This is the IC No OOC posts in this area please. T&S will start us off as he sees fit.
This is the IC No OOC posts in this area please. T&S will start us off as he sees fit.
The ballroom was filled with people. A waltz was playing in the background, to which several couples had begun to spin about in the middle of the floor. Most people remained around the edges of the room, chatting and laughing among themselves. Costumes of many forms, from gaudy and ostentatious to reserved and bland, filled every part of the grand ballroom. The masquerade was progressing rather nicely.
Mentally, Braden snorted in derision. Not a face could be seen in the massive crowd; each was covered with a mask of some sort. Rather fitting, Braden thought, since most of these people were faceless to begin with. A pair of peacocks strolled past, their conversation just loud enough for him to hear.
"Aren't they a cute couple, though?"
"Well, I can't deny that. But you know it's for the money."
"Oh? They seem like they go well together."
"That they may..."
The ladies were gone, taking their gossip with them. Braden scowled inwardly. It was comments like those that made enjoying these parties difficult. Everyone else seemed eager to tell him what he was thinking. Amazing, since half of this crowd barely knew what they were thinking themselves.
He kept a smile on under his mask, hiding his frustration and insults from the world, and walked on.
"Here. Your glass." Braden handed Harley the glass of cider in his right hand. He turned away from her as soon as she accepted it, keeping his eyes on the couples dancing on the ballroom floor. The waltz was in full swing, a dozen flamboyant dresses twirling around the center of the room.
Watching the colorful dance in front of her Harley wrapped her arms around her arms with a smile. Not a true smile though, this was a smile meant for the crowd to fool them into thinking that she was happy like one of them. Anyone whom really looked at her would know the truth, but these people were too wrapped within themselves to notice. Her eyes moved from matching sets of lovers, and betrothed with a longing deep withing them like a caged animal. Her mask may have saved her had she remembered to replace it after taking it off for dinner, for in that moment her facade slipped to show the pain within. That was when she heard the conversation from the passing women, and as if broken from a magic spell she quickly schooled her features to that of a smile the one meant for the public. Hearing their hateful words of ignorance, and spite made her want to cry, and she almost did.
"Here. Your glass." It was Braden's voice that saved her tears from falling. With little hesitation, and no eye contact Harley gently took the glass from Braden. Before she could speak her thanks to him he had turned from her again to watch the dance. In truth she liked it better when Braden ignored her at least then he wasn't telling her of her faults again. Looking to the glass Harley closed her eyes, and instead of drinking it she slipped her mask back upon her face. Peeking at Braden from the edge of her mask as she set her glass upon a table beside her she wondered if he was looking for Isabelle. Denying a gentleman whom asked for a dance as politely as she could she stepped away from the crowd slightly, and further away from Braden. Checking to be sure that no one was watching she leaned against the wall slouching a little closing her eyes again. "It'll be over soon just a few more hours."
"Thanks for the dance, don't call me, I'll call you." Isabella cooed as she waved off the person she had just ended a painfully miserable dance with. Her father had gave her a list of people to butter up with tonight, as it meant for business for him in the long run. Though the girl quite enjoyed the rush of these opportunities, she really just wanted to be more..well, down to earth. It wasn't very often that Isa got to just be a teenager, and she desperately dreamed of the moment where she could be old enough to get out the lifestyle she was now drowning in. What she wouldn't give to settle down in some small town somewhere. A couple kids, maybe even a farm to run. She shook her head, as her red curls bounced against her sullen cheeks.
Adjusting her black feathered mask upon her face, she caught sight Braden and Harley in the corner of her eye. A smile crawled across her dark painted lips. Pushing a few people aside as she made her way across the ballroom. "Excuse me!" she bluntly said to a few of the unfortunate souls who stepped in her path. Granted she was barely 5ft 2 in height, but her loud voice and feisty spirit made up for it.
Arriving in front of the two she grinned. "Harley! You look gorgeous." she exclaimed, leaning in and giving the girl a tight squeeze. The contents of Harley's cup splashing a bit onto the floor as Isabella released her grip and looked over at Braden. "You don't look too bad either, handsome." she smirked, stepping back a bit to examine the two in their fine attire.
