The Venusian Masquerade - Chapter 2

© 1998 by Cresent Star


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Disclaimer: All characters belong to Naoko Takeuchi. Some situations were created by Rosalind Laker. I just loved her book! Other than that, all this is from my twisted imagination.


Makoto adjusted the sheets of music before her, trying to concentrate on her practice. Unfortunately, her thoughts kept wandering back to the auburn haired man she had seen that night. Don't be silly, she told herself firmly. He's a prince and he's engaged... I can't compare to Princess Naru in my looks... Forget him!

Still the images of him haunted her. She sighed in frustration, wishing that Marianna was with her, so she could tell her about her troubles. Unfortunately, the music maestro had caught them whispering between themselves and they had been forbidden to see each other for three weeks. Sometimes, she hated the strictness of the choir. The choir was made up all of orphans. Her story was being abandoned while still an infant at the door way.

"How do you think it looks to the audience to see the girls whispering to one another?!" she mimicked under her breath. The past few days had been pure torture, passing each other in the music rooms, in the halls, only being allowed to make eye contact, nothing more. She eagerly awaited the passing of the next three weeks.

* * *

Celano wondered silently, his cool, ever composed expression disclosing nothing. There was something about her that made him stop. Her beauty perhaps? He had to admit that Venusians were infamous for their philandering ways but the girl paled in comparison to Minako. Her voice? True, she could sing, but it was something deeper, buried in much confusion.

"Love? What are you thinking?" a female voice intruded his thoughts. He flushed at having thought about these betraying things in the presence of Minako.

"Nothing."

"That's good. For a moment there, I had the impression you were thinking out other girls. Silly me," she said, wrapping her arms around his neck.

"Not now Mina, " he mumbled, pushing her off. "I think a walk around the gardens would be nice don't you think? It's not often we are invited to the Moon after all."

* * *

*I'm bored... I wish Mako was here....* Marianna thought, only half awake through her music lesson, repeating what Makoto had thought earlier. She groaned as her thoughts wandered and she struck a false note on the harp. The music instructor looked at her sharply.

"What do you think you are doing young lady? Day dreaming like that?"

"I... I.."

"None of that lip form you! Concentrate! A half hour extra of practice for you! Now concentrate or you shall spend yet another half hour playing is that clear?"

"Yes sir" 'pent' she added mentally.

She put up with another half hour of strumming endlessly on the strings of the harp before she was dismissed. She told herself quietly that a stroll was what she needed. Just to the gardens and back.

* * *

"Darling, " Celano said, "I think we should go on our separate ways. We can then see more of the gardens on our own."

Minako pouted slightly. She had been wanting to spend time with him, but he had been rather distracted after the incident with Oliveiro the other night. Not that she could blame him. Queen Serenity should have known better than to have invited representatives of these two quarreling nations. She should have been more sensitive to their turbulent relationship.

"Why, of course love. I'll meet you back here in two hours time."

* * *

There were four different gardens on the palace grounds, each representing a different season. The spring gardens held the fresh flowers of the new year. The summer garden displayed its warm delicate blooms. The autumn garden was filled with reds and browns while the winter garden had its ever greens and ice. All of them flourished throughout the year, never changing, on separate corners of the palace.

Marianna, always the one on extremes loved both the spring and winter gardens. the two were so dissimilar. One fire, the other ice. Maybe a the spring gardens was a good choice for today.

Just how she had left it a few days before. Sometimes it saddened her that nothing ever changed. Their immortality gave all the blossoms an unreal quality, not quite like the real thing. The scent on the other hand was real enough. She inhaled the sweetness, lost over her ponderings of the silver haired masked gentleman. Why had he given her such a strange stare?

She fingered a suisen absently, her eyes straying over to the couple ahead of her. Well, well, she wasn't the only one taking a walk after all. She recognised the two easily. Domenico and Rei of Mars. She grinned to herself about how obvious it was that they were in love. Their little blushes and their giggles... who couldn't tell? She suddenly felt a little shame on having spied on them. She turned her head away immediately.

