The Volturi Ball I

IC Time: July 5, early evening
Location: Ballroom, Castle Volterra.
Synopsis: The Volturi Ball begins.
Submitted by: Caius

The first change in the castle are the party planners. Vampires rush around everywhere, setting up in the massive ballroom. There are tables and chairs, an entire classical band set on a raised stage, and a DJ booth nearby. The room has electric lights, obviously, but tonight, it has been lit solely by candlelight, coming from the huge chandeliers and a variety of other sources along the walls and on the tables. The effect is overwhelming: it looks old-fashioned, elegant, and borderline overdone. The Volturi have spared nothing for this ball, it would seem. It's a display of wealth, yes, but moreso, it's an offering to all visitors to celebrate and cherish the very race they are.

UP on the balcony, the three and their escorts wait for guests to file in and take a seat before they make a grand entrance and undoubtedly say a few words. Soft music plays as guests arrive; greeters encourage them to have a seat before dancing and socializing begins. Some tables are reserved for covens, others are open. The doors to the courtyard are open, the night air is cool and refreshing.

This is certainly not the first formal occasion that William has ever taken part in, but it is the first time he has been involved with such an event since he began his new life. The vampire had been ready for grandiosity, but the sheer scope of what the Volturi have created was not expected. He seems relaxed as he makes his entrance, moving slowly as his eyes take in the varied vampires who had been invited to the ball. As he moves deeper into the grand hall, he clasps his cold hands at the small of his back. He follows other of his kind in before he finds a seat and sits down, resting his hands in his lap while he waits for the arrival of the 'royalty'.

Chelsea and Afton stand beneath the balcony, looking radiant as a couple as always at these affairs. Chelsea in an ivory silk gown with a neckline that plunges quite deep both front and back. Surely there is some tape involved in keeping her decent. Standing beside her is Afton in an Ivory suit of his own, with a red silk cravat setting a contrast under his chin. Looking for all the world like blood dripping from his throat.

Old-fashioned, elegant, and borderline overdone… Three things that Aldo Siferetti certainly is not as he walks through the Reception Area with an arm draped around his main squeeze, Lilly Carrere, while his other hand rested within his pants pocket. The vampire looks amused enough, a proud smirk firmly planted upon his face as he stands with the confidence of ten men, certain that despite his modest dress that he shines brighter than every flame of the chandeliers gracing the ceiling with the candy on his arm. "Oh good, it doesn't smell like burning sphincter in here… The wolves must've decided not to join us tonight," he comments with a smirk, giving Lilly a light squeeze against him. "Say… If this thing is boring you wanna sneak out for a quickie?" he finishes, just as the pair step into the Ballroom itself.

The castle was absolutely stunning, Carlisle wears a big grin as he escorts his wife upon his arm. Being escorted to their desginated table he pulls out a chair for Esme, glancing towards Edward knowing he will do the same for Bella. Taking his seat he looks around before leaning towards Esme, "Looks like they didn't hold anything back." his voice is but a light whisper.

Lilly slips an arm around Aldo's waist, as he has an arm around her. Dressed up for the occassion, a smirk is given to Aldo at his words, before she flashes him a grin. There's her answer to his question. "Come on baby," she speaks softly, dropping his arm from around his form as she makes to lace her fingers with his own. "Let's go mingle and see if we know anyone here, hmm? I haven't been outside much since I got back." A soft laugh from her to Aldo at this, and yet another smile.

Esme smiles as she looks very much the part of an elegant lady on the arm of her gentlemanly husband. Her arm is, of course, linked with his as he leads her into the room. Once her seat is pulled out she casts a loving smile towards her husband before tucking her full skirt under her and taking the offered seat. "And I thought Alice knew how to throw a party," she gives with a quiet laugh.

The last time Bella danced and dressed up was at her wedding. Something that seems a lifetime ago, but was not even two months ago. So much has changed for her since then, including her status as a human. She is wearing a garnet and diamond concoction no doubt chosen by her sister in law Alice. A princess dress with a fully bubbly skirt. As Edward escorts her in, her footsteps pause. Her fears drain away to be replaced by awe of what she sees before her. Her mouth drops open for a moment before a light chuckle from Edward brings her back to herself and she lets him guide her to their seats with the rest of the family. "I am glad I am steadier than I used to be, falling on my face here…" she murmurs with a shake of her head.

It could be said that most of the world's vampire population is present for this gala. The faces here represent every corner of the globe, though all of them have in common the pale skin, unnatural grace and crimson eyes (with a few exceptions) of the vampire race. Some of the guests tend to congregate into groups: The Denali coven from Alaska gravitates toward their Washington cousins. Eleazar Denali and his mate, Carmen, trail behind as the former Volturi Guard takes the opportunity to greet some of his former coven-mates. The Egyptians keep to themselves, Amun looking over the gathering with an inscrutible, austere expression. The delegation from Ireland, however, appears more at ease. Maggie's laughter can be heard over the din of the conversation. Nomads from Europe, the Americas, Asia and beyond also filter in, peering at their surroundings or renewing old acquaintaces.

William seems to become just the slightest bit bored being seated and simply looking around. He stands just a tad too quickly for a human before he turns on the spot, scanning the vampires again. He takes a few steps closer to one of the walls, deciding if he should be an insider or simply remain detached and watch. For now, watching seems to be his choice.

