It has been a LONG time, but I'm back. I want to finish this story and Full Moons finally! Last chapter was just a filler, something to get my creative juices flowing again. More exciting things are to follow, stay tuned.
"He said he was going to spend the whole day with you?" Mel asked in disbelief. Her and Serena were folding and putting away clothes while Liz stripped the bed and remade it.
"He wants to prove to me that I actually mean something to him," Serena said, trying not to make a big deal about it, but she was somewhat freaking out on the inside.
"Damn," Liz commented. "Tonight of all nights? Doesn't he know that some of the demon lords are arriving tonight for a resigning of the treaty?"
Both the other girls turned to look at Liz like she had grown a second head.
"What?" Liz shrugged. "It's true. Oh my God! Maybe that's where he's taking you!"
"I don't think so," Mel frowned, "isn't that the last place you want to be? Surrounded by a bunch of otherworldly beings?"
"Oh please, its a freakin' ball for God's sake! Who doesn't want to be included in something like that. It will be romantic!"
It was Serena's turn to shrug. "I don't know. He didn't exactly tell me what we were doing..."
"I bet its the ball!" Liz squealed. "I have the perfect dress for you to wear!"
"This is..." started Mel, but she was interrupted by a knock at the door. She went to answer it but the door was opened before she could reach it and in walked Alyssa.
She was looking more herself dressed in tight clothes and overdone makeup, but she still carried an extremely pissed off expression. "So this is where you've all been hiding while the rest of us do work?" she snapped.
"Alyssa, we were asked to work here," said Mel angrily. "This just happens to be the next room of the floor."
"Whatever," she huffed. "Jared asked me to tell you that plans have changed. It wont be the exclusive night he had originally thought it would be. He completely forgot about the demons, so you're going to the event tonight with him."
"Told ya!" exclaimed Liz in victory. "Oh my god, that means we have to start getting you ready now!"
"Whatever, he'll meet you by the entrance. Don't be late." And with that Alyssa left, leaving the three girls staring at each other in disbelief.
"An actual ball?" Serena stuttered.
The other two laughed and moved towards her. "We have a lot of work to do."
After many hours of preparation, Liz and Mel stepped back from Serena to admire their hard work.
"I cant believe it," started Mel.
"You look fucking fantastic!" finished Liz.
Serena stood before them in a floor length tiered gown of gold. It was strapless with a sweetheart neckline, hugging her curves nicely passed her hips until the first tier where the dress went out slightly. There was absolutely beautiful detailing along the length of it, it had taken Serena's breath away when Mel first pulled it out.
"I cant wear that!" she had exclaimed.
"Of course you can, its a fuckin ball Serena! Now undress so we can get this thing on you!" she huffed.
Serena's hair had been done next. Her golden hair was half swept up in beautiful bouncing curls, perfectly framing her face. Liz had redone it almost four times before she settled on it. Her makeup was simple yet elegant, with a smokey eye and rosy lipstick.
"I'm so jealous," Mel stated as her and Liz continued to stare at her.
"Are you sure its alright? Not too much right?"
"Are you kidding, you look amazing!" Liz said with a smile.
"He wont be able to take his eyes off you," Mel stated.
"No one will," agreed Liz. "Oh shit, its already started!"
"Whatever, better to be fashionably late. And why not let him wait a little longer, its the least he could do for all the shit he's put you through."
"Technically that was William..." Liz interrupted.
"Whatever. William, Jared, they share the same body, and are probably the same person."
"Ok, I will lead you downstairs!" Liz said, trying to change the subject quickly. "Besides, I want to see his face when he sees you!"
The trek down the three flights of stairs was a lot more work in heels then Serena would have thought, but she managed to reach the bottom in one piece. Halfway down the last set she had eyed Jared at the bottom of it wearing a very straight cut tux, his hair swept back with a little gel. It was almost long enough to put into a ponytail she noticed. And he looked fucking hot. She wanted to jump him right then and there.
He was looking at her with the same sort of thoughts hiding behind his eyes. First they had widen in amazement then settled to a smolder. When she reached the last step she dazzled him with a smile. "I didn't think I would make it down in these," she admitted, referring to her heels.
