Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2281609-Alls-Fair
Printer Friendly Page Tell A Friend
No ratings.
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Drama · #2281609
Tale for BlackAdder's Cantina
Alright, if you're asking for stories about dirty deeds, I've got one, and if you need a name to thank for it when you send over that drink, it's Michelle. I'm innocent, of course, if not quite as pure as freshly fallen snow. The guilty party, it shouldn't surprise you, was a man.

I still remember the first time we met. He was tall, with dark curly hair. It was silky, like in the holovids, and his skin was smoky: I couldn't gather his ethnicity and didn't need to know. I was waiting tables at the time, and I had just dropped off his plate of seafood. I looked back over my shoulder to check on him; he caught my eye and held it. His smile was smoldering, confident, and hot as hell - I had to look away. I think I ran, and almost dropped my dishes. It was no coincidence he showed up on my dating app that night - I swiped right so fast I nearly sprained my wrist.

He took me out to the hanging gardens, walked me by the beach, fed me steak and lobster - Dear God, this man swept me off my feet. He had the body of Adonis, and the tongue of - well, I've never had better sex in my life, and let's leave it at that. He called himself Drago, but that couldn't have been his name. He called me back, he was smart and funny, he listened to my stories, and every new date was better than the last.

One day, maybe six months in, Drago asked me if I wanted to go to Diriel. If you've never been, it's amazing. The government's a bit unstable (more unstable now) and it's a complete tourist trap, but if you've got a little cash and you're looking for a good time, it's got absolutely everything. Like snow skiing? They've got mild-weathered snowy mountains for miles. They have trees that are thousands of years old and near a thousand feet high. They've got planetariums, gardens, volcanos, canyons, temples, and theme parks - and their beaches are a-fucking-mazing.

Drago just dropped off a cash chip and asked me to set it up. He said he was bad at planning. All he asked was that we finish up with the centennial at Port Royale, where the Prime Minister of the place would speak. So I did, and we went. And we stopped at every little gift shop and bed and breakfast on Diriel between Mount Paradise and the Sapphire Coast.

I laughed about it at the time. I didn't see why he needed to pick up all those souvenirs: an old-fashioned pair of binoculars, lead fishing lures, a kid's microscope, and so on. Either toy pieces with old electronics from before safety regulations got really tight or knick-knacks made out of pure glass and metal. We had two weeks planned and after the first week, he had a nice little collection. I, of course, picked up a stellar sunburn on day ten, after a day of old-fashioned snorkeling in tropic waters.

Drago during the trip was always making sweet little gestures, going out alone to pick up room service, and so on. When I got burned, that's what he did. He fetched a chicken and pasta dinner and sat with me out back on the balcony with a bottle of white wine. Then he lotioned me up, kissed me quite thoroughly, and sent me to bed, promising me a surprise the next day.

In the morning I woke up to a cold bed, but there was hot coffee on the kitchen table and a message there on a printed card. Drago wanted to meet me in Freedom Square down below at 2 PM right after the Prime Minister's commencement speech for the new spaceport. Apparently, the speech made the news because Diriel had always been a tourist planet and this was its first real military base, an aggressive political move of some kind. Drago had gone on about that one night, but I confess I never had an interest in politics. But none of that was in my head - the most amazing man I'd ever met was about to take our relationship to the next level! At least, that's what I gathered from the card. I happened to notice that Drago's curios were still on the windowsill in the kitchen.

So I picked a pretty sundress and hat with a little blue bow - I wanted to compliment the highlights in my hair. Sun balms have come a long way and the pain of my burn was already fading to memory - and a nice little tan. I spent the morning alone, working up the meeting in my head. But Drago was talented with surprises, and I really had little idea what to expect. The square itself was something for another century: old-fashioned ceramic tiles and haciendas of printed stone, and on each side of the streets were lovely trees. Palms, lemons, oranges, and dates lined the walkways, and their fruits were free for the taking. I spent the morning on those tiles and dusty paths, anxious and hopeful about what the future held. As the afternoon approached, an old-fashioned bell rang, warning that the speech was about to start.

That was when a young man approached, carrying a basket tied to a dozen balloons. He handed them to me with an odd look on his face - was it sympathy? Some of the balloons displayed the words, "Thank You." But what caught my attention was the basket of red roses with a handwritten card. "Michelle?" the man asked.

"That's me," I answered.

He handed me the basket and balloons, saying only, "Then these are for you."

It's typical for a delivery boy to wait for a tip, but he seemed to know none was coming, or else Drago had already paid it. I took the basket with one hand, then lifted the card titled "Thank you," and opened it. Within, written in perfect calligraphy was the briefest of apologies. "Thank you for these lovely months. Unfortunately, my job has come between us. I regret that we will not speak again, and I apologize that it is so, but I trust that you will soon understand." My gasp and the balloons turned heads from all around, not to mention attracting the attention of security: the Prime minister's henchmen were definitely giving me "the look."

It was at that moment that a shot rang out. Yes, a shot from a gun: one of those things that it's difficult to make and no longer possible for someone to buy. In seconds, pandemonium erupted: men and women were running everywhere - the basket was dashed from my hands and the roses trampled on those beautiful old-fashioned tiles. The prime minister, about to give his speech, fell to the ground, dead but still clutching his red and gory neck as his newly unemployed bodyguards stood staring.

After being let out from the square after a long day that had included my being searched three times from head to toe, I returned wearily to my apartment. When I opened the door, three men in black suits were pointing their stun pistols at me. In the background were the ruins of Drago's souvenirs - and a scoped rifle that had hastily been forged from them. While I was in the square waiting for a proposal, Drago had been fashioning a weapon. "Michelle? You'll be coming with us."

I don't remember what happened after that. They tell me that's how interrogations work these days: the same drugs they use to make you tell the truth leave you without any memories. That's probably for the best: I woke up in the same apartment tired, sore, and thirsty a week later. - with 1000 credits for my trouble. I guess they found whatever I remembered useful, though it couldn't have been much: the entire vacation up to and including the man with the ballons had been paid on my credit. But all that was over - it was done. So I did what any sensible woman would do: I covered my head in my hands and cried.

It still hurts, you know. Drago was too good to be true, and so I suppose some part of me always knew or feared he wasn't. But the men in black left me Drago's card, and you know what? I still have it. I was used. I was a throwaway prop for a murderer committing an assassination. Do I regret it? Well, as I said, it was the best sex I've ever had, before or since. No one can take that away, I guess.
© Copyright 2022 BlackAdder (blackadder256 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2281609-Alls-Fair