Making sure nobody invaded his personal space, Ivan was standing near the corner of the room, away from most of the people. He never understood the point of coming to such events, giving these people didn't for the most part effect even his mother's career at all. He didn't feel like he honestly fit in too much with this crowd. He was more of a person to be out in public and act casual while strolling around, looking for inspiration. Though... Inspiration was here, too. Though he didn't go looking for conversation, those that spoke within earshot made him think. He watched their actions, how they treated each other. The expressions they made as they turned away, actually disgusted with the person they were just polite to only seconds ago. 'Hmm' He was thinking about the whole situation, tugging on his necklace. The cross didn't look right with this outfit, so he kept it inside his shirt rather than outside. He had to admit he disliked the mask, too. Though it looked cool, it made him feel a little itchy. Or was he just nervous about something? He wasn't sure.
"I wonder..." He suddenly reaches into his pocket, pulling out a small notepad, along with a pen. He observed those in conversation, noting their facial expressions in his writing. 'She greeted him politely, but as she turned her smile turned into a look of pure irritation as she bit the inside of her cheek and began walking away.' Perhaps it was more fitting for one of his father's murder mysteries. There was always a lot of hate between the characters in them. Maybe he'd show these small jolted down notes to him later on, of course, maybe the notepad wouldn't even get out of here. Who was to say, really?
Ivan's ears picked up a rather loud voice, his eyes scanning for where it came from. It seemed to come from a female. He noticed her finally, she had to be the one making her way through the groups of people. Pushing and seeming to have a presence compared to him. Nobody was going to question her, from what he could tell. "This place is full of differing personalities, it seems." He said to himself, smiling at his comment. He noticed he had been staring, quickly looking away and holding a fist up to his mouth, coughing awkwardly. He couldn't imagine what kind of trouble he could get into around here just for staring at somebody the wrong way. He didn't want to have any problems, so he made sure to try and avoid eye contact with everyone after that moment, figuring he'd be alright...
Isabella's arrival was a blessing for Braden. He set aside his opinion of the other party-goers to give her his attention. The only part of these parties that Braden enjoyed was the time he could spend with Isabella. Having to remain near Harley all the time, even if it did help the company, was infuriating. The girl was an irritation, unable to contribute anything more than her presence.
"Yet no one here can hold a candle to you, Isabella," Braden responded with a genuine smile. He lifted her hand by the fingers, bringing it to his lips. It was far from the greeting he wished to give, but unfortunately the public was watching. "Did you enjoy your waltz with the potato?" The young man she had just left was from a family in agriculture, and he had apparently thought it would be amusing to dress himself similar to their most abundant product. Though Braden's comment could just as easily refer to the man's coordination. "If you aren't busy, may I have the next dance?"
"Harley! You look gorgeous." Suddenly being scooped up into a tight embrace by Isabella. Harley visibly stiffened, but forced herself to give the appearance she was relaxed. In the sudden appearance of Isa Harley's glass upon the table had gotten jostled, but not knocked over. The splash was not enough to make a difference, but Harley had nothing else to focus on at the moment. She knew Isabella was acting friendly only to benefit Braden, and lead him away to be alone as usual. In truth Isabelle showing up was more a blessing than she knew. Still Harley would never tell her this. She barely spoke more than a few words to Isabelle the girl that was once her best friend. Grabbing a few napkins from the table Harley offered a smile to Isabelle, and cleaned the mess before anyone would slip. Knowing Harley's luck she would be the one to fall giving Braden a reason to criticize her again.
Harley had stopped listening to the conversation the minute Braden had begun to talk knowing it to be hidden lovers talk. Stepping a bit further away Harley now almost completely left Braden's side. Perhaps some air would make me feel better. Harley thought to herself as she looked out a large glass door leading to a balcony over looking a garden where even more guest littered the mazes, and soft grass. To her surprise the balcony was rather empty looking. Her eyes could almost show how she longed to be where her attention had landed. Still she would have to wait for Braden to lead off Isabella before she would be allowed to hide on the balcony for the remainder of the night. Looking back toward the couple she judged that it would only be a few more minutes before she was free to do as she wished.
A twinkle gleamed in the young woman's green eyes as her boyfriend pulled her hand to his lips and delivered a small kiss. He was charming when he wanted to be, and when he gave her his full attention she was truly putty in his hands. Being the jealous type was probably one of Isa's worst downfalls, as it caused her to have a bit of a crazy twang here and there. As Braden asked about her previous dance partner, a giggle escaped her lips, her hand running through her red locks as she shook her head, "I've had better vegetables in my day. Even the corn has a better ear for music." she teased, laughing at her terrible joke and leaning in a bit flirtatiously. Her eyes wandered to Harley with a devious smile, before pulling back, into an upright position.
