When Isobel was ready we went to meet with the rest of the clan. Everyone turned their attention to us once we entered one of the smaller living rooms. A blush crept into my cheeks with everyone's eyes on us. Isobel's mermaid style dress that sparkled for miles away brought too much attention for my liking. She was stunning but so was everyone else. They all looked fancy.
“That’s everyone,” said Celeste turning to Nicolas and Leon.
“Before we go, I just want to say to everyone to behave. Everyone needs to control themselves” said Leon glancing at everyone, his gaze lingered on me a bit longer. The comment was mostly directed at me. Easier said than done. I thought to myself.
Once he finished speaking Nicolas made his way over to me. “You look stunning,” he said grinning at me.
“Thanks”, I replied, rosy colour adorned my cheeks.
"you to look handsome” I attempted to compliment him, flashing him a wide smile.
He chuckled and linked my hand with his at the elbow as we walk out of the room. As we passed other vampires, soft orchestral music filled my ears. The further we walked the louder the music became.
Entering the huge brightly lit grand hall my eyes roamed over the decor. It had a cream and gold theme, the ceiling had the intricate Baroque type of ornaments, three huge crystal chandeliers illuminated the hall. Orchestra sat in the corner, the source of the beautiful music. The grand hall already full of vampires and werewolves, mingling.
"I need a drink,” I breathed.
Nicolas took two glasses of champagne from a servant as he passed us. He handed me one as he sipped his, making a conversation with our group. I joined the chat while drinking the champagne. Once finished Nicolas asked me to dance.
“I don’t know how to dance,” I said awkwardly. I sent him a tight-lipped smile.
“It’s nothing hard, let me lead and you're fine.” He said grinning with playfulness in his eyes. My eyebrows flew up in my forehead, whatever leading was in dancing I had no idea. Never having a chance to learn how to dance. My mind was too caught up with Torben to realise that there would be dancing.
I signed ”ok” glueing my eyes to the ground.
He led me to the dance floor. Putting one of his hand on the small of my back and the other held my hand to the side. He moved my hand on his shoulder giving me reassuring smile. He began leading, dancing to the slow melody. Silence engulfed us my mind too busy concentrating not to step on his foot. I kept my gaze on my feet.
"Don't look at your feet" I heard his soothing voice. My eyes snapped to his. "Feel the music and relax, you're tense"
I sighed "easier said than done"
He chuckled "I need to teach you how to dance once we are back" I smiled.
Halfway through our dance, I felt more relaxed. We both watched around us as we twirled to the music on the dance floor.
“Torben is here” Nicolas's soothing voice entered my ears. I tensed, my eyes scanning the grand hall with my wide eyes.
"Relax Reine, he won’t remember you” his eyes boring into my face. I snapped my gaze to his.
"I hope so” my voice low, wary of the situation I was in.
Once the music stopped we head back to our group. Glancing at the familiar faces there was only Celeste with Matteo glued to her side drinking their champagne talking with Sin. Everyone else was scattered around the hall.
“Where is Isobel,” I asked my eyebrows furrowed. With werewolves around you could never be too careful despite her being ok with them.
"She was dancing the last time I checked,” said Mattias, his eyes looking around trying to find her. ”Look she’s there” he pointed with his head to the direction where she was. My eyes followed the direction, she stood there laughing with a cute male vampire.
After a while, Nicolas and Sin walked away in deep conversation leaving me with Matteo and Celeste. I grabbed another glass of champagne when the servant passed. Celeste chatted with her husband while I watched everyone around me. I felt awkward just standing there like the third wheel I was at that moment. Not knowing what to do with myself, my hand instinctively reached for my chest, looking for Luca's necklace. Rarely taking it off made me feel naked at that moment. I often reached for it when nervous or need to calm myself, it felt as if Luca was there with me.
“I’ll be back,” I said to the couple as I headed to the bathroom not even waiting for their response. Once finished with my business I walked back. I gazed at the sea of bodies in front of me, trying to find the couple. They were dancing to romantic music. My eyes scanned the room in a desperate search for anyone familiar from my clan. I froze once my eyes locked with those blue eyes that send a shiver through my body. Those eyes that gave me nightmares.
Torben stood facing me with a doubtful look on his handsome face as he bore his eyes into me. He stood there, pride radiating out of him about thirty feet away from me with werewolves around him. Glancing at the faces of the werewolves I recognised a few of them. Memories of my time as a slave flashed through my mind. He said something to them never leaving his eyes from me. They all turned around, all boring their eyes into me. The colour from my face disappeared, hair on my back stood up. I gulped tearing my eyes from them.
Walking through the sea of bodies scanning my surroundings I found Isobel, she stood there with the vampire drinking champagne. I made my way over to her but halfway through I felt a warm hand on my elbow gently pulling me to stop. Quickly turning around I froze, my eyes widened. Torben stood there his curious eyes boring into mine locking me under his intense presence.
"Can I have this dance?” his voice soft, charming smile on his face.
My eyebrows shot up in surprise. What the hell? What’s he doing? He’s playing with me like he always did. I glanced around the room nervously, Nicolas cautiously watched me and Torben not far from us. Suddenly the words of him and Leon played in my mind. Behave! I hope there won’t be any fights, it won’t be tolerated. I kept my eyes on him pleading with him to get me out of this situation. Nicolas nodded encouraging me to take the dance with the werewolf Alpha. My eyes snapped back to Torben, not wanting to make a scene, I sighed slowly trying to calm my nerves.
“Yes,” my voice steady.
