“You said you’d never mention that again.” she laughed, poking him in the ribs. She wasn’t offended and it gave her a kick to see him so happy.
He threw back his head and shouted for everyone to hear.
“I LOVE THIS WOMAN!”
She grinned and hugged him. “And I love you…so very much.” So saying, he released her from his hold and held out an arm to her.
Shall we, my darling wife?”
“I believe we shall, my loving husband.” she grinned, linking her arm through his. She unlocked the door and opened it to see a red-faced Caroline standing there. She grinned. “Sorry about that, Caroline. It was something that needed to be done.” She winked at the woman as her husband led her away down the stairs and back to the ball.
Dominique had been keeping an eye out for her parents when she saw them return from wherever they’d gone. She took in the carefree smile on her father’s face and the silly grin on her mother’s and knew that things were okay again. She had been nervous that this “issue” would have caused irrepairable harm to their relationship, but now she saw that her worries were groundless. She could feel the love pouring back and forth between them and she smiled. Excusing herself from her current dance partner, she made her way to their side.
“Mother, Father.” she smiled.
“Oh darling, we have the best news!” Elvira grinned, hugging her child.
“Tell me!” Dominique exclaimed, nearly bouncing on her heels. Elvira looked at Virgo before looking at her daughter.
“Your father confirmed it…I’m pregnant!” Elvira grinned just as Damion reached their side. Both their eyes widened in shock and surprise.
“Oh my! Mother! That’s fantastic!” Dominique laughed, tears springing to her eyes as she pulled her mother into a hug.
“I’m happy for you, Mum.” Damion smiled, nervous about his Father and their heated argument earlier. He turned to look at the man who sired him. “Father…I apologize for my words from before. I did not mean to question your honor and integrity. I’d forgotten that you are not just my father, but you are our Alpha and to question your integrity is to question your ability to lead and for that I am deeply sorry. Can you forgive me?” Damion was completely sincere in his apology and he only hoped his father could forgive him. He was the man Damion hoped to be some day and he never meant to question his leadership of their pack.
The children’s reaction to the news that their mother was pregnant, was one of jubilation and shock. Virgo stood in behind his wife, not at her side. He preferred it, cause it meant he could draw her near to him, if he wished to, plus his dominant streak shined through. Dominique enveloped her mother in a hug, and was teary eyed, crying from happiness.
Damion on the other hand owed his old man an apology, which he was nervous about, after his father stormed off from the bar, before finding Elvira. He was delighted for his mother’s news, but then explained how it was wrong to question the Alpha, or insinuate that Virgo would chase other women, or allow them close. Virgo appeared to change somewhat, so maybe the kids teasing did work on him to curb his ill placed sayings.
“You are young, Son and may have judged me as you would others you have seen. I stand by what I said before. Without the bond between us, we cease to be. Your mother is oxygen. She is the reason I rise each day, and lay with her at night at night. So my dreams are filled with the “ Virgo placed a hand on his son’s shoulder and said. “Family shouldn’t hold a grudge for words said in the heat of the moment. I forgive you, Son.”
He released his father after a brief moment and kissed his mother on the cheek before heading back to the bar and Sam. He pretty much hadn’t left the man’s side all night and found him intriguing. Several single women and a few of the married ones had tried to pull Damion out to dance but he rebuffed them all, finding Sam much better company.
A young man approached Dominique and claimed her for another dance. She accepted with a smile after hugging her father in congratulations. The elder Marulos watched their children for a moment before Elvira turned to her husband.
“I believe you owe me a dance, sir.” she grinned.
Damion sat down with a sigh of relief and took up his drink, downing it in one go. He looked at Sam.
“Sorry about that. Family issues.” he stated.
“Wait, did you say Bianchi? I wondered why that was familiar. A dear friend of mine in London. Johnathon. A doctor,whom I will never forget, beat me soundly in a game of cards. I swear his luck was off the charts. I wonder if you are related to him. A fine man and one I have not seen in ages.” Rupert spoke so highly of Johnathon, it would come as an absolute shock to the system.
Madeline started to laugh. “Oh Rupert, remember the stories Johanthon used to tell about that horrid Mrs Peabody. Always at his door, day and night ,wanting to be…cured.” Rupert actually found the tale humorous and he himself started to laugh.“How he was able to use his right hand again after that, I will never know.” Both the Dangerfileds had to compose themselves, as Madeline again took in what Genny was saying.
“That is such a lovely name…French, is it not? It seems so fitting for such a beautiful woman.” To this Madeline would blush fiercely. “Was my grandmother’s name, a family trait among women. Some days, I wish the boys shared a fair cop of how they give out babies names. Course the name Rupert…reminds me of a cuddly bear”.
Genevieve’s face lit up at the mention of her father, affection sparkling in her eyes as she nodded eagerly “Yes, the one and only.” Her eyes glanced between Rupert and Madeline, her posture seeming more relaxed as they spoke of her father fondly. When Maddy mentioned Mrs. Peabody, she lifted a hand to cover her face with a laugh as if she were embarrassed for her father “Ah yes, such a horrid woman. My father had quite the reputation for pleasing the ladies with his rather unorthodox procedures.” Genny was careful to speak in the past tense as she was unsure of whether or not the pair before her were supernatural. If she were to slip that her father was still around, that would be a messy pickle to eat. The angel was very glad that Rupert and Maddy were not fawning over her as she revealed her name. The Bianchi name had passed so many lips reverently and with so much praise, it was as if they were royalty. These two did not seem phased in the slightest, and it was rather humbling.
