Chapter 4: The Ball
Phina had fallen asleep in her small room. She was meant to try on one of Catrin's ball gowns but she felt exhausted from the whole day. Learning she was a hunter and that Avalon was an actual place, plus almost being drowned by killer mermaids; she didn't know how much more she could take.
There was a knock at the door and Phina sat up as fast as she could. She rushed to the door and slowly opened it. Outside stood Carl.
"You ready to go yet?" He asked expectantly. Phina's hair was a mess but Carl was dressed in a nice navy suit.
"No, I fell asleep." She opened the door fully, allowing Carl to notice her half undressed. She had been in the middle of undressing when she fell asleep. She currently only had her underwear on.
Carl pushed passed her and sat on the bed, completely ignoring Phina. Phina closed the door behind her and sat beside him.
"You're gonna be late." Carl chuckled and grabbed the ball gown beside him. He laid it out to look at.
"I'll get dressed now, it won't take long." She grabbed the dress and slid it on. It wasn't a perfect fit; it was slightly tight around her bust but Phina knew Catrin was smaller than her.
The gown was a long, black dress that stopped mid-thigh at the front, with a long, feathered tail at the back. She had black, strapped heels to go with the gown and a clip of angel wings to put in her hair.
She brushed her hair quickly, pulling a layer on top to the back and clipped the angel wings in. Her hair was naturally curly; the way Phina always liked it. She turned and showed Carl.
"You look beautiful, but now time to fix your face." Carl laughed causing Phina to frown. She then realised that her make-up was still messed up and that she had walked around like it all day.
Her eyes-widened in shock and Carl laughed harder. "Don't worry, you don't look that bad."
It was half an hour before Phina and Carl emerged from the bedroom. Phina was wearing red lipstick, thin black eye-liner and a small amount of grey eye-shadow. The rest of the group were stood by the doorway. Dmitri, Damien, Jack and Harry were all wearing navy tuxedo suits; Catrin and Sarah were wearing matching green satin ball gowns and Martha was wearing a white ball gown that had a slit up the side.
Catrin shouted, "Oh my God!" She stared, mouth open, at Phina. As soon as she shouted, every other person turned and gawked at Phina. Phina blushed; every person had turned and was staring at her. Martha was almost crying, Jack had a huge grin on his face and Dmitri was staring, mouth open.
"Okay, she's coming down now!" Carl shouted and chuckled. Dmitri walked to the bottom of the stairs and waited for Phina. Carl linked arms with Phina and walked her down the steps. When they reached the bottom, Carl let Phina go and Dmitri held her hand.
"You look beautiful," Dmitri said in a slightly croaky voice. He smiled, turned around and led Phina to the rest of the group. He led her to stand in front of everyone.
"Phina, this is my uncle, Harry, uncle, this is Phina." Harry gave Phina a warm smile and Phina couldn't help but smile back. His face was round but other than that, he looked identical to the brothers. Phina guessed Dmitri and Damien took after their dad.
"You look gorgeous Phina." He stepped forward, gave her a warm hug and stepped back.
"Thanks." Phina's blush deepened and she stared at the floor, trying to make it go away.
"Come on, the cars are waiting," Catrin shouted and pulled Carl out of the building.
Outside there were two large, black cars. Martha, Sarah, Jack, Harry and Damien all headed to the furthest of the cars.
"Come on, we're all in one car." Catrin rushed ahead with Carl and Phina gave Dmitri a confused look.
"Adults and kids in separate cars." He smiled.
"Shouldn't you be in the adult car?" Phina asked.
"Technically yes, but they've never put me in there, I don't act like an adult apparently," He chuckled and helped Phina into the car, behind Carl and Catrin.
The cars pulled up outside a large, cream building. They had driven through a mile of countryside, with plenty of Sprites and Trolls, before reaching the city. The entrance to Myrddin had huge golden gates. It reminded Phina of the gates she drew for Heaven when she was a child.
By the gates were two very large men. Dmitri leaned to her and whispered, "Those are Trolls and those two are young," He had chuckled but Phina just gulped and lowered herself in her seat, pushing her back against the soft, leather material.
