“Be sure to go out and mingle, you two.”

Mingle. That was one thing that Asphodel really, REALLY sucked at yet her mother always told them to make sure that they talked to people. Something about being a good royal to the people. So, Asphodel mainly stuck by her brother’s side and looked pretty instead while he did all the talking. Ysabelle always laughed at the end of the event and commented on Asphodel’s ‘stay-silent-look-pretty’ act, saying that worked as well.

But tonight, at the ball of King Reinold, things were much different. It was a masquerade ball, so no one knew who anyone was. There were some guesses from certain accessories and statures people took on, but everyone’s identity remained mainly anonymous. Asphodel could easily slip away from the festivities if she wanted to and no one would be able to tell who was escaping the ball.

Once she made it outside, Asphodel let out a soft sigh and walked down to where she could hear water running. Her high heels clicked on the floor and her long, multi-layered dark red and black tulle skirt flowed after her. She reached the source of the water and found herself in awe of the water fountain she stood in front of. Water flowed out of the mouth of a snake, curled around a small pillar. Its fangs were bared, sharp and menacing, and the fountain itself was made of golden stone. Asphodel went towards it and settled herself on the side of the fountain, smoothing her skirts down. She leaned towards the water and dipped her fingers in. It felt cool and refreshing and Asphodel sighed in content. The hustle of the ballroom was replaced by the smooth trickling flow of the water fountain and she closed her eyes in bliss.

She was so out of it that she barely noticed the footsteps coming up behind her until she heard a voice, “Now what is a lovely maiden doing out here by herself?”

Asphodel’s head whipped around to see a man behind her. He had long black-brown hair down to the middle of his back and dark red eyes. A white mask with black paint and gold leaf braiding covered his eyes, but one thing Asphodel’s observation abilities caught was the lip piercing on his lower lip, glinting in the moonlight. From that one detail, Asphodel knew who this was. She decided to play along with his flirting game, “What a title, Your Majesty, especially considering I am anything but an innocent maiden.”

She saw his eye wide from where he raised his eyebrow and a smirk came to his lips. “So the vampiress knows who I am, hmm?” He stepped closer to her and Asphodel watched him carefully. “May I know her name?”

“I thought the point of a masquerade was for me to disguise my identity, sir.” Asphodel said lightly.

Reinold chuckled at her blatant comment. “‘Tis true, but it seems unfair that one of us are at a disadvantage here, my lady.” He smiled at her. “I’d compliment your beauty, but I can’t see it under there. You’ll have to accept my compliments to your mask instead, it’s quite lovely.

“You have many compliments for a single vampiress, Your Majesty.” Asphodel was surprised at her willingness and confidence at speaking with this man. And he was the king no less! There was just something about him that urged Asphodel on to play along with his little game. She looked up at him with a glint in her ruby eyes. “Though I could say the same for you, Your Majesty. Your mask is quite splendid, but it does not make up for the being underneath it.”

The vampire king threw his head back and laughed. “Beautiful and a flatterer. You have many skills, my lady.”

“Skills in both words and actions, Your Majesty.”

“Oh~?” Reinold stared down at Asphodel as she stood up and walked up to stand right in front of him, meeting her gaze with his. “Care to share, my lady?”

Asphodel smiled, her fingers moving up to graze against his mask. “Not now, Your Majesty. Perhaps…later, after the unmasking. If you are able to convert a mask to a face, I wouldn’t mind showing you a few other things I can do.”

And then, she disappeared from his view in the blink of an eye. Reinold smiled to himself, intrigued. “Alright, my lady. I’ll play your game.”

*

So…I write series where one protagonist has many love interests…kinda like a choose your own adventure thing? Asphodel is one of them (series is called Blood Chronicles) and Reinold is one of her love interests that I may write more romantic things about. But Asphodel’s other love interests and other reverse harem protagonists will be written about too, so stay tuned!

Also, I used a writing prompt/sentence prompt from tumblr, which I’m going to use more often. Credit to Strawberryxgreentea for the writing prompt 🙂

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