Twenty

The Plaza Hotel

07:00PM

Standing outside the main ball room. Waiting for his courage to take him inside. The expensive suit he is wearing is not enough to silence his inferiority complex whispering inside his head. Taunting him with all he lacks inside the very door he's been staring for more than a minute. Rodney Nirvana quickly plastered a confident smile to the hostess who just got from fixing one of the guests' concern. With full of pretense, he handed his gold plated invitation.

He never felt this intensity of anxiety attacking him before, only tonight. All the ruling class of the society are present in the same place. One could only wish he belongs in such level.

Nirvana was greeted with champagne by a fine waiter. He was glad he was offered for he needs every bit of support he can get, even from a glass of wine. To remind him how low he is in the food chain, the only heir to the most influential empire walked passed him. Ignoring his existence. Catherine may have noticed him but most certainly, she only mingles to those she does not need to bow down to their level.

As he hoped for all the Gods to grant him one last wish that everything will go smoothly, the very most people he dreaded to see showed up in glamour at the entrance, the Alderige. He immediately turned around to avoid sightings. Thalia is one hell of a foe to defeat.

(All the right move - One Republic)

All the right friends

In all the right places

So yeah, we're going down.

They got all the right moves

In all the right places

So yeah, we're going down

Paint a picture of the perfect place

They've got it better than when anyone's told ya,

I'll be the King of Hearts, you be the Queen of Spades

And we'll fight for you like we were soldiers

All Rodney's efforts to hide from the line of sight of the Alderige's matriarch was futile. Thalia already saw him the moment she stepped inside the room. She even investigated the party for their safety. She knows who she should avoid and make friends with.

The hostess assisting Thalia and Martin swallowed a few bit after she's been ignored. She was firmly instructed to lead the couple to the Drax elder, as courtesy to the host and the ruling rank of the clan. But she should've known better that Thalia will just turn the left cheek.

"Mrs. Alderige, Don Alexander's instruction was to bring you to his table when you arrive." The young woman suggested nervously.

"I heard you the very first time, dear. If Alexander wishes to have a conversation he'll be kind enough to approach us to our own table. Tea, please." Thalia chirped back.

I know we've got it good

But they've got it made

And the grass is getting greener each day

I know things are looking up

But soon they'll take us down

Before anybody's knowing our name

Alexander Drax smiled menacingly after the hostess conveyed the message from Thalia. All the patience he collected for this evening is starting to be emptied. The good woman who got the nerve to decline him managed to raise her glass to him three tables apart from where he is sitting.

"I didn't know the Alderige were invited?" Catherine suddenly spoke. She just got back from her stroll to the entire ball room. Greeting every person she remembers.

"Ofcourse they are invited. Martin seats in the high tables in Samira. You need to familiarize yourself with your subordinates, Catherine." Hector responded.

"Yeah, right. It would be better if Vincent is here." Catherine muttered under her breath which Hector caught.

"Pardon, Catherine?"

She flashed her vibrant smile in defense. Covering any emotion that may betray her.

"Nothing. I just wish Vincent would be alive to be here. Who would murder someone just to keep his place?" Catherine countered.

Hector picked up his wine and watched his niece firmly. He will not allow any misbehavior to ruin this important evening. Most people assume their in the same age since Catherine was the daughter of his older sister and he grow up with her. His father love her so much that he was asked to pretend as her cousin to protect her. They didn't reach this high without having a lot of enemies in their every climb.

"Behave, mija. I know how much loss it is for you regarding the recent passing of your good old amigo, but tonight is crucial for us. If we can't control Samira, your marriage will be the only leverage we have to keep them in our grasp."

"So you've told me. By the way, why are the Constantines not here?"

Alexander and Hector shared a look. They fear this day would come. They can still tiptoe to their glory without the Constantine but if they lose Samira, they will lose control to the entire council. Catherine did not receive a respond in any kind.

They've got all the right friends in all the right places

So yeah, we're going down

They've got all the right moves in all the right faces

So yeah, we're going down

"Where are you going, papa? Su fiesta is about to start." Hector stood up.

Alexander was planning to approach Thalia on her table but Hector was right, the party is about to start. As host and the highest ruling rank in this room, he should have the upperhand before it all begins. The male announcer cleared his throat to catch the attention of the visitors.

"Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for coming here tonight to the annual ball of Drax Empire. We would like to welcome everyone, especially the partners of the company. The Constantine, Samira, Astor, De Lutherbergh, Hawthorne and ofcourse our host tonight, the Drax family."

A few knowing glances were shot towards a particular table. A family name so familiar in the clan for a very long time yet tonight it was never considered with an uttermost importance. Thalia on the other hand sat calmly. Head held high. The man on the stage cleared his throat again to divert the attention. He anxiously eyed his employers from the nearest table. Hector shot him a warning look.

"Now, we call on the only elder left of the Drax bloodline. Don Alexander Drax."

Everyone stood up to show their respect to the most powerful and influential man in the clan. Alexander composed himself and hid his wrath the moment he saw Thalia on her seat. She did not even bother standing up nor clap for his introduction. Still head held high, he grabbed the microphone.

It can't be possible that rain can fall,

Only when it's over our heads

The sun is shining everyday, but it's far away

Over the world it's said, they've got, they've got

All the right friends, in all the right places

So yeah we're going down

We got all the right moves in all the right places

So yeah we're going down

Rodney completely paled out when he saw a ghost beside him. He might have wished it was a ghost but it has that devious smile he horribly wished he wouldn't see again in his lifetime. But reality was never in his favor, Vincent Alderige is sipping champagne few feet from his right side.

"What's wrong, Nirvana? I came here to ask for forgiveness so I can walk through the light in peace." Vincent peeped at him.

"Glad you're still alive." Rodney faked a smile.

"I missed that fake smile. All the pretentious gestures towards me."

"How did you manage to stay alive?" Rodney firmly asked.

"I've been around for quite a long time, Rodney. You have to do better than blowing up an entire float. Sent an assassin? How original."

"Those were the best of the best. How did you fucking survive them?" Rodney could not contain his emotion. All this time, all his conscience for betraying Vincent that kept him from completing a recommended sleeping hours have not paid off.

"Careful, mi amigo. You don't want to sound pathetic when you start telling them you saw me. Stick to the status quo."

"I still can't believe you survived!"

"I'm not only an Alderige, Rodney. I'm a Clemente. Those assassin you sent? They serve our bloodline. You're lucky I didn't send them to hunt you. That would've been fun."

Do you think I'm special, do you think I'm nice

Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces

Between the noise you hear and the sound you like

Are we just sinking in the ocean of faces

It can't be possible that rain can fall,

Only when it's over our heads

The sun is shining everyday, but it's far away

Over the world it's said, they've got, they've got

All the right friends, in all the right places

So yeah we're going down

We got all the right moves in all the right places

So yeah we're going down

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