filigree mask

Open Invitation

Normally, Ryou wasn’t one to dress up, definitely much less the kind of person to attend a dance. His reasoning for attending was simply to make sure that Bakura wasn’t getting in to copious amounts of trouble. But, he also figured he might as well enjoy himself while he’s watching from across the room.

He was dressed in a simple black suit, royal purple accents adorning his suit. For his mask, he had an intricate gold filigree mask that covered the top half of his face. To match the delicate metalwork of his mask, he had on several borrowed gold rings from his thief of a roommate; lastly, his long white hair was left alone to cascade freely.

Ryou sat at a table alone, idly watching as everyone danced through the room. He swore he’d recognised several people but, he wasn’t leaping out to go talk to anybody passing by. He hummed along to the music softly as he nursed the triple shot of scotch he had in front of him.

The Problem Is...

OK so I’ve finished this BonKai/Stelena mash-up and first I have to say I really do hope you all read it and enjoy it because a) it is the longest fanfiction I have ever written and it could’ve been longer but I needed it to end b) there are actually a lot of layers to this including the fact that I have paraphrased or inserted direct quotes from both ships in the one shot (can you guess how many there are?) So basically, someone requested (and I’d also been thinking for a while) of doing sort of reversal contrast of BonKai and Stelena essentially showing what a vaguely normal relationship-y BonKai in contrast to an angst-ridden Stelena would look like while also retaining the destructive/consuming aspect of BonKai and the sweetness of Stelena so it was great to explore and see how far each ship could go in which direction. It is probably my most complex fanfic so far and in relation, in terms of the timeline of this one shot in the BonKai world, it’s after “Hunger” (the first paragraph relates to this entire fiction) and after “Taking Over The Night” (there are many references to it) so if you want to read those after to see what I mean then by all means :D I’m excited (and nervous) for both Stelena and BonKai fans to read this. People to tag: bonkais-witchywoo stefan4president beccacupcakesxo stefansplaidshirt wasabicakes bennettstefansalvatore much-lemons bonkai-diaries darkbonkai l0nd0ninnit kissmebluesexyvioletsme malachaibennett misslilmel bonkai-is-life bonkaimonluv writeturnlove bonkaiforever queensfelicity puellaigmotum bonkaiqueen

Bonnie stood in front of the fireplace, her arm outstretched and she shook her hand insistently, muttering the kindling spell, a spell she’d done countless times before. No flames erupted in the hearth and her dorm remained in utter darkness. The lack of result wasn’t surprising. She’d felt lack-ness all day, lack of connection — to the earth, to the plants, to nature as a whole. Her magic was gone. She’d felt it go a couple of nights ago while she was sleeping; felt the pain of power being ripped from her veins, from her blood but she’d been dreaming as it happened and she’d thought the agony was a part of the nightmare, that the witches hadn’t been serious about “suspending” her magic, punishment for months, years of using it selfishly. But they had been serious and now all she felt was lack-ness, absence. All she felt was average. It was enough to make her want to stay in bed and mourn her loss however temporary it was but she’d promised Caroline she’d attend the Midsummer Masquerade Ball and that was the whole point. She had to do average, everyday things in average, everyday ways to prove that she didn’t and wouldn’t abuse magic, pervert its power. Now she was all done up in a corseted black dress, red lipstick and spit curls; she’d chosen a filigree mask that curved and twirled into delicate spirals and it lay on her nightstand. Bonnie sighed. She didn’t really want to go to the stupid thing but she didn’t want to hear Caroline whine about her being a no-show even more. Naturally, now she wanted to go even less than she did before because she failed to start a simple fire. Although, she thought to herself, it was foolish of her to think that getting ready for a dance meant that the witches would gift her with her powers back.

Suddenly, there was a creak, a groan of the wooden floorboard. Someone was here. Of course someone was here. There was a dance in Mystic Falls and whenever there was a dance, there was destruction and death. And Bonnie had no powers. Perfect.

Another squeak. She wasn’t taking any chances. Bonnie picked up a vase from atop the mantelpiece and hurled it toward the door, toward the noise.

“Argh!” The yell blasted through the quiet of the room as the vase hit the invisible target. Bonnie swiftly grabbed a hold of the poker by the fireplace and started swinging it with vicious intent, feeling it make contact with a body. There were more yelps of pain and she saw a flash of white, of brown hair and then it was gone in a swish. Bonnie spun around and kept swinging, knocking over picture frames and candlesticks and jewellery boxes in the process, trashing the dorm room.

“Bonnie! Bonnie! Dammit, it’s me, it’s Kai!”

“I know!” Bonnie swung the poker around again and Kai used his speed to dodge it. “Why are you still hitting me then?” he exclaimed.

“For scaring the shit out of me!”

Bonnie raised the poker above her head and she brought it down to strike but Kai caught it around the middle, wrenched it out of Bonnie’s hands and then threw it to the side, looking at Bonnie with reproach more than anger. She glared at him in return and opened her mouth to yell but then stopped herself when she took in the sight of him.

He was wearing a suit. A tux. And he looked … Bonnie’s eyes passed slowly over the way the material hugged his frame, the way he looked both casual and refined in his jacket and the carnal desire to dig her fingernails into his shirt and tear it apart possessed her, the undeniable urge to rip off his jacket and to slam him on the floor and have her way with him burned deep in her gut; it was an impulse she felt with an intensity she hadn’t expected — not without her powers. She couldn’t explain it but in her mind, she’d associated the savagery of her desire with the magic within her as if the latter fuelled the former.

She cleared her throat. “Why are you in a tux?”

