As soon as the elevator doors had closed behind Maggie, she felt the curious and hostile stares of the other debutants and the whispering behind her back began.
Margarete stood as straight as possible, facing the looks courageously and proudly. Niklas had outdone himself this time, by putting her into an impossible situation. But she wouldn’t buckle in front of these girls.
That part of today’s disaster would be reserved for Malachy, whom she couldn’t avoid under these circumstances.
Why did fate – or in this case Daddy Niklas – had to be so cruel?
When they were having lunch, almost two months ago, she pleaded him to tell her, who her birthmother was. But his reaction was not was she hoped for. He had been angry and hurt and on top of that he obviously lied to her, using the excuse that he didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
When it came to his own advantage, her feelings didn’t seem to matter. Then, it was okay for him to turn the knife on her, on the debutant-ball, the biggest official event in her life so far, which hadn’t even started.
Maggie’s thoughts buzzed through her head so fast, that the room seemed to spin.
Carefully and with her head held high, she went to the small bar next to the elevator to get a glass of water. Every single one of her steps was looked at suspiciously by the other debutants.
Maggie wondered, why none of the other girls tried to trip her up. On the other hand, this was not necessary, because the words that were spoken loudly behind her back, were much more malicious and hurtful.
The mood changed, when a staff member of the debutant-ball entered the room, asking for attention. She proclaimed the line-up and the debutants had to take their place according to her instruction.
The staff member explained, that every debutant would be mentioned by their full name, including their Clan and Royal House and that the girls should wait ten seconds before entering the balcony, which lead to the stairs.
This would stir up the curiosity of all waiting people in the ballroom below.
After listening to the instructions, Maggie had to force herself not to roll her eyes in annoyance. She felt like being at a cheesy high-school prom film set.
In the meantime, Diana had arrived at James suite to warn him about the upcoming scandal.
When a butler let her in, she saw James standing in front of a mirror, checking his appearance one last time.
He noticed her from the corner of his eyes and asked her: “Can I attend, looking like that?”
She moved into his direction while beaming at him. He was perfection from top to bottom, which didn’t prevent her from straightening his tie again, only to get close to him.
James smiled at her charmingly.
He saw through her and knew that she was interested in him, more than an advisor should be. But all her beauty and her royal lineage, that was bred over many generations, couldn’t make her attractive for him.
She was too controlled, mastered and cold for his liking. But she was a valued and important advisor, so he played her game of cat and mouse, because he wanted her as his ally.
“Daina, what would I do without you?”
Now her coquettish look changed into a serious one.
“You would walk into a trap!”
That made him pay more attention. She usually started to proclaim a vision by being dramatic.
“Last night I had a vision about you. A blurred, ruby heard crossed your way – seemingly already in the past as well. I saw vague glimpses of passionate encounters, as well as political involvements.”
Now, James was curious. Daina’s vision about a ruby heart and his unusual encounter with Maggie couldn’t be coincidence.
Daina went on: “I was only able to recognise a royal house, but no face. That made me curious so I did some research and...”
Right at that moment the suits main door was opened by a servant, who interrupted Daina.
“I am sorry for the interruption, Sire, but the ball has already started. The first debutant’s name has been called out. I would humbly ask you to honour her royal house with your presence.”
Daina wanted to go on with her revelation, when James stopped her by a movement of his hand.
He turned around and started to walk towards the elevator.
Daina followed him and spoke out loud: “I found her! She is a ‘warrior’, but she claims to be a mix of the ‘House of Warriors’ and the ‘House of Regents’. You should be prepared for a scandal!”
Now, he stopped walking, looking at Daina is astonishment.
Again, the servant urged him politely to hurry while bowing deep. “Sire, please...”
James replied by walking towards the elevator, again.
“In this case we will find out soon, what this girl’s plan is and where she originated from.”
At the same time, Darius was leading Adrian, Rebecca and Amie towards the dance floor’s side, to be able to talk to them without being over heard by others.
He hadn’t been able to catch Niklas before the beginning of the ball, because the latter took the elevator directly to the lobby in front of the ballroom, to mingle with the heads of the other clans.
Darius put on his ‘I am in an excellent mood’- face and asked the others to do so, as well.
“Ladies and Adrian! Today is a joyful event. Let us wait and see what happens.”
He gallantly curtsied and gave Amie a hand kiss. She relaxed noticeably because of his gesture, but was still irritated by his sudden change of behaviour.
There he was again, the flirtatious Darius, to whom everything was a funny game.
Adrian grinned and commented: “And already he put his mask back on.”
The debutant-ball had started.