Chapter Eight: A Night To Remember
“I look stupid, don't I?” I directed the question to hunter who was perched on the chest of drawers. I felt stiff and awkward, and when I looked in the mirror I was even more certain that as always, dresses were not my thing. The dress itself practically fit me like second skin making me feel almost naked. Though the hairpin was a nice touch just as Gale said it would be. I just wish it didn't have such a wide neckline, one which showed more cleavage than I was comfortable with. I pushed a breath between my teeth, blowing strands of hair away from my face as I did. And sent a look to hunter I knew a pout was planted on my face and that I looked very clearly unhappy with having to wear the dress. Hunter cocked his head to the side then lay down. As if to shrug at me I think.
“Stop fussing, you look great,” Gale said with a small laugh. I felt my back stiffen further at the sound of her voice. I didn't even realise she'd entered my room, and from the looks of it, she'd been watching the cascade of emotions that filtered onto my face for some time. I looked at her, she was wearing a long, ruffled black skirt that slanted high to one side, showing a fair amount of bare coffee skin. Her hair was as curly and out of control as ever and half tied up with a multi-coloured bandanna. Her top was made up of two tops, the upper one was a red vest, below that was a black top with small sleeves. And decorating her neck and front where various necklaces, just as various bracelets covered her wrists. She really did look like a mysterious gypsy. An beautiful one too. I felt somewhat insignificant with my pale skin and less than impressive curves. I wish I had the well-rounded red lips she had and the perfect hair. Though I knew if I voiced any of this she'd call me foolish.
“Are you ready Necunoscut?” I nodded, ignoring the strange word she seemed to have started nicknaming me with. I had no clue what it meant, what knowledge I had of gypsy’s were that they spoke a mix of languages, one of which was Romanian. Unfortunately I didn't have google translate with me so I couldn't figure out what it meant. I felt another sigh escape me before turning to face her, I forced my body to relax and smile.
“As ready as ever,” I said. I was worried for a second that maybe Gale had made me overdress for this, I mean how serious can parties on a pirate ship (Well, I assume pirate) be anyway?
When we got on deck the rest of the guests and crew seemed to have also put in some effort, but as I had worried, I was the only one anywhere near overly-dressed. And now I felt like an idiot.
“Nice dress.” I jumped at the sound of Grayson voice and turned to see he was wearing a well-fitting suit. So I wasn't the only one, that was something of a relief. Grayson confused me a little. For one who was the captain of this kind of ship, he was very polite and gentleman-like. I wasn't sure what to make of it in all honesty. I opened my mouth to speak when I realised his gaze was distracted. I turned to see where his line of vision led, and there was Gale. She looked amazing, her necklaces and bracelets all glittered as she moved in time to the folk music, her aura a brilliant orange colour that lit up the darkening night sky, illuminating the setting sun further. All the men were cheering at her and a few tried to join her. But each time she pushed them aside. Choosing to dance by herself. I glanced back at Grayson who was completely enraptured by her and felt a giggle bubble up.
“You should ask her to dance,” I said. Causing a look of surprise to cross his face as he stumbled out of his trance.
“And be rejected like the others? I think I'll pass,” he replied, laughing uncomfortably. His vibrant eyes still focused on her movements.
“Well, maybe she's rejecting them because she's waiting for you and you alone,” I suggested with a little impish grin. I was never the one that got crushed on, but I'd certainly helped a few people get together, the few who seemed to accept me anyway. He sent me a curious look before shaking his shoulders.
“Okay then. Fine. All I got to lose is my pride,” he murmured before walking away. I laughed at the pride part and watched as Gale slowed to look at Grayson with a knowing smile. I'm guessing she was used to this kind of attention. I wasn't too surprised when her smile widened and she held out her lithe hand which his readily took. Good for them I thought.
I felt fur brush under my hand and glanced to my side to see Hunter nuzzling into my hand from the small table next to me. I smiled and picked him up.
“Let them have their dance, I suck at it anyway,” I said to myself as I hugged him, rocking from side to side. I half expected him to get bored after the first few minutes and push me away. Instead he lounged happily in my arms, his head rested against my shoulder. His brilliant yellow eyes growing heavy and his breathing growing heavy.
Gale and Grayson looked happy and once the dancing stopped one of the guys brought out a drum, then another a guitar-like instrument, it looked like something he'd made himself from random bits and pieces. The tune they began to play was pretty, then another person joined in with a flute of some sort. That and the sound of the waves made beautiful music that seemed to suit the ocean and the ocean alone. I thought I could hear a voice singing along to it, but when I looked around everyone was either talking or asleep from high alcohol intake - I'd made a point of turning my nose up at the drinks when Grayson offered me one -. I looked at the dark, unsettled ocean and wisps of clouds above and wondered about that laugh. Was it the same person? In my head I could feel myself join in the melody and without conscious effort I was singing along. Had it been under any other circumstance I'd have been embarrassed by such an act. But for some reason it didn't feel strange when his voice was echoing through my thoughts.
A small part of me wondered if the shiver down my back had been a bad sign. What if Gale had misunderstood something? I didn't know anymore. Maybe my mind had imagined all of this up. All I know is when the music finally ended everyone was looking at me in astonishment. I knew I was blushing but I didn't care. Whatever I just did felt right.
When I looked out to the sea again I noticed the waves were calmer than I'd ever seen them and that the stars high above looked brighter than before, the clouds had moved. Did I do that? Or did we do it? I had no clue, but I was getting the feeling that meeting the mystifying demi-god was going to become inevitable.