Kai didn’t respond. His head was lowered, his eyes fixed on her dress and she could see him following the outline of her figure with his pupils, his mouth agape, an expression of raw hunger on his face. A rush of heat overtook Bonnie, sweat began to prickle her skin and she took a small step back from him.

“Kai.”

He quickly looked up at her. “Hmm?”

“Why are you in a tux?”

“Well,” he said, reaching into the inner pocket of his suit. He pulled out a thick, cream-coloured card. “The invitation said black tie and when I do something I do it all the way.”

“Invi — there is no way you got an invitation to the masquerade ball.”

“Oh no, of course not,” he agreed. “I stole it.”

“What? Why?”

“So I could go.”

“Why?”

“I like parties.”

“Kai.”

“You have no magic, Bonnie.”

“I’m well aware of—”

     “Your charming little town is peculiarly susceptible to dangerous situations and you have no magic, anything could happen to you. I don’t like it.”

Bonnie smiled grimly. ‘You’re the worst thing that could happen to me and you happened and I’m still standing.”

“The worst thing so far,” said Kai. “I want to keep it that way.”

“I can handle myself.”

Kai rolled his eyes at Bonnie. “OK so you’re strong and strong-willed that doesn’t mean that you can take a supernatural—”

Bonnie didn’t let him finish his sentence and stepped hard on his foot, her heel crushing his toes so that he cried out. She grabbed him at his throat with one hand and swiped a pair of scissors from a desk with the other and started to bring it to his face but he caught her by the wrist and forced her palm upward so the scissors clamoured to the floor. Kai pushed forward so that Bonnie had to move back, her heel leaving his foot and she struggled against his strength, trying to get back into a dominant position but then Kai turned so that she fell to the floor, him following her. He landed with his hands flat on the ground by either side of her head so that his body was inches above hers but not touching.

“Fast,” he said. “But not fast enough. It didn’t take much to overpower you.”

Bonnie stared up at him, her chest heaving from their exercise, her eyes peering into his. She wanted nothing more than to tilt her head up and run her teeth along his jaw and she bit down hard on her lower lip to keep herself from doing it.

“I’m going to be at the ball either way,” said Kai. “It doesn’t matter if you want it or not it’d just be nice if you did because like I said, I will be there. I go if you go.”

Bonnie continued to look at him. He was worried about her. Protective. And it made her feel just slightly tender toward him; the tiniest bit affectionate without even the bitter bite of irony that usually tainted what little gentle emotion he inspired in her — an average, everyday response. Maybe her magic did fuel the ferocity Kai tended to awaken in her, maybe without it she could feel more like her old self again, maybe now there could be at least an aspect of normalcy to what and how she felt whenever she was around him. Maybe without her magic she could finally begin to free herself of him.

“Fine,” said Bonnie. “You can come. But I have rules.”

Kai raised his eyebrows sardonically. “Rules?”

“Well a rule,” said Bonnie. “We can’t … do anything when we’re there. No touching.”

 Kai brought his face even closer to Bonnie’s, lowering his body so that it was just barely pressed against her and she held her breath. “That,” he murmured. “Is a terrible rule.”

“It’s a deal breaker,” she said.

“Fine,” said Kai.

He didn’t move.

“OK so get up now,” said Bonnie.

Kai flicked his eyes up toward Bonnie’s, his lips curling into a slow, wicked grin and Bonnie felt her heart race, her chest flush.

“We’re not at the ball yet,” he said.

“No,” she said. “It has to start now. And we have to get up, if I’m late Caroline and Elena will kill me.”

Kai paused and then he was on his feet in a couple of seconds. Bonnie exhaled and then stood up. “I don’t see a mask with you, do you even have one?”

“Trust me, I have one.”

“OK well go ahead. I have to call Elena first and see where she is.”

Kai leaned forward so that his lips were at Bonnie’s ear. “I’ll be sure to find you,” he whispered and then he was gone.

Bonnie looked at the empty doorway and then headed determinedly to the bathroom. She turned on the sink and splashed cold water on her face, rubbing it around her neck and chest.

She sighed heavily. “Get a grip,” she said and then walked back into the dorm to call Elena. 

                                                      ____________

Elena stood in front of Damon’s full-length mirror, scrutinizing her appearance. She’d chosen to pin her hair up for the ball tonight and her butterfly mask was settled on the dresser across the room. Her dress, deep red, satin and slinky, was strapless and she was pressing it against herself, holding it to the front of her body so it wouldn’t slip off — she couldn’t reach behind her to the zipper. 

She continued to look at her reflection and noticed that she was flushed and pale at the same time, that her throat was tight with anxiety but her chest was a flurry of excitement. She thought she was going to be sick. There had been events in the past which she simultaneously dreaded and anticipated, she was sure of it; she just couldn’t remember an event she felt those contradictory emotions for with the intensity she was currently experiencing. This was how it’d been for weeks. This was how it’d been since Elena got her memories back, since she and Stefan admitted that their feelings for one another never went away, that their love for each other was the one consistency in their lives.

It was a curious situation. 

A terrible situation.

Without her memories of Damon, of her relationship to him, it was as if a dark cloud had been lifted and there was nothing but clarity. Purpose. Stefan had been the clearest of all and what little time they spent together, she’d felt what she’d always felt when they’d been together — at ease with comfort and energized with the urge, the will to simply experience, to get what she could out of school, out of friendship, out of life itself. And it had driven her crazy with confusion; she spent nights frantically wondering, mulling over her memories of the past three years, why had they broken up, why would she ever choose to be apart from the man who brought this out in her? Even when she’d dated Liam it was Stefan who ruled her thoughts. Then she’d found out about Damon and soon after that he’d returned. Stefan disappeared. He urged her from a distance to spend time with his brother, to reacquaint herself with him and she couldn’t deny it — she’d felt something when she was near Damon: a spark, a curiosity, enough for her to question what being with him would be like. Yet it did nothing to distract from memories of what she’d felt with Stefan; it did nothing to distract from the fact that her first instinct was to call him when she’d needed to talk to someone, that seeing him meant an instant smile on her face.

