R E B E L L I O U S
(adj.) fighting against a government.
IT WAS LIKE a Hollywood awarding show; a long red carpet led into the palace while the paparazzi lined the sides. As different celebrities, monarchs, and leaders of different countries arrived, cameras would flash until it almost seemed like day time. The princess of Saudi Arabia arrived in a limo, sashaying down the carpet in her black dress. The Duke of Edinburgh also arrived, and so did the Prime Minister of Canada. The people stepping out into those camera views were not of the ordinary at all. And in their hands, were masks of different colors and style. When they reached the entrance and finished posing for the cameras, they slipped these masks on.
"A masquerade ball?" Bleu was intrigued. She looked down from the balcony as celebrities and renowned people stepped unto the carpet. "What kind of a ball is this exactly, Par? Why all these people?" She was stunned by the amount of detail on each of the dresses. It was obvious that so much money, time and effort were spent on those dresses. And most of them were only going to be worn tonight.
Paris shook her head from within the room as she too, took out two masks from within their boxes. "I have no idea, Bleu. I'm just trying to focus on the mission and get us back to normal." She handed a dark blue eye-mask to the blonde, and she put on her own white one. "Now let's go find that Count and get this over with." She held out a hand to Bleu. God, I hope my plan works and those three have worked something out.
The beautiful young woman in that midnight shimmery dress accepted her hand gently, carressing the top of her hand with a thumb. Underneath her mask, chrome blue eyes gleamed with determination and admiration for the brunette. She was amazed at how much Paris had changed. She used to be the shy, insecure girl she always protected and reassured. And now she's standing in front of her; tall, still beautiful and elegant, fighting for her loved ones and trying to save her country at such a young age.
The air buzzed with conversation and the soft music played by a small band of orchestra mingled with their words. Everyone was dressed well, in tuxedos and gowns. Some wore their masks, and others preferred to keep it off. When Paris and Bleu entered the room, a slight and brief hush fell over the crowd at the sight of the two mysterious figures at the top of the spiral staircase. As they descended, conversation ensued once again. Paris breathed a sigh of relief at that. She didn't like being the center of attention.
"I see Natasja." Bleu whispered in her ear and Paris nodded, turning her head in a subtle manner. The flaming red hair and the dress-clad curvaceous body was unmistakable. Beside her, Kael's vivid grey eyes were clear even through her mask. And at the corner of her eye, Bleu spotted a tall figure with perfectly styled white hair, without a doubt her dad. Which meant that her mom was also close by. She didn't turn to them or approach them in paranoia of some bad guy finding out they're connected to her. She wanted them as safe as possible.
Slowly, Paris and Bleu split and tried to look for their target mission.
"Where the fuck is that guy?" Bleu muttered under her breath after a few minutes of mingling and making small talk. All these celebrities talked about were their movies and upcoming projects that she had absolutely no interest in. The royalties weren't much better. Bleu was on the verge of giving up. Anyone of these powerful men could be Count Florence Ferrari.
"Gold mask, red tie," a voice she couldn't recognize said beside her. She looked and saw a tall figure dressed in a vest underneath a black tuxedo. He had a dark mass of curly hair and the build of a model-athlete. He fit the tux very well. His full-faced mask muffled his words some, but she heard him clearly.
As soon as he spoke, she spotted his description. Across the rather large room, a skinny man with curly hair stood, laughing at something his companion said. His gold mask and red tie may have been described plainly, but Bleu wouldn't doubt it if the mask was real gold and the tie made of the finest velvet. Everything about that skinny short man screamed expensive. That must be the man Paris' uncle wanted her to seduce.
"Who are you?" she turned to the mysterious stranger in the white mask.
"A friend," He replied. And before Bleu could ask him why he was helping her and how he knew, he whispered in her ear, "Don't trust him. He'll never set you or your family free until the princess is dead." Then he walked away and blended in the crowd.
Did he mean Ferrari or the uncle? Who was that? Bleu was confused as hell as to what just happened, but she was grateful for the small tip. She didn't know if she could trust him, but at least it narrowed down their search.
"Oi Ferrari!" As if on cue, a voice called out in greeting and the man in the golden mask turned to acknowledge him. Bingo.
With her target in view, she made her way across the room, grabbing a glass of champagne on her way. Her high heels made her legs look even longer and as she walked she could feel the stares of maybe half the men in the room. One tried to approach her, but she sidestepped him. Another waked up to her and offered his name but she waved him away like a fly. He walked away offended, but she could care less. Their mission couldn't fail. So she ignored them all and focused and walking across the ballroom floor to the man who was the key to their security.
She walked up to where Paris was and stood beside her, pretending to be admiring the painting. "I found him," she informed without facing her. Paris, in her turn, nodded ever so slightly as she took a sip from her glass of wine. Taking that as her cue, Bleu started walking towards the man and after a few seconds, Paris followed.
