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Chapter 26: Patronage pt. 1

Adrianna’s POV

“You come to the right person, Lady Immuney!” she snapped her fingers to help measures Quinn’s waist, height and width. “He looks a little shy, not a party person.” She seems to be deep in thought.

“Miss-” She raised her hand.

“Hush, my dear. Genius requires concentration.” After a few moments. “Mr. Dewalt… when you wear clothing, do you wear them tight, loose or fitting?”

“Fitting?” She smiled as she uses magic to attune the user’s preference.

“Do you feel shy, need confidence or you are confident that you handle the world!!” Okay… Eliza, our renowned expert on fashion as well makeup. She is a bit of eccentric but her fashion sense and making the best clothing is first class.

“I’ll need confidence…” She jumps around him while making sure that Quinn can wear it comfortably.

“Oh, Mr. Dewalt. Right foot forward!” He did that. The material wrapped itself around his leg. “Left foot!” The same thing happened. “Now, take steps toward me.”

Almost ready for the party

As Quinn took steps toward Eliza, I turned to her assistant, Beckie, who is a master of doing my nails and makeup.

“I take it everything is to your satisfaction?” She is straightforward compared to her boss.

“Yep, thank you for coming with a short notice.” She smiled.

“You are very welcome!”

“Out of curiosity… You are humans but you came here to Asingrad, may I ask why?”

“Because we saw an opportunity!” Eliza stood over us. “The thing was, the high lords were the ones that invited us here. Plus, it was not everyday we can work with your people. Plus, the latest gossip, too!”

“Ah! I understand.”

“Also, you were good to us for 20 years since we worked with you. I mean, look at you, you don’t age but ..”

“No, please don’t hold it us-”

“No, I am holding against myself. You get live on for many more years while technically us mere mortals will go up to 120, I believe.” She snapped her fingers. “Oh, almost forgot. Quinn, are you ready?!” Quinn came walking down with a crisp jacket with a white shirt beneath it. His shoes are dark as the night sky.

“I am ready.” She nods.

“Then we are off. You will find your payment in pay box.” I took by the arm and we walked toward the ball.

As we head down as Low cruza st, he needs to know what the ball will be.

“Quinn, when we arrive at the ball, they will require you to wear a mask of your choice. Take the time to speak with guests and the other members of the house.”

“Avoid Lugazias, Carterra, Xyant and especially Kristen families.” It surprised me he remembered that.

“You may not avoid them forever and you may need to interact with them at some point.” I warned them against the idea of avoiding certain families for long periods.

“I know they would have me killed for one.”

“Or they spread the word to their network to make life a lot harder for you. I would advise against antagonizing them.” He nodded to show he understood me.

As we arrived at the entrance of the ball…

“Honey!” I kissed Lee on the lips. “You are right on time!”

“Are you ready, fiance?” Both of the man held on to both of my arms as we went inside.

The party begins

The ball has many people tonight… the chandelier shines like a diamond in the brightest sun; decor is pleasant where let you take in the moment. The pictures were people that owned the place, the son, the daughter and the mother.

“Madame. Sir.” The server hands us masks. Eagle for me, Quinn for the wolf and Lee. He got a deer. “Enjoy tonight’s ball.” The man bows as we walked past.

“Quinn. This is where I let you go. Remember what we discuss.” I motioned for him to come closer. “If you start an incident, cause trouble or offend the wrong noble. Even I cannot help you there, they will kick you out of the party.”

“But is-?” A woman came up to us wearing a wolf’s mask. I know her.

“Pardon me, Mr. Dewalt! Are you ready to begin?” She blinks at me.

“Yes, I am.” Quinn and Ella are going further into the crowd. I knew she wouldn’t miss it for the world.

“Ladies & Gentleman!” Our host, Countess Medivisa has arrived. “Thank you for arriving! Tonight we have two honored guests.” I stepped forward to meet with her.

“Countess! It is an honor to be at your parties. It has been running for the past two thousands years under your watch.”

“Girl! You flatter me!” The audience laughed. “But I appreciate it. Quinn Dewalt!” She called for his name.

“I am here, ma’am.” Quinn took a bow. “Or may I call you Countess?” The audience looked at him for a moment.

“Countess will be fine, Mr. Dewalt. I know your predecessor, Angharad. She was the life of the party! A powerful woman to touch the heart & soul from every person who meets her. She came every year to the ball for a feast and celebration!”

