Julian was in the living room with a steaming mug of coffee in his hand while looking over the files Michael had just brought over. It contained all the information he could get his hands on regarding the elusive Arianna Acrux and her known companions, Dominic Rigel, Adrian Circini, and Velaria Altair. All of which were more or less young, wealthy and extremely well known socialites in the Nocturne society.
Even so, their background check came up rather more scarce than expected, almost useless information despite all the enticement of money to their informers, there was nothing that could help Julian approach her. In the three months they had been here they had made slow progress. Every informer they had, had eventually met a dead end with the amount of information that they could provide. It was as if Arianna and her friends were mere illusions, facades of being a popular socialite held up as masks to hide their real identities.
Julian and the rest of his friends had familiarised themselves with Scorpio and even asked around but all their efforts seemed to have gone to waste. Julian was beginning to feel anxious. Maybe all this was just a waste of time he thought to himself as he rubbed a hand across his face, trying to dispel the headache he felt throbbing at his temples. Since they were heading nowhere with the initial plan, Michael and Lara were finding ways to get acquainted with anyone in the group but it had been days since they had any progress. Michael was dozing off on the couch when Lara burst through the double doors of the penthouse, waking him from dreamland albeit rather reluctantly.
‘I’ve got it!’ she exclaimed, as she strode towards the both of them with her dirty blonde hair perfectly styled and runway worthy clothes.’ I have found a way for you to meet Arianna without making you look like a creepy stalker, although you are bordering on that right now.’ She said wryly while wriggling into the seat on the sofa next to Michael. ‘After you hear it you’ll be showering me with hugs and kisses.’ She beamed triumphantly.
Michael sat up while rubbing his eyes,’ I’m all out of hugs and kisses but do you accept fists instead? Because if you wake me one more time with your shrieking, that’s what you’ll get.’
‘I’m sure you can go without your beauty sleep, Michael.’ Lara countered with a sweet smile as she rummaged through her handbag and fished out a black envelope with gold stars embossed in the centre of it. Julian placed his coffee mug on the table and took the envelope from Lara’s slim fingers. Inside was an invitation to the Massacre Ball two weeks from now. Michael looked over his shoulder to get a peek of Lara’s so-called brilliant idea. His eyebrows rose in grudging respect.
‘I don’t know how we managed to miss it. It’s the perfect opportunity to meet her. We’re all invited, or rather our families are and Arianna will definitely be there since her family is hosting it this year. You can introduce yourself as the young and dashing master of the Alioth family.’ She explained, her voice carrying over the space between them, her figure sashaying to the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
Julian took a minute to think about the invitation. The headache intensified as he thought about the many possibilities. It sounded possible and simple enough except for a small but potentially problematic issue. ‘It’s a great idea Lara except you seem to forget the fact that I’m a hybrid. They tend to keep us out of functions like this one where only the most pure blooded of Nocturne show up.’ He voiced with a hint of disappointment obvious in his tone and tossed the invitation carelessly to Michael.
Lara returned from the kitchen accompanied by a cup of jasmine tea and continued,’ I know that, but there isn’t a law that says hybrids aren’t allowed to attend them. Plus, you have the Alioth name don’t you? It might not be as well-known as Rigel or Acrux but it does have some weight to it.’ She paused and continued, ’Plus, if all else fails, you can always say you’re Michael’s guest or mine if you prefer.’ She ended her explanation by taking a sip of her tea.
‘Even though I hate to admit it, she’s right you know. There’s no such law and your family will need to be represented anyway. Just give your father a call and volunteer for the position. As long as you bear the Alioth name they can’t stop you from attending.’ Michael added thoughtfully.
Julian was pacing the living room contemplating the situation. A hybrid attending such an important function? That would be a first. But I don’t see any other way to meet her face to face.
Julian stopped pacing abruptly and faced them both. ‘Any of you know where I can get a tux?’ he said, earning broad smiles from Michael and Lara.
~by S.Dawn & R. Shiori