Still, she’d chosen Damon — everyone seemed to think that was what she had to do, it was what they expected her to do as if it were her natural inclination to choose Damon above all else. And then she remembered everything when she’d taken the cure, she remembered the full extent of her feelings for Damon and she remembered that even then, even as she loved him, her connection to Stefan had never been broken, the way he made her feel was never eclipsed by what she felt around Damon, she’d simply chosen to ignore that reality out of respect for both brothers.

But she couldn’t do that this time.

Stefan hadn’t said a word for a long time after she’d explained her feelings to him then finally he’d spoken, his voice hoarse. “I’ve never not wanted you, Elena.”

She’d reached for him then but he’d taken a step away from her. “Elena…Damon just got you back. All of you. I can’t do this to him.”

“And us?”

 He shook his head slightly and took a deep, anguished breath. “If you leave him it won’t be because of me,” he said. “We’ll live with this, Elena. Until it doesn’t feel like this anymore, I’m staying out of it.”

And he had. Except that it wasn’t as simple as refraining from being together; all they had to do was see each other across a room, hear one another’s voices and then they’d both be tortured with longing and nostalgia, shamed with happiness at being near one another no matter how far apart they actually were from each other’s proximities. Elena found herself waiting, with her entire being, for these moments, watching for a glimpse of him, just seeing his name appear on a phone screen was enough to satiate her and tear her apart. And then Damon would be next to her and she was nothing but guilt. Now they were all going to this ball together. And she was going to be sick.

There were footsteps coming from down the hall and Elena cleared her throat, trying to appear unconcerned. The footsteps were getting closer. Elena turned toward the half-open door.

“Is that you, Da — Stefan.”

He stood in the doorway like he’d been stopped in his tracks and Elena stared at him wordlessly. He always looked good in a suit. Sharp. Dapper. Old Hollywood Handsome — the kind that took your breath away. Stefan gazed back at her, his eyes were still but they were piercing and Elena felt herself getting dizzy.

“We’re pretty much ready to go,” he said quietly. He spoke like he was dazed or like he was in a fog. He hadn’t taken his eyes off her.

Elena nodded. “OK. I’m almost ready I just have to…” She started looking behind her to her zipper, moving her arm awkwardly to her back.

“Do you need help with that?”

“Please,” said Elena.

Stefan ventured further into the room and as he approached her, Elena turned toward the mirror again; she sensed his presence at her back and shivers erupted along her spine and arms, even her legs. Slowly, he began to zip up her dress and Elena closed her eyes as she felt his lips brush the nape of her neck, just barely grazing her so that her body was aching with the frustrating pleasure of near-contact. When he was done fastening her dress, Stefan’s hands slipped up from the material, onto her bare back; his fingertips were gentle whispers on her shoulders, lightly stroking her skin and her lips parted, her breath caught in her throat, her heart rate increased…

Elena sighed his name. “Stefan.” She faced him, leaning into his body and immediately, he put his arms around her and she folded into his embrace, clutching onto his jacket. “I missed you.”

“I missed you,” he said and he held her even tighter, his mouth atop her head, in her hair. Elena blinked slowly in comfort, in relief and her hands slipped up to his chest and she pulled away slightly so that she could look directly at him. After a moment she lowered her gaze to his lips. Stefan paused, an expression of conflict passing over his face, and then he closed his eyes and pulled away further so that their embrace was almost broken.

“We can’t,” he said.

 “I know,” she said. “I know.”

Stefan lowered his hands so that he was no longer touching Elena and they stared at each other, their mouths moving silently with things they wanted to say. And then —

“Anytime tonight, you guys.”

Damon’s voice disturbed the quiet, making both Stefan and Elena flinch and they quickly took steps away from each other. Stefan turned toward the entrance of the bedroom where Damon stood in the doorway, leaning against the frame. 

“Yeah, sorry,” said Elena, returning to the mirror. “I just needed help with my dress so Stefan helped me.”

Damon nodded his head and walked into the room, whistling as he did. “How hot is my girlfriend,” he said as he reached Elena, encircling the upper half of her body in his arm. Elena smiled, tight-lipped.

“Thanks,” she said.

He leaned in and kissed her and when they pulled away, Elena saw that Stefan’s head was lowered and turned to the side. She felt her stomach squirm.

“You don’t look half bad, brother,” said Damon, moving forward and clapping Stefan on the shoulder. “Finally taking some of my fashion advice.”

Stefan laughed. “What do you know,” he said. “The Damon Salvatore Look is in season.”

Elena tried to keep herself from cringing. This was all so unbearable.

“So you planning on snagging a date in that suit?” said Damon.

“Well actually, I’m meeting Caroline there.”

Elena’s head snapped toward him. “Caroline?”

Stefan looked at her at first in warning and then in resigned sadness. “Yeah,” he said. “And speaking of, I should probably get going. I don’t want her to freak out because none of us are there yet.”

“Bonnie’s probably there,” said Elena. “I wonder if she found a date.”

It was Damon’s turn to look at Elena. “Why would Bonnie need a date?”

“The same reason why anyone would need a date,” said Elena.

“Right…”

“OK,” said Stefan, heading toward the door. “I’ll meet you guys there.”

“Don’t forget your mask, Stefan,” said Damon. “Caroline will castrate you if you don’t show up a hundred percent.”

Stefan nodded his head as he left the bedroom and turned the corner. Damon then moved so that he was facing Elena, his arms around her waist and she laughed nervously.

