Chapter One: The Upper Society
Author's Note: Please be kind, this is my first posting on ff.net. Please tell me if there are any mistakes and such. I also put some little cameos of other FF characters for lack of better names. And I put in the infamous dance scene. ^_^
* All Standard Disclaimers Apply: I do not own Final Fantasy or it's characters.
"You have a meeting? Again?" Selphie asked, looking up from the couch. A spoon was hanging out of her mouth as she held a pint sized container of ice cream in her left hand. "That sucks! It's one of our free nights, too..."
"She can't help it," another voice replied. A tall blond woman had her reading glasses on as she looked intently into her laptop from the breakfast bar, where she sat on black stool. "This is an important merger for us."
"I hate my father. I hate my father SO much right now...Quisty, how do I look?" A young woman was standing by the bottom of the stairs. Her hair was down, layered around her shoulders while her pale neck was graced with a black, elaborately beaded choker. She wore a strapless dark blue ball gown that faded into black over black heels.
Her arm length gloves were of the same shining satin material. The blond smiled warmly. "You look great," she told her friend truthfully. "Those snobby vampires will turn human and back when they see you."
"I still can't believe this is your father's idea of a meeting..." Selphie said as she stood up and surveyed the brunette's dress. "Rin, don't you think you're over doing it?"
"Selphie," Quistis sighed, looking over to their green eyed companion. "She is dressed perfectly for this sort of event. You know how snotty those nosferatu are. Especially the old ones. When they throw a get together, you have to dress like this."
Selphie wrinkled her nose. "Unfortunately, yes..." She looked at Rinoa. "Are you sure you don't want us to come? What if you need back up?"
"I'll be fine," Rinoa assured her friends. "All the leaders of the clans will be there. It's too much of a risk if anyone tries anything."
"I'm glad you were paying attention to my lecture," Quistis grinned. "Regardless...we'll be there in a moment's notice if you need us."
"Rinoa, my brother will be there," Selphie said. "If you need any thing, just go to him. I told him you were going to be there with your father."
"Wait...Seifer's going to be there?" Rinoa asked, narrowing her eyes at Selphie. The green eyed girl nodded. "WHY? I thought only high members of the clans were going to be that this so called meeting."
"He's playing body guard to Master Cid and Matron Edea tonight," Selphie smiled proudly. "They say they can't wait to see you, by the way."
"Why would they want Seifer to guard them?" Quistis asked, confused. "He's only half lycan."
"Yes, but he's half witch, too. He has some magic that might come in handy just in case anything happens." Selphie asserted.
Suddenly, the phone rang. Quistis sighed and reached over the breakfast bar counter to get the cordless phone that was laying there. She lifted it up to her ear. "Hello?" Her blue eyes flashed to Rinoa. "All right...she's coming. Good-bye."
"Who was that?" Selphie asked as Quistis hung up the phone.
"Rinoa, your limo awaits," Quistis grinned. The brunette grumbled something about her impatient father and grabbed her matching purse off the arm of the couch. "Remember...relax...just breath."
Rinoa let out a deep breath. "I'm off to hell." She told her friends. They gave her thumbs up signs as she unlocked the door to their Esthar penthouse and stepped out into the brightly lit hallway.
She heard them lock the door behind her and she proceeded to the elevator. Her heart was beating quickly. Going to the Presidential Palace that evening for this event was the last thing she wanted to do. She just wanted to return to her penthouse with her two best friends and hide away from the world for the time being.
Hundreds of years of war had finally come to an end with the defeat of Ultimecia, an extremely powerful vampiric sorceress who had gone insane after the death of her mate. With her manipulating all sides against each other gone, the clans could finally try to resolve centuries of conflict. And it would all start with tonight.
There in Esthar, the heart of vampire country, they would congregate. lycans, shape shifters, and her own clan - Sorcerers, would gather to discuss peace. Hyne knew that it was needed. The world had been ravaged with war and all sides had their once great numbers reduced. And all of this had happened under the noses of the humans.
