Dressed to Kill
The tall slim blonde stared out of the mirror with a rather astonished look on her face. The sleek coiffure and touches of makeup brought out her emerald green eyes. She smiled her radiant best, then turned and laughed as that smile was echoed behind her.
"So what do you think, Alic?" Dee asked with a grin.
Alic looked her over as if appraising a rare gem, the twinkle in his eyes showing his pride. "I think you could give those snotty Ventrue bitches a run for their money any day." He stepped closer and put his arms around her, his eyes peering over her shoulder at the reflection in the mirror.
"You think this'll work then?" Her voice held a touch of insecurity. Damienne had never believed she could be beautiful. She hoped her husband was weeping in hell for treating her like a sorry piece of dirt. She turned back to the mirror, feeling exposed in the pale green silk dress and white high heels. The slit up the mid-calf length sea of green allowed her shapely legs to show in an alluring hide-and-seek way. She missed her leather, but enjoyed the rare feeling of dressing up.
"Oh yeah," Alic murmured as he nuzzled her graceful neck. "Glad you're letting me come along to watch your back. You're gonna have guys all over you..."
Dee smiled reassuringly at him. "I'm sure we can handle it, but I'm glad you're coming too." Her smile faded as she met Alic's hungry eyes. "Are you gonna be able to handle this? I mean, the point is to get their attention...."
A hurt look crept into Alic's eyes at the thought she didn't trust him. He shoved an angry retort down and nodded coldly. Looking at her again, some of the ice left his eyes as he realized what she was asking. This wasn't about trust. In his mind he pictured rich handsome men staring at his woman, vying for her attention. He could feel jealous rage seething, giving the beast power over him. But she needed him, was depending on him. He wrestled the beast into submission. "I won't let you down, Dee."
Her grateful smile was all the thanks he needed. "I know you won't."
Now it was her turn to give him a measuring look. He looked amusingly uncomfortable all cleaned up and wearing a smart navy-blue uniform. The deep blue made his eyes look even more like pale ice. "You look like a ghoul...that might convince them." Something was nagging at her, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. He stared back at her openly, his back resting against the dresser and arms crossed in front of him. The nonchalant stance made him look relaxed, but she knew the ready power behind the carefree facade. A frown marked her forehead as she puzzled over the problem. She tried to recall the bluebloods that frequented the Church. Yes, they all seemed to have money and retainers...She sucked in a breath quickly as realization hit her.
"Alic, there is one thing you're going to have to be careful of for this to work."
He raised an eyebrow in question. "Oh? Don't I look snooty enough?"
She smiled at his near hit. "Actually, um, you don't look like a devoted servant..."
His look became defensive and he again gripped his anger in a mental fist. "What's wrong with the way I look? I'm wearing the damn uniform. I combed my hair. What more do you want?"
Dee walked slowly towards him, an angry fire in her eyes. Alic stood up straight, hands ready at his sides and a question on his face. She raised her hand as if to strike him, no emotion on her face except in her hot gaze. Alic met her eyes with a mute glare, but remained motionless. His mouth dropped open when she burst into laughter.
"Oh Alic, my big strong Brujah. Don't you see?" She grinned at him, and reached up to gently stroke his cheek. His lost look answered her question. "Think about it Alic...those Ventrue bitches all have their men wrapped around their fingers---might as well all be castrated the way they suck up to them. If you looked at one of those chicks the way you looked at me, they'd slap you for insubordination." She searched his face to see if he understood her meaning. Servitude was an alien concept to most Brujah.
His eyes dropped to the floor as he thought about what she was saying. He also thought about the pathetic dogs that followed the rich bitches around like the leash was their only reason for living. When he looked up at her again he was smiling. He stood up straight, instead of his habitual surly slouch. His hands hung at his sides, his chin was up, but his eyes looked at Dee from under the lashes. "This better?" He asked.
"Perfect!" Dee grinned and slipped her arms around him, inviting the open stare that made him Alic the Brujah, door to her heart. She picked a hat up off the bed and slipped it on his head, completing his uniform. Arms linked, they headed downstairs to the sleek limo parked outside. "We're gonna have us some fun!" Dee laughed. Alic's eyes glinted evilly in agreement.
The neon lights of the swank lounge shimmered on the glossy hood of the limo as it pulled up to the curb. The smartly-clad driver got out and walked round to open the door for his passenger. The doorman couldn't see the wink the driver flashed at the elegant looking woman inside. His face held a practiced air of bored appreciation as first one long leg, then another, extended from the open car. When the graceful blond flashed him a warm smile that lit up her emerald eyes, however, a genuine grin creased the doorman's face.
