“Kalara, dear!” Neva called. Kalara turned and saw her standing with a group of people by a display case on the other side of the room. They were all looking at her. “Come, be a dear and tell Mrs. Steer here that you are an Orlov.”
Kalara obliged, sauntering over in a way that splayed the mermaid shape of her dress just so. Her parents agreed that mermaid skirts were the best shape on her.
“Kalara,” Neva said when she was close, “who are your parents?”
A cool wisp of air brushed her arm. Magic. With rather less poise than she meant to, she responded, “Leander and Fara Orlov.” She glanced around, trying to find the source of the magic-y feeling. She refused to call it magical. That word rang of Disney Land.
“The owners of the country-wide bridal chain, I told you.” Neva gave Kalara a pointed glance. Kalara dismissed it and kept searching. Only two people in the world knew she was a mage, and she wasn't about to let her chance to find another confidant slip through her grasp.
“Really? I thought their daughter was younger,” said another of the guests. There it was! In the display case was a magic rod. It was the source of the ghostly touch of magic, even locked up in cherry wood and glass. “...for your own wedding needs?” Kalara focused on the speaker once more, realizing they weren't making general observations yet, they were still talking directly to her. She tilted her head.
“Maybe,” she said with a conspiratorial grin.
The group gave uncomfortable little laughs, the speaker straightening a few inches. “Where are your manners? Am I boring you, little Miss?”
Kalara swallowed some anger, readying a retort that would scald her scolding tongue. She was nineteen, which is no age to be associate with the word 'little' any more.
Neva pulled her aside. “What is the matter, Kalara? Are your studies wearing on you? Shall I have some lavender water fetched?”
“No, thank you.” She glanced back at the case. “Would you mind introducing me to Mr. Whitcomb, though? I should very much like to compliment him on his home.”
Neva brightened. “Of course, dear. I'm sure he'd just die to meet an Orlov.”
As they moved into the alternate living room, Kalara wondered to herself if his own funeral home would take care of his body, or if the business would go to his competition.