I stood still, frozen to the spot. This was bigger than my revenge. A worldwide war only meant one thing. Death. With werewolves, especially Torben wanting all the power he could get, I should have seen it coming. Humans would be caught in the middle of it. They wouldn't have a chance. They would pay the ultimate price.
“This should be interesting” Celeste's sweet soft voice snapped me out of my thought. I turned around to face her. Mattias stood next to her. His hand draped over her shoulders.
"Ya, that’s not going to end well,” Sin emerged right behind them with his eyebrows furrowed. He went to stay next to them.
Isobel appeared right next to me "Just can’t wait for some fun” her voice sounded excited, and she nearly jumped up and down on the spot. Her eyes shimmered with happiness and a huge smile adorned her face.
We all stared at her our mouths hanging open, stunned and speechless.
"What?? There is going to be music and alcohol. Not to mention hot guys.” She wiggled her eyebrows, clearly excited at the thought. ”It’s been years since we attended any kind of party.”
We were all still staring at her in disbelief, frozen to the ground. She noticed our facial expressions and irritation washed over her, she snapped "who cares about the werewolves” her hands flew into the air above her dramatically.
With that, she turned on her heel and walked away. I just blinked my eyes trying to shake what Isobel just said.
"Wow...I didn't see that coming" said Sin as he watched Isobel's retreating body.
After a few seconds of silence, Celeste suddenly asked, “Reine, have you been in the city?”
I turned my attention to her “No, not yet”
“Would you like to go? I need to get out of this place for a few hours” her eyebrows furrowed.
"Yea I’d love that actually” I was more than happy to get out of the house and explore the city.
"Care to join us? ” her icy blue gaze turned to Mattias and Sin.
"Ya count me in,” Sin's black eyes met mine, the corner of his lips raised into a smirk. I raised an eyebrow at him.
“Me too,” answered Mattias, tightening his arm around Celeste's shoulders. She kissed him on his cheek.
“Me three,” said Sasha as he appeared next to Sin, crossing his arms on his chest.
"What about Isobel, should we ask her too?” my eyes snapped to Celeste.
"I’ll ask her” she offered.
Sprawled on my bed like starfish, my mind swirled from the news. My whole body was tense at the thought of Torben being in the same room as me.
It's been year's...he sure wouldn't remember me.
Forty-five minutes later, I walked down the stairs. Before leaving, I changed into a white flowy shirt with leather leggings and a light black coat that ended at my knees, leaving my hair flowing freely on my back paired with my favourite combat boots.
As I approached all eyes snapped to me. A blush found its way onto my cheeks. I hated everyone's eyes on me.
“Am I late?” my eyes furrowed.
"No we all just got here,” said Mattias, with Celeste on his side, her arm snaked around his torso and buried her face in his chest.
Suddenly familiar clicking of heels filled the large foyer, echoing from the marble floors. Without even turning my head I knew it was Isobel. She was the only one that wore heels every single day.
I’ve been to towns and cities with my parents before they were killed. But my memories were fogged, being only a small child at the time.
“Didn’t expect this?” Sin's voice interrupted my train of thought. My eyes flew to his face, a smirk on his lips.
"Honestly, no. Everyone looks...happy” I answered stunned.
"Most cities are not like this,” Isobel walked in front of me, her head looking over her shoulder “We pretty much leave humans alone as long as they provide us with blood. It's a win-win situation"
"I wish I knew about this place a year ago” I mumbled to myself, my gaze glued to the ground as I slowed my pace thinking about Luca and Suren. They would still be alive if we would left the camp and moved here. We could have been happy and Suren would get to grow up.
”Why? Would you come here?” his eyebrow high in his forehead not leaving my side.
I nodded. Biting my lower lip.
"Let’s go!” I heard Celeste from further away from us. The rest of them kept walking leaving me and Sin in the back. Upon hearing her, I sped up and slowly caught up to them.
It was interesting to see a different kind of life. Small children were happy with their parents passing us on the streets with no worry. It was the stark opposite of what I remembered and experienced as a slave.
"We should probably feed,” said Mattias to Celeste after walking around for hours.
“Yes, let’s go to the Rack” Celeste flashed him a smile, gazing into his eyes.
