Chapter 23 - Cinderella
Time has passed and it’s now March. Spring is gracing us with the sun and I’m loving every second of it, always wanting to be outside. I had also caught up with Daniel before he had been transferred to a post elsewhere. Although I will miss him, I am relieved to see Vulcan go back to his normal self instead of the overly protective Alpha mate he turned into whenever Daniel was around.
I walk out of school and head to the car with a sigh escaping my lips at the sight before me. There are about eight bodyguards, checking our surroundings and ushering me in to head back home. Tonight, I will be getting ready for the party being thrown in celebration of Alpha Nicholas’ newborn, Vulcan’s best friend. I do not want to go.
One of the guards, named Brett, drives me back to Damon’s house where I have been staying for a couple of days. I had finally convinced Vulcan to let me visit them because it had been so long. He, obviously, was not too keen of the idea and growled out a firm ‘No,’ about a million times before I blackmailed him into letting me leave.
The ride back to the house is short and quick and I find myself walking in to see Damon and his parents screaming at a baseball game on the television, whereas Sophia only rolls her eyes at their antics in humor. I chuckle as I make my way over to them but halt when Sophia notices me and jumps up from her seat.
″Aurora! I was beginning to worry you were going to be home late. We need to get ready.″ Sophia shouts as I throw my bag on the couch and fling myself onto it.
″Isn’t there any way I can...stay at home?″ I mumble, successfully stealing a handful of popcorn from Damon’s bowl who puts me in a headlock before ruffling my hair.
″Why? Everyone is invited, including you.″
″Every werewolf is invited; I am a human in case you forgot.″ I mutter, taking a sip of water.
″Rory, you are King Vulcan Romanov’s mate; his Luna. This is the perfect time to make your first appearance!″ Damon exclaims, before fist pumping the air when his favorite team scores some points.
“Ugh, I would rather binge watch on Netflix and eat my weight in food than wear a fancy dress and go to a ball.” I mutter grumpily, sinking further into the couch wishing it would swallow me whole. At least I’ll have a legitimate reason to skip the event.
Sophia pulls me up from the couch and drags me upstairs with me whining behind her. Leading me into the room, she turns around to see my frozen form in the doorway. There, on my bed, is a large white box with a black, satin ribbon wrapped around it. Small and medium sized boxes sit beside it, wrapped in the same colored paper and ribbons.
″What is this?″ I breathe out softly, walking over and picking up one of the small boxes gently.
She smiles at me before walking up to my vanity and fixing her mask that she decides to put on. ″It’s for you to wear at the party. We told Vulcan the color of your dress and today, these gifts arrived for you.″
I look back down to the small box in my hand, the others on the bed. Well, what do you know. The big bad Alpha actually went shopping for me, I think to myself, laughing out loud.
Sophia walks back, casting me a weird look when I chuckle at nothing. ″I’ll leave you to get dressed before I come in and do your makeup and hair okay?″
I nod, smiling at her as she walks out and shuts the door behind her. Turning back to the boxes on the bed, I feel butterflies flutter in my stomach as I think about tonight. The reason I don’t want to go is because it’s going to be packed with werewolves that look as if they were carved to perfection and I’ll stick out like a sore thumb, just a human.
All I want to do is to change into some comfy pajamas, put on a movie and eat some junk food. Now that, would be much more entertaining than being stared at by a thousand people.
Sighing loudly, I sit down on the side of my bed and take out my phone from my back pocket. Breathing out a deep sigh, I tap on my contacts app. I had sneakily exchanged numbers with Vulcan, adding myself as ‘Unicorn Ninja Boss Lady’ to his contacts...because I’m weird like that. I would’ve loved to see his reaction to that as I call him right now.
The bell rings three times before he picks up, his manly baritone filtering through the speaker. ″Seriously, Aurora? Who names themselves that?″
″Um, a unicorn ninja boss lady, duh!″
He sighs before a chuckle escapes his lips, making me grin. At least his mood seems to be good. ″Did you get the gifts?″
″Yeah,″ I mumble, tracing swirly patterns on the covers before sighing loudly. ″Vulcan...do I have to go?″
″Why not, Малышка? Are you okay? Did someone hurt you, because I swear to -″ (Baby.)