One of the VOlutri guard can be found off to the side making sure all goes well it seems. Theresa is standing perfectly stright with an Japanese looking wooden umbrella grasped losely in her right hand. Her clothing matches nearly with the umbrella as she wears a traditional kimono and the rest of her dress and makeup makes her look rather interesting. Even though she was never an actually Geshia while she was alive she still was trained well and keeps that knowledge alive it would seem. Her gaze slowly slips over the ones here while she hums a soft tune to herself.

Aldo and Lilly make their rounds together, their hands being held, then their arms lacing with each other… they are constantly changing positions, and almost seem aggitated that they had to take time out of being together to be here. Damn Volturi balls. With a playful smack of Lilly's hand to the side of his face as Aldo tried to grab her chest in public, they share a chaste kiss as they split, him needing to tend to something or another, and Lilly, well, she is moving towards William now, hands holding up her gown from the floor as she walks.

Rising to his feet once those of the Denali join them. Carlisle offers them a polite nod of his head once the ladies are seated he retakes his seat. Hearing the comment from Bella he lightly chuckles at the mere thought. "I received a message that Rose and Emmett should be joing us later." This of course makes him very happy. His golden eyes begin to watch the room noticing Lilly recalling perhaps coming across her once in Forks, "I wonder when the trio will be making their entrance."

Once most of the guests have arrived, the song changes to the demure background music to a classic ballad that older vampires might immediately associate with royalty of older times. It seems to sybolize that the vampires should be seated, if they are not already. The three original Volturi members proceed down the stairs, led by Aro and followed by Caius and then Marcus. They walk swiftly — it is a show of power, but not a drawn out one. They head for a table that is raised by stone at the head of the room.

Aro walks with not only his mate, Sulpicia, but a much younger vampire that can be recognized as Stasia. Sulpicia wears scarlet and is linked through Aro's right hand. Stasia, in blue, is linked through his left arm. The walk doesn't take long — they arrive at the table, and Aro smiles at the crowd, not sitting yet. A microphone is at his place, and he ventures to speak:

"My friends." His arms are held out. "I cannot describe how truly elated I am to see each of you here, celebrating the history of our kind with my brothers and I. We have come very far, weathered many storms. While I don't wish to say more than needed, you should know your presence is most deeply appreciated." He takes a moment to beam at Sulpicia and then Stasia. "I have no doubt it will be a night to remember. Dancing will begin immediately; refreshments are in the turret." Aro's filmly eyes sparkle and he looks to his brothers, as if to offer the 'floor' to them, if they should choose to speak.

Esme offers a smile and exchanges pleasentries with her Alaskan relatives before her eyes drift to her husband. "Wonderful, it'll be delightful to see those two," she gives, her bright smile betraying just how much this mother looks forward to seeing her children. The woman, of course, falls silent when the Volturi enter the room, though her eyes truly glisten at the mention of dancing, far and beyond her forte when she's partnered with the most handsome vampire in the room, her husband.

Theresa lifts her head slightly as she lets her gaze drift towards the arriving leaders. A slight bow of her head seen more out of respect then anything. She shifts letting the umbrella twirl beanth her hand. She's here to have fun but at the same time being a guard leaves her on constent duty so to speak.

Bella reaches out for Edward's hand as the trio arrives, going very still in a chance perhaps of not being noticed. Her red eyed gaze, with the most subtle of auburn underlaying it, follows the trio to the dais. There is no movement, not even to breath from the newborn as she watches and listens.

Chelsea can't help but grin as Stasia arrives, a look of…pride or accomplishment. The girl did not escape the ball. She gives a wink to Stasia should she see it and leans into whisper to her husband. Afton chuckles at whatever was spoken to him, before guiding them to a table no doubt sharing with Heidi and Renati and their escorts near the dais.

William inclines his head ever so slight to the approaching vampire. He waits till they get closer and he leans away from the walk and takes a few steps towards them. He remains silent for a few moments before he says in his slightly hard tone, "A pleasure to meet you. I think I may have seen you in the castle? I must admit, I don't get out much." A bit of a grin creeps onto his features before he says in a softer tone, "And you look absolutely ravishing."

And of course, he listens to the words of Aro but does not actually make any note of them.
Smaller than both Aro and Sulpicia by several inches and younger by a few millenia, Stasia uses every ounce of poise and composure she has to appear calm and dignified. She rests her hand lightly on Aro's arm, resisting the urge to grip it fearfully, as the more solitary vampire is suddenly overwhelmed by the crowd and surroundings. She isn't expected to say anything and unsurprisingly, doesn't. Instead, she affects a cool and stately mein, mimicing Sulpicia on Aro's right arm.

Caius appears haughty and austere, a king appearing before his court. His mate, Athenodora, walks beside him. The ancient female was renowned for her grace and beauty in life and death. The millenia have diminished neither quality. Her golden hair is piled atop her head and held in place by an ancient Etrusian tiara, worn in life. She wears a stunning black gown, that shimmers in the light.

Caius does speak to the gathering, "We would add our welcomes to that of our brothers. We are delighted that so many have come to celebrate our successes and accomplishments. It is our sincere hope that these festivities are enjoyable and memorable to all." Yes, he is using the royal "we".