As they passed through the gates, the Troll on the left looked at Phina with drowsy, orange eyes. His skin was grey and looked as if his flesh was rotting. Bits of skin were peeling off and it made Phina's stomach turn. He smiled at Phina, his grin wide; his teeth were yellow and rotting. They looked as sharp as razors.
As they drove through the city, Phina noticed that the buildings here were more modern than Dmitri's house. They were all made out of steel, with a few brick houses here or there and Phina spotted a wooden stable behind one of the brick houses. The steel buildings had large glass windows, whereas, the brick houses had smaller windows. She couldn't imagine living in a city so metallic and crowded.
Now, she was standing outside a large building. The cars had driven through two large gates and passed three security guards before stopping at the entrance. They had to drive around a small area of grass and flowers before leaving through the other gates on the opposite side of the land.
The building itself looked expensive and was much larger than any building Phina had seen in her life. It was four-storied, the front door was a pair of large brown doors and the windows hung lights above. The building was surrounded by grass fields, with a very large garden behind. There was a red carpet on the stairs that led guests to the doorway, which was currently open.
Dmitri was the last to climb out of the car. He smiled at Phina before linking his arm with hers and leading her to the doorway. All the adults had already gone in and Phina and Dmitri were the very last.
At the door stood a young man dressed in a navy tuxedo suit. He looked like an ordinary person, Phina guessed he was in his mid-twenties and he had large, brown eyes. His black hair was slightly long and his fringe was almost covering his eyes. He smiled a warm grin at Phina.
"Welcome, may I see your tickets?" Dmitri handed the man two tickets and glanced through the doorway. The man scanned the tickets for a few moments before returning them to Dmitri.
"There you go, thank you for coming," He said with a smile and Phina smiled back.
"What's with the navy suits?" She whispered to Dmitri as they entered a large hallway.
"It's the traditional colour for men to wear here," He smiled and looked down at Phina. They both stopped and Dmitri turned his body to hers. He brushed a stray piece of hair away from Phina's face and said in a soothing voice, "You really do look beautiful."
Phina's cheeks burned and she couldn't help but smile, "Thanks, you too."
They had walked down a long hallway, passing many doors before reaching the very end. At the end was a set of large double doors and outside were two more men. They looked similar to the guy at the front door. One held out his hand and Dmitri handed him the tickets. He scanned them, placed them in his pocket and nodded to his friend who then opened the doors.
Inside was a large ballroom. Large crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, the walls were cream and decorated with lights and a large fountain was placed in the middle of the room.
The fountain was made of stone and had statues of what looked like two angels fighting. There was an angel standing, leaning over another with a sword and the other was lying below the first ones' feet, arms stretched to protect himself. Phina recognised it from her old Church, they were Michael and Lucifer. The sword was different, to Phina it looked like a real sword, made out of metal with a golden handle.
"Why is there a real sword in the fountain?" She looked at Dmitri who looked puzzled.
"Real? It's stone Phina," He chuckled and Phina frowned. He smiled then led Phina to a large table at the back of the room.
Also occupying the room were large tables, many meant for large parties or families. Dmitri had led Phina to the largest of the tables that sat in the middle of the rest. At the table sat Phina's and Dmitri's families, along with Carl and a few other people Phina did not know. It was a long table and Dmitri and Phina sat at the very end.
A man shouted, "Phina!" She turned and saw Harry grinning at her.
"Yes?" She coughed and smiled back.
"This is Daron, Branwen, Bethan, Rhys and Beca." Harry pointed to the group of people at the very top of the table. Daron was a middle-aged man with lilac eyes, black hair and even sitting down Phina thought he was quite tall. Branwen looked around the same age but she had green eyes, brown hair and she was much shorter than Daron.
Bethan looked the youngest at seventeen years old; she had lilac eyes and black hair. She looked around five foot five. Her fellow siblings, or that's what Phina guessed they were, both had purple eyes and black hair. The only large difference was that Rhys was very tall; around six feet and Beca looked shorter at five foot three. Phina guessed their ages to be around twenty two for Rhys and eighteen for Bethan.
