He didn’t care much for these parties. Often, he found them tedious and a bore. Simply another way for their families to show off their wealth — something many of them had much of. The Fairchilds, Valentine thought to himself, were a lovely family. At least the generation that threw this party. He couldn’t say many good things about the one that attended the Academy and was a year below his.
No, Valentine had done far too much thinking when it came to Jocelyn Fairchild. She was insolent, pig-headed and he kept insisting to himself that he was bored with her. If he said it enough, he thought it may actually come true — but, so far, it had not. He found his mind wandering to the girl when his tired mind rested at the end of the night. He found himself scouring the hallways for the lovely copper colored hair she possessed. By the Angel, he found himself asking Lucian about the girl.
There was something truly and deeply wrong with him.
He felt sick about her! She was often insulting him and always had an angry glare or a beautiful, clever retort that slipped past those soft-looking rose colored lips. Valentine swallowed just thinking about them now.
Leaning against the doorframe, he took a sip of his drink — careful not to spill any against his half-mask. The mask itself, understated and sharp, portrayed a raven. He though of Hugin and Munin when he had bought it. It complimented his black suit. The shirt he wore underneath was not a wine color, but a crimson red that looked like dark blood under the soft lighting in the Fairchild manor. His long tie was an even darker red, matching his shirt and suit.
Turning, he felt his lips curl upwards in an unconscious, nearly soft expression. By Raziel, those were those auburn curls he dreamt about attached to a silly little girl he wanted to forget about. Silently, he watched her.
His fate was sealed.
He was damned and it was all Jocelyn Fairchild’s doing.
Jocelyn bounced down the stairs, a spring in her step. Her dark mask, deep crimson with glitter sprinkled on like fairy dust, slipped slightly and she forced it up with firm, steady hands. She felt many heads turn and many pairs of eyes settle on her and her blood stained lips curled upwards. And then suddenly she recognized shining white blonde hair, dark, icy eyes, and that long jaw that she ached to draw with a kind of muted need.
She spun away from him, her heels clacking sharply against the marble floor as she bunched up her skirts and pushed her way through the crowd. Her eyes set on the dining room and she flew towards it, her pace speeding up. Jocelyn wished to put as much distance between herself and Valentine Morgenstern as she could.
She pushed through the doors, Isaac, the head chef, giving her a friendly smile, and walked, her head held high. Her eyes roved around the room, her heart pounding, as she looked for the tiny card that said “Jocelyn Marie Fairchild”. She found it within minutes, slumping into the chair with a kind of undignified grace that her mother would have abhorred. As soon as her heart stopped beating painfully fast and her shaking nerves came to a slow halt, she realized that she was one of the first people to enter the banquet hall. The rest of them were still in the atrium, trickling in as it reached closer and closer to 7:30, the designated dinner time. She felt kind of stupid, but at least she had gotten rid of those black eyes staring at her, sending prickles of sensation down her bare back.