Friday, February 24, 2012

Muse Calliope Week 92: First Dance, First Kiss - Trinity Shade Part VIII

Muse Calliope

Picture 1

Picture 2

Muse Calliope's Choice: Picture 1

AFirst Dance, First Kiss - Trinity Shade Part VIII

The masquerade, as it turns out, had a nature theme. Literally. Everyone's costume was intended to represent trees, flowers, or animals. A carpet of fluffy moss covered the front steps of the sprawling mansion and led up into the house where it gave way to thick, soft grass. Vines, branches, and blossoms crept up from the floor to cover walls and ceiling alike. It was downright creepy, but also kind of cool.

With every other guest in animal print or floral patterns, Trinity felt out of place dressed all in white.

Croix, apparently picking up on her distress, handed her her mask with a reassuring smile. "Don't fret, ma petite. You are beautiful and, avec ton masque, you are snow and ice. What can be more naturelle? Especially ici, at a ball of the Winter Court."

Still uncertain, Trinity slipped her mask over her face. Croix grinned and offered her his arm and together they made their way inside the Winter Regent's home.

The ballroom, obviously, was serving as the focal point of the masquerade. In a truly brilliant decor move, the ballroom had been made to look like a forest complete with gnarled and twisting tree trunks and miles of gauzy green fabric serving in place of actual foliage. There was even a fountain of champagne made to look like a bubbling brook and a swarm of brightly coloured butterflies fluttered idly about. It was surreal.

Aoife, pseudo-Queen, was on a dais at the far end of the room seated on a throne. She was flanked by her son, Fiachra, on her left and her lover, Gideon, on her right, both seated on simpler, smaller thrones of their own. Shockingly - unless you knew of her obsession - Aoife's costume was snake-based, complete with an actual albino python slung around her shoulders.

"Everyone here, ma chère, everyone is loyal to la dame des serpents, not ma reine, so be en garde. Trust no one."

"Where is this mask we're supposed to steal?" Trinity asked, her voice as quiet as possible.

Croix lead her onto the dance floor and pulled her close. When he bent his head to whisper in her ear, his deep voice sent unwelcome shivers down her spin. She didn't have either the time or the inclination for a fling, even briefly. She was there to steal a mask, fulfill a debt, and get the hell out of dodge before anything else went wrong.

Now if only her body would agree.

"C'est un des papillons."

Trinity glared. "Have I mentioned that I actually avoid France like the plague? There was a mishap during the Revolution and, well, let's just say I'm not a fan. Could you keep to English, please and thank you?"

Croix chuckled. "Comme tu veux. I said it is one of the butterflies."

Trinity froze so Croix lifted her up and settled her feet on top of his shoes for easier dancing. Or, rather, easier swaying in time to the music. "It is a - comment dites-vous? - defense mechanism. The mask, it has more than one form and Savannah, parce qu'elle est la reine, and because the mask is hers, she can … activate it at great distance."

"So why didn't she change it into something useful? Like a bird or something that could come to her."

"Le masque is not alive. It flutters about looking like a butterfly but sa tête est vide - its head is empty. It can't get itself to her anymore than a Furby could. C'est pourquoi nous sommes ici."

"Is there a plan?"

"Of course. Notre reine would never let us come here without a plan. Or five. Nous trouvons le papillon and we get out of here."

"Simple enough."

"Faites attention, ma petite," Croix warned. "Just because the plan is short to say does not mean it will be easy to do."

"Spoilsport. So how do we know which butterfly is the one we want?"

Suddenly, Croix spun Trinity around and around before dipping her deeply and kissing her - SMACK! - on her lips. "We find the butterfly that is not a butterfly. Mais, en premier je vais te donner un autre baiser, d'accord?"

And then he kissed her again. Right there on the dance floor for all the Fae to see.

Had her brain not short circuited at the first touch of his lips, Trinity would have pushed him away, slapped him, something, anything, to break free of him. She knew she would have. Was certain of that. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, Trinity's brain had apparently shut down and when, after a few seconds, it came back online. However, its brief shutdown had apparently confused what was going on and instead of trying to break free, Trinity moaned deep in her throat and returned the kiss. With interest.

She had no idea how long the kiss lasted - minutes? hours? years? - but when they finally flew apart, spinning away from each other as if repelled, her mouth felt bruised, her tongue felt tangled and her head felt dizzy.

Before Croix could speak, Trinity spun on her heel and darted away. She needed a moment - or ten - to herself. Just to think. Get her thoughts in order. Most importantly, try to remember why she couldn't afford a fling right now.

Three hundred fucking years old - she really should have known better that to jinx herself.

A/N: To be continued soon!