″No, I’m fine! It’s just that - I’m not - ugh!″ I cry in frustration, lying back down on the bed. ″I’m not like you guys; it’s just going to be werewolves and -″
″And my mate.″ He interrupts sternly. ″You have nothing to worry about, Aurora. I’ll be right there with you.″
″Vulcan, what does it matter if I’m there or not? I’m not even that important or anything.″
″You’re important to me.″ He murmurs, his voice gentle and low making me scream giddily inside.
″Can you repeat that; I need to get that on record.″ I tease, knowing he is scowling right now.
″Believe me, if this wasn’t so important, I wouldn’t be forcing you to go but the elders want to see you and they’re very respected people in our world. I’ll make it up to you.″
″With what?″ I ask, curiously.
″Anything you want.″
I nod before realizing he can’t exactly see me. ″Okay, I’ll tell you by tonight then.″
″Good, now start getting ready and I’ll meet you at the party.″
We bid goodbye before I hang up and throw my phone down on the bed, beside me. Staring at the boxes to my left, I sigh and stand, taking the garment bag into my closet with me. Unzipping the bag, I smile at the sky blue, delicate material that meets my eyes. I take out the sleeveless gown that has a jeweled belt under the plunging neckline.
Lifting it up higher, I notice the material is entirely sheer with only a blue-colored slip underneath and a plunging V-neckline. But the pastel colored embroidery is what I truly fall in love with because of how well it looks with the color of the dress. I turn it around and see that it’s backless down to my waist.
I rush into the bathroom with a pair of underwear and jump into the shower, making sure I’m clean before blow drying my hair. I slip on my matching panties before walking out of the bathroom. I’ll have to go bra less as the dress has a plunging neckline and it’s backless, which I’m slightly unsure about.
Smiling to myself, I put it on and grin at the perfect fit and how soft it feels. Lifting it up from the sides, I make my way over to the floor-length mirror. Smoothing it out, I turn from side to side before laughing in delight. This is the perfect dress! Twirling around the room, I stop in front of the shoe rack and find some shiny silver heels to go with it.
″You look like Cinderella...except with black hair.″ Sophia’s laugh echoes in the room, making me turn around to see her standing at the doorway of my closet.
I gasp in amazement when I see her dress before smirking. She’s wearing a turtleneck, bright red gown that’s backless just like mine. It has silver cuffs and a rounded neckline that ties at the back. Her blonde hair is curled in loose waves with teardrop shaped, silver earrings adorning her ears and her makeup is flawless as always. She’s wearing silver, rhinestone stilettos that are covered by her long dress and carrying a clutch that matches her shoes whilst she checks her nude lipstick in the mirror before smiling shyly at me.
″What do you think? Do you like it?″
″All I can say is that Damon is going to drop dead once he sees you.″ I wink as she giggles before rushing over to me and pushing me out of the closet, towards the vanity chair.
″Time to get you all dolled up for Vulcan!″ She teases making my cheeks warm up at the thought of him.
Two hours later, I walk with my eyes closed and Sophia’s hands on my shoulders to guide me back to the floor-length mirror in my closet. Opening my eyes when she gives me the go ahead, my eyes widen at the girl standing there.
I stand there with my jet-black hair in soft waves and silver earrings that I can’t quite see with the volume of my hair. My makeup is perfect with a matching eye-shadow and a light pink lip. Looking downwards, I see a dainty, diamond bracelet wrapped around my wrist that Sophia had taken out of a gift box. And suddenly, I start panicking.
″Oh my sweet, fudge ducks, I cannot do this!″ I shake my trembling hands out and turn to face Sophia, who only crosses her arms and raises a perfect brow at me.
″Yes, you can. You look amazing!″
″I uh...it’s too much cleavage.″ I blurt, wide-eyed.
″You won’t be saying that when you see what other girls will be wearing.″ She scoffs, flipping her hair.
″It’s doesn’t look right against my skin.″
″You have the perfect complexion! Get yourself together, woman!″ She slaps the back of my head.
″I don’t like that it’s backless.″
″Have you seen mine?!″ She deadpans, turning slightly before walking up to me and grasping my shoulders. ″I know you’re scared but you don’t have to be, Aurora. It’s okay. Everyone is going to be right there with you and we all know Vulcan won’t leave your side when he sees you in this.″
″Girl,″ She steps back and looks me up and down, her hand holding my arm out. ″You are damn fine.″
I laugh shakily before exhaling deeply. She’s right, I can do this. Damon calls for us to hurry up, making Sophia and I do last minute touches before heading out the door. I chuckle as I walk downstairs, watching Damon’s jaw drop as Sophia follows behind me.
