Posted by : White_Caribou on Mar 8, 2018, 2:31am

- August 18th, Spink's Manor, Highholm, Evening -

It took no time at all to arrive, in fact, she was never even asked for an ID. They all knew her face or at least her name. Some just recognized her body.

Once inside the manor Stella paused in the entrance to scan the room of chattering people. She wasn't searching for anyone in particular-- perhaps her husband who had left an hour before her --but simply enjoyed the wave of well dressed partiers. Flipping out her compact mirror from the clutch she applied a glossy coat of dark brown to her lips whilst admiring herself again. While fixing a few strands of hair a tall, thin figure emerged in front of her in which her heart began to pound before her compact was shut by a large hand.

"Everything looks fine," a smooth voice called to her. "But you? Look glamorous as always, Stella." Her grey eyes looked up to him as a smug grin crossed his clean shaven face. His bright blue eyes sparkled at the sight of her, wavy brown comb over had a reflection from the bright chandelier above. She tucked her items away and gave into her smile. If there was anyone she was happy to be greeted by it was him. "Westley."

He held out his arm to her without a word as the gesture didn't need explaining. Stella shot him a concerned look, "People will question if I join you at an event as such." "I'm simply your gracious escort for the time being since someone's not here to do his job." Stella looked a bit hurt but carefully snaked her arm around his and gave it a little squeeze. David was nowhere to be seen though she swore his laughing could be heard. The low, ugly snorting kind. They stepped further together and were swallowed by the noisy crowd that were just quiet enough to hear the orchestra being played somewhere in the room.

Westley Corbet was a professor at the educational academy in East Twins who taught both science and literature and he loved literature. Plays, books, operas...anything with story. Although he was a childless widower he was the exact person you'd want as a father. It's a shame he never got the chance, thought Stella. Her arm tightened around his as if he was a life preserver.

They talked for quite some time and their body language had given approaching people the hint. Their eyes were completely locked and conversation drowning everything out.

"--and when he gets there he is completely perplexed to see the same buildings he was just trapped in before. It is then and there that our protagonist realizes he is in an immortal loop where he neither lives nor dies, and must revisit the moment his lover perished in his arms until the world stops spinning. That was his price." Westley moved his hands to help explain some play they'd preformed down at The Solstice Theater. Stella rarely left her house so she simply smiled and nodded at his enthusiasm. "We should go sometime, the Solstice has some very moving productions," she nodded at his suggestion, finger circling the rim of her glass. 'The actors are quite good, they've recently let women join the theater as well. Should've been done a long time ago if you ask me...oh, Spink will have an announcement before long. Have you heard anything big around Highholm?" They'd stopped themselves in a quieter area of the room and unlinked arms. A server came by with a tray of drinks of which Wesley took two, handing one of the champagne glasses to her, holding a hand up to the server before placing a few dollars onto the platter.

"Well...not recently. I had an incident with the stairs and haven't felt too well. My ladies haven't been around much either, I've noticed. Must be something in the air." She chuckled, taking a sip a little too quickly to change conversation. "Must be," he muttered never taking his eyes off of her. "Sometimes I smell revolt." Stella spoke quietly. "It's happened before and it will happen again, just a matter of time." The air had thickened and she grew frantic of people overhearing the topic and questioning."I bruised my arm quite a lot, I think I twisted it in the fall." "I know a great doctor if you need to be checked out." Westley responded rather quickly.

"You're full of it, I know him too. Highholm only has two doctors. Both astounding."

"But I'm not a resident of this place," Westley chuckled, "in case you've forgotten." He seemed to make the room just a little brighter every day for the gloomy city. "I reside in the district I work. Wish there was somewhere a little more secluded and less scandalous. Some place between Twins and Rose District. Maybe in Elesium." They took a drink simultaneously. Her glass had a dark stain from her lips which she used a finger to clean the edges.

"What do you think he'll say? If the man needed a party for it, it must be important." Stella shrugged as one of her more obnoxious friends, Charlotte Good, walked up to them with a bounce in her step. She was a short plump woman who had Cindy, Theodore, and the young Erika, three children she was dying to marry off. They were nowhere to be seen. As she approached she opened her mouth "Stella, you-" "Charlotte, where are your children? Are you aware how easy it is to get lost in this place?" Stella said in a false worried tone. Westley, seeing beneath the game, smirked down at his glass. The woman stuttered to herself, "Erika and Theo are at home. Chances are Cindy is screwing some man as we speak. Maybe multiple. Or will be soon enough..." "If you're going to speak about your daughter that way you may be excused from the conversation. The gentleman and I were having the most pleasant conversation about the arts. I'm sure you've heard of him? You may address him as Professor Corbet." Charlotte chortled, "Who hasn't heard of 'im? A sketchy man has no place teaching children or sympathizing with those rags down in Rose District. They have their eyes on us and we don't want any spies." She examined him with disgust. Stella was burning scars into Charlotte's skin with her imagination as she did so.

"Perhaps whatever the Councilman says will--" Charlotte looked to the speaking Westley disapprovingly, "--shine some light on the matter. They need support if we want to prosper. I don't see any harm in having good relations with them." The man finished off his sparkling beverage with haste to swallow his unspoken words. Westley had always been a friend of the people in lower Dusk, he donated to them quite often and sometimes even held free lessons for the less fortunate, children and adults. She prayed that if there was anymore unrest he would be untouched by their grubby hands. People like him deserved recognition, she thought staring silently at his suit. Even if she didn't like who he helped.

From a distance she spotted Inquisitor Edward Hanton, the only other person besides her husband, that gave her the chills in the entirety of Dusk. Stella was quick to resurface her focus on Westley after accidentally making eye contact with the stoic man, making the hair on her neck prick up. The professor began talking to Charlotte of an opera about a girl who rose from recklessness to become a brilliant leader, mocking the mother's rudeness toward her own daughter.

Despite having a lackluster entrance as she feared, things were going quite well with Westley at her side. That was until she spotted her husband, David, sauntering through the crowd toward their area. "Hello, dear," he abruptly pulled Stella to him by her waist--further away from Westley. Stella didn't speak as his hand rested a bit low for the public eye and refused to look at him. "Brother," he nodded to the professor with the tip of his hat, nearly emotionless. The grip on her waist became unbreakable as the muscles in her neck tensed up; she smiled anyway. But of course it wasn't honest. "Miss, um..?" he pointed to Charlotte with a cheesy snapping motion. "Charlotte Good." Of course, he exclaimed too loudly, greeting her formally this time.

They awaited Spink's announcement with patience and light conversation. Stella remained uncomfortable and everyone but her husband seemed to notice.

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