Chapter 1: Alaina
Chapter 1: Alaina
The eyes I offer do strengthen his fancy.
The Royal Dictator stands before my window; shopping for ferocity and elegance, all that I can give the slimy bastard. He wets his lips, and smirks more at his own reflection than at the vulnerable women standing before him. There is a knowing to his smile; a knowing to what she is; to what I am. He can have me without even needing to fully scrutinise me. Fool. The glass that separates us fogs slightly. The heavy candles heat the room as well as my upper lip, I re-frame from licking the sweat off.
“10 thousand” Miss Contrite the seller maiden seals from her decaying teeth, her grey hair in wisps as it falls from there uneven bun. The other whore girls call her Miss Cunt. To be honest I am sure hers shrivelled up and died, long before she even got given the name.
“Ah, so much for such a small thing” I don’t think they realise I can hear them, or maybe they do. This man probably likes tormenting women to their face. I am far too expensive for him anyway.
“A small virgin thing? Sir” she jeers, but his eyebrows don’t lift. His features are refined and sensible, although his mouth stretches home to his thoughts, confirming to himself, and me, that he is a fowl troll, a sloth of a human being, but he stands strong. He doesn’t care. The gleam in his eyes confirms his excited, and how he relishes in his disgust, like a pig rolling in his own stench.
His hefty abdomen presses too much against his last season garb, and the smacking of his half toothless gums sets a drool that gleams from his bearded chin. Adeline better be grateful for what I am doing for her.
“Virgin you say?” he scoffs.
“Would I lie sir?” he doesn’t look convinced.
I internally roll my eyes and pretend to quiver at the knees. Vulnerability is the equilibrium to his power. He balances back, and forth on his heels: rocking and weighing his decision.
I tremble my lower lip to seal the deal. His node and wave of hand is my reward. Miss Contrite gives the signal to the guards.
I squint in the light and I try to shield myself from the two pairs of hands that try to seize me. I don’t try too hard. He needs to see this display. If I wished, these guards; these whore guards would be dead before they could even come in an arms width of me, let alone step on the throne room’s podium. What a comedic name for a whore house show room.
We stride through corridors, up and down flights of stairs, ticking the minutes and the paper work away. They want to time everything, so then they can present me when all is finalised - not giving Sir Howls a second chance to re-think his decision. Miss Contrite should have thanked me for giving her the idea before.
My escorts are snaring with sharp whispers, laughing to each other, obviously going over the idea of such a grotesque man buying a women of such beauty as me, it kinda was laughable, but that doesn’t stop me from driving my elbow into the guard on my rights nose. I head butt the other to my left. They go for their swords, though I am faster and reach for the one with the broken nose’s first, drawing it, and then placing it round the others neck. I slice for effect, though the other doesn’t see the finality of it. I love giving a good show, like a good opera show that plunges the knife just when the music is high. Blood dribbles from his neck and his breathing is shallow, probably a smoker.
“I advise if you see any worth to your companion’s life” broken nose guy allays his hand on the hilt of his sword “that you shut the fuck up, and keep your sentiments to yourselves” shock indices thru to broken nose’s face, though the pain stops him from putting too much effort in, although that doesn’t stop him from echoing his laugh down the hall, to which is also muffled by his streaming nose. The one at my mercy doesn’t see the amusement, but I smirk anyway and shove him forward.
“Crazy bitch” he spits.
“Whatever” I chuck the sword back to broken nose. ”just travel me along”
“Why not escape?” broken nose says “it’s your opportunity”, but it sounds like “opo-tuna-titi”
“That’s not my plan”
“Plan?” they scoff in unisons.
“Yes, plan. Now move, we cannot have my master waiting” they turn to each other, baffled, and shrug. It’s no skin off their back, so they move along, but this time, they don’t try to restrain me, they just keep a nice distance away. Pussies.
After the redundant escapade of payment, and the signing of documents. Sir David Howls: The Dictator of Phthora, and close cousin to his Royal highness the King Augustus, has bought a reserved, and introverted girl, who transpires as a red haired feast, who is at his own disposal. I am now his.
The guards didn’t cross to the main room, embarrassed by their obvious dishevelment. It humours me, although I frown towards Miss Contrite’s blatant curiosity to why I am accompanied alone. Don’t. Don’t do it.
“Where are the-“she truly is a Cunt.
