537. - Lucien
This year, the party is conveniently held in Scottish nature, with a shuttle bus stopping ten minutes from our building, meaning we don't have to bother with dragging our stuff to any hotel. After overcoming the initial distaste I felt for Emma's costume, mostly brought forward by a fear that other guests might see her as what she's trying to portray: a prostitute, I can appreciate how good she looks. And maybe, just maybe, I savour in the thought of possibly getting to punch people who cross boundaries.
The party isn't starting for some time, so we take our time having dinner together before I get dressed in my costume. When I come out of the bedroom, Emma raises an eyebrow at me.
"A cape? No - not only a cape, a cape with a hood?"
With a flourish and a grin, I flick the hood up. "Gives me some flair, don't you think? I feel like we should bring this back to every day fashion."
Emma eyes me up and down, her mouth open in a word that never comes out before she pulls her lower lip in with her teeth. "It does look awful good on you. The whole... medieval rogue vibe suits you very well. Though I must say," She reaches up, probing the tightly lacquered curl in my moustache. "I do hope this goes quickly after the party is over."
I grin, putting the hood back down again and checking one last time every bit and piece of my costume is well fastened. "Don't speak too soon, Miss Middleton. You might come to love it."
We arrive late. Then again, most guests do, for a very obvious reason: the entrance is a corn maze. Somehow Jane outdoes herself every year; the maze itself would be worth to spend all night in, beautifully decorated and positively loaded with scare-actors that first scare the living hell out of you and then deliberately send you in the wrong direction with cryptic hints.
"Do we have to do this when we get out, too?" Emma asks anxiously. "We're barely making it through sober."
"Let's hope not." I chuckle, stumbling backwards when someone with a reptilian-looking masks jumps out of the corn mere centimetres from my face. Emma snorts, only to be jumped a second reptile from the left.
Eventually we find our way to the party site, with no clue how long we spent in the maze. The grounds are already crowded, despite the size. Like usual, it almost feels like a festival. There's food and drink stands scattered around, all giving out theme-appropriate treats. Entertainment people, all donned in similar masks as the reptilians we encountered, are dressed in all kinds of classic costumes - on first glance there's an astronaut, a mermaid, a zombie and a handful of princesses and superheroes. It vaguely reminds me of my birthday party, though here it's a carnival theme that runs a clear main act. It's all made to look abandoned and weathered, like it's come back to life especially for Halloween. There's even a rollercoaster and a ferriswheel, all decorated in the same way.
"Shall we then?" I ask Emma, offering her my hand once we've taken it all in. She takes it with a grin and we head into the crowd, trying to decide what drink we want to try first. We never get there, though, because my name is called. When I turn around, I see Jane fighting her way through the thickening crowd. "Jane! It's so good to see you!"
"Lucien! Oh, my darling, I am so glad you could make it!" When she finally reaches us, she greets me with a kiss on each cheek. She's dressed in a classic circus director costume, but zombified. Her make-up is a mix between the reptilians and a zombie, overall making for a rather gruesome look. "You look amazing! Very fitting, very fitting moustache." She compliments with a heavy and posh British accent, eyeing me up and down just like Emma did earlier. "How many weapons are you carrying? A sword and two guns seems rather excessive, don't you think?"
I laugh, shrugging. "You can never be too sure, love. What if someone like you attacks me?"
"Oh, I barely stand five feet tall! You could take me even without your weapons." She laughs, and then her eye finally falls on Emma. "You brought a guest."
"You don't mind, do you? I know I didn't register a plus -"
"Oh, nonsense, nonsense!" She waves my comment away before I've even finished it, gaze still on Emma. "Pretty Woman, right? Excellent choice, excellent movie! Dare I say, you look even more handsome than your date." She winks, but before Emma even has a chance to respond, she's already focused back on me."Are you not going to introduce us? Or have you also donned the manners of a crook?"
"I have not, you simply have not given me a chance." I chuckle, shaking my head. "Jane, I would like you to meet Emma. Emma - Jane."
Immediately, as she extends her hand that Emma shakes, Jane's eyes start to sparkle. "Emma? The Emma? Have I finally been granted the honour of meeting the infamous girlfriend?"
"Yes?" Emma says, cheeks flushing so bright it can be seen even in the dim lighting of the decorations. There's more she wants to say, but Jane jumps between.
"Oh, wonderful! You know, I've been waiting since that New Year's party two years ago. Said he had someone waiting back home, left awful early for you, too. Of course, no one knew it was you, then, but I just knew it was something special! And of course, for obvious reasons you weren't at last year's Halloween or New Year's, but I figured my lucky day had to one day come! I was ready to give Lucien an angry call, you know, when he RSVP'ed without a plus one." The words all come out really fast, sidelining both Emma and myself in the conversation she has with us.
"It's been so lovely to meet you!" She says suddenly, jumping forward to kiss Emma's cheeks as well. "We simply must talk later tonight, but for now I have more guests to greet! Again, exquisite costume, Emma! I'll see you around! I suggest you try the pumpkin spice cocktail, a great way to start the night!"
And like that she disappears back into the crowd, leaving the two of us rather dumbfounded.
"So that was Jane." I chuckle, offering Emma my arm again as we start manoeuvring through the crowd.
"And here I thought Brie had ADHD." She breathes with a laugh.
"No one has energy quite like Jane. Now, do you want to take her up on her suggestion or do you want to try..." I read the nearest sign, pulling up my nose. "sewer shots first?"
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