If any of this was ever discovered by humans, world wide panic would ensue and they would be hunted down to extinction, as they nearly were thousands of years ago. She shivered at the thought as the elevator doors opened. Rinoa walked straight through the lobby of her luxury complex and out revolving doors.
As expected, her father's black limo awaited her. The driver stepped aside and opened the door for her to go through. Lifting up her dress, she got into the limo and sat down in the back seat. The door closed.
"You look lovely, my dear." a voice said from within the limo.
"Thank you, father." Rinoa stated proudly. She kept her eyes pasted to the tinted windows as the limo began to move.
"I'm glad you are able to join in tonight's meeting."
Rinoa merely nodded. "I'm doing this for our clan. For all those able to use magic."
"Your mother would be so happy to see your dedication." His voice was tinged with sadness as he spoke of her mother. The woman, a particularly gifted sorceress with the ability to control sound, had been killed when Rinoa was a child.
Her father had been away. Being a General, he was out on the battle front leading magic users into battle and thus leaving his treasured family in Deling City, their home. But being the family of a high ranking member of the clan had it's dangers. One of which reared it's head when her mother had been hunted down by the then vampire enemies and killed. The night Julia Caraway died, Rinoa had been waiting in the foyer of her family's house, waiting for her to return with some ice cream for dessert.
The child fell asleep on the stairs across from the door. That morning, she was carried away to a Safe House and told of her mother's demise. Rinoa closed her eyes thinking of that morning. It took a highly concentrated magic spell to put her to sleep.
The rest of the way, they rode in silence. The limo stopped in front of the palace. It was lined with limos and all over, high ranking members of the four clans were arriving. The door opened and Rinoa was escorted out, her father coming out after her.
*I have to admit,* she thought to herself as she looked at the massive palace door way. *Those vampires really do live up to their reputation as extravagant.*
To her right, her father offered his arm and she took it. He lead her up the steps and into the palace. The walls echoed with classical music as richly dressed clan nobility talked with each other.
"There is the leader of the largest vampire clan," her father whispered under his breath. "Laguna Loire."
Rinoa followed his gaze to a tall middle aged vampire with long brown hair tied at his nape. A bunch of bangs went over the right side of his face as he held a crystal goblet in one hand and talked to some other guests. He wore black slacks and a black buttoned up shirt under a black blazer.
Behind him were two other people also dressed in black. "General Caraway! Rinoa! You made it!" a voice said to their right.
The father and daughter turned their heads and smiled warmly at Cid and Edea Kramer. They were said to be ancient lycans. The purest of all werewolves. The branches of the lycan clan directly under them had managed to stay out of the war for several centuries.
"Master Cid, Matron Edea," Rinoa said as she bowed her head slightly. "Selphie said you'd be here. How is it so far?"
"Ah...well...it's all just been introduction so far," Cid said, rubbing the back of his neck. "We're getting to re-know everyone."
"Rinoa, dear, how is your magic going?" Edea asked.
"Very well, matron. Thank you for asking." Rinoa said formally. Edea was 'gifted', as Rinoa was. She didn't have to part of the Sorcerer clan to known strong magic. It came to her with ease, as it did to Rinoa. Her bloodline only made her magic stronger that most of the 'gifted'.
"Have you spoken to Loire yet?" Caraway asked.
"No, he's been caught up talking to other guests," Cid admitted. "He'll get around to use sooner or later."
Rinoa looked back at the vampire and found it hard to believe that the man laughing and expressively telling stories with hand motions could be the man that was leading the strongest vampire clan in the world. She watched as one particular hand movement caused him to toss the liquid in his goblet over his shoulder, hitting the big man who seemed to be his body guard in the face.
Rinoa struggled to keep her giggling down as he whirled around and began to nervously stammer out apologies. The big man didn't seem to mind at all. "Rinoa," her father said. She turned to look at him. "We're going to try to talk with Loire. Do you wish to join us?"
"Uh...no thank you," she smiled politely. "I'll just wander around on my own."