“Sir Howls, what a pleasure to meet you” I interrupt, but I soon falter to the slap he smacks me with.
“Do not speak, unless asked of you, you insulant whore” he pants.
My face is masked to a gasp and I shelter my face with a hand, quivering. I stare down Miss Cunt, willing her to shut her stupid mouth.
“I’m so sorry sir, she’s new; she doesn’t know the correct manners”
“Do you not think I should have known that beforehand?” he shouts “You have given me an untrained dog Contrite!”
“I’m so sorry sir”
He snarls at her “Oh I’m sure you are sorry, you greedy wench”
“I-I-I beg your pardon?”
“Oh shut it, were leaving” Miss Contrite is flabbergasted, but she knows not to go further, otherwise she knows what would happen if she ruined this, what I would for sure do to her.
He places a used tatty brown collar around my neck, tightening it too much. I gasp “Was that too tight?” he grins “Let me loosen it for you” Pig. A dirty hint was there in his smile. His dark matted beard scratches my face.
I am without reserve, and the off balance of self-esteem. I know my own beauty and I know the way in which a dress hugs my curves. I discern the angles that show me in the best light, and the highest points in my features that allure seduction. This man; this ogre, wants a girl ignorant of her beauty, a classic that he can mould into something self-destructive, because that is what this man does; that is who he is. I play my part well, and the glances he gives me, almost act as a sigh from an audience, holding their breaths, waiting for my climatic ending. If I could cry I would, as that would make this a better show, but even the greatest actor has her flaw.
She chose me for this because I am the best.
As we leave the whore house, the dictator parades me around on a leash at his side. We travel through the market place-no one looks my way, or acknowledges my presence next to the dictator. As expected. The town’s people find nothing unusual about a high distinguished man trailing his whore behind him. I become mute and obedient for him. He goes from boutique to stall. Women in the market shove me coy glances, giving me intimidated stares from my now new status, as I am now a high lord’s whore; his possession. I out rank the usual commoner, but the blushes and the giggles they render are oppressive and demising. I shrink in myself and try to hide my face in my hair. How humiliating.
Afterwards we take a route round the usual bars of his pleasure, ending at The Bear Brothel. Unusual. I know that he usually goes to the Lions Stage at the end of a night out, but we seem to be avoiding it. A footman holds my reins outside the brothel, while I hold my dignity in dirty hands. Other whores stand beside me, neither talking nor smiling, staying still as stone and I almost weep at the sight. Such strong women who know no different. Most of them think that what they have is a gift from the gods, not realising the chains of slavery that burn their skin. I guess when pain lasts so long, it doesn’t become pain any more, it just becomes is, a thing, and is, can turn to pride. What a false pride they idealise. I remind myself to later pray for them. Some of the whores are dressed in finery, while others are hardly dressed at all, covered in only shrapnel, hiding nothing to the imagination. What beasts their masters must be to humiliate them in such a way. They shake in the cold and I nearly join them, but winter nights in the Eden woods compared to this, is nothing I can’t handle. I raise my chin a little higher, and say nothing.
I almost became afraid he had forgotten me, but then the bastard stumbles out, perfumed by cheap whiskey, and stale cigarettes. He yanks my leash from the footman, for then for me to follow him He doesn’t even utter a word. Prude. He didn’t even thank the footman, just offered him a dirty bronze and sidelong glance. The footman didn’t even say anything, he just took the coin, and eyed up the next customer.
Steering me towards his out dated apartment, the dictators - the dick. Ha, that’s what I will call him. The dick - smirk thought it the most lavished apartment I had ever seen. I tried a pathetic smile, giving a fear in my eyes that truly wasn’t there. I don’t understand, a man of such high wealth should be living more west of the city, not here where the bankers and lawyers live. He should be more near the palace. He doesn’t seem the type to reject such offers, so why stay here?
“I’ve paid a wealthy man’s fortune for you my dear” he slurs “I expect my payment to go more than satisfactory” he tugs me through his door.
We stumble (more him than I) down multiple halls that I already envisioned, but with better art.
Leather consumes his bedroom. I try not to touch anything, worried as I might catch something…sticky. Large and distasteful candles smoke the room and a four poster bed lays on wooden floors and the silk sheets seem moth eaten. The wooden floors creak under our weight. I watch my footing, I don’t want the maid knowing someone else was in here. Also whoever his maid is surely needs to be fired. It’s appalling to know a man of such stature could furrow to such distaste and hardship, I almost pity the fool. Almost.
