The four of them were seated around the circular marble table in the living room of The Cove. The marble was a creamy ivory white with streaks of black veins running through the marble in random, jagged lines. It was accompanied by six high backed wooden chairs that were carved with different beasts on each one, their jewelled eyes glaring down on their occupants. Adrian had just relayed the rumours he heard the night before to Velaria and Arianna while Dominic was on the phone with his grandfather gathering the details of their meeting later.
"Do you think this is merely the work of some nosy Nocturner or should we be worried?" Velaria questioned while her slim fingers with their well-manicured nails continued to swipe at her smartphone’s screen, "We’ve seen this before haven’t we? And half of the time it’s just a false alarm." The muscle in Adrian’s jaw tensed, clearly displeased with her dismissing the threat so flippantly. "And the other half has proven to be a reason for concern. Or have you forgotten the time when your Book of Shadows was almost stolen. If it wasn’t for my brilliant detective skills, you would have to say ‘sayonara’ to it." He countered with a hint of arrogance and perhaps even anger in his voice. Not that it mattered much, since the four of them could hardly spend an evening without the both of them bickering, it was a common routine. But Arianna thought of it as a way they expressed their closeness and somehow she felt comforted whenever she heard them. It reminded her of the times they had spent together since their schooling days with Gabriel and Dominic in one corner of the mansion’s library discussing their studies while Vela and Adrian was fighting over who had the most admirers, leaving her curled up with good book and a steaming cup of chamomile tea to help her insomnia.
"We still have no idea who those people are then?" Arianna asked Adrian, her eyes showing her wariness.
"I’m having it investigated. I should get their identities..," just then his phone began to ring. He looked at the caller ID and continued, "It’s them. Maybe they have a name." and got up from his seat to answer the call just as Dominic concluded his conversation with his grandfather.
Velaria was the one who spoke up, finally giving her phone a rest, "What did Maxwell have to say about the mysterious tea that we’re having later?"
"We’ll know once we get there. Be patient. However there’s one thing I managed to overlook that might get me into another lecture with my grandmother. If grandfather didn’t give me a heads up, the matter would have entirely slipped my mind." Dominic explained as he took a seat next to Arianna.
"What matter is it?" curiosity glittered in Arianna’s eyes as she waited for Dominic to reveal it.
"What else can she be obsessed about this time of year if not the Massacre Ball? What gown to wear, what shoes to match, which earrings goes better with her eyes. And that’s not the worst part.’ He groaned as he recounted his grandmother’s antics.
"I completely understand how she feels. It’s an absolute headache to put together a perfect outfit. And to think I’m coming up with two." Velaria complained dramatically, airing her feelings on the subject. At that, Dominic arched his eyebrows, "Two? Why two?" he asked, surprised.
"I received the honour of selecting Ari’s gown this year since she gave up when she was shopping with me this morning. Not to mention, I also had to give her a lecture about the importance of having a date for social events, which she doesn’t." Velaria snapped the last part of the sentence while narrowing her eyes at her best friend.
Arianna rolled her eyes just as Velaria completed her rant with a dramatic huff,"Oh come on Vela, isn’t giving me the lecture once enough? I just heard it like three hours ago. I don’t need to be reminded again of your teachings, Mistress of Social Etiquette." with as much sarcasm laced into the sentence. Velaria opened her mouth to strike back but was cut off when Dominic reached for Arianna’s hand and laid a kiss on her delicate porcelain-like fingers.
"Well, that can be easily remedied." he said while keeping his cerulean blue eyes on Arianna.
"Arianna Acrux, will you give me the honour of escorting you to the Massacre Ball?" he said with his usual husky voice. His eyes were deep pools of emotions, all the things he could not voice out were reflected in his eyes.
~by S.Dawn & R.Shiori