The violinists played melodiously along with the classical pianist. Zara Robertson, a part-time chef, swayed on the arms of her soon-to-be husband. However, she wasn’t familiar with his life, at least not too well. The fancy chandeliers hung above them, shining their vintage curls toward the dusted tiles.
“I thought this was just a family introductory thing,” Zara said. She dropped a hand on his left shoulder, and another on his chest. She had just learned how to waltz and from what she could see, she did fine, thanks to the teaching of someone who grew up waltzing to impress his relatives. Adam Payne, her fiance.
Adam Payne chuckled with his baritone, throwing a rich smile. “Yes, it is just a family meeting between ours,” he answered. “Doesn’t it look like one, Zara?”
She shook her head. Maybe this was very uncomfortable for her because she grew up on the not-so-green side of Britain, while her fiance walked on diamonds all his life and he always played the part perfectly. His specially-made tuxedo stood out from the dozens of people that came to witness the meeting as they held tall wine glasses of champagne. Adam’s salt-and-pepper hair did baffle Zara, but that was the reason she was connected to him, all at first glance. Both were natural.
Zara looked over her shoulder at the strangers who were holding their glasses and cracking rich, boring, racist jokes. “Not so much.” She frowned. “I thought it was between your family and mine, not total opportunists that claim to be from your side.”
Adam led Zara to a spin, but Zara dropped a heel on his toes. “Don’t be upset, Zara, because I didn’t invite them. You know how my mother makes a lot of friends and how my father tries to boast to the country, eh?” he said and spun her, again. This time, perfect. “How about you forget about the people here and hope our parents agree.”
Concern etched to Zara’s warm heart as her stomach grumbled in nervousness. “I’ll try.”
Not long, kicking after ten minutes or so, a familiar being walked up to them in his fur coat and camel boots. It was Alex, Adam’s twin, in his black but slightly gray hair which was curled and combed to his back. “Pardon me, lovelies. How ya doing?” Alex asked in his fancy accent which he considered. He did not grow up with the accent which his brother knew so well. His tone was a scam. “Seems like ya wan’ me here, eh?”
“Stop with the accents, Alex. It is not fancy, it is annoying. Very, very annoying,” Adam replied. “What are you doing here? I did not send you an invite, did I?”
“No, ya did nor, Adam,” he answered, taking a wine glass from a lady who passed it with a tray on her hand, “but can’t I see me twin brother?”
“Ye, shut up!” he yelled, mockingly. “Why are you here?”
“Me here be--”
Adam frowned. “If you use that accent, I swear to God, I will break your neck, spine, and limb, Alex Payne Joseph,” he said, making Zara chuckle. “Try me, Alex. Just try me.”
Alex sighed before rolling his eyes. “Whatever, man.”
“And not that fake American accent.”
“Fine! I came, not because of this nonsensical meeting, but my yacht decided to dock on this side of United Kingdom. I travel where I want to, I just decided to come back here. Home.” He released a heavy grin. “But since you’ll be getting married anytime soon, why don’t I just stay for this time.”
“Just let him stay, Adam,” Zara finally said. “He’s your only sibling and I am sure it’ll be weird for him to be absent ’til the wedding.”
“Fine, but he’s up to no good. I hope you did not do anything funny, did you?”
“Na-na-na, me brother--” He stopped, seeing the dark frown on his brother’s face. “I didn’t do anything funny. I even brought a gift. A mimosa fountain.”
Adam widened his eyes, shocked in disbelief. “You brought a what?” he yelled. “This is not a wedding anniversary, Alex. This is a family get-together! Who are you trying to impress? Mom and Dad?”
He smirked, squinting his eyes. “Even if I brought crystals and gold to their feet, they wouldn't be slightly moved. I brought it for you.”
True, the Payne family never appreciated the living of Alex. It was as if he was the black sheep of the family, and this was due to the fact he was the master of pranks. Adam was still very pained about this issue and he looked very concerned. He only wanted to make Zara’s parents feel belonged since they never had half of the opportunity he had while growing up and not to shower them with strange gifts.
“Thank you for the gift, Alex. Truly appreciated,” Zara cut in. “But don’t you think it’s unnecessary bringing a mimosa fountain?”
Alex rolled his eyes. “Very well, maybe next time I’ll bring a cheap present to the family,” he said in a rough tone. He sipped his wine. “That’s the very next time you’ll see me.”
“So where will––?”
“Oops, time to leave,” Alex cut in Adam’s words, looking at his wristwatch, “or time for my presentation.” He smirked, walking to a lonely lady who seemed to waltz alone in her opal gown. He took her hands and waltzed to the airy melody.
Just immediately, the power went off, displaying total darkness at its best. This must be a work of Alex, so Adam thought. However, this was a wrong time and occasion for pranks. A very wrong time and occasion.