I never believed in love at first sight until our eyes met that night.
The connection was instant.
I made my way to the other side of the ballroom where the man was standing. He smiled when I approached, the corners of his mouth raised slightly. His glassy blue eyes reflected the warmth of the mid-afternoon sea, cool yet inviting.
“Hi…” I managed an earnest but awkward smile. I was flustered and I didn’t like it.
“Hello.” He replied in a clear, melodious voice. He never took his eyes off mine.
“I… I’m Gerald. Do I know you from somewhere?” My cheeks felt hot and I regretted it immediately when I blurted out those words.
The man raised his eyebrow slightly and then chuckled. I wanted to bury myself in a deep hole then.
“Maybe?” he answered politely as he gestured to a waiter who was passing by and placed his emptied cocktail glass on the tray.
“Drinks for you?” he asked. I could see that his pale cheeks were flushed from the alcohol.
“Err… no… thanks…” I mumbled.
He smiled again and took two glasses from the waiter. His fingers were slender and long, like a pianist’s.
“Here…” He handed one glass to me and said matter-of-factly, “I think you need it.”
I couldn’t refuse.
“Come!” the man grabbed me by my wrist and led me out of the ballroom before I could protest.
We entered an adjoining balcony hidden behind thick, red curtains and he released me, arms stretched out as he walked towards the edge. His hair was long and dark as the night sky. Fastened neatly into a ponytail, it swayed as he turned around to lean against the balustrade. I found myself following him as if he was the pied piper and stood before him like a child.
He held his glass to me, smiling.
I clinked my wineglass on his.
“Cheers!” he beamed and emptied his drink in one hearty gulp.
I was mesmerised by his beauty and couldn’t help but stare.
Noticing that I had not touched my drink, he narrowed his eyes and clicked his tongue in slight annoyance. He took my glass from me and took a mouthful of the cocktail. All of a sudden, his lips covered mine and his insistent tongue parted my lips. I jerked back by reflex but he held the back of my head firmly until all the bitter-sweet alcohol flowed into my mouth. I felt my knees go weak.
Time seemed to stop.
“Young master!” a deep, masculine voice boomed in a distance and the spell was broken.
Swiftly, he broke our kiss and backed away from me slightly.
I slumped back, dumbfounded. The intense pounding of my heart drowned out the sounds of almost everything around me.
The doors to the balcony opened to reveal a tall, older man whose handsome face was marred by anxiety. He was dressed in servant’s livery.
“I thought I would find you here!” the tall man cast a suspicious glance at me before he continued, “My Lord is looking all over for you, young master! Please come with me at once!”
The man shrugged and replied, “Please don’t kick up a fuss.” He seemed resigned and did not show any resistance to the request. Before he turned to leave, he touched his index finger to his lips and gave me a mischevious wink. I could only stare in silence and shock at the unexpected turn of events.
With that, I was left alone on the balcony.
It was only much later that I realised I forgot to ask his name.