A Dark Night with a Dark Stranger Ch. 11byBellstoires©
"Haven't you just been the Bell of the ball?" a cold voice came from one of the cubicles.
"Who's there?" Bell asked quietly, spinning around, and looking near the toilet door for the source of the noise.
Suddenly, emerging from behind one of the closed doors was Kiara. Her black conical hat was held in her hand, and she moved over to Bell, reaching for something from a small drawstring bag she held.
"What do you want?" Bell asked, moving away instantly, eying her hand reproachfully.
Kiara smiled at her in response, withdrawing a bright red lipstick, and while admiring her reflection, applied a layer to her lips.
"If you want to find out about your parents, meet me outside near the large jacaranda in 10 minutes," Kiara said, smacking her lips, before adding, "oh and come alone, otherwise don't bother, and I will know if one of your protectors is close by," she said tapping her ear and sweeping from the room.
Half a second later and Sandra and Larissa were bursting down the door. Bell jumped at the sight of them, and then smiled weakly. Her face was still covered with dripping water which nicely hid the beads of sweat that had formed on her forehead.
"Honey are you alright?" Sandra asked, her thick Southern accent bringing only a small amount of relieve.
Bell nodded, desperate for a few minutes of solitude to work out her thoughts. What the hell was going on? Did Kiara really know what had happened to her parents? How could she? But then how else would she know that something had happened to them? Glancing over at the window, her eyes met with a large tree, whose normally dark green leaves had fallen away, and had been instead replaced by purple flowers; the jacaranda tree. In the moments it had taken for Sandra and Larissa to refasten her angel's mask, Bell had made up her mind; in 10 minutes she would be waiting for Kiara.
Leaving the bathroom Bell ran straight into Ragon. He was pacing outside, desperate to ensure that the heart beat that he could hear was hers.
"What did she say to you?" Ragon asked, "Did she touch you?"
Bell smiled. If she wanted to find out what had happened to her parents, then she needed to pull off some great acting skills. Ragon would not leave her alone for a moment if he thought that Kiara had done something to threaten her.
"She just said that I was the Bell of the ball, and that tonight I didn't need to worry about her," Bell half lied.
"I told you, she would be crazy to do anything at one of the elders parties," Clyde said.
"You don't think she is crazy?" Sandra asked incredulously.
"Ok then, she would have to be suicidal," Clyde recorrected.
In all the commotion of Bell's encounter with Kiara, she had completely forgotten about the awkward moment between her and Clyde. Only one thought occupied her scheming mind now. It wasn't whether or not Kiara was telling the truth, or if she was about to walk into a trap. No. Bell was consumed by the thought of how she could get away from the coven that was trying to protect her long enough to talk to Kiara, and find out exactly what had happened to her parents.
Ten minutes later and Bell was pacing around the Jacaranda at the very back of the Elders estate. Her plan to get away from the others had worked a treat. The group had split when William had offered Ragon to show him the house and Bell had managed to make each group think that she was with the other. She had had to pass a large olive vineyard and two small stables, until she found the characteristic purple flowers of the Jacaranda tree that she had seen from the bathroom window.
"I almost didn't recognise you little one" Kiara said, moving out from behind the tree to face Bell.
Once again Bell was reminded of how beautiful Kiara was; beautiful and terrible, like a storm at sea.
"You told me you knew how my parents died," Bell said flatly.
"But off course, now I can see how much alike you are to your mother," Kiara said, continuing with her sentence as if Bell had not spoken at all.
"You knew my mother?" Bell asked curiously.
"Knew is such a relative term, does one really need to know someone to ripe their throat out?" Kiara asked.
Bell felt her knees shake. Kiara was lying, she had to be.
"You liar," Bell hissed.
Suddenly Kiara was laughing, "It is rather dramatic I admit. When I saw you with Ragon a few weeks ago, I wanted you gone out of jealously. It was only tonight that I realised who you were, I never dreamed that you were the child I had taken all those years ago. Time has a way of slipping past us immortals," she said.
"Wh... What?" Bell asked.
This time when Kiara laughed it was high pitched and cruel, "don't tell me Ragon never told you. Well, let me set the record straight. 25 years ago I killed your parents and took you."
"Ragon told me that you took a child," she gulped, unable to say 'me,' "to try to get him to stay with you, so that you could be a family," Bell said, remembering his words from their date.