“May we drink in her name, Countess?” Wow, Quinn is taking to it well.

“Oh no! We will ‘drink’ in your honor, Dewalt. This is your night!”

“The night is young, let us celebrate a new year!” The countess nods in approval.

The countess is a tough, no-nonsense woman who takes no foolishness from anyone. Her style is red-colored with a simple far adornment and the woman has muscles developed within her dress.

Rumor is that the countess is not just influential, but she is immensely powerful in her abilities. Even the elusive Count Ashley knows better than to make an enemy out of her. Last time he did… let us say, it was over dinner. He was technically crying afterwards, and he tells no one about she had done to him. I don’t even ask I am afraid.

Even the high lords themselves do not think about crossing her, as they know she can take the capital by force if she wants to and no one would stop her. My father would explain, however, she has no wish to rule and even he would break into a sweat upon seeing her.

“Darling…” I hugged the countess and Lee shook hands with her. “How my baby girl doing?”

“Good, the last party was a blast! It was unfortunate that my father-”

“Carter still ain’t bringing his immune ass over here?” Oh yeah, she is one of the few of the people that we know better than to correct her language. The last man tried that… we did not see him again.

“Countess, you literally scared the living hell out of him.” I remember my father made that mistake of mouthing off to her.

“And? I recall I told the fool not to yell at me again.”

“You nearly flayed him from bone to bone. I recalled I had to step in.”

“Oh, I remember!” Me and Countess took a walk among the guest. Lee spoke with some of his old friends.

“Oh, hello countess! It is good to see you again, amiga!” I nodded too. “Senorita Adrianna, what brings you here?!”

“Lady Flaveza! I didn’t think you would show today!” I was surprised. Miss Flaveza has her silk-red hair and her smile shows her passion for life.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I heard Dewalt is coming into town. We would have invited you all to dinner.” Oh, she always made this spicy enchandilla. It is delicious with a special wine called Tempranillo.

“By the way, did you have time to speak with him?”

“Oh Dios! No, and I should do that now! We’ll catch up, all right?” I nodded as she made her way to Quinn. He is getting to be popular in these parts.

“Pardon me, my ladies.” Matthias… What is he doing here?

“Hello, Mr. Lugazias! It is a pleasure to meet with you again!” We exchange greetings.

“It is good to meet with you again, Miss. Immuney. I heard you are getting married for next month.” Oh, that! Me and Lee has been together for 300 years by now. Our families had agreed with our marriage proposal.

“It is next month. I would be honored if you and your family would come by our wedding.”

His wife, Cecilia, stood behind him.

“Darling, I’ve been looking for you.” She suddenly glares at me. “Oh, it is you!”

“Cheer up, my lady. The night is young and we are civilized people.” She puts a fake smile to that. I know she didn’t like me since the beginning.

“Oh, yes… Civilized people!” Now she is trying to laugh off for tonight. Oh, I got an idea.

“My lady, if I may. May borrow you for a moment? It will be a moment of your time, of course.”

“Ah, yes! Of course!” I held on to her arm as I usher her away from her husband and Countess.

The civil conversation between the two rivals

“I apologize if my presence has been irritating you lately, my lady.” We spoke as we waved to the guest.

“You at least have the civility to act decent.” She hissed at me while constantly putting up a fake smile.

“My lady, I am not here to sour your mood tonight. You and I have our grievances in the past, but this is not the time for them, I am afraid.” I surprise her I am not interested in repeating past events. Me and Ms. Lugazias never got along in the past.

She and her ladies in her circle would ridicule me in years past before I reached the rank of weapon master. They would send assassins to take my life, speaking ill rumor about me and my family, and I would return the favor by speaking about her affairs and love life aside from her husband.

However, with me and Lee looking to engage and have a wedding, it would be crucial to put aside any grudges we had over the years. That if it would ever happen…

“Then explain to me, why are you associating with that Mongrel? He is not of our people and yet he is here in the halls of power.” I turned to look at her. I didn’t show any emotion on my face, but it was not the first time she would make such remarks.

“Perhaps we should talk to him, together?” I smiled as I saw my lady cringing at the idea. “Maybe he would be more understanding of the idea if he hears it from you?”

“With that Beast…” Her face changes into a twisted sneer. “Never.”

“Oh, my lady. You have missed a perfect opportunity to have a powerful ally at your side.”

