The Volturi Ball Ii

IC Time: July 5, later that same day.
Location: Ballroom, Castle Volterra.
Synopsis: The Volturi Ball continues
Submitted by: Caius

Once Carlisle is done his dance with Bella he re-seats himself at the table with Esme. Esme's eyes naturally follow Bella out of the room, after her cousin. "This should be interesting…" she murmurs with a laugh, though her attention easily drifts around the room, watching.

Caius notes the departure of his brother and his escorts, quickly followed by Marcus (who apparently thinks it's now okay to leave the ball). He speaks quietly with a pair of older European nomads, but occasionally, his filmy red eyes sweep the room. Athenodora and Kebi, friends since Egypt was a vassal state of Rome, continue "catching up."

Lilly comes back into the ballroom probably close to an hour later, and Aldo is not with her, probably getting scuttled back off to guard duty. Fingers lift to her raven locks, oh so casually adjusting a pin in her hair before she moves back into the crowd. She did leave Caius' company pretty swiftly, and so it's to Caius she now moves, hands regathering up her dress as she does so.

Caius spots the young vampire moving toward him with a purpose. He smiles thinly, excusing himself from the German nomads, as she approaches. "Hello again, Lilly." He greets her with a faintly bemused expression. "Are you enjoying the ball?"

Lilly flashes Caius a smile as she stops just infront of him, eyes bright with excitement. More excitement for the exciteable Newborn that's getting to be not so New. "Yes. I would not have missed it for anything, my Lord. And to be honest, I was ready to leave Forks. Ugh. These are my people, my true people. I was not content being away from Volterra." A brief glance around the room, "Ah, Stasia has departed. I shall have to chat more with her another time. And you, my Lord, enjoying yourself?"

Esme chuckles faintly as she watches the goings on and the people, though it's not terribly long before she rises to her feet, on the arm of her husband. The pair take easy strides towards the balcony, neither yet ready to leave the celebrations.

"Yes, Volterra does have a charm of her own. I assume that Aldo was pleased to have you return." The white haired ancient peers curiously at the young vampire, "Will you be remaining here or do you intend to return to the United States?"

"I… do not know to be honest my Lord. I wish to stay, as my purpose in… well, we will speak of it later. And yes, Aldo was very pleased with my return." A faint smile to him at this as Lilly holds a hand out to the Ancient. "My Lord, may I have this dance? Your beauty surpases that of any man here." See? She can charm.

Caius chuckles faintly, amused at the novelty of a woman asking a man to dance. These modern ideas! "Of course, young one." Now see, too bad Aro isn't here to see this. "I would be delighted." He accepts the offered hand, but leads her onto the dancefloor. He also leads in the dance. Modern ideas about gender roles only go so far with him.

Lilly must have been taking lessons in preparation for the ball, for she does know what she's doing, and only falters just a little bit… though of course Caius guiding her helps. Silence from her for a few moments as she moves, then soft words come from her to Caius, and only Caius before silence as she watches him, bright crimson eyes settling on filmsy red eyes.

Lilly whispers: The Diemos coven is getting.. suspicious. Especially Alexander's sister Angelica. She is a road block in my path. Either something must be done for me to reain their trust… or there is no purpose for me being there anymore.

Caius doesn't immediately react to Lilly's whisper. "That is an interesting proposal, young one. But my presence is required here… for the moment. But undoubtedly, there will be ample opportunity later." He smiles at her, but his eyes are serious.

Lilly looks briefly confused at Caius' words, before a soft laugh comes from Lilly, her fingers flexing just a bit more tighter around his own, squeezing. "And I thought my tongue was wicked, my Lord." A smirk to him at this as they continue to dance, before she moves in to lightly rest her temple on his shoulder, if not just for a moment.

Caius chuckles, low in his throat, when Lilly squeezes his hand. "Indeed. I have had a great many more years of practice, young one." He continues to dance with smooth grace, leading in a simple enough step for her to follow, as she presumably hasn't taken ballroom dance lessons.

Lilly is currently dancing on the floor with Caius, no one else really having posed in yet? I think. A chuckle comes from her to the words of Caius, her fingers flexing around his own once more. "It's nice to actually dance, my Lord. I'm afraid when Aldo speaks of dancing, it's not really a dance at all." A soft chuckle, if not just a smidge more nervous, "Be vivd with me, my Lord. I have taken lessons, to prepare for you."

