In Masquerade, Ivy attends a ball with Alicia, Alim and Dane. In the first draft of the story, I had Steve and Gareth show up at the dance, but it ended up not quite working right. The final version has them showing up, but not in the ballroom. I thought perhaps as a little Christmas pressie, I’d give you a little bit of Steve, Gareth and Ivy.
“What are we doing?” Ivy asked finally, exasperated with the silently mysterious Gareth sitting in the driver’s seat of Steve’s Aston Martin. “Gareth. I got all dolled up for this, I’d like to know where I’m being taken.”
“That’s rich coming from you.” She glanced out at window as they flew by the people walking down pavement. “And we had to do this the day before Christmas?”
“Don’t speak ill of Steve when he’s not here,” Gareth teased.
With a roll of her eyes at his abysmal joke, Ivy went back to watching the scenery go by. She’d learned it pointless to attempt to argue with Gareth about his ridiculous love of driving well beyond any limits. She simply attempted not to appear as if she were clinging to her seat belt for dear life.
It was how Gareth preferred to drive, not that Steve was much better. He simply didn’t seem to get as much pleasure out of it as the younger wolf did. She stretched her arm out until she could rest her hand on his thigh.
“Gareth?” Ivy’s brow furrowed in confusion while he pulled into the parking garage across from the jazz club where he’d taken her on their first date. “It’s a little early for jazz, eh?”
“Were you aware of the fact your good friend Dane knows the owner of the club?”
“Dane knows everyone.” Ivy took his hand as he helped her out of the vehicle. She adjusted the full skirt on her dress. “So why are we here and what does my prat of a friend have to do with anything?”
“You danced with Alim.” Gareth glared at her petulantly which made her laugh at him. “Ivy.”
It wasn’t until they stepped inside the club that Ivy realized he must have booked out the entire place for the night. There was no other reason for the place to be quite so deserted. She was slightly dazed as he took her hand to lead her through the tables towards the open space set aside for dancing.
“Gareth Richardson.” Ivy gasped when his fingers tightened on hers. Gareth used his hold to guide her away from him then spin her back into his arms. “Did you set this up just for a dance? You sweet, absurd git.”
“Merry Christmas, love.”
“Jealous git.” She smiled while they moved in slow circles to the soft jazz playing in the background. She rested her head on his chest and looped her arms around him. “Thank you.”
She hadn’t thought Gareth had this suave dancer in him. He confidently led her around the room, pausing occasionally to dip her low or tilt her head up for a kiss. It was everything she’d hoped for at the masquerade, but never gotten. She almost wished Steve had been there to dance with her as well.
“May I cut in?”
“You gits planned this.” Ivy’s eyes narrowed on the wolf in front of her and then the one behind her.
“The appropriate response to romantic gestures is thank you, love.” Steve stepped up to her. His hand rested on her waist while his other reached up to cover the hand Gareth had rested on her shoulder. “Think we can dance together?”
“And not fall on our arses?” Ivy’s words proved true a moment later when Gareth attempted to twist the three of them around only to land on the floor in a pile. “I stand by my initial thought—gits.”
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