“Ready for this thing?” he said.

“Yeah,” said Elena. “Sure.”

                                                           ____________

Mystic Falls’ Historical Foundation rented out its manor for the ball and Bonnie waited outside as streams of masked people in suits and in elaborate ball gowns made their way up the staircase to the mansion. Her own mask wasn’t on yet; she and Elena agreed to put them on together to avoid any confusion.

Bonnie leaned against a pillar and sighed. Kai hadn’t arrived yet; she could tell — she was too calm, too composed for him be anywhere around her and it bothered her that even now she could sense when he was or wasn’t near her, that it was her body that was attuned to his presence, not her magic like she’d suspected … like she’d hoped. The revelation made her anxious and the anxiety only seemed to connect to an unnamed emotion that stirred within her since Kai left her at the dorm; an emotion almost like excitement but baser than that and it was excitement for tonight, for the possibility it brought … but a possibility that should really be avoided at all costs. Before Bonnie could begin to unpack what any of that meant, she saw Elena make her way toward  the front steps, an odd smile on her face.

“Damon is parking the car,” she said when she reached Bonnie. “He can find us inside.”

“OK great.” 

Elena furrowed her eyebrows. “You look flustered,” she said.

“You look like you’re sick,” said Bonnie.

They answered together. “It’s a long story.”

They each gave one another inquisitive looks and then Elena grinned. “We can talk about it later.”

“Agreed.”

Both of them reached into their clutches for their masks and then put them on so that the top halves of their faces were hidden from view.

“You look gorgeous,” said Bonnie.

“And you look hot,” said Elena.

They giggled and put their arms around each other, heading into the mansion with the rest of the guests.

It was dark inside, the only source of light the soft, reddish glows of scented candles and of the fairy lights strewn along the ceiling. Prim waiters rotated around the guests, silver platters in-hand — there were champagne fountains and obscenely large floral arrangements, it was like something out of a Jane Austen novel.

“They really went crazy this year, huh?” said Bonnie.

“Well when Caroline is on the planning committee…”

“Oh I think I’m going to go and try and find her.”

“I’ll catch up with you, I’m going to see if Stefan made it here yet.”

“Well if he did he’ll probably be with Caroline, she said he was going to meet her here.”

“So that means he’s going to spend every moment with her? He isn’t necessarily with her now just because he said he’d see her here,” snapped Elena. Even though she was wearing a mask, Elena knew that Bonnie was raising her eyebrows.

“I’m sorry, I.” Elena bit her lip and shook her head. “I think I’m just hungry. I’m going to see if I can catch one of those waiters.”

Without another word, Elena left, struggling against the horde of people, in the feigned hope of finding some hors d’oeuvres. It didn’t take long for her to root Stefan out through the crowd; even masked, she could find him anywhere — the cut of his jaw, the square of his torso, all of it was committed to her memory. Typically, he was standing alone, a wallflower, watching the activity before him and it was enough to entrance Elena. She didn’t think it could happen, that she could be even more taken by his appearance, but there was something about masks … and his mask, gold and black and a perfect complement to his chiselled profile … she exhaled deeply. Then his eyes found her. Even from across the room, Elena could tell that he swallowed hard at seeing her, that his lips parted. They were both completely still and staring at one another and it was like a pulse, a link tethering them together, everyone and everything else blurred distractions at the edges of their vision. And then he was gone. What?

Elena felt arms snaked around her waist, wet lips against her cheek. “There you are,” said Damon’s voice. “It took me forever to find you.”

“Oh hey,” said Elena. She put her hands on top of Damon’s and then took them off her waist, turning around to face him. “Part of the fun of a masquerade.”

  Damon grinned lecherously. “Rules tend to get broken when anonymity is involved.”

Elena laughed nervously for what had to be the tenth time tonight. “Exactly.”

“You seen Stefan around?”

“You know what,” said Elena. “I’ll go look for him and you go see if you can find Bonnie. Then we can all be together.”  

  Damon kissed her in agreement and they went their separate ways. Elena worked her way through three different rooms before she found Stefan again. He was sitting at the bar, sipping a whiskey on the rocks and she slid into the space next to his barstool.

“Are you just going to avoid me the entire night?”

“I was planning on it, yeah.”

“Stefan, you and I came here together.”

“No, you and Damon and I came here together,” said Stefan. “Huge difference.”

“And that’s why you decided to be here with Caroline?” said Elena waspishly.

“So what if it is?”

“So, you’re doing this to what, to punish me? Hurt me? You don’t have to do that, Stefan, I’m already hurting.”

Stefan closed his eyes. “Nothing is going to happen with Caroline. I couldn’t do that to her. She doesn’t deserve that or this or … me.”

Elena stared at him, compassion in her gaze. “Look, I know what this is like for you —”

“Somehow I doubt that,” said Stefan harshly. He looked back at her. “Whenever Damon looks at you, whenever he touches you, I want to snap his neck, it’s this vicious urge to tear him apart and it’s real, it’s real rage, Elena,” he said. “And if I don’t want to snap his neck, I want to rip into someone and feed until I can’t breathe anymore, until I’m too lost in the bloodlust to see the image of you and my brother. And then I hate myself for feeling any of this because what the hell kind of brother am I? This is killing me, Elena, this is…” He laughed humourlessly and took a swig of his drink. “No you don’t know what it’s like.”

