Annual Mid-Summer's Ball - Parlour

Dunamis Estate - Parlour


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Jenna Donovan Chance Harper Quintin Bruning Harper Donovan Siobhan Knight Preston Van
der Mark III

The ride to the Annual Mid-Summer Ball at the Dunamis Estate was great. Good conversation, a pretty new trinket to wear, and just a little bit of singing. Enough to make it fun, but not so much that she'd annoy Chance with it.
They've arrived a little while ago, and made the rounds in the main foyer area. Greeting the few people that they know, stopping long enough for Jenna to introduce Chance to her parents, and for her mother to exclaim over the pretty necklace that Jenna is wearing.
She did have to tell her mother several times that it was just being loaned to her.
They've enjoyed cocktails, they've enjoyed a dance or two, but now it's time to take a little break. A drink, and a nice sofa to sit on and chat for a while will do the trick, which is why they're making their way to the parlour.

Chance hasn't seen his father yet and he's a little relieved to tell the truth. His father knows he was loaning the ruby necklace to Jenna, and emphasized that it was Chance's inheritance to do with as he pleased, but he knows that his father was probably reading a lot more into it than was intended. It's a loaner, not a gift, and Chance thinks that his mother, from what he's been told of her, might be happy to see Jenna wearing it. Still, his father? Will want to see it on Jenna, and already asked too many questions about "Siobhan's friend."
He's seen a few of his fraternity brothers, who have all given his date an approving once over, and one of the junior associates at the firm apparently thinks that having a pretty girl on his arm means that Chance is somehow a better legal prospect.
"I haven't seen your brother or Shiv yet, have you?" Chance asks, pressing a hand to the small of Jenna's back to guide her along. "Not that I'm unhappy with my company, but I thought they left before we did?"

He knows absolutely no one here. Many people here know him. It's an extremely unsettling feeling for the werewolf. The one thing that he's hated for the last decade is people knowing who he is. Usually it's out of sympathy due to the loss of his family. Even now some of it is. He can see it in their eyes when they speak with him, or as some of the women have to avert their eyes at times. That's the absolute worst part. It's almost a relief where his name is known solely for his skills on the field.

Why he agreed to this he'll never know. Oh, that's right. His football career.

Stupid politics.

The dancing and festivities have been ignored for the most part. It isn't entirely out of desire, either. He's been passed around from conversation to conversation, promoting the school and as a side effect his own potential career. It's actually extremely tiring.

Currently he's mid conversation with some suit he doesn't know and doesn't overly care about. A drink is in one hand as the other finds home in a trouser pocket. Other than some nice cufflinks and a matching tie tack, there's nothing overly extraordinary about his suit. He's just another face in the crowd, even if he does fit the suit well. He wouldn't even own the accessories if they weren't family heirlooms.

At least Kay should be having fun. She's off somewhere, most likely somewhere much more fun. That is the goal of the night, he assumes. What he doesn't assume is that this is the ball that his friends are attending. That would be too much of a small world.

Harper and Siobhan happen to be running a little late. He did leave the house before Chance arrived, but when he saw Siobhan there was a very long distraction. Then there was the time it took for Siobhan to fix her makeup, and ensure her hair wasn't out of place, and the time it took to drive. Unlike his sister, he's been avoiding his parents all evening, simply because he doesn't want to hear the whole 'ohhh don't you two look adorable, it's about time you started dating' that he's bound to get from his mother. His father would simply nod and smile, but his dad is a pretty laid back guy.
"We can head to the sitting room if you want. I can go get you a drink, and then we can wander to the gardens."

Normally priding herself on her punctuality, Siobhan didn't complain in the least that they were late, and took a bit longer to get out of the house than anticipated. She was actually glad that her parents and Christian were already gone, or certainly Harper's greeting wouldn't have been so … enthusiastic. Since leaving, she's been wearing a very broad smile that she hasn't been able to banish or dismiss. Of course, she hasn't been trying. The witch is on Harper's arm, and she looks like she just won the lottery.
They haven't seen her parents either, but Siobhan isn't avoiding them. It's just been luck that they're nowhere around.
She grabs a glass of champagne from a passing tray and takes a small sip of it. She cranes her neck, looking for a few more familiar faces, and especially for Preston. "Sorry, I'm looking for Pres. He said that he was going to make a splash with his tuxedo." She can only imagine what he has in mind. "I think . . "
Siobhan stops and blinks. "Quin's here."

"There they are," Jenna says, pointing to the couple that Preston has dubbed 'Sharper'. "We likely just missed them in the foyer, and ballroom. Probably crossed paths. In one door when they were out the other."
Turning toward her bestie and her brother, she stops mid-stride.
"Quin's here," she whispers to Chance, the smile on her face faltering a little. There is a very large portion of her that wants to turn tail and head back to the ballroom, simply to avoid running into the werewolf, and whomever he wound up bringing as his date.
The other part of her wants to hold her head high, wander in and tell her best friend that she looks absolutely gorgeous.
Rather than make a decision, she nibbles on the inside of her lower lip and just does a friendly little fingerwave to her bestie.

Chance follows his date's gaze and starts to turn in that direction, taking a sip of his drink. Or that's his intention, though he does pause with the glass midway to his lips. He honestly isn't sure he would have recognized Siobhan if Harper wasn't by her side. Like Jenna, Siobhan looks older and more mature and refined. He continues with his interrupted drink, and tells Jenna, "They look good together."
He gives her waist a gentle squeeze when she sees his roommate and points him out to Chance. "Didn't expect that."
"Are you going to be okay?" He doesn't want to make things tense when tonight is supposed to be relaxing. "Did you want to greet Shiv and Harper or wait for them to come to us?" The former means they'll have to pass by Quintin, and the latter means they can stay where they are. He won't force Jenna to talk to Quintin, but he might leave her with Siobhan and Harper to at least say hello.

His ears are burning. Amidst everything that's going on, the wolf swears he hears his name. Perhaps it's just paranoia. Or it could be someone(s) who know him based on his career. Anything is possible, even if he highly doubts it. Mid-conversation he sips from his drink before looking around the room. That's when he spots Shiv and Harper making their appearance. With as beautiful as Shiv is it is rather difficult to do so.

