[OOC: Hope you enjoyed your vacation! We're taking one ourselves shortly, so I will be intermittent until the 10th or so, but should have enough net access to post at least short things ... so here's a not-so-short thing to get ready for the dance. Note that I'm no expert on women's dancing clothes, so feel free to embellish the description of what Therese is wearing as you see fit...]
Therese gasped. She's so beautiful ... that I'm just about ready myself. No, control yourself, girl, that can come later.
Dancing clothes weren't part of her normal traveling kit -- she carefully avoided things like dances when in Goriel, other than being a passive observer at the orgiastic sword-swinging that passed for men-only dancing at banquets and such -- so she'd had to make a quick, uneventful shopping trip into town to pick up something appropriate. She wasn't the only one doing the same thing; several Santuarielian women were bustling around getting the same kind of things as she was looking for, and she heard the phrases "dance -- caravan -- Melkumyan" in their conversations. Most were unfamiliar to her, but she recognized Renee
, granddaughter of the venerable Maxwel, dragging along a nondescript half-elven man who might have been her husband (and whose rolling of eyes made it clear what he thought of this shopping trip) and a teenaged-looking boy who might have been her son (showing an even more exaggerated rolling of eyes). To her complete astonishment, Shamhat was also shopping for dancing clothes, and threw her a smile and a wink as she tried something on, but the priestess was on the way out the shop's door and did not linger.
These shoppers had been a welcome sight, because Therese honestly had no idea what would be appropriate attire for this affair. At least it didn't seem to be highly formal, based on what was being bought. She settled on a light, almost translucent green outfit with a modest blouse and pants that were almost pajama-like. (An extravagance; I'd never be able to wear this in Goriel,
she thought ruefully. But I'm probably never going back there anyway, so...
) It was this that she was wearing as she gaped at Desiree's more ... enticing
apparel, and it was all she could do not to rip it off for a moment of passion ...
Restraint prevailed, and shortly they were en route for the dance. As they walked toward the trader's compound, she noticed Renee and her family(?) paralleling them, and she waved cordially at the trio. As though on cue, Renee mumbled something to her male companions, and swerved over to Desiree and Therese, her face all smiles. "Glad you could make it," she said. "I wasn't sure whether the invitation would get to you before you left town. I'm glad it did."
Therese raised an eyebrow at this. "You knew we were invited?"
Renee smiled impishly. "I talked to Master Melkumyan and -- persuaded him to write the invite, or let me write it myself. I hope you don't mind, I made up a bunch of stuff to make sure it would impress him." She looked at Therese. "There was a girl who came to us earlier today for a checkup on her pregnancy, and she said she knew you, although she wouldn't say how or where. But she said you were from Refuge-Nouveau, so I, well, played that up some." And to Desiree: "My grandfather
says you're a princess, so I made some things up about being from this awful place called Goriel, over east of here, and being a daughter of their ruling clan ...
"Now why are you looking at me like that?"