"Ragon is a romantic. He saw you and assumed that I had taken you to try to lure him back to me. I confess; I was surprised when he found me that night. I thought perhaps he had wanted to come back to me, and so I told him that I had changed. I guess he thought I meant to keep you?" Men can be foolish. Before I could stop him and kill you, he had taken you."
Instantly Bell's knuckles were tense. Though it was difficult to tell from underneath her mask, one of her eyes had turned green, while the other stayed blue. A wind rolled down the valley from the mountains that lined the estate, and swept over the fields; settling in the Jacaranda tree, and causing masses of the purple flowers to begin to fall from it.
"Well this chat has been informative, but I have a party to be getting back to, and a promise to keep," Kiara said advancing on her as purple flower fell slowly from the sky like snowflakes.
Bell wanted to scream but she couldn't. Her body was paralysed in fear as she watched Kiara blur towards her. Knowing that there was no escape she squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting the last thing she saw to be Kiara. A moment passed, and Bell kept her eyes closed, trying desperately not to think of Kiara murdering her parents and now her. For a while Bell stood like this, until enough seconds past without anything happening for her to wonder what the hell was taking Kiara so long? Was she going to play with her? Slowly Bell opened her eyes. Large tears slipped from her lower eyelids and spilled down her face. When she had blinked away the tears she saw Kiara, standing about a foot away from her; fangs poised as if about to strike. Bell watched her for a moment confused. Something was wrong. Kiara was not moving; it was as if the moment she had gone to attack Bell, she had frozen in place. Kiara's dark brown hair stood on end, as though it was suspended underwater, and her witches' hat was half way off her head, also floating in mid-air. Her pupils were wide; giving her cold unblinking eyes a ruthless appearance. But as Bell looked closer, she realised that Kiara's eyes, though open, were unfocused, as though she were blind. Bell inched forward, but Kiara did not respond. When Bell was so close, so as to see a small freckle on her attackers right cheek just under her eye, Bell waved her hand in front of her face: nothing. Looking up at the tree she gasped. All around at various levels in the air were suspended purple flowers. It was as if someone had frozen a snow globe after shaking it. Everything was quiet, no wind: nothing.
Hesitantly, Bell moved over to the flower nearest her and watched it. She realised then, that the flower was still falling, but very, very slowly, almost so slow it was impossible to see its progression through the air. Reaching out to push it, the flower moved sluggishly in response, as if it were stuck in something viscoid, like honey.
One thought came to her, what the hell was going on?
She took one more glance at Kiara and ran; not wasting any more time for explanations. Whatever was going on, time had slowed down just long enough for Bell to escape, and she wasn't going to stand there wondering why.
When Bell had finally reached Ragon and the other coven members she was white; whiter than most of the other vampires at the party. The Elders were talking comically to a group of vampires behind Ragon's coven, and Bell eyed them warily.
"What's wrong?" Sandra asked when she saw Bell running towards them.
The coven had only just realised that Bell had been missing. Her plan had worked well, a little too well. It seems that had time continued at its normal place, Bell would have been long dead before Ragon and the rest of them even realised that she was missing.
Bells eyes were wild, and she began spluttering out incoherent phrases, trying desperately to keep her voice low so that the Elders did not hear her. "Kiara... attack me... killed my parents..."
Ragon moved over to her protectively as soon as he had seen her. He made to take her hand in his, so as to calm her down, but as soon as he reached for her she pulled away. She was glaring at him. How could he not have told her? Why would he think that it was ok for him to keep the fact that Kiara had killed her parents a secret? Clyde's eyes had widened when he saw this, but he remained where he stood.
"But how did you get away?" Sandra asked in confusion, looking around the party for Kiara, but only seeing the Elders behind them who were talking to a group of vampires she did not know.
"She... froze?" Bell said; her voice segmented in confusion, temporarily forgetting her anger with Ragon.
"She hesitated? Long enough for you to get away?" Larissa asked, but Bell was shaking her head.
"No she stopped, and everything around her stopped," Bell replied, trying to explain what had happened.
"But, I don't understand?" Sameth asked, moving over to Bell and looking at her as though he had only just realised she was there.
Bell made to answer but Ragon stopped her, taking a long meaningful look at the Elders and saying, "No. Not here."