He then follows her gaze to find Jenna and Chance. There actually is no jealousy or hurt feelings at seeing them. He can admit that she looks gorgeous, but that really isn't any surprise to him. In the end he's more nervous than anything. He wanted to give them both space, and yet here he is. Screwing things up. Again.

He really should stick to his own kind, it seems. He hurts fewer people that way.

The looks he gives are acknowledging, even if they refuse to return them. Then he goes back to paying attention to the boring suit prattle on about his own high school football days. It's boring, but at least he's staying out of trouble.

"I can just imagine what Preston's going to wind up wearing if he's intending to make a splash. His mother got him a date again, you know." Harper may not tweet much, but he does keep an eye on what's going on so far as that's concerned. Which is why he also knows that Quintin Bruning didn't only give up on his sister, but his mother as well.
"You okay, Flutterbee? Do you want to go say hello?" Harper was going to go get her a drink, but she seems to have grabbed one on her own. "Have I told you yet tonight how exquisite you look? I really wish we hadn't come."

Siobhan giggles. "Yes, a nice sweet girl, who needs her M.R.S and is pretty enough to make Pres 'change his mind.' " It would be offensive if Preston didn't take it in stride and find humor in it. He finds all sorts of ways to turn it to his advantage.
"I'm …fine." There's a pause between the two words as Siobhan checks her emotions, and more importantly her magic, to be certain. The words and the sentiment are sincere. "Yes, let's say hello." It's a step toward easing the tension, though there will be little resolved until she and Quin sit down and talk. But that won't be tonight and she's not going to think about it tonight, just as she said in her email.
Jenna's finger wave is returned with a finger wave of her own, and Siobhan nudges Harper toward Quintin. It's a two pronged movement really. One, it moves them toward Chance and Jenna, and two, it stops Jenna from having to approach Quintin's space if she doesn't want to do so.
Her face goes warm and a tingle goes through her body at his last words. "Yes." Siobhan dips her voice, "You showed it, too." She dips her head a bit coyly and asks, "What do you wish we'd done?"
Closer to Quin, Siobhan can tell that the werewolf is ill at ease, possibly bored. Maybe it's because she and Jenna are present, maybe it's because he doesn't like this sort of thing. It doesn't slow the witch down, and when she's a polite distance away, she smiles brightly and calls out a greeting. "Quin! I didn't know you'd be here tonight."
Then she's passing her champagne glass to Harper, and stepping up to give the werewolf a friendly, warm hug and a friendly, chaste kiss on his cheek. An embarrassed and apologetic smile is given to the suit who's been droning on, "I'm sorry, it's so rude of me to interrupt. I just saw a familiar face and had to say hello."
The witch may be a bit more reactionary and emotional than most, but she was Upper Eastside born and raised, she's quite in her element here.

That's the question of the moment, isn't it? Jenna's still upset over the whole ordeal. She's had a few discussions about it. With Chance. With Siobhan. With Preston. They've helped a bit, but it doesn't stop the hurt.
She glances at Harper and Siobhan, and their approach, and nods. "Yeah, they do. I'm happy that they've finally gotten together. They're going to have some really cute kids some day." There's no doubt in her mind that no matter what bumps in the road her brother and his girlfriend will face, that they're one of those 'forever' couples.
"I'll be fine," she says slowly. Jenna is very good at the 'fake it til you make it' adage. "We can meet them halfway, and you can hardly ignore your roommate all evening, it wouldn't be proper."

"Already planning on being Auntie Jenna?" Chance teases. "I think your parents and Shiv's would prefer if they made that 'some day' pretty far off." Not out loud, but in his head, watching how Siobhan looks at Harper, Chance can admit to a bit of envy. It's the sort of look that everyone dreams of being on the receiving end of someday. He chuckles softly, "Yeah, I can see why you might need a break every now and then."
Nodding again, he uses his hand to guide Jenna toward Siobhan and Harper, not pausing though he is surprised when the witch steps up and gives the werewolf a hug. Either Siobhan has her equilibrium back, she puts on a very good social facade, or both.
"We won't stay long," Chance whispers softly in her ear. "Just give me a signal and we'll leave if it gets too awkward for you." He'll protect Jenna and her sensibilities in the same way that Quin seemed so determined to protect Kay's. Though he told his roommate he wouldn't feel guilty for going after Jenna, Chance really has no intention of doing that. She needs time, he needs to figure out how to handle any sort of relationship with Jenna because his typical won't fly, and he needs to know that it's not vindictive and she's not settling because Quin has taken himself out of the pitcure.

On and on he goes, and Quin can only take it. That's what he's here for, after all. He's just about to excuse himself when Shiv interrupts. My hero. Heroine. Whatever. His thoughts aren't outwardly projected as he still doesn't know about Harper's gifts. But the look on his face but very well portray his very thoughts.

"Oh, no interruption at all." This is said by the werewolf before the suit can do anything. "Certainly even my interesting guest can appreciate when a beautiful woman wants to say hello." The hug and even kiss are returned. He is not afraid to show his appreciation for one that he considers to be his friend. Nothing he does or thinks is lewd.

"It's good to see you, Shiv. I'm really sorry I didn't tell you I'd be here; I thought you were going somewhere else." That much is extremely genuine. There's more he wants to apologize for but he just isn't. He's giving her the weekend she asked for. He can do that, and he will.

The approach of the others may be heard, but he doesn't acknowledge. It's on their time, not his. He won't rush anything. Tonight is a night for fun, not for drama; he won't start anything.

Harper rolls his eyes a little as he hears the thought coming from the wolf. He's fairly certain that a few days ago, the thought was so far in the opposite direction, at least based on Siobhan's pain.
Still, Harper has been to enough of these parties in his life that he doesn't snark a comment back at it, especially when Siobhan's mood and emotions are controlled and careful. He doesn't want to set her off or make a scene.
"Quin," he offers, a slight dip of his head in acknowledgement. He's not being overly friendly, or overly hostile. There's no reason for it. He may want to protect his sister, but at the same time he's aware that he doesn't know the entire story either.
He takes a sip from Siobhan's champagne before handing it back to her when she steps away from the wolf.