I slip away quickly, not wanting to intrude on their moment. Theia and Darius smile at me as I meet them by the door. Darius looks dapper in a black suit, just like Damon’s, as he wraps an arm around Theia’s waist who’s wearing a deep purple, floral dress. The top is plain with a jeweled belt at her waist which then leads onto the pretty floral skirt of the dress.
″You look so pretty.″ I breathe as I look at the dress flow gently whenever she moves.
She laughs softly before hugging me and murmuring in my ear. ″Not as much as you. Your mother would have gotten all emotional like she always does if she were here.″
A lump forms in my throat at the thought of my Mom. Laughing quietly, I think back to the many times she had cried when I wore a dress, which was a miracle because I am a true tomboy. She would always complain about me not letting her dress me up and now I miss her terribly.
Damon comes up behind me and whispers a compliment in my ear before rubbing my shoulder reassuringly. Smiling, I walk out of the door with the family and into the sleek, black SUV that waits for us on the driveway. It’s going to be a long journey before we reach the territory of Alpha Nicholas’ and I spend it trying to calm my worrying self.
When we arrive at the luxurious mansion, it’s brightly lit and inviting people to a grand ball. A doorman rushes to my side and opens the door before taking my hand in his and helping me out of the car.
″Luna Romanov.″ He bows, making me shoot him a bewildered look before thanking him.
″God, that never gets old.″ I whisper to Darius as I catch up to him and start heading towards the impressive building.
He chuckles at me in reply before telling me the directions to the ballroom. Then, he grabs Theia’s hand and wanders off to meet some other Alphas. Looking around, I notice Damon and Sophia are nowhere in sight. They’ve probably gone in, I realize, cursing mentally before walking through the open doors with butterflies in my stomach.
Instead of going to the ballroom like I should have, I wander off in another direction...because I’m not me if I don’t get distracted from time to time. Walking down a dark hallway with only dimly lit wall lamps showing me the way, I stumble across a large balcony. Needing some air, I walk over to it and open the doors, slipping out to the railing and sighing loudly.
″Well, goddamn woman. I’d offer you a cigarette but, -″
″You’re already smoking hot.″ I roll my eyes and turn my head to the side to see a man leaning against the balcony holding, of course, a cigarette.
He steps out of the shadows that are hiding his face and reveals himself to me. He stands tall with a lean build, hazel eyes, thin red lips and wavy, dark brown hair. Suited up in a black tux, his shiny black shoes make dull sounds as he walks over to me.
He eyes narrow. ″Let’s play titanic. You -″
″Be the ocean and I’ll go down on you.″ I sigh, flipping my hair behind my shoulder.
He smirks before straightening. ″What has teeth and holds back the Incredible Hulk?″
I chuckle lowly before stepping up to him, almost reaching his shoulders in my heels. ″Not your zipper, darling. That’s for sure.″
I pat his cheek before walking out of the doors and down the hallway, feeling confident as the image of his jaw dropping flashes in my mind again. Soon, I reach the entrance and find myself smoothing out my dress nervously and fixing myself up. Smiling sheepishly at the guard who looks at me in amusement, I hesitate before finally stepping through the door and out to the stairs that lead to the ballroom floor.
Trying not to grimace at my late arrival as hundreds of eyes snap to my figure, I focus my gaze on only one person who is making his way towards the staircase wearing a black suit. My God, I want to run down and kiss the life out of him!
Vulcan’s dark green eyes roam over my body, his knuckles turning white as he holds onto the banister and watches me make my descent. I hold the sides of my gown up so I won’t fall, noticing his eyes roam over my figure continuously as if committing it to memory. It’s as if there is only him and I in the ballroom, the people around us long forgotten. I finally make it off the last step, Vulcan’s arm snaking around my waist and pulling me closer to him.
″You look a fucking angel, so beautiful.″ He breathes, looking down at me in awe before pulling me flush against him.
I laugh shyly and wrap my arms around his neck. Leaning up, I bring my lips close to his ear before murmuring. ″I was going to say you looked handsome but, I change my mind. You look sexy as hell in a suit.″
Pulling back, I smile up at him as he chuckles deeply. Over the past month, the sexual tension between us has increased and things like this keep happening more often.
