Back at the estate there were moving trucks all over the front yard. Men were carrying boxes into the estate while Loon stood in the middle of the scene barking out orders.
“No! Not there! Are you all dense?” Loon was flailing her arms, sprinting back and forth to make sure everything met her specifications.
“What’s going on?” I asked Mason. He stood beside me with his hands tucked into his coat pockets, a look of uninterest across his face.
“Loon is in charge of the ball," He answered. "The thing was actually her idea. After the first one ever held here we carried it out for years for the sake of not listening to her shriek. She says we are antisocial.”
"She's very right." I told him and he looke down at me with fire in his eyes, not because they were orange.
"Am I?" He asked me.
“Hm.” I walked through the mess of men and boxes into the estate. I was on my way to my room, but Loon caught me half way and linked her arm with mine. She skipped beside me while her pitched tone rang in my ear.
“I hope you are so ready to party. The ball is going to be amazing.”
“It’s not for week.” I said to her.
Loon stopped, forcing me to stop only a foot ahead of her. She let go of me and turned me around to face her.
“No one told you?” She asked.
“Told me what?”
“The ball was moved to tomorrow night. That’s why I’m being so pushy with the guys.” She pointed with her thumb back at the men who were heaving and sweating to get every box and decoration into the estate.
“No one said a word.” The thought of Mason not mentioning it made me wonder if he even wanted me to go at all. I mean he never talks about it. Granted, I was only invited because of Loon and it was only after Mason knew me for like a day.
“I would have expected Mason to say something. I told him to give you a heads up.” She cleared that up for me and I was hoping he had forgotten.
When Loon said that I looked back at Mason who was chatting away with one of the men working under Loon’s command. I thought to myself that it wouldn’t be long before Loon saw him and yelled at him to get back to work. Mason did look my way and our eyes locked briefly, but I was the one to look away.
“He didn’t say a word.” I looked back at Loon and gave her my brightest smile. “But I’ll be ready. Don’t worry.”
My legs couldn’t get me any faster into the estate. My stride was cut off by Robin who stood at the foot of the stairs.
“We have to talk.” He gestured me to follow him and we climbed up the stairs. Robin took them two at a time, his alien long legs weren’t even making an effort. I, on the other hand, was taking my sweet time considering I had no desire to speak with Robin.
One we were on the hallway a blonde, tall beauty appeared beside Robin. I wasn’t paying much attention ahead of me, she must have come from one of the rooms but it still startled me. She was curvaceous and her assets were rather pronounced. Her golden hair, unlike Blondie-Most Perfect’s bland hair, fell into curled down her back. She wore a skimpy, modest dress. If you can figure that one out you win an award. She wrapped her arms around Robin and kissed his chin.
“Where were you, babe?” She asked, her voice a melody all on its own.
“Patrolling. I have some business to attend to right now. I’ll catch you later ok, Rox?”
“Fine. A movie tonight?” She asked, almost pleading.
She was gone in an instant. It made my blood boil for obvious reasons. It’s like he has her programmed or something. Is every girl to obedient? I do as he says because the fucker can mess me up but what’s their excuse? They couldn’t possibly like it.
“In you go.” Robin stepped aside for me to go into his study. That was about the only gentleman like thing he did and it counted for nothing. “We have a serious problem in our hands, Jinx.” He began.
“Stating the obvious.”
Robin closed his hands in fists and his knuckles popped within his leather gloves after I spoke. “You’re creator. Kai? She murdered one of my men at Benny’s. He was a spy. He was supposed to report back that night so I could file in the idiots plotting against us. Of course I already knew for a long time and I even know how you're a part of it.” Robin leaned into me and his eyes burned holes into my skull while his hands held back the urge to punch me. “You have some nerve talking to me the way you do when you are involved in treason.”
"I'm not afraid of you."
"You should be." He moved closer to a point where we shared the same air so I had to lean back a bit. "I know what my brother sees in you. He's lucky I didn't get to you first."
There was a knock on the door that made Robin disregard my question. He leaned back and called out for whoever to open the door. Darius opened it and stepped in, revealing Mason right behind him. He looked at me, then at Robin and frowned. I could only guess what he was thinking.
"You may go." I was dismissed like some kind of slave. I was used to the treatments, but coming from him, well let's just say I'm glad I don't have a blow torch.
In my room I was faced by a blonde gnome and the redhead. Loon and Armani were standing by my closet, Loon searching around with her hair pulled back into a pony tail.
"Where is it?!" Loon asked.
"The dress!" Her eyes now landed on me and they looked ready to burst out.
"End of the closet."