Siobhan laughs and pats Quin's arm. "Nothing to apologize for Quin. It's hardly like we have to synchronize our schedules or some nonsense like that."
"No, this is a regular staple for me. My family is invited every year."
Stepping back beside Harper, she takes the glass and loops her arm through his. She's really not on the verge of going off or tipping over or anything of the sort. She's worked out a lot of it and what she hasn't, she's compartmentalized until this weekend is over. This is going to be a good weekend and nothing is going to upset it.
"Did you come alone?" It's best to get that out of the way. No surprises, and at least Jenna can be forewarned and forarmed. Despite her bestie's comments to the contrary, Siobhan knows the hurt hasn't gone away. Experience speaks and Siobhan knows it won't go away for quite some time.

"Yep! Actually, I'm pretty sure Dawna's planning a wedding as we speak. Even so, I bet they'd prefer that Shiv and Harper get set in their careers before they have kids." That doesn't mean that Jenna can't think about cute, adorable Sharper babies she can spoil.
"You're still alright with that? I was thinking that we could make a standing movie night if you wanted. At least once a month." She's not going to presume every week, because she knows they've both got work, and right now things might be a bit awkward for her to head over to the apartment.
"Don't be so surprised," she whispers at him. "Siobhan's… in an alright mood right now."
The soft whisper earns a nod, and then she's bound and determined to put on her brightest smile. She may still be upset but that doesn't mean anyone but she has to know it.

"Poor Harper," Chance mutters. He gives Jenna an apologetic smile an explanation. "Just that that's a lot of pressure. Most guys would go running the other way, though I guess Mrs. Knight isn't the typical shrewish mother-in-law?" It's light bantering conversation. Just something to pass the time and offer a bit of distraction.
"I'm more than all right with it, if you are," Chance assures her. He's not about to reneg on his offer; she needs it and, "I like spending time with you, Jenna."
"You make a good blanket."
It takes them only a few more steps to clear the distance to Siobhan, Harper and Quin. Chance gives Quin a nod and a grin, "Quin. Didn't expect to see you here. How did we miss this?"
Next he turns to Siobhan and Harper. The elder Donovan is given a nod of greeting, "Harper." Siobhan receives a friendly hug and a kiss to the cheek. "You look wonderful, Piper. You clean up well," Chance gives her a teasing wink. The feeling between them is a lot more easy going than it would have been a few weeks ago.

"Yes, well, I feel that I should have warned you at least. Or tried to compare plans. I just didn't expect this to be some sort of ball or anything. I didn't know about it until the end of last week, and I was hoping for something far less formal."

The suit that Quin is speaking with smiles brightly and excuses himself. He's not offended in the least; he appreciates seeing that Quin has friends that are 'upper crust'. It only adds to the support that Quin is getting for the school and for himself. In the end, though, Quin really doesn't care to further his career this way. It's clear in his thoughts and expressions, even if Harper doesn't agree with them.

He won't even begin to make excuses for quitting his therapist. He doesn't need one. The state finally agrees.

"I'm here with my friend." He hesitates. "Date? I don't want to say girlfriend, but date for sure." The phrase and his thoughts are honest. He's not hesitating in the least. "She's somewhere else, but she's here." This part is said quietly, but to Harper and Shiv. It's almost a warning, more for Jenna's behalf than anything.

I really don't want her to run into Jenna. Hopefully she'll stay where she is and I can greet everyone accordingly. I'll worry about trying to make nice later; for now this is a night for everyone to enjoy.

He may be hated right now, but the wolf actually has everyone's best intentions at heart.

"Harper." A nod is given to him, and one to Chance as he joins them. He looks at Jenna and smiles, but then looks back to chance. He's trying to avoid drama. "Yeah. I didn't consider this a ball or anything. Thought you guys would be somewhere else."

Tickling his fingers slowly down her arm before she loops them together, he leans in and whispers, "I like the mood you're in."
Harper glances at his sister and shakes his head when he hears her thoughts. At least he knows where he stands with the Knight's and so long as he can avoid the talk with Robert for as long as possible, everything will go fine.
"Chance." A nod is given to him as well. "I hope my sister hasn't chatted your ears off yet?"
The thoughts from Quin make him furrow his brow slightly. So 'the Vegas bimbo' is here. That's a very good thing to know.
"The ball portion is actually in a different section of the house. Rather large room. Plenty of dancing. Not so much politicking."

"So do you, Malfoy," Siobhan laughs at Chance's words and gives an exaggerated eye-roll.
Quin is hardly hated. Neither Siobhan nor Jenna have it in them to hate anyone who hasn't done something particularly gruesome or hateful to them or their loved ones. There's hurt and discontent, disappointment and frustration, but no hate. Siobhan isn't even focusing on those other feelings because she and Quin have agreed to meet and talk in a few days. Once she's had her good weekend escape. That's the most important thing right now … and reflecting on that, her thoughts stray just a little, recalling Harper's enthusiastic greeting and making her think that maybe she won't have to engage in any elaborate ruses or plans once they get to the suite …
She's so distracted by those thoughts that she nearly misses Quin's reply to her question. Again, the witch doesn't tense or stress. What's done is done and she can be pleasant and nice and put a smile on it with the best of them. If Quin's friend is here, then she'll deal with that, and it's not like the girl is her date. A quick glance is darted to Jenna and she leans close to Harper, hoping that he picks up on her concern and thoughts about his twin.
I hope Chance is a good distraction as a date.
Then she's gushing over Jenna and the dress. "Jenna, you are gorgeous! The dress looks better with the hair and the makeup than it did when we picked it out!" She hugs her bestie, letting her emotions show through, mainly support and understanding. Stepping back, she looks down at the necklace and gives a small squee. "I love the necklace. You didn't tell me you were shopping for jewelry. Cheat." It's said with good humor and light heartedness.

