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Mistborn: The Inquisition


The Casuana Ball, Part III: Fire and Madness

Riordan Casuana's Photo Riordan Casuana 29 Sep 2011

Eric's note: This is the final part of the ball. Finally. You can see the end of part two here: http://mistbornrpg.17thshard.com/index.php...opic=296&st=630

Perrin, a skaa Mistborn has just broken into the main ballroom, interrupting the duel between Caden and Riordan.

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The shock of the Mistborn sent Riordan stumbling backwards. Caden stopped his blade just before it collided with Riordan. Whirling about, the Hasting whipped his sword towards the Mistborn.

Before Riordan could swear, House Bane's hazekillers, which had been placed on the upper balcony overlooking the atrium, loosed their arrows at the Mistborn. The hazekillers adjacent to the fountain sprinted forth.

"Oh, good," Riordan panted, sweat dripping from his forehead. "I definitely needed more excitement tonight."
Edited by Chaos, 31 December 2012 - 02:55 AM.

Tamsin Landell's Photo Tamsin Landell 29 Sep 2011

Tamsin and Jessica had stopped in their circuit to watch the duel as it finally began. The two men were fascinating to see as they advanced and retreated, some movements almost too quick for her to figure out what had happened. It was also slightly awkward; Tamsin was not used to seeing men fighting half-naked, or half-naked at all for that matter. However, beyond that initial startlement, it faded fairly quickly and she observed the match with curiosity.

Why were they barechested? She had seen one or two duels before, but those had always been in shirtsleeves. It was hard to imagine Caden Hasting trying to show away for the ladies; it just did not fit him at all. Riordan Casuana was obviously trying to show away for everyone. A pink shirt? Honestly! Despite Riordan's typical flourishing ridiculousness, though, they were almost elegant as they fought, and Tamsin's eyes were riveted to the pair until she detected an odd smell in the air.

It was faint, just an acrid trace. No one else seemed to have noticed yet; they were all focused on the tableau taking place in the dueling arena. She tried to decide what it was, and as it grew gradually stronger, she realized. Tamsin's hand clamped down on Jessica's arm as she whispered, "Do you smell smoke?"

That was when all hell broke loose. She could hear shouting somewhere in the Keep - then one of the stained-glass windows high above them exploded into a thousand brightly coloured shards, raining down over the crowd. A figure in a Mistcloak had leapt onto the railing, then jumped down, tumbling through the air to land on the long Casuana table with a shattering crash that resounded through the ballroom as the old wood broke entirely in two. His voice echoed through the shocked silence afterwards in warm, almost friendly tones in stark contrast to the message behind them.

Then the ballroom exploded, noblemen and women flying into a panic as arrows hissed down from the balconies overhead at the Mistborn. There was a surge of people around her, and she was swept away with them, her hand pulled away from Jessica's arm somewhere in the rush. She was separated, on her own, and Tamsin had no idea where to run or what to do; the exits of the ballroom were already choking up with a sudden stampede of nobles trying to escape. Smoke was rising in the room, a faint haze beginning to be visible.

Tamsin tried to keep her footing, to keep from being knocked over and trampled, and then she saw the table not far away. She dove for it and the shelter it represented, crawling under the edge of the tablecloth and pulling her dress in after her. Crouched there trembling, eyes wide with terror, she barely dared to breathe. Trying not to cough, she pulled out her handkerchief and put it over her mouth and nose.

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Vizar was gone, leaving Jansten to himself. He was fine with that. It would have been fine if the Terrisman had stayed, too. All his limbs were quite heavy now and he didn't feel the urge to stir a finger; he was utterly relaxed and free of pain. Jansten closed his eyes and sighed peacefully; life was good. He had lost interest in his philosophical musings that had seemed so important a little while ago, and now he simply thought about nothing at all, a dazed smile on his face.

There was a smell in the air that he vaguely identified as smoke and then dismissed as totally unimportant. The room was even warmer than before. It was so comfortable. This must have been what it was like in the womb, he reflected distantly. Warm, and safe, and peaceful.

He drifted off into blissful drowsiness.

Vizar's Photo Vizar 29 Sep 2011

Vizar made it back to the ballroom in an attempt to locate Tamsin. Chaos seemed to have erupted, and swarms of people were making it hard to get into the dining room. He finally made it inside, looking around to find Tamsin. She could have already left the room, for all Vizar could tell. He could smell the smoke, and it started to make him choke. Thankfully he wore his metalminds as a habit anywhere he went. He began storing smell in his tinmind, filling the ring as much as he could to avoid choking. The smell of smoke always made him choke, being unable to smell it seemed the better route for the moment. It didn't help that some of the smoke made it into his lungs.