Elena glared at him. “And what about me, Stefan? Hmm? What do you think I’m going through right now? You can’t stand it when he looks at me, you hate it when he touches me? I’m the one who’s in his arms wishing it was you. I’m the one kissing him, picturing your face. I’m the one —” she stopped herself and sighed. “I’m doing what you said. You said we had to live with this until —”

“I also said that if you left him it wouldn’t be for me, not right now anyway, but I didn’t tell you not to break up with him. You’re with him because you want to be with him if you could just admit that then we could save everyone from all this pain and —”

“How could you say this to me right now?” Elena gritted her teeth so she wouldn’t yell. “I want to be with him? No, you’re the one who wants me to stay with him, you’re the one who wants me to want to stay with him so you don’t have to deal with us.”

“I don’t want to hurt him.”

“Neither do I.”

Stefan took another draught from his drink. “This is too much,” he said. “I can’t. I can’t do this anymore, Elena.”

Elena clenched her jaw and shook her head. “You know what, fine, Stefan,” she said, her voice shaking with anger. “Whatever.” She stormed away from the bar, crossing paths with Damon. She mouthed the words “Going for some air” and he nodded, continuing on his journey through the crowd to Bonnie who was standing by a wall.

“Hey,” he said.

Bonnie glanced at him. “Hey.”

“You’re, like, really hot.”

Bonnie looked at him again, her masked face surveying his. “Damon?” she said finally.

“Dammit.” He threw his hands up in the air. “I gave it away. I should’ve lowered my voice more.”

“Yeah it was your voice that made me realize it was you not your sinfully bad pickup lines.”

“Someone is feisty tonight,” said Damon.

“I’m just worried that something terrible is going to happen,” said Bonnie. “Something terrible always happens at these things.”

“Well you’re useless without your magic.”

“Gee, thanks,” said Bonnie.

“It’s true. You’re just a regular human until the judgy witches stop being so judgy.”

“What’s your point, jackass?”

“My point is, I don’t know, be regular. Drink, have fun.” Damon paused awkwardly and then pressed his lips together. “I mean you do look … you look kind of amazing tonight so you’ll probably experience something new like guys hitting on you. Just go with it.”

“Wow,” said Bonnie. “You’re trying to compliment me. And look how embarrassed you are. It’d be kind of cute if it weren’t, you know, you.”

“Look,” said Damon, touching her shoulder. “If no guys offer, I’ll be your first dance, how about tha—” He couldn’t finish his sentence and abruptly started coughing, hacking so hard he was almost choking.

“Damon?” said Bonnie, moving toward him. “Damon, what is it?”

“I don’t — I don’t know, I—” He spluttered and then shook his head. He moved away from the wall and back into the crowd. “Washroom,” he choked. Bonnie watched as he disappeared into a throng of people.

“That was weird,” she said to herself.

As soon as Damon was gone from view another guy appeared in front of Bonnie, his mask was white and of a Roman design.

“I thought that creep would never leave,” he said.

“He isn’t a creep,” said Bonnie. “Well he is but he wasn’t bothering me. Well not bothering me much. He’s my friend.”

“An advantage I don’t have.” The guy extended his hand to her. “I’m Alex.”

Bonnie smiled politely and shook it. “Bonnie.”

“Nice to meet you,” he said.

“Likewise. Actually, though, I have to find my other friend, Elena. So maybe I’ll see you later on tonight.”

Bonnie made to walk away but Alex grasped her hand even tighter so that he kept her in place. “Leaving already? We just met.”

Bonnie lowered her head to Alex’s grip on her hand but before she could do anything, someone else was suddenly next to her and grabbed Alex by the front of his jacket, shoving him against the wall.

The stranger’s voice was low, menacing. “Go.”

Without thinking twice, Alex hurriedly disappeared into the crowd much like Damon did and the stranger turned toward Bonnie. She stared at him; his mask was filigree like hers and it was red and black with two horns and jagged edges.

“You’re the devil,” said Bonnie. “How appropriate.”

“I thought so.”

“Kai,” she said in a whispered exclaim. “What the hell was that? I could’ve handled myself.”

“Yeah, I know,” he said. “That was about me not you. The way he was touching you…”

“You cannot be serious,” said Bonnie. “So is that how you’re going to act every time a guy comes up to me tonight?”

“Are you kidding me? With the way you look in that dress? There’d be no guys left at the ball. No.” Kai shook his head. “I’ll only do this to the ones I feel the impulse to kill.”

Bonnie glared at him.

“I’m not actually going to kill them. Even though that wasn’t one of your ‘rules’…”

“It was you,” said Bonnie suddenly. “You made Damon choke.”

“Right, and if anything proves that I’m not going to kill anyone tonight, it’s the fact that he is still alive.”

Bonnie scowled at him but then at herself. It was impossible to ignore — the flattery she felt at Kai’s gesture, but there was something else beneath that; a seed of a desire. It all happened so quickly, what happened with Alex, but it was enough to infuriate her, to awaken in her a want for him to suffer for stepping out of place. When Kai shoved him against the wall, Bonnie could feel it in the back of her mind, feel herself remembering that night in the quad; that night she and him made two guys who had also enraged her suffer, and she was, for an instant, overcome with the memory of the power she’d felt that night, claimed by the memory of how badly she’d wanted Kai then too, by the exhilaration she’d felt at experiencing his hands on her and her hands torturing them. And beneath her flattery, she sensed it, sensed how a part of her wanted to feel that again right there, at the ball. She closed her eyes and thought to herself, Impossible. It was impossible. She had no magic, she had no power; she was a regular, everyday girl tonight who wanted and did everyday, regular things. Kai was not a part of that. But when Bonnie opened her eyes again she was hit with the sight of him in a tux and a mask, the melding of sophistication and malice and something stirred in her, something she couldn’t describe as anything but nearly dangerous.

Oh God.

“I’m going to go to…” She couldn’t think of an adequate excuse and simply shrugged her shoulders. “I’m just going to go.”

She took a step forward but Kai caught her by the wrist and Bonnie felt both indignant and excited; it was messing with her head.

