“It is rather good to have you back Bianca, this city is a dreadful bore without your oh so exciting presence.”
“It’s good to see you too Christine, but let’s be honest…nothing ever is boring in Babbage…”
“The action isn’t exactly what I mean by boring Bianca…well…It’s boring enough I should say and leave it at that…” Christine muttered fixing her hat. Bianca looked to her with a warm smile and hugged her tightly.
“Go rest…” Bianca said releasing her rambunctious friend outside the gate of her elegant mansion.
“I appreciate you accompanying me home Bianca, now get home yourself. You are a woman after all, and these streets have it’s potential dangers,” Christine smiled demurely as she always days when saying things unsaid and closed the gate, heading inside swiftly.
Bianca laughed, combing a few wayward strands from her face before gliding across the cobblestones stopping here and there to look up at the sky. Done wishing there could be a moon present, she made her way home more steadily passing the Academy of Linguistics but the trolly stopped her from moving on. After it prowled past, she went to take a step but stopped seeing a shadowed figure standing there, hood up. Figuring it was Reed she just shook her head and approached not getting two steps forward before she found herself slammed in the face by a meaty fist.
Staggering she tried to regain her composure but before she could attack, another larger man grabbed her after stepping around the boxes, locking her into a choke hold and dragging her, heels scraping across the road as she screamed loudly for help before the hand.
An urchin, unsure of what to do watched the people move with the known Miss Bianca and followed quietly shaking like a leaf.
The urchin watched Bianca and the three men drag her to a wear-house, tied her up, and once the other two men where out of sight, the hooded man removed his cloak and looked at the woman through dangerous and cold scowl.
Bianca groaned shaking the dizziness from her head, though she was not knocked unconscious the ringing she was enduring caused enough damage. The thunderous growl of the man before her, inches from her lips caused her eyes to open widely…
“Wake up Sultana! I am in need of your…audience.”
They stared at one another, face to haunting face ready with tongues ready to lash out at each of them.
“Akidami…” she whispered menacingly, “How dare you–”
“You are not at authority here Sultana, this is my kingdom you stand within. How do you like it?” He says clutching her now swelling jaw in his hand, “Fitting for a bastard like myself, isn’t it?”
“You are no longer yourself are you? You really think this was needed?”
“OF course it was Sultana. You think that if I merely asked you out for a drink and some humus, would of gotten the results of cooperation I needed?”
“You think I am cooperating now?”
“You have no choice…” he smirked holding up a small silver ring with a recognizable ruby in his hand. “So this is what has turned you from your honor, hmm?”
“Give that back!”
“WHY? You couldn’t even tell me about this! I am your most trusted servant, and humble slave to your safety and you think I am supposed to let you bed with the devil himself?”
Her eyes pleading she looked from the ring to the man that held it, his face changed from the carefree loving guardsman he once was. She took a deep breath and spoke slow, calm, and clearly as she could.
“Akidami, you have to let me go…for your safety…I know losing Kamshad has made you feel pain, and probably your mind a bit different but this–”
“YOU ARE NOT AT AUTHORITY HERE!” he shouted snatching her by the throat and slamming her head back against the beam she was tied too. She silenced herself, feeling her own fiery anger swell into her being as she stared him down.
He then calmed, and stood straight as he spoke clearly in their native tongue, “Az sad taa ‘aqrab-o maar badtare…” his hand tightened on her throat before he released it.
She gasped heavily and coughed for the air around her before spitting a bit, “Be jahanam!”
“This is hell for me! This horrible place of soot and stone! These people, incompetent, lazy, and you…” he stopped and closed the distance threateningly between them. “You find yourself marrying one. Marriage is sacred and honorable, and there is no honor in marrying a common merchant!”
“But there is honor in marrying the one you love Akidami!”
“You should be loving me! We are the last blood of our people! Do you wish genocide upon us, just like you wished Mondrago to fall with your treachery?”
Bianca’s jaw tightened, even through the pain it clinched viciously as she hissed the words back at the man, “How…dare you. How DARE you, you buqalamun of a man!”
“What is wrong Sultana, does the truth hurt? You gave yourself to a man from another country. You soiled yourself and your body by opening up to someone who could NEVER, EVER truly care for you, and understand the pride of your heritage. What? You did not expect the divines to seek retribution? And such they did, taking out on the children and the people of your home. What a burden it is for you Sultana, isn’t it? To know that thousands died because you decided to be a whore?”
The silence was thick and painful as her head went from the pinnacle of pride…to the gully of shame. A tear caressed her cheek, she regretted giving herself into her desires, but did not let that make who she was, or weigh her down like the albatross it should of been. His hand was upon her jaw, tilting it upward again as he leaned in, as if to kiss her but stopped.
“You are soiled even more now my Sultana…the lips I once wished to call my own are now laced with the filth of another man…but do not worry…I will redeem you…and restore your honor soon enough…” he ran his weathered hands up her chin, to the back of her neck, and then snatched the matted mess of hair that sat upon her neck. Taking care to make sure he ripped into the most tender part of her neck, he helped himself to the flesh there, biting until she screamed in agony before he released her and left into the bowls of the warehouse.