He took a breath through his mouth and skirted along the wall, looking through the din for Tamsin. He found the table she hid under to avoid the crowd. Once at the table, he crouched down and hid himself along with her for the moment – a most unseemly position for a Terrisman to assume. He tucked his pride as a cur tucks its tail between its legs as it admits defeat.

"Tamsin, your father is waiting in the next room, and fading fast. We need to get out of here and into a carriage to take us home. You need to come with me," he said, hoping the girl wasn't in shock from the events of the evening. He would need her operating at full mental capacity if they were to make it out of this place alive.

Delissia's Photo Delissia 29 Sep 2011

Delissia had somehow managed to get herself not only separated from her four companions, but also horribly lost. Hopefully they've found Lady Marisha she thought as she turned another corner. She hadn't proven useful at all in the search, so she hoped the others were having more luck.

That was when she smelled the smoke.

She immediately quickened her step, telling herself that it was just an untended hearth, or a candle that had been left burning, however, as the smell began to intensify, and small puffs began appearing in the air, she began to worry. Was there a fire? What is going on here? Delissia immediately began to think of Klyde. Could he be a part of this somehow? Setting a Keep on fire during a ball seemed ridiculous, even for him, but then again, Klyde thrived on surprises. It would be just like him, she thought, to ruin everything with some hair brained scheme As she turned another corner, thoughts of Klyde vanished as she ran into a couple running the other direction.

"Excuse me," she asked, catching the woman by the arm as she went by. "What's going on?"

The woman's eyes were wide with panic. "It's those dirty skaa," she said hatefully. "Their attacking the keep. They even have a mistborn."

Skaa? That didn't make any sense. Allomancy was a gift for the nobility; a reward for their faithfulness to the Lord Ruler. Klyde knew of several half breed mistings, but there was no such thing as a skaa mistborn. There just couldn't be. Delissia decided then and there, the woman must be mistaken.

"Lydia, let's go. The crowd is going to clog the streets. We need to beat the rush!" Just like that, both man and woman were gone before Delissia could ask another question.

Deciding it necessary, Delissia hoisted up her skirts as much as she dared, and began to run through the halls. Then, as she passed on corner, she noticed something out of the corner of her eye. Turning back, she found a man, sitting against a wall with his eyes closed, with a dazed smile on his face. Though the smoke was getting thicker by the minute, he seemed to be making no motion to leave the spot.

"Excuse me sir," she said, smoothing her skirts. "I think there might be a fire, are you in need of any assistance?"

Nevan Venture's Photo Nevan Venture 30 Sep 2011

Nevan's eyes narrowed.

Phyra had finally managed to anger him. That was a notoriously notoriously difficult thing to do to Venture's favorite Golden Boy, but well, Phyra wanted to ruffle his feathers tonight. She couldn't help but smile at even that small victory. Her cousin opened his mouth to speak---

--and something - or someone - crashed through the window.

A skaa Mistborn, if his speech was to believed. It was time to be gone from here. She glared at him for interrupting her fun, then turned back to Nevan.

"Too bad, cousin," she purred. "I was hoping to play with you a little more tonight. But it looks like my fun is over for tonight. Time to move in for the kill." She licked her lips, and leaned forward to murmur in his ear.

"Don't say I didn't warn you."

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 30 Sep 2011

It had begun.

The fires had started, and besides that, it appeared that either Mia had hired an extremely dedicated actor - though, this was Mia; Camille wouldn't be surprised - or the rebels really had attacked. Either way, it was time to move.

It appeared Mia had decided to stop that ridiculous duel by starting things far earlier than they were supposed to happen, too. Camille couldn't really blame her for that, but it would have been better to have kept that Riordan on a tight leash to begin with. And not only that, it had cut her evening with Nevan short. Mia was going to hear about this.

And of course, Phyra was there, toying with Nevan. ...Or was she? Going for the kill? She knew Phyra was a Mistborn. Was she planning something? But what? Camille was worried, but it wasn't like she could ask Nevan about it. Besides, she had a job to do. And Phyra was the perfect distraction.

With a pang, Camille slipped free of Nevan's arm and took off through the crowd.