"Isn't it?" Caius smirks as he glides across the floor with the young Lilly. "That should be remedied, I suppose." He begins to move faster, in more intricate steps, as the newborn claims to have prepared for this occasion. "I didn't think young Americans knew how to dance, anymore."

"A kind of dancing my Lord, but now this kind." When he begins to be more intricate with the steps, Lilly follows along, though she doesn't have it down like he does after eons upon eons of dancing. Silence from her for a little bit, and then, "My Lord. I took lessons for the ball." Like she's told him twice now. "I am making the most of my unlife. I have found out I'm a damn good tracker. Though you already know that from me tracking down.. you know who."

Speaking of "you know who", Stasia returns to the ballroom. She lingers at the doorway a moment, her garnet eyes sweeping over the gathering. The young vampire's appearance is not as covert as she would have liked; more than a few of the guests pay notice to her. Though the attention is disconcerting, she straightens her shoulders and puts a small, polite smile on her features. It is already well known (and remarked upon) that she made her entrance to this gala as one of Aro's escorts, along with his mate, Sulpicia. For the moment, however, the ancients seem to have left her on her own.

Another is following Stasia back into the main room, Theresa glances around to see how everything is going as she hums softly. She lets her umbrella rest upon her shoulder before she glances over to Stasia. "It has quitened down a bit huh?"

Caius chuckles faintly. "You have a request, somewhere in this?" He slows his steps a modicum, making sure that Lilly keeps pace. A man's role in a dance is to help the lady look dainty and graceful. He marks the return of Theresa and Stasia, two of the Guard, but doesn't comment.

Lilly keeps moving with Caius, her body with his as she offers a small shrug. "I probably do, as I keep reminding you. I also helped Aldo with that other matter." Yes, she's being vague, her eyes moving back to Stasia and Theresa as they enter before her crimson eyes lift to his own. "My Lord, may I go mingle? I will speak to you privately after the ball. Unless you have something more to add while we dance?"

Nadia's entrance is nothing of grand acclaim. There is no pomp, no grand declaration of her arrival, or anything at all to draw attention to her. However, if she does manage to capture someone's attention, they will manage to find a quiet sort of elegance in the way she steps in, unhurried and unfettered by the activity that surrounds her. The ballroom is being eyed with a detached sort of interest that had managed to keep her generally disinterested and haughty expression at bay, and she looks over the current inhabitants of the room quietly, examining them, assessing them.

Stasia nods to Theresa, commenting, "The courtyard is full, though. It is a lovely night." She can tell this, apparently, without being outside at all. "I'm glad it's not quite so… congested." The petite vampire notes the arrival of Nadia and gives her a polite smile, though she does not recognize the new arrival.

Caius doesn't release Lilly until the dance is finished. "You Americans are always so impatient." He ends the dance with a bit of a flourish, giving Lilly a courtly bow. "Until later, young one." His smile is still wickedly bemused.
Theresa nods while she glances towards the coutyard and then looks back to Stasia. "True." She offers softly before she glances over to a new commer as well. A nod is offered to Naida along with a polite smile.

Lilly finishes the song with Caius, before she lifts both of his hands to her mouth, lips kissing at the tops of his hands before they lower. "Thank you for the dance, my Lord." A soft smile from Lilly to Caius at this before breaking away from him, and with her hands gathering up her dress so that it doesn't scrape the ground, moves towards Theresa and Staisa.

After taking stock of all those present in a cursory sort of way, Nadia's attention then turns to the the sheer resplendence of the location. The woman clearly has some sort of arched interest in material objects, because while the rich decor manage to prompt a slight curve to her lips - a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes - the people who acknowledge her don't exactly get the same benefit. Stasia and Theresa are given a polite sort of nod, respectful in nature if not the most warm greeting, and that is all. For now, Nadia is too preoccupied with making her rounds in the room and taking everything in. Her eyes fall upon Caius if only for a moment, since he seems to be the most at home in the splendor.