"What’s that?” I found myself asking.
“It’s a bar nearby. We can feed over there” said Sasha leading us in the direction of the bar.
Entering the building, the metallic scent of blood and alcohol greeted me. As it hit me, my throat felt like sandpaper. I didn't realise I was this hungry. With the news of the ball and the brewing war, feeding myself was pushed to the back of my mind. At the thought of my hunger, I became nervous.
My eyes nervously took in the bar. It was small with few boots around with a royal blue and brown theme. There were a couple of humans and vampires sitting around with either glass of blood or with feeding on humans. I was surprised when I noticed the humans were willing to get bitten. They had a weird facial expression after the vampire finished feeding on them. They looked dazed, with calm smile on their lips.
"Reine, look what I have” I heard Celeste.
My eyes shot to her, she led two male humans towards me. My eyes widened and the colour disappeared from my face when I realised why she brought them to me.
“Um...I think I’ll have a glass of blood” my voice was shaky, feeling slight panic washing over me.
“You need to learn to control yourself. There won’t always be the option from the glass.” she smiled at me reassuringly ” plus it was your first time feeding. We all went through it."
This was the last place with everyone around me, I wanted to try and feed on a human. I would much prefer to do it in private. The last time I fed, it felt like someone else possessed my body. I was too afraid but I saw her train of thoughts.
”I’ll be there next to you, I’ll help you through it” she sensed my worries, putting her hand on my forearm to reassure me.
I signed and nodded feeling defeated. I knew she was right. She led me to the booth to have some sort of privacy.
“Which one do you prefer. They're both hotties” she asked and smiled mischievously. My eyes widened and I glanced towards Mattias, he was in deep conversation with Sasha, not paying any attention to Celeste. I caught Sin eyeing me, once his eyes met mine he sent me a smile and I felt the heat rushing to my cheeks. I was happy the place was dimly lit, effectively hiding my blush.
“Up to you,” I said nervously, my eyes snapped back towards Celeste.
Sitting down I felt one of the guys taking a seat next to me.
"Do you enjoy it?" I found myself asking him confused as to why would a human want to get bitten.
"I do...it's like a drug. Even better with a female", a smirk appeared on his face. I gulped loudly, tearing away my eyes from him.
Me being unsure, I glanced at Celeste, she gave me an encouraging smile then turned to her male and began feeding on him. My eyes lingered on her a bit longer before I turned back to the guy. My heart was beating erratically in my chest, telling myself that I could do it.
“See? It wasn’t hard, was it?” Celeste's cheerful voice pulled my out of my stare, my eyes snapped back to her.
A smile slowly appeared on my face " no it wasn't"
The sky was blue, puffy clouds flew around me as I gazed from the aeroplane window. I watched in awe everything around me, feeling slightly envious of birds that could freely fly everywhere.
Few days before travelling, Nicolas informed us who were the lucky ten who would get to go to the ball. I was in shock when he told me I was going with him and Leon. I hoped he would let me stay behind since I had history with Torben. Sin, Isobel, Celeste and Mattias we're coming too along with another three vampires.
Once we arrived at the palace, my eyes widened at the sight of the stunning rococo architecture. I knew, since Don Lombardi was high member of the council, his home would be beautiful. I didn't even imagine it would be large and stunning palace.
"Nicolas, welcome to my home” Don Lombardi said with a smile on his face as we approached him.
"Don Lombardi” Nicolas acknowledged him, bowing his head in respect. “Thank you for having us”
“That’s not a problem, my friend. I hope you will find everything to your liking.” he patted his shoulder.
"I’m sure we will” Nicolas replied with a wide smile on his face.
Don Lombardi gestured for us to get inside where the maids were waiting to show us our rooms.
I shared a room with Isobel. Our room was large with a light blue theme and gold accents. The furniture looked elegant and antique. The room was filled with two beds, a big wardrobe and a vanity table. As we looked around our room, our suitcases were brought to us.
“Did you noticed any werewolves?” I found myself asking Isobel, gazing out the window at the lush green fields.
“No, I heard one of the other vampires from another clan saying that the werewolves weren’t staying here, they’re staying in the hotels in the city,” she sat on her bed.
