The ballroom was crowded with guests dressed in eighteenth-century garb. Women in lavish jewelry and magnificent gowns, men in long-tailed jackets of various colors paired with matching pants and ruffled white shirts.
Cassie walked through the maze of people who were laughing and talking boisterously. As she passed, all turned and bowed. "My lady," they said. She nodded and proceeded.
She came to a mirror and looked at her reflection. She wore the same dark blue satin dress with black lace over a billowing skirt that she had worn to the party with Kelly--but now there were diamonds around her neck and diamond earbobs in her lobes. She looked every bit the high aristocratic lady.
A hand touched her shoulder; it was Dimitri, but his reflection wasn't showing in the mirror. She spun to face him, her heart pounding.
"Dance, my lady?" he whispered. He cocked his head, his gaze traveling over her. "You look beautiful."
"Thank you," she replied breathlessly, forcing her fear to recede. He swung her into his arms as the music began and she was soon caught up in the swirl of the dancers. He waltzed her around the dance floor, his steps quick and sure. She focused on him, only him.
She was certain he was the most handsome man there. His black hair hung long and straight to his shoulders, his black coat and pants fit snugly over his sinewy form. His dark gaze was sensual as it swept over her face. Was that longing in his eyes? Surely, there was in hers. She knew she
wanted to share eternity with this man.
"As you wish," he said.
His lips parted. Fangs descended. She gasped and tried to scramble away, but his arm was locked around her waist. She looked around wildly for help, but everyone continued to dance, oblivious to them as they danced faster and faster, until everyone was a twirling blur. She attempted to call out, but her voice was trapped in her throat.
She watched him lower his head to her neck and felt him kiss its base, the touch scorching her skin. Then there was a brief moment of pain as his fangs pierced her flesh. Visions of blood, so much blood, filled her as he drank. Distantly she heard pleas for mercy, cries of distress.
Cassie felt herself falling into darkness...and screamed...