The whole room went quiet. The creatures had all stopped dancing, and even the orchestra had come to a halt.
All of the attention was on us.
“How could you embarrass me like this!?” Lilith demands.
Alexander frowns in confusion. “Embarrass you? What are you talking about?”
Her voice shrieks. “You knew this was our engagement party, and yet you still brought your blood servant! How dare you!?”
I hear gasps at the mention of the word blood servant. The sounds made me want to cower behind Alexander’s frame and stay there for the duration of the night.
“Do you know how stupid you’ve made me look tonight, Alexander?” Lilith whimpers. “And to do it in front of my family and our close friends? How could you? I thought you were better than that.”
“I had no idea about this.” Alexander states.
“How could you not!? Our parents have been planning this evening for months.” She grits out.
“I thought I made myself clear about not ever wanting to marry.” Alexander snarls.
Her eyebrow rises. “And that’s your decision, is it?”
Alexander sighs. “Look, I didn’t even know this was our engagement party. If I had known, maybe things would have been different.”
“Do not try to save yourself from this. You have hurt me enough already tonight.”
“Is that so?” Alexander’s voice rises. “You see, none of this would have happened if you’d just listen to me the first time, but you never do. I’ve told you numerous of times that I do wish to marry you or anyone else for that matter.”
She scoffs. “Whether we decide to marry or not, it’s not our choice. And right now, you have a very pissed off fiancé.”
“Lil…” Alexander trails off.
Lilith turns to me, snatches the champagne flute out of my hands and throws the contents in my face. “Stay away from him, slave or I’ll kill you.”
With one hurtful glance towards Alexander, she storms off.
I watch her with a look of disdain on my face because it wasn’t her that looked stupid or pathetic.
It was I.
How I wished Alexander had read the invitation instead of ripping it into shreds. None of this would have happened.
I move my attention back to Phoenix to see him draining the contents of his drink and sigh. “Well, that went better than I expected.”
What on earth did he expect to happen?
Alexander ignores him, takes a red handkerchief out of his suit pocket and hands it to me. “Here.”
Without a word, I take it from him and begin dabbing it on the skin of my face, my makeup coming off from the process. No doubt I looked like a disgrace.
Phoenix roams his eyes all over me and tuts. “It’s a shame about that dress, slave. Before it became ruined, I thought you looked rather dashing, but now you just look like a soaked rat.”
I gasp at his hurtful words.
“Phoenix...” Alexander warns.
He’s cut off by the faerie. “In the future, just apologise because it makes my job a hell of a lot easier when you do.” Phoenix huffs and saunters away in the same direction Lilith went.
“Nobody asked you to fix this…” Alexander turns towards the onlookers and shouts. “Don’t you all have dancing to do!?”
Immediately, the orchestra begins to play again, and all of the creatures begin to dance as though nothing had happened.
I trail my hands over my now soaked dress and ball my hands into fists. I wanted to chase after Lilith and give her a taste of her own medicine, but she was a vampire. She has superhuman strength and has teeth that could easily rip my flesh into pieces.
It would not be worth it.
I hand the hanker-chief back to Alexander to which he takes it and holds it in his palms. “Jane, I…”
I did not want to hear what he has to say.
Embarrassed and humiliated by the whole situation, I take my leave.
I avoid his gaze. “Will you excuse me for a moment? I’m just going to get cleaned up. I won’t be long.”
Ignoring Alexander’s plea, I gather the bottom of my dress and hastily walk down a corridor to what I hope leads to the lavatory. I walk alone down a dark hallway, and just as I round a corner, I hear voices deep in conversation. Two to be exact. A male and female.
Lilith’s and Phoenix’s.
Although, I know I shouldn’t, I quietly hide behind a pillar and carefully listen.
“Do you think he’s telling the truth?”
“I gave him the invitation like you asked, but I didn’t see whether or not he read it.”
“He probably threw it away like he normally does with invitations.” She growls in frustration. “But why has he brought her here? To my home? Do you know how insulting that is to me?”
I knew without a doubt that they were discussing Alexander and I.
But it wasn’t my fault I came tonight. I had no choice but to follow Alexander’s orders.
Phoenix remains silent.
“What exactly is she to him, Phoenix?”
I hear a sigh. “I do not know. If I knew, I’d tell you in a heartbeat.”
“There’s no way she’s a blood servant. If she was, there’d be bite marks on her neck and there isn’t any on her.” She shrieks.
“None that you can see.”
“Exactly.” Lilith agrees.
“You know, bite marks don’t necessarily have to be on the neck, darling.” Phoenix says softly.
I frown to myself, thinking if I heard correctly.
Phoenix calling somebody darling isn’t something I’d ever expect to come out of his mouth, but then again he doesn’t despise vampires.
“Phoenix, you’re not helping!”
“I’m sorry, but why do you insist on caring about Alexander’s personal affairs? You know yourself he does not care about you. Not in the way like I do.”
My eyes widen as I listen to him speak.
From the way he spoke to her, it was more than just two creatures comforting one another. It sounded like two lovers.
She sighs in annoyance. “We’ve been over this so many times, Phoenix. I know your feelings for me, but I wish you’d stop.”
Phoenix scoffs, clearly showing his disapproval. “Stop?”
“You know that I’m right. We can’t keep doing this.”
For how long had they been sneaking around? Days? Months? Years?
“How could you say that? You’re really asking me to stop caring about you?” His voice lowers. “Do you understand that that’s not something I can do so easily because the truth is, I’ll never stop caring about you, Lilith.”
He cuts her off. “No! Do you know how hard it is for me to accept that you’ll never be mine?”
She doesn’t respond.
