“I saw you dancing with Jasmine, how scandalous.”
“I know, that’s the point isn’t it?” Jacob winks at Mark.
“The rumor around town is you two know each other more than just dancing at the balls.” Mark elbows Jacob.
“Yes well, I have to talk to someone about your terrible bed manners.” Jacob looks around and snags Mark’s cuff. He looks to Mark and nods to the white French doors to the garden. Mark winks and heads that way. Jasmine sees Mark head to the garden and looks to Jacob who smiles at her. She makes her way to him.
“Where is he going?”
“To the garden where I told him to meet me in a few minutes. Come–” Jacob puts his hand out for her. “Help me get over there without people noticing.” They move to join the others dancing in the middle of the room.
“Isn’t this a little too brazen for you two?” Jasmine guides them around the others to the opening for the French doors. Jacob spins her and they bow to finish.
“I don’t care who finds out anymore. I’m with him, Jasmine. I feel like I could soar above when I’m with him.” Jacob backs out through the opening.
“Good. Go. He’s waiting.” She waves him away, but doesn’t look at him. She knew this would happen, but the sting isn’t any less.
“Thank you Jasmine. Thank you.” He leaves and quickly steps down the stairs. Jacob strides passed the fountain and through the rows of flowers. He hopes Mark went to the place they first met in the hedge maze. A group of them were set into the maze to “socialize,” but instead of finding the “proper” girl, Jacob ran into Mark, also hiding from everyone else. He felt a weird pull to hide next to Mark. As the others found suitors and scurried into their own hideaways, Mark and Jacob couldn’t stop whispering to each other. Mark’s eyes took Jacob’s breath away. Another turn and there Mark stood. It was a rather warm night, so he already had his suit-jacket off.
“There you are.” Mark moved to Jacob and embraced him.
“Wait.” Jacob waved his hand and a light fog surrounded the maze.
“You know I’ve already cut off all ways here, you didn’t have to shrowed us.”
“I know.” Jacob leans in to kiss Mark. “But it’s fun to do.” He looks into Mark’s eyes. He could see the calm steadiness of the Earth within Mark. He caressed the side of Mark’s face. “I love seeing the real you.”
“Me too.” Mark looked down into Jacob’s eyes. The vastness of the sea, although scared him, also brought something deep down to a boil. Mark takes Jacob’s suit-jacket and places it on a hook he made from the hedge wall. “Where did we leave off?”
“I remember.” Jacob smiles and pushes Mark against the hedges, groping and running his hands all over Mark’s body. Mark can’t help but to respond to Jacob’s touch. Jacob bites Mark’s neck, but Mark pushes him away. “What’s wrong?”
“That.” Mark points to the sky, a butterfly made of light was fluttering above the maze.
“Damn it, Jasmine. The ball is almost over already?” Jacob looks at the butterfly which is now slightly pulsing. “If we must, let’s return.”
“Wait.” Mark grabs Jacob’s hand and pulls him in. “I don’t care if people know. I’m tired of hiding.” Mark moves in to kiss Jacob, but Jacob turns his head slightly.
Waving his hand. “You are also a part of the aristocracy, a real lord. I’m just some, merchant’s son that happens to have wealth.” Jacob looks to the ground.
“Hey.” Mark lifts Jacobs chin to look him in the eyes. “I don’t care where you’re from, or what you’ve done. I want to be with you. The real you.” Mark caresses the side of Jacob’s face. The fog lifts and Jacob kisses him.
“Whatever you want. I am yours.” They put their jackets back on and the hedge breaks open to let them out. The butterfly follows them back to the ball and flashes above them as it notices they are arm in arm. Jasmine can’t stop staring as Mark and Jacob enter to the middle of the floor and dance along with the last dance of the night.