Jared let out the non-existent breath he was holding. "You look...really, really great."
"You don't look half bad yourself," she smiled.
"Ready?" he asked, offering his arm.
"As much as I'll ever be," she replied, wrapping her arm around his.
He led her towards the main doors leading into the grand ballroom and she noticed they were more...extravagant, if that were even possible. The marble floor glistened with a new pulse of life, the stonework throughout the main entrance positively radiant. Was she even in the same place?
Jared put his other hand on the small of her back and pushed her inside. Serena tried to muster up a smile, but found it difficult now that she was here. This was it. She felt sick. The weight of what she was doing, suddenly and vividly on her shoulders.
Relax, you have a right to be here, Serena told herself.
It was as though Serena had just walked into a fairy tale… Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast… or even Phantom of the Opera. It was a large, open ballroom. Shining, rich, hardwood floors, full length French windows, candles and several small chandeliers for lighting. It was even more beautiful than the entrance to the ballroom.
The room was absolutely packed with people or...demons. There were creatures of all shapes and sizes gathered within the ballroom; tall, short, blue, green, horned, scaled, tailed, beaked, taloned, muscled, skinny, fat, boned. Every type of being ever named in a fiction novel stood before her, all except for werewolves. All those in attendance were also wearing some sort of dress or accessory that denoted the 'black tie' event that this was.
On the ballroom floor the women's dresses flowed out and twirled around them gracefully as their partners guided them around the ballroom to a beautiful waltz, played by a small orchestra in one corner.
She felt a hand touch her chin, gently. Then she felt Jared's lips brush her jaw. He pushed her jaw upwards sand said, "You dropped this," meaning her jaw. She said nothing, but allowed him to lead her further inside.
"This is...incredible," she said when she found her breath again.
He let out a small laugh, "It should be. The only reason we have these sorts of things is to impress the other dimensional beings, to help with trade and that sort of thing."
"Other dimensional beings..."
"The demons, giants, pretty much everything that you've ever read about in a fictional novel. See over there in the fountain, there's Ardis and his harem of mermaids."
Serena turned her head and saw exactly that, half women half fish splashing and laughing in the fountains depths while an older man sat atop looking over the room.
"And over there is one of the great demon kings, he's supposed to be marrying one of our vampires actually. The woman whose clothing you took to be precise."
Serena blushed and smiled, looking at one of the largest 'men' she had ever seen. Well, he was part man. His body a great tower of muscled coloured completely black, but the two huge horns that stuck out of his forehead was definitely not human.
"Wow," Serena breathed out, "Can we sit down?"
"Not yet, take my arm," he commanded gently, under his breath, and she obeyed.
They made their way through the party, Jared occasionally nodding to another Demons, Elders or saying a polite, but curt "Good evening."
In another corner of the room was a small, oak bar with a black marble surface. A bartender, dressed in white was wiping out the inside of a cocktail glass and making a small squeaking noise. Jared stopped in front of him, right where Drake, the Elder stood watching his guests.
Serena gulped. Her father.
"Drake," Jared greeted with a bow of his head.
Drake's eyes never left Serena's as he said, "Good evening." Then he turned to Jared."May I ask why she is here?"
"She is my date."
Drake's upper lip curled. "I see. Have a lovely evening then," he practically snarled before he walked away.
"He's not very friendly," Serena commented quietly, her mind reeling. Does he know? "Why even bothering to talk to him if he's going to be an ass?"
Jared laughed, "Doesn't matter what he's like. It's proper etiquette to greet the Elder of all Elders first when entering."
"Yeahuh...ok..." Serena said with a smile on her lips.
Jared laughed again but it was cut short when he saw who had approached them.
"Jared!" Lestat said jovially, extending a hand. Jared took it warily, shook it once, then let it drop.
"I'm so glad you made it!" Lestat gushed, never taking his eyes away from Serena. "And what do we have here?" he asked. "I didn't know slaves could be invited."
Serena was about to interject when Jared spoke first. "She is not my slave. She is my date."
