Katherine Oscuro (Light) Gabrielle
Cody Caldwell Sangria(Blood) Le Diable Xena
Violence: ermmm……yes, of course.
Sex: Ermmmmmm…..yes again.
Anything else: yes, again….just read the story already.
Katharine came down to breakfast late the next morning, the long trip having zapped all of her energy. Alexia was sitting on a wide chair, her legs tucked up under her, her dress gathered into her lap. "Mornin'" She drawled. She flicked her hair over one shoulder and smiled. There was one other girl sitting at the long table. "The others left to go to the market and.…various……other appointments." Alexia filled her in.
"Oh." Katharine smiled. The other girl stood up and put her hand out for Katharine to shake. She did.
"My name is Selene." She said. Her grey eyes looked Katharine up and down as if assessing her.
"Like the Moon goddess!" Katharine exclaimed. The other girl looked puzzled.
"Who?" She questionned.
"I can tell you all about her if you like, Mama…..told me all the ancient myths so I know them off by heart." Katharine replied. She looked at what the girl had been doing. "What are you making?"
Selene smiled. "A dress to go to a party in, I have some spare material and buttons if you would like to make one for yourself."
Katharine smiled too. "Thank you. My mother was an excellent seamstress, but we never had any real silk like this." She fingered the silk gently, thinking of her mother.
"Sit down, Katharine," Alexia smiled. "I'll have Luba, the maid fix you something to eat."
The morning passed so quickly that soon it was late afternoon and the other girls had not yet returned from their appointments. Katharine was delighted, she had two new friends and a gorgeous dress to explore New Orleans in. "So, whats the city like?" She asked after entertaining Alexia, who had begun to draw portaraits of the other two, and Selene with myths and stories for hours.
"It's a sinful place some times." Selene began. "Especially some places along the Vieux Carre. There's one place called the swamps."
"Murderers, pirates, cuthroats." Alexia interrupted.
"You shouldn't go there. But the rest of the city is mostly Creole, they're the families from French or Spanish origin, and they're mostly rich with carriages and slaves to do what they want."
"Mon dieu!" Alexia exclaimed. "I am from Creole extraction. I did not ever wave my fan and order people around."
"Why are you here then, Alexia?" Katharine asked.
"My father died, then Mama, and I come to live with Anna."
Selene interrupted again. "The Creoles have plantations sometimes, and they sit and play cards all day. Then their dances……they love to dance, most of their homes have upstairs ballrooms. They have dances called Quadroon balls, where everyone wears a mask so no-one will recognise them" she lowered her voice "but the wives can't talk about it, and the men don't want to talk about it, as the 'free' ladies 'entertain' them."
It was too amazing for Katharine to imagine.
Alexia picked up a strand of Katharine's hair and twirled it between her fingers. "You're beautiful Katharine," she said, in her soft English, "Tres, tres belle."
Selene clamped a hand over her mouth. "We forgot to take a nap like Anna said, Alexia!" She hurried to pack up the sewing needles. "We can finish later Katharine, but you must rest." They ushered her upstairs and into her room. Katharine was startled. Talk about forceful, she sighed.
Beautiful? No. Katharine thought. She watched herself in the mirror. Passably pretty maybe. Leaning against her door, she made a decision to ask Alexia to teach her french. It was obviously an important language here and how could she get by without speaking the language. She made another revelation. She was hungry. She pulled the door open again and resolved to go and ask the maid, Luba for something to eat.
Before she could step out into the vast hallway, Anna Worthing was in front of her. "Aaah! Cherie, you look a lot better today. Almost…..glowing!" She cried. She flung Angel into Katharine's arms.
Katharine almost gagged at the smell effusing from her. "She….smells better already."
Anna shrugged elegantly. "I thought that it would make her feel more at home here. And you should see her eat Luba's muffins! I've ordered fish scraps from the market for her."
"Thank you! That was very kind."
Anna waved a hand. "I threw away one of your dresses, Katharine, and your shoes and under garments too. I hope that you don't mind, but you will be fitted tomorrow for some new clothes. Can't have one of my girls in old clothes."
Katharine knew that she should be insulted, but the whole thing was like a fairy tale and she didn't want to spoil it.
"Oh! And there is a visitor downstairs for you. And Mr Tinieblas will be dropping by later to meet you. If you hurry, I'll lend you one of my dresses."