*My, isn't the garden crowded today?* she thought, spotting Princess Minako a few feet away. She gave a small smile and continued to admire the roses. Marianna stood up abruptly. She had to leave this place. It didn't cheer her up at all. It was all too sweet and too innocent to suit her somber mood. She left quickly, not acknowledging the curious gaze of Minako.

* * *

Her hand closed around the cool brass door knob. The moisture from behind the door had made it swell, making it difficult to open. Using both her hands and all the strength she could muster, she gave the door a vicious yank and it finally came unwillingly.

The cold stung her face, but it refreshed her. Snow lay thick on the ground while little winter time creatures peered at her from behind tough foliage. Alone at last. Very few people visited this garden because they complained that there was never very much to see other than snow and still more snow.

She found she couldn't disagree more. There were plenty of things to look at, mostly animals that the haughty subjects thought not worth their time.

The sound of the door banging shut behind her startled her. The wind? There wasn't enough of a breeze to even lift her hair. With growing unease, she realized that she had been watched all the while. Quickly, she tried the door again. Just as she expected. Bolted from the outside.

A rustle and crunch of boots on the snow made her stiffen.

"What happened?"

That voice. She had heard it before. "Sir," she replied grimly," it seems that some one has locked us in." She looked up at the deep grey eyes that had stared at her a few nights before.

Celano turned away almost shyly. Then cleared his throat, "What do you mean we've been locked in?" he asked as calmly as possible. Talk about a chance meeting! He had just been thinking about the girl. Surely this was more than a coincidence?

A worried frown creased Marianna's features. "Sir, I fear we may be trapped in here for a long time. Only a handful of people ever come here."

"Don't worry. Minako will send someone out to look for me if I'm gone too long."

* * *

Endymion stifled a giggle. Those two love birds he thought gleefully. Jadeite won't hear the end of this one! He spotted Oliveiro around the corner and rushed to catch up with him.

"You know... I played this really fantastic trick just now..."

"Oh?" said Oliveiro warily. He knew the prince's mischievous nature far too well. "Who were the victims this time?"

"Domenico and Rei, who else?"

"Ah. And what did you do to the poor couple?"

"Don't sound so grave! I only locked them in the snow garden. Besides, the snow garden is never allowed to be locked. Some one is bound to notice it some time."

"Endymion believe your humor is getting sicker day by day," Oliveiro rebuked sternly. Endymion pouted.

"No need to spoil the fun for me!"

"Whatever you wish. Just let them out in time or they might freeze to death. You know how the night time temperature of the place is don't you?"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," his mind was already contemplating what other 'fun' jokes he could pull. "Just don't you tell anyone okay?" he yelled at Oliveiro's retreating back. Oliveiro mumbled something to himself about the prince's immature behaviour.

* * *

*Where is that creature that calls himself a gentleman?!* Minako fumed. *He just can't leave me waiting here for an hour! He is probably out and about chasing that Mercury girl Ami! Hmph! I'll teach him! He can go chase all the girls in half the galaxy before I go running back to him if ever!*

Minako sat down in rage.

* * *

Marianna looked at the man that sat across to her. He was rather still. "I think we'll be warmer if we moved about." she said. He didn't reply her. The last time he did say something was when he assured her for the fifth time that Minako would send someone out after him. It didn't seem as if that wasn't going to happen after all.

"Sir?"

"What?!" he snapped back irritably.

"Never mind, " she muttered. She began to think of how cold it had actually become. *It's nearly dusk* she realized. A little fear tweaked at her. What if no one found them in time? Were they going to freeze to death?

Celano must have noticed her expression. "I'm sorry," his features softened. "Are you cold?" he swept off his cape and offered the white material to her. She took it gratefully.

"What about you?"

"I'll manage fine."

After a while though, the biting cold began to touch him. Marianna suppressed a laugh, "Are you that sure? Tell you what, we'll share." She crossed over to him and sat down. He was a little startled by her actions, but did not protest.

*Fool* she hissed at herself. *Who do you think you are? Cuddling up to the prince of Venus like this?* Her thoughts returned to the situation at hand.

"What are we going to do sir?"

"I don't know."

The End of Chapter 2 - Goto Chapter 3


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