Colemund walked Jolán around the perimeter of the Palace ballroom, and then he guided her towards a quiet area behind long red velvet drapes. As they walked through the drapes, Jolán observed several people taking notice. Once Colemund and Jolán walked through the curtains, Jolán noticed a rather gigantic area that overlooked the back of the Palace courtyard. There were large bay windows lined along the back wall. The enormous room was illuminated by soft lights, and there were large white stars that hung from the ceiling in a creative and dramatic fashion; and the stars supplied a warm and rosy glow to the room.
Colemund escorted Jolán to a table in front of one of the windows. She looked out the window, and she noticed the magnificent hedge maze located off the center of the courtyard. The back side of the Palace was vast; it was probably a few miles in length and diameter.
As she continued to stare out the window, Colemund looked at her and said, “Jolán, I am going to leave for a moment to find a friend who will locate Eshe, and I will return momentarily.”
Colemund then leaned closer to Jolán, held her hand and whispered in her ear and said, “I just want to get a better smell of you, my dear.” Colemund lingered close to Jolán for several seconds and then he said, “It’s very nice being this close together, right?”
Jolán became shy and she dropped her head, but she immediately raised her head and met Colemund’s eyes and responded, “Yes, very nice.”
Colemund then released Jolán’s hand, he flirtatiously smiled at Jolán, and then he turned and walked away to locate his friend Alastair.
Jolán sat patiently. She could not shake the surrealistic feeling that was developing. She looked through the large bay window, and she gazed over the massive courtyard. Everything was brilliantly lit. The shrubs, the hedge maze, the beautifully landscaped patio, and the rolling hills were all punctuated with a glow of romantic soft light. Some of the illuminants were pink, others were blue, and then others were white.
Before Jolán could dive deep into her thoughts, Colemund appeared with a goblet of water to share; a beer for him, and a vodka and soda water with lemon slices for Jolán. As he set the beverages on the table, Jolán was impressed Colemund knew what to bring her to drink.
Colemund searched Jolán’s face for an indication he brought the right drink, and he received his confirmation when Jolán looked him in his eyes and questioned, “How did you know?”
Colemund jokingly replied, “How did I know what, my dear?”
Jolán was already getting used to Colemund calling her, “his dear.” She then replied, “What I like to drink. How did you know?”
Colemund pulled his chair closer to Jolán, and he placed her drink in front of her and said, “I believe you may have met a friend of mine.”
Colemund was referring to Alastair; however, Jolán was unaware and replied, “Really?”
Colemund sat in his chair, smiled, and said, “You’ll have your memory jogged soon enough.”
Colemund opened his beer, and he took a decent drink from the bottle. Jolán watched as his Adam’s apple moved up and down as he swallowed the liquid down his throat. Jolán was smitten, but so was Colemund. As Jolán took the cocktail straw in her drink and mashed the lemon to a fine pulp, Colemund watched her. He admired her long fingers and her elegant hands. He watched her wrist turn as she moved the straw. He felt dreamy, and he liked the feeling. He thought about Jolán since the day their paths crossed at the Academy. Colemund knew their meeting was fate, and he was not going to let her out of his sight. He wanted to hear her talk more; he already loved the sound of her voice. He liked watching her mouth move. He adored watching her become a bit shy, but then confident. He felt like he already knew her, but he wanted to reacquaint himself with her. Colemund was positive they were a match. This was not something he immediately knew, but it was something he magically felt.
As he watched Jolán pulp up the lemon, he jokingly asked, “Are you making lemonade?”
Jolán sweetly looked at him and replied, “I do like the taste of lemons.”
Colemund couldn’t stop thinking about kissing her lips, but he was so calm and cool on the surface, Jolán couldn’t really get a read on the prince. After Jolán took her first sip of her drink, she quickly felt the cool vodka slide down her throat and fall to her belly.
She looked at Colemund, and he grabbed her hand and said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I want to be as close to you as I can right now. I hope I am not too forward.”
Jolán loved the attention from Colemund. She felt they were intimately together before, but she knew they were not. Jolán tried hard to contain her excitement, but her exuberant energy often appeared through the warmth of her cheeks as she occasionally blushed when Colemund said something that made her feel like the center of the universe.
As Colemund and Jolán sat holding hands and drinking their beverages, Eshe, Alastair, and Aidan approached the table. Jolán immediately recognized Alastair and Aidan.
Jolán smiled at the young men. She looked at Alastair and said, “I see you found my friend,” and then she smiled at Eshe. She looked back towards Alastair and Aidan and said, “It’s good to see you two again.”
Eshe couldn’t believe what she was seeing; it was like one of her dreams about Jolán and the prince unraveled in her reality. Alastair noticed how comfortable Jolán and Colemund were with each other, and he knew Colemund had his interest fixed on Jolán. In Alastair’s heart of hearts, he knew Colemund and Jolán had a love created by the universe.