“Anthony,” Francesca called out. It grabbed his attention for a second and when Anthony turned back the woman was gone.
He sulkily headed towards the voice of his mother, “Yes?”
“Come, sit down here,” she motioned to the seat at her table, “Mr Cavazos here was just telling me that dear Julissa has quite the liking for you.”
Anthony feigned a weak smile, “is that so?” he replied.
Mr Cavazos chuckled, “it most certainly is my good man, quite smitten indeed!”
“You should take her to dinner, darling, it would be lovely and she’s such a lovely girl,” Francesca gushed.
Anthony rolled his eyes, “sure thing mother,” he heaved himself up from the table and nodded his head towards Mr Cavazos, “Nice to see you again sir.”
“And you, my boy,” Mr Cavazos turned to Francesca to continue their conversation as Anthony walked away.
Where is she? He thought to himself.
Melody had found herself included in a conversation with several woman, she smiled and nodded along with their conversations not really listening. She had zoned out but was brought back to reality when one of the woman began discussing Anthony Cuthbert.
“Quite the man,” said one. “Perpetually single,” another added. “But oh so delicious, a modern day prince” rounded off the last woman as they all began giggling.
Melody ducked out of the conversation quietly and ended to the buffet table, she’d spotted the plates of every type of food she could imagine, her mouth was watering in anticipation but before she could reach the table an elderly woman blocked her path.
“Why hello there dear,” the woman thrust her hand out to take Melody’s, “I’m Francesca Cuthbert, I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure?”
“Melody Atkins,” she replied as she shook the womans hand, “Mrs Cuthbert, can I just say how beautiful this party has been.”
“Why thank you,” Francesca’s eyes narrowed on Melody’s neck, “Atkins you say? Are you sure we’ve never met, do I know your parents, perhaps?”
A wave of sadness washed over Melody’s face, “unlikely, Mrs Cuthbert”
Francesca’s eyes narrowed further, “that necklace, it’s darling,” she reached out to touch it but Melody flinched away and instinctively moved her hand and clutched her heart pendant in her hand.
“Oh this,” Melody replied, “I’ve had it since I was a baby.”
“I see,” straightening up, Francesca looked Melody in the eye, “must be going now, enjoy the rest of your evening,” and she disappeared into the crowd.
Melody moved over to the nearby fountain, watching as the water danced and dropped over and over, it was so relaxing.
“There you are” came a breathless voice behind her, she jumped, forgetting for a second where she was.
Turning around Melody lost her footing and felt herself toppling backwards, she saw herself falling into the fountain in slow motion in her head before a hand reach around her back pulling her to safety.
“So, you’ve already started to fall for me I see?” said the voice.
Melody adjusted her eye mask and tried to focus on the figure that was stood in front of her, broad shoulders, tanned, blonde hair, that side grin, those sparkling eyes, she felt her cheeks flushing.
“Thank you,” she managed to squeak.
“My pleasure, I’m Anthony, I saw you earlier on. Can I just say, you’re beautiful.” Anthony stated.
Melody was sure her face had turned a shade of crimson, “thank you.”
“Do I get a name?” Anthony asked.
“Sorry,” Melody smiled, “It’s Melody.”
“Beautiful,” Anthony whispered, “so, why the mask? It wasn’t part of the dress code?”
“Oh,” Melody was still adjusting the lace mask to make sure it was back in pace, “I just thought it looked different and who doesn’t like a bit of mystery every now and then.”
Anthony leaned in closer to Melody, “thank is very true.”
Their faces were almost touching at this point, Melody could feel her heart beating in her chest. Anthony leaned in and kissed her. Melody jumped back again, turned and ran from the garden.
“Wait!” Anthony called after her, but it was too late, she had already disappeared into the crowd.