by Kelly Oram
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I didn’t say anything when Ryan arrived to pick me up. I knew he’d go overboard tonight, I’d just had him pegged as a giant-tacky-limo-packed-with-his-obnoxious-football-buddies type of guy. Admittedly, the private horse-drawn carriage was much more appealing.
And then I couldn’t say anything when he claimed we’d reached our destination because the sight of it took my breath away. The place was practically a castle. It was the most romantic setting for a dance I’d ever seen.
But I absolutely had to say something when we walked in and I suddenly felt completely out of place in the gorgeous black number I’d secretly spent weeks scouring the country to find.
“I thought you said we were going to the prom, Ryan.”
Ryan looked amazing in his tux, but just as out of place as me since most of the guys here were sporting ascots with their jackets.
“I said we were going to the dance,” he corrected smugly.
“You call this a dance?”
“Dance… Ball... Whatever.”
“Ryan, where are we?”
“Europe in the 1700’s,” Ryan said with a wide grin. “At the Pemberly Ball.”
“Pemberly? As in Pride and Prejudice?”
“Yeah, that’s the one. My mom said that book was the most romantic thing she’d ever read so…”
“So you decided to magically take me there in order to give me a prom I’d never forget?”
Ryan wriggled his eyebrows at me. “Romantic, right?”
Actually, it was. Really romantic. This place and everything about it was amazing. Ryan had really outdone himself this time. But if I told him so his head might just inflate enough to explode so instead of agreeing with him I asked, “And how exactly did you manage to get us here?”
Ryan scanned the room, his eyes lingering on the dancing couples, and frowned. “Do I ask questions when you bench my truck or bring me pizza from Chicago?”
“Um, yes. Constantly. You see how annoying it is now? So how’d you do it? It’s not possible.”
“You’re missing the point, Jamie. Look at this place. There’s great food, live music, dancing, and most importantly, it’s all by candlelight.”
“Exactly. That way—” Ryan pulled me into his arms and began to slowly sway. “—when I kiss you on the dance floor, you won’t have to worry about blowing up all the lights.”
I sighed when Ryan started to lean in. He just never learns. He seemed to be forgetting that while there may not be any lights to explode, he could still get zapped back to his own century.
“Um, Ryan?” I asked just before his lips found mine.
“You’re not really going to tell me I can’t kiss you, are you? Jamie, it’s our prom.”
Ryan’s pout was so pathetic I laughed. “Sorry. But it’s your own fault this time.”
“Is too. Kissing in public is a big-time no-no in Jane Austin’s time.”
“So lets go find an empty room. There’s only like a thousand of them here. This place is huge.”
“Ryan, kissing at all wasn’t cool. People kept their hands off each other back then. In fact, what we’re doing right now is—”
“We’re just dancing!”
“No, actually.” I pointed across the room to where a group of men and women faced off in two separate lines. Ryan followed my gaze. His frown grew even bigger as he watched the dancers bow and curtsey and occasionally walk around each other in circles.
“That is what passes for dancing at a ball,” I explained. “What we’re doing now is scandalous. See?”
I stepped out of Ryan’s arms and gestured to the crowd of people around us. Plenty of them were staring wide-eyed.
“So much for the most awesome prom ever,” Ryan grumbled. “Let me get this straight. Some lady writes a book with no kissing in it and slow dancing doesn’t even exist in her world, and women for centuries to come will consider it the most romantic book ever written? How does that work?”
Normally I’m a sci-fi reader, but I will admit to having read Pride and Prejudice more than once. And the answer to Ryan’s question is simple. “Two words,” I told him. “Mr. Darcy.”
“Who’s Mr. Darcy?”
I smirked. “He’s Ryan Miller times a million.”
Ryan had been frowning but couldn’t manage to keep it up. “Not possible,” he said. “Even fictionally.”
“Sorry,” I teased. “But if there were ever a man that could win more hearts than you, it’s Mr. Darcy.”
“Are you talking about tall, dark, and brooding over there?”
I followed the direction of Ryan’s gaze. It was definitely Mr. Darcy. “Try tall, dark, and gorgeous.”
“That guy?” Ryan was clearly not impressed. “He doesn’t seem very charming, and he’s definitely not as pretty as me.”
“He’s not charming, he’s regal. That’s part of the allure. And you’re right. He’s not pretty. He’s much too handsome to be pretty.”
Ryan’s eye roll was over the top. “I can’t believe that guy can make you swoon.”
“Hey. I’m an ice queen. I do not swoon.”
Oops. I stuck my foot in it that time. Ryan immediately cocked an eyebrow and I knew I was done for. Nothing like a challenge to bring out the side of Ryan Miller that makes my insides turn to goo. He didn’t even have to say anything this time. He just smiled wickedly and pulled me back into his arms. “I hate you,” I said as I fought back a shiver.
Ryan began to spin me in the slowest of all slow dances. “Sure you do.”
I didn’t see the point in fighting it anymore. I relaxed against his body. “Thank you for my prom, Ryan.”
I pulled my head back when he cleared his throat. He was looking down at me very expectantly.
“Oh, all right. Fine,” I said and Ryan kissed me.
Darcy post created for Pemberley Ball by Kelly Oram
© 2010. All rights reserved.
by Kelly Oram
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