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Cloaked Beauty

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Chapter Two

~Celeste~

"Celeste dear, Scarlett is here," my mother called from below.

"Coming!" I called back, scrutinizing my reflection in the mirror. I tilted my head to the side. My lips were a perfect shade of red, and I added another coat just to make sure. I stuffed my hair into a ponytail, and then tucked it under my hood. Lastly, I added the sunglasses over my eyes. Smiling, I turned away from the mirror. Yes, I was good to go.

Tonight was mother's annual party, you could say. This was where the best of the best in our society were invited each year. They came to mingle, enjoy themselves, eat our free food, brag, and try to raise their social status. You know, the usual rich type of people party.

The house was already quite full as I made my way down the stairs. Scarlett was standing in the doorway of the house, and a smile lit up on her face when she saw me. I rushed over to her, parting the crowd, and grabbed her arm.

"Come on, let's go get a drink, then get one of those tables in the private room. I hate being snuggled so close to these many old people."

The private room usually consisted of teens, those who wanted to get away from the party, but not before getting a couple of drinks.

Dragging Scarlett into the dining room, I grabbed two glasses of champagne and handed one to Scarlett. Here in our town, we were allowed to drink, even though both of us were only eighteen. Underage drinking was below the age of ten, which, if I say so myself, was pretty young. I didn't really find the law appropriate, but I wasn't about to argue about that or change it. Not that I could change it anyway. You had to be part of the royal family since it was a monarchy...

We entered the private room and I took a sip from my glass. Someone at one of the tables saw Scarlett and I and waved us over. I smiled as I saw who it was and took the seat closest to them.

"Hey, Jericho," I drawled. He frowned instantly.

"I told you not to call me that," he responded. I laughed.

"But it's your name, Jericho." It was his name. He just didn't like it. I did. It sounded so cool but it bugged him for some reason.

"Celeste, I told you to call me Jere." Sighing, I shook my head.

"Fine, Jere. But there's nothing fun or cool about that." He shrugged and smiled at me.

"Celeste," someone said from across the table.

I turned my attention away from Jere and looked across the table. It was Talia. She was another one of my friends. She had a small face and cropped blond hair. She wasn't exactly cute but she was really pretty.

"Hey Talia, what's up?"

"You got invited to the prince's ball?" I nodded. Jericho's smiled disappeared.

"You... did?" he asked warily. It was my turn to frown.

"Yeah, so did Scarlett. Something wrong with that? Do you think I'm not good enough to be invited to the prince's ball?" I started to grow irritated. Did he not think I was good enough to get into the ball, just because I wasn't like that other girls?

"That's not it," he responded angrily. "You're too good for the prince." My sudden anger floated away from me.

"Did you say I was too good for the prince Jerich- Jere? Do you really mean that? That's the only reason?" He shrugged and quickly glanced away.

"Yeah, I really mean that." And then he mumbled the last part so softly I couldn't hear it.

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