Guard duty is probably what has taken Aldo briefly away from Lilly's side as not much else can seperate the two. At William's words, a soft smile creeps over her lips as she even gives a small curtsy. "Thank you," comes her soft voice, "I do not believe so, but once you were in Forks, and I tried to eat you. You must thank a friend of mine for interrupting when he did, as you are ravishing yourself." Then Aro and Caius speak, her attention turning briefly towards them, watching them with her vivid crimson eyes.

Following closely behind the ancients, Gregori enters wearing a traditional black and white tux. He smiles and looks around at the guests, noticing the golden eyes of the Denali and Cullens. As he takes his place behind the trio, he clasps his hands behind his back, he becomes alert and attentive, watching every face that looks at the ancients. He takes careful note of their actions, all the while listening to the speaches of the trio.

William offers the faintest of shrugs to the comment before he says, "Well, should I thank you for that?" A few moments pass before William does slowly cross his arms over his chest to try and examine the woman a bit more closely. He simply stares before he says, "Events such as these are so taxing. Though it is an amusing way to waste money…"
When the crimson eyes find the 'Royalty' again, William moves a bit to make sure that he can always have them in his line of sight. Always a careful one.

Carlisle rests a hand upon Esme's turning his attention towards first Aro and then Caius. Offering his friends all a grin from his seat, he does plan sometime in the evening to greet all them personally. Feeling the chair next to him shift he quickly stands up giving his daughter Rosalie a hug glad they managed to make it in time. "Good to see you," he tells the pair before reclaiming his seat.

Marcus is the last of the ancients to make an appearance. He is also without an escort. Clad in a black tux with a crimson tie, it does look as if he put some effort into his appearance. He says nothing and regards the gathering with a dull, apathetic expression.

Esme rests her hand on Bella's, offering a smile towards her daughter. "It's okay, Darling," she gives with a gentle, motherly smile. Esme is about to link her fingers with her husband's before she see's the last two Cullen's to come. Getting to her feet she easily pulls both of her children into a hug, kissing their cheeks and smiling at them. "Rosalie, you look lovely, as always, that gown is perfect. Emmett, what a handsome outfit, I don't want to know what Rose had to do to get you into it," she gives with a laugh before she settles herself at her husband's side again. She replaces her hand upon Bella's, while the other one goes to her husband.

Aro sits after Caius speaks. Of course, Marcus refused to speak. He immediately nods to his mate, "Beautiful, as always, my love," he praises, taking her hand and kissing it softly. However, after that, he angles himself toward Stasia, his eyes lighting up. "You did wonderful… and you look amazing," he murmurs to his 'mistress,' apparently. "Did you recognize anyone out there?" Carlisle's table is nearby and it lends his glance to there — he lifts his brows in friendly recognition of his old friend and smiles. "…I need to go greet them soon. It's been too long. Perhaps you'd be more comfortable seeing to Lilly and asking about how her… stay in Port Angeles is going?"

"Thank me? Oh no. No no no. Thank my friend, for he is the reason of your life, or death, perhaps?" A flash of a smile to William at this from Lilly, her eyes looking past the other vampire to watch Aldo flit around the room briefly opposite of her, before looking back to William. "I suppose I should see if they speak anything interesting." Clearly she means the Volturi royalty, for that's where her attention goes.

"Well, thank you and thank your friend."

William then seems to meld back into the wall and refrain from speaking. The crimson eyes do fall on Theresa a few times but his focus goes back to the leadership of the vampire race. He stands tall and straight, looking more like a greek statue than anything else.

Bella leans in to whisper to Edward, "I don't see my cousin…" She says, as much as a question as a comment as to whether he sees him. Her fingers remain interlaced in Esme's and Edward's as the awe slowly drains away to be replaced by those old fears of this place. She is trying really she is, but well she only has bad memories of this place, though she tries to put a brave front on for Carlisle and Esme.

Caius takes his seat at the head table, situating so that Athenodora and Sulpicia can sit next to one another. Isn't he thoughtful?

"Amun and his coven has come." He murmurs, as Marcus sits on his other side. The white haired ancient continues to scan the room, carefully noting who is present and who is /not/ present. This seems more important to him than dancing or pleasantries, at the moment.

Stasia did catch Chelsea's wink as she made her appearance and managed a tiny smile for her friend. After taking her seat, she gratefully smiles at Aro. He told her she wouldn't have to talk to anyone she didn't want to. "I'd love to see Lilly again. And Theresa looks lovely." She murmurs.

At Caius's side, Athenodora whispers in her feather-soft voice, "We should lead the dance." The ancient female looks to her counterpart for support. It's up to the ladies to remind their men of the duties of a host.
Theresa blinks slightly out of what ever she was thinking about and glances around the room once more. She shifts slightly picking the umbrella up and lets it settle upon her right shoulder whlie she starts to slowly move along, catching bits and pieces of conversations as she gos.

Edward keeps his hand wrapped firmly in Bella's, as it pretty much has been from their arrival. Which must have been quite awkward in the showering and dressing phase. But whatever. "I don't see him, either," he replies, quietly. And he can't help the fact that he doesn't sound disappointed about this. However, he doesn't manage to avoid being happy about it, keeping a calm expression on his face as his eyes sweep the room.

Lilly watches Aro, Caius, and Marcus for a few moments longer before turning her crimson eyes back to William, a faint smile to him as her hands clasp behind her date. "Did you not come with a date?" A perk of her brow as if this face interests her, "Nevermind. We shall dance sometime tonight. I doubt he other half would mind…" A glance across the room shows her other half hitting on a pair of female vampires, Lilly chuckling at Aldo before she flicks her gaze back to William, "I am Lilly. I do not know if we have made introductions. I live in Forks, when I am not here, in Volterra." Stasia isn't really seen yet, so many vampires to look at!

