OOC: Holy crap. O_O I need to check this thread more often. If my post seems off, please correct me and I'll fix it. ^^
After a while of dancing, eating, and drinking, a frightening realization struck Orion. He looked around the crowd-- he was standing at the far east side of the foyer-- and his brow furrowed. I realize that I was granted leave, but shouldn't there be more knights and guards...? he thought. Before he could think further, his gaze froze on a familiar-looking woman. He glared, pushing a few people out of his way as he walked towards the raven-haired beauty, before smirking. Raven hair tied into a low chignon, pastel-blue dress, skin as fair as snow. "Well, well! Who do we have here?" He jeered, laying his hand heavily on her shoulder. Josephine whirled around quickly, eyes widened as she backed away from her cousin.
"You!" She exclaimed, face flushing with anger as she pointed her finger dramatically at him. "You filthy ape, what are you doing here, touching me with your hand? I ought to--" She was silenced with a finger to her lips.
"Close your mouth, you guttersnipe," the knight commanded, and the noble clenched her jaw shut as she wrenched Orion's hand away from her mouth. She huffed, her blue eyes glittering with fierceness.
"What do you want with me, you conniving scoundrel? Do you not have somewhere to be on guard or with some cow-towing woman? Leave me be." The strong of insults was said in a whisper, yet would sting the souls of most men; however, they had no effect on Orion.
"If you would let me speak, I could explain to why I'm even looking in your direction," Orion replied, hazel-green eyes piercing through Josephine's very being. Orion paused, glanced around at the crowd, and took Josephine by her elbow. "Come with me outside. I can't focus with all these animals chattering like crazy baboons."
Josephine obliged hesitantly, allowing Orion to lead her out of the castle through a side-door and into a rose garden. Once outside, Josephine glared at the knight once more. "Now, hurry up and tell what the problem is." Orion nodded.
"Something's not right with the ball," he began, and the noble's brows knitted together.
"Well, out with it."
"There should be more guards or knights on duty," he continued. "It's not like the king to be low on knights. Sure, he gives a few of the higher-ranked guards and knights leave during balls like this, but never so many that there can hardly be any found." Josephine shrugged as she let her face relaxed, not feeling worried by the whole ordeal.
"So, the king decided to be generous with giving his guards some time off. Sounds to me like the lucky ones should just enjoy it." Orion face-palmed softly.
"You don't know the king as well as I do. You've met him twice when you were small and that was it," he droned out, sighing. "Listen to me."
"And look me in the eye." Josephine raised an eyebrow, looking Orion in the eye. Once eye contact was established, he put his hands on the nobles shoulders firmly, gazing at her intently.
"I realize that we are rivals, Josephine--" His voice was low and harsh-- "but you are my cousin nonetheless. I'm telling you my observations so that you can watch out for yourself. Keep your eyes peeled for anything suspicious, and always be ready to use your sword." He paused, watching as Josephine's gaze changed from confused, to frightened, to curious, over and over again. "You do have it, right?"
"Of course I do," she replied, her voice quiet, low so as to suppress any emotions she was feeling.
"Good. I will not stray far from the east side of the foyer when we return to the ball." With that, the knight's usually-flirtatious face grave with concern, averted his gaze from Josephine, turned on his heel, and began walking inside. Josephine was left puzzled until Orion stopped abruptly in the doorway. He turned his head slightly, enough so that the noble could hear his next words. He cracked a smile.
"You are still a guttersnipe, though." Josephine gaped, but Orion was already back in the foyer by the time she was able to yell out an insult, cheeks red with fury.
"I am no guttersnipe, you flesh-mongering devil!"