Nevan Venture's Photo Nevan Venture 30 Sep 2011

Nevan couldn’t believe Phyra’s nerve. And beyond that, what did she mean, time to go for the kill? He knew Phyra was angry - beyond angry; she’d been toyed with and humiliated - but would she really...?

No, that was stupid. Of course she would.

Nevan almost forgot entirely about the chaos around them. He had to stop Phyra from doing something Venture would regret. Phyra turned to go, and Nevan reached out to stop her. He would burn pewter if he had to; it wasn’t like he had to worry about revealing himself. It was well-known he was a Misting.

But as he moved, he realized there was something different. Namely, Camille wasn’t holding his arm anymore. Startled, he turned, and caught a glimpse of a midnight blue skirt vanishing into the chaotic sea of panicking nobles. “Camille!” he called out, but he’d lost her.

Dammit, Phyra! Why now? He turned again, and now, Phyra was gone. He’d lost her too. He stood there, frozen, caught between two obligations: Camille, or his house? Finally, after a moment’s thought, he decided he would find Camille, get her out safely, and then deal with Phyra. She would go home before she did anything else; with her metals and weapons confiscated, she’d have to. Besides, he couldn’t imagine her doing any assassinations in that indecent scrap of a gown. He couldn’t understand how she could even walk in it.

His decision made, he turned in the direction Camille had gone and took off into a run, trying his best not to crash into people as he tried to catch sight of her. His relative height compared to everyone else made this slightly easier in most cases, but Camille was so short that it would be easy for her to vanish entirely, which pretty much nullified what advantage he might have had.

At last, he caught sight of her - or he thought he did. A flash of midnight blue vanishing through an almost-hidden side door. How on earth had she got over there so fast? This press of people made it hard for Nevan to move at all, let alone at any semblance of speed.

Eventually, though, he made it, brushing right past a startled servant to enter a plain-looking hallway. This obviously wasn’t meant for noble guests; what was Camille doing going down here? Whatever it was, though, she shouldn’t be alone, so he would follow no matter where he went. As soon as he was clear of the crowd he burst into a run, looking into every single door and hallway he passed. He had to find her!

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 30 Sep 2011

"Mistress Camille. You're early." Fiorlyn bowed formally as Camille entered, but she was frowning slightly. "Is everything alright?" This room had been designated in advance for Camille to change from noblewoman to Mistborn, and of course, Fiorlyn was there to assist the transformation.

"I'm not sure," Camille said honestly. She was already busy removing her gloves and jewelry, and Fiorlyn stepped forward to begin taking the pins out of her hair. "Mia started the fires early, and there's a Mistborn in the atrium claiming to be a member of the rebellion."

"What?" The word conveyed surprise, but Fiorlyn's voice never deviated from its usual motherly calm.

"That's what I thought. But whether we like it or not, the signal's been given."

"Of course, Mistress. I have everything prepared already."

Between the two of them, it was a quick transition. Camille's jewelry was removed and packed away, her hair taken down and tied back with a simple leather cord, and her ballgown exchanged for black shirt and trousers. A supple leather vest, bracers, and specially designed boots added extra protection, and her obsidian daggers fit nicely in their leg holsters. Fiorlyn, as usual, helped her lace into everything, then went to retrieve the final piece while Camille herself checked to make sure everything was in place. They had done this a thousand times at least, and Camille still checked every time. Satisfied at last, she accepted her Mistcloak from Fiorlyn and settled it around her shoulders, the tassels fluttering in excitement.

And just then, the door opened.

Nevan Venture's Photo Nevan Venture 30 Sep 2011

Nevan had the distinct feeling he had stumbled in on something he wasn't supposed to see.

A Casuana Mistborn, he thought at first, getting ready to jump into action with the help of her -- wait, was that a Terriswoman? Putting away a midnight blue ballgown, no less. He took a closer look, and promptly had to remind himself to keep breathing.


The small woman in the Mistcloak flinched as though he had struck her, then just stood there frozen. The Terriswoman looked distinctly uncomfortable, though it was hard to say how Nevan could tell that; her face was perfectly composed. The Mistborn - Camille, he was sure of it now - remained still, saying nothing.

Nevan closed the door behind him and came closer. "Camille," he repeated, with more certainty this time. "It is you, isn't it."

"I'm sorry, Nevan," she half-whispered. "I have to go. Please don't tell anyone."