Esme gently squeezes Bella's hand. "I'm sure he'll show up, undoubtedly with Ramona," she gives with a light, airy laugh. "You have no reason to worry, Bella, there's no threat to you here," the woman gives. Undoubtedly she looks a little odd in how she's sitting, her hands interlaced with both her husband and her daughter. "Edward, you should take your wife dancing," the woman suggests with a light laugh before casting her gaze towards Rosalie and Emmett, the pair, of course, couldn't stay seated for very long, they're showing off their moves on the dance floor, and looking quite elegant while they're at it. "Edward, please be nice to Spencer, he is Bella's cousin, human or vampire."

William offers just a faint grin before he says, "Oh, I do not dance. I can dance…but, I guess I could make an exception for you." He seems amused again before he goes back to being the silent statue. He seems to be troubled for a few moments before he departs and starts to slowly move towards the exit where most had entered.

Bella looks up to her husband and squeezes his hand briefly. She can't be too upset over his reaction to her cousin, she is doing all she can to hold her own back. At the suggestion of dancing Bella nods nervously. Well anything to keep her mind off the memories. She she raises from her seat, releasing her mother in law's hand in the process. "At least Rose and Emmett are out there already, noone will spare a second glance for us…"

Aro hears Caius's musings, but decides to leave the guest list tally to him. After all, he's got not one but two ladies with him, which, of course, he has subtly tried to rub in Caius's face /anyway/ for the past two weeks. He rises swiftly, offering Stasia a hand to help her down from the raised area so they might go and visit. He walks toward the Cullens table, allowing for Stasia to head toward Lilly or whomever at some point.

"Carlisle, my old friend!" Aro greets, his eyes taking in his golden-eyed friend. He doesn't offer a hand out for obvious reasons: it could be interpreted as rude considering his power. There would be time for that later. In turn, he looks at the others: "Esme, lovely, as always. And! My, my! Is this Bella? Edward! You did well…" Aro seems very excited at the prospect, though at the moment, she's heading toward the dance floor. He can wait.

Several couples have already moved to dance, generally the older vampires that are more familiar with the music and style of dancing. Coming from eras when /everyone/ learned how to dance and combined with the etherial grace of their kind, the movements on the floor are beautiful to behold.

Caius scowls at his mate, but allows Athenodora to pull him from his plotting with Marcus, at least for the moment. Unsurprisingly, the ancient pair move like swans on a clear pond.

Stasia leaves the head table as well, neatly avoiding the dance floor as she looks for her friends. "Theresa, you look amazing." She says to the Asian vampire, in an awed murmur.

A soft laugh from Lilly at this, "Good. I shall see you later tonight then." Dismissing William as he dismisses himself, the not so Newborn begins to move towards where Aldo is, probably to yank him onto the dance floor as well. But, she is moving slow, moseying, taking her time, saying hi to vampires she has never met before. While Lilly has never been social.. much.. she is making up for it tonight.

Carlisle rises to his feet, "Is great to see, Aro!" Of course he also doesn't offer his hand for the time being. "The place looks magnificent as always." he smiles then glances toward shis wife. Offering his hand looking into her eyes, "Shall we dance darling?"

Theresa blinks a moment and turns her attention to Stasia and offers a warm smile and slight nod. "Hello Stasia.. An thank you. I'm glad you like." She says while chuckling. "Though I must say you look rather stunning yourself. You should dress p more often." This said with a happy tone. At least Stasia is speaking with her.. Wait until she finds Dante, she'll skin his hide. "How do you like the Ball so far?"

Esme chuckles slightly. "Oh, Bella, you'll be fine. Go, let your husband lead you," she gives, ushering the pair off before her attention turns to Aro. "Thank you, Aro. This is proving to be a nice little get together," she gives sincereley as she too gets to her feet, easily stepping to her husband's side, taking his hand with a nod. "Could I ever say no to dancing with you, My Love?" she questions with a light, girlish laugh, her eyes already dancing with delight.

Edward looks back toward Esme with a little smile, as she addresses him. "Did I say something untoward?" he asks, politely. Because of course, he didn't say anything of the sort. No one said anything about /thinking/ things that weren't nice. But when his eyes move back to Bella to find that she does really want to dance, he brightens slightly. He stands along with Bella. "I beg to differ, my love…" Because of course, Edward thinks she's the most beautiful creature in the room. He doesn't get a chance to tell her this, however, as he's being addressed by Aro. His loving smile flickers toward something more in the range of politeness, as he gives a nod of greeting. "Yes, she is…" He glances aside at her, his smile softening again, almost imperceptibly. But he's saved from having to address Aro's comments by Esme, who ushers them off to dance. "Shall we, then?" he suggests, waiting for Bella's agreement before leading her away from the table.

Lilly spies a Stasia! Finally. With a smile to her lips she begins to move towards Stasia and Theresa, hands gathering up her gown as she moves, afterall, she is still a teenager, maybe she coulda grown another inch or so before she was turned. "Stasia!" Her voice lightly calls out as she nears the woman, tredding carefully around the other vampire couples that begin to move towards the dance floor.