"Very well then." She watched as they headed over to speak to the vampire who was now trying to wipe the big man's face with his handkerchief.
Suddenly a hand clamped down on her shoulder and she jumped. Whirling around, she met green eyes that were similar in shade to a certain hyper active friend of hers. "Oh, it's just you..."
"Oh, SO positive, princess," the tall blond rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. He was also wearing a black suit with a hunter green silk shirt and black tie. "Glad to see you didn't bring train girl."
"Don't call your sister that," Rinoa frowned. "I'm surprised she said that you'd be here, too."
"We're all here."
"We? Fujin and Raijin are here too?" Rinoa asked. She began to search the room for them and found them closely guarding Cid and Edea. Raijin wore a similar black suit with a gold tie and Fujin wore a black suit and silver tie that matched her hair. It was tight fitting and seemed to show off Fujin's figure well. Rinoa turned to look back at her new companion. "Some body guard you are, Seifer. Making Fujin and Raijin do all the work."
"I've been instructed to keep an eye on you." Seifer retorted.
"What?!" Rinoa gasped. *Where the hell was I when this happened?* She turned around and glared at her father, who wore a less an amused look on his face as Laguna Loire began to talk animatedly about something else.
"You were zoned out," Seifer replied. "Typical Rinoa...always zoning out. Why, I remember when we were kids, you-"
Her eyes went wide. "You're not supposed to talk about that again!"
"Were just standing there staring into space-"
"And we got on to the train-"
"Don't say it!!"
"And were yelling at you to come-"
"And as you stood there, the train left without you."
"I had to wait an hour for the next train!" Rinoa said, stomping her foot childishly as she glared at him. "And we all said we'd never speak about that incident again."
"Correction," he said matter of factly. "YOU said you would never speak of that incident again. We actually talk about it all the time."
"I hate you so much..."
"Aw, I feel so loved." he smirked that cocky smirk of his that annoyed Rinoa to no bounds.
"I'm going to go get something to drink!" she hissed. Whirling around, she headed for the table that had drinks on it.
"Stay away from anything red," Seifer said as he watched her walk away. "You don't know if it's blood or wine."
Rinoa, however, was no longer listening. Instead, she was mentally picturing ways to kill her best friend's older brother with her bare hands. Not like it was actually possible, considering he was part werewolf and therefore much stronger physically than she. With this in mind, her mind began to think of ways to blow him up using magic.
A smirk crossed her lips as she reached the table. She looked over the red drinks, having the urge for red wine, and picked up a random glass with red liquid.
"Hold it right there, little lady," a voice said behind her. She turned around, the glass still in her hand and saw a tall man wearing a cow boy hat and a black trench coat in front of her. His hair was long and straight, tied at his nape. He threw her a sexy smirk. "That's not wine in your hand."
"Oh..." she flushed with embarrassment and turned around, placing the glass back gingerly. She picked up another one.
"That one isn't either," She tried another glass. "Wrong again."
Rinoa sighed and turned back to look at him. "Forget it, I'll just get some water." she mumbled and walked further down the table.
"Didn't mean to be rude," he said as he followed behind her. "You're a sorceress, so I figured that you wouldn't want to drink blood."
Picking up a chilled glass of water, she chugged it down and looked at him. "And how do you know what I am?" She put the glass down and crossed her arms across her chest.
"Saw you come in with General Caraway," he said. "I figured you're the daughter everyone's talking about. My name's Irvine, by the way. I was in a lycan group under your father."
"Oh, you're from Galbadia?" Rinoa asked, smiling up at him and uncrossing her arms.
"Sure am," he winked at her. "What do you say we dance?"
*I knew he had an ulterior motive...* Rinoa thought to herself as she shook her head slowly. "Ah...maybe later..." she smiled weakly and took a step back. "I have to get back to my... uh...friend."
"Friend?" Irvine raised an eyebrow in question and followed the direction of her finger to where Seifer was leaning coolly against a pillar. He lifted up his chin to acknowledge that he saw her.
