"My dear Victoria, so lovely to see you again. I must say your gown is lovely."
"Thank you Mrs. Bunny. By any chance, have you seen Steerforth this evening?"
"Why yes. He arrived a short while ago with his sister, Georgiana."
"It appears you will have to wait to speak with Steerforth as his cousin is hurriedly coming this way."
"Victoria, you are a vision of beauty this evening."
"Thank you Burl. I was wondering if you have seen Steerforth as of late?"
Broken hearted Burl responded,
"No I have not."
Still looking about with little regard for Burl's steady gaze she answered delicately,
"It was very nice speaking with you Burl. Perhaps we can chat later."
And off she went in search of Steerforth leaving poor Burl staring after her.
"Burl!" Pearl's her voice dripping with contempt, "Why on earth were you speaking with her? Come now, we have several other bears with which to associate. You really need to stop throwing yourself at her."
Dejectedly, Burl followed his sister.
While the bears mingled Clara and Zell discussed, with great excitement, all in attendance.
"Poor Burl. Did you see the way Victoria rejected the dear fellow?" Zell said with empathy.
"Zell, how can you blame her, Steerforth is so very handsome."
"Yes, in an obvious sort of way. But Burl, he's adorable and cuddly. Like a good bear should be."
Across the room, Victoria, having found Steerforth, greeted him warmly.
"Good evening Steerforth. So glad to see you this evening."
Bowing to her curtsey Steerforth grinned.
"You are looking especially lovely tonight. Is that one of Carlotta's creations?"
"Why yes it is. How kind of you to notice."
As Victoria and Steerforth chatted on about all manner of things attention was being given to the opposite side of the room as all looked on with baited breath..