Books lined the walls from top to bottom. Matthieus felt intoxicated by the leather bound books and crisp paper. He thought of the impending paper cuts and his soft fingertips callused by hurriedly flipping the dry, smooth pages. He moved swiftly through the mystical creatures section, his long black tie whipping around him as he placed the books in their determined homes. As he swept his eyes across the call numbers, searching for something out of place, he came upon a pair of hazel eyes. What a beautiful maiden, he thought
He followed her dark brown hair and watched it fall and stroke the thin white scar upon her pale, white collarbone. His eyes lingered on her dainty fingers clutching a thin silver chain. He caught himself and looked into her face, noticing the small beauty mark above her sultry, rouge stained lips.
She glanced at him with a quick smile, noticing Matthieus' attention. She looked at the books and stared intently at the titles and authors. Matthieus watched silently as her dedicated expression changed into a frustrated frown. He closed his blue eyes, clearing his mind and went over to this quiet beauty.
“Hello, Miss.” He spoke with a confidence that caught Vittoria off guard. “Are you in need of some assistance?”
She looked at him, wondering if she should talk to him. Something about this… boy seemed off. She decided it was a waste of effort to stay silent, and accepted his help. She looked at him sweetly, charming him and asked for a book on vampires.
He directed her towards another shelf. Matthieus restrained himself from turning around and gazing at her exquisite nature as he reluctantly left her to loiter. Instantaneously, Vittoria exited, swiftly pocketing “Blood Lust”.
That evening, Matthieus strolled along the city streets to his home where his grandmother was awaiting his arrival.
“Good evening, Obaasan. How was your day?” he asked, genially.
“Like a falling star, the day passed pleasantly, leaving nothing but an imprint and a wonder of where it fell.”
He thought for a moment, curious of what brought on his grandmother’s poetic mood.
“Or so they say,” he replied impishly. A jovial laugh escaped his Obaasan’s mouth, and he joined in, glad of her happiness.
They sipped tea in the sitting room and chatted lightly. As the evening progressed into the late hours, his parents arrived only to say goodnight and amble off to bed.
Within minutes, he was the only one left awake. Once he was certain his family was slumbering sweetly, he clambered up and sat on the roof. It was one of the best places for reading the stars.
The indigo sky was brilliant and bright. The stars pricked holes in the untouched blanket of deep blue and tore into the darkness. He watched as the stars spun out a story for him to unfold. He anticipated good news about the stunning girl whom he met at work today. He waited, ready to read what the stars would play out before him.
Matthieus watched as the stars danced ferociously creating an image of danger and chaos, while his fingers drummed incessantly.
Tap, tap, tap, tap. The rhythm continued, his fear echoed on the tiled roof.
He retired to bed, restless and feeling as though he was being stole away from his home.
The following day, Matthieus walked through the streets in a daze. He was terrified of what would occur. His nimble fingers fiddled with the bottom of his blazer, and his thoughts ricocheted from the girl to the impending danger, but to whom it would entail only time would tell.
To those around him, he looked calm, cool and collected besides the fact that his fingers were gingerly clawing at the hem of his jacket.
Matthieus walked, deep in thought, with his eyes towards the heavens. The people shuffled by him. His body slid through the throng of people effortlessly until Vittoria’s quick fingers caught his tie.
Matthieus whipped back, his bright eyes narrowed and his fists poised, striking. As his knuckles came within inches of Vittoria’s dainty nose, she grabbed his hand and twisted it behind his back without ever letting go of the tie.
Growling, and furious, Matthieus spun in Vittoria’s tight grip and met her face-to-face. He got close, letting her know it was fine that she was holding his fist.
“If you’ve got a brain, use it”, she playfully whispered into his ear before letting go. As she spun away from him, she slipped her fingers down his tie. This time he trapped her in his lithe arms and winked.
“With the way you’re holding me, you’d think this was at least our third date,” she shot.
Matthieus thought for a moment, than laughed. “Maybe we should have a first. May I accompany you to dinner tomorrow evening?”
Vittoria stroked her necklace, and raised her eyebrow. “I don’t eat dinner for a first date.”
She walked off, swinging her hips, leaving Matthieus speechless.
Vittoria walked down the streets, praying the boy would not follow her. She rounded a corner and only saw distant, unfamiliar faces meeting her distant eyes. She breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. He was cute, but she dismissed it and thought about what she had to do.
She walked with confidence, feeling her gun bounce against her thigh. She took sure, steady steps among the crowd, seeking to be inconspicuous. Vittoria made a detour to a café restroom, and got to work. She reapplied her makeup, cautiously concealing her beauty mark. She liberally dressed her lips with cranberry red and placed a curly, black wig overtop her straight, chestnut hair. Masking her beautiful hazel eyes with ordinary dark brown contacts, her transformation was complete.
