Chapter Fifteen - The Ball

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Jacobi's eyes darkened when he noticed me. I gulped. He looked stunning in a tux. His hair was combed back but I knew it would be messy in no time. His powerful eyes fell from my face to the low cleavage of my dress. His jaw tensed.

I looked away to meet Elizabeth's gaze. She was watching us with a knowing smile. "Wow, ladies, you are beautiful." She was the beautiful one, though. Her hair was up in a classy bun. She was in an elegant red dress with long sleeves and a low neckline, only, she had lace covering the exposed skin, unlike me. "Alaska, this is my youngest son, James."

I stepped forward to shake his hand. "Nice to meet you."

The young Wolfric brother was in a tuxedo, like Jacobi but his hair was cut short. His eyes traced my figure and his mouth formed a pleasant smile. "Nice to meet you, as well." He nodded.

"Julia, James, let's start to head down. Myles, Angela, you did an outstanding job with the ladies." Elizabeth thanked them profusely. She waited as they packed up and escorted them out. I thanked and hugged both Angela and Myles one last time before they left. I really hoped I'd see them again.

Jacobi and I were left alone in Julia's room in minutes. He cleared his throat, "You're a vision, Alaska."

"Thank you." I spoke in a quiet voice; worried it would quiver if I were any louder. The way he looked at me made me nervous. "You look great, too."

"I brought you something." He took out a jewellery box from his coat pocket. He opened it to reveal a gorgeous white gold necklace, adorned with diamonds. The necklace was the perfect size for my dress, long enough to dip into my cleavage but not get hidden beneath the cut.

"It's stunning." I breathed, brushing it lightly with my fingertips. "Put it on me?" I turned, swiping my hair to the side so that he could clasp it behind my neck. His warm fingers on the nape of my neck made me shiver. The cold metal kissed my skin and I watched it fall between my breasts like a trail of diamonds. "Thank you." I looked into the full-length mirror hanging on the wall beside us. Jacobi stood behind me, staring at me through the reflection.

He put my hair back in place, his arms falling so that they were wrapped around my waist. "Beautiful." He whispered in my ear, eyes never leaving my own.

My heart pounded. Everything about this moment felt so right and that's why it was so wrong. It should have been Kyle holding me. But I couldn't imagine this moment with him. I couldn't replace Jacobi's face with anybody. "Should we go?" I asked reluctantly.

He sighed, "Yes, I suppose." He looped his arm with my own and escorted me out of the room. I clung to him for dear life, dreading the party that awaited us downstairs.

The sound of classical music greeted us as we neared the stairway. I swallowed loudly as I took the first step down. "They're going to announce us." Jacobi explained. "Everyone will bow, you'll be by my side the whole time so don't worry. Just stand straight and smile, it'll be over before you know it."

Wait. Everyone would be staring at us when we entered the room? On purpose? I was so not aware of this. I didn't reply because I had no idea what to say. Was it too late to turn and run upstairs? I would if his hold on my arm wasn't so tight.

The noises only grew in resonance as we approached what, I only assumed, could be the ballroom. The castle was magnificent but during this time of day it was partially horrific and partially romantic. The candles lit on the decorative tables cast a sullen light down the hall. The rare paintings were lit with their very own miniature lamps but the air was almost chilly and the dark corners of the hallways sent a shiver down my spine.

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