"Well I need to find out what's going on." Plate of food still in hand, she WAS still hungry after all, Annabel made her way back to Adora's booth. "Adora," she called to the woman making last minute preparations. "Adora, you didn't say anything about this being an auction."
Adora looked up, trying to keep the annoyance off her face at the interruption and not doing a very good job of it. "Annabel, since when did you care what this was all about, I saw no reason to tell you." Eying Annabel's plate of food, Adora reached out and plucked one of the small sandwiches from the plate. "Do you mind dear, I've been too busy to eat myself," she took a bite waiting for Annabel to respond.
"Well, um....I was just surprised that's all, yeah, surprised." Annabel pointed to the various volumes, now all displayed. "I thought you and Father cherished those 'oh so precious' things, why are you selling them?"
Finishing the sandwich, Adora helped herself to another one and gave a sigh. "I must say Annabel, you really surprise me sometimes. If you must know, yes, an auction is part of this event but not everything is being auctioned off here. Stopping to take a bite of the pilfered sandwich, Adora turned and waved a hand about the room. "We are showing off parts of our collections, exchanging knowledge and information about something we love. Does that satisfy your curiosity dear?"
Moving the plate out of Adora's reach, this was HER food damn it, Annabel still wanted to know. "You didn't answer the question sis, are our books part of the auction? Are you really selling them?"
"Annabel...," the older sister said in a slightly miffed tone. Whether Adora said it because Annabel had moved the plate of food out of reach or her questions it was hard for Annabel herself to tell. Finally Adora turned to the books while subtly moving closer to her sister.
"If you must know, the answer is 'maybe'. As you know dear, we do have a lot of volumes and not everyone of them is important. It's a common practice to sell unneeded parts of collections to acquire the funds to get more desirable replacements. If anyone shows interest in these five, I would entertain the thought of possibly selling it depending on the offer in question. Is that a satisfactory answer?"
"So they are NOT part of the auction then?" Annabel viably relaxed, which surprised Adora; she had not realized how tense the woman had been. "No Annabel, they are not", Adora reassured her. "I still don't know WHY you even care, sometimes I just really don't understand you."
Before Annabel knew it, Adora had snatched a third sandwich from the plate, when had she gotten closer to her? "Adora!" Annabel whined, "really? Those are mine, go get your own!"
Adora just smiled as she ate. "Sharing your food with a hungry sister is a virtuous thing dear. I've been too busy to eat and will probably be more so when this starts, so thank you for being so kind to bring it over."
"Ugh," said Annabel giving up, "fine, take it." She thrust the plate out to Adora who took it with a thankful look and set it on the table beside her. "Ok Annabel if there are no more questions it looks like it's about to start, let me explain to you what I want you to do. "Don't worry, it's nothing....intellectual."
Trying not to look longingly at the now ready food table, stupid sis stealing her food, Annabel listened as Adora explained to her Annabel's duties. It didn't sound TOO hard. stand around their display being pretty, personable, and charming. Strike up conversations, flirt a little, show off the books. Pretty much be eye candy. She was the attraction, Adora would be the one actually explaining all the detailed stuff. Sure, it SOUNDED easy enough, Annabel just hoped it would not last FOREVER.
The conference hall was now quite full and before Annabel knew it, it was time for the thing to start. The next two hours were a blur of various boring people who had NO fashion sense, less personality and were as dull as one of the professors in college explaining some course she was SO not interested in.
But Annabel did her thing, welcoming people who came around to their display, being the social butterfly and all that. One would think that someone who was a bit intellectually challenged would not be terribly appealing in a crowd full of book lovers. But as Annabel tended to find time and time again in her short life, beauty transcended lines of all types and tended to attract those who for whatever reason desired to be near it, even if but for a few moments.
Oh Annabel had a few people actually ask questions about the books and she answered the best she could, usually with small talk and a few cute witty words, which sometimes deflected her lack of knowledge, sometimes not. In those cases, she would refer them to her sister who was on hand to take any serious inquiries about the books.