Vittoria left her past image as she exited the washroom, and slipped on a thick pair of sunglasses.
With her eyes hidden and her identity unknown, she raised her hand and caught a cab across town.
She dropped eighty dollars for her twenty-dollar ride and stopped the driver’s appreciative remarks, with a firm “forget me, immediately.”
“Dustin’s Diamonds” was small, shabby and perfect. It was situated quaintly in the business centre of town, where everyone was too busy to care about what was happening around them.
Vittoria stepped in through the chiming doors and swept in her surroundings as her hand niftily locked the doors. She had scouted this shop before, but now she was seeing it for what it really was, a goldmine for her taking.
The shop was cleared, with only the jeweller to greet her. He seized her up, hoping to sell her some cheap heirlooms.
Vittoria saw how he was blatantly underestimating her, and played the damsel in distress.
“I’m looking for the perfect sapphire necklace, but no place has it,” she announced, distraught. She slowly strode in, elongating her body and presenting herself seductively. As she watched him give into his primal instincts, his fingers clumsily opened the showcase and all its splendour.
Her hand disappeared into her coat, and then he found a gun to his head.
Matthieus was on his roof reading tealeaves. He looked inside his cup, and starred perplexed, until the meaning was clear. He dropped the cup, shattering it, and sprinted away.
The cold metal piece, felt nice and powerful in Vittoria’s long fingers. She gripped its handle and stroked the trigger.
Mattieus dashed down the streets, drawn to the jewellers on Main St.
“If you’ve got a brain, use it,” she said maliciously, as the terrified jeweller tried to refuse her demands.
Matthieus ran that last block and pushed his body into the door, moving it to no avail.
Vittoria’s attention slipped, minutely, as she heard and felt the body bang against the locked door. She held the gun, determined to use it if things got out of hand. She repositioned the jeweller’s falling bangs with the dangerous barrel and spoke.
“I know of your dealings, as you now know of mine. It would be best for both parties, if silence was demonstrated,” she advised. “Am I understood?” she cautioned as she clicked back the safety and forced the cold barrel in between the jeweller’s eyes.
The frightened jeweller looked at Vittoria through watery eyes and warily lifted his head, nodding in agreement.
The door crushed under Matthieus’s intense thrusts to the door, and he found a mysterious woman yielding a gun. Her leapt forward to clutch her pistol. She recognized him immediately and fought to keep the familiarity from showing in her eyes.
“St- st-stop!” Vittoria stuttered, her anger uncontrolled. He grabbed her wrist, directing the gun to the roof. Vittoria forced her body into Matthieus, unbalancing him, and grabbed at the bag of jewels, letting the gun slip down.
He tried to redirect her, but her quick fingers clasped his tie and wrenched at it tightly. As he crumbled to the ground, Vittoria swiftly steered him to the back door, before he could get her into his signature body hold.
Once she fixed his tie to the door, she smiled lightly and walked away, triumphant.
The jeweller watched from his hands and knees, petrified, and his hands fumbled for the gun.
Vittoria’s head snapped back to the jeweller and she stepped on his trembling fingers as she walked over to pick up her gun. As her heel dug into his hand, she bent low, retrieving her gun and laid a lipstick stained kiss on his sweat-drenched forehead.
She walked out, threw her hair back and unlocked the devastated door. Just before she made her exit, she smiled and said, “I had told you if you’ve got a brain, use should it.”
Matthieus was defeated and vowed it would be the final time and he vowed he would find that woman.
Vittoria was triumphant. She stalked the streets basking in her glory. She used the cement sidewalk as her catwalk and the noisy crowds as her soundtrack. Her body moved back and forth, fluidly, like nothing could stop her. She was back in her natural brown hair and her beautiful hazel eyes, and she was fabulous.
She dared to be bold. She went to the bookstore where Matthieus worked and looked around. Instead of searching for books, her eyes were alert for his slim black tie and black blazer.
Matthieus had wanted to stay home, but he knew it was pointless to mope. He could always count on books to distract him.
Vittoria found him nestled between world travel and teen fiction.
“I didn’t think you’d give up so easily,” she taunted.
Matthieus turned and stopped himself from kissing her lips, although they were so close.
“I have not given up yet,” he replied. He took a moment to breathe. “Would I be able to tempt you with a movie? I promise there will be no dinner, unless you wish it so.” He arched his eyebrow dangerously.
She smiled, enjoying her game. He still didn’t know who she was or what she did.
“If I was to say yes, who would I address it to?”
“Excuse my manners. My name is Matthieus, Matthieus Nagakami. May I ask what beautiful name a goddess, such as you, may possess?”