No judging me here, I’ve just finished watching the 1996 screen adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with a sizeable portion of budget Neapolitan ice cream. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all, even if you are single and drowning sorrows in ice cream and amaretto like I am. As such, I am feeling in the mood to write something romantic (albeit short), so let’s get down to it! The premise is an idea for a character that I’ve had. It’s actually a character that I originally made for the Black Crusade 40k campaign that I am in (not to be confused with the tabletop 40k campaign) where I play a cultist of Slaanesh. That is just as bad as it sounds, but I find the character interesting, so naturally, I will make her into a proper character for one of my own universes. This, however, may or may not be actual canon in my own universe, I just felt like writing something romantic. I’m just going to let the sugar and alcohol speak. Note: I am currently two pages into this and… Well, I have to début this type of writing at some point, right? If you are a child, I’m waggling my finger and shaking my head right now. This is not child-friendly!
Double note: I know this is late. I finished it really late last night and did not want to post it until this morning.
Triple note: Where the bloody hell did all my formatting go! Argh! Reformatted the whole thing and corrected a few parts.
The upper echelons of the social ladder knew how to throw a traditional masquerade ball. Cassie watched the guests, her elaborate silver mask covering the upper half of her face, small gemstones sparkling in the light as she took a delicate sip from her drink. There was a thick sense of superiority amongst the guests, palpable snobbery that clung to her like an unwanted odour. She felt out of place, a thorn amongst roses, coarse linen thrown into the same basket as the most delicate silks. The imagery swirling in her head caused her to smile, taking another sip from her drink. She had not been born into the upper class society, nor had she been bred and inducted from birth; she was born to the lowest class, living in the underground of Old London, educating herself and often killing to survive. Yet, here she stood; slender figure wrapped in a graceful, red ball gown, striking features hidden behind the masquerade mask that allowed her chocolate eyes to pierce through, full red lips contrasting her fair skin. Her dark brown hair was worn in a neat bun, held in place by a pair of black, metallic sticks. Her appearance did not show her upbringing, nor did her posture, standing tall and proud amongst the corporate big shots and aristocrats.
She glanced around at the security. There was a generous security detail, men with assault rifles that she assumed were at least partially cybernetic, housing all manner of nasty surprises for a rowdy guest. She also assumed that there was a number of undercover agents in the guest list, hired by the Kacen conglomerate to watch over their social gathering. Her smile broadened as she took another small sip from her drink. She relished the challenge. If the hunt was too easy, the satisfaction was minor, after all. There were plenty of fresh-faced young men at the party to choose from, many of them looked new to the company, shaking hands with the older officials with false smiles and pleasantries. She finished her current drink and started to gaze out of the window next to her. The party’s venue was situated in the upper floors of Kacen conglomerate’s glass tower. She could see for miles, tiny dots zooming about in the night as London’s night life shifted.
She looked back to the guests. Many had shifted to the dance floor, men and their partners guiding their feet over the dance floor slowly, hands clasped as they held onto each other. She noticed a young man across the room, locking eyes with him. He was young, mid twenties she thought, his features largely hidden behind a mask that covered from his forehead down to the end of his nose. He made his way slowly through the crowd until he found his way to her side, not once breaking eye contact. His eyes were a deep blue, piercing through the black mask, and his hair was dark and cleanly cut. His suit was incredibly well pressed, dark grey with a blue shirt underneath, unbuttoned at the top.
“Good evening, madam,” he spoke softly, yet politely, a smile across his face, “may I request this dance?”
The question lingered in Cassie’s mind. She was honestly lost for words. Unwary prey had just walked up to the predator and asked to be consumed. She returned the smile as he waited patiently. “Of course, sir,” she responded, holding her hand out which he took gently, leading her to the edge of the dance floor. She took his hand in hers and placed the other on his shoulder as he placed one by her hip. She had never been formally taught how to dance, though it was not hard and she had picked it up with experience, following his steps with perfect execution.
“Might I ask your name, madam?” he asked as the two danced through the crowd, their steps perfectly in sync, their form flawless.
“Cassandra Winters,” she replied, tone as soft as her steps, “and you, kind sir? What might I call you?”
