Hey Guys I am sooooooo sorry for the wait! Great to see I have reviews, they always make my day! Anyways, here's the next chapter and I am currently working on the rest of the story, so stay tuned! Also, don't forget to see my other stories!

Stepping out of her black limo, (well technically it was her vassals) Ari stood right outside the glamorous strip of luxury shops on 5th avenue. Loaded with world-renowned designer clothes, she is sure to find something here. Looking around the closest shop was Chanel, its spotlessly clean windows displaying the latest face of its no.5 perfume. She walked up the stairs and was grated by a security guard who looked her up and down, probably seeing if she made the cut to go into the exclusive shop. Ari looked down as well, she was in a cute Dolce and Gabbana cocktail dress, Tiffany and Co. diamond encrusted necklace and borrowed Gucci peep-toe heels. She thought she looked nice, and like any other teen socialite, and apparently the guard thought so as well, as he opened the crystal clear glass door and waved her in.

Once inside, Ari's senses were assaulted by the 'new' smell of clothes and the hauntingly gleeful looks on several shoppers' faces as they found the perfect shirt or pants… For some reason, the new smell of clothes make her feel uncomfortable, she was more used to hand me downs and casts offs from little shops located in dingy alleyways nobody knew about. She simply didn't have the extravagant taste New York socialites were know for, and though she'd never admit it to anyone, more often than not, she needs a lot of fashion advice for when she is in the public, for her style was described as 'boring , too conservative and definitely prudish.' The gleeful faces? Well that is quite self-explanatory is it not? It seems like all they care about is outdoing all other girls and to put it bluntly be the best bed meat… To Ari, those girls were people whom she wouldn't want to associate with, shallow minded with a terrible lack of insight.

And speaking of people she didn't want to associate with… a shock a blonde hair swished back and forth in front of her eyes and she was overcome with a sudden urge to reach forward and rip the locks out of her head as soon as she saw who the owner was; Lilith Todd, a.k.a. the bane of Ari's childhood before she moved away from New York. Well there's another reason why she left New York in the first place…

'What were you thinking? Why in your god dammed brainless mind would you think I'll ever wear something like this even to something as insignificant as the Baron's ball?'

'I-I-I'm sorry, Lilli, I thought it would bring the lovely color of your eyes and –'

'Too right my eyes are lovely, but no this – this thing here, does not do anything but make me the laughing stock! Keep the dress for your own use, it doesn't deserve to be worn by me.'

Lilith finished defiantly pointing her nose in the air. Well, Lilli is still Lilli, rude, ignorant, self-centered and undeniable spoilt. Oh uncle Todesking, what have you done?

Flashback: Ari's 5th birthday party

'Ari! You are so slow, hurry up will you? You worthless little scumbag!' Lilli screamed at her.

Young Ari who was about half a year younger than the second youngest in the mob of 5 and 6 year girls, was trying her hardest trying to catch up to the others, but the physical exertion taking its toll on her, as shown clearly by the pain-filled expression she wore upon her soft delicate features. When she finally made it up the hill, she found all the other girls were gone, she spun around trying to locate them, when WHAM she tripped over a rope the girls had put up, and landed straight into a puddle of mud, staining her already dirty clothes. Tears welled up in her eyes partly because she was wearing her birthday present from her grandmothers whom died the month previous and had sent the present beforehand, but mainly it was from the humiliation from the other girls who wouldn't stop laughing at her, including Lilli and Tanith, who was supposed to be her 'bestest friend in the whole wide world'

"AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Watch the spaz go! Oy Ari! I didn't know you were such a weakling, if we'd known, we would never have become friends with you!' Tanith and Lilith hollered at Ari, while turning their backs on her and walking back towards Ari's smiling parents, Ari's party, Ari's friends… It had hurt, but the tears never spilt, the last smug look Lilith gave her as she turned away that one last time, Ari, knew, she'll never be the weakling again, she'll show Lilli, her parents and 'friends' what she was capable of, and most importantly what she'll forever strive to be; better than the rest'

End of flashback

Ari was remorseful Tanith had died despite the many taunts and jeers shot her way throughout the course of her five short years at New York; everything from blackmailing her to do tedious things for them, like being their personal servant, to spreading ridiculous rumors about her. She stopped hating Lilith when she found out her ex-bestie had died for she understood what it felt like to loose someone you held close to your heart, some you truly loved … Lilith had since been a motivation for her to keep moving forward despite challenges which aim to knock her down. But seeing Lilli become a member (perhaps even leader) of the 'teen airheads' (Ari's self-invented title) made Ari despise her once again; Lilith's fame and luxuries were gained from her father, founder of HEMOglobe. Admittedly, it's a very similar situation with Ari, she's only famous because she is the last surviving descendent of the Romanov and Savoy lines, and most of her material wealth was as a result of the foundations her parents and ancestors had laid centuries before she was even born. The difference, one is out to flaunt as much as possible and the other is taking drastic measures to cover up her true self, from both the fabulously rich to the deprived poor. One can wander, who can claim to really know Ariella Romanov?

