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It really was a fairytale setting, Polly came to realise. The moon was high, and there was a scent of roses, gathered and slowly dying in elaborate sets around the balcony; the band struck a slow waltz, somewhere inside, as the ball continued; and she had just been kissed wonderfully well.

About time, too.

"Traditionally, you would now drain my blood and turn me into a creature of the night," she pointed out.

"Traditionally, I would take you to my master and have him drain your blood." Maladicta grinned, and kissed her again. Neither of them was much into tradition.