"Where have you been?" Delphine exclaimed, raising her glass of champagne into the air. She had two gentlemen on her arms. Her cheeks were either pink because of her handsome company or that wasn't her first glass.
The party had moved to the ballroom, where three huge chandeliers hung low like passing clouds. They painted a heavenly golden glow across the crowd. The walls were once covered in mirrors that would have made the already vast room even grander, but that night they were covered by spilling red silks. People already began dancing. James missed the first dance between the new husband and wife, but he could spot them in the middle of the crowd. William hoisted Julia into the air and whirled her around like she weighed nothing. James had never seen two happier people.
"I ran into a bit of a set-back," James admitted, accepting a glass from one of Delphine's gentlemen, one with a twisty mustache and an ever present smile.
"Well, I hope you're ready for your meeting. I won't be attending, you know. It's your first solo." She reminded him for the hundredth time and it still felt like receiving the same blow to the gut. She couldn’t do a better job giving him an anxiety attack, even if she tried.
He told her, "promise me you'll never try to talk me off a ledge."
"Oh, Darling! You know I'd be right up there with you, enjoying the view!"
She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek before her gentlemen whisked her away. James hoped she wasn't planning on dancing with them both at the same time. Though, nothing could or would stop her. They broadcasted tornado and hurricane warnings, but nothing warned people Delphine was coming.
James glanced around in hopes to spot Elias Baines. He couldn't catch him in the reception and James would be damned if the only guy he got to talk to at this display of love was that horrid Eric Silva.
He'd only remember that name to strike him from any lists of eligible bachelors, Delphine or James would compile, because James couldn't see that wolf being capable of matching with anyone. Ever. Not in a million years. No, scratch that. At the end of time, if that putrid man is still kicking it, he would still be wearing the same exact scowl all alone in the world.
Defeated by the sea of guests, James jumped on a life boat and left the party. The clients should have been getting cozy in one of the hotel's private rooms in their restaurant. James asked the front desk and they pointed him in the right direction.
Through the vacated restaurant, James spotted two very tall, very robust men standing at attention in front of a door to a private room. Their shoulders were as wide as the doors. The one of the right had a hand as big as James' face. He'd probably be the champion of opening difficult jars. He must be really nice to have around.
James walked up to him and asked, "Excuse me, and this isn't me coming on to you, I'm simply asking for my job, but are you single? And what is your orientation, please don't be shy."
James flashed his business card, one that matched Delphine's. Her cards were decorated with red roses, while James' was covered in white with his name written in glimmering red cursive. Matchmaker, it said on the back by his number.
James explained, "You see, I know this lovely girl who-"
The door peaked opened, before being thrown open completely. Stood there with his arms opened wide was Gordon Twist, the leader of the Rose Coven. "James! For a second, I was confused. I could have sworn I was hearing Delphine outside the door! You're beginning to sound just like her!"
"People don't stop falling in love, so why should I ever stop working?"
James laughed along with the vampiric monarch, but before he walked through the door, he motioned the bodyguard to his business card again. He was very serious. He made a phone signal with his hand and thankfully the bodyguard nodded, slipping the name and number into his pocket.
"Good man," James whispered.
Happily, James continued into the room, but suddenly, he couldn't move another inch. He spotted the dilemma sitting at the long table, only because of sparks flying off their bodies. Nervous, untamable sparks that hopped all around and pinched James' chest.
There were two brothers, alike in looks with dark curly hair and angular faces, someone might have sculpted once. And then, there was one girl, a girl that would strengthen the family ties and probably send them into a golden age.
The problem: which boy should get the girl. The girl, Abigale was the constant. The boys, Collin and Frances didn't matter. They were both young, both successful. Either may help the betterment of their covens.
A month ago, Delphine and Gordon spoke over the phone and Gordon insisted that this match wouldn't be about love. It'd be about who suited each other best as business partners. Who would suit the coven best?
James agreed to it, under Delphine's advisement.
"Sit up," a woman in the corner said and Abigale sat up with her shoulders up from their deeply slouched position. Her red dress paired perfectly to her dark skin. She had birdlike features, a triangular nose and a long pointed jaw. She was a true vision in purple, a simple dress that wrapped around her curved body. Her hair was all curled and spilled down one shoulder, fastened with diamonds that knew how to catch the light.
James tilted his head.
Something was off about this picture.