Preston is dressed to impress. Or at least dressed to get noticed and turn heads. He's been strolling around with his mother-approved date, Dana, on his arm, smirking and grinning when he's given second and third looks for the ensemble he's wearing. For tonight's festivities, he's opted for a Blackwatch kilt with a tuxedo top and managed to find an ascot that is also Blackwatch tartan. The topper is the top hat he had specially made; it has a band of Blackwatch tartan around it and a green carnation tucked into the band. He is the only clad in a kilt here tonight. His mother is probably cringing and drinking in some corner, but Preston doesn't care. He likes to own these things when he's made to play nice and attend them.
He's seen the Knights, and complimented Dawna's dress, and received a good natured laugh and shoulder clap from the good surgeoun, and was told that Siobhan and Harper, Sharper as he likes to call them, were somewhere around.
There's a dip in the conversation as Preston enters the room, and his date takes it in stride. She's actually much more fun that Preston thought. She seems to like the impression he's making. It starts up again, though heads do turn away and back again.
Rescuing two glasses from a passing tray, one is given to his date, the other kept for himself. He's nearly ready to move on when he spies one half of Sharper. Then he gapes and stares.
"Oh, oh, oh, Dana, they're here. You have to meet my two best girls." With that, he's leading her off and descending on the small group with a happy exclamation. "Jennie! Shivvie! Those pictures did not do those dresses justice! I didn't recognize you. Gorgeous. Stunning! Fantastic both of you!" Each girl is given a huge hug and an exuberant kiss to the cheek.
He winks at Harper, "You better appreciate all the work our little Dancing Diva has put into this, Donovan."

"God, no. Dawna's sweet, and down to earth. She's already like a second mother to us, really. She adores Harper. Has since we were all in kindergarten." Jenna actually appreciates the light conversation, because it is helping her not to focus on everything that upset her the other day.
The mention of her making a good blanket spurs a loud giggle, and she's got a hand over her mouth in a second so as to hopefully not draw too much attention to them. "I suppose I do. It's not my fault you made a good pillow." After all, she did sort of use him as one when she fell asleep watching the movie.
She's a bit quiet when they get to Quin. Just a smile, and a soft, "Hello, Quintin."
Giving Chance's hand a squeeze she breaks away from him to give Siobhan a hug, and a double air kiss. "Ohmigawd, Shiv, you look stunning. I'm absolutely envious of how amazing you look."
There's a squeak as she hears the name that only Preston dares to call her, and she turns quickly and finds herself wrapped up in his arms. Pressing a kiss to his cheek, she hugs him back as tightly as possible. "Pres! You look amazing too. I dig the kilt!"
"Chance, meet Preston Van de Mark the third. I've been going to school with him forever."
"Pres? May I introduce you to Chance Harper?" There's another small beat as she nods to Quintin as well. "And this is Quintin." It's offered a lot more quietly and less exuberantly, but she recalls her manners. "And you must be Dana? It's a pleasure to meet you. Your dress is lovely."

Chance gives Jenna a soft squeeze of support, hoping that he might keep her grounded when she addresses Quintin. No guarantees, but it is worth a try. He is surprised by her graciousness, if she is a little subdued, as much as he was surprised by Siobhan's sweetness. They're so grounded and down to earth that Chance sometimes forgets that they're cut from the same cloth as the majority those here at the party.
He's about to say something when there's a virtual hurricane whirling around them, exclaiming over Jenna and Siobhan. Chance blinks and gives a concerned, confused look to Harper, trying to find out if this is normal or some sort of theatre student terrorist attack.
"Preston," Chance says when the explanations come. He gives a good look to the kilt and the top hat, and extends his hand. "Pleasure to meet you. That's a bold statement you're making."
"Takes a pair and you clearly have bigger ones than I do." Yes, Chance recognizes that there might be a bit of irony in that statement. He doesn't judge by stereotypes but something tells him that Preston doesn't lean toward dating girls.

This is certainly awkward. He isn't expecting it to be normal, but he also isn't in the mindset that he's going to stand here and continue to make things awkward. The girls decide to get the attention that they're getting and he quite frankly isn't thrilled that he's in attendance anyway.

"I think I'm going to head out for some air." Some air being meeting up with Kay and possibly clearing the area. This is only if it's needed, or if she's ready to go. Quin's been ready since he showed up but feels that he's at least made some progress.

"A pleasure as always, everyone." And everyone is given a glance of acknowledgement. Even Preston. "Nice to meet you; enjoy the suit." It's not a lie or a quip; he's glad that someone's done it. Pres seems like he could be fun, given any other situation.

Harper very easily picks up on Siobhan's thoughts, and he clears his throat. A faint red can be seen at the tips of his ears, mostly hidden by the way his hair falls.
"Pres." The flamboyant newcomer is given a nod as well, as is his date. "Dana, you look amazing. You're actually managing to outshine your date." A difficult task where Preston is concerned.
At Siobhan's next thought, he glances over at his sister and Chance. Though she's quiet, he's not getting any extreme anger or malice from his sister, which is a good sign.
"The necklace suits you, Jen."

"Jealous goes both ways, Jenna. I've always envied the way you pull off red. It always makes me think that no one else should be allowed to wear it." Siobhan is smiling happily at her bestie, gushing in a way that she has a hundred times before. She does envy how well Jenna wears red.
Preston is indeed like a hurricane, but it's hard not laugh and hug him in return. "You did it, Pres." Siobhan straightens his ascot a bit. "You said you would and you did." Mrs. Van de Mark is probably having a coronary somewhere. "I love the kilt." The witch turns a smile to Dana, who's wearing a black and green dress that nicely compliments Preston's ensemble. "I love your dress, too, Dana. You do look amazing and it's a perfect match." She wonders how Pres pulled the other girl in on his ploy so quickly, but it's Pres and when it comes to fashion, he does have all bases covered.
Her attention turns to Quintin as goes to make his leave and Siobhan gives a soft smile and a nod. Of course there will be no asking him to stay, she merely wanted to let him know that she meant what she said in her email. That door is open and they will talk later. "It's good to see you, Quin. You're very handsome tonight. You clean up just as nicely as your troublesome roommate."