"Thank you. It's…. overwhelming." Stasia replies to Theresa. Very overwhelming, in fact. But she's glad for some friendly faces. "I heard that Dante was sent on a patrol after…" She doesn't quite finish that thought. "Anyway, he'll be back soon, I'm sure." Hearing another familiar voice call her name, Stasia gives Lilly a warm smile. "Lilly! I'm so glad you could make it. You look lovely."

Caius and Athenodora take another turn on the floor. The ancients note that the Olympic coven have decided to dance as well and Caius glances in Aro's direction with a question in his gaze.

Relaxing at the clear sign of no danger to the trio. Looking around to see if he there is someone he knows, he spies Sulpicia sitting alone at the table, Marcus being the only company to her. He casually but gracefully walks to the table. "Shall we dance?" he says, offering his hand to Sulpicia, awaiting her reply with a smile on his face.

As Aro pauses there advancement to the Dance floor, Bella looks up to him doing her best to rise to her full height which is helped by the heels she is wearing. "Thank you sir." She replies politely before inclining her head to the dance floor, "If you will pardon us…I have not danced since I have changed and I plan to revel in the experience." Aka, not fall on my face for once. She tries for a smile but it looks a little strained. She inclines her head once more before allowing her husband to lead her to the floor and into his dancing embrace.

Theresa nods slightly. "Yes it cam be rather overwhelming that is for sure. But I have to say you are doing very well." She offers with a plesent smile. "So I heard.. But he was going to try and stop in." A faint sigh escapes her at the thought. Her gaze turns and she glances over towards Lilly as Stasia speaks to her. A faint smile is offered before she nods a moment to her. "Evening Lilly."

Gregori relaxes at the clear sign of no danger to the trio. Looking around to see if he there is someone he knows, he spies Sulpicia sitting alone at the table, Marcus being the only company to her. He casually but gracefully walks to the table. "Shall we dance?" he says, offering his hand to Sulpicia, awaiting her reply with a smile on his face.

Aro smiles graciously at Esme and Carlisle. "Thank you. We've been planning it for a long time… I do hope everyone enjoys themselves." He inclines his head toward Bella and Edward, clearly indicating he'd like to talk more, but it seems he caught them at a bad time, they are dance floor-bound — Aro's brows quirk just slightly as he nods to the couple. "I trust you will be available to talk later," he says, rather firmly at he turns his attentions to the dance floor, spotting Caius and sharing a private glance that 'answers' Caius's questioning look. He then glances at the table, where Sulpicia is being propositioned, but doesn't seem to mind terribly, instead finding Stasia along with Lilly and Theresa and heading toward them. "Ladies, are you enjoying yourselves?"

Sulpicia smiles at Gregori, batting her lashes. "But of course. Thank you. How are you enjoying yourself so far?"

"Good evening Theresa." A soft smile to the Volturi guard before Lilly turns her attention back to Stasia. "Do I? Aldo said the dress would look better on the floor, but I can't put much into his words." a soft laugh from her at this as she moves to Stasia's side, lacing her arm through one of the female's own. "Oh Stasia. Isn't it beautiful? I would have just hated myself to miss this, even if my date has to split his time between me and his duties." And then Aro nears, another smile, "Aro, my Lord. It's all beautiful."

Gregori helps Sulpicia from her seat as she takes his hand. "I am fine, my Lady. How are you doing this fine evening?" he says leading her to the dance floor. "You look lovely in that dress. Red suits you very well, if I must say so, my Lady." Glancing at Aro and remembering their earlier conversation.

Though Stasia seems to enjoy the moment with her 'girlfriends', she greets Aro's approach with a warm smile. "Unforgettable, my lord, as you said it would be." She replies, squeezing Lilly's arm. "Though Aldo and Dante seem to have been misplaced."

Caius and Athenodora finish the dance, then move to speak with the Egyptians. A moment later, they re-take the dance floor: Amun leading Athenodora while Caius dances with Kebi.

Marcus, for his part, does not dance and does not appear to wish to. He does converse minimally with a pair of older European nomads.

Theresa blinks a moment as she hears Lilly speak on what Aldo says and her eyes roll slightly before she shakes her head a moment. "Yes.. That does sound like something Aldo would say.." She shakes her head slightly at the thought while she takes in a faint unusable breath. Her gaze turns over to Aro and she offers a bow of her head to him and a warm smile. "Of course sir.. It would be hard not to enjoy ones self here at this place. It is lovely indeed."

"Aldo is working tonight Staisa, we will dance later, be it here, or not." A flash of a grin to Stasia, Aldo certainly having rubbed off on the Newborn to where her words are far more loose now. A hug of the other female vampires arm before Lilly releases it, her eyes drifting past Aro to his brother Caius, then to Marcus, then back to Caius. "I do hop emy Lord Caius saves a dance for myself, it has been months since I've seen him. Months." Months!

Carlisle leads his wife out to the dance floor. He did hear Aro mentioing to Edward and Bella that he wants to talk, hopefully it's all in good faith considering her change. Though for now looking into the eyes of his beloved giving her his undivided attention, "You look radiant tonight. Your eyes are glowign to match your smile." he speaks softly as they seem to float across the floor.