Stasia leaves Nadia to her perusal. She is not the warmest greeter, especially when it comes to strangers. The Volturi have wisely kept her off the welcoming committee. To Theresa, she comments, "Do you think that there's a chance Dante will get free? I know that there were a lot of us who got their 'shore leave' revoked after…" She doesn't finish the thought. Instead she gives Lilly a smile. "You looked beautiful out there, Lilly."

Theresa shakes her head slightly while she looks to Stasia. "I don't know.." She offers while taking in a breath. "I hope he is able to get off soon would be nice to see him for a bit of time you know?" She offers before letting her gaze turn over to Lily and she nods to her. "Hello Lilly."

Out of the corner of his eye, Caius watches Lilly depart. He smirks then, sweeping the room until he locates Athenodora. When he finds her, his smirk grows, just a bit. But instead of approaching his mate, he catches Nadia's gaze and inclines his head faintly in acknowledgement. It's an imperious gesture, the kind used by royalty and very, very powerful vampires.

Lilly gives a soft laugh to Stasia, "Thank you. I have been practicing. Found lessons with a vampire." Then to Theresa, "Hello Theresa. It's a shame I have missed Dante, he's really sweet and a nice man… vampire." A flash of a grin to her, then back to Stasia. "I have so missed Volterra. And the people. I did not even talk to anyone in Forks when I was there… I believe I was sulking."

Nadia is not royalty. She is not a very powerful vampire. In fact, she's not even rich, seeing as Stylists aren't exactly in high demand in Washington. However, it seems as though someone has forgotten to give her the memo, because she returns his nod with the same indulgent attention found in European royalty. A bob of her head, slow, unhurried, and imperial in nature. For the moment, she is content with staying off on her own, responding to those who approach her in cool, professional tones.

Aro and Sulpicia join the crowd again after a stroll in the courtyard with some well-respected vampires from East Asia. He manages to spot Caius and the young one splitting up, a brow quirking. It would seem his brother was beginning to enjoy himself beyond just taking attendance… and for that he is glad. But curious. The ancient heads for Stasia and Lilly. "Ah, ladies. Were you able to get something to snack on?"

Stasia greets Aro with a warm smile, "The pantry was well stocked, my lord." She replies in her dulcet murmur. "Heidi has outdone herself." She seems a bit more at ease. Feeding does tend to soothe frazzled nerves and crowds of people are easier to handle on a full stomach. "Lilly, there /is/ nobody interesting in Forks. You should stay here."

Theresa lets her gaze turn back to Aro and Sulpicia and offers a smile nodding to them both. "Yes.. We did indeed." A blink is offered and she glances towards Lilly while smirking a moment. "Yes Dante is one of a kind.."
Caius regards Nadia with a bit more interest, given her measured response. He gestures to her, two stark-white fingers beckoning. A 'come hither' gesture.

"But Forks is my home Stasia." A faint smile from Lilly to the other female vampire at this, as well as giving a small pout, a very faint pout. Caius isn't the only one to notice Nadia, for her own crimson eyes move to land on the other female vampire, watching her for a moment before looking to Aro. "I have not eaten yet my Lord, but I'm sure the icing on the cake is perfect. I do love red velvet."

Aro smiles. "Very well. I shall be visited there later tonight. It would be rude to not let the guests have their choice, first," he notes, moving to slip an arm around Stasia while they all converse. "She's right, Stasia. The Forks area is actually very interesting. A lot of history. Lots of people to meet, things to hear…" his gaze goes to Lilly, head inclined just a bit at his underlying message.

Nadia is the opposite of warm. Her discussions with the young vampires of the room are rather curt, rather disinterested. As a result, there have already been a handful of hopefuls to walk away dejected and slightly aggravated. She, however, is not frazzled in the slightest. It is chance that she catches Caius' summons, and after acknowledging it with the slightest quirk of her perfectly sculpted brows, the woman bows her head and begins to make her way over to him. She is, after all, attracted to opulence and power - and from what she's seen he's one of the most powerful in the bunch. "Hello," she offers to him formally, a Russian accent coloring her words.

Stasia moves closer to Aro, seemingly of her own accord. Her gaze flicks briefly to Sulpicia. Even though both Aro and his mate pre-date the concept of monogamy, she still treads lightly. "As you say, my lord." She demurs. No way she will contradict him, even if Forks has nothing but bad memories for her. "Vienna used to be my home," she says as an afterthought. "And Africa after that. But my home is here now."