"I see," said Lestat. "Well well…" he said, reaching over and taking Serena's hand in his. His hands were soft and warm. His fingers were perfectly manicured. He brought Serena's hand to his mouth and kissed it gently. His lips were like his hands, soft and warm. "I must say… you do look ravishing." He said, letting his eyes stray from Serena's over to Jared to throw him a contemptuous glance. "Who knew what you were hiding under those rags you call clothing."
Serena jerked her hand out of his grip then sneered.
Jared, felt something like hot water bubbling up in his chest as he watched the exchange between Serena and his maker. Not knowing what would happen if he was forced to watch any more of this disgusting charade, he intervened.
"That's enough Lestat." He said, his voice turning cold.
"Lestat," whispered a soft, female voice from behind him.
A ghastly pale woman, with platinum blonde hair and raccoon streaks appeared behind him. She looked embarassed for some reason, holding out a drink for him. Blood.
"Ah." Lestat said shortly, giving Serena the impression that he was bothered by her sudden appearance. It interrupted whatever little interlude he and Serena were having. "Let me introduce my lovely partner," he said, sounding more annoyed than ever. Serena found it intriguing that he could speak a sneer into a word without anyone actually picking up on it.
Before he could say anything, however, Serena interrupted. "We've met."
Kiki looked at her questioningly.
"At that party a while back. Where Michael took me from."
Kiki looked away almost ashamed.
Lestat took the drink from Kiki's outstretched hand. "Thank you pet. Could I interest you in a drink Jare?"
"No thank you," Jared said curtly, his eyes roaming the room.
"For you Serena?" he asked, locking eyes with her again. "Have you ever tasted what it is we crave so deeply?" he offered.
Serena's eyes narrowed. "Not unless it was my own."
Lestat smirked and downed the glass of blood. "Too bad." And with that he put his arm possessively around Kiki, "Have a good evening"
Jared nodded, and then turned his calculating eyes on Serena. "Are you alright?"
"This is...a little much."
"If you want to leave all you have to do is ask."
"No...I should stay. Find out what it is about me that makes this group of ...people think that I am their prophecy girl. Maybe I can change their mind?"
Jared laughed, "Sure," turning them around before suddenly stopping.
Merishka had appeared before them with her children, Nik and a girl she knew she had seen before. Reddish-brown hair and a sneering expression...this was the vampire from the lower levels where Michael asked for her to be his life partner.
"Jared, darling, slaves are not to be brought to these type of events it gives our guests the wrong idea," Merishka stated, kissing both of his cheeks.
"She is my date, not my slave, Elder Merishka."
Merishka smiled but it never reached her eyes. " Well then, little Slave, these are my children, Kailee and Nik."
Kailee looked like she was about to kill her while Nik smirked. "We've met," he said. "Jared."
Jared nodded his head towards Nik, a pained look entering his eyes when he looked at the other man. No doubt the damage William had done to Nik was a disturbing memory.
"So you're the so called Prophecy Child…" Merishka said, her arms crossed over her chest. Her hair was swept back into a tight, neat, elegant bun. She was dressed in a green gown, which clung to her body down to her knees at which point it flared out into a long train. It contrasted remarkably with her hair.
Serena didn't say anything but nodded. She wasn't sure that calling Merishka ma'am or Elder or anything was wise, for it certainly did draw attention to the fact that she was years younger than she was. "That's what people keep calling me."
"I see," she said, looking down her nose at Serena, even though Serena towered over her by quite a few inches.
People keep saying that too, thought Serena.
It was a relief when a waiter chose that particular moment to return with glasses of blood, which reduced the tension that started to rise between them all. Merishka and her 'children' reached to take a glass while Jared shook his head politely.
The fivesome stood in silence while 3 out of the 5 sipped their blood. A few moments later, Merishka spoke. "Well, you two will have to excuse us. There enters one of the five Demon kings, I need to extend my congratulations on his upcoming nuptials." With that she glided away from them, her vampires following obediently behind her.
"You alright?" Jared asked again.
Serena nodded, looking around the room. It was so much fiction all gathered in one room, and looking at them all here, these creatures most certainly weren't fiction.
"Well in that case there are some seats over there we could take," he said, pointing to the rows of tables off to the side of the dancefloor, which were mostly empty. He was giving her an out, a breather.
