Ari, The Empress.
As the blur that was Camellia strolled passed her Ari was quick to roll her eyes before her Adept could catch on. Her steps were slow yet deliberate because she didn’t want be around Camellia’s happiness for too long. She had this way of irritating Ari with her choice of words and how she phrased them. Ari’s biggest fault was letting Camellia in for long enough that she was able to read her true emotions even through her harsh words. Her mind told her to run in the opposite direction away from Camellia and away from this ball. She wanted in that moment to be by her father’s side but she had a duty she must fulfill for La Famiglia. Ari took a second to herself outside her room before she entered and took her seat. She loved her room it was the ultimate playhouse for all of Ari’s desires but they were safely hidden in the walls. The seat she took was behind a wooden desk that was craved with different designs and each looked similar to one another. She ran her hands over twists and turns that the wood made. All she wanted to do with her make-up was thicken her eyeliner and reapply her lipstick but Camellia insisted on playing stylist.
“You look so pretty! Marcus is sure to fall for you tonight,” she said offhandedly as she helped herself to Ari’s bathroom mirror, “Ari and Marcus sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…”
“Marcus? Gross,” Ari's voiced strained as she talked, she felt like lying but somehow she couldn’t do it with conviction. “I don’t know where you got that idea from but you should keep it to yourself.” Those words brought the confidence back to Ari’s voice while she shifted the mirror to look at her reflection. It worked but it wasn’t her style but perhaps if it caught Marcus’s attention…
“I need in here so you can do your clown make-up elsewhere,” She smirked; she still had it, that drive to make other people miserable. It didn’t show in Camellia’s face that she was the slight bit offended by her remark, which drove Ari crazy. Ari wanted to wipe the look off her face so she slammed the door as Camellia turned to say something. On a slim metal hanger held her most risqué dress, which was saved especially for this night. The annual ball was most impressionable night of La Famiglia. This was her scene and her scene alone despite the competition that rose up every once and awhile. When she saw Camellia in the nude she had begun to doubt the attractiveness of her self-image.
Ari slipped out of her old dress and replaced it with less material but more oomph. White in color, two thin straps covered with opaque jewels held up the dress. The jewels trailed down the straps onto the chest were they bordered the edge. A strip of white fabric appeared in an upward facing arrow underneath the jewel decorations. In several layers was the rest of the dress, which didn’t go passed Ari’s knees but none of her dresses did. The first layer shimmered and appeared silver unless viewed at the right angle then it became apparent that it was apparent. Beneath the first layer were many layers of just plain white dress material that kept the dress from showing off too much. Ari took the time to raid her jewelry box for earrings that befit this outfit. There were shiny studs, glittery hoops, and even a pair of diamonds in the small, round box. In the end she decided on a pair of teardrop shaped earrings, there was an opening shaped in the same teardrop form. They had the same opaque jewelry on its edges as the dress. Her own teardrop inched down her face as she recalled the day her father had gifted them to her the day of her 17th birthday… She slammed shut the jewelry box in hopes that it shut the memories that leaked forward from the back of her mind. She slipped her hands through three bangles all black in color that were dotted with tiny jewels and located on her left arm. To compliment her black accessories she removed her cherry red lipstick and reapplied a much darker shade. Ari failed to realize her entire wardrobe and glamorized change took a half an hour. Before she went off with Camellia arm in arm she securely strapped on a pair of black heels.
“Ari, can we please go lick that sculpture?” She giggled.
“Yes Camellia, let’s act like idiots in front of the whole Famiglia!” She huffed, she felt insulted that suggestion would even be brought up but admitted that it did sound fun. “I’m the Head of Intelligence but someone lower in the ranks such as you can feel free to do that!”
Ari pulled her "elegant" gown upwards and took off from her Adept a little too eagerly. All she wanted was a moment to cool down. She truly cared for Camellia who brought out the best in her but not without the bad. Ari spotted all the current members of the La Famiglia who had contracted with the Arcana Tarocco Cards. There were more than she remembered, last year’s ball held a smaller group. Another sight that she wished she never came upon was the filthy Coin Apprentice from earlier. Ari laughed as she thought about how Annabelle's upmost respect must be given to her by night’s end.
“Annabeth,” Ari flashed a smile as she walked up to the Apprentice. Her body language seemed receptive yet her eyes told a more sinister tale. “You know what you should do? Dance. Maybe with a boy that can stand the sight of you… Dear god, what are you wearing? Clearly you would’ve been better off in that maid’s outfit.”
Her eyes fell to her next victim who stood just stood in the background of Annabelle. She had to walk clear across the room with her heels that clicked and clacked the entire way on the ballroom floor. The young Apprentice, who looked quite dapper for a newcomer was her mark and she intended on getting him to do what she wanted. She’d feed him a couple worms and then baited him in now it was time to set him free.
“Tobi, dance?” Ari snatched Tobi’s hands not willing to take rejection and placed them on her now prominent hips. She giggled as if his touched made her feel something special but in reality it revolted her that this kid had his rough hands on her even if she put them there. His need for attention was obvious when Ari watched him lap up her every word earlier without objection. “Remember our deal? You drop that sack of bile name Annabella and I’ll get you in with Marcus!” Ari took one of Tobi’s hand held it up and spun underneath. She leaned in closely and ran her hand through his hair and genuinely smiled at him. Not because she felt an attraction toward him but because she knew her plan had to work, it just had to. With the smirk returned to her face she promptly excused herself from Tobi’s presence and headed towards Aerous who stood at the bottom of the staircase.
“Why on earth aren’t we trusting Marcus to oversee Nova?” Ari wondered outloud her voice purposely loud enough to reach Aerous’s ears. “Or even Oda! At least we know they won’t go overboard.” She blew a kiss toward Aerous and the image of a pair of lips floated through the air towards Aerous. The lips crumbled right as they were to touch Aerous’s skin clearly the work of Ari’s illusions skills. She tossed her hair back as she strutted with poise toward the beautiful Miss Camellia, something Aerous would say.
“Well, your brother looks... “Ari’s eyes were peeled to Marcus when she noticed how nicely he cleaned up. Her own dress matched his outfit almost as if she had planned it that way... She hurried to finish before Camellia caught on to why she stopped mid sentence. “Too serious! He needs to lighten up and have some fun!”
THE EXTREMELY LONELY PAIR OF CAREFULWETPAINT