“Lady on my right, $2,000 anymore bids for this lovely diamond necklace?” Uncle Rex was amazing and enjoying himself as the master auctioneer. Everything was selling well, some more surprising than others.
Another gentlemen raised his paddle, “gentlemen in the fedora hat $2,500 any, ah lady on my right $2,600 come on now gents just imagine your lady’s face when you come home with this little beauty.”
“$3,000 dollars,” the gentlemen in the fedora called out.
“$3, 200,” a different voice chipped in.
“$3, 700,” Fedora added.
“$3, 900,” the same male voice said.
“It’s that old man sixth row back on the end,” Melina sent and moved her head towards the old man. I wonder who he was buying it for.
“$5, 000!” The woman jumped up in her seat, surprising everybody with her bid and left the two gentlemen gobsmacked.
Uncle Rex eye’s travel the room, “anymore bids, gentleman? Last chance now…are we all done at $5,000 dollars…” The slam of the auction hammer goes down, “sold to number 263 well done and thank you for your donation.”
“Thank you,” the woman smiled and sat back down on her chair.
“Now ladies and gentlemen, we are going to take a short break before revealing our finale piece that I’m sure some of you will be very interested in bidding against. That gives you a chance to dig deep, grab your check books and remember this is for a good course.”
Everyone clapped, uncle Rex stepped down from his podium and was stopped by the woman who made brought the diamond necklace. Melina was still looking at every mask that pasted her, wondering where her prince was and I debating on a tracking spell when Melina shook her head at me. Callum had joined us and was talking to Madelyn complimenting her dress which made her blush under her mask.
“That’s Marcella in the deep red dress,” I heard uncle Rex say and as I turned Patrick was coming towards me.
“Doesn’t he look dashing,” Madelyn winked and walked outside with Callum.
In my opinion Patrick suit was a disorganised mess. Brown jacket with a black checker lines with a button missing, white shirt that seemed a bit tight and pink flowery tie. I didn’t want to look down but without warning I notice the cream trousers and almost put my head in my hands when I saw the black dull shoes that completed the travesty of the outfit.
“Marcella I can’t believe how well the auction is going, hello Melina,” Patrick said coming up to us and took out a piece of paper with the donations.
“Some very generous people, are you enjoying yourself Patrick?” I asked notice he was a little smaller than me as I was wearing heels.
“Is that a flowery pink tie?” Melina thought I nodded in response, “Oh this must be annoying you.”
“You have no idea,” I thought back and smiled at Patrick.
“Yes and I wondered if you would like to dance Marcella?” He asked nervously twitching his fingers.
“My leg is still-
“Marcella, don’t be silly, you went running this morning and said it was better,” Melina butted in and I shot her draggers. “She can’t dance very well, needs a big strong man to glide her across the floor.”
“Well…I know a few moves and I’ll happily show you,” Patrick offered me his arm and I smiled fearing for my feet.
The band was playing classical musical that had a steady beat, it was now or never as Patrick lead me on to the dance floor and I brought my arms up to meet his. He started to talk through the basics of steps, telling me to step forward, then back and I tried very hard not to roll my eyes. I could dance only simple moves but nothing fancy. Finally he allowed us to move, I gritted my teeth as he stood on my toes and glazed round the room seeing my sisters gracefully swaying with their dance partners. Even Adrianna was laughing with uncle Rex as he twirled her around in the centre of the room.
Madelyn face was dreamy her and Callum couldn’t take their eyes off each other, I was happy for her it was her first boy and I hoped that she would be careful. I on the other hand was not being careful and tripped over on Patrick foot.
“Sorry, do you think we could end the dance I need to go and check on the final auction piece,” I stepped aside allowing the other dancers more room.
“Sure, I must get on myself…thank you for the dance,” Patrick held out his hand and for a moment I thought he was going to kiss my hand as I placed it in his. But he didn’t just held it, “you look nice.” He let go of my hand and blending in the sea of people - as much as one could in that suit.
Melina and surprisingly Nick appeared dancing their way over to where I standing.
“Did I just witness that?” Melina asked confused.
“I just... I’m a bad dancer Melina, hi Nick.”
“Hey Marcella you look amazing,” Nick commented giving me the once over and saw his eyes linger over my body.
I titled my head letting my long curled hair fall over my chest, “Thanks and I hope you told Adrianna that she looks beautiful, mesmerising, stunning, captivating and not nice.”
“I said she looked pretty sexy and hot too,” Nick smiled but it was too confidence.
“A bit of advice, stare at Adrianna and think how she makes you feel, then tell her.” Nick’s smile vanished and I watched seeing if anything went in to his head, “either that or you will lose her.” I walked away and then turned my head, “Oh and Nick, don’t use the word nice.”