“There’s been so many times where I wanted to hold your hand in public and kiss you whenever I wanted. I even imagined us marrying someday and having children and watch them grow up together. Don’t tell me that you don’t want those things.”
“Of course, I do! More than anything, but I can’t do them with you.”
Again, there’s silence closely followed by a feminine whimper.
She scoffs. “Because I can’t.”
And that’s when I hear the unmistakable sound of kissing.
I should have left them alone.
I wanted to know more about them and they’re relationship together, but it felt so wrong.
I felt almost guilty for intruding their privacy.
“Why?” He pants.
“Because I’m engaged to Alex!” She shouts.
A part of me feared that they knew I was listening, but then I relax when I hear Lilith’s voice again.
“This thing between you and I must end.”
“Do not say that.”
’We can never be together simply because of who we are. You’re a faerie and I a vampire. It would not make sense.”
“But I love you, Lilith.”
She whimpers. “And I you, but my heart belongs to Alex. It’s always belonged to him.”
I stifle my own gasp at her harsh words spoken towards Phoenix. Although he is a cruel and violent creature, such words such not be uttered out loud.
I was so engrossed in listening to the two creatures conversing, that I do not hear somebody approaching.
“There you are. I had wondered where you’d gone.”
My heart jolts at the sound of Alexander’s voice coming from behind me.
I twirl around and slowly meet his eyes.
He looks at my still soaked dress. “Did you find the bathroom?”
I could not utter a single word other than stare up at him with wide eyes. It was as though my whole body had gone into shock. Over what? I had no idea.
I did not understand why, but I wanted to get him away from here before he finds out that his fiancé’s been unfaithful.
But it was too late.
“Alex?” Her voice was almost like a whisper.
Lilith appears in front of us with a look of worry in her eyes. No doubt she’s probably wondering if Alexander had overheard her talking intimately with the faerie.
“What is it?” Alexander asks in boredom.
“Have you been here awhile?” She asks nervously.
Alexander frowns. “No, I just wondered where Jane had gone, and now that I’ve found her I can finally enjoy the rest of the evening.” He wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me closer to his side. Lilith’s eyes follows his every movement and that’s when I see something shifting in her eyes.
Jealousy? Anger? Both?
“I saw Phoenix coming down this way, do you know where he is?”
Something told me he already knew he was here.
He’s probably known all along.
Panic sets in her eyes. “I don’t know. I did not see him pass this way.”
“Don’t be so coy, you know I’m here.” Phoenix appears next to Lilith, and immediately I see her red lipstick covering his own lips.
The moment Alexander rests his eyes on the faerie, he shakes his head and scoffs. “Unbelievable.”
“Alex...” Lilith stutters.
Alexander brings up his hand to stop her. “Save it.” He looks between the two of them. “How could you both be so stupid? You really need to stop doing this where people can easily see you. What would your parents and the people say when they hear about this?”
I look up at Alexander in confusion and wonder why isn’t he angry. From the look on his face, he does not seem at all surprised to learn of what Lilith and Phoenix had been doing.
Is it possible that he knew about their affair?
“Alex, this isn’t what it looks like.” Lilith pushes me to the side and seizes his arm.
He studies her and removes her grip on me. “Do not take me for a fool, Lilith.”
“But...” She trails off.
“I’ve known for a very long time.”
She instantly pales and takes a step back. “You’ve known all this time?”
He nods once.
Lilith covers her mouth and gasps.
Phoenix steps forward, his face full of fury. “And it never crossed your mind to tell us that you knew?”
Alexander sighs. “It is none of my business what you get up to. And although she’s my fiancé, I do not care about what she does in her own time. I never have and never will.”
“You’ve never cared about me, did you? Not really. How I wish you cared about something other than yourself.” Lilith mutters under her breath.
“Do not think yourself innocent in all of this because right now, you’re looking far from being little miss perfect.”
She retracts her fangs. “You’re not particularly perfect either, Alexander.”
Phoenix wraps his arm around her waist and plants a soft kiss on the side of her head. “Come on, now. Don’t piss him off more than he already is.”
She points at me. “He’s already pissed me off by bringing that slave into my home!”
I wrap my arms around myself in discomfort. “I did not know about any of this.”
“What makes you think that you can talk?” Phoenix glares in my direction.
I glare back at him.
“Stop it.”Alexander warns. “Do not speak to her like that.”
“Or what?” Phoenix asks with an evil glint in his eyes.
Alexander shakes his head, ignoring the faerie and reaches for my hand, leading me quickly away. “Come along, Jane. We must take our leave. It’s getting late.”
My eyes drift up at Lilith to see her attention is instead fixed on me. There was something about the way she looked at me made me feel uneasy and uncomfortable.
“Jane?” Alexander asks.
My gaze was still on Lilith when I see her looking wide eyed at something. I follow her line of sight with my hand and come into contact with the amulet. The moment I hold the amulet in the palm of my hands, her face changes to horror.
“Lilith, what’s the matter? You’ve gone all stiff.” Phoenix asks.
She slowly tears her gaze away from me and clears her throat. “Nothing’s the matter. I’m fine.”
I did not believe her words. She was far from fine.
What was she looking at?
Just as Alexander leads us away, a small voice halts our movements.
“Alex?” Lilith utters his name softly.
He turns halfway and rises his brow in question.
She looks sadly at the prince, and when her eyes notices Alexander’s hand entwined with mine, a lone tear drops from her eye. “I’m sorry about my behaviour tonight. Truly, I am. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
The prince tenses his jaw and looks coldly at her. “You forget, Lilith. I have no heart.”
Without a backward glance, Alexander leads me out of the party and out of the palace, in complete silence.