Heaven was surprised to find Gina in her room once she was back from her trip with her father. Zarin must have told her about the marriage thing. Heaven hoped that this wouldn’t change anything in their friendship.
Gina was reading a book while waiting, as usual. She probably didn’t even realize that Heaven had arrived.
“Hello,” Heaven called, throwing herself on the bed next to her friend.
“Oh,” Gina looked up from her book. “You are here.” She smiled, putting the book aside. “Where were you?”
“Father took me out for a while.”
“And where did you go last night?” Gina wiggled her eyebrows.
“So you know?”
“I do know. So tell me. Did you meet anyone interesting?” Gina leaned in, curious to know.
Heaven shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. Demons hate witches.”
“But they love beautiful woman and you are stunning, my friend. Just look at you.” She encouraged. “Once they see you, they won’t care about anything else.”
“I am not sure about that.”
“You should be. Listen, tonight we will go out again. I’ll prove it to you.”
Heaven didn’t protest. Gina was too stubborn to deny. Besides, a part of her still had hope to meet someone. Maybe she would meet the silver-eyes stranger again.
When the night came and the palace became quiet because everyone was asleep, Gina came to her room. Gina was already a stunning woman, but tonight she dressed to kill. She wore an olive green dress with long sleeves and a v neckline. It was adorned with lace and ribbons and flowed from the waist down. Her black hair was braided and attached to her head like a crown. Her hazel eyes were surrounded by thick dark lashes and she had added some colour to her pale cheeks. Gina looked innocent when smiling but when being serious her sharp facial features gave her a very elegant aristocratic look.
“So… “She said twirling. “How do I look?”
“Beautiful.” Heaven smiled
“Thank you. I put in a little extra effort. It’s the first time we are going to a party together, after all.”
That was true.
“Now. What have you decided to wear?” She asked.
“I don’t know what’s appropriate.” Heaven wondered.
“Come, let’s see what you have.”
Gina picked a wine-red dress for her. “This will suite your skin color so much.” She explained.
Without questioning her friend’s choice, Heaven slid into the dress. It looked like Gina’s except for the lace and ribbons. This one was adorned with golden embroideries and a golden belt at the waist.
When she was done, Gina helped her put some paint on her lips and cheeks, and since none of them were good with hair, they just let her hair down.
Gina took a step back to take a good look at Heaven. “Good Lord. You are going to provoke some demons tonight.” She smiled, satisfied.
Heaven on the other hand didn’t like the idea of provoking demons. “Maybe I should change then.”
“No, no.” Gina crossed the distance between them and embraced her. Before Heaven could think of what to say, they had already arrived outside the party.
“Come on.” Gina said, taking her hand and leading her inside.
This party seemed different from the last one. It seemed calmer. The hall was dimly lit with slow music in the background. It had somehow a romantic feel to it. Probably why Gina brough her here.
“Regina.” A familiar voice called from behind.
As both of them turned, they froze in place. For different reasons.
“Uncle?” Gina seemed embarrassed and a little scared.
It was Enoch. The angelic looking demon. Heaven had seen him a few times when she was young and actually believed he was an angel. Now she was staring at him with the same fascination.
“What… what are you doing here?”
“I should ask the same.” He spoke.
“Eh… we just…”
“It’s my fault. I told her to take me out.” Heaven hurried to save her friend.
Enoch turned to her and looked at her for a moment, as if trying to recall who she was. Then his eyes widened with realization.
“Princess Heaven. You truly shouldn’t be here.”
“Please uncle. Can’t you just pretend you saw nothing. And please don’t tell father.” Gina begged.
Enoch looked around, unsure.
“Please uncle. Zarin is coming too. We will keep an eye on Heaven.”
So this was about her now?
Enoch sighed. “All right. Only this time. Don’t get into trouble.” He warned her, then turned to Heaven. “It was nice meeting you, Princess.” And then just like that he was gone.
Gina let a breath of relief. “Lord. What was he doing here? He isn’t the party type.” She wondered.
“I am not sure. He isn’t very talkative. Anyway, that guy there has been staring at you.” She nodded toward a handsome male staring at her through the crowd. When their eyes met, he smiled at her.
Heaven averted her gaze quickly, feeling slightly uncomfortable.
“Oh Heaven. Come on. Dont be shy. If you don’t like him, pick anyone in the room and talk to them.”
Heaven panicked. Was she supposed to make the first move? She would never dare.
“Alright. I’ll just leave you alone to… Oh, someone is coming here.” Gina gave her a push with her elbow.
Who? Heaven looked around quickly. A man was approaching them. Good. Then she wouldn’t have to make the first move.
“My Lady. May I have a dance?” He reached his hand out for Gina.
Gina raised her eyebrows. Surprised, he asked her for a dance instead of Heaven.
Heaven would have been happy for her friend if it wouldn’t mean that she would be left standing there alone. But she forced herself to smile. She didn’t want to ruin the night for Gina, so she gave her a nod to go on.
Gina took the man’s hand, and he led her to the dance floor. Heaven could tell they were flirting by the way they leaned into each other and Gina giggled. If she only had half the confidence her friend had.
“My, my. What do we have here?”
Of course he was here. She turned to him. “Zarin. What are you doing here?”
“Well, I couldn’t miss the party my sister and my friend were attending.” He let his gaze slowly travel up and down her body. “And I am glad I came.” He added.
Heaven felt something strange in her stomach. It was as if his words meant something else.
“Why?” She asked.
“Because it’s dangerous the way you dressed. It must be Gina’s doing. She dressed you to be a meal for many hungry demons in this room, and I can’t let that happen.”
“What do you mean?” His words confused her.
“Come. Let’s dance while we speak.”
He took her to the dance floor and drew her into his arms before they began to dance to the music.
Heaven realized this was the first time she danced with him. It also made her realize the man her childhood friend had become. He wasn’t the silent, broody and innocent little boy she knew anymore. He was confident, mischievous and very tantalizing.
“So. Have you thought about my offer?” She asked.
She leaned closer and whispered. “To marry me.”
He chuckled. “Are you still on that? I thought we moved on from it.”
“Is the idea of getting married to me that unpleasant?”
“Yes.” He replied.
Heaven felt hurt by his words. “Why?” She asked.
“Because I like to live freely. I don’t want to be bound by royal duties.”
Oh, so it wasn’t because of her.
“Also, I wouldn’t make a good King.” He added. “But don’t worry. We will find you someone.”
“Demons won’t like me when they find out I am partially witch.” Heaven whispered.
“Well, your grandfather liked your grandmother.” He reminded.
“That was a onetime thing.”
“If it happened one time, it can happen twice. You just need to find a very powerful demon, like your grandfather. One who is centuries old. Then he won’t care that you are a witch if he truly likes you.”
Powerful, centuries old demon didn’t sound good.
“And if he doesn’t like me, he will kill me on the spot.” Heaven added.
“Oh. It will be very difficult not to like you in this dress.”
Heaven’s cheeks flushed, which caused Zarin to laugh. “What is funny?” Heaven asked, annoyed.
“You are adorable. You need to become bolder than this. If you get together with a demon, I promise you giving compliments is the least he will do.”
Heaven knew demons were very s.e.x.u.a.l creatures. She could only imagine what they could be doing behind closed doors. Nothing she would want to know, yet.
“So where do we find this powerful, centuries old demon who won’t kill me?”
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