Lilly watches Caius for a moment longer before her eyes turn back to Aro. She stares at him for the longest of time in silence, then, "Perhaps somethings, but my love for the Volturi dampens gossip around me, my Lord. We'll speak on it later." Then Stasia gets a very odd look from Lilly. Very odd. Like drinking the poison kool-aid odd. Worry is in her eyes, and Aro can see it when she looks to him, then back to Stasia, then back to Aro. "Well," she finally speaks, "Well. Well ahh." Silence then, eyes drifting back to Caius and the new girl.

Catching Nadia's accent, Caius speaks to her in smooth Russian. "I am acquainted with most of the vampires of the world. How is it you have not presented yourself?" He doesn't introduce himself. Caius really doesn't need an introduction.

"Africa! I haven't been there in ages," Aro expresses. It wasn't a surprise that Stasia lived there, he knew that, but it was the sudden thought of actually going there that seized so much excitement in him. It subsides quickly, however, at Lilly's news. "Love?" He quirks a brow. "While I am most flattered, my dear, I'm sure you just mean to say the same respect many vampires might have for us." His expression turns slightly sour at the thought that his 'inside woman' might not be doing so hot. "Did you steal a dance with Caius, Lilly?"

"Yeah, I danced with Caius." A disinterested tone from her at this as Lilly just seems to pull away from them all now, her arms even moving to cross over her chest as she glances out at all the vampires present. No more laughing from her, crimson eyes starring ahead before flicking back to Aro's own.
"The continent has an appeal," Stasia agrees, a wistful little smile touching her lips. Of course the Dark Continent appeals to her. Her talent is exponentially more powerful there, given the number and variety of wildlife. "I've made a few land purchases…" Her voice trails off as Lilly seems to shut herself away. "Lilly….?"

The switch from English to Russian pleases Nadia. She doesn't quite smile, she never does really, but she does appear a bit more comfortable and less professional. "I suppose it was not meant to happen before." She comments to Caius, voice smooth and confident in her native tongue. Despite not being anywhere near him in importance, she can hold her own quite well. "I must confess, lord, that I am not exactly the most social of vampires. I much prefer the appeal of solitude. When I was young, I was given the name Nadia. Nadia Demidovna."

"Welcome to Volterra, Nadia Demidovna," Caius replies, in flawless Russian. "I trust you are finding the festivities to your liking?" He watches the younger vampire with his filmy red eyes, head slightly inclined.

"We will talk later then, Lilly," Aro says, slightly firm, taken aback by Lilly's sudden disinterest in conversing with him. His jaw tightens and he turns back to Stasia, trying to pull her a little closer. "Really? Where at? That could be fun," Aro ponders.

Lilly hmm's? As her attention turns back to Stasia, "I'm fine. Things have changed is all." Or people perhaps, as her eyes drift between Stasia and Aro, before turning her gaze back out to the ballroom floor. "I believe I will retire for the night, please tell Lord Caius to see me when he has a spare moment." A glance back to Aro, "My Lord, if I may be dismissed for the night?"

A late arrival makes their way into the room, with no man on her arm, for the moment. Natalia casts a quick, furtive look around, eyes darting from the Volturi, to the unfamiliar faces, to Lilly, that's a face that she knows and kinda likes, too. With a slight shrug the woman, clad in pitch black, walks further into the room, making her way towards Lilly.

"I am, sire. The estate is beautiful, and it has been wonderfully hospitable. I am quite pleased." Nadia admits simply, her lips curving into a smile that is more dangerous than approachable if it was to be described. Blue eyes are cast around the room to give it a sweep, allowing Nadia to account for the new faces and register them in the back of her mind. "It has been a while since I attended such an elaborate affair. I must say, it is a breath of fresh air to be among civilized beings once again."

Bella has arrived.

Bewildered, Stasia watches Lilly's abrupt departure with concern. Something upset her, obviously, but she isn't sure exactly what. She glances toward Caius, who is speaking with Nadia, then back to the newborn again. Jealousy? She isn't sure. "I'm glad to see you again, Lilly. If you do go back to Forks, I hope we can spend some time together first." She pauses, then replies to Aro, "Some in South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana. It's more difficult to buy land in Zambia. But all of them are backed up to the national parks. Deanna was helping me." A little smile quirks her lips then. Deanna had called it an utter waste of capital on scrub land that could never be developed for anything useful.