"Hello," Phina smiled.
"Nice to meet you." Branwen smiled back. She had been the only one still paying attention but Phina didn't mind.
There was music playing from a string quartet at the top of the hall. There were stairs leading to a small balcony where many bands and orchestras played.
They had been at the ball for an hour. Phina was leaning on her hand, bored and tired. Everyone else was talking and Carl had gone to dance with Catrin which meant she had no one to talk to.
She was about to stand when Dmitri placed his hand on her shoulder.
"You look bored?" He smiled.
"Nothing to do, can I ask you something?" She looked up and placed her arm on her lap.
"Where are we?" She laughed.
"This is the Dance Hall, the building itself is called The Hall of Hunters."
"Why is it called that?" She smiled and yawned.
"This is where hunters come for meetings and stuff. Anything else?" Dmitri was looking at Phina; his crystal blue eyes sparkled under the light of the chandeliers.
Phina asked, "What happened to your dad?" She knew it was rude to ask but she was a very curious person.
"He died." Dmitri's smile faded and he looked down at his knotted hands.
"How?" Phina held his hands and he smiled weakly at her.
"I was five when he went out on a hunt. He had said goodbye to everyone else and I was last. He told me to look after my mother and then he left. We never saw him again." Dmitri's eyes filled with tears yet to be shed.
Phina kept her voice calm, "What was he hunting?" A tear escaped Dmitri's eyes and Phina wiped it away with her thumb. She glanced around and noticed Sarah staring at Dmitri. It was a cold stare and Phina shivered.
"He wasn't sure when he left, but we found his stuff in a hotel and we think it was a demon. There aren't many things that can kill a demon and my father had none of them."
Phina wiped away another stray tear and whispered, "Sorry I asked."
Dmitri coughed and looked up. He smiled at Phina, before returning his gaze to his knotted hands. "It doesn't matter; my Uncle Harry has been around since then. He's my father's brother and we're the only family he has." He looked up again, only to find Phina staring puzzled at the corner of the room. "What's wrong?" He asked, though Phina ignored him completely. Dmitri followed her eyes but saw nothing except a lamp.
"Excuse me." She smiled at Dmitri and rushed over to the corner.
In the corner stood a man with red hair. He looked around six feet tall and had eyes the same colour as Dmitri's; although they shone a lot brighter. Phina found it hard to guess his age, although he looked around eighteen years old. The man had been watching Phina with his arms folded. He smiled as he watched her approach.
The stranger stood up straighter when Phina stopped in front of him. He unfolded his arms and shook his hair. His hair arched over his ears and was short at the back with a swaying fringe that reached his eyebrows. He was dressed differently than the other men. Instead of a navy suit, this man wore a white suit and white shoes. He had an oval face with a straight nose. His eyes were smaller than Phina's but his lashes were just as long. His lips were also thinner and longer than Phina's.
"Who are you?" Phina demanded. She had been scared when she realised he was watching her.
"My name is Gabriel, but you can call me Gabe. Who are you?" He gave a flirtatious smile and though Phina found it really attractive, she shook it away. If she let her guard down now, then she'd never find out.
She replied in a stern voice, "I'm Phina, why are you watching us?"
"Your name is Seraphina and I'm only watching you." He brushed a stray lock of hair behind Phina's ear and his touch sent shivers through Phina.
"What are you?" She was mesmerised. Looking into Gabe's eyes was like looking into a pool of clear water. She knew he wasn't human or a hunter, she could sense it, he had to be something else.
"I'm an angel." He grinned and Phina snapped out of her hypnotic state.
Gabe laughed, "Of course we do, didn't your friend tell you about your name?"
"Well, yeah, but I didn't really believe him. Wait, how did you know my name was Seraphina?"
Gabe laughed. "I am an angel, I know everyone's name."
Phina gave Gabe an accusing squint. "But you were watching me."
"That's because you're special Phina." He was as relaxed as the beginning of the conversation, his grin still plastered on his face.
"How? And why am I even here?" Phina was getting angry. Her voice had risen and Gabe's grin had increased in size.
