She couldn't help but look around, scouting their exits, pinpointing various people around the room. Gods, what was she doing? She was hand-in-hand with destruction, waltzing a fine dance with Death.

Keeping focused on her surroundings, Elle was spun again. 'Is everything alright?' Cerid's soothing voice murmured.

'Oh, yes. I-I'm sorry I'm just distracted.'

'What could possibly distract you from a lovely night of dancing?' He said with a coy smile. Elle couldn't bring herself to look at him when she replied brightly.

'You're right. It's nothing.' It's everything. 'I shouldn't be distracted.' Stay on course, Elle. You've never faltered before.

Just as in that darkened hallway, her body curved into his and her memories flooded back. After that, it became easier to ignore the lingering looks from agents in the room.

The piece ended. Knocked from their dreamlike world containing only the two of them, they stayed frozen in place. Elle mere inches from his face. She could feel his heart beating fast, and his chest panting from the vigorous activity. Without letting him speak, she curtseyed and stepped away.

He stepped forward, clasping her hands. She stood still, wary of what he would do. But the Heir lifted them to his lips, looking at her through dark lashes. His orbs a hazy mist of mysteries.

Nodding graciously, Elle fanned herself. 'I'm parched!' She exclaimed, glancing around for Tristan. Cerid chuckled, 'one second and I will return to you with drinks.'

'You're very kind.'

Her heart broke from her chest when he walked away.

The lone girl stood in the middle of the dance floor as other agents gently applauded the orchestra once more.

In the corner of her eye she saw a flash of white hair. Her neck whipped around, eyes searching and scanning. That couldn't have been him...could it?

Picking through the hundreds of agents, Elle hunted for the snowy locks again. Proof to her that she wasn't going mad. Before her knees would have buckled, even thinking about him, but she was a different person now.

The world spun around her, just like the spinning couples—twirling and whooshing beside her. She stood there, shell-shocked from her wild imagination until the ebony-haired boy built like a warrior tugged her limp arm, guiding her away.

#

From the side lines, Tristan watched the pair sweeping around the room again. Elle and Cerid. He bit his lip, downing the last of his fizzing drink and simultaneously picking up another from a travelling server, murmuring his thanks.

He would need the extra kick to get through the night.

The waistcoat chafed around his chest, restricting his breathing. He wasn't entirely unconvinced that Kath had found it just to make fun of him. Having nothing else to wear, it seemed he was stuck, pulling at his collar and counting the seconds as they passed ever slower.

Stuffing into a grey suit was hard enough, more so than the actual training. As soon as he could he planned to rip the bloody waistcoat Kath had found for him and continue in his white shirt.

His promise weighed heavily on his glass spine. They would be free tonight, when everyone was busy, when some could slip out unnoticed. The liability, ironically enough, was the brown-haired woman spending her time with the Imperial Heir.

Unbeknownst to the man, there was a ticking clock against him. And as each grain of sand fell, Tristan became more agitated. His temples began to pound again—another damn headache. The medicine he had fetched in the infirmary that day was doing nothing to help ease the discomfort.

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