"Camille, wait." He hurried forward, standing between Camille and the window and resting his hands on her shoulders. "You're not seriously going out there, are you? Into that?"

"No, I just thought I would look prettier in a Mistcloak."


"Honestly, Nevan, now that you've seen me, what do you think I'm going to do?"

"Doesn't Mia have her own Allomancers to take care of this?"

"She is my cousin, and my house's ally. It doesn't matter to you whether she does or not."

"I'll be damned if it doesn't matter!"

Camille just blinked, staring up at him in surprise.

"I'm sorry, Camille," Nevan sighed. "I just-- Lord Ruler, I came looking for you because I wanted to protect you, and it turns out, you don't need me at all."

"Don't be sorry, Nevan," she told him with the faintest trace of a smile. "I'm happy you wanted to."

"Yes, well, now you get to go out and risk your life against some rebel scum, and I'm the one who needs protecting."

Some night this was. Nevan didn't think he'd ever actually felt helpless before, but he did now, and he didn't like it.

Tamsin Landell's Photo Tamsin Landell 30 Sep 2011

Tamsin shrank back further under the table when a threatening figure loomed out of nowhere, until it resolved into Vizar. His voice was calm - seemingly unaffected by the smoke - rational - reassuring. She was still afraid, but it had subsided a little under the influence of that familiar voice and the confidence that Vizar projected. The Terrisman would know what to do; he would know how to get them safely out of here. She could trust in him.

"I'll follow you," she said, and then reached out her hand to clasp his tightly. This time she would not get separated in the confusion. "How are we going to get out of here?"

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There was a girl who had come out of nowhere to stand in front of him, and she was babbling away rapidly, much too rapidly. She should calm down.

"Oh, is there a fire?" Jansten said sleepily. It didn't seem either very interesting, or very important; someone else would take care of it of course. He coughed and lifted one hand to lazily wave at the air in front of his face. "Have a seat and take it easy, darling. There's no need for everyone to go running about like chickens with their heads cut off. Nothing to worry or hurry about."

Delissia's Photo Delissia 30 Sep 2011

Delissia had the strong suspicion something was seriously wrong with this man. His speech was incredibly slurred and dream-like, and he barely seemed to be aware of what was going on. She knew she couldn't leave him to die in the fire. She had to save him, but how? She doubted she would be able to lift him, and dragging him might do more harm than good.

Perhaps I can convince him... But what to say? If the threat of death wouldn't stir him, what would? Delissia took another look at the man, trying to discern something... anything really, that she could use to help him. He was middle aged, and obviously well dressed. His house must be prosperous. He might even be a member of a great house. Maybe... Delissia wasn't sure if it would work, or if the man could even move if she could convince him.

Delissia made sure to speak slowly and clearly, and deliberately didn't specify what kind of steward. Any lord with nice clothes like these would have a steward to care for them, but not everyone preferred Terris Stewards. Delissia hoped her message was general enough to ring true, but specific enough to startle the man into action. "Excuse me sir, your steward just informed me that contract you are working on is in serious danger. If you don't come with me immediately, it's going to fall through."

Borborygmus's Photo Borborygmus 30 Sep 2011

"Oh...it's not important," Jansten shrugged. "I don't see a reason to worry about that either. You really should calm down, young lady." Incuriously, he wondered why Vizar had said anything about the Deveaux contract to this young lady at all. It was most unlike the Terrisman. Probably she was lying for some reason, but that wasn't really important either.

He let his head rest back against the back of the chair, and coughed again. "Quite a lot of smoke, isn't there?" he observed.

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 30 Sep 2011

Caden was about to draw Riordan's blood and end this farce of a duel when a mistcloaked man came crashing into the ball room. Caden whirled to face his new foe, leaving Riordan scratch free. Did he just say he was a skaa mistborn? It was only then that Caden sniffed and noticed the smoke that had filtered into the ball room. The keep... it's on fire. The rebels are attacking! Slowly, he backed away, hoping not to gain the mistborn's attention. He was no allomancer, and would be little use against a mistborn. Though he hated to disarm himself, he also dropped the rapier, not wanting any metal that could be used against him.

A skaa mistborn. Could it be true? He knew some half breed allomancers existed, but he hadn't thought it was a possible for a half breed to be gifted with all the allomantic powers.

Backing away, he found Colette and Eliza. Though he would love to see his cousin lost in the fire, she was still his family, and right now it was his duty to get everyone he could out of this death trap safely.

