The hall was filled with silks and satins and sweeter fabrics, fluttering and snapping in the rush of the music. A heavy pull on instruments strings, and skirts belled and twisted. They moved, woven water, in all the colors of sky and ocean, but Braelyn wore a gown carved out of marble, swaying only at the quake of her step.
If she had smiled, any number of the men and women she stopped to speak with would have called her beautiful. She had been beautiful since she was very small, and had seen enough mirrors to understand the statement was half compliment and wholly fact.
And she had no need to be beautiful.
Stepping along the length of the room, deep in the music even while the party seemed to eddy around her, she wanted to be stunning. She wanted to be arresting.
She wanted to be powerful.
From a distance, no one would be able to tell that the towel tied over her skirt was not part of the dress. Kindey assumed that that also meant that a quick look as she wove her way through the morning crowd on Deaver Street would also keep it hidden, and she pushed through on a long stride. If she kept her head high, even she didn’t see the towel, and she pretended she didn’t feel the rough fabric through the long tear.
Besides that, but it was only twenty minutes more until home, and after six hours, that hardly seemed like a stretch.
When Kindey turned off Deaver, she left most of the crowd behind, and hurried a little faster now that there was more space to see her. When she turned onto her own street, she left everyone behind, and she let out a happy breath, before gathering the edges of the towel in either hand with her skirt balled up underneath. Bolting for her front door, Kindey slammed through. She knew there was no hope of sneaking inside.