″Maybe I should have let you stay at home, Моя любовь. I don’t like the thought of all these males seeing my gorgeous mate.″ (My love.)
″Well, I want to know what you think of me in this, so I came.″
He leans down and pecks my lips. ″Do you really want to know?″
I nod making him smirk and slide his hands to my lower back. I blush slightly, my cheeks flaming when I hear his answer.
″I want to take you back home and rip it off you. I think it’ll look better on the floor.″ He winks, pulling away and caressing my blush filled cheeks before leading me through the crowds.
I tune out the whispers erupting in the room and instead, smile at my friends who are crowded around a table. Christian wears a grey suit while Alex stands in a black tux, laughing at something he said before they both wave at me. I hug Lily and compliment her because honestly, she looks amazing and I’m so happy that she’s here!
Dressed in an off-the-shoulder blood red gown with a shimmering metallic waistband, she twirls around to show me the back which is a sleek maxi skirt with a dramatic split. Her long, brown hair is slicked back, a cat flick sharp enough to stab with a red lip and chunky bracelets on her wrist, matching her bold heels.
″Looking good as always!″ I laugh, pulling her into a hug.
She compliments me and holds me in place when I move to pull back, whispering lowly in my ear. ″Are you trying to kill your mate, Aurora? Looks like seeing you in a dress turns him into a naughty wolf.″
I slap her arm gently, blushing harder when she pinches my heated cheeks. Vulcan pulls me into his side again when several people come over to introduce themselves. What was I worrying about? I wonder, smiling as I shake a pretty brunette’s hand, already forgetting her name as I’m introduced to another person...and another and another.
I spend another while meeting new people before slipping away to get a drink. Walking to the long table pushed up against a wall, I grab a cup. My eyes skim the pieces of chocolate and finger food before they meet hazel ones. The man from the balcony smirks before placing his hands in his pockets and stepping close to me.
″One more?″ Sighing, I nod and take a sip from the cup. I’ll probably know this pickup line too, the boys at school don’t exactly shy away from trying to woo a girl.
″I value my breath so it would be nice -″
″If you didn’t take it away every time you walked by. Seriously?″
He leans back against the table, shaking his head at me. ″If kisses were snowflakes -″
″I’d send you a blizzard, and did you just try to say that poetically?″
Shrugging one shoulder, he winks at me before stepping up to me, making me uncomfortable when he leans down. ″You’re not a werewolf, so how did a pretty little thing like you get here?″
I’m about to reply when I’m cut off by a familiar voice. ″Get the fuck away from her, Colton.″
Turning my head to the side, I see Vulcan’s livid form and obsidian eyes as he stares at the man who is now standing tall with a scowl on his lips.
″What would you possibly want with a human? Your whores not enough for you, cousin?″ Colton sneers.
I notice all eyes are on us and hurry to Vulcan’s side, rubbing his back in an effort to calm him down. And it works! I smile up at him as I watch him take a deep breath, making his eyes switch back to the familiar green I love. His hand grips my waist as he turns back to look at the man staring at us in shock before it morphs into anger.
″She is. And if I find you talking to her again, I’ll break your goddamn bones.″ He snarls at Colton, body trembling.
Colton moves to respond but is interrupted when Alpha Nicholas whispers something in Vulcan’s ear, making him nod and pull me away. I frown at what Colton had said about how “Vulcan’s whores” are “not enough.” How many relationships did he have before me? My mood deflates as I think about my dating life compared to his; as in non-existent.
″Aurora, meet the elders.″ Vulcan squeezes my waist making me snap back to reality.
″Hello. Nice to meet you.″ I murmur, shaking their hands one by one. There are twelve people in total, five of them women. And they are all drop dead gorgeous.
A man with silver hair and ocean blue eyes chuckles as he shakes my hand, a champagne flute in the other. ″So, you are the coolest person in the world who Nicholas talked to?″
I blush and look down, nodding. ″Sorry about that, I uh...took too much sugar.″
The group laughs but their eyes are still guarded as they take me in. Vulcan, Indigo and Damon chat to them while I look around. My gaze settles on an angry blonde whose icy blue eyes are glaring daggers at me. Confused, I shoot her a bewildered look before turning back to Vulcan.
Suddenly, soft music filters through the speakers in the room making everyone around me smile and grab their partners before heading to the floor. I chuckle as Sophia takes Damon and marches off, Alex winking at me as he grabs a dazed girl and Christian slapping the back of his head as he wraps an arm around a redhead, who is his cousin. Christian and Lily’s mates are vampires and since this is a party for werewolves, they didn’t have to attend.
