Ella felt like a wallflower. What could possibly be the point of being here if she wasn't the envy of her stepsisters?
She was about to get lucky.
A young man in a high quality navy suit with an expensive silk shirt underneath was walking straight towards her.
The visual effect of his outfit was not particularly pleasing. In fact, he resembled a peacock, puffing up his tail feathers and strutting.
That is exactly what he was.
He stopped mere inches from her face. He smelled of musky cologne, and honestly, Ella was trying hard not to gag.
"Would you care to dance, beautiful lady?" He enquired, his voice thick with a fake accent. It was somewhere between British and a coughing dog.
Needless to say, very unfortunate.
Ella hardly took notice of any of this. She was staring directly at her stepsister, who's face was shocked, red, and envious.
Ella turned back to him. She turned on the charm, her smile glittering as much as her dress.
"I would love to dance with you," she gushed.
His smile widened, and he led her across the dance floor.
For the first time, she looked up at his face as they danced. She was surprised to find that he was quite handsome. He had a strong jawline with thin, but attractive lips, which were stretched into a smile that revealed perfect teeth. He had a strong nose, and sparkling brown eyes, which gazed at her steadily, never shying away. He had long, dark eyelashes and eyebrows, and mousy brown hair.
For some reason, Ella had assumed such a peacock would be hideous. She sneaked a quick glance at one of her stepsisters who was dancing with a very large, old, round man. Ella sent a charming grin their way.
Ella looked back up at the young man. He still stared down at her. She found that while he seemed quite comfortable to simply gaze at her without attempting to make conversation, she felt quite uncomfortable. His eyes seemed to glance off her surface without making any connection.
Ella momentarily thought of the eyes of Artemis Fowl. His eyes had been blue and piercing, and seemed to see into her soul. Somehow she found she preferred that. Despite how handsome the young man she was dancing with was, his shallow stare seemed somehow, creepy.
"So," she muttered, "Is your family here?"
Finally he looked away, "Yes, over there," he pointed. "They are King and Queen of Kartburg."
Ella raised an eyebrow, "Would that make you... A Prince?"
"Why yes, I suppose it would," he replied. His tone suggested that he had known and bragged about that fact for years.
Artemis Fowl watched the two dance from across the room.
He leaned back against the wall in a fairly isolated corner, his arms crossed, a glass of punch in one hand.
Anyone who might have looked at him might have thought it was the punch that was quite sour.
That was certainly not the case.
That girl had called him self-centered. Then again, she had also called him a genius. He sighed. Both were true.
It had never bothered him before.
Then again, neither had the sight of a girl with another boy.
It was odd. This girl had been so rude to him, and so temperamental, yet he simply couldn't stop watching the two dance. They were gazing into each others eyes, twirling gracefully. His one hand rested on the small of her back, and his other held her small, thin hand.
It made him feel sick. He spat the punch he had just sipped back into the glass. Several people around him looked astonished and disgusted. He felt the same. That had been most undignified.
He kept watching them dance, his sour look being replaced by a glare as the boy sneered at him. He couldn't see Ella's face.
Then it all clicked for Artemis. He knew that boy. Prince... Prince Charming!
What a truly detestable name.
He had a detestable personality to go right along with it.
Artemis remembered what he had heard about this particular Prince.
He had been known to be quite the player. Every party and event he went to, he would meet a new girl.
He would scour the party, searching for the most beautiful girl he could find, and he would seduce and take advantage of her, using his charming looks, ostentatious clothing, and general wealth.
He couldn't explain it, but he couldn't let that happen to Ella.
After he thought about it, he realized his hatred for this idiotic Prince was definitely the reason. He would take great satisfaction in taking this girl away from him.
Artemis smiled his vampire smile.
He noticed the two had begun to leave, slipping out onto the balcony. Time to take action.
Artemis took a few steps out of the corner, and was instantly swarmed.
Girls surrounded him preening and swooning. Artemis noticed Ella's stepsister.
"Hello, Artemis." She crooned. "Want to go check out the balcony?"
Artemis took a deep breath.
The stepsister grabbed his punch.
"Did you get this for me?" She asked sweetly.
"Of course," Artemis grinned charmingly.
She took a huge gulp.
Artemis' smile widened. He almost laughed.
A/N: Please review if you are enjoying this story! I know I haven't updated in a while, but I figured it was about time.
How I love writing about Artemis. And the stepsister. She's hilarious.