"Indeed. The rabble can be tedious," Caius agrees magnaminously, still speaking fluent Russian. "But sometimes, necessary." He marks the arrival of Natalia with slightly narrowed eyes. Now, /that/ was unexpected. Likewise, he sends a surreptitious glance toward Aro, Lilly and Stasia. "Of course, if you feel thirst, there are refreshements in the turret room."

"Natalia!" Lilly's voice, pleased at seeing her as the young vampire moves towards the other one suddenly as Aro and Stasia are hastily dismissed, before embracing Natalia in a hug, whether Natalia likes it or not. "Grandmother. I have missed you so. You came! Did Lev come too? I have not seem him. What about Donny, or Virginia, have they come back? I heard that Ramona is here, but I have not had the chance to greet her." She's jibbering like a fool, and Lilly doesn't seem to care! It's Natalia!

"Of course," Aro says to Lilly, though not without a look of worry crossed with a certain sterness. His gaze drifts to Caius at Lilly's mention, and he frowns. Caius is being /very/ social — not like he usually is. This change in persona irks Aro to some degree before he turns back to Stasia. "Are you planning to build on it? Perhaps a cabin or two?"Natalia's entrance is noted with a faint quirk of his brow. So some of the other Krinovs did show… he makes note to watch Natalia, who had for so long been rumored gone. Trouble came with that woman.

Natalia casts a faint smile towards Caius and Aro, before she returns her grand-daughters embrace. "Of course I came, Lilly," she gives, as if it was obvious. "Lev isn't here, I thought it would be… polite… of me to stop in and visit my old… 'friends'," she gives with a faint smirk. "I don't think Ginny and Donny are here, and I've yet to see Ramona, though I'm sure she's here, probably brought a friend, too," is given with a faint smirk. Yah, trouble does come with her… wonder what she brought today.

Bella finally descends from the stair case of the Balcony. The conversation between Spencer and Her may have been viewed by any who cared to look and looked perhaps far more civilized than expected. No doubt some bets were lost tonight. Edward would have been watching from below, anxious as a caged mountain lion to be 'so far away' from Bella.

Ramona walks down the stairs of the balcony and enters the main ballroom.
Ramona has arrived.

"Necessary? I suppose." Nadia admits somewhat dismissively, though it's clear she is somewhat intrigued by his addition. Naturally, she does not know Caius well enough to speculate or even ask about what he means. There is a sudden flourish of activity to the side, and it doesn't take Nadia very long to hone in on it curious. The slight creature takes it in with a detached curiosity. "Hm, that is most gracious. I will, thank you. I am rather new to these parts - I don't know who any of these people are, but it seems as though I am alone in that. Who is she?" Natalie. The one who's stirring up all this tension in the air.

Preceding Bella down the stairs was Ramona and Spencer, who linger near the the door to the hall speaking lowly for several moments before Ramona tilts her head toward Natalia and Lilly and more discussion occurs. At length, they part, Spencer into the hall, and Ramona, back into the ballroom, squeezing by throngs of people before arriving before her maker and Lilly. "I didn't expect to see either of you here." She tilts her head, combs a hand through her erratically styled, short platinum hair. "So let's make this party more exciting!"

"A cabin?" Stasia hadn't considered that. When she lived in Africa, she did so in a very 'back to nature' fashion. "The problem with that would be keeping people away from it when nobody is there. I'd thought to just leave the land as it is. So that it will always be there, when I want to go." A pause. "Felix bought a ski resort in Switzerland." She notices Natalia as well, but doesn't recognize her.

"Aww, a shame. I wanted him to meet Aldo. You know, the guy you met once, or twice?" A flash of a grin to Natalia from Lilly once more, and then there is a Ramona. "Hey Ramona." A smile to the other vampire as well, a glance to her hair then back to her, "Do you ever hate it, not being able to grow your hair out anymore?" A n honest question from Lilly, because, well, Lilly has long hair. Woot!

