2 : The Draghis

Taking a break from conversation, Evangeline regarded the event with appraising eyes. Whilst the event certainly failed to surpass her personal standards; credit had been dully earned- even if the event was relying on an egregious display of gold. But, it was to be expected from the Xiradis and thus she maintained an air of polite smiles mixed with simple acknowledgement. Letting her gaze take a break from the display she cast a glance at her husband. Flirting as usual with flocks of women. From the corner of her eye she spotted the line of husbands against a wall and there was her cousin’s mate in his usual spot. Eunan was always so well behaved, but then again, he wasn’t the one in his pairing with poor manners…Ana wasn’t saying much. There was just a permanently amused expression etched on her face. Something that was neither telling of negative forthcomings nor positive. With a sip of champagne, she scanned the room for her children- all five Illych managed even with her active use of birth control. They were easy enough to spot in a sea of Xiradis with the first to catch her eye being the current jewel of the Draghi family.

As Evangeline’s eldest child, Aleera was ever poised representation of her family. Clad in appropriate formal wear for a Xiradis event she was an image of red and gold perfectly tailored to her figure. Only the Xiradis gentlemen who had managed to make top class in the pits dares approach her and not a hair dared fall out of place as she engaged them, light eyes barely concealing predatory intentions. Just as one asked her to dance she felt a soft touch on her arm. It turned out to be Antoinette, the second child to their parents who wore a similar ensemble to herself only in blue as a nod to their mother. A swift exchange of words and Aleera excused herself to join her father. After allowing a twirl from her father she fell in line with him to begin the song for the birthday boy. From the stage she exchanged a small smile with her mother who was soon focused on the cake she’d prepared. As the song built up she welcomed her sister and youngest brother; Maksim, to the stage to join. Her first brother remained somewhat removed from the ensemble along with the youngest sister Seraphina to simply spectated. Pity.

Once cake had successfully been smeared across the birthday boy’s face, Antoinette popped over- blonde waves bouncing with each pep in her step. “Happy birthday!” Giving him a light squeeze she made work of his icing by wiping a fingerful off for a taste. “Hmm, it’s tasty. You should try it.” A merry laugh escaped as she took another wipe of icing and two plates of cake before stepping aside. One slice of cake was handed to Aleera who graciously accepted it before handing it off to a waiting Markus.

Not wanting to get caught in the crowd surrounding young Stefan she approached the collection of older females to give her mother and Mina customer kiss on the cheek. Slipping into the conversation took little effort on her part until Mina realized she had yet to try the cake and was quickly shooed away to have a much needed taste. On her way to the far from gone mountain of cake she passed a sitting Freya and a young Ailsa- Ana and Eunan’s only daughters. Both were appropriately dressed under the counsel of herself and her mother. Freya looked as angelic in appearance always with her vaguely wistful resting expression only adding to her charm. She gave off the impression of someone waiting to be approached for a dance- too bad it was far from accurate. Ailsa on the other hand was very obviously bored and itching for something ‘fun’ to entertain herself. Aleera gave the young one a brief yet pointed look. Freya would keep her in line. Approaching Stefan, she leaned down and gave him a kiss on his icing covered cheek. “Happy birthday, our presents are waiting in your room for you.” A quick wink was shared, and she stepped to the side for the next person. Taking a moment to collect the icing off her lips she licked it off with a delicate precision. The young woman looked up to see she had earned the attention of a few young men and merely smirked internally as the first came over in attempt to hold her attention.

Maskim; second son of Evangeline and Illych as well as the spitting image of his father, watched with distasteful amusement at how willingly Markus accepted the scraps of their elder sisters. He glanced over at Seraphina; his younger twin with the likeness of their mother. She seemed unaware of what had interested him and merely watched the party from her designated spot. Named after angels she was truly a work of art in his opinion in that she appeared as perfect as a porcelain doll.

Markus was aware of the look he’d earned him his younger brother but paid the boy no mind. As it was, he was not in the habit of entertaining any of his siblings when it wasn’t necessary, and he rarely found Maksim necessary. Spotting Rhiagan and Aeron; Ana and Eunan’s older sons, from across the banquet hall he abruptly discarded his plate and moved to join them in relative silence, but found himself intercepted by Antoinette- his ‘unofficial twin’- who pulled him onto the dancefloor. Markus fell into step with ease, matching his sister with minimal effort. Only a minute passed before he spun her out to be caught but anyone who was willing. He was confident she could stop herself otherwise and returned to his initial objective of joining the wall of solitude.

From her seat Ailsa could see Niklaus talking with Mairi. “Niklaus seems to be enjoying himself.” Her tone was sarcastic with a sly grin. Niklaus was the runt of their litter with an expected life span of maybe 20 years- if he was fortunate. Even from their distance the fatigue weighed heavily on his form with dark circles permanently set under equally fatigued eyes. Ailsa was shocked he’d managed this long. Freya peered over, her expression softening almost imperceptibly at the sight. For Freya, Niklaus was like a first child of sorts. “He’s doing better than Aeron.” Freya noted. Both girls cast a glance at their imposing statue of a brother. He was reminiscent of gargoyle with how dark his expressions were. “And better than Rhiagan.” Ailsa quipped. A low snort emitted from the wall of solitude where Rhiagan stood with arms firmly locked over his chest. Seeing her sister was still regarding Aeron, Ailsa slipped from the table to seek out a potential play mate. Following just her line of scent, Ailsa failed to even notice Emilie.

Emilie was Chadwick’s daughter to a Draghi woman of mid-level standing. Standing next to the hors d’oeuvres, she was collecting some and handing them off to a young Maris. Not wanting to get Maris too full she guided the child back to a waiting Mina and Chadwick before finding her half-brother, Leon. “Have you wished Stefan a happy birthday?” When Leon admitted he had already gone earlier with the Draghi twins she gave him a congratulatory pat. “Good. I’m going to find father.” Just like her dear cousin Markus she was caught by a nimble Antoinette who pulled her onto the dance floor.

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The Birthday Song – Corrine May

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