Within a few feet of Florence Ferrari, a large man stopped her gently. Obviously one of his bodyguards.
"Désolé, mademoiselle, il est occupé," his voice was low as to not arouse alarm. Apologies, miss, he's busy. Bleu was glad her french classes helped a bit.
"Ah, Bruno don't you ever stop such beautiful ladies from talking to me," the man named Florence Ferrari laughed good naturedly, his upper lip pushing his golden half-mask up higher his face. "I am never too 'busy'. And we're at a party for goodness' sake! Loosen up." He slapped his back and winked at the girls, most likely wondering how he could get laid. Bleu found it comical that a french man had the term "loosen up" in his english vocabulary.
"Oh, monsieur Ferrari, what a pleasure," Paris sounded like a breathless teenager gush over her idol. Without a doubt giving a boost to the french man's ego. He looked like he's had a few too many drinks and wasn't acting the dignified billionaire he usually carried himself to be. Right now he looked like any other horny drunk rich guy. Paris is an amazing actress.
"The pleasure is mine," He bowed to give Paris' hand a kiss, and then moved to do the same to Bleu's. "You are?"
Bleu blushed, batting her eyelashes. "Marissa," she smiled.
Paris wanted to get the man really interested, "And I am her lover, Lois." She intentionally lowered her voice at that, hoping they could get him away from his bodyguards.
He took off his mask, his eyebrow raised suggestively. "And what are such beautiful young ladies like you doing with each other? Such a waste! Why not be with a man?"
Bleu was getting impatient and annoyed. She hated that men like him thought they were always obliged to beautiful women because they're men. It hurt their precious little ego that it had to take a woman to be able to even pleasure a woman. It hurt them to know they're not enough anymore. Men like Ferrari are selfish idiots who only think about getting themselves off.
Paris smiled sweetly, gritting her teeth in annoyance at his french accent. "Oh, but we do! Why don't you come join us," she murmured suggestively, her hand moving to rest on Bleu's hips. "For a drink?"
A moment went by, both girls anxious for him to accept their "offer". What if he suspected?
Hoping for a miracle, Paris smiled at Florence and gently steered Bleu away. They crossed the thick drapes of the curtains leading from the ballroom unto the empty grand hall, shielding them from everyone inside except the Count. Keeping eye contact with the rather handsome man, Paris grasped Bleu's jaw in her fingertips and softly licked up the side of her throat. Bleu moaned softly and arched her neck, closing her eyes.
Ferrari's eyes burned and he gave a half smile before motioning for his bodyguard and whispering something in his ear. The burly man nodded and walked away, the other bodyguards following suit. Paris and Bleu almost sighed in relief. Ferrari then turned to the both of them standing in the hallway and drunkenly walked towards them. Both girls giggled as each one grasped his arms and guided him towards one of the guest rooms, where Paris knew her uncle had his men stationed at. All Ferrari knew was that he was about to sleep with two of the most beautiful young women he had ever seen in his life. But as soon as they made it past the mahogany door, dark figures grasped the Count and gagged him, muffling his cries. They tied him up and cuffed him, leaving him writhing and growling on the floor. It all happened so quickly neither girls noticed the dark figure seated in the room with them.
"Well done, princess," Uncle Dante slowly clapped from the corner of the moonlit room. "One thing off your list. the last and final step is to denounce the throne by signing an agreement," He smiled in a feral manner. "But before that, please accompany me back to the ballroom."
This is it.
Paris had no idea what she was doing at this point. All she knew was that she wanted her family safe. If it meant giving up the crown, fine. Her uncle will manage just fine. Even if the country ends up a shit-hole. She was just so tired of trying to be the person she wasn't. Her parents wanted her to live, but was living a lie her whole life what they call it? They wanted her to rule their country, but she knew almost nothing about it. It took her a whole year to learn just the language, and it wasn't even enough.
Bleu, on the other hand, couldn't stop thinking about what the mysterious stranger had told her. Is Paris' uncle truly going to keep his promise? Or is he going to kill us?
Dante's four guards walked with them, and the few steps that led into the ballroom were spent in silence. As soon as Dante walked in, he strode to the center and raised his hand to stop the music.
"Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please," he gave his megawatt smile and the people stopped their conversation to listen. "Tonight, I invited you all here to witness the rising of this small country. The betterment of its future and citizens. I invited you all here today because I wanted the world to witness the power that is about to be unleashed from the Grimaldis."
He stretched out an arm and a masked figure emerged from the crowd. Bleu's eyes widened when she realized it was the stranger that had given her the hint and warning. Where is he going? Who is he, really? There's something so familiar about him.
"May I have the honor to introduce to you," he gestured for the dark-haired stranger to remove his mask. "My son-" the mask came off.
Paris' eyes widened and she brought a hand up to cover her mouth. Bleu felt like the world was about to fall a part under her feet. She was about to get sick, trembling in shock.
"Dean Collins Grimaldi. The Crown Prince of Monaco."