8 : The Fox & The Wolf

Markus was quite impressed with how easily Mairi managed to keep up with dance level although he supposed having his sister as a dance partner so often had skewed his perspective. Before he even had a chance to comment she was already whispering in his ear. A dark brow raised. In the amount of time it took him to blink she was smiling and then on her way. Turning to watch her walk away there was no hiding the confusion painted on his face. Ah, well. It could be considered a good thing. After all, she was the daughter of a rather infamous Gaunt. From the corner of his eye he could see Antoinette wearing a teasing expression, but dismissed her. They could consider it a tie for now. Rubbing the back of his neck he shot one last look in Mairi’s direction. Suddenly his entire body tensed with the young wizard clearing his throat in an attempt to maintain control. “Mi a fene.” He muttered, rubbing his collar to no avail. “Poimet’.” He smirked, shaking his head at himself. “Is everything alright?” A female voice earned his immediate attention. “Yeah. Everything’s fine.” Markus kept his sentences short and curt, giving Ophelia a pleasant nod as if he was fine. “Are you enjoying yourself?” He asked, silently enjoying the fading sensation he’d been plagued with. “It’s a bit…much, but nothing too crazy. I see you and Antoinette were back to your old antics, huh?” Ophelia smiled with a sip of wine. “Well you know how we get. Or how Antoinette likes to get.” Of course, she knew. Everyone knew. It was a trait both siblings had practically inherited genetically.

There was an almost imperceptible softening of Freya’s features when Aeron smiled. Meeting his kiss with muted enthusiasm she allowed her fingers to rest on his shoulders only to find herself bringing him closer to better consume his fill. An unwarranted grip of her dress earned him a warning in the form of claws protracting into his flesh. When his own nails began to graze her skin her claws merely slid down his back with just enough pressure to leave marks without tearing the fabric of his attire. When he growled, Freya capitalized her leverage on the balcony to wrap a leg around his waist. His sudden retraction from her earned him a silent meeting of his gaze. For a moment she did nothing. Faint sounds of the birthday party were all too clear. Lowering her leg, she then lowered herself from the railing before meeting his gaze once more. The needed to return. Raising her hand to touch his cheek, her thumb gently wiped the excess blood from his stained lips before lapping it up with the excess- luminescent hues dimming, yet never breaking from his. The sudden sounds of applause from inside went hardly noticed with the vampire pressing up to give him a generous nip before leaving him to rejoin the festivities.

Rhiagan disappeared from his place against the wall, appearing at the head Xiradis table seconds later so he was standing next to Autumn. His expression was on par with a cadaver as he passed the message along that his mother had once again been distracted and ‘wandered’ off with his father going to retrieve her. Damian heaved a silent breath, reluctantly loosening his grip on his wife. It was in everyone’s best interest that he not be the one to look into it. Leaning down to rest murmur to his wife, Damian gave his wife a brief kiss on the neck before telling her, “Good luck”.

Ana was momentarily stunned only to have her features settle into a rather dangerous, yet playful smile as predacious eyes shone in focus on her mate. The only male to manage securing her as his mate and surviving long enough to reap offspring. He was her favorite thing in that she never tired of their games. There was nothing tender in the way Ana met his kisses. Everything carried a weight of hunger. A soft hiss escaped her at his hand before relaxing into his efforts. Dragging her claws down his torso she smiled into him as his clothes inevitably gave way allowing her a better glimpse. She had played by dear Evangeline’s rules for long enough: no Xiradis had been harmed by her so called ‘frivolous’ hand and she was growing bored. Or at least- she was. Not one for letting her mate simply flex his alpha nature, the Firestarter moved to lick the fresh incisions marring his neck. Razor sharp fangs grazed his skin haphazardly at her attentions just as her nails left trails of blood in their wake whilst descending beneath his waist band.

Few things ever surprised Aleera with even fewer managing to crack the poised expressions she wore at events of this sort, but someone having the audacity to handle her in such a way certainly did it. Her brows rose slightly, light eyes briefly watching the still full glass removed her grasp to then find herself having to tilt her head in order to face him. As he chastised her for her behavior she relaxed with hints of smile teasing the corners of her lips with each passing word. At his warning smile she let her hand delicately rest on his arm to stop him. “I do offer my sincerest apologies for offending you. I did not mean anything derogatory by my actions, but I should have certainly taken into account my being on someone else’s estate. I assure you it will not happen again.” She began quietly, an elegant step clearing the distance between them. “Now as for ‘fielding through the trash’ I must remind you not to forget yourself and become too ruffled by my behavior lest your adversaries take note of it…” Her words grew softer as she moved so he could better hear her whispers, “as it is, men of your ilk have a nasty habit of coming utterly undone after crossing paths with those of mine and we just can’t have that, now can we?” Stepping back, she accepted a glass of champagne from a waiting tray. “Thank you.” Aleera gave him a small smile before taking a sip and joining Freya.

Evangeline smirked at her husband’s praise. In truth she expected nothing less of her children; each useful in their own way at these types of events. Her blonde set were entertainers of sorts, no doubt. Feeling Illych guide her towards the dance floor she couldn’t help but meet eyes briefly with Damian. He was surely questioning his rationale behind allowing them all to attend tonight, but such was his mistake. As she stood across from her husband in the center of the dance floor among allies and enemies alike she felt the pride of her years work. Once nothing more than a lowly, spat upon orphan of the Draghi family with nothing to her name except a brand guaranteeing the life of a courtesan to whomever the family willed; she had managed to ruthlessly manipulate her way to being crowned the Lady of the Draghis. Even as she danced in front of men she had once stood beneath it meant nothing to her as now she could demand their reluctant acknowledgement of her status- a status above anything they could hope to attain or challenge. Personal feats were easily won; however, with more political feats still in the works and most who despised her knew it. Once her dance came to an end she gave Damian a soft nod with nothing except a polite smile gracing her features.

Damian returned her nod though there was clear irritation. Illych always had to make a show of everything- something he was clearly instilling in his hoard of children. Scanning the room, he noted how none of Evangeline’s children seemed to be too involved with Xiradis- a blessing from the Djinn and gods alike. He could see Mina gathering her little ones for bed and took that as the cue to bring the event to a close. Xiradis were free to remain on the compound, but all those not under his crest were no longer permitted. Knowing his old friend, Evangeline arranged something for her rather hard to please children to keep them entertained through the night. Whether his children decided to follow didn’t concern him in the slightest.

After the Xiradis Elders formally brought the event to a close Aleera tapped the side of her glass in order to earn her cousins’ attention as they were all aware her mother’s forethought. “Jöjjön velem, hogy menjek a buliba.” She spoke with a welcoming smile, a knowing look getting cast in Clo’s direction. While the Xiradis might not know what she was saying- Clo could at least tell from context if she didn’t know the exact words. Antoinette was one of the first to appear by Aleera’s side and after earning a nod from their mother the two girls made quick work or creating an opening in the floor. Stone stairs led down into a tunnel leading to their destination. “All aboard who’s coming aboard.” Antoinette announced before laughing a bit when she realized how little sense that made. Freya exchanged a brief glance with Aeron before descending the steps, Ailsa bounding down with the look of someone waiting for a hunt, and Niklas trailing behind.

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Cheryl Sings “Carrie”

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