The elders bid goodbye and disperse into different directions while I stand there, smiling as Lily shoves her friend away and glares up at him. I bet she’s refusing to dance like she always does. Except when she goes clubbing, a girl’s night is definitely on the agenda for the future.
″Want to dance?″ Vulcan suddenly murmurs into my ear making me look up at him in shock.
He rolls his eyes before pulling me to the dance floor. Smiling, I wrap my arms around his neck while his hands find my waist. We sway in time to the music, both of us teasing each other as couples dance around us. He takes my hand in his and twirls me around. Chuckling at my grin, his hands slide down my body before he pulls me closer.
I look around to see Damon glaring at Vulcan’s hands and laugh as Sophia slaps his cheek gently. However, I also notice the stunning blonde pass me whilst glaring once more.
″Vulcan,″ I turn back to him with a frown. ″Who’s that blonde? She keeps sending me angry looks for no reason.″
He looks at where I’m gesturing and his eyes darken to black. I watch as she smiles seductively and leans to reveal a lot more cleavage than necessary.
He sighs and tightens his hold around me. ″She’s no-one important.″
″Did you used to date her?″
″For a short while, but she was delusional enough to think that we were anything more. She doesn’t mean anything to me, Aurora. You’re the only girl I want.″ He murmurs, pressing a kiss to my forehead.
Nodding, I smile up at him hesitantly. ″It’s just that Colton said -″
″Colton’s an idiot!″ He growls lowly, eyes flashing with anger. ″What the hell were you doing near him anyway?″
″He walked up to me! I was just getting a drink.″
″Well, you looked like you were enjoying his company a little too much!″
″Oh, that?″ I chuckle, shaking my head. ″I met him at the balcony before I came down and he’s been trying out the most ridiculous pickup lines since!″
His fingers dig into my waist and I grimace. ″Vulcan, you’re hurting me.″
″Of course, I am.″ I reply gently, playing with the hair at the back of his neck. ″Just calm down, please.″
He doesn’t. I feel his body tremble under my hands and sigh, smiling reassuringly at people who send looks in our direction. ″Vulcan, please calm -″
″I don’t want you near him ever again!″
″Okay,″ I cup his face and caress his cheeks with my thumb, the short stubble grazing my skin. ″I won’t talk to him anymore.″
″You’re coming back home tonight.″
″What?! But Theia - she’s - ugh!″ I scowl up at him while he stares down at me, angrily. ″Great, because of you I’m going to miss the barbecue they planned. You know of my committed relationship with food.″
″It’s been a week, Aurora.″
″Nope! There’s still two days left!″ He twirls me around before leaning down until we’re nose to nose. Everything around me blurs into a mass of colorful dresses as I stare into his eyes.
″It’s been too long, mea lux.″ He sighs, tucking my hair behind my ear. (My light.)
″Really? Doesn’t feel like it.″ I tease, my index fingers sliding under the lapels of his black suit.
He growls playfully and I sigh in relief that he’s finally calm. We dance to two more songs before slipping away from the ballroom and ending up on one of the balconies. I grip the railing and lean slightly, looking out at the breathtaking view in amazement. I hear him come up from behind and wrap me up in his arms. He sighs and pulls back my hair from one side, nuzzling his nose into the crook of my neck.
″Vulcan?″ I ask, hearing him hum in reply and kiss my shoulder. ″You know when I said I’ll tell you how to make it up to me?″
″Yes. Did you decide?″ I turn around in his arms and bite my lip as I wrap my arms around his neck. A lustful growl echoes in the quiet night whilst he rubs my bottom lip with his thumb, sending tingles down my spine.
″Yeah, you know how you said it’s been too long?″ I ask as I lean up, until our lips are just a breath away from meeting. ″You’re right.″
He looks down at me in confusion, his fingertips skimming my bare arms and making me shiver. I love the reaction my body has to him and how he makes me feel, it’s so new to me.
″Kiss me?″ I request softly, watching his eyes darken and burn bright gold with lust.
″You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to do that.″ He groans before his lips meet mine in a passionate kiss.
I pull him closer, realizing just how much I missed him in the past week. Well, almost a week since a certain Alpha can’t stay away. But, I know it’s time to go back home with my big, bad Alpha mate.