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Old 03-09-2014, 01:37 AM View Post #1 (Link) Blood and Silver Ch. 6
DeepCrystal (Offline)
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Chapter Six

Masquerade


Priscilla inspected her reflection in the mirror of her bedroom. Liam was lucky it didn’t rip when she tripped on that clothes rack at Gamma’s. With her dress and black masquerade mask, the other girls would not stand a chance. When her mother saw her dress, she gave her a disapproving look. She didn’t even say anything. Well, who cared? Her mother couldn’t control her attire anymore that she could put an end to religion.

What she didn’t understand was why her mother made her bring him. Liam was disinherited, so why was he even in town? Did her parents feel that having him attend their charity masquerade would inspire positive publicity? When she tried to confront her parents about it, they wouldn’t even speak to her.

Earlier when she tripped over that clothes rack, the humiliation almost ruined her day, but when she saw Liam with a disappointed look, it brought joy to her heart. She had told him time and again that he should give up trying to find himself a woman because who would want to date a loser whose family didn’t even want him? He was fettered by delusions of hope.

A knock on her door came, causing her to jump.

“What?” she asked.

“Priscilla, open up,” it was her father.

Rolling her eyes, Priscilla walked over to her bedroom door to let him in. As soon as she opened it, he stepped inside without even taking a look at her dress.

“Uh, hello, aren’t you going to admire my dress?”

He did not respond, but instead walked over to her window. “You will be on your best behavior this evening, young lady.”

“Duh, I already got the same lecture from Mom.”

Her father turned to face her finally with a scowl. His eyes were the same dark hazel as her brother’s. “Obviously, your smart-alecky attitude means that that you need to be reminded yet again, that if you embarrass this family tonight, you will regret it. And you will respect your broth—”

“He’s a disinherited loser, why should I—?”

“Enough!” her father hissed. “You will respect him tonight.” His look softened a little as he stepped closer. “Sweetheart, it’s only for one night, and then your brother will be gone from our lives forever.”

Priscilla’s eyes brightened at that thought.

“Now, if you are ready, will you walk with me to greet our guests?” he held out his arm.

Priscilla resisted the urge to roll her eyes as she curled her hand around his elbow.

“So why did you let Liam borrow one of your suits?” she asked after a while.

Her father let out a disgusted sigh. “That boy only has so many clothes and no suits; your mother insisted that it would look good to everyone if he and I were wearing matching suits. If he doesn’t keep it, I’ll most likely burn it.”

Priscilla laughed to herself. Could Liam’s torment get any funnier? The day that he finally breaks down would have to go on Twitter. She already made it very well known amongst her many followers that he was no longer a part of her family; if she could catch his breakdown on film and post it on YouTube, it would go viral within days.

Her reverie was interrupted by the sight of her mother and…him. She wished there was something she could do to get rid of him, or at least dehumanize him in such a way that no one would ever want to look upon him again.

At the sight of her dress, Priscilla’s mother curled her lip in disgust. “Behave,” was all she had to say to her.

This evening was going to be fun.

* * *
Liam kept to himself, standing on the wraparound porch as more and more guests arrived at his parents’ house. He wondered how many people actually noticed him as they passed beyond the threshold of the spacious house he once called home. Priscilla was, as expected, making her presence known amongst all the young men in the guest list, who couldn’t seem to do anything besides gawk openly at her provocative dress. Sometimes he found it a wonder how she seemed to have never gotten pregnant, much less stripped of her perilous virtue that she had no regard for whatsoever. “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”, as he had been taught through the teachings of his church…even if that person had not returned that particular love.

The only person he himself spoke to outside of his family since he had been home was that mysterious girl, Cass he met at the dress shop. Cass. What was it about that girl? There was a strange allure to her that drew his attention when he first saw her face. And one question that had been bothering him all evening was what he did to send her running out the door. The other people in the restaurant—who must’ve been very close to her—were given the wrong idea. And he got tossed out of the building.

And now he had no idea where to find her or even contact her. He had tried so hard to be a gentleman and he blew it. Would he ever see her again? Maybe apologize for whatever way he might have offended her? He prayed it would not be a false hope.

Then again, why was she so self-conscious about her face? What was she trying to hide?

* * *

Mrs. Snypes scanned over the large number of guests who arrived. There were a significant number of young men around the same age as Priscilla. Priscilla. One of these days, that child was going to have to learn how to be a proper lady and not continuously beg men to bed her. Thankfully it had not happened yet, but if it did, her daughter might as well find herself working at a McDonald’s the rest of her life.