Hearing Rupert laugh, Genny found herself blushing despite how unaffected she wished to appear around the rich man. She hated to be found flirty and simple just because he had a lot of money and was very handsome. Genny herself was well off and was trying to live a normal life. A single rich bachelor would surely throw a wrench into her simple life. Soon her dark eyes flicked away from Rupert to pause on Madeline. Yes, she thought to herself, focus on the charming sister. Seeing her blush as well, she only smiled more “It really is a lovely name.” Biting her lip to keep from laughing, she turned to look at Rupert again. Sure she wouldn’t laugh, she then murmured with a sly grin “Is that not fitting for the charming Mr. Dangerfield?”
Rupert found Genny’s laugher to be endearing, and he showed a gentle smile as she recanted how horrid Mrs Peabody was when it came to her father, Johnathon. Sensing that Genny may be questioning whether or not Madeline and Rupert were immortals, Rupert stepped close enough so that he may whisper in Genny’s ear.
“Nothing is what it seems. Many here may try to impress you with tales of old, but those that do not shout it, are the ones you should listen too.” He drew back and then a rose appeared in his hand. Long stemmed with the perfect rose bud of vibrant crimson. It’s scent was enchanting, intoxicating. He offered it to her with a smile, while Maddy caught sight of what he did and then edged in saying. “You promised not to do that in public. What if someone sees.”
Rupert shrugged, and then winked at Genny saying. “They probably think I am an entertainer…a magician.”
He had a point. Would Genny take the offered rose?
Arriving through the front gates of the Dangerfield estate, was a dark custom built limo, that was usually allocated to Presidents and royalty. But who was the mystery passenger in the back seat? The windows were tinted, so although the occupants could see out, no one could see in.
Many at the party were well and truly on their way to being either to drunk to stand, or too stoned to recognize this late arrival to the swanky affair. This was how Lord Roxburg liked it. A fueled up party with the fireworks about to go off. He always timed his entrance just right, and he nodded to the driver for arriving at the exact moment he had hoped.
The car did the last bend and rolled up almost silently to the foyer steps, were busboys were having a smoke and talking to some of the dancers. The driver, a well dressed man in a suit and cap, stepped out and marched around the car, to open the door for its important passenger. A collective gasp from the crowd outside, rose to a cheer, as Lord Bartholomew Roxburg and his date alighted from the vehicle. Waving at the crowd, with flash bulbs from photographers illuminating his face, he was still the same old Bart, just in a really expensive suit.
“Me public.” he joked, offering his arm to his date, and walking her up the stairs, were he hoped to meet some of New York’s finest….and maybe even someone from his past.
As the car rolled up the driveway, the woman accompanying Bart couldn’t help but smile. They had arrived late, yes, but neither she nor Bart would want it any other way. Now, they would likely have all of the attention. Soon, the car had stopped and the driver opened the door. As they climbed out of the car, cameras flashed and people cheered upon seeing Bart. With a small grin, Isabella took the arm offered to her by Bart. Her fingers curled around his arm and she gave a playful squeeze as they began their ascent.
“Hm, you’d think they were seeing royalty, the way these people acted.” Her eyes flicked up to Bart’s face, and she smiled coyly at him. “Then again, I suppose that may as well be true, given your status.” Glancing back at the cameras, Isabella grinned and then leaned up, kissing Bart’s cheek as the cameras flashed. If there was one thing she loved to do, it was to tease the press. Looking forward again, she smiled to herself, knowing that tonight would definitely be an interesting night. They would be seeing many people at this ball – both new… and old.
Elvira was really hoping to see Bart at the ball this evening. She had followed his exploits and business dealings over the years and she was very proud of what he’d done with their father’s businesses.
When White Star Lines filed for bankruptcy after the 1912 Titanic disaster, Roxburg Cruise Lines emerged as the premier luxury cruise liner company ever known. Building better, safer ships, Bart was known as the Cruise King, a role he came to relish, if any of the news reports she’d seen in the paper were speaking truth.
There was a commotion at the entry way and she paused her dance with Virgo to turn toward the door.
“Barty!” she murmured, seeing her brother enter the room with Isabella, of all people, on his arm, cameras flashing behind him as paparazzi tried to gatecrash the event.
Would he be pleased to see his sister? Or would he ignore her as he had in the past?
Bart was signing autographs, when he heard the all too familiar sound of his sister’s voice. Sure enough as the crowd parted, there she was, dancing with the Count she had been with for god knows how long now. He gave her a wave, then handed over the pen and autograph to some flapper, before patting Isabella’s arm and leading her over to greet his sister, Elvira.
“Ello Elly. Long time no see. What’s it been, fifty years, and you haven’t aged a bit.”He then noticed Virgo, who was looking a bit roughed up. No doubt they had already marked their territory here too. They were known for it. He showed a generous smiled and shook Virgo’s hand with a fair bit of strength in his grip.
“Good to see you, Count. Keeping my sister busy I see.” Bart joked, before remembering his companion.
“Oh, how rude of me. Sissy, Virgo, this is my fiance’ Isabella. Came to live with me back in the day, when you lot all pissed off and left me the family fortune.” He grinned, and said. “Planning a wedding here in spring.” Bart added, before pulling Isabella close and kissing her cheek. “Isn’t she something?’