"Natalia Krinov." Caius replies, for Nadia's benefit. "Speaking of rabble. Before the recent separation of her coven, she was non gratis in Volterra." He doesn't seem to care that Natalia can overhear him.

Aro has lived in many places, but he has scarely not lived in a shelter. He has been, after all, royalty or quite near in all of his years. "Hmm. But where would you stay?" He did not miss Bella's descent down the stairs, and at that, he leans close to Stasia. "I'm going to go greet Bella." He seems to leave it up to her if she will come along, but he moves quickly and arrives near Bella and Edward a moment later. "Evening. Perhaps now would be a better time for us to catch up, Bella?"

Natalia smiles as her gaze settles upon Ramona. "I hadn't intended to visit Italy myself, spur of the moment decision," she gives with a light laugh. "Though you speak my language, this seems rather… dull…" even though she's dressed to fit in with the current party-goers. At Lilly's question, the older vampire shakes her head. "Not that I can say, just so long as I don't get up the idea to cut it, I'm content," is given, though she faintly tilts her head in Caius' direction, laughing lightly. "I hear I'm still the talk of the ball," she gives, with a crooked smile.

"Nah," Ramona shrugs to Lilly, giving an easy — even /friendly/ grin. Time — or something else — has healed some wounds for Ramona, apparently, as she seems to hold no grudge against the female newborn. "I hate fussing with my hair. This way all I have to do is roll out of bed and put gel in it. 'Sides, I've had extensions before. They weren't nearly as natural looking ten years ago as now… perhaps I'll try them again sometime!" she remarks thoughtfully, unsure if the question was hers to answer, but taking it anyway. "Let's go outside," she suggests suddenly, as a dreadful classical piece is played. "This scene really isn't us. We can speak easier there."

Nadia reacts to the switch in language quite easily, slipping back into English as Caius does, and she looks Natalia over quite curiously. "And now?" She inquires, her accent a thick, Russian drawl. "You do not seem particularly pleased to see her." Similarly, Nadia does not care to censor herself or her inquires.

Edward met Bella quickly at the bottom of the stairs, an arm wrapping about her waist. As so often they have been seen here. Bella smiles up to her husband before she hears the familiar voice of Aro. One that she is not likely to forget even clear in her human memories. She tenses at the greeting before drawing a smile tight across her lips and inclines her head to him. "I suppose there will be no better time." She responds cordially, "As you can see the deal has been kept." She continues, a hand gesturing to her features.

Natalia chuckles faintly as she hears the familiar Russian accent, not unlike the one that she no longer makes any use off. "Hmm, classical music, has it's place, but not when one is set to find some chaos," she gives with a wink as she turns on her tall, spikey heels to exit the ballroom. "Though it is entertaining to hear what they have to say about me," is noted with a light, bellish laugh.

"Wherever I wanted." Stasia replies simply, to Aro's inquiry of shelter. She follows his gaze to Bella and Edward. After a moment's consideration, she follows. If nothing else, her presence will keep the numbers even between them.

When Stasia arrives, Aro reaches to touch her arm absently while conversing with the newlyweds. "Of course! I had no doubts that it wouldn't." His eyes flicker over Bella's own. "It is my understanding this happened very recently. I'm glad Edward, you were able to be a maker for the first time. Were circumstances ideal?" He follows up his first question with another, "And I assume, Bella, you will be taking up the diet your covens prefers? …It seems to be a difficult choice, but you are a very determined young lady. Special, even." His hand twitches, he debates reading her.

"No," Caius muses, "But I imagine ordering her death would cast a pall on the celebration." He sounds regretful, loving a good execution as much as the next vampire. As the music rises again, the ancient inclines his head. "You will dance, of course." It isn't exactly a request.

Bella's hands slide over Edward's, it seems in this she is trying to keep him calm. He still tends to the overprotective side where she is concerned. "Well the calender for my change was moved up a few weeks, but perhaps all the better for it." A rather diplomatic way of saying no it wasn't. Bella looks up to her husband, a hand raising to turn his gaze to her and she nods, "I am glad it was Edward as well…" She looks back to Aro, "It cemented our Union that his venom should mix with my blood." Edward tenses again at her words, his thoughts a bit darker from the change. Bella inclines her head regarding the diet, "Yes sir, I do intend. While it is not the easiest choice I am most determined on this course to eat as my family does." She laughs a bit at the comment of special, "I would not say that, that my head is as thick as before, as far as I can tell that yes I am." She takes a breath and lifts her hand tentatively up to him. This is perhaps the ultimate test.

