Lady Sulpicia was not alone in her room, she was entertaining Lucretia , Jane and Athenadora. The women had left the men
to their business and they were sharing
the social gossip between them as Ariadne knocked on the adjoining door.
“Come in Ariadne.” Sulpicia called to her in high spirits. Ariadne reluctantly entered the room full of women. She recognised Athenadora from her portrait
in the reception room and Jane of course she knew, but who was this human woman
looking quite out of place among the Volturi?
Her question was answered as Sulpicia introduced both Athenadora and the
“This is Lucretia, from Rome. She is a member of a very prominent family and we are honoured to have
their acquaintance.” Sulpicia remarked
making the young Lucretia blush.
Lucretia was about eighteen years old, her skin was a very delicate pink
and she was dressed in a very tight fitting bodice which was obviously intended
to accentuate her bossom. She smiled at
Ariadne with a kind of awed reverence as she did the other women in the room
making it clear that she was the one who felt honoured.
“My dear Ariadne, that dress looks simply divine on you, doesn’t it Athenadora?” Sulpicia said diverting attention back
Athenadora narrowed her eyes at Ariadne as if she had poor eye sight and needed a better look. “Indeed my dear sister, one
would think that she was trying to catch herself a husband!” All four women
laughed at this comment which left Ariadne in no doubt that her mistress had
plans to arrange a marriage for her.
When the laughter subsided Sulpicia rose from her seat and announced. “Now if you ladies would wait for me in here
whilst Ariadne and I leave for a short while so that I can dress for my ball.”
Not waiting for an answer she moved towards her dressing room guiding Ariadne
The two women disappeared into the side room where Sulpicia’s beautiful golden gown was hanging over a chair. Ariadne could see the dress much better in the
light of this room. The dress truly was
a work of art. She helped her mistress
into the diaphenus folds of material being careful not to dislodge her
elaborate hair braiding which Athenadora had done for her she then helped
Sulpicia on with the slippers. To
complete the outfit Sulpicia produced a golden tiara which had obviously been
crafted by the same highly skilled jeweller who had made her own comb. The
tiara bore a sun surrounded by pearls and gem stones which matched the dress.
Ariadne carefully placed the tiara upon her mistresses head completing the outfit.
Sulpicia was radient, Ariadne didn’t think anyone could look more
beautiful. “You must look at yourself in the mirror.” She gasped. Pleased with
her reaction, Sulpicia went to stand in front of one of the full length mirrors
to admire herself. Her face lit with
satisfaction as she stood before the glass running her fingers over the
gossamer material of her gown. “You look
beautiful, mistress.” Ariadne said boldly coming to stand behind Sulpicia at
“I do, don’t I?” she replied looking at her in the mirror. “And so my dear, do you!” she remarked comparing their
reflections. “Come now Ariadne, let’s return to the others for their verdict.”
The two women made their way back into Sulpicia’s private quarters where they were greeted with Oohs and Ahhs.
“Lady Sulpicia, you look like an angel!” Exclaimed Lucretia clapping her hands together with delight.
“Indeed you do.” Agreed Athenadora. “ Aro couldn’t wish for a more lovely wife.” She added a little sadly, thinking about
her own husband.
“You other ladies should be thinking about getting ready too.” Sulpicia observed. “Jane and Lucretia can help you
Athenadora; and we can arrive together, just like goddesses of the dawn and
dusk.” She laughed. “Caius and Aro will think themselves unworthy of such
divine beauty. And rightly so.” She continued.
Athenadora smiled at Sulpicia gratefully but knew in her heart that
Caius probably wouldn’t even notice.
Rising from her seat Athenadora embraced Sulpicia before taking
Lucretia’s hand and leading her out of the room. Jane was about to follow when
Sulpicia motioned at her to remain for a while.