His attempts at seduction are far below amateur, and kinda insulting to hear: he rambles something of wealth and how he will care for me as long as I please him. He instructs me to undress and I comply with his wishes. I slowly uncloak this flimsy white carb that Miss Contrite insisted I wear. It flowers to the floor in a flurry that catches the light in just the right way. I have no underwear on.
Masters eyes bulge, and his fat fingers twitch, it makes me almost laugh at his obvious desire. How crewed. “You will be gentle with me, won’t you?” I squeak.
I’m enjoying this game way too much. I have a shake in my hand and I tremble to try and cover myself, but the look he gives me tells me to do otherwise.
A growl is companied by a trip that spills some wine from his over poured goblet “I will be how I see fit, my dear”.
Grabbing my face, his stale breath consumes my face, threatening my bile to rise. He attacks my neck, trailing slopping kisses and marks on my once clear skin, while also groping my bare breasts too hard with shaky hands. The kisses stop. He parts in an intake of breath: its erratic, is he going to have a heart attack? His hands still clutch my breasts in awkward circles that are uncomfortable and far from sexy. Obviously not in any pain then.
“Y-y-you like the way I touch you, don’t you, you l-l-little whore” well that was nice of him. I mean, he could have said something about my hair, I did dye it extra red for the occasion, although it still looks natural, just vibrant. I guess, being called a whore is his sense of flattery.
I don’t say anything.
“I once had a girl like you. She was strong willed though vulnerable.” And I’m sure he broke her, as he breaks many. “She had hair, just like yours. Eyes, just like yours.” Where’s he going with this? “I loved her you know.”
“What happened to her?” my curiosity overpowered me. He raises an eyebrow and in the harshest voice he could possibly muster, he says “she died”.
My plans don’t change, although, I do take personal satisfaction in braking his neck against the corner of the bed; it’s for the hair of course. And that girl.
Adeline wouldn’t be pleased with the spilt wine on my spawn dress.
I place his jacket beneath his slumped feet and manipulate the spill to artificially look like its natural lying place. I glide and hum. It was too easy. He was far too weak to defend himself against me, even with his scale. He didn’t even gasp at my confrontation, the drunk fool. I make sure not to touch anything, some dust still lies on his counters. I should kill the maid as well.
I collect the ownership documents, and remove any last traces of me before leaving. I pull on the discarded dress.
The maid will find him dead a trip on his jacket had accidently broken his neck on the way down. Such an unfortunate accident- an accident believable, because he is a drunk. I drunk fool indeed. There will be no questions; no inquires. It will be held. But I still burn the dress when I walk through the doors of my home. It shimmers and darkens in the fire place and I take some pleasure in its demise.
It takes three baths and a hard scrubbing on my flesh to finally convince myself I have replenished that fowl creature from my skin. Though to be extra courteous I make plans to have another in the morning. The marks on my neck will take a couple of days to replenish, but I can hide that with concealer.
Once I am dried and feeling slightly less marked, I shimmer like a cat towards my fireplace. The dress is no longer visible, just snow like ash in the pit. I climb onto my couch, running my fingers through my still faintly wet hair. I hum a tune that is from a distant past.
When I reach the climax to my song, a faint whisper of a shadow moves in the room. I carry on with the tune. Someone’s here. I sliver my hand into my dressing gowns pocket. Grasping the hilt I halt my tune.
“Beautiful, I-“my blade slices through the air and cuts the cheek of the shadow. “Missed” he speaks. Not really.
“What are you doing here Jason?”
“Now, how did you know it was me?” Cooing does not suit him. Jason Rothering: co-assassin to Adeline’s guard. We trained together in the same class, fighting one another for Adeline’s favour since the age of seven, and of course I won it. Jason has been no match really, for I am smarter, quicker and better at well everything although he is stronger. Hurray for him! His ripped chest flares under his silk shirt. Idiot. If he was a true assassin he would have worn cotton or something that doesn’t reflect light. He despises me, and for good reason too. I can tell it was him from the moment I sore his shadow. Sloppiness. Quite sad really. I mean he’s okay to kill merchants and other riff-raff, but he’s not at the level of kings such as I. “I was enjoying you’re moment, I guess you can call it that.”
“You should be surer of yourself before you say anything at all”
“Maybe” he’s mocking me.