"Running off already?" Preston knows who Quin is as much as he knows who Chance is. He's been caught up on all the drama, heard Siobhan's story, and heard Jenna's. He might have his opinions and positions on the matter, but this is a public venue, and he hardly wants make Dana uncomfortable, what with her being such a good sport an all. "I'm here now. The party is just starting," Preston trails off in a sing-song voice.
Of course the football player, whom Preston gives a very frank and appraising once over, is welcome to leave. It'll make Jenna calm and happy, and he doesn't want to the little Songbird all wound up. "Not that I hold people against their will. I've heard that being surrounded by beautiful women can be quite taxing and overwhelming."
He turns and gives Chance a thoroughly appraising look as well, and yes, he and Jenna will so be talking later. He winks approvingly at Jenna. "Though maybe it's just me that's overwhelming?" Preston is very good at laughing at himself.
"Harper, you do know that I'm going to steal your date and put everyone on the dance floor to shame a bit later?"

"No one else should," Jenna replies to Siobhan, winking at her bestie. Red really does suit her dark hair and light complexion, which is why she wears it as often and as much as possible. It really is the best color for her.
She'll never admit it, but Chance is grounding her. There's the knowledge that once the hurt fades a little more, she'll have to push past that with Quin. If for nothing else than she did tell him that no matter what happened they'd remain friends. She just needs that time to get over it all.
"Doesn't it? I love it, but it's just a loaner. Chance brought it for me." Jenna is not trying to rub that in anyone's face. Siobhan and Harper both mentioned it, so it's time to fess up that the necklace isn't hers.
There's a blush at the look Preston's giving the two 'new guys' and then she's giggling. "That is true. Hopefully we won't overwhelm you too much, Pres."
A glance is given to Quintin. A somewhat subdued nod is given to him, despite the bright smile she's currently wearing. "Enjoy the gardens. They're really beautiful."

"Hey!" Chance protests at Siobhan's gentle ribbing. He smiles, however, glad to see that the witch is in a much better state of mind than when he saw her last. Either that or she's putting up a very good front.
Chance's ears pink just a little when Jenna confesses about the necklace. He's not embarrassed to have given it to her, he's just a little humbled. "It's a family heirloom. I thought it would match Jenna's dress." In a manner of speaking, it is an heirloom. It was his paternal grandmother's, and Nana gave it to his mother, and his father gave it to him with a few other pieces of his mother's jewelry when Chance was old enough to understand the significance of such a gift.
He thinks he should say something to Quintin, but doesn't want Jenna to fell as though he's deserting her. Though he thinks it would be hard for her to not be distracted with Preston present. He doesn't know who the young man is, and he wonders why Jenna and Siobhan haven't brought him around before. Unless it's the gay thing? Chance really hopes the girls don't think that just because he's a jock and a frat boy, that he's homophobic.
"I've heard Jenna sing, but I haven't seen Siobhan dance." Not really. What she was doing that night at Purgatory and at the roller disco doesn't really count. He grins at Jenna, "Is it worth a front row seat to watch?"
Chance then gives Jenna a light little tug into his side. He's not trying to show off or anything of the sort. It's mostly meant to offer her comfort. He lowers his head to speak softly in her ear. "I'm going to walk Quin out, but I promise not to be gone long." He's only willing to leave her alone because her bestie and her twin are here, and Preston is obviously a good friend as well.

"Unfortunately. I still have a few elbows to rub before I'm allowed to leave for good. The things one does for their University, right?" A soft smile is offered towards Shiv and one is even meant for Jenna. He could drag out his departure but he honestly doesn't feel like it. He's doing his best to give them that space, and not to drudge up drama. So Quin excuses himself and makes for a different room entirely. They may not be of the opinion, but he really is a genuinely nice guy.

If Chance is going to walk him out, he'll have to act quick since the wolf is already on the move.

"As long as that's all you steal her for," Harper replies to Preston with a grin. He knows that the pair can dance up quite a storm, and that Preston is gay, but that's not going to stop him from teasing.
A low whistle is given to his sister and Chance. "A family heirloom? And you lent it to my sister?" He's not reading a thing into it, because he does get the impression that Chance brought it along to cheer Jenna up, and it seems to be working.
"It's definitely worth a front row seat to watch Shiv dance."

"Have a good night, Quin," Siobhan calls after the departing wolf. She leans against Harper and sips from her glass of champagne. There is a spark of surprise and curiosity when she hears that Chance 'loaned' Jenna the necklace, but she says nothing just yet. Instead she grins at Preston, "I'll be happy to dance with you, Preston. You know I've missed dancing with you." Beat. "The first slow dance goes to Harper, however."

"I was too much for him, wasn't I?" Preston asks innocently. "I am trying so hard to tone it down, but my sex appeal just runs rampant."
"Yes, I'm having trouble keeping my hands off of you," Dana says deadpan as she sips her drink. The words are dead pan, but her eyes are smiling.

Jenna turns and stares at Chance, as her fingers reach up to touch the ruby. He loaned her a family heirloom? There's so much that she wants to ask him right this very moment, but the conversation is still going on, and Quintin is leaving.
Rather than question Chance about the necklace, she leans up and presses a chaste little kiss to his cheek. "I'm in good company, but don't be too long?"
"Totally too much, Preston. Not all men can handle you."

"I'll be right back," Chance tells the group as a whole. "I'm going to walk with my roommate and talk for a bit. I won't be long." Jenna is given another squeeze and a light kiss is placed to her temple. It's friendly and soothing, nothing else because he's not ready to go any further than that.
Chance laughs at Preston as he slips away, "Yes, you are too much. Now I'm running away." Whomever he is, Chance thinks he likes Preston.
He hurries after his roommate.

"You're not scaring me off that easily," Harper tells Preston, with a chuckle. Wrapping his arm around Siobhan's waist, he tugs her in a little closer. "How did Europe treat you, Pres?"
As one of the servers wanders by, he snags a glass of champagne for himself, and one for Jenna. Offering the glasses out to her, he waits until she takes it before taking a drink from his own.
"Dana, I hope you don't mind a man with two left feet. If Preston's stealing my date, the least I can do is spin you around the ballroom."

Siobhan giggles and rolls her eyes. She leans into Harper, "Don't listen to him, Dana. He's not that bad. He just gets a little self conscious because he's not Fred Astaire. I've taught him a few moves."

