I seem to really enjoy using Taliana’s parties to take new characters out for a spin, and since the theme this time is unbirthday, it seemed appropriate to celebrate my newest people. Last time, we met the three Illias, and the youngest agreed to drag her brother out to the party with me. We’ll see if she regrets that decision by night’s end.
The house was no less opulent than before, but I had to admit, the winter theme suited my style. As much as I liked to bitch about being cold all the time thanks to Frost, I had always found winter to be breathtakingly beautiful. The chance to admire it without freezing to death excited me to no end. As did a night free of my serpents.
Well, that wasn’t quite right. The siblings accompanying me were serpent-kin as well, of Seth’s line even, but somewhere in the generations that would pass between them and him, things would change. Tiaro and Orait were the picture of poise and decorum as we rode up the long drive, silly hats notwithstanding.
It was cheap, but I couldn’t help it. They were literally night and day, and their costumes reflected as much, though with the sort of reversal you’d expect from an unbirthday. ks’Tiaro’s long, silvery blonde hair was twisted up with an elegantly carved crescent made of bone, the same filigree motif accenting her dress. Her brother’s dark complexion was set off stunningly by similar filigree done in gold, with a kidney hat done to mimic the sun. The pair of them would turn heads, no doubt about it. So long as the rest of the crowd wasn’t too overwhelming, at least.
As for myself, I’d not been roped into any silly dresses this time around. Simple hunting style leathers were good enough for me, though I had conceded to something done in a silvery suede. I looked more like ks’Tiaro’s guard than she as my plus one, but whatever. I was comfortable and happy, and that’s all I really cared about.
Plus, there was just something fun about going as a rabbit in hunting leathers.
I’d told the twins to just relax and have fun tonight, but it didn’t look like Orait was buying it. I knew the serpents kept touching each other out of familiar habit, but I could still read the uneasiness in their movements.
“C’mon, you two, lighten up. No one is going to have any clue who you are, let alone care.”
The serpents exchanged looks, and I had to resist the urge to kick them. “I’m I going to have to separate you two? No one is going to dance with you if you stay all curled up in each other all night.”
Orait sat up straighter, which I wouldn’t have thought was possible until he did it. “We will do our best not to embarrass you, reija.”
“Oh don’t even start with that! I’m nobody’s reija, I’m just an author.”
Another look passed between them, but this one was tinged with humor.
“If you say so, reija,” Tiaro said with a small smile.
I scowled and looked out the window, thrilled that we were almost at the door. At this point, I was ready to ditch the serpents and head straight for the punchbowl as soon as we got inside.
Taliana was easy enough to spot, though I’m sure she was keeping herself available on purpose. Still, it was nice to see a familiar face. I didn’t realize how naked I’d feel without my older characters at my back. Speaking of…
“Taliana, I’d like you meet ks’Tiaro and her brother, Orait. They’re relatives of the serpents who came with me last time.”
Both gave courtly bows, and I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. They were acting more like avians than serpents. But then again, given what I knew of their history…
Orait reached out to kiss Taliana’s hand, and I almost did do a spittake. Where on earth had he picked up that?
Black serpents are Seers, remember.
Tiaro’s voice in my brain made me shiver- it was weird enough having Kain do it, but for any old character to have telepathy just seemed too convenient.
Not convenient, a white serpent trait. Magic is magic.
Alright you, that’s enough of that. Talk to the other guests, not me.
I politely but firmly shut her out, turning my attention back to the party. A tall figure dressed in red stood out, though not the crimson of the masque’s phantom. This was more of a red-orange, and it set off his fox ears well.
I’m going hunting, I thought at Tiaro, letting my amusement show plainly in my aura. Come fine me if you need me, but please, try to have some fun. It might be the only chance you two get.
And you wonder why my grandson is so easily lead astray by “outtakes”.