Stasia glides easily into position next to Aro as he reaches for her arm. She has a faint, polite smile on her lips that doesn't reach her eyes. Listening to the conversation between Aro and Bella, she doesn't comment.

Nadia lets out an indulgent laugh, the first of the evening, while Caius muses mostly to himself. Suitably amused by his frank declaration, her lips curl upwards into a cruel little smile. "Ultimate justice, administered with the class of classical music in the background. It is almost poetic in nature," she remarks lightly, as her eyes finally return to Caius' person. His bid for a dance is met with the slightest incline of her head, a cultured acceptance. "I would be delighted to, sire." A step backwards is taken, followed by a formal curtsey, before stepping in place. She is quite old fashioned in her mannerisms.

"Well your hair always looks good Ramona." See? A compliment. Lilly looks around the ballroom a bit longer before shifting her eyes to Natalia's then back to Ramona's own. "I believe I am going to retire for the evening…" As much as a vampire can retire, , "Do either of you need anything more from me?"

"I know, right?" Ramona beams at Lilly. "Have a good night. You're seeing Aldo, hm? …I bet that whip of his is /very/ interesting," she murmurs to the newborn with a wink, and she leads the way out into the courtyard, glancing back at Natalia to take in her appearance. "You even dressed for the occassion. Nice," she smirks, her lips curling into a teasing mock before she steps into the cool night air. "Here's the thing… you may be brave enough to cause a lot of chaos, but at the moment, I can't, as I… well, I don't want to piss them off until I get back to Forks." If at all. "So, let us think of other methods of chaos. Like breaking hearts… or something." The suggestion is a joke, she knows Natalia has apparently solidified her relationship with Lev.

Natalia crinkles her nose as she hears Caius' suggestion. "I've been a good girl. Kept quietly to myself, haven't revealed myself to any humans. I haven't even turned anyone in, what, at least a good year," she gives with a roll of her eyes. "Good night, Lilly, I'm sure we'll see more of you," is given, though Nat's probably booked the next flight back to Forks. With her words spoken she follows Natalia out to the courtyard. "I thought I'd put up a good appearance for the people who are more intent on my death than anything," she gives with a lopsided smile. "And don't worry, I don't care to cause any real trouble. I would like to return to my mate's side, and I know one step out of line, I'll find myself in front of a firing squad. I bet you're good at breaking hearts, Ramona, I… have had enough experiance in that regard, myself."

Aro gives Stasia's arm a squeeze before he reaches out to take Bella's offered hand. He doesn't hide the look of surprise and delight on his face as the newest Cullen readily offers her thoughts to him. He thought it might be more difficult, especially with Edward's protectiveness. "Wonderful. I love happy endings," Aro responds to Bella as his cold, papery hand touches her own, and he allows her thoughts to flow through him — most specifically, those regarding the change, and anything that might hint at a power. Was she useful to Aro at all?

Caius bows in response to Nadia's curtsey, leading her to the dance floor. For someone who was intent on plotting and scheming when the night began, he seems to be genuinely enjoying himself as the evening progresses, dancing first with Lilly and now Nadia. He moves with an easy grace, gliding as much as anything. Unsurprisingly, after three thousand years of practice, he is a skilled dancer.

Stasia remains silent, seemingly unbothered by Aro's wish to read (or attempt to read) Bella's thoughts. She keeps the faint, polite and utterly insincere smile on her lips.

The heads of the Cullen Coven are sitting at their table, along with Rosalie and Emmett, who've taken a break from their dancing. The older of the couple is sitting close together, hands entwined, though if one looks close enough, they'll see Esme's golden gaze darting from Edward and Bella, back to Carlisle, and back again. She looks a little edgy, but she won't interfere, not unless necessary.

There is a formality in the way Nadia dances, a heavy emphasis on form and technique that is indicative of the way she was taught and during her stint as a noble-woman by marriage. Her moves are impeccable and flawless, but not exactly teeming with passion or a love of dancing or frivolity. "You are quite light on your feet," she compliments Caius pleasantly as they make their way around the floor.

