Valentine’s Day Bash

Hi, everybody!  Come in and have a seat.  Sven and the guys have outdone themselves with the decorations, the red and pink crepe paper streamers, the hearts and red roses on the tables, and all the gorgeous candles.  And who knew Paolo could make white origami roses out of crepe paper? Or that Lars’s course on flower arranging would turn out so well?  He made that gorgeous spray of red roses on the mantelpiece.

As you can see, we have petit fours and truffles, not to mention that Southern classic, Red Velvet Cake.  Yumm! And we have music programmed, so those who want to dance can rock out.

So come join the party!  While everyone gets settled, let’s take a look around the room.

renegade_finalIn the corner opposite the refreshment table stood Griffin and Valeria Dare.  He wore a gray suit with an open-collared shirt the same ocean blue as his eyes. The color complimented her navy blue satin pants, matching shrug, and silver-embroidered bustier. Watching the partygoers arrive, the couple sipped champagne from delicate, crystal flutes.

Suddenly, Val looked down, her tawny hair swinging in front of her face.  “Something brushed my leg. I don’t see anything, though.”

Her tall, dark-haired husband frowned.  “Nothing in sight–except–is that a bird in a cape?”

“It is.  And a mask.”  Scowling, Val shot a stream of green magic from her left hand.  It gripped the bird, holding him in place, as he squawked.  “Now I remember the warning on the invitation.”

“‘Beware of the Golden Rooster’?”  Watching her haul the protesting bird toward them magically, Griff shook his head.  “I thought that was some kind of joke.  Or a party game.”

“Apparently not.”

Val used the magic stream to hoist the bird up to eye level.  “Groping people, even on the leg, is not nice,” she informed him, ignoring his struggles.

Griff hid a smile.  Val was wearing her screw with me and die face.  No wonder the silly bird was quaking.

As the rooster squawked, a man in Roman army gear, sans helmet, hurried over.  “I’ll take him, ma’am.  Sir.  Sorry he bothered you.”

“We’re good,” Val said as Griff’s hand touched the small of her back.

“Wish I could handle him that way,” the man said.  He tucked the bird under his arm and strode toward the door.

Val sighed. “Okay, so that happened.”

“Yeah.  You nailed the little jerk.”  Griff set down his champagne.  “But let’s think of happier things.  Dance with me, love.”

Val set her champagne aside and stepped into his arms.  “My pleasure.”

By the kitchen doorway, Sven and Demetrius quietly conferred.  Sven asked, “You’re sure the bird is under control?  Not everyone would deal with his, uh, antics as well as that woman did.”

Demetrius’s smile had a wicked edge.  “I put Ermingarde in charge of him.  In her cave. He won’t get by the dragon.”

A Perfect Compromise Cover“Whew!”  Sven nodded.  “Without the hockey hunks, we’re shorthanded, but of course they couldn’t miss Anna Sugden’s book launch.”

“Nah.  It’s cool, you know, how we have you and the guys because Aunty Cindy liked cruises, my men and I came because of Joan’s interest in Rome, and the hockey team came with Anna.”

Walking by with a tray of fresh petit fours, Lars said, “Don’t forget the dragon for the fantasy authors.”

“Right.”  Demetrius glanced around the room.  “I was kinda thinking maybe the Goddess Sangria might show up.  You know, with a babely entourage.”

Sven rolled his eyes.  “Uh-huh. We have sangria in the punchbowl near the hearth, just in case.”

Before Demetrius could respond, a commotion started by the main door, people hopping aside, looking around. Sven and Demetrius traded a glance and beat feet toward the problem.

A brown-haired woman grabbed Demetrius’s arm.  “A bird tried to look up my dress.  I am not making that up.”

“No, ma’am, I realize that,” he assured her. “We apologize.”

He left the soothing of the offended guest to Sven.  Making eye contact with the other people, he silently gestured for them to move to the walls.  As people scrambled aside, the rooster stood revealed.  The smirk on his face–or a look as close to a smirk as a being equipped with a beak instead of a mouth could assume–faded.  His beak dropped open.

