If I could put black football lines under each eye, I would. The urge to chest pound someone and scream in the air like a rugby player is intense.
She is sitting in the corner of our tiny room talking to Peirce. “Yes insufferable human?” She winks.
I take a breath. “Will we be able to pull this off, right?” I glance at her, biting my lip. Why did something tell me that this decision will change everything?
“I sure hope so. Peirce seems to think this is your chance to turns the tables, like Laura did to you last night.” She glances at me with a little smile and eye-roll. “I think Peirce is just excited to finally make you a dress, he said he has been up all night with the design. I helped some, I think you’ll like the heels I pick out.”
I grin like a feline with a yellow bird in her paw. Laura and the Queen Irena gave the request that I may not attend any more royal functions in fear it will upset the King of Galleon. My eye color is offensive, apparently. Laura is playing hard ball, but I’m a very good batter, I keep my eye on the ball.
I’m going to smash it out of the park tonight.
I know you’re wondering what were up to and I will get to that in a second. I told charming to do his worst—meaning his best, of course. If I go down tonight, I want it to be in flames of glory. We are locked in our room tonight but no biggie. I have a roommate who can fit threw the keyhole and unlock it from the drunk guard. Well, Mort will put create-barb in his drink, apparently the plants essence will put a horse to sleep. Mort has a lot on her plate as well as me, if one messes up the plan fails. We have spent the last three hours preparing for this scheme. I could get ejected from the game entirely if I become publicly executed, life-line activated and ejection from the challenge.
Bringing scandal to light is very dangerous because there are a lot of evil people who need it hidden. Somehow I feel like Laura will fight to the death/ejection, because Apollo seems to bring the crazy out in females.
It’s the eyes and hair.
But I’m not fighting for Apollo, though. Not anymore, I am here to help Zora and the Fairy Godmother Inc. and to bring Laura down with explosions and fairy dust. When this is all finished I want to look like one of those marathon runners where they throw all of that crazy amounts of colorful powder. A hot mess, Fairy Godmother style. Then I will find a microphone somewhere and drop it while a bomb explodes behind me. It’s always good to have lofty goals on a risky mission like this.
The goal is to get Laura’s champagne glass tonight at the Garthorn Royal Masquerade.
Yes, I said masquerade ladies. (I talk to an invisible audience sometimes. It’s fine. I am aware that it’s not normal but I don’t care).
We are infiltrating the system. I will be unstoppable, vengeance will be mine for all I see is the color red. I just pray Peirce did not construct me a gown in pink. I’m not in a pink mood, no offense to the color. Hard to be a ****** in light pink in my personal opinion.
Mort will then give Laura’s glass to Ivy who has access to the medical sector. Mort has had a chance to speak to her this morning when I was cleaning toilets. Headmaster hates me. But Ivy is the real infiltrator and is willing to help on behave of Fairy Godmother Inc. She has gotten to know Apollo being around his mother the Queen and says she will do anything for him, he’s a remarkable guy.
But if she is helping us out then that makes my job easier. I’m getting the impression that no one really cares for Laura, which will hopefully be her downfall.
“We are two hours out,” Mort says and looks up at me, getting off the ground. “I will be back in an hour I hope. Ivy’s agent should have the create-barb for me.”
I feel like a captain saying good-by to my most trusted solider. We both look each other in the eye and nod. “Don’t get caught and stay away from cats.”
She salutes me and sings, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
I am sweating, pacing.
I wish I had a clock, this waiting is not good for my blood pressure. I know is it’s been over an hour and the party has started. I know this because I can hear the rush and commotion amongst the servants outside my door and on the floor above me. I can even feel the deep vibrations of music penetrating the cold ground.
“Mort,” I plead with my eyes squeezed closed. “Please hurry.”
Another thirty minutes or so passes and I start to panic, praying nothing has happened to Mort. Why is it taking so long? Was she caught? Eaten by a cat? I didn’t know what to think at this point. Right when I am going to lose my **** I see a white butterfly fluttering from the door.
“Mort!” I jump off the bed so fast I almost twist my ankle.
She appears and sits down on the ground, out of breath.
“I did i-it,” she gets out between breaths.
“Take a deep breath and tell what happened,” I try to say calmly.
“They put twelve guards watching your door. We did not have enough sedation for them all. Laura really does not want you out,” she breaths and leans her head back against the wall. “So I had to improvise.”
I feel like something always happens to Mort. “How?”
“I had to sting like a bee.”
My eyes widened. “Why didn’t we think of that before? That’s brilliant! You stung them all?”
She lifts her head and glares. “You owe me human.”
I tilt my head and bit my inner check to not grin. “Why? Was it hard?” I ask innocently.
“I shape-shifted into a wild Sirona bee. They inject poison not a stinger, more like a scorpion.” She continues. “The first two were not hard but they all started swatting and trying to hit me with their weapons.”
That actually sounds dangerous.
“I was almost swashed like ten times,” she hisses and levels her gaze at me. “The only downfall is that we have to hurry, they will only be out for thirty minutes,” she says and sits down and starts typing. “I am logging on, Peirce is ready for our cue.”
I stand up, nerves hitting me hard.
“Okay, start turning, Pierce has your position. He also says your welcome, this payback for us almost getting eaten by those shark-whale things.” She is blinking and rapidly tying.
I turn and my skin starts to heat and tingle making me gasp. Even my scalp is alive with sensation and in the next moment a white flash is all I see.
I stand there breathing hard scared to move a muscle.
“I need a mirror,” I barely say.
Mort’s eyes are wide as she stares at me, nodding without words. “I will ask Peirce.” In the next second it is like Star Track enterprise beams down a full body mirror.
I stand in front of it and gawk.
“Mort,” I say.
“Look at your shoes, that was me,” she murmurs. “Peirce is pretty good, I will admit.”
What I am staring at is a woman that is not real, maybe a delusion. I thought Charming might put me in red, or purple. What I was not expecting was to be transformed into Queen Bee.
Black lace and yellow satin.
The yellow is not like the lovely sunlight but intense fire. Like when you catch a rare glimpse of stark yellow in a river of glowing lava—that yellow. The shimmer to the silk seemed to almost be enchanted, lit from within. My waist appears to be insanely tiny and my breasts are pushed up in a way that didn’t seem possible without ten rolls of tape.
The yellow silk is like a second skin on my body until it reaches my curvy hips then flares out dramatically. White and black stripes adorn the petticoats and I even see a layer of black and yellow polka dots.
It is beyond stunning with an old gangster, mob-ish feel to it. My long black gloves match my sparkly half-mask with bright yellow and black feathers. I take a steady breath, loving the style of this alternate world. Peirce does not mess around, he means business.
My hair is up and plied artfully, the raven locks almost resembling plastic it is so shinny. My blood-red lips look bee stung and my smoky eyes under my mask make my one gold eye appear stark yellow.
I see why Charming picked yellow now.
I look like a feline.
Peirce also included a short, black lace vail if I choose to shield my eye color and still be able to see, brilliant. That is a must.
I smile and laugh, looking at Mort with wide, unbelieving eyes. “How the heck am I going to wear this?!” I am already shaking and I have not even left the room yet. I will have to dodge Apollo and Laura like the plague, but hey, when in Rome.
Mort held out her fist to pound and we both laugh.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”