[Collab with the GM.]
Salvatore woke up to the sounds of laughter erupting from downstairs. After working long hours the night before, he was exhausted. Struggling to get out of bed, he looked at himself in the mirror. “Dratts!”
He exclaimed, picking up his pocket watch to look at the time. Their party was starting soon and he was nowhere near presentable. “Damned If I had known he was bringing girls home I wouldn’t be so out of it.”
Mumbling and cursing under his breath as he got ready for the soirée.
The night before, Salvatore drank almost two bottles of brandy mixed with blood. More than his usual intake. After all, someone of his stature had to indulge in the pleasures of the gambling and prostitution lifestyle. His and Lochlainn’s business had been growing these last few months. Businessmen, aristocrats, and investors were flocking nightly to gain some sort of business deal with two of the wealthiest men in London.
Hearing the sounds of glasses clinking while voices from the lower room got louder and made their way to his room. Salvatore, an Italian nobleman who stood at 5.7. He had a statuesque jawline that appeared to be chiseled by the Nordic gods. His hypnotic gray eyes could make any female faint without saying a word. His beard was neatly groomed almost to that of a five o’clock shadow and had dark wavy neck length locks that he kept pulled back into a ponytail. Tonight he decided to wear a pair of black suit with a tail coat. “Here’s to hoping this night doesn’t have anything unexpected. I rather sleep than entertain.”
He said as he grabbed his violin case and cane sword. The cane sword was custom made. A gift from his mother when she gave him the title Duke of Kent.
Outside the started to get cold, rain was coming. Salvatore descended the stairs as his eyes fell on to his vampire sibling, Lochlainn. “I see you’re ready to entertain brother. Ladies.”
Acknowledging the guests his brother has brought home. “Breakfast or desert?”
His eyes wandering over them hungrily. “Guests should be arriving soon. No matter, I need to speak to you alone. In private.”
Salvatore pulled Lochlainn to the side. "Something is in the air tonight. I can feel it. But I don’t know what. We must be on our guard for the unexpected.”
Salvatore did a once over throughout the house making sure everything was clean and set up to their desires. Time passed and guests soon started to arrive by horse drawn carriages to their city home in Mayfair. One by one members of high society came in, all of whom were personally invited by Salvatore and Lochlainn. “Oh look Earl Harrington is here. That will make for some interesting conversation. Is that Diedre Monaghan, I heard scandals about him and her being his mistress. He wasn’t on the guest list, unless you invited him?”
He said to Lochlainn as they watched everyone walk in. “Well, in that case, it would be rude of us to kick him out. This might work in our favor after all. Miss Monaghan is looking for a new employer from what the other girls gossip about.”
Salvatore was curious as to why such a couple would show up without an invite. Supposedly, word got out. It wasn’t a big deal. In fact, he had heard so much about Earl Harrington but never actually met him.
Out of the corner of his eye he spotted Lady Ashton, fiancé to Lord Delacroix. Things were going to get interesting throughout the evening. Once everyone was settling in, coats were hung and drinks were being poured, the festivities were underway. For the early part of the party, Salvatore played his violin. The music was beautiful and eerie. As he played, the hairs on his arm stood up, creating chills amongst his audience. Yet, he had no idea what his music had done until the door swung open.
Another weekend, another droll party. If it didn't mean another night on her back, Dierdre would have rescinded. Then again, she was already wondering if it would be better to let Earl Archibald Cassius Harrington ride her like a prized stallion and let him pretend his prowess in bed was worth what he paid. At least then, she wouldn't have to do much, and could spend the rest of the evening with a good book.
But such social gatherings were a requirement for a man of his standing, and she as his escort - she insisted on that terminology - was akin to a prize gem to be shown off. Her lavender gown was perfectly cut to her body, with black lace trim and strings of pearls to properly accent both the gown and her admittedly boldly cut bosom. She carried a matching fan in her lace-gloved hands. Dierdre sometimes went a little heavy on the powder, but she chose a subtle lip stain to assimilate herself into the upper class. Her dark brown hair was pulled into an updo, with two ringlets strategically hanging on either side of her neck to better frame her face.
Earl Harrington had spotted the hosts. Dierdre simply smiled and played her part, but found herself drowning out talk of business as she noticed Lord Delacroix and his fiance, Lady Ashton. A subtle smirk crossed her face. Dierdre quickly held up her fan.I bet I'll still see him after the wedding,
She saw Lady Ashton turn in her direction. Dierdre quickly pulled up her fan and pretended to be interested as Earl Harrington spoke with Lochlainn."...while it pains me,"
she caught Harrington say as she zoned back in, "that I simply haven't the time to run it anymore..."
Dierdre did her best to look pretty and interested. Truth be told, she wanted some champagne, and looked away to hopefully spot a servant with a tray to imbibe from. She could probably get herself halfway drunk and still carry on any necessary conversation if needed. Her pursuit of a servant seemed to garner other attention. It took a moment for her to realize Lady Ashton was storming up in her direction. The young woman pulled up a bright, yet seething smile as she listened for a natural point in the conversation to pull herself in."Pardon me, Duke Lochlainn,"
she said, with a subtle curtsey to show him proper respect, "but I thought this was a party of good taste."
She gave a poised, knowing look to Dierdre."It seems a bit of refuse somehow blew in from the streets."
Dierdre kept up her fake, graceful smile as she turned to Lady Ashton."How would you know, having never set one pampered foot into them?""I know well enough when something doesn't belong,"
Lady Ashton snapped back, "and a lady of your…station has no business showing her face here.""Of my 'station'?"
Dierdre asked, coyly.
Earl Harrington quickly tried to diffuse it."Lady Ashton,"
he said, "Lady Monaghan has earned her place to--""Earned?"
Lady Ashton snapped. "Earned? By lying on her back and offering herself to you? You call that earned?"
Dierdre never lost her smile. She hooked her arm around Earl Harrington's and gently patted his hand."I offer the Earl good company and grace on the harpsichord,"
she said pointedly, "as opposed to simply preening in front of a mirror."
Dierdre shot a quick glance to Lord Delacroix."I've heard it told your fiance also has an ear for music,"
she said. Her smile kept its sweetness. Her eyes, however, narrowed in for the kill. "What can you offer him in that regard?"
Salvatore looked over at the two females, his gaze falling on Miss Monaghan more than Lady Ashton. Lady Ashton spoke to the female in a hushed tone. “He does. Tonight we’re here for the glorious summer party our hosts have yet to grace us.”
As she was about to say something snarky Lord Delacroix chimed in.“Darling, I want you to meet some of my business associates.
The reason why he pulled her away was that he didn’t want her stirring trouble. They had managed to fix things when she found out about his scandal with Direfre, but she didn’t trust her one bit. “My love, a low-life like her shouldn’t be here. You know how the Dukes prize their acquaintances on purity.”
Lord Delacroix cut her off and looked at her and stopped her in her tracks. “Now, I can either spend the time by myself and send you home, or you can be respectful and be civil. You don’t want trouble in the headlines tomorrow do you dear?”
Lady Ashton shook her head and nodded as she hooked her arm with his. She hated being put in place in such social situations. “Let’s enjoy tonight.”
Dierdre pulled up her fan again, as well as her most innocent demeanor."My harpsichord always awaits a listening ear."
Her smile became more genuine as she noticed the pink tint in Lord Delacroix's ears as he quickly pulled his fiance away.