The Ballroom of Be Our Guest with the big mural on the ceiling

Philomena felt Isobel eyeing her as soon as she entered the ballroom. Pretending not to have noticed, she grabbed a crystal flute glass of champagne and drifted across the polished floor. She had barely reached Johnathan- the most eligible bachelor in all of London-when Isobel touched her elbow. Turning to glare at her, Philomena knew she had missed her chance again and could not help but think that Isobel was really determined to stop any romance blooming.

‘That’s a nice gown,’ Isobel’s childlike voice called out, ‘is it silk?’

‘No. It’s a new fabric called rayon,’ Philomena announced, aware that Johnathan and his gentleman friends were now watching them.

‘How…unusual! And such a deep shade of red too. Where did you get it from?’

‘My brother. His factory has just started manufacturing the fabric and he’s becoming quite the expert.’

Isobel’s lips curled in a fake smile, ‘but the cut is too low on you and look, it’s too short as well….’

Philomena kept her head up, though she was tempted to glance down. However, she already knew the gown was daring. It scarcely touched the floor, showing the matching satin slippers and a patch of ankle. The sleeves were also short, just touching her wrists and whilst the back of the gown sat comfortable on her neck, the front dropped down revealing all her chest and the full top half of her breasts. The pinched in waist and stomach, then flowed out into a full floating skirt. The gown left nothing to the imagination.

‘Actually it’s the latest fashion. Especially in Paris.’

Isobel screwed up her face, seemly speechless for a change. Philomena took the opportunity to sip the champagne. She also let her eyes slide over to Johnathan, who seemed to have an impressed look on his face. As one of his friends started whispering in his ear, Philomena turned back to Isobel, ‘I was just on my way to take some air.’

‘Of course, please enjoy your evening,’ Isobel muttered before taking her leave.

Taking a longer drink of the champagne, Philomena turned and started for the balcony’s French doors. Her eyes meet Johnathan’s and he stepped over.

‘Please let me escort you, Lady Trussoni, it would be my pleasure,’ he spoke.

Philomena smiled and linked arms with him.