She smiled, "Sure."
He offered her his arm and she took it gladly, leading her over to the seating arrangements.
Jared pulled out her chair for her and she sat, making sure she didn't wrinkle her dress. He smiled at her before sitting beside her. "Are you sure you are ok?"
"Yes, fine, why wouldn't I be? Just in a room full of vampires that usually want to kill me, eat me, whatever. Just fine," she whispered the last part.
He smiled again. "What about some food? They have a whole selection. A diverse palate for a diverse group."
But before she could respond David sat down loudly beside her, shortly followed by a young male vampire who sat on his other side at the table.
"Serena!" he said happily. "You look fucking amazing!"
She laughed, "Thank you, so do you." Then she looked to the man beside David, "I'm Serena."
He was definitely the shorter of the men, probably around her height not in her heels, with silver hair and violet eyes. If she didn't know he was a vampire she would have thought him otherworldy. Then she wondered how he had lived his human life with hair and eyes like that.
"Serena, this is my boyfriend Josh. Josh, this is Serena, but you already know that."
Serena smiled and shook his outstretched hand. "Please to meet you."
"Pleasure is all mine Prophecy Child," he responded politely. He had a nice genuine smile about him, but her smile faltered with his words.
"Everyone keeps saying that," she muttered.
"How are you enjoying the party?" Josh asked with interest. "The first time I had ever been to one of these sorts of things was right after David here turned me! I didn't even have time to experience my bloodlust before I got to experience all this magic and elegance! It's absolutely fantastic! And the colour schemes, absolutely divine! I couldn't believe it..."
"Josh, honey, take a breath," David grinned.
"Well if I could I would now wouldn't I dearest," retorted Josh playfully.
Serena smiled at them, they were cute.
"And this music! marvelous," Josh continued. "And the dancing, no one dances like this anymore in your generation. Slow dancing usually consists of dry humping to a boy bands attempt at a love song. This is real music, and real dancing. The kind that one learns through several lessons and plenty of practice! Which we all have because we are immortal!" he laughed.
As Josh continued to talk Serena began to feel more and more comfortable. Not all vampires were bad.
Nearly everyone in the room was dancing and chatting with each other. All these strange looking creatures talking together, being around each other, socializing civilly. If only the human race were like that with each other!
Suddenly Jared spoke. "As great as you two have been there is nothing I'd like more than a dance with one of the most beautiful women in the room." He extended his hand to Serena, who surveyed it for a moment. Dancing, really? Not that she couldn't, she was just surprised that he could.
Serena took his hand hesitantly in hers. But his hand closed around hers softly. "It will be fun," he said with a wink.
"No dry humping you two!" exclaimed Josh with a laugh.
"Enjoy yourselves. And don't drink the champagne!" David called after them, smiling broadly as he and his boyfriend continued talking.
Serena took his arm and he lead her to the dance floor. Jared steered them right into the middle of the floor before putting his right hand on her hip, taking her right hand in his and picking up the slow waltz as though he'd been dancing it all night.
To say that Serena was impressed was a huge understatement. Jared moved even more gracefully on the dance floor than she would've ever thought possible. It was as though he was floating rather than dancing. Serena took the first few minutes of the song to silently marvel at this.
"You're a wonderful dancer." She said finally, as he was not speaking.
"Hm..." was his reply.
"Really." She insisted. "Where did you learn?" she asked curiously.
"One of the benefits of a classical education before my turning…" he answered in a deep voice as he took a moment to look down at her.
Serena laughed openly. Earlier in the evening, she'd been nervous with him… after so many times that William would emerge and Jared would disappear she had been nervous about that happening. But now he was showing that he could fight for her, not only to William but to her father, Merishka, Lestat. She felt completely at east with him again. It was as though this was the way it was meant to be all along.
"This is the most beautiful party I've ever been to." she said honestly.
"You think this is a lifestyle you could get used to?" he asked, twirling them around again.
"Well… I can certainly see the attraction." Serena replied with a smile. "But I wouldn't ever want to be a vampire...no offense."
"Most of us don't have a choice in the matter."