“And I am glad, lady Immuney. I rather have the Carterra or Ventae at my side, regardless.” Of course… you always want to associate with high society.

“Fair enough, my lady. The door is always open and I believe I see your friends right over there.” I saw her friends. They were gossiping as usual. I’ve moved away from them and moved to rejoin with my beloved fiance. However, I ran into someone that I wanted to avoid…

“Going somewhere, my lady?” Her… Priscilla Carterra, platinum blonde hair, skin devoid of color and warmth, not helped with a twist smirk on her face.

“Lady Carterra…” I simply bow and tried to be polite excuse myself from conversation.

“And let you leave without even saying ‘hello’?” She is blocking my way. When she and I cross path, she would normally turned her nose up at me and keep walking. If you aren’t her family, she can care a wit about your problems.

“I’ll bite. Why are you talking to me, now?” Her smiled turned darker the moment I asked.

“I explain along the way, my dear.” She grabbed my arm and away from my beloved. I let her take me to her class of friends. Her brother… Oh, heaven… not him… Definitely not this-

“Oh, hello! Hello! Hello!” Zack Carterra… He has a similar hair color to his sister and appearance. The difference, however, he is more fake than his sister.

The siblings are opposite to each other. Both are cold-hearted individuals who care less about who they hurt. Both of them, however, care for each other. An attack one is an attack on them all. Where are their parents, of course?

The difference, however, Priscilla is cold inside but given opportunity she can be… vicious. Zack will try to act like he is your friends and your pal. He is more expressive of his feelings than his sister. However-

“Mr. Carterra! I didn’t think I would run into you, tonight.” Right now… I need to be quick and move to the other guests at the party.

“I am deeply touched that you met with me!” He grab my hand and kiss it… I am giving weird vibes from him.

“So, what is going on?” I saw Kristen and his pals with him. It oblivious Priscilla was enjoying every moment.

“If you can excuse my lord, allow me to meet with other guest acquaintance and I can get back to you, guys later on.” I tried to excuse myself from their presence, however, Priscella is preventing me from leaving the area.

“You have time, Lady Adrianna.” She pushed me back toward her brother and his friends. “Why leave?”

“That is so correct, my dearling sister!” She lights up when her brother expresses his enthusiasm. “I would be honored if you dance with me. It seems to me they are starting.” It is that time… I must take my leave. “Stay with me, my lady.”

“My Lord-?!” I struggled to break free from his grip, it do not help that my body is feeling chills from what he is doing.

“Come! Come! You must have felt cold, tonight.” He wrap me in his shoulders and then… I felt a tap from my behind.

He didn’t! As much as I want to start a scene tonight, making an enemy of the Carterra is the last thing I want. I know full well that men like him are uncultured. His sister must have seen that. Asking her is out of the question, since the siblings would rather work together than to help a random outsider.

“I am afraid, my lord… I must decline.”

“Really? I am hurt that you wound me so…” He is definitely faking it. I know what happens if I turn him down. “Here I was, trying to be your friend and a polite gentleman! You definitely have no class or manners, my lady. Such disrespect.” Oh, I’m sorry? I disrespect you?

“You should apologize to my brother, lady Adrianna… You have insulted my brother!” As soon as she shouted, the room fell silent. Everyone’s eyes were on me. That is why I have hoped to avoid those two tonight.

“It seems to me, that you let your brother grab a woman’s ass than to teach them proper manners.” They gasp as soon as I made this accusation.

“Don’t you dare speak to my sister like that!” His eyes are now devoid of any that spark he had earlier. “Now… Apologize to me and my sister. All will be forgiven then.”

“How about you leave the lady alone, sir?” Quinn? No, don’t do this! This is ain’t your fight. You don’t know what they-

“And who are you, beast?” The man looks up and down at Quinn. “Perhaps one of my lady’s escorts?”

“Her friend. And I believe the lady has said no. She is already engaged to her fiance which you never bother to hear her the first time.”

“Feeling brave to confront me, son of the great alpha.” The man sizing up Quinn as he spoke. “It’s a shame that dear old daddy isn’t around to protect you this time.”

“At least, you have a family that pampers your sorry butt!” The audience gasps at the way Quinn spoke to a noble. “And by the way, I notice how chummy you act around people, trying to be their friend. Is it a wonder that no establish lady would want nothing to do with you? It is because you act so fake and unreal that even a ghost can be more honest than you are.”

