Thursday, July 3, 2008

Episode 13: Charming

Andrew had heard the saying "the clothes make the man," but had always discounted it as the sort of thing only Alpha Males who needed to wear power suits for executive meetings in downtown skyscrapers in major metropolitan centers believed in. It seemed elitist to him, but standing in the lobby of the Hotel MacDonald, he suddenly understood it.

He'd been to a brunch at the MacDonald once, arriving in dress casual, and feeling like he didn't belong amidst the opulence of marble columns and old world architecture. The way the staff had treated him had felt conspicuous; he wasn't a "sir" and when the server unfolded his cloth napkin to place it in his lap, Andrew had nearly jumped out of his skin. Being treated like he was some rich bigwig by other people in the service industry, the very industry he worked in, felt altogether wrong.

Standing in the lobby in his new clothes--he laughed to himself, thinking of clothes bought over a hundred years ago as being "new"--was a different matter altogether. He stood, in a wool frock coat over top of a copper basin vest across which ran the chain of a gold filigreed pocket watch. The highland pants with the black Y-bracers felt a little odd, but the ensemble, topped by a black silk puff tie made him feel as though he belonged there, standing underneath the opulent chandelier lighting the lobby. His gaze fell from the crystal extravagance overhead to the stairs beneath it, whereupon all thoughts of the opulence of the chandelier fled his mind.

Silke descended, her blonde hair cascading in thick curls, falling to cover her scar without hiding her face. She wore a wine-red corsetted dress of velvet and silk, with a plunging neckline that made Andrew muse that the silk puff tie was far too tight. She had a black chiffon wrap hanging loosely around her shoulders, which fell as she waved to him. Her bared shoulders and arms made the room's temperature rise once again. He could tell his ears were as red as her dress. He cleared his throat, and held out his arm to her as she finished her descent.

"You look remarkable," he said, his voice too thick, his words too much a mumble.

"And you," she said with her perpetually confident smile, "seem to have gone from a Sleeping Beauty to a Prince Charming."

Once again, the clothing suddenly made the man, and Andrew replied, "Well, I can only hope that you don't run off at the stroke of midnight."

Silke inclined her head appraisingly. "I don't think I shall," she said finally. She took his proferred arm, and they turned to enter the ballroom.