Nox Inferno

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The Ball

Chapter 43: The Ball

I spent hours getting ready. I didn’t feel butterflies in my stomach or whatever people feel when they are nervous. I guess it was because it didn’t seem real. But now standing in front of the two doors. A lump formed in my stomach. Two big doors stood in the way between me and everyone at the ball. I could hear the music from the other side.

“I don’t know why you are so nervous.” Alvina shrugged. It was easy for her to say. She has done this a thousand times. Not to mention, she looked gorgeous in her dress. She probably could wear a sack and look like a model. While I look disproportionate in everything I wear.

“You look amazing!” Nyra cheered before adding, “Because you look like me.”

I looked down at my dress. It was a high-low strapless dress. The top part was an elegant white which was ended by a dark, almost blood, red belt. The bottom part was my favorite part of the entire dress. The back part fell to the ground while the front part revealed my legs. But rather than a seamless dress it was designed to look like cinnamon red feathers that matched mask.

Alvina placed the mask on her face. The left side of the green mask curled up towards her forehead and the right side curled down to her cheek. Despite the poufy dress which looked like a snake was wrapped around her shoulder and continued in a downward spiral to her waist. She looked badass. Her snake wrapped itself around her right arm because the one strap that held up the dress was on the left side. She wore her hair in a side braid that hung on her right shoulder Her green lips only accented the green in her eyes, mask, and dress.

Clementine dress reminded me of wolf’s fur. She wore a mask that landed right underneath her cheek, it looked like a wolf. She wore a Grecian neckline covered in white fur with accents of black. The dress itself fell into asymmetrical layers starting at her right hip. The end of each layer was lined with the same fur as the one on her strap. The cloth was blue almost gray, I think she called it, lava gray. Her curly black was clasped away from her face but hung loosely at her back.

Kai wore a cream color suit which was accented with a dark orange tie and handkerchief. Quite honestly, I am amazed he felt comfortable enough to wear something to a party. I would be terrified to even sit with that on. The color alone would scare me from even touching it. But there he was fiddling with the buttons on his suit. His mask consumed his entire face. It looked like a giant fox, from its orange and white snout to its cute little pointy ears.

Zephyr got off easy. He didn’t have to wear an extravagant dress or an odd color tux. He wore a simple black tie, black shirt, and black tuxedo. He wore a black crow mask which only seemed to make it blue eyes pop out. Since it was the only hint of color on him.

“Where are Mama Fra and Peter?” I asked Clementine who toyed with the ends of her hair.

“Mom was feeling sick. So dad is skipping to take care of her. “ Clementine shrugged.

“Can we go in now?” Alvina asked leaning against the door.

“We need to find someone to escort one of you in.” Kai looked between her and Clementine.

“I can do it.” A voice pipped up. I turned to see Lord Lir staring at me. He wore a dark blue tux with a purple tie. Sticking out of his mask where peacock feathers.

“Who are you?” Kai snarled.

Lord Lir bowed, “Lord Lir of the Artic Ocean.”

“Where’s your fiancé?” I asked, hoping it might take the edge out of Kai’s voice.

“She didn’t want to attend this year. I’m hoping next year she will dance with me at the ball.” Lir shrugged as he offered his hand to me.

I squinted my eyes a little. Couldn’t he have picked anyone else to walk with?

“Actually.” Alvina cut in, “You’re going to have to take me.”

Lir turned to Alvina with an amused grin, “Why is that?”

“Because we match.” She said picking at her nails, “Clementine and Zephyr match in the color scale of the costumes. Kai and Twyla match in color. Which makes you and I a better pair to walk down together. For the picture.”

Picture? I have to take a picture? I’m not photogenic enough for this. I turned and tried to walk away from my impending doom, but Kai held onto my waist. Spark shot throughout my body. It almost made me forget what I was going to have to do. Almost.

“You can’t leave yet. You haven’t had a dance with me, yet.” Kai whispered and I went rigged.