“Quinn, please…” I feel it in the air… I saw the energies begin to around him. The temperature is dropping around us. It is not a problem for me, but Quinn..

“Perhaps I shall teach you manners, beast… No one talk to me like that!” Then I feel the heat engulfing around us… Valerio!

“Back up from the man, cabron! Fight someone your size!” He walked up to Zack, which he is clenching his teeth.

“Valerio… You got a lot of nerve to show your face here! ALL OF NIGHTS!!” Oh! I remembered that Zack and his family hated the Flaveza family with a passion. Bring both of them into the same room…

“Val… You shouldn’t have come here!” Priscilla is behind him.

“¡Aléjate de ti maldita perra!” Miss Flaveza curses her in Spanish. I know she called him a bitch. “You lay one hand on him, bruja! You are going to burn!” With that, she ignites her hands in flames.

“Hmm… Will you? I’ll have you know-” Maria lunged a fireball at Priscilla, which Zack block with his Ice-age spell to erect a barrier of water and Ice.

“Attacking my sister, you little tramp?! You have no honor!” Valerio went straight up to him and punched him in the face.

“Nah, you are the one who doesn’t have any honor! Fight me like a man!” I saw Priscilla charging a spell toward Miguel.

“THAT IS ENOUGH!!” someone’s voice projected throughout the castle. It is powerful enough to freeze everyone in place. Including the Flavezas and Carterras. “What the hell is going on here?” The countess brought her guard with her, both men and woman, in armed servant uniforms.

“Countess, they were-” As soon as the countess glare at Valerio, he knew better than to argue with her at this point.

“Continue. I started this party tonight for all of my guests to celebrate on this fine night.” She walked past him and took a quick glare at all of this who started this. Me, Priscilla, Zack, Quinn, Maria and Valerio. “Then I got you fools starting a fight here at my party! And you pick-”

“Ma’am, they started it first. We are the innocent party here.” Zack should have done that. The countess’ aura glowed purple with her eyes glowed as well. The flames roared up from her, a sign you should not tick her off.

“Didn’t your momma ever teach your punk ass some manners?” He is trembling at the sight of this woman. It replaced his smile with a look of shock as he know what will happen if someone pisses off the countess. “You touching a woman’s ass as she was trying to leave from you… one of my brothers told me what you did.” His body is shaking. He cannot seem to utter a word to the woman.

Even Priscella was terrified of the countess’ wrath as she knows people that anger her don’t live for very long. She couldn’t make a move without making this worse than it needs to be.

“Countess, ma’am. This is my fault. I am the one of responsible-” The countess snapped her head toward him.

“Ah! You ain’t gonna take the blame for this time, Valerio! You know better than that!” She looked at him. Valerio knows full well that she will not let it go this time. “Quinn, Priscilla, Zack, Adrianna, Maria!” She called all of our names. “Stand in front of me!”

We did what she said and did not explain ourselves.

“Quinn, I was expecting better manners from my guest. I can respect courage and I can get down with that. But you are disrespecting a noble here in this house… That stuff won’t fly here, is that clear?!”

“Yes, ma’am. It won’t happen again!”

“You are very lucky. I respect your mentor in the past. I would have kicked your ass out of my party if you were someone else. Use your head the next time you think about mouthing off at someone.” Then she turned toward the Carterra Siblings. “Have you two got something to say?”

“We’re sorry for our uncivilized behavior.” They both bowed at the Countess.

“Then I expect you to keep your brother’s behavior in check. And he better show more respect for the women in this place! If you don’t…” She walked to Priscilla, who was still trembling at her approach. “Look at me!”

“Y-Y-Yes!” she yelped.

“I’ll pay you and your family a visit. It ain’t gonna to be nice, you hear me?” She nods her head, tears are flowing from her. “Do you hear me?! I want to hear it from your fucking month!”

“Yes! I make sure of that!”

Then she turned toward the Flavezas… I know the two families had a rivalry with each other that expanded centuries with each other. Ice and Fire… Winter and Summer, one is passionate and caring for their family and friends while the other is cold as Ice, where they care only for each other.

“I apologize, Countess. We didn’t mean for this to get this far as it has.” Maria bows her head.