“Good, I don’t want to see them more than it’s needed,” Relief washed over me as I turned around to face her.
“You hate them, don’t you?” She raised her eyebrows.
“Well...yeah, don’t you?” my eyes widened, eyebrows went high on my forehead.
“I don’t necessarily hate them. I know we’re meant to be enemies but we used to accept each other. So far they didn’t do anything wrong to me, there’s no need for me to hate them.”
"You do know they are planning war against us, against everyone,”
She nodded ”I know and hope it will not come to that.” Then she smiled at me ”but now, I want to enjoy the ball.”
I couldn't help but chuckle and shook my head.
The rest of the day was uneventful. I fell asleep after Isobel left. She invited me to join her to explore the castle and to meet the other clans but me being introvert, I would rather stay in the room alone.
My eyes blinked open after hearing a faint sound of movement around the room. The room was dimly lit with only one lamp on at the far side of the room. I glanced around, Isobel stood by her bed searching for something in her bag.
"You’re finally awake” her eyes went to me upon hearing my movement as I sat up.
I rubbed away the sleep. ”How long did I sleep?” my voice was raspy with lack of use.
"All afternoon, we’re all going downstairs to have a few drinks, are you coming?” she grinned
"Yes” I glanced at my clothes “but I need to change first” I still wore the same outfit from earlier. All day cooked up in the room, I began to get sick of the four walls that surrounded me. I also began to feel guilty for hiding away in the room.
“Then hurry, there’s a glass of blood for you as well” she glanced in the direction of the table, my gaze followed.
I jumped off the bed straight for the blood. I was hungry not eating all day. Entering the bathroom, I washed my face, brushed my teeth and fixed my hair. I chose a red off the shoulder jumpsuit with a belt and matching high heels. Once I came out she urged me to sit down at the vanity table.
"You need some makeup to complete the look” before I could protest she started putting on black eyeliner, mascara and bright red lipstick. When I looked at myself in the mirror, my eyes widened and my mouth hanged open. I never wore makeup before but I liked it. I looked good. “Thanks,” I said beaming as I looked at her
She grinned ”let’s go"
We entered a large living room. The smell of blood and perfume overwhelmed my sense of smell. It wasn't overpowering but noticeable.
As we walked through the room towards our group, I felt a hand on my elbow. Sharply turning around, I found a vampire standing in front of me with a smile on his face. His eyes studied my face the lowered and roamed over my body. I crossed my arms over my chest narrowing my eyes at him. His eyes moved back to my face. From his intense lustful gaze, I knew he only wanted one thing, but that was the last thing on my mind.
"I saw you at the door and had to say hi", his eyes bored into mine with that cheeky smirk on his face.
I smiled but it didn't reach my eyes. "well...you said your hi, now if you excuse me-" as I turned around to leave I felt his hand on my elbow again. I turned around again, my eyes staring daggers at his hand on me then sending him a glare.
"I wondered if you'd like a drink?" The vampire in front of me asked. Before I could even answer he added "we could have chat. Did I say you're stunning?"
My eyebrows flew high on my forehead, slight blush found its way on my cheeks but shook it off quickly "I don't drink" my voice was cold hoping he would get the hint I wasn't interested.
"Then just chat, we could find a quiet place" his eyes roamed over my small frame again and stopped at my chest area. Anger began creeping in and my muscles tensed. I cleared my throat rather harshly, snapping him out of his gaze at my chest.
"Why don't you find someone else who is actually interested" Sin appeared next to me. I couldn't help but feel relieved.
My eyes snapped to him. He was tense glaring the vampire down. The vampire glared at him back "not your business, go back where you came from"
Sin's jaw clenched "it is my business seeing she's my girlfriend" he placed his hand on my hip and pulled me into his side. Smirk appeared on his face when the eyes of the other vampire widened. I watched Sin's face with wide eyes "Now get lost" Sin seethed.
With that, Sin turned around walking away, pulling me behind him. Once we were further away from the vampire I stopped pulling him to stop as well. "What was that?" I asked him with an angry edge in my voice. His eyebrow furrowed "he wouldn't leave you alone, I just helped"
I let out a sigh, my demeanour loosened up "thanks, but next time I can take care of myself"
He chuckled "I know"