"I'd love to dance with you!" she exclaimed loudly and cheerfully to Braden, before lowering her voice into a sarcastic tone, "That is, if Harley won't mind." her eyes darted back to her at her once best friend, her lip pouting ever so slightly as if she had to beg to spend time with her own boyfriend. This frustrated and infuriated her, but she wanted to maintain her composure. The Italian in her knew she could go from a peaceful butterfly to a velociraptor in a matter of seconds.
She bit in her lip as she took them from the pouting position. Who was she to come between the business deal the families had? No one really, a side piece to the puzzle if anything. Isabella's shoulder's slumped as she really got a good look at Charlotte. What had mad their friendship disintegrate as fast as it did? She remembered vividly of the two being the best of friends, practically sisters not that long ago. This angered Isabella more than any jealous spout she could produce. Friendship meant everything to her, and she hated when things came between it. Unfortunately that was how things were at the moment, and she would have to deal with it until another time.
"I'm sorry." Isabella grumbled turning, a part being for the drink she had spilled but mostly for the situation the three of them were slowly sinking into. "Whatever, I'll be out on the floor." she stated, walking away and into the mass of masked people.
'Well, I seemed to have not been noticed at least.' Ivan thought to himself, though he noticed that there was an odd stand-alone group or two more near him now. He wasn't comfortable with this, and began slowly progressing around the room and staying close to the wall, avoiding most contact. As he was going to pass by a set of doors, he noticed a couple coming his way. He simply kept silent, opening the door and allowing them an easy exit. He instantly was on the move again, not hearing the thank you they had politely given him. As he figured, this place was starting to get more crowded. "Dang it." He grumbled, before his phone vibrated in his pocket. His eyes quickly shot around, looking for a place to speak. It was then he noticed something he thought wasn't very smart; a glass door. It would take him out to the balcony, but he imagined having doors made of glass could be very troublesome depending on the situation. What'd it matter to them, though? They could easily get new ones...
As he made his exit onto the balcony, he pulled his phone out of his pocket and answered it, not even looking at the number. "Hello?" He was curious about who'd be calling him, he expected it to be his parents, though he couldn't have been more wrong as a familiar male voice began speak. "Dude, where are you?"
Instantly, Ivan sighed. He should've figured of all people it'd be one of his few friends, a rather adventurous boy, he was. "Shaun, you know about these events my mother makes me go to. I've told you multiple times..." He shook his head, before adding; "What do you need?"
"I was just wonderin' if you wanted to come over or somethin'! The trailer's kinda empty t'night, ma is out at the bar again." Shaun admitted, his tone sounding more worried near the end. Ivan couldn't help but smile, they were the same age, and had been friends for the last few years. "Sorry, Shaun. I'm not going to be able to get out of here early enough to get over to your place. You know what happened last time I walked the streets in the dark." Ivan cringed, remembering the night he got mugged. He never did sneak out of the house after that, for the better, if he could state his opinion.
"Oh, well... That's cool. Don't worry about me, man. I'll call Lucy up, or somethin'. Enjoy yourself." Shaun replied, before the two said farewell to each other, and both hung up their respective phones. Ivan put his phone away, taking in the fresh air and looking down at the lovely view. He certainly had no problem with staying here for awhile, especially since nobody else seemed to be around. "Heheh. Gotta remember to make it up to him." Ivan said to himself, continuing to stare blankly off the balcony.
Braden turned on Harley as Isabella walked off. "Can't you even be nicer for your friend?!" he hissed, careful to keep his voice down so only she would hear. He didn't want to wait for a response; he hurried after Isabella, catching her just as the next song began. It was a slow, gentle song, inviting couples to move closer together. Braden wrapped his arm around Isabella, resting his right hand on her lower back. His left hand gathered her right into it, gripping it gently yet firmly as her left hand settled on his shoulder. The music floated through the room, the dancers beginning to move with it.
"You know I hate this stunt as much as you do," he whispered into her ear as they began. He raised their joined hands and pressed on her back, prompting her under his arm and out into a twirl. When he pulled her back in, he caught her and held her closer than they had been before. "But I am sorry. We really don't have enough time together anymore." He spun her again, twice around in time with the music, before pulling her back to him. "How about we go somewhere next weekend? Anywhere you want." He blew gently along with his words, letting the air rush over her ear.