“So Jane, I haven’t heard your comments on my dress, what do you
think?” Sulpicia asked twirling gracefully
so that she could get the full effect of her exquisite gown. “As always M’lady you are the jewel in the
Volturi crown and I predict that you will break many hearts tonight.” Sulpicia’s smile broadened. “Yes, and I’m
sure I won’t be the only one.” She replied gleefully glancing at Ariadne. “I bet Carlisle
will be speechless.” Jane grinned at her
mistress’s teasing and added. “Well if he’s not then I’m sure I could render
him speechless for you.” This comment caused the pair of them to collapse into
a fit of the giggles making Ariadne once again wonder just what Jane’s gift
was. “Will you be in further need of my
services tonight Lady Sulpicia?” she asked, hoping to have a little time to
herself before the ball and she was becoming tired of all the jokes at her
expense. Sulpicia quickly composed
herself, apologised for her teasing and continued. “You may be excused for now,
but I will expect to see you having fun at my ball tonight. That is not a
“Yes Milady.” Ariadne replied smiling at her mistress parting tease before nodding her
goodbye to Jane as she retreated for the sanctuary of her own room to prepare
herself mentally for the evening’s celebrations.
Entering the great hall Ariadne gazed around at the room filled with people.
In the middle of the room between the sun and moon decorations, set
against the wall was a low platform which held five impressive thrones. Aro and Lady Sulpicia were sat on the two
central thrones, Caius and Athenadora were seated to their left and Marcus sat alone
on the right. As guests arrived they
were announced then quickly presented before the Volturi family and
welcomed. Some of the guests seemed a
little nervous and a few could barely contain their excitement at the prospect
of meeting this prestigious and mysterious family. Caius, seemingly unaffected by his wife’s
presence, flirted with the women to whom he was introduced while Athenadora
smiled politely pretending not to notice.
Marcus greeted the guests in his usual solemn fashion whilst Aro and Sulpicia played the perfect hosts. Jane & Alec stood together behind Marcus
watching for any potential trouble. The
siblings were both dressed in gold and looked perfectly angelic together. Felix, Demitri & Renata also stood with
the family. Although Felix and Demitri were wearing cloaks, Ariadne could see
that beneath they were also dressed to match the theme. Demitri in a purplish
blue outfit, a moon, like herself she thought and Felix a sun in muted
golds. Renata was dressed very much like
herself with the exception of the silver jewellery. Her Volturi crest was worn
on a chain that hung from her waist. A much larger & less attractive item
than the delicate silver necklace Aro had given Ariadne. Renata was on high alert and obviously not
there to enjoy the festivities. Her face
was a mask of tension each time a new guest was presented to her masters, ready
to divert any miscreants into the waiting arms of Felix, Demitri, Jane or Alec.
“An who is this hiding her light under a bushel?” Ariadne recognised the voice instantly as Keiran’s and turned to greet
Keiran like everyone else had followed lady Sulpicia’s dress code and was looking princely in his dark blue velvet with
matching purple waistcoat embroidered with silver stars. He had also taken more pains with his toilet
than at their first meeting. His hair
was shiny and well groomed, even his skin seemed several shades lighter and he
had replaced his gold pirate earring with a silver crescent moon.
“I could say the same thing about you, we seem to be on the same team too.” She joked.
“Indeed, although sadly I believe a matching pair has to include both sun and moon.” He gestured to the Volturi
family as he spoke and Ariadne noticed that the couples were dressed as
opposites. Athenadora was night to
Caius’s day and Sulpicia’s glorious sun was matched in magnificence by Aro’s
sparkling night. A strange feeling crept
into her chest as she observed them together.
They were a perfect compliment to one another. Sulpicia, strong, bright and terrifyingly
beautiful. Aro also strong, but dark,
and equally beautiful. They were like dawn and dusk ever joined in their cosmic
Ariadne sighed involuntarily, misdirecting Keiran’s thoughts.
“Oh my dear lady, had I realized what a disappointment this would be, I should have come as your personal sun.” Taking her hand, he kissed her palm and
placed it against his heart which of course was as still as her own. Thankfully at that moment Carlisle
had spotted them from across the room and came to her rescue.
“Ah I think we have found your sun.” Keiran said with exaggerated sadness and not a little sarcasm. Carlisle
greeted them both with his characteristic warmth. “Keiran, I see you’ve met Ariadne. I hope you won’t mind if I cut in and claim
the first dance?” He asked removing Ariadne’s hand from Keiran’s chest.
“Not at all Carlisle, it seems the two of you match a little
better. I must away in search of my own
sun.” he remarked in defeat scanning the guests for a suitable partner. “But despite our lack of balance I will
expect at east one dance however inappropriate.
Until later.” Bowing theatrically he flashed his brilliant smile at them
both and like a predator headed straight for the Borsia family, having spied
the radiant Lucretia dressed from head to toe in gold satin.