Preston pretends to choke on his champagne. "Is this public conversation? I really think there are some things that shouldn't be shared so openly." He's teasing his friend because he can; he knows very well what Siobhan meant.
"Europe was wonderful. I spent two months on West End. Talking. Observing. Gossiping backstage. Such an experiment. Jenna and I talked about going after graduation. A little house with a garden, you and Siobhan could come along. We'd have our own little summer escape."

With both Chance and Quintin gone, Jenna turns a look on Siobhan. There's a smile there, and then she points to the necklace and mouths 'holy shit'. Yeah, she's trying not to read too much into it, but it's not often a guy will offer up a family heirloom on loan even to an event like this.
Though she is happy she didn't wear her own ruby this evening. This is much, much better and more meaningful.

"I'm awful. Though I think I can handle myself enough on the dance floor so as not to break your toes."
Giving Siobhan a slight squeeze, Harper nods. "It does sound like a plan. A summer in London? If Siobhan's interested, then I'm all for it."

'I know!' Siobhan mouths back. The necklace is a very nice gesture. It's a little bit beyond friendly, but Siobhan isn't going to point it out. She's agreed to back off, so back off she will. Unless Jenna brings up things with Chance, Siobhan won't comment on it anymore.
"You can handle yourself perfectly fine," Siobhan tells her boyfriend. "If you keep talking like that, I'm going to start demanding mandatory dancing lessons. I am a dance instructor, remember?"
The words are teasing, but they trigger her imagination, and a few images of dancing close and suggestively with Harper spill across her mind. Siobhan hurriedly sips her champagne and tries to focus her thoughts elsewhere. Then she brightens, her eyes a light, "Really? London? Yes! I want to do it. It'll be so much fun!"

"He's a good dancer," Jenna explains to Dana. "I promise he won't step on your toes, no matter what he says." She sips the champagne again, then turns to Preston. "Don't forget to save a dance for me, hmm? I know you and Shiv will kill on the dance floor, but I want at least one twirl, got it mister?" Smiling sweetly at her friend, she turns back to Siobhan.
"It will be! I can't wait until next summer now. It'll be amazing, and can you imagine the West End? God, it would be wonderful if I got a role here that traveled to a West End theater next summer…"

Harper snorts, and then tickles his fingers over the bare skin along Siobhan's side. "Only if we do them in the dance studio at your place. I'm not dancing with a bunch of four year olds."

Siobhan laughs and squeezes her boyfriend's arm. Her empty glass is placed on a passing tray, and she knows better than to try and take another one just yet. It's bad enough that she isn't legal. The last thing she wants is to be soused by the time she and Harper leave tonight. "I promise. Private lessons only for you."

"I'm just full of the best ideas, ever." Preston sips his champagne and smiles at his friends. He indicates his outfit with a wave of his hand. "Take this outfit for instance. My best formal attire yet."
"So, let's dish honest. You were an angel, sweetheart." Preston kisses Jenna's cheek. "I'm not so sure I would have been nearly as kind to him after the stunt he pulled."

"You really are, Pres. I swear, if you don't make it in the theater, you'll totally be able to write, direct, and produce your own show." Jenna bites her lip and then laughs. "As long as you promise to save a part for me!"
Sighing, Jenna looks at the ground. "Believe me, Pres, it was hard enough to say hello." Beat. "But have you seen my date? How can I not be angelic around that?"

"I like the sound of that," Harper teases, waggling his eyebrows at her in a comical fashion. "But I was just talking about dancing." Resting his chin on her shoulder, he gently kisses her right behind her ear.
"Pres is right. The both of you handled that extremely well." He thinks his sister could have been a little more like her bubbly self, but he knows that she needs time to get over it all.

Siobhan does her best to restrain her reaction to Harper's affection. It's a little thing, really, but it makes her temperature rise a bit and her stomach do a few belly flops. She does manage to keep her eyes open and not sigh into the kiss and lean into him the way she wants to do so.
Siobhan is proud of her bestie for coming up and speaking to Quin, considering how hurt Jenna is. The witch however, doesn't see where she needs to be complimented for being friendly and social. She gives a bit of a shrug and reaches out to squeeze Jenna's hand. "You did good, Jenna. Baby steps." To getting her confidence back.
Rolling her eyes, Siobhan giggles. "He's not all that."
"Bite your tongue, Siobhan Knight! That is a nice piece of beefcake that Jenna brought tonight. I love the way he wears his tux," Preston remarks with a waggle of his eye brows. "I'm envious. All the good ones are straight."
Dana giggles and shrugs, "He is cute. If I liked boys, I might give you some competition." She smiles teasingly at Jenna, apparently not caring about the bomb she just dropped.
Preston nods his head and claps his hands. "Yes, my mother hit pay dirt tonight. Dana and I have so much in common, but her mother is in denial too."

"But he is. He bought me a beautiful bouquet of white roses, and let me borrow this exquisite necklace." Not to mention the fact that he's been able to talk her down from her hurt, and make her forget it with almost no effort.
Giggling at Preston's assessment, she grins. "And he wore the red to match my dress." That says it all, so far as she's concerned. Chance has gone to a lot of effort to make tonight wonderful for her and keep her out of a funk.
There's a blink of surprise at the bombshell, but she laughs rather than pauses. "You likely would too. You're absolutely gorgeous."
"The two of you make the perfect beards for one another."

Siobhan may be restraining her reaction, but Harper can feel the change in her emotions. Repeating the kiss, he grins against her skin.
"Damned right we are," he shoots back at Preston.

"He's a lot sweeter, helpful and more gentlemanly than I originally gave him credit for," Siobhan admits. She's not going to point out that her bestie is gushing, even if that is what Jenna is doing at the moment. No teasing, to pointing it out, no bringing up such things unless Jenna does. New rule.
This time, she does give a little shiver when Harper kisses behind her ear, and the witch really wants to drag her boyfriend off to some quiet, private alcove to steal a few minutes alone, despite the fact that their earlier 'quality time' resulted in their late arrival.
"You're gushing, Jennie!" Preston has no qualms about pointing it out to his friend, and gives a quick glance at Siobhan, wondering why she didn't point it out. "A guy who goes through all that effort is worth putting the time into." Especially after the one who went for a good quick shag in Vegas, is the unspoken after thought.
"We are, aren't we? I meant it couldn't be anymore perfect. We can both have a good time here tonight, no pressure or expectation or annoyance and our mothers are off our backs. We even rented a hotel room for after. Room service, trivial pursuit, and pay per view movies all night while our mothers cross their fingers and pray to the extreme conservative right that the gods of straightness will come down and shine upon us."