"We need to get out of here," he said under his breath. "Now." Moving in close to Collete, he spoke softly in her hear, so only she could hear. He couldn't allow her to know he had hinted at her secret to Eliza. She would use it against him. "Do what you can to keep the crowd under control. We can't let this turn into more of a panic than it already is."

Delissia's Photo Delissia 30 Sep 2011

Delissia let out an exasperated sigh. Her ruse hadn't worked, and the smoke was growing worse. What was she to do? What did any successful nobleman value more than his contracts? His image, perhaps?

"Sir, it seems you are out of sorts. I think I saw your competitors coming this way. We can't let them see you like this. If you can stand and lean on my shoulder, I can get you out of here."

Camille Deveaux's Photo Camille Deveaux 30 Sep 2011

Tonight was not going well. Camille still felt extremely shaken from being discovered. It was a relief that it had been Nevan who had found her, but she had been so careful. She had always covered her tracks, and it had paid off. She had never even heard the slightest whisper from her contacts that Camille Deveaux was a Mistborn.

And now, for the first time, she had slipped. Even though she trusted Nevan as much as she trusted anyone who wasn't of Deveaux, if not more, the failure was still a sickening blow. And it didn't bode well for the rest of the night.

Not that that mattered, of course. She would still go out. She would protect her ally, as she had been commanded by her Father. Even if that ally only thought of her as a tool.

But something Nevan said tugged at her, and she couldn't help but pause.

"What do you mean, you need protecting?" she asked, more sharply than she intended.

"Nothing, don't worry about it. I uhh... guess you have work to do, so I'll just..."

"Phyra?" she asked softly.

Nevan just looked at her. She could almost see the wheels turning in his head; he was trying to figure out how much she knew.

"She's a Mistborn, isn't she?"

Nevan started. "How did you--?"

By way of answer, Camille raised an eyebrow at him and plucked at her Mistcloak.

"Um. Right. Dumb question, I guess."

"She's going to try something, isn't she? She's going to hurt you. Don't you turn away from me, Nevan Venture," she added hurriedly, grabbing hold of his wrist to keep him from escaping. "Not after saying something like that. You wanted to find me? Well, you found me. The real me you wanted to know so badly. Or at least, realer than that courtly mask you hate so badly. So now you'll just have to deal with me. Now, let's try this again. What is going on?"

Now it was Nevan's turn to stare at her in shock.

"Nevan, we don't have time for this!" Camille insisted. "Answer me. Please."

"Phyra has been used, thrown aside, and humiliated tonight," Nevan said at last, his voice slow and thoughtful. "More than she ever has been before. And there was murder in her eyes. If I had to guess, I'd say she's going to go after the people she blames for her humiliation."

"Including you."

"I confiscated her weapons and metals earlier, when she proved she couldn't be trusted with them."

"Ouch. Though really, Nevan, she proved that months ago."

"I know, I know. Anyways, we shouldn't be standing here talking, you know."

Nevan had a point. They both needed to move: Nevan to Keep Venture, and Camille out into the chaos. But something kept pulling Camille back. Nevan had been good to her. He had reached out to her, treated her like a human being. The last person who had done that, she had driven away entirely. Now was her chance to not make the same mistake again. Still, Mia needed her. Deveaux needed Casuana. Or did they? They had survived for centuries on their own. It was Casuana who needed Deveaux, not the other way around, and Damien would be here as well. And he had the entirety of Casuana's forces to back him up.

Suddenly, though her duty still pulled at her as strongly as ever, she realized she had already made her decision.

"Let's go." Her voice sounded strange, even to her own ears.


"I said, let's go. I'll meet you at Keep Venture."

Aaron Elariel's Photo Aaron Elariel 30 Sep 2011

Aaron watched as the ballroom instantly devolved into chaos.

A skaa mistborn? Aaron shook his head. It was unbelievable. A skaa mistborn had crashed down from the ceiling and challenged an inquisitor to a fight. It seemed like a bad dream. Perhaps he's not really a mistborn. Aaron himself had impersonated a mistborn several times, using iron to mimic their graceful jumps, and wearing the cloak Daerra had made for him. But this mistborn had challenged an inquisitor. If he was faking his deception would be seen through instantly. Aaron briefly wondered if he was a noble aiding the rebellion, but quickly discarded that idea as well. What motive could a noble have for aiding the skaa?

