"La la la la la, la la, la la. La la la la la, la la, la la. La la la la..."
Elizabeth jumped, gasping in shock at the sound of the deep voice. She spun around.
"Who is there? How dare you sneak up on me, don't you know who I am? I am Countess Elizabeth and I could have you hanged for such insolence!" She spoke these words partly out of anger and partly out of embarrassment. She didn't want anyone to know that she still practised dancing on her own in the ballroom. Still, she could not have balls every day and not everyone loved dancing as much as she did.
Her eyes flicked around the room.
"Come on then, show yourself!" For one fleeting moment, Elizabeth couldn't help but hope it might be Mr Scree, the creature she had met during her childhood.
The first person that had ever danced with her.
She felt a wave of disappointment come over her as she saw the tall, muscular figure come out from the shadows.
"Who are you?" She demanded. A low growling seemed to come from the beast and Elizabeth suddenly realised the creature was chuckling.
"Well, I had hoped that you would have remembered me after all these years." He said softly in a deep, wise... and familiar voice.
Elizabeth stared at him, gazing into his golden eyes.
"Mr Scree?" She said in disbelief. He nodded, smiling at her. "But you are so big... you look so... different..."
"As do you, if you don't mind me saying so."
Elizabeth blushed. She was eighteen now, a young woman. Very different to the twelve year old girl he had met all those years ago.
"So, Countess Elizabeth eh?" He said in a friendly tone. She shrugged indifferently.
"Someone had to do the job; it may as well be me." She said. Then she raised her eyebrow. "So, big beast eh, Mr Scree?"
"Well trust me; I've been waiting to return to this form for a long time. And my real name is Abdizur."
"Abdizur. I like Mr Scree better." Elizabeth watched him with curious suspicion. "So why are you here Mr... I mean, Abdizur?"
"Surely you remember what I said last time we met?"
Suddenly the memory of that day came floating back, his words echoing in her ear.
But later I'm going to insist on another dance Elizabeth. And you'd better not say no.
He smiled as he saw the realisation in her face, stepping towards her slightly.
"I'm here for another dance." He said every so softly.
She blushed heavily, wondering why her heart was fluttering.
"Well, ask properly then." She said, regaining her composure.
"Excuse me Miss; may I have the pleasure of this dance?" He said, bowing to her just like he had done all those years ago.
"You may." She said, curtseying gracefully.
He took her hand in his own, placing the other hand on her waist. Her own hand went to his shoulder. Then, they slowly began to waltz.
It was different to before. Before it had been a little girl who had never danced before and a little man who was just being kind. Now, it was a young woman and a strong man, dancing together just because they wanted to.
Elizabeth stared into his eyes. They were the same beautiful golden eyes that she remembered. And although she was not used to his tall, brawny physique, she could not help but find him strangely attractive like this. A mixture of muscle and strength combined with the wisdom and kindness in his face. She found herself blushing again. Why did she feel this way?
Abdizur returned her gaze. She was not the little girl he had known before. She was a very fine young woman. Even thought she was a wraith, he could not help but consider her to be very beautiful. Long silvery hair done up in an elegant and lady like style, soft and smooth skin exposed only slightly by the long dress, a slender figure with curves in just the right places. Her face held a sense of refined maturity and yet she had managed to retain that childlike glint in her eye. He never would have dreamed he could feel this way about someone.
They continued to waltz around the ballroom, dancing in perfect step although there was no music. As they twirled and span, they kept finding themselves more and more drawn to each other. Every step made them long for each other, every turn made them move their bodies closer together.
Neither knew how long they danced for but when it was over and Abdizur's strong arms pulled her into the kiss they both longed for, Elizabeth knew that it was the perfect dance she had been dreaming of all her life.