It was the last few hours before the Masquerade Ball would commence, and the Count Virgo, was doing his rounds to check that all was in readiness for the arrival of the special guests. He had not yet dressed for the occasion, but was wearing a simple silk shirt in dark brown, unbuttoned from the neck down. Black riding pants and boots, with his hair free from its usual hold that fell freely about his face and shoulders. Almost roguish in his appearance. The servants, all of Bavarian stock, were fussing and running around in the background, making sure that everything was pristine and in readiness for the guests.
As he leaned against a column, with arms folded, and a wistful look, a caterer approached him with a tray of morsels to sample. He held up the platter, and bowed his head before the Count.
“Would Sir like to try the food to be offered this eve?”
The Count looked down at it lazily, and then dismissed him with a light wave of his hand.
“What I hunger for…you cannot provide. Save the fare for the guests.”
“As you wish, Sir.” The servant nodded and scurried away, leaving the Count to his thoughts.
It was already a glittering affair, with many of the members of the A list of Victorian society, being announced by the head of staff of the Count. The rapping of a large staff upon the marble floor would alert all as the guests started to trickle in. Women in elegant gowns and men in tuxedos, and suits that were matched with masks, made by the finest houses in all of Paris. In the midst of it all, the Count waltzed through with two beauties, one on each arm. A blonde and a brunette, a pair of tempting lovelies, that fluttered their fans, and gazed up at the Count adoringly, as he spoke in a whisper to each of the women’s ears.
He looked remarkably handsome, his hair swept back, and his mask concealing his true identity.
The Count spotted Juliette, who was waiting for her love interest of the hour to show up, and he gave her a curt nod, before walking with his masked lovelies towards a group, that were all wearing the Bavarian crest upon their jackets. It was clear, the Count had back up…lots of it. The Bavarian flag hung proudly, and the music was of that countries origin. It was going to be quite a night, for the Roxburgs….and all of London’s glittering social set.
Levi threw his head back with a laugh “You are just so charming, really.” Pulling her mask out of his jacket, he released her arm momentarily to tie her mask on. He pecked her temple like an older brother and murmured “I am only here to keep a watchful eye…You are encouraged to dance with others, just know that I am watching over you.” With that, he looped her arm through his once more and escorted her inside.
Phoebe had a tight smile on her face, not at all pleased that she was being watched over, as she was led into the ballroom. Music and laughter filled her mind instantly, almost flooding her senses. Smiling, she pulled away from Levi to turn around slowly. “I have never seen a ball look so magnificent! This has truly outdone my expectations!” Her eyes then fell to the count who was in the middle of the dance floor. Pausing, she took in his commanding presence with awe on her face, before she dropped into a curtsy. Turning to Levi, she grin wickedly [b]”Have a lovely time, Levi!” With that, she dashed off towards the floor and swung a helpless gentleman into her arms. As the music started, she began to laugh and danced with the man.
Levi growled and threw his hands up in the air “Why don’t women ever listen?!” Sighing, he turned around and saw Juliette in the corner. Raising an eyebrow he immediately recognized the demon daughter. “Perfect” he snapped and he strode over to the bar to order a strong drink.
The stars of the night’s sky paled in comparison, to the the glittering guests, that came from all over London, some even from Europe, to share with the Count, the celebration. The masked ball, that had royals rubbing shoulders unknowingly with Angels and Demons, Vampires and Werewolves. From the elite and upper class, to the infamous, they were all hidden behind their masks, until the bewitching hour of midnight, when the masks would be removed, and the identities revealed. How shocking and scandalous this night would be. And it was planned, right down to the last detail.
The Count held himself in good stead, snapping his boot heels together, and kissing the offered hands of ladies, all the while being tailed by his two beauties, his twins of pleasure. They snapped open their fans, and whispered behind them, as women of all sizes approached the Count, seeking favour and a mark on their dance card. He was devilishly attractive even with the mask on, and some had already found themselves wet at the idea of being the one that he takes to the tower. For many this night was like a fairy tale…for others it would be their worst nightmare.
Entering the glorious ballroom, Bartholomew and Fanny had finally arrived, but not before having to tip off Lurch and scoot past Bart’s enraged father. Both had their masks on, and Bart’s mask had a long hook nose, like a bird, while Fanny’s was like a kitten, which is how Bart viewed her. As a waitor went past with a tray of champagne, Fanny snatched two glasses and giggled as she gave one to Bart.
“Bottoms up, Daaaaahling.” she mused, sipping her champers, while Bart struggled to get the drink to his lips, having that his mask had the big nose.
Then Fanny spotted Juliette and started to snort loudly. “Oh my…tis sister number one is here….and number two will have that Blood doll held near. Oh…let the games begin!…Mwhahahaha!”
Isabella arrived at the ball after only taking about an hour to get ready. Her blue dress was quite the sight on her body – it hugged her curves and showed enough skin to tease men and women alike. Upon entering the ballroom, the woman looked around, a smile curving her lips upwards. She spotted many people she knew – the most obvious among those being Bartholomew, Fanny, and finally her dear friend Juliette. With a grin, the woman walked over to Juliette, looking much like a cat striding across the floor. “Juliette! How I’ve missed you. You look positively ravishing! What do you think of my gown? I purchased it recently, just for the ball.” Isabella gave a twirl before looking at her friend and laughing.
Shifting forward, she moved to give Juliette a hug. “Are you well, Juliette? I’ve been worried about you. Though I do know you can hold your own.” Despite knowing that Juliette was a strong woman, Isabella found herself worrying about her friend often. The shifter knew that Juliette was in a bit of inner turmoil, and so wanted to stay close to her as a friend. She cared for Juliette as she would her own sister. If she had one.
Juliette had given up waiting for Agares and was waltzing around the ballroom as if she ran the joint. The demon managed to nod and offer a slight curtsy to the Count as he swept about the floor with his ladies. She smirked and waved her fingers flirtatiously to various gentleman, but she paused in her step when she heard a familiar voice. Whipping around to see her best friend, she broke out in an enormous grin and reached out to accept Bella’s embrace “Darling, you look simply ravishing!” She drew her friend in close to peck her on both cheeks before pulling away to hold her hands “I’m…well enough. I have a sinking feeling Father is quite upset with me.” With a shrug of her shoulders paired with a malicious glint in her eyes, she purred “But I have someone who will keep me safe…someone much more…dangerous than Edward could ever be.” As she mentioned her blood doll, her lips pursed as she realized it had been quite some time since she had last seen him. Turning around, Juliette asked Bella as innocently as she could muster “You haven’t seen him, have you?”
Juliette’s embrace only made Isabella smile more. Though they wore masks, Isabella would always be able to recognize the people she knew – especially Juliette. With a playful curtsy, Isabella laughed and held her friend’s hands gently. “Why thank you. We must make quite the pair, what with our radiance.” The shifter teased lightly, clearly only joking. Soon, though, she was more serious as she pursed her lips. “Is he? I hope not… What happened, Juliette? I will be here for you if you need anything, though I’m sure you know that already. Oh, lovely. As long as you are safe, that is the only thing that matters.”
Reaching up, she adjusted her mask before responding. “No, I’ve not seen him recently. I’m surprised that you don’t know where he is. You tend to keep quite the leash on him.”