"Well, I have to go. It was nice meeting you Irwin." she smiled, turning away quickly and making a bee line for the tall blond.
"It's Irvine!" he corrected her as she sped away.
"Whatever!" she called back. She reached Seifer, who had an amused smile on his face.
"Very slick, princess," he grinned arrogantly. "You put pretty boy in his place."
"Ugh..." she sighed. "You could've helped you know."
"I did," he said. "I helped by standing right here."
"How is it possible that YOU and SELPHIE are related?" she asked incredulously.
"Funny, she says the same thing about you."
"Rinoa," a voice said. The sorceress turned around and saw her father walking towards her with Laguna walking behind him with a beaming smile. They stopped in front of her. "Rinoa, this is Laguna Loire, the leader of the Loire Clan. Loire, this is my daughter, Rinoa Caraway."
"A pleasure to meet you, sir." Rinoa said as she extended her gloved hand and did a short curtsy. Laguna took her hand and kissed the back of it.
"No need to be so formal!" Laguna said as he let go her hand. Smiling even more, he put his arms around Rinoa and gave her a big bear hug.
Her brown eyes were wide open in confusion as Seifer snickered behind her. Caraway closed his eyes and shook his head. Laguna finally let her go. "Ugh...thank you?" Rinoa asked, confused.
"You look just like her," Laguna sighed wistfully. Noticing Rinoa's confused look he began to explain. "Your mother," he laughed. "She was such a beautiful woman."
"You knew my mother?" Rinoa asked. Laguna had her attention now. *Impossible... vampires killed my mother...* she thought to herself. Contrary to what Seifer said about her, she knew when to be silent.
"She played the most beautiful concertos on the piano," Laguna said. Rinoa noticed how his eyes suddenly got a far away look to them. He paused and she realized that he hadn't been talking with his hands with her. "She was...amazing."
Rinoa looked down. "But...a vampire was ordered to kill her..." she whispered quietly. As she looked up again, pain had crossed Laguna's face.
He reached out and took her hand. "I never ordered such a thing," he assured her truthfully. Rinoa found herself nodding her head. "I loved..." he paused. "I loved your mother's music."
Rinoa looked over at her father, who was no longer paying attention and instead talking to Cid and Edea again. She felt her hand being squeezed and she turned to see Laguna again after he finished speaking. "I'm sorry, sir, I zoned out for a bit-"
"Figures." coughed Seifer behind her. She shot him a glare and repressed her urge to hit him with a spell.
"I was wondering if you could play the piano?" Laguna asked questioningly. He let go of her hand and pointed to an elaborate grand piano in the corner of the room. "That is... do you know how?"
"I do know one song..." Rinoa said. She had thought about her mother more than usual tonight. And the night wasn't over yet.
"By all means, it would honor us greatly if you could perform a song for us." Laguna smiled.
The vampire was so kind and warm. She could see it and nodded. He looked like an excited child as he smiled and headed across the room to stop the small stringed ensemble from continuing on. Rinoa made her way across the large ball room to the piano and sat down.
*I hope it's tuned...* she thought to herself as she caressed the piano keys with her hands.
As the music from the ensemble faded to a stop, she began to play her mother's song on the piano. At the sound of the familiar song, Caraway turned his head and was surprised to see Rinoa sitting at the piano, playing it.
Many older clan members who had known Julia Heartilly smiled as her daughter played her song with flawless ease. Each note was timed perfectly as her slender fingers went across the keys.
At this time, someone walked into the room, uncomfortably adjusting the collar of his black shirt underneath his black coat. He stopped at the entry way and surveyed the room. Several people were dancing in the center, but many of the guests were standing around the walls talking with one each other as the piano music resounded.
He wore loose fitting black pants and black boots underneath as he walked around the outer circle of the room, towards the drinks table. A few people noticed him, as he was stealthy. His thick brown hair fell over a large gash between the eyes. He picked up a glass of blood and lifted it to his lips.