"Thank you, Miss Worthing, I can't wait to meet Mr Tinieblas. And once he has visited, I'm sure that we can arrange what I am to do here."
"Er……we can talk about that when we get to it, ma cherie. Let us make haste to dress you."
Within minutes, Anna had Katharine pulled into a deep violet silk dress and her hair plaited loosely down her back. Anna hurried her downstairs and into the parlor, "I'll send your visitor up."
Katharine watched Anna leave in all her magnifiscence. She surveyed the room. It was pure gilded oppulence. It's like a dream, like heaven, she thought. For several minutes she stood there. She picked up a lone flower fallen from the vase on the table.
"Gardenia," came a voice, "lovely, just like you."
Cody Sangria smiled, a devilish grin. "Why…Captain Sangria! I…didn't expect that you…..its nice to see you." She extended her hand and Cody shook it. She considered kissing it but thought that that may be a little out of place. She scrutinized Katharine from head to toe.
"Are you…happy now?" She asked.
Katharine looked confused. "I only just arrived."
"Miss Worthing has explained…..everything?"
Katharine was struck by Cody's devilish charm once again.
"Well….we haven't quite determined the terms of employment, but I am prepared for them" She answered quietly. She also couldn't help thinking that she must be the most attractive woman in New Orleans. Her bizarre fetish for leather was startlingly attractive to Katharine. Maybe it was the combination of striking blue eyes, dark hair and the deep tan that turned Katharine's legs to jelly. Or maybe it was her mouth, yes, the way the lips formed perfectly pouting, sulky but with the corners turned up slightly so it was as though she was smiling sarcastically. But when they crooked slightly more upwards, Katharine got a glimpse of pure, even white teeth.
"I've made a promise to myself, Katharine. I intend to be first, whatever the cost,"
"You do speak in riddles." Katharine sighed.
"Come," Cody went on, "Anna has prepared a suite for me, she reserves it for me when I stay here." Katharine put her hand through Cody's extended one and they headed for the stairs. Selene was on her way down and she stopped to smile at Cody.
"Captain…..come to visit our young friend?"
Cody shushed her with a quick kiss to the corner of her lips.
"Maybe we could…catch up later." Selene purred. Katharine watched, jealousy boiling in the pit of her stomach.
Cody smiled and led Katharine into her suite. She closed the door. Cody's arms wrapped around Katharine so naturally that Katharine relaxed. Cody feather kissed her ear and bent to kiss Katharines neck. Sparks of delight sped from Katharines abdomen to her head and she felt light-headed. Within a second, Cody had her swept up into her arms.
"Captain…if you please….." Katharine whimpered, but Cody's kisses silenced her. She placed Katharine down neatly on the bed and lay next to her. Katharine squirmed, but a strong arm held her in place firmly. She tried to turn away, but the kisses were both passionate and demanding and she found that she couldn't resist the way Cody pushed their lips together. Cody feather kissed down her neck and across the half moon shapes of her breast. The sensations were maddening, but a small voice told Katharine that this must stop. She pushed Cody backwards with all her strength.
"Damnation, woman!" Cody let out. "What is going on? I had mind to make your first time as gentle as possible, I thought that you liked the idea, but now you act like I'm the plague!"
Katharine sat up, her dress tangled about her waist. "First time?" She questionned.
"What did you expect in a place like Anna's?" Cody replied. Katharine gaped. Realization slowly slipped in. this was no upper class rest home for young ladies. Even back home, she had heard of whorehouses. She stood and ran from the room as fast as possible.
Strong arms caught her before she had reached the end of the hall. "You must be Katharine." The voice said. The still whimpering girl looked up at the man who held her. "I'm Tinieblas." He said by means of introduction.
Cody stepped into the hallway. "Just what the hell do you think you're pulling here Tinieblas?" She shouted.
Katharine tucked her head into her guardian's neck and whispered, "This may sound crazy, but the Captain thinks that you're trying to sell me as a….a….whore." she whispered. Tinieblas pushed her backwards and looked into emerald eyes.
"No, no ma cherie." He said, Katharine breathed a sigh of relief, "I intended to make you my mistress dear girl."
