I starred at myself in the mirror and found myself wondering yet again why we had to do this.
“I look stupid,” I muttered, to which Gloria approached the glass behind me and gave the shimmery dress a studious eye. She made a little click noise in the back of her throat and reached for the make-up nearby.
“Hell no, Bad enough I have to wear this thing!” I yelled and she laughed at me.
“Then don't say you look stupid. I'll only use some eye make-up to make yours stand out more. Green eyes are rare, even amongst Drac,” Gloria explained. I still shook my head.
“I'll pass, why do we need to do this?” I asked for the hundredth time. Knowing Gloria and Kimla couldn't give any real answer.
“Maybe she wants to introduce to high up people?” Kimla suggested and I scoffed. I did like Cera, she's been nothing but kind to us since we arrived. But being made to go to some fancy dinner was something I'd rather avoid.
“Well there should be people from my planet. I kind of want to catch up on what's been happening. I'm sure you do as well Gloria,” Kimla said, Gloria shrugged. She probably had her weird sense telling her what was happening already. Then there was a knock on the door and one of the many palace workers, dressed completely in white, led us to the more public side of the palace. The dining hall was overwhelming in its size. I felt a release of shocked breath leave as I took in the sparkling candle holders and thin hanging lights from the ceiling. I'd seen them all about the place, the crystals were natural forming on the planet and absorbed the sunlight. Like glow in the dark, only the spread of light reached further and was much more intimate and subdued.
There were individual round tables that sat four each and In the centre a huge table for ten. I imagined Cera and Arik would be there. People were mingling and some were dancing. It would be a while before the actual meal. I'd hoped I'd adjusted to enough of the dramician cuisine to handle whatever we were given. Kimla spotted Ian quickly and rushed over. He looked about as clueless as me which made me feel a little relieved. Gloria did that thing where she just disappears. I went to the table I'd been assigned and sat. Hoping this thing would be over sooner rather than later.
“Didn't expect to see you again,” A male voice said and I turned to see Leonard grabbing the seat next to me.
“Trust me, I don't want to be here,” I replied, scanning the crowds. Seeing so many species I'd never seen and a few I recognised.
“Ah, Well Cera does like to show off her new pets,” Leonard said, his whole demeanour indicating he was extremely bored. I felt my eyebrows quirk and frowned.
“You don't like Cera?” I asked, causing him to laugh. When he'd calmed down and I'd pushed away my own feelings of indignation he explained himself.
“No one hates Cera, she's loved by everyone. The perfect queen. And now with you two here tonight, she's a good samaritan,” Leonard said. Again, the ways his words dripped with sarcasm confused me.
“She's been very kind to take us in,” I replied, feeling the need to defend her. Leonard shook his head and stood up.
“It was nice talking to you again. But I don't hang out with blind followers,” He said over his shoulder. I watched his back as it disappeared through the mass of people. Clearly I'd failed some social test in his eyes, but I didn't understand what. I watched people mill about, catching their stares every so often. Most sent genuine smiles, others looked in outright curiosity. And a few, very few sneered. It was enough to made me feel unwelcome and want to leave. I stood up and searched for someone I knew and stopped quickly in my tracks as a tall drac women stepped into my path. She had a short fringe and shiny dark teal hair that lengthen as it moved away from her face and pale orange eyes. I found myself amazed by the her natural colourings.
Arik had told me some of his kinds appearance traits, but it didn't match seeing it in person. The scales on her skin was delicate enough that unless the light shined directly on them, you'd think her skin completely smooth. A fiery orange sheath of cloth covered one of her shoulders and fell down to just above her knees, showing off shapely legs. I knew I'd blink in shock at her appearance, this reaction seemed to please on her based on the grin. I felt the slightest temptation to back away at the malicious glint I swore I could see in the way her eyebrows curved.