"You're rich enough to live and stay in the posh areas yet you buy your own private building in Whitechapel for parties." Ara leaned casually on the door frame when Dorian Grey opened the door. "You get younger by the year”, she smiles mischievously. Dorian, clad in a fine grey suit, chuckles. Brielle stands just behind Ara, white faced. Tugging on her sleeve,
"Come on Ara...lets go home...you are in no state to be coming to one of..." She blushes deeply and then whispers, "These parties!!"
Arabella ignores Brielle and stands there smiling when Dorian runs the back of his hand down her cheek.
"You're not just a girl anymore." Ara rolls her eyes,
"You say that as if you're getting some tonight." She shoves through his hand and through the door.
"We'll see." Dorian says, not missing a beat and then looks to Brielle, taking her hand and kissing it. "Who's this new flower?" Dorian calls back as Arabella waits in the hall for Brielle to come inside.
"We came for the liquor. Not your bed chambers." Brielle blushes as he takes her hand.
"This flower is taken, sir!" Dorian stands in the doorway, blocking all but a very narrow entrance into the hall. She stands for a moment, waiting for him to move, as gentlemen are wont to do, and then awkwardly squeezes past him and scrambles off after Ara as he chuckles behind her.
"We'll be fine. Dorian has some nice wine in the cellar." She says, the fine black and marble tiles of the hall clack under her boots as she runs her hand over mahogany furnishings before coming to the library where people, drunk, naked, clothed, sober, fat, thin, tall, short, rich, and upper middle class mingle and dance with each other, masked like the Italian carnival. Dorian slides up behind Brielle,
"You may help yourself to any of the liquor and everything in the kitchen if you so desire. No one will touch you unless you want them to and you know," He slides his hand at the back of her neck gently and whispers in her ear, "If you need anything," Brielle freezes, unsure of what to do.
"Dorian! what flavor is in this hookah!" Ara calls to him with a glint of concern in her eyes. She winks at Brielle when Dorian walks over to tell her, leaning in close and whispering in her ear. Brielle nearly faints in relief as Ara calls his attention away. She decides against drinking tonight, as she trusts no one around her. As she glimpses about the room and sees the throngs of people in various states of undress and questionable activities, she blushes and really wishes it was safe enough for a glass(or four) of wine to ease her nerves and discomfort. Meanwhile, Dorian leans in over Ara,
"It's called "pleasure""
"Of course it is, it's at your house." Ara rolled her eyes, "But what is it, it's tasty. Is that licorice? apple? with a little bit of mint?" Dorian sits down on a couch as a topless woman with short blonde hair and cat-like green eyes waves her silky body over Dorian's lap, he strokes the woman's stomach.
"You have a good sense of taste when you're drunk." He winked at Arabella.
"And you have no boundaries." Ara replied and lost her equilibrium for a moment before regaining her stance.
"I like the new kitten you dragged in." He stands, inconsiderate of the woman that had been laying in his lap. She squeaked and fell off the couch as Dorian stood up and came up around Ara holding a few strands of her hair in his hand. "I want her." Ara shook her head,
"You can't have her like you can't have me." Arabella spun around moved a hand up and down his chest. "Don't you dare try seducing either of us. You don't know who you'd have to deal with if anyone in this party laid a finger on her. She's not with just any man." Dorian scoffed at this comment.
"You forget my painting." He said, running his hand down Ara's neck. "One night like the summer before last, before you stopped letting me in." He smirked, "There's only one thing better in a bed than two people and that's three people." Arabella picked up an unopened bottle of merlot.
"I'll be taking this from your home tonight." She ignored his hand and ignored the fact that her breath was getting a bit heavier. she knew how to handle herself and she had been to these parties at least ten times since the summer before last. She was strong.
Brielle had made her way to a seat in a corner, where she was studiously trying to avoid making eye contact with the very busy and entwined naked couple a few feet away. A few times she glanced up and saw Dorian leaning over Ara, the two murmuring about something she guessed that she wanted no part of. She shifted nervously in her seat, hoping that Ara would get whatever it was she was hoping to find here and then they could go home.
Dorian looks into Ara's eye and massages her ear,
"I'll give you whatever alcohol you want. Follow me to the cellar." He says and takes her hand. Arabella rolls her eyes and then looks back at Brielle.
