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Chapter Fourteen: "Shoop"

"You're a shotgun, bang"
-Shoop, Salt N Peppa

Everyone's eyes watched me as I made my way down the stairs. It was uncomfortable. Even the Marx family's eyes followed my every move.

When I was finally at the bottom, Raveena made her way toward me. She was in a long midnight blue dress that complimented her olive skin. It hugged her petite frame in a way that made me pity every girl standing anywhere near her-myself included. Her long dark hair hung silkily down her back. Her gorgeous crystalline blue eyes-eyes that were an exact replica of Riven's-stared happily into mine.

"I think I know who you are," she whispered, her eyes twinkling as if we shared a secret.

"I know I know who you are," I said back and she tossed her head back and laughed, the sound ricocheting through the room.

She turned around and looked at everyone who was staring at us.

"Please, let the party continue," she said cheerfully.

Everyone began talking again and dancing, but they cut looks at me and Raveena as we talked. I heard people wondering who I was and where I'd bought my dress.

I felt a lot like Cinderella. And I wasn't quite sure if I liked it or not.

"You look stunning," Raveena gushed, her eyes taking me in.

"You do, too," I responded, meaning it. "Your dress is gorgeous."

"I could say the same about you, my friend," Raveena said, coming close and linking her thin arm through mine. "Everyone is staring at you, wondering where you got that lovely dress." She giggled. "Come say hi to my family."

Before I could respond or protest, she was dragging me toward them. It didn't take long to make it there, a crowd had parted for us, making it very easy.

They were all tall, like Amazon tall. The men were all six feet and over and the women stood at at least 5'7 at the minimum.

Their faces were concealed by the masks, but they all had the same crystalline blue eyes. And all of those eyes were fixed on me.

"You guys, this is my friend Siberia," Raveena introduced me, emphasizing my name like I was Madonna or Beyonce. "Siberia, this is my family." She made a sweeping gesture toward them.

Their eyes widened and they stared at me for quite some time before a woman stepped forward. Her dress was an elegant champagne color and he dark hair was pulled back in a complicated hairdo.

"Siberia, it's nice to meet you. I've heard so much about you," she said, shaking my hand and shooting a look at the figure that was obviously Riven. "My name is Angelica. I'm the mother of these imbeciles," she said fondly, smiling.

"Nice to meet you," I said, shaking her hand.

A man stepped up. He was raven-haired too with the same piercing blue eyes and striking good looks.

"I'm Darren," he introduced himself, sticking out a hand. "And I'm the father of these imbeciles." He said it fondly too, just like his wife.

"Can you guys please stop calling us imbeciles?" one of the brothers grumbled.

"That's Marlon," Angelica introduced her son. "He's very crabby," she whispered loudly, causing Marlon to roll his eyes.

I giggled and listened to the rest of the introductions. It was hard to do, though, especially when Riven was staring at me.

After the introductions, the Marx family excused themselves, each of them going in different directions, welcoming their guests and flaunting their charm.

All except Riven who only walked closer until he stood before me. Raveena extracted her arm from mine and looked between Riven and I with a satisfied smirk.

"I'll go welcome some guests, too," she said, backing away. "See you later, Siberia."

I waved goodbye to her, watching as she disappeared gracefully in the crowd. Her movements so graceful a ballerina would've cried out in envy.

I turned back and met Riven's gaze. He's dressed in an expensive black suit that fit him well. His face is concealed with a masterfully crafted mask, but I knew it was him. Although his family all shared those same crystalline blue eyes, I knew his eyes from everyone else's.

"You look stunning," he finally said.

A smile played around my lips.

"You don't look too bad yourself," I responded, completely downplaying the fact that he put every man in this room to shame.

He smirked in a way that said he knew what I was really thinking. A new song started to play, a slower more romantic tune and the couples on the dance floor pressed close together.

"Shall we?" Riven asked, holding his hand out to me.

He was asking me to dance. Although I was not the dancing type, I reached out and placed my hand in his.

His hand was large and warm as he led me to the dance floor. The crowd parted for us yet again and I caught girls staring in envy.

Once we were on the dance floor, Riven placed one hand on my waist and pulled me close to him.

It was distracting, being so close to him. I had to force myself to concentrate on not falling.

We danced in silence, Riven's eyes scorching into mine.

"So you and Ryan broke up," he finally spoke, his tone conversational.

"Yeah, we did," I said, feeling a tad awkward.

Riven nodded, his eyes never leaving mine. His expression said that he wanted to hear it from my lips.

We danced gracefully, our bodies molding together and flowing like water. The crowd surrounding the dance floor stared at Riven and I as if we were Cinderella and Prince Charming in the flesh.

As we're spinning, though, a figure caught my eye. A tall man dressed in a sleek, black suit. His eyes were concealed by a dark mask, only his lips were visible.

My breath caught and my heart pounded. It was him. The man from my nightmares. I recognized the cruel and cold set of his lips.

He smiled at me and that smile was anything but friendly. He mouthed words I made out clearly.

I'm still watching you...

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