When she found the dress she lay out on the bed and began to talk fashion. I couldn't keep up and Armani had me on a chair, fiddling her finger through my hair.
"This is a lot of hair. Ironing it will take forever." Amrani began to brush it and dividing it into even parts.
"But once you're done with it, it will look gorgeous." Loon beamed.
"I have a better idea. Hand me the curlers. By tomorrow night this hair will be untouchable."
"What are you guys doing." I hesitated in asking, but did anyway because it seemed neither of them would be out of my room soon.
"We are making sure everything is perfect for tomorrow. Armani will do your hair and I'm making sure you have everything you need. I think some pumps will look good for this dress. I got just the ones!" She bolted out of the room and was back in minutes with black shoes in her hands.
The two dressed me up as if I was a Barbie doll. Doing my hair, making me model the dress. Loon tried to apply makeup on my face but I escaped. After I had enough I "politely" kicked them out of the room.Loon complained outside about still having to show me how to dance. I told her I didn't need it. I wasn't going to dance, I didn't even want to go to the ball. Robin would be there and Mason. When I was heading out of Robin's study he looked so angry, or maybe he looked upset. It was hard to tell which is which with that guy. Either way It would be a bad idea to go, but I had no choice in it. Loon would make me go even if she had to drag me.
A sigh escaped my lips as I striped out of the dress and got rid of all the junk Loon put on me. Granted, it was pretty junk that I could never afford.
My mind wondered off and a noise coming from outside caught my attention. I approached the window on the far side of the room and looked down at the impossibly beautiful Chinese garden. It had a huge gazebo I've wanted to go to ever since I saw it and the tiny bridge that leads to it is too adorable. But that's not what I noticed most at the moment. It was Mason. He was crouched and his knuckles were slightly pushed into the grass. Had he jumped? Was he crazy? He could break a leg or his neck. He was fine though and he disappeared into the garden.
What do I see in him? I asked myself while laying down on the bed. Good question. With Hobs it was much simpler. He flirted, I flirted and neither of us felt like we needed to commit at some point. With Mason it feels like he wants to know me, like he wants to take care of me and devote to me. It's crazy! But I want it. I want him and the only thing standing in my way is Blondie-Most Perfect. And then there is the issue of Robin. I no longer payed much attention to Mason. I was more worried about Robin having just about enough that he kicks me out. I can fend for myself but there will be a day where it doesn't matter how hard I run, how well I hide, the Kovras will always be a step head. Until they get tired of the game and finish me. Like right now.
I crawled into bed and covered my head wit the pillow. The estate was silent and still, making it easy to go to sleep, but making it hell as slowly drifted into a nightmare.
"Momma, how'd I do?" A young Jinx, around thirteen, pulled out a drawing and showed it to the redhead that worked none stop over her lab table.
"That's fantastic." Kai said without even looking at the drawing.
"Momma? You didn't even see it." Jinx told her and her shoulders snapped. She turned to Jinx with a fake smile plastered on her face, eyes falling over the drawing, only to turn back to her work.
"That's great." She said.
Jinx was angry, upset, sad. Her little hands crumbled the paper and threw it at Kai's back. It was a mistake. That day little Jinx was locked in the small, dark room for hours, Kai coming in every now and then to give her the punishment the child deserved. Jinx counted one, two, three wipes before she no longer knew how many had gone by. All she could feel was pain and how her knees turned numb from standing over them for such a long time.
"Have you learned your lesson? Well? have you?" A strike followed the questions.
Jinx cried out, hot tears streaming down her red cheeks as her body hung limp while held up by the cold chains. "Momma... Please. I'm sorry." There was no room for mercy in the room.
"Yes, you are. Time for a bath." She said. There was amusement in her tone and Jinx's eyes widened in fear and panic. Her little body fought against the chains but it was of no use.
"No, Momma. Please! Please! Don't!" Her pleading did little to stop Kai. There was a long wait that filled Jinx's heart with heavy regret for her actions. Her beat picked up and it pounded until she felt it. A bucket of boiling water splashed over her back and Jinx cried, yelled and begged Kai to stop.
After that, the last thing Jinx heard was the loud slam of the door after Kai left the room.
I woke up panting. My back was damp with sweat, as was my face and a chill made my whole body tremble. I tried to shake the mental image of Kai out of my head but a nagging feeling kept me awake the rest of the night. I watched the night flourish with thousands of stars and witnessed them be out-shined by the break of dawn. There might have been a trail on the floor from where I kept pacing back and forth. The sun was starting to raise higher, posting itself so high and mighty for his daily watch.
It was still early in the morning, so I wasn't expecting so much commotion.