The Debutante Ball

Avery patiently waited her father outside her door as she mulled over the news he had delivered a few weeks prior to the Debutante Ball they would both be attending in honor of Princesses Erabelle and Cindy in 14th Century Medulla.

Leal Grayson made it just in time and complimented his daughter’s gorgeous peach-colored ball gown, holding out his arm for her to take as a gentleman should. He was also dressed to the nines and Avery pointed it out but he hastily dismissed her claims even as they opened a secure one way portal to the time period of their choice, arriving a short distance away from the Royal Palace of Medula.

Other guests in attendance were also arriving and after a rigorous security check, they were allowed into the Palace’s royal ball room and served with a glass of bubbly champagne and an accompanying snack. Leal and Avery’s training took over as they surveyed the room seeking out any threats and possible exits in case everything went south but luckily, the security was top notch and they were able to somewhat relax.

“How’s things going with mom?” Avery asked her father worriedly.

He sighed and shook his head, hanging his head low in shame. “I can’t seem to get through to her at all. I’ve tried everything but she won’t let me in.”

“She’s pretty hurt. I would be too, to be honest, but just give her time. By the way, is she coming to the Ball?”

Leal shook his head yet again. “I don’t know. We don’t talk anymore so I wouldn’t know,”

Avery nodded and reassuringly rubbed her father’s shoulders. “She’ll come around,”

More guests streamed in and the Ball Room was soon filled with guests all dressed to kill. Both Avery and Leal were happy to greet some of the esteemed guests who were in attendance including; Prince Alyan and his mate, Protector Thea of Wintria, Oracle Emica and her Protector Nobu, Oracle Zuri and her Protector Jaali (who were notably rocking African designs and stood out in a room filled with so many impeccably dressed men and women).

Skip, the Lake Guardian and his Protector, Maris (who gladly updated Avery and Leal on their progress in preparing for a war that had been predicted to be three years away), the Sidhe Empress, Alyona and her mate, Arken and several inhabitants of the Dyson Sphere were also in attendance.

The Ball’s opening ceremony began with music being played on the enchanted instruments so graciously gifted to Queen Anna by Zuri’s relatives. The spotlight soon illuminated Princess Erabelle across one corner of the room who danced towards the middle of the Ball Room and caused quite the stir with her immaculately brilliant white gown with floral accents and a brightly shining tiara upon her head.

Soon afterwards, Princess Erabelle was joined by her mate, the Royal Consort, Princess Cindy who was also impeccably dressed in a white gown with similar floral accents in a different color. Observing the two Princesses waltz about the room was like watching art come to life and all their guests were enthralled by their movements.

After their performance, there was a wild round of applause before the other royals beginning with Queen Anna and her mate, King Ember, came into the room and performed their own dance and soon afterwards, Prince Emre walked towards Avery, bowed respectfully before asking for her to dance. Avery turned towards to her father asking him if he minded and Leal responded by smiling sheepishly and nodding, non-verbally giving them his blessing.

They soon joined Emre’s parents and were then joined by the King and Queen’s other children, Princesses Penny and Elisabeth and the two noble chaperones who danced with them. King Ember’s sister, Princess Emilie and her mate, Lord Travis then followed suit who were then succeeded by their own daughter, Princess Penny Anna.

Once the royals had danced and had been applauded, noble men and women joined them succeeded by the other invited guests. Leal observed them all enviously and couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of loneliness in his heart he was sure he could never get rid of especially upon witnessing the love that was shared not only among those who shared a Protector’s bond with their charges, but even those like his own daughter who were so blissfully in love.

Leal noticed his daughter was walking towards him but she was soon interjected by Princesses Erabelle and Cindy.

“Avery, I don’t know how I can ever repay you for everything you’ve done for me… I could never forget that you were the one that gave me the courage to face myself and accept who I really was inside. If it wasn’t for you, I never would have found true love and happiness and for that, I shall forever be in your debt,” Erabelle gratefully stated.

“It was my pleasure, my princess, and I would do it all over again for you. That’s what sisters are for, right?”

Erabelle nodded and hugged Avery tightly. Cindy soon followed suit and also thanked Avery for everything she had done for them. As their interactions continued, Leal turned towards the servers carrying trays of champagne and grabbed hold of several glasses, downing them enthusiastically to try and distract himself from the pain stealing away his soul.

His heart began to beat faster and faster for some strange reason even as his vision began to blur after consuming so much alcohol, his senses suddenly came alive when from the entrance of the Ball Room emerged Aurora, dressed in a form-fitting ball gown in a rose-pink color.

Aurora searched about the room and gawked upon seeing her Protector, with a half-consumed glass of champagne in hand, staring sheepishly at her. She sighed before turning to look about the rest of the room, headed towards the center of the room where Erabelle, Cindy and Avery were standing while they conversed excitedly about the Ball.

“Mom? Wow, you look amazing. Did you see dad? He is here, probably looking for you,” Avery stated, noticing her first.

“I’ll… see your dad later but for now, Princesses Erabelle and Cindy, I apologize for arriving so late, I got held up with work but I couldn’t be happier for you two. I celebrate the great love you have for each other and pledge my undying support to you both,”

“It is an honor, Aurora. Thank you for gracing our special night with your presence. We both missed you so much and as my sister Avery put it, you look amazing,” Erabelle stated jovially. Aurora blushed but thanked the Princess for her kind words.

They chatted some more even as Leal slowly approached them and Aurora scattered, going around the room greeting other guests and socializing with them. Leal hopelessly observed her and kept a respectable distance but longed to be closer still.

However after what felt like forever, his charge finally completed her rounds of greeting other guests and she approached him gently tapping his right elbow and stating rather uneasily, “We need to talk, Leal.”

Leal placed his left hand on top of hers, grateful to touch her at all, his heart rate slowly but surely returning to normal. However, even as Aurora parted her lips to begin conversing with him, the room’s atmosphere suddenly took a change for the eerie as all the Seers present collectively entered a trance and began to chant in a strange, unidentified tongue…

Avery immediately sought Alyona and Arken’s guidance, asking them if they had any idea what was going on, particularly if they understood what the Seers were chanting.

“The Seers are all conversing in the Celestial Tongue, Avery and they are repeating the same thing over and over again…” Alyona explained.

“What are they saying?” Avery asked her, too terrified to know the answer.

“They’re saying he is coming,” Arken grimly stated.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Who is coming and shall our heroes be prepared for whoever he is? Stay tuned to find out!

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