"Get the liquor and go," Ara says to herself and then looks back at Brielle while Dorian drags at her hand pulling her along. "Bri, I'll be right back. Just getting some more wine! if someone touches you, knock them out! It's very effective!" Ara sings over and follows Dorian, twisting down a spiral staircase. Brielle's head snaps up and she watches Ara disappear down the steps with Dorian with worry. A hand lands on her shoulder, jolting her out of her reverie. She looks up, a tall brunette woman clad in only her corset, bloomers and the requisite mask stands above her. She blushes a tad, and the woman remains silent.
"Hello Miss. Do you require something of me? Am I sitting in your seat, perhaps? Or..” She is silenced by a finger pushing against her plush lips.
“I require nothing but your presence. You are new here, are you not? You look as though its your first time here....you still have all your clothes on...” She tssks, and continues, “And they are modest clothes at that..” Brielle's blush deepenss.
“Well, you see, I followed my friend here, because she wasn't in her right mind...this isn't my normal sort of...party...you could say..” She shrugs her shoulders, trying to dislodge the woman's hand. The woman chuckles low in her throat.
“Woefully overdressed as you are, I have to say, it is the general consensus that the innocent are our favorite...especially when they are so very pretty as you are. Would you care to join us in our festivities?” She gestures across the room where two men were clearly watching the exchange between Brielle and the woman. “Everyone is so very curious about you...” Brielle blinks a few times and bites her lip.
“I really don't think thats a good idea. No, I think I shall stay right here, and wait for my friend....
Meanwhile, (back at the refet) down in Dorian's cellar, Ara shifts through bottles of wine while Dorian waits on the stone doorframe.
"This place is absolutely huge." Ara exclaims as she checks out a bottle of oyster bay. Dorian fails to suppress a short laugh and walks up behind her.
"Arabella, tell me about your new friend. Why do you think I can't touch her?" He asks, taking his hand like he did upstairs and running it down her back.
"Didn't your mother ever teach you to keep your hands to yourself before she passed? And I don't THINK that you can't touch her." she turned to face him again, "You can't touch her. There's a difference."
"I take what I want." He replied aggressively.
"Because you're attractive? That's pathetic."
"No, because I have talent." Dorian shot a crooked smile. "You wouldn't come to this party if you didn't want me." Ara pressed the bottom of the Oyster Bay into his stomach and glared but he kept whispering.
"You're pretty when you're feisty."
"You say that to everyone and trust me, Mr. Grey," she pulled out the gun that Wil had given her from Christmas, "You haven't seen feisty. Now back up." He did as she said, all the while still smiling. Ara turned back around and kept looking at the wine.
"I'll be going back up then. Call if you need anything." Dorian sighed and began walking up the stone spiral steps. "I'm really disappointed Arabella." He said, sounding sad. She rolled her eyes and looked up at him walking away. Secretly, she had liked what he did with his hands. But that was Dorian and even though she liked him, he was certainly no Tim Harrison.... Oz McGuiness....whatever. Arabella smiled and started checking out the mixes when a masked, shirtless albino popped up from around the corner of a shelf with an Asian beauty hanging off his chest. They laughed pointing at Arabella and then budged around her. Ara giggled and pulled out a fancy bottle of Phantom, a nice Merlot (not many could beat a Merlot), and a good bottle of Pinot Grigio before heading upstairs. When Ara arrives back upstairs, she finds Brielle surrounded by a large throng of party goers, looking quite uncomfortable. As one starts stroking her hair, she shoots Ara a pleading look before jumping up, nearly knocking over several women in the process, and whispering in her ear,
"They are all fascinated by me? Why me? I am the opposite of what everyone here stands for! I don't understand it!" She looks completely puzzled and then spots Dorian giving her a predatory look over Ara's shoulder. "Him especially! What is his DEAL? He can have anyone here, isn't that good enough?" She pouts, almost comically. "I mean really. That blond girl was all over him and he just stood up, knocking her off his lap! I have nothing to offer them, at least in the way they want..."
"He's had them before. He wants something new he can mold and play with and corrupt. That's Dorian's game." She whispers back. "Same with all of these people. They love messing with each other. Many of these people are actually upper class who like corrupting others form their own society because, they themselves, were corrupted. Dorian Grey is actually very esteemed by upper class society you know. But his world evolves around pleasure. He's not like this all the time. In fact, if he had come to the Gear, he would act like a perfect gentleman."
