Beautiful eyes. He prodded his fang absent-mindedly with his tongue, his own gaze honing in on her, she was elegant and delicately made but there was both power and assurance in her stance, a confident, modern woman with finely wrought hands, nails painted a deep, glossy purple. Lore gatherings weren't his thing, vampires – Forbearers or no – tended not to be welcome at the majority of social events, and the rest of the Lore didn't seem to distinguish between the two factions. He was sick of being eyed with murderous intent, of having to hold his own every time a pissed off Lykae or demon decided to square up to him, that was not the definition of a party. But besides all that he was glad he had been persuaded to come by Nikolai because otherwise he wouldn't have seen her.

He forced himself to sup some expensive Italian wine so as not to draw attention to himself, he pretended it was the sweet blood of the female next to the humongous chocolate fountain. She appeared fascinated with the texture, amused at how the guests ran skewered strawberries and marshmallows under the rich, dark waterfall and then bit into it slowly, savouring the taste. He remembered it well, the best part of any wedding he had ever attended, his little sister would be smeared with chocolate sitting next to him gleefully, a pile of stabbed and sodden grapes and banana pieces on the napkin in front of her. Her dress beyond repair, little Elisa, she was seven years old when he had been turned and she would be seventeen now, disgusted by what he had metamorphosed into. He missed her immensely. Shaking himself, he returned his focus again, sensing her curiosity, she stared at the smooth, incessant river with longing, yearning for the knowledge of what it tasted like perhaps she was a vampire? Was that even possible?

"Dexter, you're staring." Sebastian stood proudly next to him, his gaze locked on his Bride: Kaderin, who sat talking with Nix enthusiastically, her stomach healthily rounded in mid-term pregnancy.

"What's it to you?" he grumbled, spitting out the wine, and he couldn't keep it down any longer. He had never been a wine person even when he was clinically alive, he hadn't been much attracted to any sort of alcohol, he liked to keep his wits about him, and it was only now that the idea of an alcohol induced state of oblivion appealed to him. Ironically, it had no chance of working.

"Well, her mate looks like he is on the verge of beating you into the ground. But it's your choice," he pointed subtlety at the man by the patio doors.

Oh shit.