“I didn’t ask for you to bow, Maria.” The countess took a deep breath, the flames and aura disperse as she did “I know the two of you care about your friends and familia up in here. But like any other guest, I can’t have you starting fights here.” She turns to Miguel. “Your ass needs to rein in that temper. I don’t need you to get into a fight every time someone acts like an asshole in here. That goes for the both of you as well.”

They both nodded their heads.

“Now, all of you. Apologize to the guests here at my party. Except for you, Adrianna. I need to talk to you soon.” I was surprised.

“But, Ma’am…” Zack tried to say something.

“DID YOU HEAR ME SHUTTER?! DO IT, NOW!” she yelled at them to apologize to the guest in the hall.

“Ladies & Gentleman!” Zack spoke up first. “I am deeply sorry for my actions that cause a disruption to the party tonight and I apologize if I offend the lord and ladies with my conduct tonight.”

“Please have mercy with us, we have shown a lack of judgement for our behavior.” Now it is Priscilla’s turn. “Lord & Ladies, they have humbled us from our discussion with the countess.”

“As we seek to move on this night tonight, let there no fights between our families. Right, brother?”

“Right…” He doesn’t seem to like this. Knowing Val, he knows it will be temporary.

What I didn’t see coming is Quinn bowing before the lord and ladies. I guess he wants to make it sticks.

“One more thing, my lord and ladies! Forgive me, a foolish dream walker. The son of the late alpha, my father, Alpha Oxdin Johni Dewalt. Forgive me, Lady Adrianna. May the ancestor bless you!” What? “And Countess, please accept my humble apologies. I didn’t mean to ruin your day!”

Okay… That was unexpected.

The party is over

“I can see how Quinn being a star of the party.” I spoke with the Countess after that incident. “Even better, you didn’t kick them out of the party out for it. Zack & Priscilla left afterwards, apparently they don’t want to repeat tonight incident.”

“They better not. I have to get on Maria and Valerio not to pick a fight every time they cross path.” Yeah…

“Hello, Ladies!” Valerio nodded toward the both of us. “I am so sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. I know you’re good at it. I can’t continue to break up these fights between you two, however.”

“I know.” I saw Julius speaking to the guests. What is he doing here?

Before I can say anything, I saw the Countess turned toward him and began cursing under her breath.

“I’ll be back, you two.” We went to deal with him. He wasn’t supposed to be here tonight.

“Adri… Is everything all right?” He looked into my eyes. I nodded.

“You know me, Val. Last time, I recalled you still had that passion and fire burning in your heart.” He smiled, as I remember me and him were in a relationship 5 decades ago before I met Lee.

“I still remember that night where…”

“You and I were an Item.” He held me in his arms.

“It wasn’t until I found I’ve loved another closed to me.” I recalled he broke up because I learned his heart was with another man. He thought in the beginning that he had feelings for me.

“Your family support you, regardless. No one else except me, father and mother knew.”

“I know that Adri.” We danced as we had that conversation. “I was wondered if I had hurt you by my actions alone. That I regret each day.”

“It was okay.”

“But it wasn’t okay to lie to you and my family. You know how the people will react-” I took the hand and gently lift him over.

“I know. Many generations of our race strongly advocate breeding the next generation for the future. They would not sit well-” Now he took me by the hand and during the entire time, he kept his eyes on me.

“I don’t let it define me. I know you understand me, Adri.”

“Without a doubt in mind.” I smiled as we danced. “Question, have you been holding a torch for me still after all these years?”

“No, my lady. I have moved on and I don’t wish to go back the way things there. In another life… I would have been happy to say ‘yes’.”

“I would have wanted you to come back in my life.” Val nods as we danced into the night itself.

“Sadly, Miss Ramparte! I won’t be getting that chance, though. You know where my heart belongs now!” Oh, lee!

“Oh, I am sorry, beloved! This is Lord Valerio from-”

“I know who you are. I saw the way you got into a fight with Zack.” Lee? “Perfectly well done! Never liked the jerk, anyway.”

“You and I, both!” Both men laughed as they discuss the incident had with Zack. “By the way, with you and Christina…?”

“Ah yes! Well.. she wasn’t able to come but-” Oh speak of the devil.

“Valerio! I have been looking for you. Is everything all right?” Christina… she may be blind, but she is a wonderful woman at heart and sharp as a razor. I heard he got in engaged to another woman… but I know he did to keep up with appearances. His actual love-

The glass shattered as the masked man poured through the windows. They shoot and attacking every person they see.

Where is my damn weapon when really needed it?

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