The rooster turned tail and flutter-hopped away.  Demetrius charged after him, only to spot Ermingarde strolling down the main corridor, probably to scope out the party.  “Some guard you turned out to be,” he snapped at her.

The rooster cackled.  “You forgot, sandal boy, dragons can be bribed!”  He rushed for the kitchen with the irritated gladiator in pursuit.

And the party rocked on.

Withing the hour, though, Sven frantically searched the crowd for Demetrius.

“What is it?” Demetrius took Sven’s arm and pulled him into the library.  “What’s happened?”

“There’s a woman here.  She’s obviously a guest, but she’s got–” he paused, gulped.  “Lasers strapped to her hips.”

“You mean like pointers or pistols?” Demetrius asked, smirking.

“Pistols, you idiot, or weapons of some sort.  And she’s with a man who’s got the feel of magic about him.”

Now Demetrius was frowning.  “What do you mean, the feel of magic?  What’s that?”
Sven rolled his eyes.  “It’s just a thing.  I’m Scandanavian.  Some of us know when someone’s God-touched, when someone has magic.  And this guy has it in spades.  I recognize them, I think, but…I’m worried the Rooster will trigger an incident.”

Demetrius groaned.  “We cannot have that.  No incidents.  The last time that happened we had to replace two of the rafter beams.  Where’s Ermingarde?”

“In the kitchen, where else?  That damned rooster bribed her with the Valentine’s Trifle I made.”

“A dragon with a sweet tooth, just what we need to compliment the Rooster with a penchant for weapons.”  With a sigh, Demetrius hurried out the door, scanning faces as he went.

He might not be Scandanavian, but he knew exactly what Sven had meant when he ran smack into a tall, dark-haired man.  The guy didn’t look dangerous or even strong, on the first glance.  Then you saw his eyes, his readiness, and you just knew.

“Evening,” Demetrius said, playing it cool.  “Good party.”

“It is,” the man replied, putting out a hand.  “I’m Aiden.”


“Bouncer, resident or guest?” Aiden asked.

Demetrius laughed.  “Resident, sometimes a bouncer, if that’s needed.”  He paused a moment, noting the gleam in the other man’s eye.  “Is it needed?”

“Not on my account,” Aiden claimed, hands raised, though any hint of surrender was belied by the drink in each hand.  “Or my date’s.”  His eyes brightened and Demetrius stepped to the side and turned to face the woman that was walking toward them.  Aiden handed her a drink.  “I was just coming to fine you.  Demetrius, meet Cait Brennan, my date.”

“A pleasure,” Demetrius said, shaking her hand as well.

The woman smiled.  “Did you know you have a dragon in your kitchen?”

Aiden’s eyes widened, then narrowed as Demetrius nodded.

“She lives here too.  In one of the towers,” Demetrius said, watching Aiden.  If Sven was right, news of a dragon might set off an incident.

“What was she doing in the kitchen,” Aiden asked, his tone cautious.

Cait’s smile got bigger.  “She was eating the biggest damn bowl of trifle I’ve ever seen.  Some guy was jumping up and down trying to get her to stop, but I’m thinking that’s a losing proposition.  Me,” she turned the smile on Demetrius, and he stood straighter.  “I like banana pudding and a spoon, but hey, to each her own.”

“Trifle.  In the kitchen.” Aiden made it a statement, not a question, then looked at Demetrius.  “Interesting place you have here.”

“Definitely,” Demetrius agreed, thinking it might be interesting to be involved with a woman, if there was another like Cait Brennan around.  “You’ll need to watch out for the–”

“Holy shit!” Cait said, as her drink sloshed and she stumbled forward.  Aiden caught her and Demetrius saw a faint blue light flare around the man’s hands.

“What?  What is it?”

“Something goosed me,” she said, and her hand rested on what had to be the laser pistol Sven had seen resting under the edge or her sparkly evening jacket.
“Rooster,” Demetrius said, resigned to an evening of explanations.

