David still hadn't shown up by the time the band began to play "Moondream Sight," a favorite of the playboy Larrabee's. Sabrina glanced hopefully across the indoor tennis court at the door. Any minute now she kept expecting to see her beloved David walk in, smiling and flashing his gleaming teeth. His teeth were beautiful, perfect. David was perfect.
She'd been in love with him for as long as she could remember, longer than he even knew she existed, tucked away above the garage. From such a high vantage point one could see everything - especially the latest recipient of David's wooing. Every party, like clockwork, David would casually slip a pair of champagne glasses under his dinner jacket and meet his prize, champagne bottle in hand, in the moonlit sanctuary of the courts. Perched in the boughs of a tree, Sabrina had watched them. Oh, how she'd daydreamed and wished that she was was the one dancing under the stars! The one David was murmuring sweet nothings to! Sabrina smiled and glanced up. Outside a man was approaching the tennis courts, holding a pair of fluted glasses and a long-necked bottle. Sabrina hurriedly gathered her skirts and climbed the umpire's seat. She smoothed her dress and turned to meet David.
It was Linus, the oldest Larrabee son. He was quieter than David, and more reserved. As a child he'd frightened her with his brisk business manner and devotion to the family empire. At this moment he looked more like a normal man, and not too terribly unlike David...
"There you are. Would you like me to serve you up there? Or would you prefer to come down? Up there? Well..."
She'd reacted to him coming closer to the ladder.
"No, I'll come down."
He waited silently as she made her way down, still holding the glasses in his hands.
Her voice was polite, but had a detached tone to it. Linus shrugged it off; nobody said this would be easy.
"Couldn't come. Got stuck."
Sabrina's face fell so suddenly all the emotion kept hidden away rushed forward, clouding her face. Linus smiled and began to pour the champagne.
"Don't worry, he'll be fine. He asked me to come in his stead."
His words were so unexpected that Sabrina hardly knew what was going on. An operetta, something about foreign money, buying off an unworthy lover...
"No self-respecting girl would accept $250,00."
It was an automatic reply to Linus's statement.
"Good girl," he said, leaning close and kissing her lightly on the cheek.
The kiss woke her from her reverie, removing her thoughts of David. She turned to face him, but he had taken a few steps and now his back was to her. As she watched him sip from his champagne a song floated softly in on a breeze. Immediately she recognized the opening bars; it was her favorite song, "Isn't It Romantic." She twirled away and shut her eyes, enjoying the moment.
"This is the song they played that night. David was dancing it with someone else. I wished it were me..."
A few footsteps brought a warm hand to her waist. She stopped turning to see Linus looking intently into her eyes. It suddenly occurred to her how their heights were virtually the same, allowing Linus to meet her gaze perfectly.
"It's all in the family."
With those five words Linus placed his arms around her and began to lead her around the tennis courts. It was strange at first, but by closing her eyes Sabrina found she could imagine that it was David who held her close.
They had been dancing for some time before Sabrina allowed herself to rest her head on Linus's shoulder. He didn't say anything but continued to slowly circle around the courts. Sabrina sighed contentedly and Linus understood that now might be his best chance of the night.
"If David were here right now you'd expect him to kiss you, wouldn't you?"
She lifted her head and faced him, her eyes still blissfully closed.
"Here's a kiss from David."
Soft lips met her own in a gentle but determined way, and Sabrina found herself allowing Linus to continue kissing her. But, suddenly, it was over and he clasped her to himself again, stepping in time to the music. Sabrina sank her head back onto his shoulder, but this time her eyes were staring in wide disbelief. She'd never been properly kissed before; one time when she was nine David had kissed her on the cheek, but that was the sloppy attempt of an adolescent boy.
As Linus moved with her hands in his own Sabrina considered what it was to be in love, and how nice a pair of soft lips were on such a romantic evening.