Friday, August 19, 2016
The Dark Heart ~ Part 6
“Beethoven Moonlight Sonata,” boomed Alister over the crowd, before he flipped his coat tails out and sat behind the piano keys.
As Alister played Jackson found himself rooted to his spot. The music was so beautiful, yet so haunting. Movement caught Jackson’s eye and he looked toward the stairs. His breath hitched as he caught sight of a beautiful woman descending the stairs. She stopped, and though the ballroom was filled with guests, she met Jackson’s gaze with her lilac colored eyes, making him feel as if he were alone in the room.
A thunderous applause caused Jackson to snap out of his self-imposed trance and release his stare. It had felt as if the song only last a minute, but Jackson knew better. Had he really been staring at the woman for the duration of the sonata? The woman turned her attention to the crowd.
“Thank you all for coming to tonight’s fundraiser benefiting St. Jude’s. For those of you who are here for the first time I am your host, Emberlyn James, and as your host I will match the amount donated tonight.” She gave the crowd a wink. “So make me pay for it.”
The crowd again let out a roar of applause. The orchestra started to play again and the guests returned their attentions to dancing and conversing. Jackson watched as Emberlyn descended the rest of the stairs and began to great guests. Her long black hair was tied back in a low chiffon and her floor-length indigo dress seemed to float as moved about the people.
She looked back over her shoulder at Jackson and gave him a sly smile. Jackson smiled back as someone bumped his shoulder. Jackson looked that the man, who mumbled an apology. By the time Jackson had looked back toward Emberlyn she was lost in the crowd.
A waiter walked by with a tray of champagne and Jackson’s thoughts turned to Genna. He was supposed to be getting them drinks. He quickly turned and hurried to the bar, thankful there weren’t many people ahead of him.
“I need a white wine spritzer and a whiskey neat, please,” said Jackson. The bartender nodded and went to work. Jackson placed an elbow on the bar and half-way faced the crowd. He knew he should be searching for Genna. He hoped she hadn’t gotten tired of waiting for him and left the fountain area, but as he looked over the sea of faces, he found himself looking for Emberlyn’s raven hair and alabaster skin. He thought of her eyes and wondered if he had ever seen anyone with eyes the color of lilacs before. He didn’t think he had.
When the bartender sat the ordered drinks in front of Jackson in what seemed like seconds, Jackson pulled out his wallet.
“Free bar,” said the bartender, before giving a little point to the tip jar. Jackson smiled and threw a ten dollar bill into the jar.
“Much appreciated,” said the bartender.
“As are these,” said Jackson as he picked up the drinks and started to make his way across the crowded room over to the fountain to find Genna.
Jackson couldn’t help but feel the room had gotten more crowded since Emberlyn had entered the party. He had heard whispers about the famous Emberlyn James, people seemed to flock to her. Jackson figured it was because she was filthy rich. Old money, people had called it and Jackson knew, old or new, money had a way of attracting people.
As he neared the fountain, he scanned the area looking for Genna. He smiled and gave her an awkward wave with his hand that held his whiskey, but he could tell she hadn’t seen him. He took another step forward just as a hand reached out, grabbed Genna’s arm and pulled her into a small alcove by the fountain.