"You're late," a voice said behind him. "If Laguna was any other normal father, you'd be so dead."
"Whatever." the brown haired man mumbled as he drank down the iron tasting liquid. He soothed his thirst for the time being.
"Ah...'whatever'...Squall's famous phrase," another voice said with amusement. The brunette turned around and saw the cow boy and the spiky haired blonde with the tattoo. "Where were you?"
"The last place I want to be is HERE." Squall grumbled as he lifted another glass, this time it was of wine.
Around them, people were clapping as the piano playing ended. Squall wasn't paying attention as he listened to Irvine and the blond. Suddenly, someone tapped him from behind. He turned around and narrowed his eyes as Laguna's all too happy smile greeted him.
"You made it! And you said you wouldn't come!" Laguna told him.
*I didn't want to,* he thought to himself. "I promise Ellone. Where is she?" That was technically true. Ellone, his adopted older sister, basically guilted him into going by making it seem that if he didn't appear there that night, the world would end. How she was able to make that work was beyond him.
"She's talking with the other guests," Laguna said. "I'm just glad you came." He took a step forward.
"Don't hug me." Squall stated bluntly, much to the amusement of Irvine.
"I won't, I won't. Just have a good time!" Laguna smiled and headed for some guests he hadn't spoken to yet.
"I'm leaving." Squall suddenly said.
"What?" Irvine gasped. "You just go here! Don't make Zell and me hold you down."
Squall rolled his eyes. "You two are always telling me I should listen to my old man. And in this case I am. He said to have a good time and I plan to by leaving."
"You're not even going to dance?" Zell asked. "Or eat?"
"Is that all you shape shifters do? EAT?" Irvine exclaimed. "Damn..."
"No," Zell retorted. "We drink, too."
"Should've known..." Irvine mumbled. He turned back to Squall. "Just stay a few more minutes."
"Fine, fine...more ladies to for me," Irvine sighed. He looked over Squall's shoulder and grinned. "And speaking of ladies...there are a few over there I haven't introduced myself to. So if you'll excuse me..." Smirking, he side stepped Squall and walked over to three young women across the room.
"Just stay a little bit," Zell said. "At least let more people know you were here."
"I'll go look for Sis and then leave." Squall told him sternly. Without another word, he moved past the blond.
Minutes passed and his brown haired sister could not be found. Part of him swore that she was avoiding him just to make him stay longer. He stood to the side of the dance floor, bored out of his mind. Occasionally, he would notice vampiresses whispering and pointing at him. Most vampires knew who he was. After all, his father was a vampire leader and his late mother was the clan's precious princess. He was born into this sort of environment.
*Unfortunately...* He looked up at the sky. The large circular sky light at the top of the high ceiling was littered with tiny white specks glowing in the night sky. Something flashed across it's darkness and he blinked. *I wonder if anyone else saw that...*
Blue eyes scanned the room and saw the only other figure that had been looking up at the same time to catch it. She was a little shorter than him, with dark hair and pale skin. She looked gorgeous in that blue black dress she was wearing.
Rinoa felt eyes on her and turned just in time to see the man she had labeled 'hot' earlier looking right at her. Smiling, she pointed to the sky. He tilted his head towards the dance floor.
Squall swallowed hard when he realized that she was now walking over to him. *She looks determined...*
"You're the best looking guy here," she said brightly. "Dance with me?"
*Uh...I don't think so...* his mind thought. Instead of answering, he just stared back at her, confused.
"Oh...I get it. You only dance with people you like." she stated. *Nice eyes...*
*I think she's a sorceress...* Squall decided after not sensing any vampiric blood in her or any scent of lycan.
She lifted up her arm and began to wave her fingers in front of him. "You are going to like me...You are going to like me..." she chanted with a an amused smile. She stopped and put her hand down. "Did it work?"