I have to dance? Was it some sort of special dance? I don’t know how to dance. I only went to my eight-grade dance before this. I wouldn’t even call what we did dancing. I just jumped to the beat of the songs.

“It will be fun. “ Kai let go of me and walked in front of everyone else. I pretended not to notice Lord Lir’s hard gaze on me.

As the two-door swung open, I felt all the air in my body leave, “Breathe.” Kai whispered as we walked through the door. The room had a soft yellow glow to it. But that didn’t take away from its beauty, it only added to it.

No one stopped to glance at me. Not like in the movies, where everyone quieted down and stared at the main character. Nobody seemed to mind that a group of teenagers in fancy clothing walking down the stairs.

“What did you expect?” Nyra laughed as we made it down the stairs.

“KAI!!” A feminine voice shouted out. Again, no one paid any attention to the blonde girl in white running towards us. As she got closer, I noticed how her dress seemed to be glued onto her skin ad her mask looked like a generic white and gold mask with a feather. “Who are you?” She asked.

I stuck out my hand, but she just looked at it, “Hi, my name is Twyla. And you?”

“Amber Spades. Kai’s girlfriend.” She grinned. I steeled my face, trying not to show how much her words affected me.

“Ex. Ex-girlfriend.” Kai sighed out.

I forced out a smile as I let go of Kai’s arm, “It’s nice to meet you. If you will, I have somewhere I need to be. Excuse me.” I said quietly as I walked away from the pair.

“You don’t have to be anywhere.” Nyra said.

“I know.” I whispered.

“You know, what?” A voice asked. I looked up to find a pair of familiar red eyes.

“Do I know you.” I squinted my eyes at the man.

“It’s me, Harry.” He replied.

“Oh.” I said, “I didn’t know who you were. But you did look familiar”

“Thanks, I guess.” He rubbed the back of his neck, “Do you want to dance?” I glanced back at Kai and Amber still talking.

“Sure.” I smiled at him before taking his hand, “Just a warning. I don’t know how to dance.”

“That’s totally fine. I’m just glad you said ‘yes.’ to giving me your first dance.” He said as he led me to the dance floor.

As we stepped onto the dance floor the song sped up. He spun me in a circle. I didn’t have time to catch myself as he pulled me back to him.

“Can we slow down?” I asked crashing into him.

With a laugh he nodded. We began to move in a simple pattern. Every so often he would spin or dip me.

“I thought you said you couldn’t dance?” He remarked as he picked up the speed.

“I can’t.” I smiled back before he was tapped on the shoulder.

Lord Lir stood behind him, “May I cut in?” He asked.

Harry handed me off to Lord Lir, “All yours, buddy.”

“So, what do you think of my outfit?” He asked and I laughed.

“You match at least three girls in the room.” I retorted.

“I don’t understand why they are peacocks. I hope they know that males are the one who have the bright feathers.” He scoffed as he twirled me.

“I don’t think they care enough to be accurate. It just look pretty.” I said and he began to move around the floor, “Wait, what are you doing?”

We were dancing in circles, moving around the entire floor, “This is how the dance is supposed to be danced.”

“I’m not ready for this.” I said and I stepped on his toes, “Sorry.”

“This is how you are going to learn.” He dipped me.

“Lord Lir, you are going to cause gossip.” I said mockingly, “What will your fiancé think?”

He laughed, “My fiancé wouldn’t mind a bit. Considering…” He trailed off.

“Considering?” I asked.

“Well she doesn’t know it yet.” He said quietly, “Nobody except the king and I know.”

I frowned, “That’s not fair to her.”

“You see, she has lived with her mother since she was little. Later this year, we are going to let her know she is royal.” He said quietly.

“Wait.” We stopped dancing, “She doesn’t even know she’s royal?”

He shook his head, “I shouldn’t be telling this to you. I’m sorry.”

“Well if you want. You can tell me anything. I’ll be your friend through this.” I smiled at him.

“That means a lot.” He smiled and pulled me into a hug.

Suddenly there was a loud bang and a scream.

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