I stormed back into the ballroom, holding back the tears that threatened to burst forth. After a moments thought, I touched the shoulder of the nearest young girl, and asked her if she wanted to dance. After I lifted my mask a little -pretending to wipe at a sweaty brow and commenting: "Is it hot in here?"- She nodded, smiling, obviously all to happy to dance with the acclaimed Ace. I held back a sigh. It was obvious that she just saw me as the famous gamer Ace, not as Ace the person, like Dia did used to.
For the first time that night, I was thankful that it was a masquerade. My extravagant mask hid the frown that lined my face throughout my dance with the girl. I twirled and stepped and sashayed as required, then kissed her hand and went on my way. I skulked on the sidelines for a while, before Jack came over, with two girls in tow.
"Ace? These young ladies would like to dance with the pair of us." Jack beamed. He was obviously having the time of his life, surrounded by girls who knew his name. Copying his enthusiasm I said:
"Yeah, sure. It would be an honor." I bowed low, took the hand of one of the ladies, and kissed it. The girl in question blushed profusely, and then allowed me to lead her to the center of the dance floor. Just as we got to the middle, a slow song came on. Happily, she put her arms around my neck, in the slow-dance position. I panicked, and looked around the room frantically for a way out. Then I spotted Dia, standing, staring at the pair of us. I smiled, and pulled the girl closer, twining my arms around her waist. "What was your name again?" I whispered to her.
"Annie.." She whispered back. I rocked and swayed with Annie for the duration of the song, feeling Dia's eyes burning into my back.
Serves you right, betrayer.. I thought, bitterly. As the song came to an end, I decided to take an impulse. I lifted my mask, and without warning, kissed Annie with passion. Annie kissed back, believing that I really did like her, even though I had known her all of five minutes. Mid-way through the kiss, I opened my eyes, and locked gazes with Dia. There were tears in her eyes. I shut my eyes again, and deepened the embrace.
Serves you right.. I thought, once more.