He smiled, gently put his hand in mine leading me towards the dancefloor. On the way there I realised that I don’t need to be scared of him. I’m not human anymore, I am a strong vampire, I’ve been training hard to be equal to him, to be able to kill him. I also have a clan behind me, I am no more alone. With that, I found my confidence.
We stopped in the middle of the dance floor. He spun me around then pulling me into him. His hands sneaked their way on my waist. I felt like I have been suffocating. His eyes bored into mine as if he could see my soul. He lowered his head to just under my ear and deeply breathed in to smell my scent, then pulled away from me.
“Hmm, I knew it was you, Reine,” he said with a smirk on his face.
My eyes widened at the realisation of him knowing who I was. Then he put his hands the same way Nicolas did when we dance and slowly started moving to the sound of music. I was repulsed by his touch, his warmth that was radiating off of him, his whole presence. My muscles were tense. The last thing I wanted was to dance with him.
I looked anywhere but him. When he saw I’m not planning to reply he added “I could recognise your scent anywhere. It’s intoxicating...like a drug to me” his voice husky.
He was taunting me, enjoying it.
My eyes snapped to his and I could see the lust in them. Anger slowly began to take over my body.
"That’s why you raped me so many times?”
He smiled devilishly his eyes filling with wickedness. ”Your pussy was one of the best ones I had” he whispered after leaning closer to my ear.
Feeling his breath on my skin a shiver ran through my body. I had the urge to push him away and punch him in the face to make him suffer, instead, I let out a deep breath to try to take control of my body.
“Where’s Diana,” I hissed my eyes filled with hatred. Diana was his wife and Luna.
“Not here, she’d be happy to see you though,” he said sarcastically.
"Ya me too,” my voice cold, thinking that the next time I’d see her she would be dead.
"So how’s your daughter and husband, are they here?” He said eyebrows high on his forehead, amusement plastered all over his face. I stared at him without blinking shocked at his audacity to even mention my family.
"You know, I knew they were yours. I could smell your scent all over them when I killed them” he whispered into my ear.
At that moment all I saw was red as pure rage overtook my body. How dare he speaking of my family. I wanted to rip his head off when I imagined how my baby girl must have been suffering. He deliberately killed them because they were my family. I pulled myself away from his arms as I was about to reach for my dagger that was strapped to my thigh, I heard Sin next to me ” Can I have this dance?”
I deadly glared at Torben wanting to kill him then and there. He was staring into my eyes, urging me to try.
Sin noticed the battle raging within me. Placing his hand on my bare shoulder he pulled me out.
My head snapped towards him rage slowly ebbing away. He was smiling but didn’t reach his eyes.
"I’d love to” I spoke as I turned away from the beast. Sin took his place and when I glanced at Torben he gave me a wicked smile.
"What was that all about” his eyebrows furrowed and his eyes narrowed at me.
"Nothing” I sneered. After attempting to dance with him, I couldn't, not anymore. I didn't want to be in anyone's presence.
"I need alcohol" I breathed.
I scanned the hall looking for a servant with champagne as I walked away from the dancefloor with Sin on my tail. I beelined to the servant grabbing one glass of champagne, emptying it in one go and grabbed another one. Sin watched with his wide eyes, worry written all over his face.
“I’ve never seen you like this,” his voice cautious.
I turned my attention to him, my angry eyes boring into his, pleading him to drop the subject. At that moment, I felt the need to drink to the point of not knowing my name, alone.
He caught my pleasing, he sighed “let’s get out of here”
“I don’t need a babysitter” I hissed, my eyes narrowed at him.
"At this moment, yes you do. Plus it’s Nicolas's order to not leave your side” his voice was hard, commanding. I closed my eyes calming my nerves, not wanting to unleash my wrath at Sin. He didn't deserve it.
Once I calmed, I signed in defeat knowing he was right. If Sin wouldn't rescue me, I would lose control, something I couldn't let happen with a room full of werewolves. It would end up in a massacre.
"Let’s go,” I turned around walking away from the busy hall.
He catches up to me as we walked the hallway away from the grand hall, the music faded more and more with each step. I felt the anger slowly rolled away from me as we found an empty drawing-room. It was a small room with two sofas situated across from each other in front of the fireplace.
I sat down at one of the sofas facing the lit fireplace. Sin came over and sat on the other side of the sofa handing me a glass of whiskey.
"What happened?" He asked his black gaze never leaving my face.
I sighed sinking more into the cushions of the sofa. I brought the glass to my lips taking a big gulp of the alcohol. My eyes moved to his, his eyes still locked on my face searching for answers.
"He provoked me" I mumbled.
He didn't ask more questions, sensing I didn't want to talk about it, which was greatly appreciated. At that moment I didn’t want to be talking about my history. Only months have passed after my whole world crumbled, I wasn't ready to share it with anyone. I felt a lump forming in my throat and tears forming in my eyes. I moved my head away from him, blinking the tears away and took a big gulp from the glass.
As I drank the whiskey, the door flew open and I jumped. Nicolas marched in with concern in his eyes.
“Are you ok?” his voice cautious, eyebrows furrowed making a line in between them, eyes serious, concerned as he eyed me.
“I’m fine,” I answered flatly, not wanting to worry him more.
“I should have never left your side” he sat next to me and took my free hand in his.
“You can’t be with me everywhere, I'm a grown woman I can take care of myself," I said tearing my eyes from his and finishing my drink.
"I know, but it could have been prevented if I was next to you.” his voice was low, defeated.
"He would find his way to talk to me, with or without you next to me. I knew it once he saw me"
After a while Nicolas left back to the ball, seeing I was ok with Sin next to me. He needed to make sure our clan wasn't in any trouble. I drank whiskey after another until I physically couldn't anymore while me and Sin chatted.