 “Kind of hypocritical to do the same thing you slammed a guy against a wall for doing to me.”

“I have privileges he doesn’t.”

“God, your arrogance. You have no idea how much I want to hit you right now.”

“Only because you know it’s true.”

“Kai—”

“Dance with me,” he said.

“What?”

“There’s music now. Dance with me.”

And Bonnie heard it; a string band playing a delicate melody that wouldn’t have sounded so melancholic if other instruments were being used.

“I…what…You dance?”

“There are a lot of things you don’t know about me, Bonnie Bennett.”

She didn’t respond.

“No one will know it’s me,” said Kai. He grinned. “Or are you afraid that this’ll lead to a violation of your rule?”

Bonnie could hear the challenge in his tone and she inwardly bristled even though he was right. It was getting harder for her to concentrate on anything other than the feel of his hand around her wrist, she’d barely even been processing what he’d been saying to her; she was descending within her own mind and the fantasies that played repeatedly there. All of her attention was directed to the stirring within her, the stirring that writhed in her gut since she was outside waiting for Elena but that only seemed to overcome her whenever Kai was near. It made her nervous how much she wanted to give into it and she clamped her teeth together. Maybe a dance was what she needed, maybe it could be like a test, proof that she could and had transcended him and what he tended to bring out in her. Whatever it was.   

“Fine,” said Bonnie defiantly. “Let’s dance.”

Kai’s grin twisted into a wicked smirk. He took Bonnie’s hand and they walked side by side to the dance floor. Once there, he whirled her around, whipping her to him so that she had to grab onto his shoulder to steady herself, there was no space between them, their masks were touching, their eyes pierced into each other. Bonnie held her breath. She didn’t remember dancing feeling like this. She didn’t remember feeling like this about dancing. Already she could feel herself beginning to fail the test she’d created for herself.

Kai started to move, leading Bonnie across the floor, his movements smooth and agile. He didn’t break their gaze, his face turned to hers, a burning stare that Bonnie felt all over her skin so that everything on her felt tight: her dress, her mask, even the room seemed too small, and she realized that she’d felt like this before, again on the night of the quad when she’d dreamt of Kai, of mastering him, of killing him. She’d awakened from the dream restless and reckless and wanting. Menacing. She’d wanted to own the night, everything else seemed too insignificant for her; too innocent for her. But why was she feeling that now when she didn’t have her —

Suddenly, Kai flung Bonnie out onto the dance floor using his hand to twirl her and when she moved back into his arms, he dipped her sharply, making her gasp, one of his hands sliding down her upper back to the base of her spine, his lips inches from hers.

“How’s that rule working out for you?” he said.

And then abruptly, he pulled her back upright, the hand on the small of her back hitching her leg onto his hip, his fingers slipping beneath her dress, caressing her skin. Bonnie suppressed a moan and leaned forward, her lips at the side of his head, her teeth grazing his earlobe. “It’s working wonderfully,” she said. He squeezed her thigh, causing the muscles deep in her belly to constrict and she pulled away from him. He didn’t let her get too far before jerking her easily back to his body, making her twist so that her back collided into his torso, his arm across her stomach, his hand on her waist. They swayed back and forth to the melody and Bonnie tried to concentrate on her footwork and not on Kai’s breath on the back of her ear. And then his lips were on her neck, the tips of his fangs teased her skin and her back arched so that her body bowed off of his; the stirring that agitated Bonnie throughout the entire night seemed to erupt within her and she craved it with her entire being; yearned for it, thirsted to be bitten, to feel Kai sink into her so that she could be wrecked with pleasure, devastated with exhilaration; it was an oddly powerful thing to be bitten, to play chicken with your own life while knowing that your life sustained someone else’s  and with Kai, it was more than that. It was him consuming her and her owning him through allowing herself to be consumed; he’d told her time and time again that her blood never satiated him, it only incensed his hunger, crazed him with need of more of her, and his madness was her delight, proof of her power.

Holy shit.

She understood now.

Bonnie stopped dancing and moved away from Kai. “Oh my God,” she said and then walked off the dance floor.

“Bonnie?”

She didn’t listen, she didn’t turn back but continued through the mass of people, trying to find a corner or a hallway or a room where she could be alone. She had to be alone. She couldn’t be near him, near anyone, not right now. As she fought her way to another room, she saw Elena doing the same thing in the opposite direction; she thought Elena was about to say something but Bonnie managed to circumvent the woman in front of her and she melded into the masked crowd.

Elena opened her mouth to say something but closed it as she watched Bonnie vanish amongst the guests.

“OK, that was weird,” she said. She turned her head back to the front so that she could continue her journey to the dance floor and she saw Stefan standing in front of her. It didn’t surprise her that he managed to get here even with the amount of people in the way; vampires had their methods.

“Was that Bonnie?” he said. “She looked upset.”

“There’s a lot of that going around tonight.”

“Listen, Elena…” He paused like he was casting around for the right words. “I’m sorry about before, I was being a jerk.”

“You were,” she agreed. She sighed. “This isn’t easy for me either, Stefan. It’s killing me too. I almost can’t bear to see you but the only thing worse than seeing you is you not being in my life.”

“I know, I just…”

“You care about him,” said Elena knowingly. “So do I…but … I love you, Stefan.”

“And that’s the problem.”

“That’s always been the problem and it’s always been the truth.”

Stefan exhaled heavily and shook his head. “You know what? Let’s not do this now, let’s just…” He glanced behind him and then back to Elena again.

“What?”

He extended his hand to her and Elena laughed. “Dancing?” she said. “And I didn’t even have to beg.”

