I looked down at my lap, wondering what on earth this man was doing sitting down next to me. Men normally took no notice of me, as most people normally behaved around me. This was decidedly abnormal behavior. I wasn’t quite sure how to react.

He sat tapping his toe in beat with the music, watching the dancing. I stole a glance and noticed he had pleasant features, though his nose was a bit prominent. But his strong brow and deep-set eyes more than made up for that. There was something foreign about him. He didn’t look like most of the men in Devonshire. All of a sudden he swiveled his eyes towards me, a questioning look writ upon his face. I blushed furiously and looked away again.

“I couldn’t help noticing that your fan needs repair,” he said and I realized that I’d moved the fan back into my hands, forgetting I’d snapped the sticks just moments before.

I laughed nervously. “These things are so dreadfully delicate. They break so easily.”

He took it from my hands and examined it. “I think I can fix this.”

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