Turning away from Lilli and her cronies, she tottered awkwardly in her sky high heels towards the exit without a backward glance at any of the products or people, especially Lilith. She certainly didn't want to make a scene here on her first shopping trip back; after all it was not what she was known for.

Stepping outside into the blistering sunshine and gushes of warm August wind, Ari cursed herself for not deciding earlier that 5th avenue will be swamped with gazillions of girls and boys like Lilith. Still needing a costume, Ari turned to a quieter shop; Sister Midnights. The shop was just as she remembered it as a child on one of many of her mother's shopping sprees; dark décor designed to appeal to its special customers and of course the quirky shop owner who would always give her a lollipop when ever she would call her 'Auntie Midnight.' She was today however, no where to be found. Ari browsed through the front racks of eccentric clothing, to the casual, then the business and finally the nightgowns at the back of the store.

So lost in the lace, satin and silk, Ari did not see a breathtakingly beautiful girl with a dark bob and pixie-like face who was also distracted. They collided sending the latter sprawling on the floor with the garment bags she was holding strewn all around her, and the former staring at the girl on the floor in shock. Dropping to her knees with a soft thud, which human ears will not be able to pick up, Ari began to help the girl up.

'I am so sorry! Are you alright? I didn't mean to I didn't see you there at all.' Ari turned away from her gaze feeling embarrassed for her clumsiness. .

'It's fine I'm alright, I guess I can say the same about you. The pressure is on to get these garments in on time. I'm Cally by the way, Cally Monture'

'oh, I'm Ar – uh – Ella Romanov. I just moved into New York from pretty much every corner of the earth.' Ari offered her hand for a handshake which Cally cordially shook. Ari could tell from reading her aura, Cally was doubtful, very.'

She can't possibly be the 'Ella Romanov' can she? The girl standing in front of her was very young and beautiful. From what she could gather, Ella Romanov was the sole survivor and therefore heiress of the Romanov and Savoy lines, making her a very powerful and wealthy woman. She was rumored to have more holdings and shares in the stock market than either Victor Todd or Count De Laval. Though vampires age at one-tenth the rate of humans, surely someone this successful who have lived for at least centuries and would therefore look at the very least in her early or mid forties, not like an exotic European teenager. After Cally thought this to herself, she suddenly realized something; she couldn't tell whether Ari was a vampire or not. Almost all the time, Cally had no problem spotting a vampire, but this time she simply can't tell. Cally would usually tap into the person's mind or she'll just know, but with Ella, it was like an invisible barrier was set up around her to stop any leakages and penetration. Cally knew her face was showing her emotions, but she didn't have time to mask them as Ella began to speak again.

'You have a special talent, I can tell. So what can you do? Stormgathering? Beastmastery?'

Cally's look of doubt morphed into a look of surprise.

'I'm Stormgatherer, how did you know?'

'You have this aura around you, and it's a rare and extraordinary gift. I'd love to be able to control the elements, you know make it rain one minute than sunny the next. But I am rather fond of controlling animals; it's like a whole new universe of friends. Unusual friends.'

'You can see auras and you are a Beastmaster?' Cally asked in awe looking at the beautiful goddess-like girl in front of her.

'Indeed I am, Stormgathering in my opinion is just as valuable as Beastmastery and if you'd like, I can teach you how to see and read people's auras. It is quite interesting, but not if you can't control it; feelings, thoughts and emotions start bombarding you when you least want them.'

Cally wasn't sure what made her do it, but she accepted promptly, rationing with herself that though looks can be deceiving, and the whole thing about stranger danger, she believed this girl was full of good intentions.

'What are those?'

'These? I – I – made these myself, I was just sending them in to let Sister Midnight see them, but I see she's not here. I might just come back some other day. Who knows, maybe she isn't interested in something a 16 year old makes' Cally replied looking at her garment bags, her face betraying her emotions; doubt and disappointment.'