Stefan’s lips eased into a smile, compelling Elena to break out into a toothy grin and she placed her fingers in his extended hand. On the dance floor, Elena put her hand delicately on his shoulder, Stefan taking her other one in his. Both of them kept a respectable distance between their torsos as they spun and twirled, careful not to make too much eye contact, moving seamlessly with the other dancers…

Elena didn’t know when it happened — when she felt the need to shift closer to Stefan to drink in more of his cologne, her nose nearly nuzzling his neck; when his fingers began entwining with hers, caressing her palm and the back of her hand, making her clutch his jacket. Their torsos were touching now and Elena slid her hand up the back of Stefan’s head and into his hair, brushing his strands and hearing him groan low and satisfied in his throat. The sound made Elena sigh. Stefan’s free hand was on her back like it had been in Damon’s room, tracing soft patterns on her skin and she closed her eyes, holding him to her, resting her chin on his shoulder. It ripped her apart how much she wanted this. She felt his hand grip her waist, massaging her through her dress and she leaned her head against his.

“We probably shouldn’t be dancing like this,” said Stefan.

“I know we shouldn’t,” said Elena. “But it’s impossible for me to care right now. Isn’t it for you?”

Elena waited for Stefan to answer and when he didn’t, she snapped her eyes open and moved away. “Sorry,” she said. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” She extricated herself from his hold and walked swiftly off the dance floor toward another part of the house. Elena had been here so many times she knew there was a bathroom no one used in a hallway no one went in and she walked along the corridor, telling herself not to cry until she was behind closed doors.

Halfway down the corridor she heard footsteps behind her, as determined as her own, and before she could look back to see who was behind her, there was a hand around her arm and she felt herself get pulled to the side into one of the rooms. Elena barely had enough time to look around and realize that she was in the house’s library when she heard the door slam shut and felt Stefan’s lips hard on her own, his hands clasped on either side of her face, his mouth opening hers with a fierce urgency; he moved her across the room until her back was against a bookcase. The hardcover spines dug uncomfortably into Elena’s skin but she couldn’t have cared less not with Stefan pressed against her, his kiss reckless, almost wild, almost reverent.

“I want to see you,” he gasped and he undid his mask, letting it fall indelicately to the floor, by his feet so that he stepped on it when he melded into Elena again. Her hands were everywhere on his body, gripping his neck, gliding down his back, combing through his hair and she pushed him to her so that his body was pressed even harder against hers. Months of restraint, of lingering stares and unspoken wishes, were coming undone in this moment, being fully realized in this embrace. 

Elena slipped her hands beneath Stefan’s jacket and slid it off so that it fell to the floor, feeling his muscular arms through his shirt and beneath her palms. She loosened his tie, ridding it from his neck and undid his collar so that she could kiss him along his throat, listening as he sighed appreciatively. Her fingers made quick work of the rest of his buttons while she felt his hands on the back off her dress, undoing the zipper, his lips grazing across her shoulders. Elena pulled away, panting heavily, catching her breath, and started to fumble with Stefan’s fly but he growled in impatience and brought her lips to his again, lifting her so that her legs were wrapped around his middle and so that she was half-sitting on one of the shelves, some of the books falling to the floor with loud clunks. Her dress was pooled around her waist now and Stefan’s mouth was on her throat, her chest, between her breasts, his hands kneading her back, unbuckling her bra and Elena gasped, clutching one of the shelves above her head. Stefan reached up and put his hand over hers, their fingers entwined. Elena felt him hard between her thighs and she moaned, longing for this; she longed for this with her entire body, it was excruciating.

“You don’t know how long I’ve wanted this,” she whispered.

Stefan wrenched away from her and looked up into her eyes, his breathing ragged and his gazed aroused and raw and … tormented.

“What?” said Elena breathlessly. “Stefan, what is it?”

 

“Bonnie, what is it?”

Bonnie turned away from the wall that separated her from the library and watched as Kai joined her in the piano room, closing the door behind him.

“Get out,” she said.

“No.”

“I’m telling you to leave.”

“And I’m saying no.”

“Fine then I’ll leave.”

Bonnie walked toward the door but in one swift motion, Kai sliced the handle off so that the crystal knob made a dull thud on the carpet. Bonnie looked at it for a moment before speaking. “What the hell is the matter with you? This isn’t cute, Kai, you can’t keep me here against my will. I may not have any—”

“What is it?”

“It’s me, OK?” said Bonnie, turning away from him and walking toward the room’s bay window. She unfastened her mask and dashed it on the floor behind her, next to the knob. “It’s me. Not my magic, not you … well it is you but it’s also me. Just me.”

“Just you…”

“I thought that what I felt around you was supernatural, that it had to do with feeding off of energy. I thought it was my magic taking me somewhere, showing me another … path like when I was into expressionism or something. But I don’t have any magic now and I still …” Bonnie bit her lip. “You make me feel the way I feel because it’s already there, that darkness.”

“That isn’t why you’re upset.”

“Excuse me?”

“Everyone has darkness in them, Bonnie, you just enjoy yours when you aren’t running away from it. You’re intoxicated by it. By us.”

Bonnie turned back toward him, her eyes teary and narrowed with anger. “It’s heinous,” she said.

“It’s exhilarating.”

“And wrong. We’re wrong.” Bonnie shook her head. “I hate you for not being a better guy and just leaving me the hell alone.”

“And you hate yourself for being glad that I don’t.”

Kai started to cross the room at a leisure pace, like he had all the time in the world, like he knew Bonnie wouldn’t go anywhere. She glared at him and cursed herself for the thrill that spiked her blood at seeing him, half-hidden by his mask, prowling toward her, his intent clear. As he approached her, Bonnie started taking steps backward to avoid him, her eyes remaining on the top half of his face — she’d at least try to resist; she didn’t have to give into him, to herself just because she knew it was what she wanted. She backed herself against the grand piano by the window, flinching at the abrupt stop, and Kai grinned.