Her attention on Priscilla was interrupted by the sound of a car. She looked at the circular brick driveway and surely enough, a sports car—which she guessed was a Lamborghini, she knew very little about vehicles—came around the tall fountain and stopped in front of the stairway leading into the house. Her initial thought was just some less-privileged filth trying too hard to make a good impression, but when her eyes fell upon the man that stepped out of the car, she as well as a few other women apparently, had to steady themselves. The handsome, but not particularly tall man with his silvery gray Armani tuxedo and black walking stick with the silver netting and round sapphire towards the top was enough to take her breath away a couple of times over. She watched unblinkingly as he glided around the car and opened the passenger door.

When she saw what came out of the car, any lustful feeling that might have dominated her thoughts evaporated like a raindrop upon a burning skillet. The young woman that stepped out of the car looked like some pulled from a Victorian romance. The strapless dress was a beautiful shade of deep green almost black set with an hourglass corset that was black topped with duchesse lace that displayed the hills of her breasts but exposed little cleavage. The skirt was a perfect combination of layers and lace. To complete the dress, elbow-length gloves that were the same shade of green as the rest of the dress hid the woman’s arms that were no doubt as flawless as the rest of her skin. The woman’s decorative black mask matched the dress impeccably with its asymmetrical satin and organza ribbons. Her necklace even seemed to match the mask with its black chain and crystal that was covered in a golden wire net. The only brightness of her figure was her long blonde hair which hung in an elegant plait down the side of her shoulder and her pale yet rich skin.

All in all, she was a beautiful woman and when Mrs. Snypes saw her arm wrap around the man’s elbow, a spark of jealousy welled up inside her. She was willing to do what it took to pry that little whore’s hand from that man, even if it meant cutting it off. Perhaps she should invite her to the tanning room and keep her in there until she received a heat rash. Gliding dramatically, she went to go personally greet them. When she reached them she started off with the usual greeting.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t believe we’ve met, I’m Emilee Snypes,” she said in her winning introductory voice. The man and woman stopped in front of her and were silent for a minute or two. Eventually they both smiled politely.

“Well, Mrs. Snypes, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” said the man. He tucked his walking stick underneath his elbow and took her hand, planting a kiss upon it. “My name is Marius Candidius and this is my daughter, Cassandra,” he gestured to the woman next to him. She smiled brightly.

“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Snypes,” she said. Mrs. Snypes simply inclined her head towards her. At least she wasn’t what she thought she was. Perhaps she had a chance with this man after all. She just had to make sure that her husband didn’t find out.

“Are you new in town, Mr. Candidius?” she asked.

“Oh, no not at all, Mrs. Snypes,” replied Mr. Candidius. “My daughter and I have actually lived here for quite some time. We just never found the time to properly introduce ourselves to you and your family, of whom I have heard many wonderful things about. Your family’s long history philanthropy is of legend.”

Mrs. Snypes staggered a little. Something about this man’s charm seemed old fashioned, yet the power of that compliment only made her more attracted to him. Putting on her best smile, while trying not to look suggestive, she said, “Well I welcome you to my home.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Snypes.”

“Please,” she said in such a way that almost sounded sultry, “call me Emilee.”

He smiled, but his eyes suggested that he did not fall into her lustful snare. Her eyes followed him as he and his daughter disappeared into the house. So, he was not attracted to her. She was going to have to change that.

* * *

Liam watched as the man in the silver tuxedo and the young woman conversed with his mother. He guessed it was one of her attempts to seduce some handsome looking man, but based on what he saw, her efforts were futile. That wasn’t going to look good on that guy’s rep. But beyond his mother’s one thousand and second episode of A Game of Seduction, something else caught his attention—the young woman whose hand was wrapped around the crook of the man’s elbow.

Her dress did not look anything like what he was used to seeing between his mother and sister; this dress was gorgeous. The Victorian style of it was just…for lack of a better description in his mind, beautiful. Judging by her blonde hair and what little he could see of her face, he thought he recognized her. But when he saw her earrings, which were teardrop-shaped emeralds with tiny golden beads in the middle of them, he knew he recognized her.

“Cass,” he breathed.

* * *

Cass couldn’t decide what would have made her feel more uncomfortable. It was not as if she wasn’t appreciating the hospitable manner she was being treated, or the fact that plenty of men seemed to be admiring her dress…it was just overwhelming.