“Then I guess, maybe, I should kill you for trespassing Jase”
“Now you wouldn’t do that, would you Alaina?” he sneers.
“Always hiding behind precise mummy. No wonder I was sent and you weren’t” that drops his smirk.
“Enough.” The temperature in the room rises. ”I am not here for small talk”
“Then what are you here for?” I creep towards him, swaying my hips sultry like “You want round two?” I press myself against him, his jaw tenses. The grip in his hand stops the circulation of blood, his knuckles are white. Oh he is pissed, although his eyes are sadder. Pathetic. I give a whisper of a kiss to his ear and sooth “too bad I ain’t interested.” He violently pushes me to the ground, I cut my elbow on the marble coffee table. Dick.
“You and I both know I am not here for that.” I laugh.
“Then do tell Jace, why the fuck have you broken into my apartment instead of knocking on the door?”
“Well you don’t have any friends so you probably would kill whoever knocked on your door, thinking they were, I don’t know, guards perhaps”
“And sneaking into an assassin’s home seemed like the safer option?”
“Don’t mock me Alaina”
“Jace what you going to do? You gunna get mummy on me, gunna tell her her precious Jace keeps getting taunted by one of her assassins” I sneer “she might even kill you for how pathetic that would sound”.
“Don’t call me that”
“Or what” rhetorical, “Jace?” he won’t do anything. He needs something. His square jaw tenses, the muscles protruding. His black eyes stare me down, but mine hold strong. “Tell me what you are doing here.”
“Adeline sent me” of course she did.
“Besides the obvious, what did she send you for?” my eyes still strip him bare.
“She has a name and a location. She wants her taken out before ten nights”
“This is not how Adeline does things, why send you?”
“She has decided to take this mission personally.” This girl must have really pissed Adeline off for her to go to such lengths to contact me. There’s usually an inscription in the newspaper that gives information on my next assignment, not a face-to-face meet, it’s too obvious for Adeline.
“Who is it?” Jason saunters around my couch, drowning out the moment. It is true, all Adeline’s students have a flare for the dramatics.
“Lady Jane Grace” daughter of Isabell and Trevor grace, regulars of court. If I am right in thinking their daughter is only seventeen: a year older than I. Why does Adeline need this girl killed? Jane is famous for her charity and fairness, she doesn’t condone in the spoils of court life, and she rejects the notion of any slaves to be in her household. She hires the people that work for her, with good money and pensions.
“How would I know Alaina?”
“You always know” it’s true. If he is anything, it is resourceful. “Tell me.”
“Ah, but this time I don’t.” he looks displeased at the thought “I’m guessing it’s a court squabble with another courtesans daughter perhaps.” He waves his hand in circles like the idea is enough of an excuse. “You will be paid the usual.”
“I don’t know, it seems…off”
“Off how?” he scoffs “you’re an assassin that kills people for a living, if that isn’t off, I really wanna know your definition of ‘off’” air quotes included. Arsehole.
“It doesn't make sense for Adeline, I mean” I creep towards him again. “You wouldn’t be tricking me, would you Jace?” Slowly “you wouldn't be setting me up for a mission that would truly piss Adeline off…would you?” I arch my eyebrow. He knows he can’t lie to me, though he may try, but that would be stupid of him. Very stupid.
“Would I do that?” he tilts “you know me Alaina, I am nothing, but true” liar, though he’s improving. “Adeline sent me because the mail coding guy, whoever guy that was, has been executed by the royal guard. Apparently they figured it out.” He grabs my silk curtains and turns to them “who would have though those retards could figure it out” he pauses “unless someone told them” he turns back to me, meeting me half way across the room. The cut on his cheek looks painful, but he doesn’t seem to mind, never the less notice.
“You wouldn't know anything about that, would you, Alaina?” what a dick to even ask.
“Adeline knows where my loyalties lay” I touch his cut. “You on the other hand” I dig my nail in, blood oozing. “Now, that could be a thought” he flinches.
“Enough!” slapping my hand away “Do you accept, or not” he shouts. Meow.
“Oh I accept.” I breathe.
“Great. I will be just leaving then” he turns towards my terrace, drops of blood fall from his cheek to his shirt. He huffs.
“What?” such a whiner.
“You didn't give me that location.”
“I am sure you already know where the girl lives.” Eyes rolling, he crosses my floor, exiting out through my curtains.
“You’re right.” I smile “I do”