Eugene walked with the group, entering Wilde Hall. The chilly, night air was replaced with a warm interior. The dark sky, with bright lights. He took the time to admire the corridor they were at, observing each of the portraits hung up across its pristine walls. Generations upon generations of the Wilde family staring down at their guests for the night.
“Captain Khaki, isn’t it? Do you often attend these functions?” Mrs. Copper said distracting Eugene’s admiration for the paintings. He took note that she did not address their new companion by his proper title.
“I’m afraid it is Corporal Khaki, ma,am. I…” Corporal Khaki seemed caught off guard and quickly corrected himself and her for that matter by reminding her of his position. However it seemed as though he was about to say something else before switching topics. “I confess that this is not entirely ‘my scene’, so to speak. The three of you seem far more at home”
“I speak for myself but while I do enjoy a good party, something as…” Eugene pursed his lips and snapped his fingers as he thought about what word to use. “Something as grand and formal as this event is definitely new to me” Eugene’s throat felt dry and he realized that between his last drink and everything that happened, he was quite thirsty. “I’m actually quite parched. Shall we hurry along? After all what better way to meet and mingle with new friends than over food and drink.” He said with a smile.
“I feel you have read my thoughts, Genie. Yes, let’s have that drink!” Mrs. Copper replied with enthusiasm before marching onwards.
After the rather awkward exchange and Mrs. Copper’s apology, an exaggerated laugh filled the air followed by a clap on one’s shoulder. “Whatever the case, you’re in better company now, my friend!” Mr Violet said to their new companion, causing the corporal to flinch slightly. After giving him a couple more pats, their loud friend led the way forward before their walk to the party was interrupted by the last painting.
A grand portrait of the host herself, Avery Wilde. Something about the way she was painted was captivating but also powerful. An aura of power shone in her eyes that seemed to put all the previous heads to shame. How intriguing. Eugene thought to himself. If I manage to get her in a one on one interview I’d be able to get some juicy information. I can’t blow my cover though so I need to pick and choose my words carefully.
Mr Violet spoke first, though the tone of his voice was a lot less jovial than usual. “Our host for the evening looks like quite the woman.”
Eugene turned towards Mr Violet and smiled. “Certainly does and we’d best not keep her waiting.”
“I doubt anyone keeps her waiting,” Came Mrs. Copper’s reply.
Following the group, the hallway they were in opened up into a massive room. Music filled the air, seemingly from all around them and upon closer inspection, the source was a large group of musicians standing underneath the tall windows of their venue. “Well, the party has certainly started.” Eugene commented as he took note of the men and women dancing along to the jazzy tune.
One particular area caught the journalist’s attention the most. It a huge staircase to their right, going up and beyond into the dark expanse of Wilde Manor. It was probably where their host would make her grand entrance. He needed to find a way up there but using that specific staircase would be too obvious. Perhaps he could sneak away in one of the later hours and wander the hallways in search of a way up. For now though, it was time to mingle and blend in.
“Now this I could get used to!” Said Mr. Violet, the enthusiasm in his voice returning.
Looking over at his companions excitement, Eugene laughed. “You and I both, my friend. Now where can a man get himself a drink?”
With perfect timing, a maid appeared out of nowhere presenting Eugene and his group some champagne. It was either perfectly planned or simply a coincidence. Probably the latter. Before he could even respond, Mr. Violet eagerly picked up a flute and started to take a sip. Not wanting to seem too rude, Eugen followed. Only this time he didn’t drink right away, he swirled the alcoholic drink around and took in its aroma, trying to find any sort of inconsistencies. But he couldn’t figure anything out except for the fact that it was of the highest quality.
Looking back up at the maid, the journalist noticed something off. She was fidgety, frequently glancing to the side as if afraid of something. Eugene followed her gaze and his eyes locked on a man. If the people around them was like the sea, that man was an island. The guest flowed around him as if he wasn’t there, as if he was invisible. That wasn’t all, a strange fear gripped his heart. Somewhere deep with Eugene’s consciousness he was praying that this man wouldn’t turn and pay him attention. Something about this guest was dark. Darker than his hair and suit and Eugene hoped he would not be the one to find out what happened when darkness takes notice.
He quickly shifted his eyes and took a sip to quench his thirst. As the champagne flowed down his throat he let out a satisfied sigh so as to seem perfectly fine. A sent a quick glance to each of his companions, lingering on Mrs. Copper’s just a split second longer before saying. “Exquisite drink, don’t you all think so?”
“Quite exquisite,” Mrs. Copper replied, agreeing to his statement before giving out a friendly word of advice. “Though one must pace oneself.”