Movement around him brought him back to the present. People were panicking, rushing in every direction. We need to get out of here before the crowd build up and we're trapped with the flames "Lucille," he said, turning to his companions. "I know you've only been here a little while, but Mia is your cousin. In your few encounters, she didn't happen to randomly mention the quickest way out of the ballroom besides the main door, did she?" Unable to help himself, Aaron searched the crowd for Marisha. Would she be okay? If he tried to help her escape, would she accept his aid, or march into the flames just to spite him?

Lucille Deveaux's Photo Lucille Deveaux 30 Sep 2011

"I'm afraid not," Luci said, casting worried glances around the room. This was an absolute nightmare! Fire, and now a skaa Mistborn? Could things get any worse?

"I think we're on our own," she told him nervously.

"Never fear, Luci dearest!" came Jalen's voice as an arm - which she hoped was his and not some stranger's - draped around her shoulder. "We've come for you, and we'll make sure you're alright. If we don't know where the exit is, we'll just find it!"

"Jalen-I-wha-" Luci stammered, looking up at him in confusion. "What are you doing here? And where did you get that cane?"

"Oh, someone dropped it in the confusion. His loss really; it's quite nice."

"Can we focus, please?"
Daeric asked. He too was resting on a found cane, and he had his off hand in his pocket. Luci had a feeling he had several coins at the ready. "We need to get out of here. Lord Aaron, will you be coming with us, then?"

Colette Hasting's Photo Colette Hasting 30 Sep 2011

Colette smiled a smile that didn't touch her eyes. Just who did this bastard think he was, ordering her around? She considered whipping the crowd into pandemonium just to spite him, but immediately dismissed that thought as the stupidest idea she had ever had.

"Oh, I know very well what needs to be done, cousin," she told him just as softly. "You go ahead and play hero if you want to so badly. Just try not to break my new toy. I'll expect reimbursement, if you do."

Aaron Elariel's Photo Aaron Elariel 30 Sep 2011

Aaron looked around again, seeing his cousin Claudia nearby. "I think I'll let you go on ahead. I see my cousin Claudia over there, and need to make sure she is all right. I trust you four can get Lady Lucille out safely?"

After their response, Aaron nodded goodbye, and began to make his way through the crowd, searching the crowd for any sign of Nerid and Marisha. Where were they? Would they be able to get to safety? What do you care? he thought glumly. If tonight had proved anything, it was that Marisha Nathar did not need his help. If anything, meeting up with her now would only make matters worse. Still, his eyes scanned the crowd. Before the duel, he had caught her eyes when she had first re-entered the ballroom. Was she still near the door way perhaps? Claudia had been with her, perhaps she knew.

He was halfways there when JinJin caught his arm. The kandra was still wearing his Terrisman body, but his face was grave. Seeing such a serious look on the creature's normally jovial face was disconcerting in and of itself. "Lord Aaron," the kandra said in a crisp terris accent. "I have located Lord Mikhail. He is making his way to his carriage. I'm on my way there to ensure he gets away. Odairn will be waiting with your carriage for you and Lady Claudia. Be careful, Lady Daerra would not be happy if harm came to you." Not waiting for a reply, JinJin quickly became lost in the crowd once again.

What was that about? Aaron wondered. JinJin was Daerra's kandra. He had wondered why the thing had remained behind at all. What business did it have with Mikhail. I suppose Daerra rode in Mikhail's carriage on the way here. Perhaps he is just keeping up appearances, remaining with the carriage he drove here. Aaron shook his head wearily. He would have to figure out his sister's plans later. The room was steadily filling with smoke, people were running everywhere, and there were shouts of panic coming from behind him.

Finally, he reached Claudia. "Apparently we have a carriage waiting for us, and Mikhail is already on his way home. I think it's time we got out of here, what about you?" He itched to ask about Marisha, but kept his mouth shut. JinJin's interruption had reminded him of his responsibility to his house. His family was his first priority right now. Marisha would have to fend for herself.

Caden Hasting's Photo Caden Hasting 30 Sep 2011

Caden gave Colette a stern look. Even now, she tries to provoke me. Her reference to Eliza provoked him more thoroughly than anything else. Who did she think she was, treating people like toys. How could his uncle Sheldon not see through her? At least I know what she is, he thought. Colette was a monster, plain and simple, and it fell to him to ensure she never got her hands on House Hasting.

Knowing that responding would only make him seem foolish, Caden motioned for Eliza and Colette to follow, and began making his way through the crowd.