"Told you so," Jenna replies with a grin. Mostly, she's teasing Siobhan, because after the week that they've been through, they both need it. "Plus, he looks hot in a towel."
When Preston points out that she's gushing, she nearly turns as red as her dress. Clearing her throat, she glances down at her feet and quietly says, "Alright, I'll stop." But both Preston and Shiv should know that she's never really gone on about many guys this way.
"That's a great idea. Which hotel are the two of you staying at? Maybe I can meet you for breakfast." Just 'I', because she's not ready to tell anyone that Chance agreed to stay with her, and she doesn't want to explain to Harper that he's lent his clothes out without his express permission.

"It's good to see you two on friendly terms," Harper murmurs against Siobhan's skin. "I was beginning to think we'd have the war of the worlds on our hands." Nipping her neck lightly, he draws back. Aware that he's getting into that 'not in front of polite company' mode.
"We should all meet for breakfast," he declares, giving his sister a strange look and a raised eyebrow.

The witch is not going to stick her tongue out at Jenna in this public, formal setting. She does wrinkle her nose and make a quick face at her bestie to convey the same thing. Normally, at this point, she'd step up and give Jenna a quick hug, but she's not about to move out of Harper's arms or reach just yet. Instead, Jenna gets a grasp of her hand and a quick squeeze. "No, it's sweet. I'm glad that Chance cheered you up and is making sure you have a good time tonight."
She doesn't hold onto Jenna's hand for long, and she's glad of it when Harper nips at the back of her neck. It's a good thing that he does draw back or the witch would be seriously tempted to drag him off for a quick 'snog,' as her father calls it. No, that's not true. She is tempted. She simply resists.
"I'm all for breakfast. But we should make it brunch. I plan to sleep in tomorrow."
And got to sleep really, really late.
"Here, here," Preston agrees, holding his glass up in a toast. "If you're this happy and delighted, then we're all for it. Plus, he didn't even flinch when I checked him out."
He nods his head enthusiastically. "That sounds divine. Brunch it is, for all of us."

"Me too. He's a good friend." Yeah, Jenna used the 'f' word, but that's because she's not going to seriously look at Chance any other way just yet. She knows there's still confusion there about Quintin, and she doesn't want Chance to worry that she's 'settling'.
"Brunch then, because I plan on sleeping in too after tonight. I'm at the Hilton, but there's plenty of great places to meet up. I'll find one and text everyone around eleven?"

"Brunch sounds good. I don't plan on being up before at least ten." Even if he is awake earlier, Harper will stay in bed until Siobhan is awake. He won't want to wake her.
"Perfect, Jen. You only have to worry about texting one of us though."

If Siobhan has her way, her boyfriend won't want to be up before ten, and won't be awake enough to be so anyway. It's a random fleeting thought, and Siobhan nods at Jenna's assessment of Chance. "He is."
"But I'll deny I ever said that if it's mentioned to him."
"Yes, yes, Miss Organization Queen, we'll leave our morning dining in your hands," Preston says. He blinks and gives Sharper an amused look. "You do realize that I'm going to say it? I have to say it. You two … so good together. It's about damn time."

"I'll never mention it," Jenna replies with a giggle. She won't either. She tries to stay as true to her word as she can. Just like she's never told Siobhan that Chance thinks she's an okay person too.
Slowly finishing off the champagne, she sets the empty glass on a passing tray and grins at Preston. "It pays to be organized, Pres. When one is organized, one has a better time at auditions."
"Yes, Sharper looks great together."

Groaning, Harper gives his sister a playful little push. "You too, with that silly name?" Shaking his head, he gives Preston a look of fake disdain. "Do you see what you started? Now all we need is for it to wind up in the society section of the Times."

"Hold you tongue," Siobhan warns her boyfriend with a playful nudge to the ribcage. "If you're not careful, it might happen. Son of famous Broadway lyrist and daughter of prominent popular cheorographer were seen together at the Annual Midsummer's Ball. Harper and Siobhan, or Sharper as they're called, are the newest society couple." She giggles, because she's read enough of those articles to know how they sound. Also to know that she doesn't want to be one of them.
"You did that a little too well, Shivvie," Preston points out. "Are you secretly moonlighting as one of the society pages reporters?"

"Oh god, I can so see that in the paper come tomorrow." Giggling, she agrees with Preston. "You do that way too well. It's scary." Jenna glances at them all and then grins. "If you think that's bad, wait until they start with the engagement rumors, or start hypothesizing where the wedding will be. You better book your room at the Plaza now, you know."
It's been a while since Chance wandered off with Quin, but she's not really worried about it or thinking that he's up and left her at the party. He has friends, and she knows that even if he wasn't talking with Quin the entire time, he likely got caught up in a conversation with someone else."You guys don't have to stay and keep me company," she tells them. "Go. Dance. Have fun. That's what you're here for, right?"

Chance does get caught a few times as he tries to make his way back to Jenna. He makes polite small talk, but he's very clear in that he's headed elsewhere. He snags a glass of champagne as he enters the parlour, smoothing down his vest tux as he makes his away across the room to the small group.
"Sorry that took so long," Chance apologizes to Jenna, sliding up beside her and wrapping an arm around her waist even though his brain is telling to back off and stop encouraging her. "I ran into someone else I knew, and then more people that I knew trying to make my way back."

"It's fine, Jen. We don't mind. Besides, it's been a while since we've all been together, all dressed up." Harper smiles at his sister, knowing that she's putting up a brave front despite not wanting to be alone.
"If I'm not careful? You're the one writing the article for them at the moment."

