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I felt a large hand reach around the back of my waist. I tilted my head back to see Joseph Martin’s large hazel eyes and great shining white smile looking down at me.
“Miss Sarah I’ve been hoping I would some how manage to find you within this crowd,” Joseph said with a grin. “Luckily, it seems to be that you are extremely fond of deserted sitting rooms.”
I spun out of his arms allowing him to hold onto my right hand. His hands were callused, no doubt due to farm work and other hardships he did on a daily basis. Like always I tried to speak, but Sarah had a mind of her own.
“Mister Martin I do not believe it is wise to come up behind a lady is such a fashion,” my voice sounded so icy. It was so unlike Sarah to sound this way to Joseph, “ Especially when I believe you were not invited to this ball in the first place.”
“ Well Miss Harlem, I would have to say it is a god dam good thing were not in the ball at the moment. If I must add once again, we are indeed in an abandoned sitting room not a ball room. And you Miss Harlem are the one that seems to be constantly going out of your way to be places where you well know you should not be.” Josephs southern accent always seems to be brought out during an argument, although with his tan skin and childish glow in his eyes, in all these dreams I’ve never been able to take him seriously.
I couldn’t help but feel guilty about lashing out on Joseph this time though, especially when I really wasn’t the one beginning the fight. Something seemed different about him tonight. His hair was longer than usual and I could see a copper colored beard coming through on the farthest lines of his jaw, which I know is not normal. Joseph hated facial hair. He told me himself a few dreams ago. His skin also seemed a lot more like dried leather than the regular soft tulip petal that I learned to love so much.
Apparently Sarah noticed the same differences that I did. Her tone with him changed almost automatically, “Joey, I’m sorry. You know how I miss Geremy, it’s just hard being around all these people; around all those men. Constantly being courted upon. It’s just to much. Every man that lays a finger on me is in my line of fire.”
She gave him a wishful glance at the last remark with her big luminous baby blue eyes. He looked down at her with a tight look on his face. His shoulders were so broad it made him look a good eleven inches taller than Sarah’s five foot three. I could never understand his feelings toward Sarah, but I could tell he loved her in a different way that she did him. Joseph kissed her hand that I forgot he was still holding ever so delicately.
“Come with me Sarah, I have someone I want you to me.” His voice seemed like stone; so unlike the childhood friend Sarah had grown to love so much. He was so out of his natural character tonight. It scared her, but she allowed him to lead her out of the quiet room filled with books and the angel painting.
The ball room was just as crowded as before, except hotter. Sweat seemed to cote every surface in the room, including all the guests. Joseph pushed his way through the chattering groups of women and men, none of which seemed to take a notice in him being there. Sarah and I, on the other hand, could feel the eyes of all the suitors whom had followed us throughout the entire party on us. But I could sense Sarah’s change in feelings now that we were with Joseph. She felt so much safer; so much more herself.
Joseph finally made his way to his destination: the bar. He stopped so abruptly that I ran head first into his back , but it didn‘t seem to phase him. I could see a small smile beginning to make way across his face. “Good news,” I though, “Maybe my clumsiness put him in a better mood.” Soon enough I saw that my disability to walk had nothing to do with Joseph’s relapse in personality. He had found who he was searching for.
“Miss Sarah, I would like you to meet my cousin I told you ‘bout that long time ago,” Joey spoke loudly so the man in front of us could here. I peaked out from around his shoulder so I could catch a glimpse of this mystery man. Why would Joey be showing Sarah another suitor after she just had explained her feelings about men?
The man turned around and my breath stopped; not just my breath internally, but Sarah’s also externally. But I didn’t care about Sarah at that moment; she was the farthest thing from my mind. Those eyes, that mouth, the way that blond hair lays across his forehead in that wind blown look.
“Miss Sarah, how I’ve been looking forward to meeting you,” the man said with the uttermost confidence. The confidence that I, myself not Sarah, loved so much. His hazels gray eyes shone against his ivory skin under the orange lighting of the room.
Joseph looked rather haughty and pleased with himself.
“Sarah, this is my cousin Damien Grayson.”