Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 177,074,095 Issue: 326 | 18th day of Sleeping, Y10
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Confessions of an Heiress: Part One


by goldenpaw

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Author’s Note: Confessions of an Heiress is the much asked for sequel to Abandoned (issues 296-302). While I hope those who read Abandoned will enjoy it very much, the plot might be a little lacking if you have not read the first series. I strongly recommend reading Abandoned first! To all those who have- enjoy!

Part One- Acquaintances

It was midnight on Krawk Island, and the stars twinkled overhead, casting a silver glow over the shore. Everywhere else in Neopia, people and pets alike were tucked safely away in their beds, sleeping deeply until morning. Krawk Island, however undisturbed it might appear, was- as it always seems to be- the exception. For though the beach was quite deserted, it was easy to see that the lights were on in nearly all of the buildings that dotted the island, and should you be brave enough to peer into the windows of one such building, you would see a merry group of people laughing and dancing and eating. But such soirees could go undetected, their sound not reaching the outside world.

     That is to say most could not be heard from the beach, because on this particular night, should you have traveled near the Smugglers Cove, you would have been hit suddenly by a wall of noise. It would start just behind Little Nippers, a whisper of laughter, then grow louder and louder still, until finally, at the mouth of the cove, it would explode into absolute chaos. Despite the fact that there was a large chance it was illegal to party in the Smugglers Cove, hundreds of pets were crammed inside- much more than would appear to fit in a cave of its proportions. But not one of them was concerned about the ruckus they were making. After all, they were the 400- sanctioned above all else, better than any pet who wasn’t in their midst...

     *

     The white Usul was in a most awkward position, pushed against the wall of the cove with only about a foot of space between herself and the crowd of carousing pets. To her left, a blue Shoyru was perched on the back of a starry Uni; to her right, an island Kiko clung to the arm of a royal Krawk. The pair on her right had been attempting to strike up a conversation for the past half-hour, but seeing as they too were crammed into the wall, their exchanges were choppy. Not that it mattered much to Taite; the Krawk thought too much of himself, and the Kiko seemed rather suspicious of her, as though she knew the Usul did not belong there.

     The Krawk’s eyes swept over the crowd before he directed a question at Taite. “Nice turnout. How many, would you say?”

     “Oh, I couldn’t possibly guess, but at least two hundred...”

     The island Kiko, who had been glaring at the Usul, blinked once. She spoke in a frosty voice, “I’m sure it’s a considerably higher amount than that; is this the first time you’ve been to something like this?”

     Taite raised an eyebrow. “I’ve partied before. Of course, it was never anything this big.”

     They seemed to be taking turns, for now the Krawk answered her. “Something ‘this big’ is fairly necessary when you know so many pets. After all, how would it look if we left one of our friends off the guest list?”

     Taite looked up abruptly. “Is all this your doing?” she asked, gesturing around the cove.

     The Kiko smirked. “Well, we planned some of it. Am I right, Augustin, or was that the other all-night Krawk Island bash?”

     The Krawk (Augustin?) chuckled. “No... I’m pretty sure it was this one.”

     Taite looked out over the crowd, a giant mass of colors. She didn’t think two pets could possibly know everyone that was here. But then again, maybe they didn’t. After all, she and Dior were here as guests of Kiran and Cardea. Taite had never met Augustin and that Kiko before tonight. Skeptically, she asked, “You know every pet here?”

     The girl blinked her blue eyes once. “Well, we know most of them. A hundred or so are like you, though. They couldn’t swing an actual invite, so they managed to come as a— well, let’s just say a guest of someone who did.”

     The Krawk nudged his friend warningly, and muttered, “Play nice, Cece.”

     Taite glared at her and started to speak up, but apparently the Kiko was not finished. “Who got you in anyway?”

     Frowning, the Usul responded unemotionally, “Kiran.”

     The island pet inhaled in what Taite supposed was a gasp of surprise, but her cold eyes revealed that she had known this already. “Kiran? Kiran Beaumont? Well, then I’m sure you know plenty people here!”

     “Only a few.”

     “Like who?” The Kiko was enthusiastic now, a grin spread upon her mouth and- if Taite was not mistaken- a bit of malice gleaming in her eye. “Humor me, and drop a few names!”

     Suspicious, Taite kept her answer guarded. “Oh, just Cardea, Asha, Dior over there- but you wouldn’t know her... and Kiran, of course.”

     Luckily for Taite, at that exact moment a pirate Gnorbu pushed his way through the crowd and over to the little congregation on the wall. Gasping for breath, he laid a hoof-like foot on the Kiko, who shook him off immediately. Not minding this, he nodded toward the entrance of the cove. “Caesarette, you better get over there quick. Baden’s arrived late and they won’t let her in. I tried to tell them they needed to, but no one would listen to me! Augustin, you might want to go, too!”