Bella was not useful to Aro at all. Her mind is as blank to him now as it was before her change. "He still can not read me either…" Bella responds as she draws her hand back, "So yeah…brain is still broken, but at least I don't fall over my feet anymore." She says with a touch of forced humour in her voice. She retrieves her own hand from his touch and sets it back to Edward's. "We thank you for your invitation here and I am glad I was given the opportunity to assure you of the Cullen's honor to the Volturri."

Lilly takes her leave now, a glance over her shoulder to Stasia and Aro, then to Caius and the other female vampire before she moves. Gathering her dress once more Lilly departs, heading to her (Aldo's) quarters.

"Hmm. I suspected as much," Aro murmurs back to Bella, looking thoughtful to the point of looking like he might be plotting. "Broken may not be the word for it, my dear. We are given gifts, perhaps yours has pronounced itself moreso since your turning. I am… intrigued," he says aloud, adverting his gaze to Edward, serious. "My offer is of course, still open, my friend. I will gladly extend it to your lovely wife as well." He smiles and opens his arms as if to gesture to the room: "We live without a worry here."

Aro is too caught up in his excitement over a possible power to pay much attention to his companion, though he smiles at her before glancing back at Bella. "Of course. You /must/ visit again soon, really!"

Caius smiles faintly at the compliment. "Years of practice, my lady." He replies, recognizing the more formal education of the courtly arts in the woman. His demeanor matches hers, regal dignity and grace. "And where did you acquire your skill?"

Well, that's a mood-killer. The /last/ people Stasia would want in her home were just given an invitation. She is able to keep her polite expression in place, but not without serious effort. Beneath it, though, she seethes in continued silence.

As the offer is tendered Edward gives a polite smile and shakes his head, "We thank you for your offer, but we are content as we are in Forks for the moment." Bella nods along with her husband in agreement, "We have a home and family together…I was never much for big gatherings as a human and I fear that has not improved overly much since my turning." She shakes her head at the thought of a gift, "If it is one it is hardly useful sir save for myself."

"My late husband required elegance and excellence in everything I did, and what seems like lifetimes ago, dancing was a necessity. But then again, I'm sure you remember." Nadia admits easily and without hesitation, matching his movements with that imperial air she holds so well and compliments his own reign. Suddenly the topic of conversation is switched just as they twirl around. "I do hope I am not causing any problems that may inconvenience you, sire. That girl you were previously associating with, she left rather suddenly."

Aro expected the rejection, and he takes it with all of the grace and wisdom thousands of years gets one. "I understand. Well, it has been nice catching up with you. I shall allow you two newlyweds to enjoy yourselves." He smiles warmly at Bella and her husband before turning to Stasia, not oblivious to the fact that he may have angered her. "You are angry," he states, not asks, a moment later, as he moves through the crowd, presumably with her. "My first priority, dear Stasia, is and always will be my coven. This is not meant to make you feel any less important to me, but it is… something you should know," he says lightly. At that, Marcus seems to be waiting to speak with him, so he lifts a brow, as if to prove that very point before excusing himself to see Marcus. They head into the hall.

"Ah, Lilly." Caius smiles, "A bit of grit, that one. Unusual in one so young." He twirls her once more, bowing as the dance is completed. "No inconvenience at all, I assure you." He catches sight of Aro and Marcus moving toward the hallway. "I enjoyed the dance, my lady, but I must excuse myself. Please, enjoy your stay and I hope we will speak again, soon." That said, the white-haired ancient moves after his brothers, not about to let them conspire without him.

Nadia bows back to Caius graciously, offering him a slight smile. "The feeling is mutual. I hope we will as well. Good bye," she gives him the parting shot, watching him leave to conspire and plot and all that good stuff before she returns to loitering and judging people like the pro that she is.

Stasia is angry and she doesn't deny it. But she won't hiss or growl or pitch a fit, either. The pronouncement of Aro's priorities is also received without surprise and without dramatics. When Aro excuses himself, she dips her chin in a graceful submission. "My lord." She murmurs, with a dignity older than her years. She leaves the brothers to their intrigues.

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