"I can't dance." he heard himself saying. *Oh, way to impress...* his mind scolded. *Dumbass...*
That did nothing to stop her. She took his hand in hers and lead him to the dance floor just as the ensemble began to play a waltz to the tune of the song she had just played. *Okay, that's a big coincidence...*
She took his right hand and placed it on her waist as soon as they stopped on the dance floor. She put one hand on his shoulder and smiled. *This is bad...* Squall thought to himself. *She doesn't know what she's getting into.*
Back at the column he had been leaning against, Seifer smirked. He could see Rinoa trying, in vain, to teach some poor sap how to dance. *Damn, he's terrible....oh! Ouch...* He winced and struggled suppress a snicker as Rinoa and her dancing partner slammed into another couple.
"Just forget about what they said." Rinoa said as she smiled at Squall.
*Easy for you to say...* Squall thought to himself. *You're not the one making a fool of yourself.*
Edea looked over from where she was talking with a member of the Sorcerer clan and smiled. She recognized Laguna's son instantly. He used to come over and play with Irvine along with that strange hot dog eating shape shifter. Rinoa seemed to be having quite a time trying to teach him how to waltz. He had already run into her and another couple.
*I know I shouldn't be doing this...* she thought to herself. She shot a quick spell at Squall and turned around quickly, pretending not to notice.
The second leg of the song was starting and Rinoa and Squall stood across from each other, ready to start again. Much to her amazement and to Squall's surprise, he began to dance as if he was born to do so. He matched her steps perfectly each time, making her wonder if he was just playing around earlier.
Edea looked over her shoulder as Rinoa turned in and out of Squall's arms and back into them. She smiled as the sorceress and the vampire paused in their space for a moment. The room darkened suddenly, so as to allow the fire works to be seen more clearly. At the sound of the explosions, Squall turned his head to the ceiling.
Light danced across his face as Rinoa studied his features carefully. She made note of his scar and the way his hair framed his face. As he watched the fire works, a small smile seemed to cross his face, which made her smile. *He's even cuter when he smiles...*
She looked over his shoulder and saw Edea smiling proudly. Rinoa suddenly came to a slightly amusing realization. She pulled away from Squall and he turned back at her, a seemingly disappointed look on his face as he reluctantly let her go. She winked at him before side stepping him and walking over to where her father was with Edea and Cid.
Squall stood alone on the dance floor, watching her back as she left. "Matron," Rinoa said with a disapproving tone. "Did you...?"
"No!" Edea gasped, pretending to be shocked. "I most certainly did not!"
Rinoa looked at her questioningly and smiled none the less. "At any rate, thank you...I was afraid he was going to crush my feet," she looked back on the dance floor as Squall slowly made his way back to the sides. "It would've hurt not matter how hot he is."
Seifer had gotten a good look at Rinoa's dance partner's face as soon as Rinoa had left. He couldn't help but feel slightly jealous when they had stopped in their place and seemed to just hold each other there. Then the jealousy was replaced by annoyance when he realized who she had been dancing with.
"Seifer, have you tried the shrimp yet, ya know?" Raijin asked as he walked over with Fujin in front of him. "It's great, ya know!"
"Hey...do you recognize him?" Seifer said, ignoring Raijin's comments on the shrimp as he directed their attention to the vampire who was now talking to a vampiress with short brown hair in a dark green dress.
"Squall." Fujin stated simply.
Seifer ran his finger down the scar between his own eyes. He shook himself out of his thoughts and looked over at his posse. "What are you two doing here? You're supposed to be watching Cid and Edea!"
"Hungry." Fujin replied.
"Try the shrimp, ya know!" Raijin continued to blabber.
Noticing the look on Seifer's face and herself annoyed at Raijin's comments on the greatness of the shrimp, Fujin kicked him in the shins.
Across the room, Ellone smiled proudly. "And here I thought you were going to be a wall flower the whole night."
Squall looked more horrified than anything else. "You SAW?"
"I think the whole clan SAW," Ellone added, exaggerating the same word he did. "She's a sorceress."