Wordlessly, he crept up to her, like a shadow, running his index finger across her lip. He leaned in, as if to kiss her, but then brusquely flipped her around so that her hands crashed onto the piano, making the keys play discordant notes; so that her back was arched forward, her behind curved to his front. He pressed his lips on the underside of her jaw, near her throat, his mask burrowing into the side of her face and Bonnie sighed, reaching behind her, slithering one hand onto the nape of his neck. She felt them again; Kai’s fangs, they brushed against her jugular, delicately sinister, and she closed her eyes, digging her nails into the back of Kai’s neck, tugging his hair.

“I’ve wanted to do this all night,” he whispered; his voice was husky, almost desperate, and then Bonnie cried out as his fangs broke into her skin. It was almost agonizing, the pleasure that tore through her body, so intense and savage that it blurred her vision; she was slipping away, revelling in gratification that could kill her, which would in turn kill Kai and that possibility blistered her skin with heat. She could sense it in the zeal of Kai’s bite, in the way his hand spread over her chest, clamped around her throat, the way he relished her, her very essence; she could drive him to do anything for her. Anything except leave her be. He tore away from her neck and spun her back around so that she was facing him, bringing her mouth to his, blood dripping in thick scarlet ribbons down their chins. Suddenly, Kai lifted Bonnie bodily onto the top of the piano, tearing apart her dress so that her legs were exposed, sinking his fangs into her thigh, causing her to slam a fist down on another set of keys. She didn’t know how much more of this she could take, if she could take anymore.


“I can’t take this anymore,” said Stefan. “I can’t…”

“Stefan.” She brought her free hand to the side of his face.

“Elena, I can’t,” he said. “You have no idea what it’s like, to want you like this, to crave you like this but I can’t do this and see him everyday, I can’t go further than—”

She kissed him, her lips soft, her mouth hard. “We won’t,” she said, panting. “We won’t go further than this. I just…” She pushed her lips against his again, putting new meaning behind it, kissing him fiercely, sadly, with want for more. She breathed into his ear. “Stefan, I—” He pulled away from her and burrowed his face into Elena’s neck, his hands skating over her skin, losing himself in the taste of her, the smell of her, anguished with self-control, keeping himself from getting lost completely like wanted, like she wanted. He wrecked himself with the feel of her, his hand squeezing hers against the bookshelf, her fingers digging into his knuckles, and  he was unaware of the footsteps in the hallway, outside of the room; unaware of Damon, standing in front of two closed doors, torn with the sounds that echoed in his ear, torn with the husky whispers of two men’s names that weren’t his.

anonymous asked:

What do you think about wearing a black filigree mask with a gothic co-ord?

I wouldn’t wear it as a mask unless it was for a special occasion like a themed meetup or a photoshoot. It’s not very practical first of all to walk around wearing a mask and it just makes it seem costumey because in general, mask=costume. However, you could turn it into an awesome hair accessory. You could do your hair in an elaborate updo with the mask sort of sitting in your hair and add feathers or flowers. You’ll get the feel of the mask but without the costume look.

5

The Angel of Music sings songs in this box! Finally received my Haenuli Angel of Music HSK today! Also got some lovely postcards in the box.

I tried the skirt on to check the sizing with my new Dear Celine chiffon blouse from Chiffon Rose, and the gold winged mask hair clip I bought from Supanova and converted to a necklace. The clip was sitting in a box of cheap charms and jewellery, so was a lovely find!

I also bought the co-ordinating waist ties to go with the skirt, will sew the buttons on later this week! Second photo shows the colour better. I need to give it a light iron before I put together the full outfit for the Autumn Victorian and Gothic picnic on Saturday. Better photos to come then!

I like:
- The detail in the print, and the crispness of the print and nice colour of the fabric. It captures the iconic moments in Phantom.
- The long side zip so I can put this on over my head and over a petticoat.
- Full lining and nice weight to the main material.
- The length! This is a long skirt (60cm) I am wearing two petticoats underneath it. Will probably wear heels with this one.

I didn’t like the finishing on the skirt hem very much, it was simply overlocked before the gold lace was stitched on top. I wasn’t too keen on the gold lace at first, but it is a pretty design and makes this skirt more of a statement piece so for the moment, it will be staying.

There are a few avenues I’m considering to change the overall look, and possible co-ord ideas:

1. Phantom-themed co-ord - I’m looking at a gold filigree metal half-mask on eBay at the moment. Also have a black velvet cloak somewhere, and I could use my dark Alice wig.
2. Christine-themed co-ord - I have a curly wig I used for my Christine cosplay, may make some rose-themed hair accessories.
3. Masquerade themed co-ord - I have a burgundy and gold Venetian masquerade mask. I also have a mahogany curly wig.

I also have a fake rose that I bought from Her Majesty’s Theatre in London, and a Phantom charm bracelet that is way too big, so I might pull the charms off that and use them to make accessories.

Right, no more brand lolita purchases for a while, my wallet cried a little when I ordered this skirt two months ago thanks to the terrible currency conversion rate to $AUD, but at least I’ve got a lovely skirt which I can wear when the Phantom of the Opera next comes to town!

Baseless Kaladesh Speculation

Chandra returns home to fight the consulate. She is challenged by a masked filigree cyborg, a soldier who knows her fiery temper all too well.

The cyborg was Chandra on the brink of death. “We can overthrow them together,” the masked soldier says. “They killed my mother!” Chandra screams.

“No, I am your mother!”

“Nooooooo!”

End scene.

Nailed it. @wizardsmagic