Deus Rosaceam PopinamMature

"Listen, sweetling--'Tender, another round--I can't help you if you don't tell me what's wrong. I have connections..." the young man placed a hand on her knee, "and I'm making new ones all the time."
Taken in by wise eyes and a pretty face, the sobbing girl threw herself into his lap, unleashing waves of barely articulated pieces of her life, "It's Bibby! He won't leave me alone! I broke up with him three months ago and he's threatened to kill anyone I go out with! I can't even look at another person with interest or he’ll think I’ve been dirtying myself. He gets him in a rage and....”

Finishing a long swig of the mauve liquid he’d just been served, the young man furrowed his brow and began rubbing his hand in a small circle on the small of her back. When she dissolved into senseless blubbering, he squeezed her gently and tried to coax her into calming down, "What's this pissant look like, dear one? I'll sort the ruddy mess. Don’t worry about getting me into trou-" suddenly a song played in his ear. Barely refraining from a torrent of curses, he glared at the fancy watch on his wrist: Illy. Nearly suppressing a growl, he maneuvered himself out from under her and wrapped a hand around her delicate elbow, “My job calls, sweet one... but worry not. I will not stand for you to be in danger. Come home with me and I will make sure you’re kept safe until I can deal with this Bibby fellow. You’ll have company and leisure. Perhaps I’ll order a little dance for you to enjoy. We must leave now."
Without waiting for a response, he led her into the VIP lot where a small black box waited on the ground. At the casual press of a button, the box exploded into a purple and green motorcycle with black detailing. The bike was obviously designed for two riders and could never have been bought in a store. Sitting on the seat, the girl’s eyes widened at the forcefield suddenly surrounding her. It widened to include her saviour.
When they arrived at the Palace, he quickly ushered her into his wing’s guest chambers and overwhelmed her with servants, refreshments, and entertainment. Though he seemed to exude concern while in her sights, the moment he crossed the threshold and doors closed behind him, a smug grin played at the corners of his mouth and a twinkle lit in his aquamarine irises.
“Adrian de Fawn at your service, worshipfulness. The silicone indicated my presence was desired,” he blustered with false reverence upon entry to the Empress’s chambers. As if to exacerbate her annoyance, he bowed deeply with a smirk before staggering into a chair. Ignoring her dark gaze without so much as a thought, he flashed a set of shiny teeth, “I assume you’ve called me in regards to the crashed frigate and its failed quest?”
With utter loathing--and perhaps respect--Illian glared at the one being in the entire universe she could neither manipulate nor intimidate. He knew exactly what she was... and yet he refused to fear her. Sometimes, she feared him... near as much as she was filled with dread at what the old man could do to her. They were alike, the young man before her and the old man hiding in the Fringe. Though they looked generations apart, they came from the same mold--the same, lost age. Through gritted teeth, she queried, “To which frigate do you refer, Mr de Fawn?”
“Ah, it is a game we’ll play today? Very well. You know I do love to play the cat. Six days ago, Captain Wiltaem Starning received orders that the Sergatis was to detour into the Arcanum Ambagus--the Fringe, to be specific. The good captain was intended to capture an especially elusive acquaintance of mine from years past. I believe he’s a mutual acquaintance of ours, in face. The seventh son of a seventh son, born on a seventh moon: Emerson Wyllt.”
“Take whatever craft will keep you strongest, Adrian. Do not seek out the Lost One. He’s no longer our primary concern,” she paused as his smirk deepened and she wondered if he truly cared about anything; it seemed sometimes that the mere fact people continued to do anything amused him, “I need you to do some clean up. No one else can be trusted to do this task swiftly and properly. Make sure no dangerous users escape. They must not be allowed to join with our old friend, understood?”
Adrian rose smoothly from the chair and spoke with silken lilt to his voice, “I was under the impression that all users are dangerous beyond reason, mi’lady. Are you telling me this is an overstatement? Is our Empress... lying?”
Struggling to retain control of her temper that he might not win in their battle of wits, Shamir took a deep breath and forced her voice to stay even, “Be on your way, Adrian.”
Crows’ feet forming at the corners of his eyes, Adrian de Fawn turned and left the empress fuming in her room. He could unravel her entire life’s work with one action... one statement, even. She knew this... just as well as she knew that, if he fancied the idea, he would--just for the fun of seeing her crumble. In their first meeting, he had made that abundantly clear... and for months after, he’d proven no efforts to contain or kill him would prove fruitful.

The End

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