Sprinting through the palace hall, he reached the foyer and peered over the balcony at the dancefloor.  His hands gripped the railing as he tried to catch his breath.  His eyes searched through the masqueraders for the girl.

Faces hidden by masks, it was impossible to tell who was who.  Was he even in the right place?  Then he saw her.  The girl in the blush pink dress.  Her sunkissed arms and auburn hair could not be mistaken for another. 

And there she was, dancing with the horse rider from the beach.  Hardly his captive.

The frantic look on his face faded.  He watched stone-faced as the two of them danced, unable to tear his eyes away.

He was not a rescuer at all.  He was a fool.

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