Katharine pulled away but Tinieblas held her strong despite his short size. She let out a cry that had Cody by her side in moments. The pirate hit Tinieblas across the face, hard enough to make him drop his hold. He let out a cry of pain as she kneed him in the groin. He took a moment to steady himself before glaring at the weeping Katharine nestled snugly in Cody's arms. "Dawn, pirate." He hissed. "A duel over the girl. The park near Pont-Neuf. I am her guardian after all."
Cody nodded her agreement. Nothing would give her more pleasure than to kill this idiot. Anna rushed up the stairs and took Katharine to her room and Cody was left standing in the middle of the hallway as Tinieblas limped away.
Cody waited until Anna returned before cornering her.
"What the hell is going on here, Anna?" She demanded to know. Anna looked back blankly.
"Mon Dieu, Cody," She said below her breath. She swallowed and then pointed at the door. "That country munchkin is getting to you - isn't she? You wanted her for yourself."
Cody swore and turned to go. She looked at Anna again. "Why did he want her?" She demanded sharply.
"Why, you didn't think he actually wanted to keep her did you? Once she was quite settled, he was going to expose her as an illegitimate daughter and keep her father's fortune for himself. You're just disrupting his plan."
"What should I do then?" Cody asked, her voice the closest to pleading that Anna had ever heard.
Anna laughed, the brash sarcastic tone almost making Cody cover her ears against it. "You're asking me? Well, maybe you should ask Katharine to be yours instead. Once you've maimed Tinieblas of course."
"Damn Anna, if I wasn't so scared of you, I'd kiss you. Thanks."
Cody flashed a grin at the Madam and almost flew down the stairs.
Anna turned and sighed. The poor girl was obviously very unsure about her future. She headed into Katharine's room and tried to soothe the girl. "It's not that bad, baby." She said softly as she began to stroke her golden hair back from her face.
Katharine hiccuped and sat up, "Its….I'm…..Cody….."
Anna shushed her and pushed her back down to the pillows. "Sleep now, we can all talk tomorrow."
Cody adjusted her gunbelt again. It sat low and tight over her hips and tipped to one side as she walked. She smoother her hair back below her hat and slipped her long black jacket on over her shirt. It was still dark out, and cody knew that the rising sun would not do very much to lighten her mood. She slammed out of the room without another thought.
It was a slightly drunk Tinieblas who met Cody in the park that morning. He had a taller man with him who was obviously his second. There was a third man there who was to observe that the duel was fair.
"Where's your second, Sangria?" Tinieblas chided.
Cody smiled, her lip lifting into a sneer. "why should I need one, Tinieblas? I'm planning on killing you first."
Tinieblas smirked, his rancid breath forming in Cody's nostrils so that she was almost sick from the smell. "Lets see about that."
The third man Called for them to move twenty paces away from each other. Before moving, Cody took her coat off and placed it and her hat on the floor. She turned and strode away.
"Turn" The man called.
"Wait!" Cried another voice.
Cody turned to see Katharine rushing toward them. She held her mint coloured skirts high enough to send a thrill down to both Cody's and Tinieblas groin. The younger woman flung herself into the pirate's arms without warning, almost toppling Cody to the ground. "You don't have to risk your life to keep me safe. I will go with him without you dying."
Cody scowled. "You mean that you don't think I can win this duel?"
Katharine looked up to meet Cody's azure eyes. "No….I just don't want your death on my conciense if you don't win."
Cody pushed the girl away roughly, but not before planting a hot wet kiss on the girls upper lip. As she pulled away, she let her teeth graze against Katharine's lower lip.
"I'm ready." She announced.
Katharine bit into her lower lip as she waited, letting her tongue rest momentarily where Cody's teeth had moments earlier.
"Fire at will." The man announced.
Cody's finger quivered near her gun as she looked into her opponents eyes, waiting for a sliver of doubt that would cause him to draw his gun. His lower lip dropped and he reached for the firearm. Cody was too quick. In less than five seconds, she had shot Tinieblas and he lay bleeding on the floor. Katharine almost glared at the pirate. Within moments she was at the wounded man's side.
"Mr Tinieblas, you must tell me, what happened to my father?"
The man glanced up. "I…killed him." He whispered, before dying as quietly as possible. The only sound in the deserted park was Katharine's raspy crying.
Cody watched the young girl in pity. She bent to touch her shoulder but Katharine pulled away slightly. The movement hurt Cody more than she cared to admit it. It was ironic that the woman who killed at will and didn't think twice about it would fall so violently for this innocent girl.
Continued in Part 5.