"Besides, your date's back now," Siobhan says as Chance rejoins their group. There's no need to worry about Jenna being left alone with Chance's return. "Run into anyone interesting?" She doesn't expect that she'd know anyone that Chance ran into, but surprises have been known to happen.
"Well, now that we're all here and accounted for? I'd like to suggest we move to the Ballroom." Preston straightens his top hat. "I feel like dancing a little."

Leaning against Chance as he wraps his arm around her, Jenna smiles happily. It surprises her how comfortable this is. How natural. "There's no need to apologize, Chance. I figured you'd run into a few people catching up to Quin, and then coming back." See? No stress there at all. She's forgiving.
"I did miss you though." Blushing as she says it, she nips onto the inside of her lower lip. "Are you good for going to brunch tomorrow? It seems like Pres and Dana are staying in Staten Island tonight as well."

The sorcerer decides in that moment that he's not going to stress over it or worry about it anymore tonight. His agenda for tonight hasn't changed. Originally, he invited Jenna because he enjoys spending time with her. His approach tonight was to cheer her up, distract her, and just let her relax and have a good time. That's still his intention, and will remain his intention for the rest of the evening. Like she said, the hotel room has two beds, and any thoughts of changing the dynamics of his relationship with Jenna will wait until he's sought counsel from Bryn.
"Sure, why not?" Chance returns with an easy shrug. He nods to Preston and Dana, "That'd be fine with me."
"Here on Staten Island or are we going back to link up with you two?" The question is asked of Harper and Siobhan.

Harper wants to tell his sister what the sorcerer is thinking, but he's fairly certain she's had enough letdown for one week and the last thing he wants to do is spoil her evening. Whatever is going on between those two will have to work itself out on its own.
"Wait. The two of you are staying tonight?" This asked of his sister and Chance, his brow arching slightly.
"Here on Staten Island. We've got a suite."

Siobhan, too, looks at Jenna in surprise when she implies that she and Chance are staying on the Island tonight. She didn't see that coming. Still, she holds her figurative tongue. No jokes, no teasing. "Oh good, then we can all have brunch together tomorrow just as we were planning."

"Yes, silly. You know that I don't like to drive back to Manhattan after a Ball like this. At least not out here on the Island." Jenna rolls her eyes at Harper and giggles. "The room has two beds, and we're planning on plenty of room service and pay-per-view movies." It's not like she said 'hey Chance come sex me'.
"We are definitely on for brunch. I know the perfect place, and as promised I'll text you all. Well I'll text Shiv and Pres, since there's no point in texting all four of you."

Chance releases the breath he hadn't realized he was holding. He really didn't want to have a pissed off, protective big brother on his hands. Jenna did invite him after all, and as much as he might like her and have been contemplating moving forward, he wasn't contemplating jumping into bed with her as part of that plan. It's certainly not his intention now either with the whole Quin cloud and feelings of default looming over his head. "I hear that they rent X-Boxes too," Chance teases.
He's surprised that Siobhan and Harper have a room, though he's not sure why he's surprised. If he's sharing a room with Jenna, and Preston is sharing a room with his date, there's no reason that the actual couple among them wouldn't do the same.
"So long as it's brunch. I like the idea of sleeping in."

Giving his sister another look, Harper nods. "Yeah, I know."
Glancing at Chance he chuckles. "It's a good thing I like you and trust you." He's only partially joking. "It will definitely be brunch. I don't plan on waking up early."
"Hell, I don't plan on going to sleep until late either."

There's a part of Siobhan that is trying not to read too much into what Harper says. Yes, she does have her … hopes for the evening, but he's not the sort to announce that sort of thing to a group of people. However, there's another part of her that has her belly taking a twirl and spin, and her shifting her wait from foot-to-foot as she leans against her boyfriend and hopes that her imaginative mental imagery isn't written all over her face.
"Chance totally got your attention when he mentioned X-Box rentals, hmm?" Siobhan teases.

"That got my attention," Preston nods enthusiastically. "I could go for some gratiutious blowing things up." Yes, Preston has his little hidden quirks. He may not be a jock or a science/tech geek, but he's a fan of third person shooters. Better if they have a little bit of RP involved in them, but sometimes blowing things up is fun. Especially after a bad audition or a horrible practice or rehearsal.
He gives a quick glance over to Siobhan and Harper. Considers saying something, but holds back. It's none of his business, though he really doesn't want to have to deal with a sulky Siobhan if her boyfriend doesn't at least try something tonight.

"X-Box rentals?" Leaning back a little, Jenna smiles up at Chance. "We can do that if you want. You might be a bit upset when I kick your butt at Call of Duty though." Between Harper and Preston, she does know how to play a few games fairly decently.
Playing X-Box isn't what she had in mind for the night, but if that's what her date wants to do? That's what they'll do.

Chance blinks down at Jenna. "I was joking … but that sounds like a challenge, little lady."
"No good Texan can stand down from a challenge and call himself a Texan." His plan was to sit and talk, watch some television and enjoy a bit of room service. However, he's more than willing to slip in a video game challenge as well, if called upon to do so.

"Ye-ah, that was it," Harper says to Siobhan, rubbing his hand across the back of his neck. "Exactly what I was thinking of. X-Box rentals."
It really doesn't sound like that's what he was thinking about at all, but it's hard to tell with him sometimes.
"Ready for some dancing, Flutterbee?"

"Yes," Siobhan answers promptly, though inwardly she's thinking 'No.' What she really wants to do right now is drag her boyfriend off to find out what's going on in his head, or maybe encouraging him to get his head … in the game, so to speak. She thinks she might be able to be pretty convincing. She hopes she can, any way.
"Anyone else going to come dance with us?"
"You know me," Preston laughs, "Always up for a little bit of dancing." He extends his arm to his date. "Shall we?"

"Oh," Jenna says with an innocent fluttering of her lashes at Chance. "You were? But what else would we do?"
"What do you say, cowboy? You up for a second round on the dance floor?"

Chance laughs and shakes his head. "Throw water balloons out the window at the parking lot of course." He gives Jenna a wink and an impish grin. There's an innocent shrug. "I'm not sure about anything else, ma'am. I'm a bit too innocent for all of that."
"With a beautiful woman like you on my arm? Definitely."

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