The guy looks at Paula confused.
Paula slurs, “How dare you put your dirty legs and trip me?!! Do you know who I am?!”
At this point, they are beginning to gain more attention, the music stops and I tell Victor to leave now.
He leaves and the other tries to go after him but he’s stopped by Erin.
“No, you don’t! You and your friend over here disrespected my friend! How can a man choose to walk away from your friend in trouble?! It is despicable.” Erin says in mock anger.
I grin at the spectacle in front of me and as expected the men and women in the Pallaire starts to chant… “Fight, fight… Fight!!!..”
They look at each other and they whisper and decide to fight when the other draws his sword.
The hall erupts in cheers.
He bends to whisper to Paula who in turn glares at him as she kicks him in the place where the sun doesn’t shine.
The crowd goes ooooo… The fight gets more serious and people create more space for them to fight, while the other is distracted, I take the chance to look for Diane. She sees me and tries to hide from me, I blend with the crowd, then drag her back into her room.
“It’s that bitch Elena?! Right?? I knew underneath that innocent face is a deadly woman. I’m also impressed and annoyed by this.” Diane grumbles.
“I won’t say anything!” She declares.
I grin and click my tongue. “But you will Diane.”
“Are you going torture me?” She asks with her voice laced with fear.
“I’m guessing you know who I am based on that wariness behind those eyes, drop the act, I’m not a fool, you are careful of me but you aren’t terrified.” I say to her while I walk sharply behind the wall and whistle, Elena comes in with Akka.
“What is happening here?” Diane asks as she looks frighteningly at Akka.
“You aren’t scared of her but you are terrified of me?!! These people don’t know you. I am a complete gentleman.” Akka says as if affronted that someone would think him scary.
“Diane, please listen… How long do we have to bend to those who use us and dump us anytime they feel like it.” Elena sits beside her.
Diane laughs darkly. “What makes them different from anyone else? From Queen Nuke, from The Inis and from the Cads?! They all want something and will use whoever and whatever to get what they want.”
“She is different, what she is offering is a partnership not for us to work for her, but to work together. I know what happened to your family, it must kill you to have to work for Nuke and that’s why you turned on her the minute the chance came. I know most people would think it’s because of power but I know it is for revenge.” Elena says with a sad voice and I am confused as to whether she is acting or being sincere.
“Shut up! You don’t know anything about me!” Diane says.
“She can give you that you know, revenge! Revenge for your sister’s death, revenge for the blood of your brother. Just listen Diane.” Elena probes further.
“What do you know about revenge? You are just a girl who has the luck to be protected by the little power the Prince has! You think they care about you?!! They only want to use you.” Diana growls.
“Okay, you obviously have a lot of issues.” Akka remarks and Diane throws a knife at him, he catches it so easily as he settles down.
“Crazy and beautiful… Just my type.” He looks at the knife and grins.
“I don’t know about revenge but I can give you the power to protect yourself. I know you don’t trust me but you can trust my greed. I want to live, and so do you.” I say to Diane and she relaxes.
“What exactly are you offering?” She asks.
“A life where you don’t have to bend to the whims of men. The Pallaire could be something more than a whore house. It has the best food in town and it has one of the best tailoring I’ve seen. You sew the clothes, Don’t you? I’ve seen your kit.”I say to her.
“That sounds like a pipe dream. I like the Pallaire, I don’t see it as shameful. Men and women come here to loose themselves from their pain, what I’ve done here is something I’m proud of.” Diane replies defiantly.
“What of your pain?” Elena asks calmly.
“How do you hope to achieve this?” Diane asks.
“Thirty percent of your cut goes into protection of this place from the cults and groups, the other thirty goes into maintaining your relationship with Nuke, you must have stretched yourselves so hard. What is the point of living if you hate the very breath you take.” Elena says to her.
“I know people think I’m naive and weak, Salem was the first to see through that, I trust her because she has sincere eyes.” Elena smiles at me.
I’m shocked at that and Diane scoffs.
“What does that even mean?”
“When she looks at you, she really sees you, not the beauty and not the clothes, most people I’ve met don’t look at me in the eyes, they either look down on me or look up to me. She sees me as an equal and that’s more than what anyone has shown me. It might seem like bogus but that’s why I trust her.” Elena continues.
Diane looks at me and tries to look into my eyes, I shift uncomfortably and Akka snickers.
“How will you make me independent?” Diane asks.
“By cutting the ties that hold you down.” I reply.
“What if you become another tie?” She cocks her head.
“I will become a tie for you but not the kind that’ll hold you down.” I remark.
“That’s a load of promise.” She crosses her legs.
“I’ve never been one to fail at that.” I play with her knife.
“What do you want me to do?” She asks.
“Be loyal to me.” I say and she nods.
“No Diane, I mean it… Don’t betray me; I won’t ask you to do anything, just don’t report any of my men’s movement to either parties, turn a blind eye, that’s all I’m asking.” I say to her and she looks at me surprised.
“That’s it?! That’s really it?!!” Diane asks confused.
“I’m sure you have eyes on you, I won’t put you in danger, I only ask for that.” I sigh.
There is a tense silence for the moment.
“Okay…. I’ll do just that.” She shrugs.
I turn to walk out.
She talks.. “you should know this, Katerina the Queen’s maid has been poisoning Nuke in small portions, she doesn’t work for the Cads or the Inis… She works for me, she is my cousin; whatever happens in the palace, please save her life.”