"I know," she responded quietly, thinking of Lana.
A silence settled between them, but it wasn't strange or awkward, just there.
She didn't know how much time had passed, but it must have been a while for the rhythms of the song to have changed nearly a dozen times. It was then that she started to get dizzy. Too much spinning. She took a firm grip on his hand and pulled it down to her waist before wrapping her hands around his, and burying her face in his chest.
Jared slowed the pace down and simply danced on the spot. But she was tired of dancing. No, she thought, she didn't want to dance anymore. She pulled away from Jared and took his hand in hers, dragging him off the dance floor to stand near the doorway where a cool draft from the hallway was flowing in.
He noted that her face was flushing. It was strange how easily he forgot she was human, with the need for air and sustenance. He allowed her to tow him over to the door. He leaned against the wall, and was surprised, pleasantly when she leaned back against his chest. He brought his hands to rest on her hips, ever so gently.
Serena sighed deeply and relaxed against him, letting her eyes drift half shut.
"Did you want to leave now?"
"No I just need a minute."
Jared smiled, "You look like you are about to sleep standing up, lets get you up to bed. Your sleeping schedule must still be thrown off."
"What time is it?" Serena wondered aloud.
"Nearly 4am." He replied, removing her from himself. Lestat was coming over.
"Lestat, we were just about to leave."
"Oh…" Lestat pouted. "So soon? The night is young!" he said enthusiastically. "There are still festivities yet to begin!" he said, with a sadistic sort of twinkle in his brown eyes that gave Serena the creeps. "And I have yet to dance with our dear Prophecy Child."
"That wont be happening," Jared replied, shaking his hand. "I happen to know that she doesn't want to dance with you and the types of festivities about to happen aren't really her thing anyways. So we'll just be going," he said it almost playfully but firmly. Maybe so as not to make Lestat too upset, he was after all Jared's sire.
Lestat laughed openly. "The truth hurts," he said, holding his heart. He reached out to take her hand but she shrugged away from him.
He laughed again. "Do be careful when you leave, don't want you to get caught in a portal while the demons are leaving. I'll be seeing you again soon Serena."
Serena frowned but let Jared lead her away from him.
"Thank you for tonight," she said softly staring up at him.
"I know it probably wasn't anything you expected, but I had to make an appearance. I'm happy you decided to go with me."
She stopped walking and moved her hands, bravely, to slink around his neck.
"Serena..." he started.
"Shh…" she hushed him. "Just let me do this," she said putting her hands behind his neck. She pulled gently, urging him closer. And he obliged her. She stood on her tiptoes, heart racing, threatening to explode in her chest with excitement… and kissed him. She let her lips brush his gently and for no more than three seconds before pulling back.
When she opened her eyes, he was looking at her strangely. Was he going to be angry?
"That's it?" he asked, blindsiding her with his reaction.
Serena opened her mouth several times, but nothing came out. Then she laughed. "Sorry there wasn't more!"
"Let me," he offered, descending on her, his mouth connecting with hers in a deeper, more passionate kiss.
Serena's stomach was furiously tying itself in knots. She felt as though she were floating six inches above the ground. She parted her lips slightly and let his tongue invade her mouth. But before there could be more a loud explosion sounded around them.
Jared pulled his lips from hers quickly, and placed her body behind his, shielding her from the sudden onslaught of depris flying towards them. The force of it pushed her to the ground, but he didn't land on top of her. Instead he held himself up on his feet and hands to keep himself and the rubble from crushing her.
A second explosion sounded but Serena couldn't tell from where. She moved to see but Jared stopped her. "Dont move!" he shouted over the noise.
But she couldn't hear him, the sound from the explosions had her ears ringing. Jared looked up from where they were to check the surrounding area.
Everything was in ruin. Great holes had been blasted into the walls, the dishes from the tables in pieces, the dancefloor in shambles. Many were lying on the ground unconscious. But he could see, even from the distance, some bodies had seen the true death. Black ooze trickled from every pour of their bodies, body parts scattered around them.
Jared had to look away from the damage and focus on Serena, getting her to safety was the top priority. What if there were people coming to hurt her?