'Can I see them?'

'Uh- sure, here.'

Cally handed Ari the large bundle of garment bags which Ari examined with interest. This girl is so talented and she has no idea! Sister Midnight doesn't deserve to represent her! Ari thought with awe. When she reached to the end of the stack, she came across arguably the best gown she had ever seen in her life. It was snowy white with a tight lacy bodice which resembled a corset, with satiny straps crossing the chest, connecting the front to the back. The bodice then extended into a wide emperor style skirt which was made of layers of satin, silk and lace, and the most extraordinary feature was the outermost layer of the whole garment which was a fine mesh-like material which looked like it was embedded with glitter, but upon closer inspection it was actually miniscule gems placed equidistant apart from each other. Such a fine piece of art, words cannot describe the pure brilliance of the garment; it was perfection personified, literally.

"This must have taken you ages to make! It is fantastic!'

'You really think so? This is my best I think, I had to save up for so long to get all the materials, and it took so long as well!' Cally missed out the part about her stealing off humans while she fed from them, but Ella doesn't need to know that; what if she turned out to be a human, just like one half of her?

'I bet it would have.' Ari looked longingly at the gown once more before she looked up at Cally and timidly asked with embarrassment:

'I really like the dress and since you are going to sell it anyway, do you – could perhaps sell it to me?' Seeing Cally's poker face, Ari continued: 'I have a masquerade ball coming up and I'm in desperate need of a dress, I tried Fifth Avenue but I almost got run over by hordes of snobby teens so I came here. There are going to be very important people at the ball, and if I could wear your dress I can help you showcase your talent!' Ari was bubbling with excitement as she rushed to get her words out. This is just one of the many good things about Ari, she is always so alive and bursting with energy, so full of optimism it could put a smile on anyone's face. Everyone assumed it was mind control; how she could very easily win over crowds, but it wasn't; it is her natural charisma and personality. They are like a people magnets drawing everyone near her like moths to a light. However, one look at Cally's frozen face and Ari's jubilance faltered.

'I – if you don't want to, you don't have to. I'd understand; that dress did take a long time and it is rather rude of me to want to take the best of your collection.' Ari said quickly, suddenly very embarrassed, setting her eyes downcast. An awkward silence ensued as Ari scolded herself for suggesting something so selfish and stupid.

"Did you really say you wanted to wear my dress to the Baron's Masquerade Ball?'

'Wait how did you know it was the Baron's ball? I don't remember telling you that.'

'How many masquerade balls are there in New York these days, besides, it is the 21 century for heavens sake! So you weren't kidding around when you said you wanted to wear my dress?'

'Of course not, well if you'd let me, I'd be honored and don't worry about the price, I may not be very rich person, but I'll pay any price you put on it!' Ari looked hopefully into Cally's eyes

'I don't know what to say! To have so many elites and important personnel seeing my dress, it's like a dream come true! It's by far better than what I've been dreaming and wishing for! I can't believe you are willing to do this for me! Thank You! Oh, and don't worry about the price, I'll give it to you for free just to have you showcase it.'

'So I can have the dress?'

'Of course!'

'Oh thank the founders! Now I have something to wear, all I need is a mask. I'll send you a cheque later on. You don't happen to make masks too do you?'

'well, I can try.' Cally's piercing jade eyes met Ari's violet ones timidly.

'Excellent, why don't you come with me to the ball? I'm allowed a plus one and I don't want to bother the heirs and heiresses to my vassals, so maybe if you aren't doing anything that night, you could perhaps accompany me?'

Cally was gob smacked, she thought her dress making an appearance was shocking enough, but herself, at the ball? She never would have dreamt of going to such an exclusive event reserved for the elite like Lilith, for example. At the thought of Lilith, Cally's mood turned sour, she'll be there definitely, and so will Jules. Lilith will have her prince charming to dance with while Cally's is a forbidden vampire hunter who, since birth, was told people of her kind were abominations to nature. Well, at least she'll have Ari to rely on, looks like she is not so human after all. Wonder who she is related to or what she has done to score an invite…

Yay another chapter finished! This wasn't meant to be this long, but I couldn't help myself, there was so much I wanted to write and I sort of droned on a bit…. Anyways, review and let me know what you think! Your opinions matter most to moi! Merci! :D XOXO Vfang