"I think they're waiting for you." He gestured his head and Phina turned around to find her whole table staring at her. When she turned back, Gabe was gone and in his place stood a lamp.
When she arrived back at the table, her mother was the first to speak. "Who were you talking to?" She frowned.
"Just someone." Phina smiled and turned to Dmitri, who was also frowning.
His voice had an accusing tone. "Who, Larry the Lamp?" Only now did Phina realise that it was only her who saw Gabe. She had to think hard to cover this one up.
Instead, she just shrugged her shoulders. "I'll tell you later."
Phina and Dmitri had danced for half an hour before dinner arrived. They had duck and oysters, two particular meals Phina did not like. She ate two forkfuls of each and went back to the dance floor. She didn't see Gabe again but she wasn't too bothered. Sure, he had called her special but other boys had before. Phina chose to ignore Gabe and enjoy her night.
The Evans' left first at half past ten. Bethan gave Phina a hug before she left and the others just waved. It was eleven at night when Phina left with her and Dmitri's family.
The car ride seemed a lot quicker on the ride home but Phina was busy talking to Carl for most of it.
Carl whispered, "So, you and Dmitri a couple yet?" Catrin had fallen asleep on him and Dmitri was told to ride in the adults' car on the way home.
"No, why would you think that?" Phina frowned and Carl laughed quietly.
Carl shrugged and turned his gaze to the window. "No reason, except the way he stares at you sometimes."
Phina blushed, "No, we are not a couple." Carl smiled and sat quietly for a few moments. Phina could tell he was about to ask about 'Larry the Lamp'.
Just as she guessed, Carl asked, "Who were you talking to?"
Phina shook her head with a smile, "A guy called Gabe, he said he was an angel and that I'm special." She laughed quietly but Carl's eyes widened.
"Angels exist? And why didn't anyone else see him?"
"That's what he said and maybe he was invisible, so no one else could see him. He was staring at me for ages, that would have caused a few problems with my mother," She laughed again and Carl joined her this time.
"Gabe as in Gabriel?" Carl asked.
"Well, Gabriel is an archangel so why wouldn't you trust him?"
"Because he was creepy and was just staring at me for ages. Sorry for not trusting that he's who he says he is. Creepy guys are always trustworthy." Phina emphasised the latter of the sentence. Carl was no stranger to Phina's sarcasm and so shrugged and Phina turned her gaze back out of the window.
They arrived back at Dmitri's house at half eleven. Phina was knackered and as she exited the car, she noticed Dmitri climbing out of the adults' car. He looked angry and upset and Phina wondered what they had said. He was at the door when Phina caught up to him.
"What's wrong?" She asked as he barged into the house.
"Nothing, just something they said." He walked fast to the stairs. Carl stood next to Phina. He looked at her, shrugged his shoulders and walked on ahead. Phina followed Carl upstairs and headed to their room.
Just before arriving at her room, she spotted Dmitri in his. His door was slightly ajar and Phina could see inside. The room walls were painted black and his bedding was dark red. He was sat at the edge of a double bed and across from him was a dark red dresser. There were two side tables by his bed, both had lamps; one with a phone and the other with a clock. The room was very tidy and nothing was out of place.
Dmitri was holding, what looked like, a hunting knife. It had special engravings on it, like the symbols Phina had seen on the walls and the paper in the office when she was being revived. Phina watched as Dmitri twirled the knife in his hands. He was talking to himself and he looked angry.
"No one ever listens to me. They all think I'm crazy but I'm not. Dad, what do I do? She won't listen, mam won't listen. She doesn't believe it's me. I'm going to kill everyone and all because of a stupid story made up by a God that doesn't exist!" He shouted and threw the knife at the wall in front of him.
Frightened by Dmitri's prayer, Phina rushed to her room. Carl was standing above the bed and jumped when Phina slammed the door. His eyes were wide with shock as Phina rushed forward and pulled him in for a hug. She started crying and Carl, not knowing what to say, hugged her back.
"Can we sleep now?" She mumbled through his top and through her tears.