If you are reading this, coming over from Through A Glass Darkly, then thank you so much for following me over! If you are new, then I do hope you enjoy this little prologue.
Basically I'm a sucker for a big, long, complicated, Regency romance, so I have been working on one with my favourite ship. Klaroline!
This is AU as the original family do not have any supernatural abilities, though that will not stop them from being awesome)) It takes place loosely in the Regency era in London, however it may span more than that official time frame. I have tried to include historical elements as much as possible and keep it realistic, but I'm no historian, so I apologise in advance for any mistakes!
Disclaimer: I do not own the Vampire Diaries or it's characters.
The band stuck up a waltz, and the familiar strains wound around her, threatened to pull her back to her memories... of him, of their life together.
The ballroom was crowded, the expensive dresses swishing, jewels glittering in the candle light. Her eyes sought out her friend, happily dancing with her fiance, clearly in love, and in anticipation of their wedding. How she envied them their bright, shining future.
Both wore masks, as everyone did. Some very vividly coloured, others with swirling gold and silver. Some covered their wearers nose and chin, whilst many revealed a whole lot more.
Her's was gold, an intricate fan of sculpted lace that framed her features, like a veil, framing her eyes, which shone blue against the gold of her mask and hair. Her dress was also simple, white, the soft empire waist draping closely down her body, with layer upon layer of gossamer white fabric. Upon her back, the rest of her costume consisted solely of a pair of white wings, lined with real white feathers. When Katherine had given her them, smiling mysteriously all the while, Caroline had thought them the most delicate and beautiful things she'd ever seen. Now, the outfit complete, she watched the ballroom floor fill with all the character's she knew and loved from stories.
Standing by the edge, she saw Marc Antony approach and smiled,
"Lady Caroline, may I have the pleasure of this dance?" he asked holding his hand out to her. She was just about to extend hers, when a familiar voice cut in.
"I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news... but this dance has been promised to me" his voice was light, but there was steel just underneath, and her new dance partner did not seem the type to argue, accepting his rejection with a smile, he bowed, and departed swiftly. Caroline breathed deeply and prepared herself to turn around, glad for the first time for the mask that shielded her feelings from him.
Turning slowly, she crossed her arms over her chest, and found herself face to face with the Devil. All in black, his breeches and fitted coat were dark midnight, his boots gleaming. His coat fitted him high to the neck, then tight across his broad shoulders, tapering down to his narrow waist. His mask was also black, without any detail, seeming more black against his burnished golden hair and it covered the top portion of his face. There were gleaming back horns, sticking up on either side, which looked as though they were carved from bone. Though, knowing him, she wouldn't have been surprised if they were. His mouth was the same, full, pink smile, that knew too much about her. His eyes, she looked in them last, as she knew how difficult it would be. They glittered at her, blue diamonds, and in them, she tried to ignore the look that penetrated her to her core. He had always been able to look at her, and make her feel naked under his gaze, as though they were the only two people in the room... in the world.
He extended his hand to her, and she knew she shouldn't accept. It was too dangerous, it was bad enough he was here, never mind having time to speak to her alone. This was her head, talking sensibly and reasoning with her... but her heart... her heart had already reached out for his hand. As always, when their fingers touched, she felt his energy shot through her, and could see it affected him too.
Leading her slowly onto the dance floor, he gently pulled her closer and began to dance, their eyes never leaving each others.
"I thought all your dances were mine" he murmured as she finally dropped his gaze, noticing Katherine over his shoulder, and knowing immediately why her friend had chosen this costume.
She kept silent, not trusting her treacherous heart to speak. They continued to dance, and she felt her heart start to beat in an even tempo again.
"You planned this? With Katherine?" Caroline asked, trying to break the painful silence that had fallen.
"You've always been the saint to my sinner... it seemed appropriate" he murmured, pulling her a little closer. The draw of him, his smell, his hands on her, they were like magnets that couldn't stay apart. The song came to an end, yet they remained close. He held her tightly, and she tried to build up the will to leave. Suddenly, he captured her gaze and spoke,
"Caroline... I" stepping back suddenly, Caroline pulled herself out of his arms. She couldn't listen to him say her name anymore. With a little distance between them, she felt her courage returning. Her resolve to never let him hurt her again.
He watched her, his eyes filled with hurt. He longed to reach out and pull her to him, to never let her go. But, he just watched her, battling with herself.
Taking another step, she raised her eyes to his, watching him glance at her finger, his face creasing with sadness. Slowly he reached out and picked up her hand, his fingers caressing her bare ring finger.
"Your ring" he remarked, looking back at her, and she felt heat rise in her cheeks.
"I'm a widow" she said softly as she felt his hands tighten on hers, but he didn't say anything, his eyes reflecting an emptiness she'd never seen before. It was fathomless, and he looked truly lost for a moment.
"Caroline?" she heard Katherine's voice at her side, and pulled her hand out of his soft grasp. Backing away, she started shaking,
"I can't... Please excuse me" she said, and turned. Hurrying through the crush of people, she felt tears beating on the inside of her eyelids, and she prayed to keep her composure long enough to get out of the party. Rushing up the stair, she almost tripped, and regaining her balance, stopped. Taking a deep breath, she continued slower, until she reached the top. Turning on the top step, she couldn't help looking back down at the ballroom, her eyes quickly finding Katherine, but she was alone, he had already gone.