Rose

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6. Masquerade Party


Rose

I look out of the window and gaze at the dark trees outlined by the moonlight. On either side of us are massive trees with huge branches twisting into various shapes. If I was alone I might have fainted due to the fear.

Oh, Damien, you better give me food.

A hand tugs on my arm, causing me to turn and face Damien. A small smile tugs on his lips as his eyes study my face. I instantly find myself returning the smile, keeping my mouth tightly shut.

Is he happy that I am going to the party with him? I frown and go back to watching outside the window again. After a moment I hear some mumbles. My gaze flickers over to Damien, and see him now perched up against the other end of the car, leaning against the window.
"Now there are some rules you need to follow once we reach there," he says, meeting my gaze.

"Do not talk to any of the other people over there. Stay with me always; I don't want you to get lost." He commands, staring hard at me. There is no room to argue so I silently nod my head, keeping my questions to myself.

Once we reach the masquerade party, my eyes widen in surprise at how big the party hall is. Candle lights fill up the hall, illuminating the atmosphere. Added light being provided by the large chandelier on top of the ceiling, shining brightly. Damien drags me through the crowd, as my eyes scan the area, taking everything in. In the corner stood a group of people playing classical music, and in the middle, Vampires dance along with their partners.

As Damien and I move through the crowd, I see a pale man coming towards us without a partner. Strange.

They soon start talking while I blow a sigh, feeling left out. Halfway through the conversation, the man’s eyes trail over to meet mine. His eyes bore through me - almost as if he is staring directly through my soul. I gulp audibly and shuffle closer to Damien. Upon instinct, he grabs my arm and tugs me behind him in a protective manner. “What’s wrong?” he said to the man. "Nothing... It's just that I may have seen her somewhere I don't remember. Where did you meet her?”

Dude, excuse me? I just came here for the food!

"Scarenville highschool."

"Where have you come from?" He asks me this time.
"Norway.”
I lower my gaze and tuck my head down nervously.

It is true after all, but maybe not the complete truth. I was born in Norway but I hadn’t been there in a while. Besides, the country name can’t expose much about my past. Damien raises his eyebrows at me in curiosity while the other vampire shrugs, shoving his hands into his pocket. “Oh well, I’ve never been there. Maybe I just met your doppelganger or something” he muttered to himself before walking away.

Damien tugs on my arm, causing me to look up and frown

"What?!"

Don't talk to me like that," he hisses. I hold back a snort and bite my lower lip. "What you said wasn't the truth, is it? Twists... I like them but we will get back to that later." Then, without another word, we move towards the dance ball and start to dance, trying our level best to match the routine others are doing.

While he dances elegantly, I struggle to keep up with him, continuosly tripping and stamping others foot.You see, I never went to a masquerade party so I wasn't that experienced in ball dances.

"We will probably start dinner in another few minutes and you are supposed to be sitting down next to my chair. No whining or anything.” He speaks lightly, ignoring my horrible dance. He then adjusts his tie and just as I was about to speak, he interrupts

"You will sit next to me while we have our little chat, there will be other people too and YOU will not talk to any of them... because all of them will probably waiting for a change to bite you."

He speaks while pointing a finger at me accusingly. I frown at that comment but keep my mouth shut, it's not my fault that I am a human. He takes my hand and leads me past a corner where hushed conversations fill my ears.
"Finally," Damien mutters as we reach our destination.

We enter a room which has an enormous table for ten. And on the front is a bigger chair, more like for the supreme head or something. Hmm, I wonder who sits there? I think. And then, to my surprise,
Damien walks with me towards the chair and takes a seat.

His eyes narrow at me, silently commanding me to take the seat beside him. I take a deep breath before taking the seat, watching as the other chairs are filled moments later.

A beautiful girl with a blue dress captures my attention as she sits down next to me. And since we are wearing masks, I am unable to make out her features properly. As boredom slowly creeps in, I am just about to start a conversation, when Damien’s words instantly put a stop to that. I release a frustrated sign before leaning back against my chair, not even bothering to fight the boredom.

Hm, shall I talk to her? I mentally ask myself, but then when I look at my surroundings and realize that everybody are busy in a conversation, I decide against it. Eh, probably annoying them might not be a good idea.

So I stay quiet

[ 5 sec later]

Boring, Boring, Boring.

I can't even decipher what they are talking about and what language is this?
This is getting so boring, I might just about to doze off, but just as I’m about to do so, a voice snaps me out of it.
"Jennet Gracia" My eyes jolt open. Despite the fact that I’m unable to understand the language, I recognise my stepmother’s name clearly.
Dammit! My heart beats quicken and I know that many overheads can feel it too, but then just as I feel someone from the other side say something, Damien quickly comes to my rescue and speaks in his language, ressuringly.

I relax a bit on that but feel others focusing on me. Wait… Vampires can't read my mind or past, can they? Let's hope not.

Before I can continue with my freak out, the doors open with servers entering the hall with food in their hands. They set the food against the table and instantly notice that mine is different from the others.

More with varieties. I steal a glance at Damien to check if he did this, but instead I see him looking at the wall expressionless.

I feel a bit of guilt. Is it because of me messing up a few minutes before? I stay quiet and eat. Some people talk again and all of them have forgotten about me already, but not Damien. I feel him looking at me for a while until he shakes his head in dismay and starts chewing his food.

Things go quickly after that. Once all of us have finished our dinner, we exit. I steal small glances at Damien but instead of looking back at me; he is lost. Oh dear, what did I do? The drive back to my apartment is silent. Neither of us talking and I get the urge to shout in frustration. Once we reach my apartment, I feel Damien shift. "I guess I will leave you here then," he says and nervously fidgets. This is his first time talking to me after dinner. What did they talk about?

"Damien, what's wrong?"

I furrow my eyebrows and wait for his response. "Nothing, now come and give me a hug before I leave.” He comes closer to me and envelopes me in a tight grip. Why does this feel like the last goodbye?

WHAT DID THEY TALK ABOUT?

I hug him back in confusion, but something feels wrong. Why do I feel that someone is watching us?
Everything feels off. Damien is not the kind of guy who gets nervous and I know it. He also acted like this while asking me out at the party. Could this all mean that he is trying to give me a hint? Just as I think that I feel him slipping something on the ribbon of my red dress as he pulls away. Still with the nervous look. "Um, bye."

He turns to leave, rushing towards the door. "Hey! Wait!" I shout but he ignores me and within a second he is gone. Now without his presence, I shiver involuntarily and quickly enter the apartment. Even after smelling the fresh paint of the walls, I still feel cold, considering the fact that it's still not winter.

I quickly get on the lift and try to locate the back to the ribbon hook where Damien slipped something but stop in my tracks. The cameras. I pretend to stand still and before the elevator could open fully, I am out of there.

I fumble with my keys and enter my room hastily and close all the windows and curtains. I feel unsafe. My hands automatically now locate near the ribbon and I find something like paper there. Once I remove it I realize it's a chit. I quickly open it and read.

They doubt you. They are coming after you. Midnight. Be aware.

What? I glance at the clock to read that it's 11… Shoot! One hour only left. But who is coming? My mind goes back and tries to fill in the pieces.

They doubt you. Right, I panicked when I heard Jennet's name. They are coming after you. Ok, that's pretty clear what it means. Midnight. They will come at midnight. Be aware. Ok, they definitely are not coming for a chat. So now the crucial question. What do I do?


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