It all was not too terribly taxing for the young blonde, except for the fact that her tummy kept rumbling, damn sister, God there better be some food left. Oh, and there was the fact that she was worried how Selene was holding up. How long could that bug hold that position anyway? Maybe she should take a break and let the fairy reset herself. And if she MAYBE hit the food table on the way.......
"Sis dear," she said to Adora when they both had a moment. "I have been at this for hours, can I PLEASE have a break, I need to well.....refresh myself a bit."
Adora looked at her watch then said, "fine Annabel, I don't want you to drop from exhaustion, be back here in 15 minutes."
"15? Seriously?" Adora's look stopped any more complaining. Annabel sighed, "fine, don't sell any books without me", she said a bit sarcastically as she left the display. Leaving the chaos of the hall behind, Annabel made her way to a nearby bathroom to take care of business and freshen up a bit. She peered at herself in the mirror. She was till holding up, well figuratively, mentally she was drained. It was easy talking to people who were somewhat interesting, but THESE people, God! If she had to fake ONE more excited gasp of someone knowing something stupid she would scream, she REALLY would!
Her gaze turned to Selene, she looked.....well, she didn't really know. "How are you holding up Selene? Don't worry, no one is in here right now so move. In fact, hold on," Annabel moved to the large handicapped stall and closed the door. "There, this should be fine for now."
"UGH," Selene exclaimed, "that was torture!" Stretching, she launched herself up into the air and flew slow circles around the stall, her sparkles casting odd shadows on the stall walls.
"What," Annabel asked, curious; "being stuck in that position for so long? It must have been hard, and don't fly so high, someone could still see you if they come in.
"No, not that, though I was nearing the time I could hold it. I'm talking about your attempts to be social with all those people! I don't think I have ever heard so much nonsense conversation in my life." Selene started mimicking Annabel. "Why yes, I have heard of you, you must be a VERY important man to have such a lofty position. And, oh, you know, these are some of the RAREST books that we have, but we brought them just so people with distinguished taste like you could look at them. OH, and what the hell was up with most of the males? A lot of them were acting REALLY odd around you, I think one or two of them were even drooling."
"It's called being smitten bug, it comes from being really hot and good looking. I get that from men all the time. Now you see why Adora wanted me here, I'm the 'eye candy'." Annabel leaned against the wall sighing, she wished she could sit. She was used to heels but standing in them for over two hours straight would tire anyone out. "And as for the other thing, it's called schmoozing, buttering up, flirting, you know, telling people what they WANT to hear."
"Well it's too bad I had to 'hear' it", Selene made a motion with her hands covering her ears. "If that's how you are always like, the sooner I am out of this world and your life the better!"
Annabel gave Selene a mirthless smile. "Likewise Honey, likewise, NOTHING would please me more. Thank God no one seemed interested in that book so far. I think there is a good chance we'll escape this with no worries, then I'll cast the spell and have you out of my life for good."
Selene clapped her hands in mock joy, "Yay can't wait. You better get back there, that's ALL I need is for that book to have been sold while you were slacking your lazy fat ass off."
"AGAIN? Bug, my ass is NOT fat, UGH!" Annabel made a motion like she was going to swat Selene but pointed to her hair. "Get in, and stay quiet...lousy annoying pest," she muttered.
With Selene once more settled in place, Annabel made her way back to the event swinging by the now almost empty food table to grab a small sandwich. Pausing to eat it, she looked across the room to see if there was anything going on over with Adora. It seemed her sister was talking to a woman who looked to Annabel to be rather excited about something.
What's going on there? Seems someone is REALLY interested in her books. Annabel could not make out much from where she was. Curious, she quickly finished her sandwich and walked over to see what was going on. Getting closer, Annabel saw what book the two women were near. "Um Selene," she whispered, "I think it might be time to start worrying a little. I KNEW I shouldn't have said anything, damn it, EVERY time I do...."
"Yeah", Selene whispered back with a sigh, "I'm beginning to notice that......"
Continued: part 3