I nod my head and we part ways quickly. I walk over to Hailey and plant a quick kiss on her lips to stop her from asking questions. Just as I slip my arm around her waist the doors to the ballroom are tossed open revealing the women of the Death-Rose clan standing side by side. There’s six of them in total but in the middle stands a tall beauty with jet black hair styled into heated curls.
My mouth falls open as I stare at her, something coming alive as my eyes rake her body. She’s wearing a dress of some sort. It’s royal purple, making her green eyes pop out, with a black belt around the middle, showing off her body. Her tattoos are even showing beneath her sleeves.
My heart breaks just a little, knowing what could have been, had I stayed, as she smiles at her parents. Her family erupts in applause because of her achievement. I clap along and smile to myself, looking down at the floor, hurt slipping into my heart. Swallowing the knot in my throat, I lead my girlfriend over to the refreshments table feeling just a bit proud.
She’s come so far in the past few years. I know back then she wouldn’t have worn anything like that. She would have lost her shit at the idea of coming to a party. She would be wearing that mask of hers. Giving everybody dirty looks. Not giving a fuck about what people think.
“Are you all right, Theodore?”
I nod my head not paying attention to who it is. Alaric comes into my line of vision as I down a glass of sparkling wine with a troubled look on his face. I shift my gaze past him, not wanting to be bothered about how I’m really feeling, to see Aszurya staring right at me. She tilts her gorgeous head to the side with a look of confusion written all over her face.
Yet there’s a hint of recognition.
A lean man with blonde hair walks behind her, slipping his hands around her body and stealing away her attention. I watch as she leans her head back and the two kiss. Something wet and sharp touches my hand and I look down to see that it is glass. I squeezed the glass too tightly, breaking it.
“Go take a walk. I’ll deal with this.”
With a clenched jaw, I nod my head and walk out of the grand ballroom. I stand out in the hallway for about a half-hour staring up at the ceiling thinking about how happy she was with me. She was invincible with me. We were a team together. I’m the one that got her to admit that she was scared and hurt. But I’m not sure it was me that got her to wear a dress. How close are they?
This isn’t why I came here. I didn’t come here to suddenly have regrets about something I couldn’t help. I swore I would stop being completely useless.
With that on my mind, I straighten my spine and walk back into the ballroom. I find my girlfriend standing in the middle of the dancefloor with Alaric and Kitoshy glaring at her. Everyone’s attention is on her, even those of the Death-Rose. My steps falter as I reach the trio I came with.