Bella relaxes once she is out on the dance floor. Fear of dancing vs fear of Aro…really its a close one. But in Edward's arms and in her new body, she is finding the first of the fears flaking away. She is elegent and graceful now and she looks up to her husband with a tentative smile. "This is not so bad…" She responds, though the steps are unfamiliar, she lets her husband lead her and with only a few missteps, but no big stumbling errors, thay do grace the dance floor.

Esme smiles in response to Aro's comments. "I'm sure it will be a delightful evening," she gives with that bright smile of hers. "You've done a wonderful job with the decor, we'll be certain to mention it all to the others," she gives with a light laugh, taking care not to bring up any specific names, not that it isn't obvious who she means. Of course, once she's in her husband's arms her attention is entirely his. "Only because you're here, with me," she gives as her smile brightens. "You, my love, look dashingly handsome, you could easily put everyone else to shame," though… she's probably biased in that regard. For a few moments her eyes stray, first to Rose and Emmett, who are, naturally, as graceful as ever, and then they turn to Bella and Edward. "She's doing so well," Esme whispers in her husband's ear.

Edward leads Bella through the dance, himself having to adjust to her newfound grace. After all, he no longer has to make the allowances he once would have… But soon they've fallen into step and he smiles down at her, lovingly. "You're doing wonderfully," he assures her, quietly. Then, he adds, "And beautifully, too." In case she didn't hear it the first thousand times. Yes, he's on a mission to give diabetes to everyone here. Go figure.

Aro laughs at Lilly's comment. "Caius seems to be quite the dancer right now. I'm sure he could spare a dance," Aro says smoothly to Lilly, eyeing his brother, who, fortunately for Aro, is taking over on socializing while Aro spends time with some of the guard. "Thank you, Theresa. You look stunning. I daresay I will have to steal a dance from you, after Stasia graces me with one." With that, he offers a hand to the vampire in blue, eyes sparkling. "Just like before, no?"

Sulpicia smiles at Gregori, "I'm wonderful! I've seen friends I haven't seen in just years. I must say it's exhilirating."

Caius finishes the dance with Kebi, then moves across the room to where Aro speaks with Lilly, Theresa and Stasia. He arrives just in time for Aro to request a dance with Stasia and comments, "Why, brother, here I have been social with our guests and I find you monopolizing the company of these three ladies. I will have no more of it." He chides, mock irritation in his tone. "Lilly, Theresa, you must forgive us. It happened that we required Aldo and Dante for duty this evening, as the safety and security of our guests is our top concern. It was not an attempt to remove them from the field, I assure you both." Caius appears quite courtly as the night goes on, his mood improved after the conversation with the Egyptians.

Stasia gives Aro a shy smile, nodding. "As you will, my lord." Her voice drops. "I'll try not to trip." She moves with the ancient onto the dance floor.

"What the /hell?/" A voice floats from the courtyard, proceeded by laughter. "This music sucks!" And… candlelight? Ramona's brows are raised very high as she steps inside the room, her lips tight, her hand on the doorway as she leans in to view the party. "Ugh. So. Not. Fun." It's a wonder she's down here at all, sans a date. For those that have been hanging around Volterra recently, they might know she'd brought a guest to Volterra, but the whereabouts of Spencer Swan are unknown at the moment as Ramona strolls into the room wearing a dress that would make a nun faint. She's content to, for now, just gape at the goings-on, partially horrified. It isn't until a moment later that she spots /Stasia/ at the hand of all people, Aro. At that, she strides forward, nearly stumbling over her heels, but catching herself — gracefully. She just gapes, debating a hasty retreat.

Theresa blinks and offers a smile to Aro while another slight bow of her head is offered. "But of course.. I would happly dance with you my lord." This offered with a pleasent tone showing she truely means it. Well if Dante isn't around he can't complain now can he? An who in there right mind would refuse a dance with Aro or one of his brothers? Lifts her head slightly and lets her gaze dirfts towards a voice that she somewhat catches and a faint smirk is seen once she catches sight of Ramona while her head merely shakes while she turns to put herself between Ramona and the now dancing pair. "Ah.. Ramona, how lovely of you to finally join us.." This said with a friendly tone all the while as she smirks still.

"My Lord Caius," Lilly speaks softly, the female smiling softly to the anicent, "My Lord Caius. It is so wonderful to see you… I would have liked to dance with you, but Aldo said he would be back for one…" A grin to Caius at this, then "I will speak with you tomorrow, about everything. And Lord Aro if he wishes to be present. I must find my date though… Excuse me," Lilly speaks softly to the vampires in her company, breaking off from them as she begins to move towards the dance floor, hands once more holding up her gown a little bit as she moves towards the throng. But! Aldo intercepts! A sneak attack as he twirls Lilly around suddenly into his chest. With a happy squeal from Lilly she wraps her arms around her boyfriend's neck as they move off into the throng of vampires on the dance floor. And from there, the two will disappear for the night, sneaking away from the ball together. Lilly never saw Ramona, but, another night perhaps!

Esme cringes faintly as she hears Ramona's voice filter in, though that's the extent of her reaction as she's easily pre-occupied by her husband. At the end of the song, however, the pair all but dance back to their table and he pulls Esme's chair out for her, before settling back at her side, their hands linked, finger twined together. Esme's eyes drift about the room, taking in the gathering, though they eventually settle upon her children, her smile brightening as she watches them.