“A rooster goosed me?” she said, incredulous.  “You’re joking, right?”

“Oh,” Aiden said, a smile lightening his face.  “The one the invitation warned us about?”
“Yes, that one.”  Demetrius sighed.  “Damn nuisance.  He’s the reason there’s a dragon eating trifle in the kitchen.”

Cait straightened and looked a little abashed.  “Just a rooster?”

Shaking his head, Demetrius said, “No, not just a rooster, a Golden Rooster.  He fancies himself a ladies man, hence the, ahem, goose.”

“And the trifle?”
“Long story.”

Now Aiden smiled.  “My favorite thing, long stories.  Here, grab a drink, and come tell us about this Lair, would you?  Seems like a hell of a place to party.”

They strolled to a table and sat down and Demetrius began to talk….


What are you drinking today, are you dancing, and if so, what’s your favorite song to dance to?

What corner of the Lair would you retreat to for the party?  Would you have trifle in the kitchen with Paolo and Ermingarde or dance in the ballroom?

Nothing like a party in the Lair.  What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day Memory?  A Party?  A quiet date?  A night in?

Tell all!  Then have some trifle!






  • Helen says:

    Oh I do love a party especially a party in The Lair 🙂 and trifle yummo

    I spent Valentines Day in the City today with my Romance Reader friends talking about books and it was so hot there today that Lindt ice-cream was the favoured desert 🙂

    I am going for trifle in the kitchen

    Have Fun

    • Helen, congrats on snagging the GR!

      That sounds like a fun day. Every time you mention the Lindt cafe, I’m envious. We don’t have one.

      I love trifle–totally love it!–and so really do not appreciate Ermingarde eating it all. Watch out for the dragon when you have yours!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Thank goodness Sven knows to always make extra!

      Congrats on snagging the GR, Helen, but I think you’ll only see him for a moment and he’ll slip back through whatever time tunnel he uses to go back to the party and….er…surprise the guests. He’s having WAY too much fun doing that.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Drinking hot chocolate as cold as it is! Barr! I would love to dance. My favorite song is Cherish by the Association. (Now I am dating myself! Lol!)

    • Debbie, if you’re dating yourself, I’m right there with you. I love that song. That and Windy are my favorites by those guys.

      It’s way cold here, too, at least by our standards. Hot chocolate sounds yummy! I plan to try it one day with peppermint schnapps, which I hear is tasty. But I suspect it’s better with non-instant hot chocolate.

      • Jeanne Adams says:

        Totally better with “real” homemade hotchocolate. Or, go to Starbucks and get a big ‘ol hot chocolate there, bring it home, and add schnapps. Voila! Grins

  • Fedora says:

    Bwahaha! That GR get into everything…

    Glad it’s time for a Lair celebration! No real Valentine plans… The kids have soccer practice and dance as usual… Maybe I’ll have time to curl up with a good book!

    • Fedora, I hope you get that time! Curling up with a book is one of my favorite things to do.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Fedora, I’m with you. :> No real plans because the kids have activities that don’t stop b/c it’s a “holiday” of sorts. Grins. Hubby and son were up and to baseball workouts at 7. UGH!! Now, homework and getting ready for the week. :>

  • Debbie’s comment about hot chocolate reminded me of the scene in Brotherhood in Death where Dennis Mira makes hot chocolate for Eve and Peabody. Now I want Dennis Mira to make hot chocolate for me.

    Anyone else read that yet?

  • It’s cold here–by NC standards, though likely not to our kindred who live in the far northern reaches–so the dh and I are having a quiet day. Her Majesty loves the cold. Me, not so much. Mr. I Grew Up in the Front Range deals with it fine, but one reason he likes NC is because of its comparatively mild climate. So we’ll putter around the house, maybe watch a movie, and have a nice dinner.

  • Minna says:

    I’m drinking tea with eucalyptus candies. I hate getting a cold…

  • Colleen C. says:

    Happy Valentine’s! 😀 I wish it was cold by me… it feels like Summer already… need a nice cool drink! Dancing would be wonderful… let’s have some fun!

