CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED and EIGHTY-EIGHT
“I apologize for disturbing your meal,” the Prince said.
On Sissy’s right, Piper was swooning.
“It’s a little embarrassing, but my niece is very interested in dance, ballet in particular,” the Prince said. “Her mother asked if I might bring her over to meet you.”
“Me?” Piper asked.
The Prince looked at Piper and tried to determine if he knew her. He opened his mouth.
“It’s a pleasure to see you, Your Royal Highness,” James Kelly said, standing up.
“Jimmy!” the Prince said. “How the hell are you?”
The men shook hands and chatted back and forth for a moment.
“I see that you’re in good hands,” the Prince said in Sissy’s direction. “Sissy?”
“Your Royal Highness,” Sissy stood from her seat. “Uh, sir.”
Sissy curtsied and then remembered that James Kelly had said that she didn’t need to.
“If you don’t mind,” the Prince started, “I wonder what kind of a name is Sissy?”
“One that my brother made up,” Sissy said. “Sissy for sister, you know. I don’t like my birth name very much.”
“Yes,” the Prince said, and then added his entire name. “Mine. I understand.”
“I see,” Sissy said with a smile.
“As I said, my niece would very much like to meet ‘the ballerina from the Internet,’” the Prince said. “I have also been instructed to ask you if you’re going to have one of your wonderful dance parties.”
“We hadn’t planned on it,” Sissy said. “I was just going to come and see the schools.”
“We’re looking into it,” James Schmidt said.
“Jimmy, will you let us know when something is decided?” the Prince asked.
“Please keep my office in the loop. If we can help, we’d be delighted to help,” the Prince said. “My grandmother is very interested in this public dancing. She thinks it’s ‘neat.’”
“Now for my third mission,” the Prince said.
“Which is?” James Kelly asked.
“I’ve been told to assure you and Mr. Schmidt that the Royal Ballet is genuinely interested in having you study here,” the Prince said. “We would hate for the recent uncomfortable situation to make you believe that the Royal Ballet is in any less than thrilled that you might study here.”
Sissy blushed. Unsure what else to do, Sissy curtsied. Embarrassed, she sat back down. James Kelly grabbed her arm and pulled her back to her feet.
“He’s asking if you would take a photo with his niece,” James Kelly said in her ear.
“Oh,” Sissy said. “Okay. Sure.”
James Kelly escorted her over to where a tiny girl was standing. Sissy was struck by how much this little girl reminded her of Rachel Ann. Sissy longed to pick her up, but she was sure James wouldn’t let her. Shy, the little girl didn’t say a word to Sissy. They took a picture with Sissy and the little girl, and another with Sissy and the Prince. The Prince stuck out his hand and Sissy shook it.
The entire thing took less than five minutes. Sissy was back in her seat and was pleasantly surprised to see that someone had warmed up her tea.
“So you think everyone hates me now?” Sissy whispered to Piper.
“Hates you?” Piper asked. “Adores you, is more like it. Look at the older girls.”
Sissy peeked over at the older, more mature girls. They stared at Sissy with open hostility.
“I think they hate me,” Sissy said.
“Who cares?” Piper asked. “You got to touch the Prince!”
Sissy laughed. A few minutes later, Piper dragged Sissy up to see her dorm room. Piper finish getting ready and they raced to her dance class. Before Sissy knew it, she was standing at the back of a classroom and the teacher was starting the class.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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