Arabella turns around. "So, do you have anyone to sing by the piano tonight or should I be off?" She asks before looking back at Brielle, "It's simple, if you push someone off enough, they stop. all but Dorian who," She grabs his wrist and turns it, “doesn't know how to keep his hands to himself!" She yells. "Damn, mate, can't a girl have fun without you treating her like clay on a pottery wheel?"
Brielle soaks in the information, and then takes another look around, recognizing the faces of a few acquaintances from back home.
"Oh my. I think I feel sick...and to think...all of that emphasis on my purity, to the extent of not even telling me what to expect on my wedding night..." She shakes her head and then looks from Ara to Dorian. Tilting her head she blushes and then very firmly states. "I am no one's play thing. I ran away from home to avoid that, albeit in a very different way..." She pauses for a moment to gather her thoughts, just long enough for a very drunk girl to come up behind her, enthusiastically latching onto her neck. She whirls around with a squeak. "What do you think you are DOING?" Dorian and Ara chuckle at her predicament, while the girl looks at bit stunned at Brielle's reaction.
"Just having a bit of fun, eh? We are all here for the same reason..."
Brielle looks closer at the girl.
"Emily???? From school???"
"Brielle???" She chuckles. “This is rich. You are the last person I would expect to see here...didn't you go missing?”
They both stand and stare uncomfortably for a moment.
"But...but...you got married...." Emily points to her husband across the room.
"That makes us free to pursue our true interests.....we didn't have much of a choice in who we got married to..." Brielle blushes.
"So that's how people handle that when they don't escape it first..." She mutters to herself. "But...you were so boy crazy in school?" She directs to Emily, louder.
"Do you KNOW what my family would have done to me if they knew my real interests, in school?"
"Point taken..." Brielle shakes her head and turns to Ara. "Can I please get a glass of wine?" Ara is giggling at something, and Brielle snaps, "What are you laughing at? This isn't funny!"
Ara points to her neck. Brielle pulls out a mirror and notices a distinct red mark on her neck. She rubs her temples and groans. "Felix is going to kill me...Arabella, you are backing me up on what happened with this one!!"
"Calm down, it looks like a spider bite. Have you never heard of makeup?" she laughs and then looks back to Dorian, "Dorian, be a doll and open this Merlot." she requests as he conveniently pulls a bottle opener off the closest table. Ara looks around and sees books trashing the floor and masks and confetti as if it were after new years. She then looks to Emily. “Let's practice teasing”, she thinks to herself and reaches for Emily, stroking the front of the woman's neck with the back of her hand while Dorian hands Brielle a glass of wine. "You're quite fit. Just the kind of girl I'd like to rip a corset off of." Ara says, feeling a bit sadistic. There was no harm in it at Dorian Grey's. If you tease someone, you're just heating them up for someone else. "You like that?" Ara asks, running her hand to the back of the woman's neck. Brielle takes the glass of wine and nods her thanks, then looks up and sees what Ara is up to.
"Ara!" She squeaks out, terrified that she is going to be stuck at this party while Ara ends up in bed with this random girl. She looks at her toes. Ara looks back to Brielle,
"I'm teasing her," she looks back at the frowning Emily, "But you're cute. I'll let some other gal sweep you off your feet." she swipes her finger on the tip of her nose and beams.
"And you won't let me lay a finger on you. why is that?" Dorian asks. Ara glares at Dorian.
"Because you actually want some and what's the point if you're not getting any? Go bore yourself with that Spanish duntz over here. We're leaving." Arabella says, taking Brielle's hand. Brielle dips into a curtsy automatically, while Ara drags her out. Emily looks distraught and Dorian winks at the women.
“Pleasure meeting you, Lady Brielle...I hope I'll be seeing you again?” She blushes.
“I don't think that's very likely, Mr. Grey. Like I said..I am quite taken. The last man who tried to take me against my wishes ended up dead, thanks to my love...”
“Who said I take anyone against their wishes?”
Brielle shakes her head.
“You don't get it, do you? I love the man I am with....I am not ruining that for a pretty and well spoken rake. I've seen your type before...” Ara yanks Brielle's hand and pulls her out the door and Dorian tips his hat, smirking.