"Caraway's daughter?" Squall said. He looked over her shoulder and saw Rinoa speaking to none other than Seifer. He narrowed his eyes. Seifer said something that didn't go too well with Rinoa. She retorted something and he put his arm around her slim, pale shoulders and whispered something in her ear. Squall turned his head away.
"Squall?" Ellone asked, noticing his change in attitude. "What's wrong?"
"I'm leaving." he grumbled.
"Squall...Squall!" Ellone said. He turned and headed straight for the door. She sighed and shook her head.
"What kind of secret is that?" Rinoa said, pulling away from Seifer. "I already knew that about Selphie."
"Oh?" Seifer asked, raising an eyebrow. He looked over where Squall had been standing and noticed him turn around and angrily leave the ball room. Smirking he looked back down at Rinoa and shrugged. "Well...my job here is done."
"However, I will tell Selphie that you told me," Rinoa said. "And then watch as she hunts you down."
"I think I can handle my little sister." Seifer snorted.
"Not when I teach her a few new spells," Rinoa said. Sticking her tongue out at Seifer she turned to leave to talk to other guests. Her eyes scanned the room and couldn't find the man she had been dancing with. *Damn...and I never even got his name...*
"Rinoa," her father called. She looked around the room and saw him waving her over. She recognized some other high ranking members of their clan. After she approached and greeted them her father turned to her. "Rinoa, do you remember when I spoke to you, Quistis, and Selphie about a special project."
"Yes..." *What are you getting at?* Rinoa's mind demanded as she narrowed her eyes slightly.
"Tomorrow night, there will be an actual meeting of just the leaders. I want you three to come."
"What about?" Rinoa asked, now concerned.
"We'll tell you tomorrow..." her father said in a low voice. Rinoa nodded slightly. "The limo is waiting," he added. "Go and inform the others. There's an envelope with the time and place in the limo."
Rinoa nodded. "Goodnight then." She did a slight bow of her head to the others and then headed out of the ballroom. Normally, she wouldn't have left without asking any more questions, but if she had to remain in that stuffy, tension filled room with those underworld creatures studying her as if she were a lab animal for a second longer, she would've gone insane.
As the sound of the music faded behind her, she quickened her speed. Rinoa gripped the sides of her dress, bringing them a little bit higher to give herself more running room. She flew through the front doors and mentally swore as she laid eyes on rows and rows of black limos.
*Why do all underworld clans have black limos? When I'm old enough, I'll get a white one.* she decided. She stood at the bottom of the steps of the vacant area, trying to recall exactly which one was theirs.
Just when she recognized her father's limo, she felt a presence behind her. Her senses weren't as good as lycans or vampires, but she could tell that it was a foreign presence. Turning around just to glance, she saw a swipe of claws coming towards her. She fell back, landing on her butt as she looked up.
Something went around her head and a white cloth was pressed against her mouth. Unable to stop herself, she inhaled the fumes in the cloth and blinked rapidly. Her body slowed down and she felt heavy. She looked up, determined to see her attacker. All she could see was the large moon in the sky and blurred shadows. Then darkness.
He shifted gears and the sleek, metallic dark charcoal gray car roared as it turned out on to the drive way of the palace. The car passed by the rows of limos that lined the front of the palace. He shook his head. Why did they all have to be black? As he put his foot on the gas to speed up, he caught something in the corner of his eye that caused him to stop.
He didn't recognize THAT vampire. Nor did he recognize the two werewolves who were carrying something into the back of a tinted windowed limo. The vampire stood there, wearing a dark red trench coat that had it's collar up to his nose. Long locks of straight black hair went around his head as he stood by the open door of the limo, his back to Squall's car.
They were carrying a person. *Probably some drunkard that had too much blood and alcohol...* Squall thought to himself. He glanced over one more time before passing them and narrowed his eyes. "But drunkards don't wear heels..." He caught the lower part of the person's body as they were carried into the limo. He recognized the tint of the dress and the subtle black embroidery at the edge of HER dress. "Caraway's daughter."