He looked down at her and she up at him.
His eyes really were magnificent when they weren't their glowing red.
"Are you hurt?" he asked.
"No, are you?"
"No," he says, moving to stand up and pulling her up with him.
She looked around at the damage. "What did this?"
"I don't know."
"MY SON!" screamed a woman's voice. "My boy!" Heart wrenching screams ensued from that same woman.
It took a while for Serena to find the source through the debris, but then she found it. Merishka.
The red headed vampire was kneeling on the floor beside one of the puddles of black blood, holding a dark haired head in her hands.
"Will someone shut her up?" snapped David, standing a couple of feet from Merishka at a different splattering of black blood.
"Oh no," whispered Serena, looking away from what was left of Josh's body. Dust was still unsettled and through it she could see Drake, her father, exiting through what was left of the double doors. She frowned.
Merishka's screams still filled the room but soon moans and groans of pain sounded throughout as well. Lestat emerged from a pile of marble, limping slightly to the center of the room. "Bryce, access damages to those on floors 1 and 2, Isabella floor 3," he ordered. "Are all Elders accounted for?" he demanded loudly so that all could hear his voice.
Slowly people stood and began to wander to different sides of the room. It looked as though they had an emergency formation in place when things like this happened...did things like this happen often?
"Kailee." Lestat's voice sounded again, "Take her to her room," he ordered, refering to Merishka, who was still letting out blood curling screams at the sight of her dead 'little boy'. Kailee complied, picking up Merishka and carrying her out of the ballroom. But not before shooting a death glare Serena's way.
Lestat continued to look around at the damage with fire in his eyes. Even after all this time Serena had never seen him that angry before.
Jared slowly lead Serena towards Lestat, much to her displeasure but there had to be a reason. But she noticed that many were circling around Lestat, for he was the one in command right now with Drake absent. She followed his lead and was soon face to face with a very pissed off vampire.
"Where is Drake?" asked Amelia quietly to Lestat's left.
"He could be tracking the attacker now!" snapped Lestat, brushing off non-existent dust from his shirt and pulling Kiki to him as soon as she was in his eyesight. After quickly looking her over for bruises he shouted, "Everyone who isn't in the armed force get to your rooms and put up your wards. There will be checks in half an hour. Markus, Angelo, Athena, you will bring your reports back to me in Drake's study. Elders, we adjourn there. If you are needed you will be summoned."
"Armed Force, search the castle for the culprit. Anyone who is not a guest or apart of the coven will be brought to Judgement in the court," declared Amelia from Lestat's side. Serena was surprised she hadn't seen her all evening. "To the rest of you, be safe."
"Someone find Jadis," Lestat hissed to the nearest vampire to him. They nodded and took off at great speed in search.
"What the hell just happened?" Shane asked Jared, who held Serena protectively against him.
"We were attacked," Lestat snapped, overhearing the question as he approached them. "By her," he whispered.
"Amik?" hissed Shane quietly.
Serena's ears perked up at that. My mother?
"Don't let it be known news Shane," whispered Jared quietly to him.
Shane nodded before disappearing from the room with a flash of speed.
"Who is Amik?" whispered Serena, playing dumb.
"I will tell you more once I have you safely inside my room."
"No, this is serious, Serena. I wont let anything harm you. I will have Liz, Mel, and Alyssa join you shortly. I have to help, it's my place."
With a nod to Lestat, Jared lead her from the room and through a secret passageway to her room on the fourth floor.
"I didn't even know these existed," Serena remarked.
"Not many people within the coven know of them. But considering I helped build some, I am an exception."
Within 3 minutes, comparable to the 15 it would have taken, they reached Serena's room. "Don't go anywhere, please. I will be back as soon as I can."
"Where are you going? It's dangerous. What if Amik is still out there?"
"Don't worry, Serena," he remarked, cupping his hand on her cheek softly. "I'll find my way back to you."
Serena frowned, but pulled him back as he turned to go, "Be careful." And with that she pulled his mouth to hers in an intense kiss that betrayed all the worry she was feeling.
The kiss ended quickly but he half smiled at her before closing the door, leaving her alone in her room.