“Oliver Kacen.” Cassie could not believe her luck. She had managed to bag a son of the Kacen clan. She knew her aristocracies, she knew he was the fourth son of the clan. Not the most important, but a worthy catch nonetheless. “Winters, eh? I have not heard of your family name,” he continued, twirling her on the spot.
“You might say that I’m a self made woman,” she responded as the two locked positions once more, their feet gliding gracefully between the other dancers. “I guess it would be a fool’s errand to ask you the same, Mr. Kacen.”
He smiled at the notion, shaking his head. “Perhaps, though does the name make the person, or the person make the name, Miss. Winters?” he asked, flashing a sly grin.
Cassie giggled quietly. “I don’t know, why don’t you tell me, Mr. Kacen. As you have implied, my family name is of low import, yet you still wish to continue this dance.”
“Would any of the other guests, with their important family names, sport such beauty and grace as the one I see before me?” he inquired rhetorically, causing Cassie to miss a step in the dance. The compliment hit her like an amphetamine crash. This man was so forward and direct it took her completely off guard. She slipped back into step after a split second, though Oliver had noticed, grinning at her. “Surprised, Miss. Winters?”
“No,” she immediately replied, though after two more steps, she continued. “Well. Yes, I am actually.”
“Why so? The fact that I speak the truth is surprising?” he asked, twirling her around once more.
“Most guests here, with names of lower import than your own, would not even consider conversing with one such as I. I find it hard to believe that the fourth son of the Kacen clan would take an interest in me.”
“They lose their feelings in the world of business, whether this is desired or enforced by employers changes from clan to clan,” he replied factually, his expression assuming one of neutrality. “Some of them are no better than robots, placing social status over the feelings that have been removed from their minds.”
“And what of you?” she asked hastily, “what of the Kacen clan? You’re not going to take me into a back room and suck my emotions out, are you?”
He smiled again. The music came to its finishing point and the two pressed against each other, gazing into each other’s eyes. “I wouldn’t dream of it,” he murmured before planting his lips upon hers, their hands still locked in position from the dance as their tongues continued the dance. She closed her eyes, squeezing his hand slightly as the two remained locked together, his hand sliding around from her hip to her back. The two parted lips, Cassie opening her eyes only to be met by Oliver’s gaze once more. She smiled and took a step backwards, still holding onto his hand. She noticed him follow her step, also not letting go of her hand, and continued to walk, leading him off the dance floor, past the windows and into a small corridor just off from the main hall.
The lighting was different here, a yellow hue given off from the bland, beige paint. The carpet was green and there were doors up to the end where the corridor forked in both directions. He pulled her to him once more, locking her in a more intense kiss than the courteous, reserved one on the dance floor, sliding a hand around her backside. She placed her hands on his chest, worming her way beneath his suit jacket as the two embraced one another. She could feel his physique under his shirt; chiselled features easily identifiable to her fingertips. The two switched positions as he pressed her against a wall, working his way down her neck with his lips, hands around her body. Her cheeks flushed a mild red as she gripped him tightly, her breathing increasing. She looked briefly at the door that they had entered from, pressing her hands against his chest and gently pushing him away a little.
“Not here,” she whispered, gesturing towards the door. He nodded with a smile, took her hand and started to lead her down the hall, left at the fork, then down a few more doors before placing his thumb onto the identification lock of one of the doors on the end. With a click, the door unlocked and he pulled her through the door with him, the door closing and locking automatically as the two barrelled in. The two locked tongues once more, Cassie slipping her hands under Oliver’s suit jacket to slide it off his shoulders and down his arms, Oliver reaching around to pull at the neatly tied lace at the back of Cassie’s ball gown. The pair rarely parted as they systematically de-robed each other, smiling and giggling with each removed piece of clothing. As they were stripped down to their undergarments, the two collapsed onto the bed, still fixed in each other’s embrace. He pinned her down to the mattress, evoking a mischievous grin from Cassie as she gazed up into his eyes again.
“You’re far more forward than I thought,” she smiled up at him, removing the two metallic sticks from her now out of place bun and placing them on the bedside table.
“A common misconception. We’re not all mindless automatons,” he replied with a grin, planting his lips upon hers once more as he placed himself inside of her. She gave out a moan, both hands on his back as she felt him, cheeks flushing red with a tone that largely matched her lip colour.