     The Kiko and Krawk exchanged glances before rushing away, as if ‘Baden’ not being able to get in meant the world was going to end. Augustin shot Taite an apologetic look as the Gnorbu scurried after them.

     As soon as she was alone, Taite turned to Dior on her left. The Shoyru still sat atop Cardea’s starry back, watching the mob of partying pets, but she inclined her head to Taite as the Usul spoke. “Thanks for getting me away from those guys, I appreciate it!”

     “There’s no need for sarcasm.” Cardea spoke calmly, her eyes not so much as flitting away from the crowd.

     They were all silent for a moment, and Taite found herself too watching the throng that had congregated in the center of the cove. There were some interesting pets to be seen, that was for sure. A Mynci was chugging Sparkling Grape Juice from a punch bowl in the corner; three Chias with castanets were attempting to start a conga line; two very familiar-looking pets were screaming at each other over the noise of the crowd...

     “You only ever think about yourself, don’t you, Kiran?” roared the Aisha, advancing upon the royal Acara who was standing with her arms crossed. “You don’t care how this affects me, how this affects her!”

     Taite’s mouth fell. She stared for a moment at the desert Aisha whose large, milky gray eyes danced angrily beneath a veil of blue eyeshadow, whose neck bore a white satin collar with a golden T emblazoned on it. Taite turned toward Cardea and Dior. “That’s my sister!”

     The Shoyru looked from the Usul to the royal Acara, bemused. “We all know Kiran’s your sister, Taite.”

     “Not Kiran! I mean, duh, she’s been sister ever since her dad adopted me, but I’m talking about the Aisha! That’s Tiffany! She... Well, Belinda created her, too.”

     Dior turned sharply. “Did Belinda abandon her like she did you?” Her voice rang with disgust, but as she opened her mouth to say more, Kiran’s voice cut through the air.

     “If you would have just learned to stay out of everybody else’s business, none of this would have happened!” As Kiran yelled this out, the pets around her got silent, staring at the scene unraveling before them. A plushie JubJub pushed her way through the goggling crowd toward Tiffany and Kiran. An orange Kougra followed her, taking a stand beside the Acara.

     The Kougra snarled. “Tiffany, back off! This doesn’t concern you anymore- actually, it never did concern you!”

     An Eyrie stepped forward from behind Tiffany. “Oh Asha, you always did kiss up to Kiran... What’s this I hear? She keeps you and Mommy in good money, and you make excuses for her in return. Not making more deals behind the backs of the powers that be, are you? Tsk, tsk.” Her voice was kept well under control, but no one in the small crowd that was listening could mistake the taunt.

     The plushie JubJub had been watching the argument with increasing concern. The more people that joined in the louder it would be, and the last thing any of them needed was Caesarette or Baden investigating this little spat. Her eyes wide with concern, she spoke in a quiet, soothing voice. “Remember where we are, guys... We don’t need to make a scene. Not here, not where everyone can listen.”

     “What in Jhudora’s name?” Taite murmured this phrase so softly that she didn’t think Dior and Cardea even heard. She felt numb, frozen to the spot. Just as she had recognized Tiffany, she had known who the JubJub and Eyrie were the moment they had emerged from the crowd. It was strange to see them all here, to see that they still existed. Looking at them was not the same as looking at Cardea and Dior right next to her. It was not even the same as watching Kiran and Asha a few feet away. Looking at them was like looking into her past, into a time before the pound, when she lived happily with her first owner. These two pets had been her friends, as well as Tiffany’s; the Eyrie- Delta, and the JubJub- Tally. But just as surely as Tally and Delta could not be here, they were. Taite did not want to talk to them, to face them. The last time she had seen them had been their trip to Chesterdrawers’, when they were shopping for vintage luggage in which to pack her things when she went to the pound. Taite refused to revisit that part of her life.

     The Usul shook her head and found herself focusing once more on the four girls glaring at each other. She watched as Tally, who had been standing off to the side, stepped forward and spoke quietly to them. Taite could not make out her words, but they must have been effective, for they all stared at each other a moment more before reluctantly turning away. The JubJub looked immensely relieved, and as Taite glanced sideways at her friends, she noticed that Cardea did as well.

     As Taite made a move to leave the wall against which she had been standing, Cardea swiftly jumped in front of her. An unsuspecting Dior slid off the Uni’s back and onto the floor, but her “Hey!” was lost as Cardea asked nervously, “Where are you going?”

     “To find Kiran and ask her what Tiffany, Tally, and Delta are doing here and why they’re so upset!”

     The Uni pushed her nose down so her eyes were level with the Taite’s. “You don’t want to get involved in that. Trust me, Taite. That’s the last thing you want to do.”

To be continued...

 
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