"UmMiss Cleo..." Sophie hesitantly called out.
"Just call me Cleo," came the quick reply from the princess. The princess had followed the advice of various love books extensively and the number one method to close the distance between two people was to get on a first name basis.
The girl before Sophie had the appearance of a meek little bunny with a lovable appearance that screamed out innocence and purity.
Why then was she so dominating?! Sophie had never been so aggressively pursued by someone of either s.e.x before, so this was a new experience for her.
Sophie was not dense and could tell that the opposite party was clearly interested in her romantically butwhy could she not recall ever seeing this person?
She was about to bring this matter up when a quiet hush came amongst the guests and Sophie turned around to see one of the servants making an announcement in a pompous voice.
"Precious guests from afar, we will now begin the dancing portion of our evening banquet," a loud call came from the eunuch standing at the side of the entrance door.
"May we start with the opening dance from the sons and daughters of heaven."
The princesses and princes each moved out confidently from the crowd and approached the center of the hall which had now been cleared. They each held the hand of a partner whose faces displayed various degrees of happiness.
Some were elated to be chosen by the offspring of the emperor while others were more realistic and just went along with the matter as to not throw the face of the royal children.
Most of these spoiled brats were no more than paper tigers but who could tell which hidden factions stood behind certain ones.
It was better to ensure one's safety and agree to the request than to refuse and eat a loss.
"Oh my precious sister. Could it be that you failed to secure a partner for your loathsome self?" came a mocking jeer from one the princesses who passed by.
Sophie saw that Cleo's expression was not well and she seemed to be silently shaking in sorrow while forcing the tears back.
Memories of loneliness and rejection from her own childhood seemed to flash across her mind and she thread her fingers into Cleo's hand while sending a provocative glare towards the noisy girl.
Many years laterSophie would come to realise that her innocent partner was not shaking in that moment due to distress but in anticipation of getting vicious revenge on her so-called sister.
What innocent bunny? She was nothing more than a big wolf!
"Follow my lead," Cleo tiptoed slightly and whispered softly in Sophie's ear. She was flattered by the silent support of this beautiful girl and the good feelings she had towards her seemed to rapidly multiply.
She quickly held onto Sophie's hands and rushed towards the dance floor before the poor girl knew what was happening. The lights in the hall had dimmed into a soft glow and the other children of the royal family had each occupied a certain spot.
Sophie heard the soft keys of a piano and several musicians appeared in the front of the hall as if by magic and began to play a soothing melody. She felt her newfound partner sliding her arms confidently around her shoulder and begin to sway gently from side to side.
"Have you ever danced before?" Cleo asked with a flirtatious grin.
"Nothis is my first banquet," Sophie's cheeks burned red under the gaze of the forward girl.
Each royal couple seemed to be dancing differently as some were simply swaying like Sophie and Cleo while others were doing elaborate moves to rapturous applause from the bystanders.
Sophie did not have the chance to observe the other couples but some realised that she was not the only one who was dancing with a partner of the same gender.
In fact, one of the princes seemed to be heavily making out with a muscular man while a girl passed out in the background from a nosebleed.
Waitisn't that girl from the prestigious class? What is her name again? Qisomething
"What's wrong Sophie? Does seeing two girls together bother you?"
Cleo saw the curious look in Sophie's eyes towards the different couples and wondered if her crush was not interested in her and merely saw her obvious flirts as friendship signals.
She frowned thoughtfully and decided to just give her a kiss to make her feelings clear, but Sophie asked a strange question,
"What! No way! It's just. don't nobles want heirs to pass on their family lines?"
"Huh? People of the same s.e.x can have children you know," said Cleo with a puzzled tone.
Sophie could not be blamed for not knowing this as her father had kept all knowledge of s.e.x and reproduction strictly forbidden from being taught. She was only given strict warnings that all men were dogs and to not date anyone until she was at least thirty.
The duke had no idea that his daughter was attracted to the fairer s.e.x, so he never explained the genetic recombination technology available to the population. Two individuals no matter the gender, could create a child in a laboratory setting by combining the genes of both parents.
This method was quite expensive, so it was not popular in the federation among the lower class.
Naturally, the resulting embryo produced would be placed inside one of the two mothers and the birth would occur naturally. In the case of two men, the unborn child would be inserted into a surrogate.
Sophie absorbed all this new information and the look she gave Cleo slowly changed.
Did this girl want to knock her up?!
She did feel slightly relieved that this technology existed as a small part of her did imagine a future with little people running around.
Cleo glanced up at the suspicious gaze in Sophie's eyes and gave out a short burst of laughter.
"I met you at the Royal Academy when I was chased by some guards," Cleo confessed in a guilty tone.
"Ahh! That is why your eyes looked so familiar," Sophie exclaimed in excitement.
Cleo said nothing but held onto Sophie's waist with a firm grip and spun around the dance floor. Truthfully, it had been mere curiosity when she approached the hybrid girl who stood alone in the corner.
Suddenly she had the desire to capture this innocent girl's heart.
"Why don't you take my communicator number?"