Caius watches Lilly depart with Aldo, a faint smile on his lips. That smile grows when Ramona enters and… outbursts. Trust the young to make things interesting. Leaving Theresa to intercept the angry American, Caius approaches the Cullen's table. "Carlisle, my friend, perhaps I might invite your lovely wife to dance. Athenodora would undoubtely return the favor, but she and Kebi have matters of common interest to discuss." He gives Carlisle a knowing look. Women.

Stasia, like everyone else, hears Ramona make her entrance. "She does like her attention." She murmurs to Aro. The diminuative vampire in blue gives Theresa a grateful look. Dancing with Aro in front of a large crowd is nerve-wracking enough, let alone with hecklers.

As the night wears on, some vampires have moved to the balcony or the courtyards. Others have taken advantage of the offered "refreshment" in the Turret room, returning with glowing crimson eyes and the barest scent of blood about them.

The heads of the heads of the Cullen family turn as Caius addresses them. Carlisle offers an ascending nod, leaving the choice up to his wife. "Of course," the woman answers, kissing her husband's cheek before getting to her feet. "It would be a pleasure to dance with an old friend of my husband's."

After scowling in Stasia's direction a moment longer, Ramona's distracted by her name being spoken. She inclines her head toward Theresa and then makes her way over. "Hello, Theresa, dear." She flicks her gaze over the other woman's outfit. "The dress suits you well, and the umbrella can double as a weapon," she notes distractedly, craning her head to look for her former kin, but coming up unsuccessful. "So, did anything remotely entertaining happen yet?" she asks the Asian vampire. "And, wow, Stasia's scored a dance with Aro. How fun for her!" she says with fake cheer.

Aro slips into a familiar dance with Stasia, daring to pull her a little closer. He gives notice to Ramona, but not much, especially considering the newborn wasn't present, the one that may or may not have powers. "Attention? All mine is right here." He continues the dance until the song ends, and then introduces Stasia to an older English vampire. "A mistress, eh?" The vampire winks, and Aro chuckles and pats Stasia's arm.

Theresa lifts her head and smirks still as she watches Ramona. "Why thank you.. An your dress suits you as well.." She offer softly thinking a few other things about the outfit as well. "Yes, it comes in handy, especially when I need to whamp a youngester for being out of line." Now who could she be speaking about? "Indeed.. DOn't they make a lovely dancer pair?" Her fingers grip the umbrealla's handle as she lets it lower back to the floor, both hands settled upon it, one hand ontop the other. "So.. Where is your little friend at tonight?" This question dealing with Spencer.

Caius escorts Esme back to the floor, where he dances with smooth, unsmiling grace. "I hope you and your family are enjoying yourselves, Signora." He speaks quietly. "I was curious if young Edward agreed to our invitation?" He pauses, /just/ long enough for everyone to wonder what offer he was talking about. "The piano is exquisite and he has a reputation for composition."

For her part, Stasia has a bit of experience dancing, but makes up for it with lithe grace. When she is introduced to Aro's English friend, she is shyly polite. But the comment of a 'mistress' seems to register something with her and she takes another look at the assembly, as if seeing things for the first time.

Esme dances with the grace that both her vampiric nature and experiance have given her, though she's not as comfortable with Caius as she would be with her own husband. "We are, thank you. Carlisle has enjoyed the visit to his old home, and I'm certain Bella and Edward are finding this trip more enjoyable than their last," she gives with a light nod. "I don't know, however, if Edward has made a decision as to whether he should grace the party with his music, he's quite smitten with his wife, as I'm sure you can see. It's hard to seperate those two," not that anyone's tried.

Ramona glances down at her 'dress' and smirks. "I thought so," she purrs. She seems well-aware that Theresa's comments in return to her may not be the most… sincere. It's true she has few friends at all, actually, so she's used to it, replying as if Theresa actually /was/ taking her seriously. "I guess so, sure," she agrees with a bit of a laugh at Stasia and Aro. "Spencer? Mmm, I except he'll show up later." Ramona glances toward the courtyard door. "He's not big on drama," she adds, sounding surprisingly honest as her tone lowers and her gaze flits toward Edward and Bella. "Plus, I tired him out. So, making any further trips to Forks soon?"

Aro and his friend bid their goodbye, and Aro steers Stasia back toward the main floor, picking up on the slight difference in her. "Something wrong" he asks lowly, a hand moving to go around her waist. His crimson eyes scan the crowd, finding Bella and Edward again, and then flitting to Theresa and Ramona. He did not forget he promised Theresa a dance, so he walks them that way.

Caius clicks his tongue in disappointment, "Not even for so simple a request. Your family is quite stingy with small favors, my dear." He smiles, taking the edge off the comment but the expression doesn't reach his eyes.

Stasia allows Aro to guide her back to the main floor. She doesn't answer him immediately, but intead moves her hand to make contact with his, allowing him to read her thoughts if he so chooses.

Edward has been twirling Bella around the dance floor, with eyes for no one but her. Did someone ask him to do something? He doesn't remember. As the song comes to an end, however, he gives Bella a final little twirl, showing off her new gracefulness, and his eyes scan the room. He sees Esme with Caius, and leads Bella to where Carlisle sits at the table the Cullens had claimed. Because someone has to make sure she doesn't get into trouble! That done, with a meaningful look to Carlisle to make sure he knows how serious the situation is (as if he wouldn't have picked that up given Edward's behavior so far), he walks toward Esme and Caius. "What's this about stinginess?" he asks, with the same carefully constructed polite smile he's been using a lot today.