The minute that she had laid eyes on her dress earlier, her eyes had filled with renewed tears, but with joy and had pulled Mar into a breathtaking hug. She had gotten as far as putting it on before she asked him to come in and tie up the lacing in the back. With his help, she was able to put a spell on her scars that was good enough for twelve hours. Now she was at a major social event posing as a young woman of stature. Not that she needed much help with that; Mar had told her time and again that she was always someone of importance. There might have been a time where she would have found that extremely annoying, but not tonight. Tonight she was thankful that he constantly reminded her of his view for her, otherwise she would have felt even more like a mouse that had just walked nonchalantly into the snake pit than she already had.

Even though she was slightly less that comfortable with the surrounding crowd, she was amused by this Mrs. Emilee Snypes. She had to fight back a smile at how she gawked at her father-figure. They had been here barely five minutes and he was already turning into eye candy amongst the women young and old.

My, dear, you think that I am turning into “eye candy”? asked Mar. I would have thought you noticed all the men stealing a glance or two at you. Sweetheart, there is no need for you to be nervous. Every man in this house would be a fool if not at least one of them were to offer you a dance. And if I hear you thinking negative thoughts about yourself this evening, you will be grounded.

Marcellus, I’m nineteen; you can’t ground me, thought Cass.

Mar turned his gaze toward her. Can’t I? All right, I’ll just get rid of the pistachio delight I had made for you for when we get home.

Cass almost yelped out loud. I’ll behave.

Mar smiled and planted a kiss on her cheek. “I know you will,” he said aloud. Now about the fact that you’ve noticed that I have been turning into said “eye candy” this evening. That must explain why Mrs. Snypes’ intentions were even less admirable than the average lustful woman.

Cass frowned.

Until I said the word “daughter”, she was hoping to get rid of you so that she could have me for herself.

Cass raised an eyebrow and scanned the crowd until she saw Mrs. Snypes. I’d love to see her try.

Cassandra, Mar warned. The last thing we want to do right now is to give the Snypes a reason not to invite us to their…house again. Cass grumbled. Now, while I go introduce myself to Mr. Snypes, why don’t you whip up a conversation with one of these fine gentlemen here? He left before she could protest.

Letting out a sigh, she went over to the buffet table and looked for something appetizing. There was so much food that if Cass had not known any better, she would say that there was going to be a dinner. Cookies, brownies, cake, meat, fruit, fried vegetables, cheese, seafood with dipping sauce…somebody could forget their sense of public image just by coming over here and letting their mouth water. At least in terms of drinks there was something other than alcohol.

She looked into the bucket full of ice and her eyes spotted something that she loved only too well. Grabbing a couple of napkins so as not to get her gloves wet, Cass reached in a grabbed a bottle of IBC Root Beer. Using one of the napkins, she wrenched the bottle open. She sighed pleasurably as she took a swig.

“You know there is not many women I know who would visit a buffet table before they went to great lengths to make themselves noticeable amongst the eligible bachelors,” said a voice she recognized, making her yelp and almost making her choke on her drink. She whirled around and her eyes landed on Liam. Part of his face was covered by a mask, but she knew it was him. He was also wearing a typical black tuxedo.

“I apologize, Cass, it seems that I tend to startle you,” he said.

“A little bit,” she said meekly. My, God, why did this man make her feel so awkward?

Hmm, so is that the Liam Snypes you met today? Cass couldn’t see Mar, but she guessed that he saw her. Much of his mind is clouded, but from what I can gather, his intentions seem admirable. Why don’t you give the young man a chance?

Cass fought the urge to roll her eyes so as not to give Liam the wrong idea. Fine, Mar.

Her attention switched to Liam again. “If I don’t go to great lengths to make myself noticeable, then how is it that you were able to spot me among all these people?” she asked taking another swig of Root Beer.

“You stand out,” Liam answered simply.

“How so?”

Liam chuckled nervously, but maintained his posture. “I don’t know, there’s something about that’s…different for lack of a better word.”

“Good different or bad different?” asked Cass with a smile. He had no idea just how different she was.

“Undecided,” Liam stated. “But right now, may I offer you a dance?”

Cass stammered.

Liam smiled and offered her his hand. Knowing that Mar would probably disapprove of her turning down a gentleman’s offer, she took it. At least the dancing wasn’t anything vulgar; it was just a standard ballroom waltz which she knew all too well how to do. Liam himself was not a bad dancer, albeit a nervous one. However, something gave Cass the idea that it wasn’t his performance that was making him feel nervous. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she didn’t want to ask him either, for fear of being rude.

“I’m sorry about earlier today,” said Liam.

Cass cocked her head. “For what?”

“For my rudeness,” he explained. “I should not have tried to touch your face the way I did.”