"Would you like a valet to park your car ma'am?"
Dee tried not to show her inexperience as she thought over how to answer. She glanced at Alic, then nodded to the doorman. "Yes, please..." She was glad she could no longer blush in embarrassment and felt a rush of relief when Alic stepped to her side and ushered her through the door, holding it open like a perfect gentleman. The doorman took the keys from Alic and turned toward a button in the wall near the door.
Dee's spike heels clicked on the polished marble floor as she walked through the entryway. The dark wood paneling made a striking contrast with her flaxen hair and pale green dress. Past the foyer, the sound of footsteps was muffled by rich red carpeting and the murmur of voices in low conversation. Barring the entry into the formal lounge stood a heavy wood reservation desk and a pinch-faced man of medium stature and an air of haughty servitude. Low walls formed a waiting area with well padded wooden benches of the same fine dark wood as the walls. Little attempt had been made to draw attention away from the security cameras scattered along the way. Alic's hawk-like gaze extended over the dividing walls into the subtle dimness of the room beyond. He pretended not to notice as the ferret-faced host addressed his 'mistress.'
"Good evening, Madam. Will you be dining this evening?" he asked in an unctuous tone.
"No, thank you, just drinks in a quiet corner please," Dee replied with a gracious smile.
The man nodded and motioned toward one of the benches. "I understand. Please have a seat while I find a table for you."
Dee remained standing as she watched him scurry off into the shadows. She flashed a smile at Alic and took in the surroundings, making note as she knew Alic had already done, of all the exits and hallways she could see. She remained stubbornly standing as she waited, but was just stepping nearer a bench when their host returned. She favored him with the arrogant gaze she had seen used many times by certain Kindred in the Church.
"So sorry to keep you waiting," ferret-face said insincerely. "Please, right this way." He extended his arm in the direction of the lounge and calmly waited for Dee to precede him. He fell in directly beside and one step behind her, nearly causing Alic to stumble into him as he pointedly ignored the young Brujah's presence. Alic made a half-hearted attempt to keep the scowl from his face as he fell in behind them both. With the other half, he made a mental note that Dee would owe him for this.
Guided by the genteel host, Damienne and Alic soon reached a small table in a reclusive area of the gently lit lounge. The table stood in a corner formed by the meeting of two of the low walls that surrounded much of the room. It had 3 chairs, allowing for a guest, as if their host anticipated a need. From the vantage of the small table, the Brujah pair could observe most of the patrons in the lounge. As they passed, a few looked up, mostly men casting appreciative glances toward Dee, some women, either curious or jealous. The rest of the patrons appeared not to notice, involved in their own quiet discussions and plots.
Alic saw Dee seated, then remained standing as the oily host walked away, first promising a waiter would be with them shortly. As soon as the man was gone, Dee smiled up at Alic and stretched a long leg out under the table to inch a chair out, inviting him to sit. He took the proffered seat, but sat uneasily, every nerve tense with discomfort and distaste.
Dee, however, surveyed the room calmly. She knew what she was looking for. Though it was difficult to know for sure, she attempted to see how many Kindred were in the room. She did not want to invite disaster by opening up too large a can of worms. She held herself regally, but shared her warm smile with any who looked her way, using her natural charisma and presence to gather the attention she needed. By the time their waiter arrived, she had hooked several fish, not all of them mortal, not all of them male. The waiter, a youthful man not much older than Alic looked, was not immune. When Dee smiled up at his greeting, he stood still, momentarily stunned as he tried to pull his eyes off her face and remember his duty.
"Uhm, oh...what can I get you this evening, ma'am?" he finally managed to stammer out.
"Cognac, please, and a scotch and soda," Dee answered, pleased at the effect she was having. She was beaming as the server hurried away.
As they waited, Dee continued to gather the strands of her power, weave her web around those she had entangled. Alic kept his attention on the other patrons, though his instincts screamed at him to hold her close whenever he looked her way. Before long, their waiter returned, but his tray held more than their drinks. His hand shook slightly as he handed Dee a folded note and nodded in the direction of a slim, dark-haired man who appeared to be in his early 30's. He smiled at her from several tables over. Dee returned the smile, then focused her attention on the note.
©Sonja Torres 1998