The limo pulled out ahead of Squall's car. Something in the back of his mind was tugging at him. Something wasn't right. He lifted up a cell phone as he kept his eyes on the limo that was heading out the gate in front of him and dialed a number. It rang about four times before someone answered.
"What is it, man?" Irvine grumbled. "There are two, count them, TWO lycan twins here!"
"Get your car and trace my cell phone I.D. to find out where I am," Squall told him gruffly. "And bring the other one."
Irvine narrowed his eyes as he leaned into the phone, turning his back to the dancing people behind him. "What's wrong?"
"Something's not right. Just do it." The brunette hung up. Irvine looked at his phone and slowly snapped in closed.
"What's up?" Zell asked as he walked up next to the cowboy, holding a miniature sausage in a tooth pick in each hand.
"Squall," Irvine said. "Let's go." Zell didn't ask any questions. He popped both sausages into his mouth and followed the taller man.
General Caraway was tapped on the shoulder by a tall man with stubble and bright orange hair that went right into a point at the top of the front of his head. Had it not been for his black driver's uniform, he would've been turned away when he had entered the palace. Frowning, the General looked at him. "What is it?"
"Sir, Miss Rinoa hasn't made it to the limo yet, ya." the man said. Caraway nodded his eyes.
"What do you mean? She left a while ago. I saw her leave with my own eyes," Caraway said. "Shit..."
"What's wrong?" Cid asked as he saw the concerned look in the other man's eyes.
"Rinoa's missing." he said in a low voice.
"What?" Edea gasped. Cid turned around and waved for Seifer to come over. The tall blond strode over confidently.
"Seifer, get your group together," Cid said. "I want you to find Rinoa."
"Why? Did the little princess get lost?" Seifer smirked.
Immediately, Caraway glared at him. "She left and never made it to the limo," Caraway hissed. "Find my daughter and keep it quiet."
"Never made it..." Seifer realized the severity of the situation. "Fujin! Raijin!"
"Wakka, take these three wherever they need to go," Caraway ordered the driver. "I'll find a ride else where."
"I have to contact my sister," Seifer said as they followed the red head out the door. "Fujin," he tossed her his phone. "Call Selphie and Quisty. Tell them to meet us down on sixth!"
"Right." She flipped open the phone and began to shift through the phone book on his phone until she found the one marked 'SelQuiRin Esthar' and pressed the dial button.
"Seifer!" Raijin said as they reached the steps. The larger man had stopped and was sniffing the air. "Smell the air, ya!"
Seifer narrowed his eyes and took a deep breath. He narrowed his eyes. "Werewolves..." he smelled the scent again. "Hybrids..."
"Clan?" Fujin asked as she listened to the phone ring.
"Adel's..." Seifer mumbled, turning up the corner of his nose in disgust.
A black limo pulled out and Wakka came out to open the doors for them. They rushed into the posh vehicle. "Selphie?" Fujin asked on the phone. "Fujin...Wait...Stop..." Seifer rolled his eyes as he could hear his sister's hyper voice blabbering away.
"Give me that..." Seifer grumbled he snatched the phone from Fujin's hand. "Selphie? We have a problem."
Back at their penthouse, Selphie hung up the phone and ran to get her jacket. "QUISTIS!! We have a problem!!"
Irvine and Zell jumped into Irvine's black convertible and skidded out of the palace drive way. "Turn on the tracer and put in Squall's phone's code."
"Right!" Zell said. He pressed a button on the dash board and waited for a screen to pop up. He then pressed in the numbers. "He's still back at the palace!"
Irvine groaned. "Not his HOME phone code! His CELLULAR phone!!"
"Oh..." Zell pressed in an entirely different code. "Why didn't you just say so...?"
Irvine just rolled his eyes. "So where is he headed?"
"Oh shit..." Zell mumbled. "We have a problem..."
Irvine looked over and his eyes went wide. "That's a research center...find out who owns it." Zell nodded and began to do his job.
A few minutes later, about half way to the research center, Zell swore. "We have an even bigger problem."
"It belongs to Adel."