Esme chuckles. "I'm sure that he means no offense if he chooses to stay at his wife's side," she gives, her tone is nothing but gentle, though she can see that this does not please Caius. As Edward approaches Esme offers a loving, motherly smile towards him. "Our hosts would like you to grace us with your musical skills, my dear," she gives with a light chuckle.

Back at the table, Carlisle is, of course, going to look after Bella, by taking his daughter's hand to twirl her back out onto the dance floor. What better time to practice than at the biggest vampire ball of the year, after all.

Aro, meanwhile, stops in his stride and gazes over Stasia. "I see." His eyes close. "I understand. We'll talk later. In the meantime, enjoy the people, enjoy the festivities. You think too much," he murmurs. With that, the ancient goes off to find Sulpicia. He owes her a dance or two. He doesn't leave without a kiss to Stasia's hand, however.

As Theresa wanders away, Ramona scans the crowd, none too interested in any of the people present. She turns and heads for the courtyard again, but pauses near the door to listen to Edward and Esme speak with Caius. Yes, she's that nosy. Though, she pulls out her phone and messed with it to avoid looking like she's doing much of anything. The conversation hardly strikes her as interesting, but what does is the newly abandoned Stasia. Ramona saunters up to her, eyeing the dress, the jewels. "Fancy seeing you here. Rumor on the floor was that you're banging Aro!" Way to be bold. She smiles. "If you like that sort of thing, that's cool. Or maybe it's just manipulative."

"Indeed, young Edward." Caius comments smoothly. "Your reputation as a pianist and composer has preceeded you. We would be delighted if you would perform for us. That is, if you can be separated from your newborn mate for a moment or two." He gives Esme a courtly bow. "A delightful dance, my dear."

Stasia peers up at Aro, nodding at the promise to speak later. But she can't help smiling at the kiss to her hand.
Ramona's approach, however, is like a splash of cold water reality. "Why, Ramona." She smiles, showing her teeth briefly. "Keep talking like that and someone's bound to throw you off a cliff again."
Edward gives a warm smile to Esme, and replies, "So you'd told me…" His smile cools a bit as it is shifted to Caius. Not so much as to be interpreted as rude, of course. Just that slight bit. "My reputation exaggerates, I'm sure," he replies, quietly. "But if you insist. I'm sure Bella will be…just fine with Carlisle, for a few minutes."

Esme smiles and moves to go give her son a light kiss upon the cheek. "Bella will be fine. You know your father wouldn't let anything happen to her. Go play us a little bit," she gives, ushering her son off if he should choose to, before she goes to relocate herself at her families table, smiling as she vampire-watches.

Ramona doesn't hide her annoyance at Stasia. "I jumped," she hisses. "It was better than being there with you." The memory gives her pause, however, to remember other details more accurately. "Whatever happened to that girl, anyway? She turned…" she trails off, figuring she wouldn't want to say anything about it too loudly, in case it wasn't well known. Besides, that would be something they could /actually/ talk about together and, well, that wouldn't do! "Did you say hello to your friends yet?" A head is angled toward Esme and Edward standing near Caius. For all Ramona knows, they are all still buddy-buddy. "Don't you try and get Spencer eating 'vegetarian,' too. Though, it looks like Aro's trained you well, your eyes." She nods. Yes, Ramona can talk a lot. In her opinion, someone needs to shake things up! She finds herself wishing for Virginia, or perhaps Darcy.

Aro has found himself engaged in a dance with Sulpicia, though he dances close to Caius, listening and occassionally watching his brother converse.

Marcus hasn't moved from the table, though across from him Siobhan is chatting up a storm in her accented but flawless Italian.

"You jumped." Stasia smirks. "If you say so." She shrugs, then. "I don't know what happened to her. Or how." Absently, she rubs a place on her forearm, a fresh crescent-shaped scar. The wound has healed well, but every so often there is a twinge, until the venom works its way out of her systm. She follows Ramona's gaze over to the Cullens. "I've spoken to them about as much as I intend to." Her garnet eyes flick back to Ramona. "He's your newborn to train. Not mine. I don't care what you teach him to eat, so long as you teach him to clean up after himself."

Caius smiles broadly now, "Of course, of course." He gestures to the exquisite grand piano. "We are well protected here. What harm could possibly come to your young mate?"

Edward smiles politely at Caius. "She has a way of finding trouble in the most…unlikely of places," he replies, diplomatically. Esme gets another smile, before he follows both of their directions, his eyes automatically drawn to Bella, even as he approaches the piano. He hesitates, a few feet away… But she /is/ with Carlisle, so he steps forward to adjust the bench.

Esme gives a shooing motion with her hand towards her son. .oO( She'll be fine ) Other than that, she does nothing, other than to turn her attention upon her husband and daughter, talking and dancing about the floor.

Esme gives a shooing motion with her hand towards her son. .oO( She'll be fine. Play something for her ) Other than that, she does nothing, other than to turn her attention upon her husband and daughter, talking and dancing about the floor.

"Me neither," Ramona replies thoughtfully, reflecting upon the Alanna incident before she gazes distractedly toward the door, then, to her phone. A text. She reads it and smirks. "Good to know." She glances between Stasia and Esme once before she shrugs and heads back out the way she came without so much as a farewell.

Having finished a dance witih Sulpicia, Aro goes to collect Stasia, as well. The three head to the turret to feed.

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