“Cella, are you ok?” Melina asked concerned.
“I need to check on auction… last item and I haven’t a clue on what it is.” I thought back and walked out of the room into the entrance hall. A waiter was carrying drinks on a tray and I looked longingly at the pink champagne.
“Here you look as though you need it,” uncle Rex suddenly appeared holding champagne flute, with a strawberry on the rim.
“I’m 19 uncle Rex, my parents wouldn’t like it and my sisters will think it’s unfair,” I said being responsible.
“Hmm, you act older and it’s only one glass mostly fruit. Your parents aren’t here and your sisters would think you deserved it. I certainly think you do after all the work,” he handed me the drink which I took. “Besides after what happened back there with Patrick I’d say you were in need of a drink.”
We laugh and I take the strawberry off the drink, taking a sip of the champagne enjoying the crisp cool taste. “I was terrible.”
“No you had the steps, you just need to work on the sway, some spins and when you get really good some lifts,” uncle Rex said biting into his strawberry.
“Think I’ll work on the sway for now,” I reply watching everyone mingle as I ate my strawberry and finished my champagne.
“Are you ready, let me check your teeth for pips,” I smiled showing my white teeth and he nodded. “Right I think we are ready now.”
“The final piece, have you managed to find something?”
“I always have something up my sleeve,” uncle Rex left me to make the announcement for everyone to gather back in the main ballroom. My mind wondered as to what the mystery bid was; in fact you could see everyone’s face was thinking the same thing. My sisters joined me as we took our seats; uncle Rex stood on his podium and knocked his hammer calling everyone’s attention.
“Now then ladies and gentleman the moment you’ve all be waiting for,” everyone ‘oooed’ and ‘ahhed’. “There are four bids and these are very precious to me….now I present to you a very lively and beautiful lady…my darling daughter Adrianna.” Uncle Rex ushered a stunned Adrianna to the front of the stage, I didn’t think she would go and then he smiled encouraging at her.
She rolled her eyes and stood up all smiles waving at she stood like a prize.
“Right I’ll start the bidding at –
“$200!” Nick shouted.
“$400,” Nick looked round and saw the other male bidder.
“$500,” the male waved his paddle.
“I wonder how much he’s willing to bid for his girl,” Madelyn thought, I shrugged and Melina pointed at Adrianna.
“I saw Adrianna talking to him before, maybe they clicked.”
“Oh spells.” I thought back and hoped that Nick won or else this may cause a fight.
Thankfully my prayer was answered and Nick bid $610, he ran up to the stage and caught her as she jumped into his waiting arms. Nick spun her round and kissed her deeply.
“If you could put my daughter down Nick and settle up with Claire out in the hall thank you,” uncle Rex said casually, Nick saluted him putting Adrianna down and went outside. “I’ve got another rare treat for you.”
“Wait…four bids,” I thought panicking and I looked at my sisters.
“He can’t mean us, I saw him talking to the Mermaids before,” Madelyn thought smiling.
“This lovely lady has travelled far to be here, the fire within her is strong and elegant beauty,” uncle Rex carried on.
“Wow he’s good, who is the lucky lady going to be,” Melina thought excited.
“Allow me to introduce my niece Marcella!” Uncle Rex’s voice boomed around the room.
“For a moment there I thought he said Marcella,” I laughed at list I tried to my throat was suddenly dry.
“He did.” The both thought, I blinked my eyes, taking a deep breath, I stood walking confidant as I could keeping my head high and grateful for the mask but still feeling exposed.
I smiled, waved and remembered to breathe as I waited and felt the phoenix fly across the mask.
“I will start the bidding at $100, who will start us off?” I couldn’t bear to look; I was nothing special besides Patrick thought I looked ‘nice’ and who was going to bid on ‘nice’.
“You haven’t got your eyes open,” Madelyn voice was in my head.
“I didn’t want to look.”
“Open.” I did as I was told and saw four different men standing in their seats.
“$300,” I looked to the new voice a woman who was seating at the back and she on her phone.
Three men sat back down in their seats, one was still standing, “$320.”
“$340 final offer,” the man said staring at the woman, only she wasn’t paying attention and listened to the caller.
Tension filled the air as the seconds ticked by and the woman nodded, I held my breath, body ridged waiting for the answer.
“$360 that’s… what…and for an extra hundred would you go for dinner?” The woman asked, everyone snapped their heads towards me.
I didn’t like being pimped out, but it was for charity, I could see Patrick confused yet pleading eyes to agree.
“Marcella ball is in your corner,” uncle Rex said.
“I don’t even know who it is!”
“For once don’t over think something.”
“Sold and yes for dinner,” I said and the hammer went down.