“It’s okay,” Cass reassured. Really there was nothing wrong with what he did; she just didn’t want to scare him off.

She couldn’t see his entire face, but she could tell that he was relieved. “I saw my mother gawking at your father,” he said.

“That seems to be going around with him,” she said glancing around, spotting Mar conversing with Mr. Snypes. “If you ask me, your mother looked ready to take him to bed.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she did,” said Liam disgustedly. “I don’t know about my dad, but my mother is a living antonym for ‘faithful wife’. Worst part is that my dad knows it, but still he refuses to file for divorce.”

“Why don’t they?”

“Power; they are more powerful together than they are apart. Especially with the things they do behind closed doors.”

“And what do they do behind closed doors?”

Liam hesitated. “My mother would skin me alive if she knew what we were talking about,” there was a certain amount of fear in his voice that made Cass boil with suspicion and…sympathy was it? “Let’s just say that my parents’ combined prejudices are the talk of fear amongst certain crowds.”

Cass studied his eyes thoughtfully. “Okay, if you wish to speak in riddles, I’ll respect that.” But you made the unwise decision to spark a girl’s curiosity.

Curiosity killed the cat, Cass. Was it possible for her to have thoughts without Mar hearing them? Only when I cease to be concerned for your wellbeing. Which was never. But don’t think that I’ve been eavesdropping on your entire encounter with this boy; I merely did a brief checkup and that is all I heard. And if there is something that is troubling you, I will not beleaguer you about it until morning.

Thank you.

Your welcome, my darling, I will let you return to your conversation now.

“Are you okay?” asked Liam. “You looked a little zoned out for a minute there.”

“I’m fine, I was just lost in my thoughts for a minute,” replied Cass which was half-true.

“Do you want to go someplace quieter?” he asked.

“Sure.”

Liam offered her his arm and she wrapped her hand around it. After making their way through the crowd, he led her outside and into a garden. It wasn’t as massive or exquisite as Mar’s garden, but it was beautiful. And this one had a hedge maze.

“Are you leading me into a maze?” asked Cass, playfully,

“Not necessarily.” He led her to a small table and pulled out the chair for her. She sat down and he came over and sat across from her. They sat in silence for a minute. “So what is it about you?” he asked.

“I beg your pardon?”

“What I mean is you are disgusted by the dresses that I see most women wearing, you wear Victorian-esque dresses, you seem to not chase after men…I don’t know you are just a different kind of woman and I’m finding myself intrigued by it,” Liam went on.

Are you intrigued by hideous facial scars? She wanted to ask. “Really? Are you sure that I’m not just like any other woman?” She was not.

Liam smiled. “Well I suppose that it would be difficult for me to find out if you don’t give me the opportunity to get to know you better.”

“And why would she want to get to know you better, brother?” that awful shrill voice again.

Liam closed his eyes, sighing. “Hello, Priscilla. Are you having an enjoyable evening?”

“No!” she snapped. “I had to look for a guy to dance with all because my boyfriend had to steal a glance at Queen Victoria here!” she gestured dramatically in Cass’s direction.

“Well, I’m sorry that there are men who realize that there is more beauty in this woman than there is in your lingerie you call a dress,” said Liam with false sympathy. He turned around and faced her. “Just give up this stupid scheme, Pris,” he said softly that for a minute Cass thought that there was some actual familial bond between them. “I’m already disavowed, out of your life; so just give me a break.”

Priscilla glanced at him. For a minute her face was thoughtful, loving even, but then she threw her head back and laughed. Cass hated that laugh. “You will not be out of my life until you are on the streets begging for change—oh wait, you’re already there.” She laughed again. What did she mean that he was on the streets begging for change? “Maybe there is something that you can do for me. You can shoot yourself in the head!”

Cass couldn’t take it anymore. As Priscilla turned around to go back indoors, Cass twitched her fingers a little and Priscilla’s dress got caught in the door, causing her to lose balance and trip. A big chunk of the skirt got left behind in the door.

“GOD I HATE BUYING DRESSES FROM THE STORE!” she screamed.

Liam turned back to Cass with a poorly hidden hurt look.

“Where are you living?” was all she could say.

"It doesn't matter," he replied.

What did this guy's family do to him? Cass wondered.
__________________
DeepCrystal

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever--Mahatmas Gandhi

Dreaming your life away brings no solace; what you choose to make a reality is where true solace lies.--DeepCrystal
  
						Last edited by DeepCrystal; 03-11-2014 at 10:31 PM.
					
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