bad woman." Raoul told her. At this she just laughed and turned to join Dom again on the dance floor. Kel knew quite well that Raoul's worst fear just happened to be those grubby matchmaking mothers.
Dom, dancing with Kel, caught sight of Raoul looking depressed. "What did you do to Raoul?" He asked Kel.
She leaned over to get a look at him and laughed. "Merely got my revenge."
As they sat through dinner, all that glanced Raoul's way could see that he was thoroughly depressed. He kept shooting scalding looks at Kel, but she just smiled back.
That night, Kel went to bed thoroughly content, knowing that the punishment she had dished out for Raoul was the worse than any other she could have possibly thought up.
Disclaimer: I am not Tamora Pierce.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Tell me weather you thought Raoul's punishment bad enough. Yeah, so thanks for reading, please rate and review!