  • Joan Kayse says:

    BOOM! (Crashing thunder) The sound of this revelry has brought me, the one and true Goddess Sangria from her winter refuge and I am not amused. (Sweeps a gold bangled arm in the direction of the kitchen) Bring me trifle so that I may return to my Valentine’s marathon with my new acolyte, one of those magical Irish warriors. Venus will not win this year! TRIFLE! NOW!

  • Jane says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day. Can Sven show me to a room where there’s a fireplace? It was actually zero degrees today(in the daytime) and I’m craving a little heat. I usually go for a margarita or martini at these lovely lair get togethers, but I’m hoping Pablo will garnish my hot toddy with an origami rose.

    • Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Jane! We have a big fire in the ballroom hearth, but the parlor is cozier. Lars will show you the way while Sven and Paolo take care of your toddy.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      HI Jane! I may follow you to the parlor – that fire IS cozy in there. And a toddy sounds like just the thing!

      Bandita Cassondra makes the BEST Toddies, and she taught Sven the knack of it. :>

  • Point me to the biggest fireplace and hand me a big bowl of trifle and I am good ! And woe be unto the GR who tries to take my trifle! I haven’t had a good trifle in ages.

    It is colder than a tin top toilet in a Siberian blizzard here in LA (Lower Alabama,) but of course that is relative. It is @30 degrees. Which translates to TOO. DAMNED. COLD. Of course I handle it better than many of my neighbors and coworkers, but that doesn’t mean I want to do so.

    I just finished a proofing job for a client so I am on to my RITA books. Will get some of my own writing in this afternoon. I am simply glad to be off work today and out of the Valentine’s Day shopping madness at Wally World.

    The Lair is rocking as always so I am going to enjoy the party. And if someone plays Sweet Home Alabama or Uptown Funk I might just dance with the GR !

  • Louisa, the dragon ate the trifle, but Sven is making more. I had fabulous trifle at a holiday party but am always ready for more!

    Cold. Yeah. We’re so ready to be done with it and seriously hoping the predicted sleet and freezing rain do not materialize!

    Good luck with your writing project!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Sven was ready! He knew Sangria would turn up and he did make more trifle, so Lousia, you’re in luck. :>

      And 30 is butt-cold for LA. Brrr! It’s been about 16 here all day, but that’s better than yesterday which was 16 with a 15-20 mph wind. Biiiittttter.

      Louisa, I have a new puppy, an Irish Water Spaniel. He seems to get an extra BOUNCE from the cold. Oh. Boy. :>

      • Thank goodness for Sven and Sangria !

        Yes, it is definitely butt cold here. But it is supposed to warm up and start raining. Again.

        Your new puppy is ADORABLE !! I have seen the photos on facebook and he is such a cutie! And of course a good Irishman would love the cold!

    • Nancy,

      My Mom used to make trifle every year at Christmas, but she has not the last few Christmases. I miss it.

      Yuck! Freezing sleet and rain. No thank you!

  • gamistress66 says:

    a lovely party as always, but think I’ll pass on the trifle (wouldn’t want to get singed) 😉 think instead i’ll just enjoy some of this lovely wine and enjoy some of the other deserts. happy valentine’s day to all the banditas and buddies

    • Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Gamistress!

      I wouldn’t go up against the dragon for food either! Sven has a fresh batch of trifle, though, if you want some. With a resident like the GR around, he always sticks extra supplies to deal with, um, accidents.

  • I’m done for the night. Thanks to Duchesse for joining in and to everyone who stopped by.

    Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

  • Amy Conley says:

    I’d probably be out dancing if they played OPEN ARMS by Journey or FEELS SO RIGHT by Alabama.

    I’ve spent the day eating chocolate, I bought for myself.Hubby bought a washing machine for his Valentine’s day ptesent and I bought an eternity ring for myself. We are both happy. We’ve also been snowed in today, until I couldn’t stand it one more second and drove into town. He actually surprised me and took me out on Wed night, shopping and dinner, my choice! So we had a great day.