“So I see,” she uttered as he slid himself back and forth between her legs, both her breathing and his speeding up. She planted her lips upon his once more, grabbing hold of him with a tight grip. She could feel his heart racing as he could with hers. She pushed him aside, switching positions with him, forcing him to lie with his back against the mattress. She reached down to his crotch as she straddled him, rubbing his cock and putting him inside, before moving her hands up his chest, coming to rest beside him as he thrust into her, faster and faster. With a load groan, he reached orgasm, his face contorting with the pang of pleasure. She smiled, allowing her breathing to normalise a little, leaning down to plant another kiss upon his lips as he slid out.
“Definitely not an automaton, Mr. Kacen,” she giggled, holding him as she allowed herself to topple to the side. She continued to gaze into his eyes. He was different to the others, his eyes were still filled with the same feelings as when they first met, opposed to the others who seemed empty after the act of intercourse. She felt differently about him as well. She looked at the two metal sticks that she had previously used to hold her hair into a neat bun for a brief moment, though she did not feel the compulsion to reach for them. He smiled at her.
“If I were an automaton, I would be incapable of feeling this way about you, Miss. Winters,” he replied, moving some of her hair from her face with his upward facing arm. She smiled, looking down at his body, then back to his eyes. She could not but help feeling this way for him. At every turn, he surprised her. She expected to find just another rich aristocrat with no ability to care about an unknown with a lowly family name.
“Please, call me Cassie,” she smiled at him, drawing out a quiet laugh from him.
“Only if you promise to call me Oliver,” he answered, stroking her cheek affectionately. “I ho-” his speech was interrupted as the door was busted open. Two armed men in full tactical gear burst into the room, rifles pointed into the room. Cassie rolled out of the bed, crouching behind it as Oliver looked at the members of the security team with a perplexed expression, covering himself with the duvet.
“Mr. Kacen, sir, thank goodness you’re alive,” the security team leader said with a sigh of relief.
“What are you talking about, soldier?” he inquired, a confused tone mirroring his expression, looking back at Cassie who was crouching behind the bed.
“Sir, we have reason to believe that Miss. Cassandra Winters is a harlot and a murderer who preys upon the rich, such as yourself. An underworld type,” the leader explained, moving around the bed cautiously with his rifle pointed just past Oliver.
As he cleared the bed, Cassie sprung out, grabbing his rifle and twisting out of the way as he pulled the trigger, sending a spray of bullets against the opposite wall. She grabbed his pistol from its holster and, in one fluid motion, shot a 9mm bullet straight through his neck, turning to engage the other security officer. He let out a burst of shots at her, catching her in the calf. She let out a yell in pain, crumpling to the floor, though she let of two shots from the side-arm, catching him in the arm with the first shot, the second going through the goggles of his helmet. She pulled herself up, using the bed as support as she looked down at her bloody leg. There was a hole where the bullet entered, as well as an exit wound on the back of her leg.
“Shit,” she muttered, limping over to her discarded clothing. She began to dress frantically, though she looked around at Oliver, who was still on the bed, completely dumbstruck as he contemplated what just happened. She slipped into her underwear, then her dress, doing her best to tie a makeshift knot in the lacing so that it did not just fall down. She gripped the pistol and limped over to the door.
“What was I to you?” Oliver asked, still just sitting, immobile with indecision. He was not sure what the best course of action was. On one hand, he thought about picking up the assault rifle of the dead security captain and shooting her. One the other hand, he considered apprehending her.
“I’m sorry,” she answered, “you weren’t like the rest, Oliver. I-” she trailed off, hearing activity down the corridor. “If you were, I would have killed you by now. I’m just… I’m sorry.” Before he could reply, she limped out of the room, using the wall to support her as she made her way towards the stairs. Blood dripped down her leg and onto the green carpet, darkening little dots into the bland design. Her head span. She felt like passing out. She could hear guards down the corridor. She could hear guards coming up the stairs. She glanced at a nearby waste disposal unit. A smile crept across her face as she shook her head.
“From the trash, back down with the trash, huh?” she muttered, clambering slowly into the chute and allowing herself to slide down. By the time Oliver had gotten enough clothes on to look decent and left the room to chase after her, she was long gone.
Deep in the lower levels of Old London, a slender figure in a grimy, yet showy ball gown impacted messily with a pile of trash, flopping like a ragdoll against old rubbish with a 9mm side-arm still gripped tightly in her hand.