Home > Masquerade's Moon (Blood and Snow #6)(3)

Masquerade's Moon (Blood and Snow #6)(3)
Author: RaShelle Workman

"These are cool, right?" he asked, searching my face.

"Very cool," I responded sincerely, putting the black one on my wrist. Salvatore made a noise, so I hurriedly slid on black pair of socks.

"Sixteen watches, in all different colors." He helped me open the rest. My bed held a rainbow of watches, and I wondered what I'd do with them all.

"I'm thinking there might be a theme to the gifts," I said, glancing at each of the guys.

The all agreed with, "yes," "of course."

My smile was so big it hurt my cheeks.

"Told you it was a great idea," Daniel said.

For the next half hour I opened presents, the delicious-looking food forgotten. It didn't matter. I wouldn't have enjoyed it anyway, and I think they all knew it.

Each brother gave me sixteen of something.

Dorian gave me shirts. They were new and made for women, but still had old 80's memorabilia on the front. Musicians like Def Leppard, TV show characters, like the Smurfs. A yellow shirt had a smiley face drawn on it with a hole in its forehead. I put it on over my tank.

Bart gave me earrings in all different shapes and sizes. I rarely wore earrings, but put in a pair of ruby-colored studs.

Daniel gave me apples, which I thought was hilarious, but the guys grumbled was lame.

Heathcliff gave me journals. "So you can write down your thoughts," he said. They were beautiful. Some in leather, others had pretty designs and flowers on them.

Professor Pops presented me with sixteen pairs of Converse, in an array of shades, from bright orange to teal and lime green to lemon yellow.

"Thank you," I squealed before clearing my throat. I couldn't help the enthusiasm that spewed out of me. I wasn't a shoe person unless the shoes were Converse. "These are awesome!"

I jumped up on the bed and hugged him.

"So glad you like them," he grinned, his eyes twinkling.

I cleaned up my bed, putting the watches into the box, the socks back in their box, and moving the Converse into a boxed pile on the floor.

Gabe stepped forward. "One more," he said, his voice soft.

I'd been nervously avoiding his gaze. The dream of him floating from the sky and stabbing me through the heart was still firmly situated in the forefront of my mind. Last night he'd told me he wasn't an angel, and didn't have wings, but the dream still freaked me out.

"Snow?" Gabe shook the present playfully.

I smiled. "Sorry." The box he handed me was small, the paper a bright green secured by a white and green polka dot bow. I opened it. Inside was a red iPod Nano. Surprised I glanced at him. He'd remembered my new favorite color was red.

"There are sixteen songs on there." He winked. "I hope you like them."

I hugged him. "Thanks, Gabe. I'm sure I'll love them."

He placed his hands on my waist sending an electric pulse of heat through my belly. I leaned into him, enjoying his smell, like fresh laundry, sandalwood, and a hint of his mouth-watering blood. Holy being or not, I was drawn to him.

Opposites attract. He's supposed to be good. You're supposed to be evil. It's a textbook setup, my inner voice said sarcastically.

I internally shook away those thoughts. Gabe and I had plenty in common.

Gabe kissed my neck and my body warmed. His soft lips melted away all worry.

"We'd better let Snow get cleaned up. Plus, you boys have a lot of work to do before the party tonight," Professor Pops said.

They all groaned.

"Later, Snow," they said as they unhappily left the room.

I stifled a laugh. "I can't wait to see you guys in your tuxes," I sang out.

More groans.

Chapter 4

When Professor Pops reached the hallway he bent and picked up an extra large box that was leaning on its side. It was wrapped in a shimmering black with a small black and white ribbon around it. "One more present," he said, bringing it over to me. It was as long as my bed.

"What is it," I asked, too intrigued to be embarrassed by the extravagance.

"You'll see," he smiled, causing the wrinkles near his eyes to become more prominent.

I tore away the wrapping. Across the white box written in bold black were the words: Vera Wang. My eyes found Pops'. "I already have a dress, remember? My dad and... stepmother bought one for me," I whispered.

He tipped his chin toward the box. "Open it."

Carefully I removed the lid. For some reason my hands shook, my heart beat rapidly. Folding back the tissue, I sucked in my breath. Layer after deep, crimson layer of a transparent, filmy material covered the entire inside of the box. On top of the cloud of red was a strapless bodice. I gingerly pressed it between my thumb and first finger. It was soft, like silk.

"Try it on. Let's see if it fits."

"Alright," I agreed mesmerized by its beauty.

"Vera is a friend of mine. When I explained the dress was for your sixteenth birthday party, and that the theme was a masquerade ball, she excitedly created this masterpiece.

"It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," I said softly walking into the bathroom and shutting the door. Quickly, I removed my shoes, plaid pajama pants, black tank top, and the watch Sebastian gave me. I stepped into the dress and pulled it over my chest. Pinching the sides together, I awkwardly zipped myself in. The dress felt like liquid against my skin. Opening the door I stepped out, nervous anxiety skipping in my belly.

Professor Pops held out his hands. I took them and he gently twirled me. "You look exquisite, Snow. Like a fiery dream."

I blushed, enjoying the attention.

Seven heads peeked into my bedroom.

"Holy wow," Heathcliff said.

The others nodded their approval.

I found Gabe, and he mouthed, "Gorgeous."

"Get," Professor Pops scolded, shooing them from the room.

I walked over to the full-length mirror and my heart raced faster. The girl in the mirror looked older, more mature...

Like a woman, I thought.

"The mask will be arriving later this afternoon. I'll have one of the boys bring it over," Professor Pops said, choked up.

I turned to him.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

He shook his head, clearing his throat. "I am honored to know you, Snow White." He bowed, and my heart lurched.

Why did he do that? The words from the Vampire Queen filtered through my mind. She'd said he wanted her power. I still had so much to learn.

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