Chapter 3: Ruka
I tried to slow my breathing. My heart was beating wildly at the sight of the Kuran Prince, Lord Kaname he had asked us to call him, who was standing in front of me.
He was the most beautiful and elegant being I had ever seen, just as he had been every time I had seen him before. His hair hung in loose ebony waves around his perfect face, and his mahogany eyes stared deeply and truly into my chocolate ones. I felt as though he could see through me to my soul. Composing myself, I spoke to him.
"Lord Kaname…I am deeply sorry about not being present earlier when you were greeting my family. Please forgive my insolence," I managed to say without stuttering. He smiled at me, causing my heart to skip a beat.
"You are forgiven, young Lady Souen," he said, his voice melodic and perfect. He began to turn away, but before he had the chance, I impulsively grabbed his hand, catching his attention and the attention of most of the other vampires present as a collective gasp seemed to go through the crowd gathered. My cheeks heated and I couldn't look him in the eyes as I spoke softly and reservedly to him.
"I…forgive me, once again, Lord Kaname. I just…wanted to thank you for your forgiveness…and tell you that if you wish…you may address me as Ruka," I said, practically trembling. To my utter disbelief, he again smiled, completely disregarding my atrocious behavior.
"It will be my pleasure, Ruka. Lord and Lady Souen," he said inclining his head towards my parents before finally turning and walking away. Somehow his tone changed when he addressed my parents. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something about the way he addressed them seemed deceptive. Brushing the thought aside, I reverted back to my thoughts about how the beautiful boy had just said my name. It had sounded like music.
My dreamy thoughts were disrupted by my father's lips close to my ear, whispering so quietly that only I could have possibly heard him. "When we arrive at home, you will be severely punished. Your behavior tonight has been inexcusable," he said darkly. Resisting the urge to cringe, I looked him in the eye and said, "Yes father," in my most respectful voice.
"If I'm not mistaken, you should be dancing with me, young Lady Souen," said a voice behind me that I instantly recognized as Hanabusa's. Though we did seem to fight constantly, in that moment I was so happy to hear my cousin that I could've kissed him. My parents couldn't possibly keep me from Hanabusa Aidou, the star of the show tonight, even if they weren't fans of the conceited aristocrat. Giving in with a sigh, my parents waved me off with a death glare from my father in my direction, telling me to be back at the carriage at 2:30 a.m. sharp.
Hanabusa grabbed my hand and swung me onto the dance floor, smirking at my surprised expression. "What, you thought I was joking? I was serious about the dancing. You are the only girl who hasn't begged to dance with me yet. I knew you couldn't resist me for long," he said, still smirking at my now enraged expression.
"Right, like I would ever beg to dance with you!" I said angrily, trying to pull free from him. He gently released me. As annoying as he could be, he wouldn't hold me against my will.
"I suppose you'd rather dance with Lord Kaname, right Ruka? That was pretty embarrassing, that stunt you pulled back there," he said, and to my horror, his voice held not a hint of jesting.
"I…well…" I stuttered, subconsciously taking a couple steps back from him. I didn't get very far though, before I collided with something very warm, which gave a grunt as I ran into it. I turned around to see Akatsuki. Thinking he was about to criticize me as well, since that seemed to be all anyone could ever do with me, I crossed my arms and readied a retort to whatever it was he had to say. However, no criticism ever came.
"Shall we get something to eat, Ruka, Hanabusa?" he asked calmly, looking at us in turn. Looking at him a little suspiciously, I nodded. Hanabusa looked away from me with his nose in the air and started sauntering his way to the table with all the food and the drinks consisting mostly of concoctions of alcohol and blood, or fruit juice and blood. Akatsuki motioned for me to go first, not speaking a word the entire time.
At the table I headed for the juice. Feeling eyes on me, I turned around, finding Akatsuki with his hands in his pockets, giving me a strange look.
"Don't you want something to eat?" he asked me, and somehow the question seemed loaded.
"No—I mean I'm really not hungry," I said distractedly, trying to decide which drink I wanted. Truly I was just very thirsty. I needed blood. Akatsuki didn't say anything, but continued to look at me.
"Hey—guys—I can't carry—all these drinks!—You gotta—help me!" Hanabusa interrupted the moment, and we both turned to see him trying to juggle about ten drinks in his arms, no doubt to bring to the mob of girls waiting for him on the dance floor.
We both stared, bewildered at him for a second, and then both burst into laughter at our over-zealous cousin. But secretly, I was relieved at the distraction. It meant my secrets were safe for now.