|Series||Crossfire by Pixichi|
|Previous||Crossfire, Chapter 18|
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Connie searched for Reaver all over the mansion, but she never was able to find him. The party was about to begin. Connie looked down from the balcony and saw noblemen and women dressed up in expensive-looking garments piling into the mansion. The men wore dark suits with long tails and the women all wore radiant ball gowns, although Reaver had written in advance on his invitations that they were not to wear gold. He wouldn't have anyone wearing something that would down-play Connie's gown making sure that she would have the prettiest gown of all. After overhearing the possible plot against her darling, Connie had decided that it would be best for her to lay low and go back to her room until someone came to retrieve her for the party. She sat down on the bed, and Lance came over and gave her a nudge.
"I think his staff are going to mutiny on him Lance. Reaver's life may be in danger." Lance looked worried too. Connie waited in her room, patting Lance for what seemed like hours, and then finally, she heard a small rap on the door.
"Come in!" Connie called out. It was Mr. Dowells. He stood in the doorway, motioning for her to come over.
"Its time ya got down there, Reaver's just announced that he wants everyone ta meet you." Mr Dowells said.
"Reaver?! When did he get in?" Mr. Dowells sneered at her.
"He just got in, been greeten guests fer about 30 minutes I suppose. Now git yer arse down there, I aint got time fer yer questions." Connie started down the hall, but then abruptly turned around, glaring at him.
"Aren't you afraid of what Reaver might do to you if your rude like that to me?" The giant laughed.
"Why should I be? Reaver never cared about no woman before, why would he care about one as mundane and generic as you? Besides, the boss ain't exactly shall we say himself since you showed up...but enough questions, I said git!" Connie headed back down the hallway, and then started down the winding staircase towards the party below. Reaver saw her coming and raised his hands for everyone to be quiet. Connie was amazed by how many people were inside the living room, and she felt nervous being the center of their attention. She looked at Reaver, and felt her heart tingle. He looked very handsome, he was wearing a white suit with black balverine fur around the neck and sleeves. And, unlike the other men, he also wore a top hat to set him apart. He cleared his throat, never taking his eyes off of his prized heroine.
"Ahhh! Here she is, the lovely woman who made this evening possible. My dear ones, I give you Madam Connie Remswood!" Reaver exclaimed, and the crowded mansion flooded with cheers, shouts and whistles. Connie felt her face flush, not used to all the attention. Reaver extended his arm to her as she nervously walked down the winding staircase. He took in her beauty as Connie reached him. She extended her own arm and put her hand in his. Reaver guided her towards the center of the room. There, he continued to address his guests joyously.
"And now, my lovelies, the party shall begin!" He nodded towards the musicians who were set up along the back wall of the immense room, and they began to play. Slowly, every person in the room found a dance partner.
"You look spectacular my dear. I do hope that you like the dress that I picked out for you." Reaver commented as wrapped his arm around Connie's waist.
"Yes, its lovely." She replied. Reaver pulled her closer and whispered in her ear.
"I thought you'd like it, seeing as you have worn it once before." Connie blushed embarrassed, as she recalled the night that she had dinner with Reaver. "Did you really think that I wouldn't recognize a priceless dress when I saw one?" He spun her around.
"Courtney thought you wouldn't." Connie teased.
"Oh did she now? Well miss Courtney can be a handful at times I admit." The two danced in time to the soft music. Connie hardly noticed as she flew across the dance floor, but Reaver did.
"I thought you said that you didn't like dancing? Last time we waltzed, you were clumsier than a rag doll." He smirked.
"I don't know whats happening. I just was following you." Reaver twirled her around his arm and Connie felt herself growing dizzy. He pulled her firmly to his chest again.
"You weren't in love with me back then. That, my dear is whats happening." Reaver replied.
"I was in love with you though." She defended herself. Reaver stepped in and out with Connie mimicking his movements perfectly.
"Maybe so, but you still had your doubts about the charming captain before you did you not? Doubt always makes one clumsy on the dance floor sweet Connie." Connie knew that he was right. She watched the other beautiful couples glide across the floor like flowers swaying in the breeze.
"Do you think that they all love each other then Reaver?" Connie asked him. Reaver looked into her blue eyes and innocent face.
"Doubt can easily be masked by desire. If you want something, or someone badly enough, it tends to cloud your judgement. I know that all too well." The party continued and before long, Connie had to sit down, as she was still weakened from her previous battle. She smiled as she watched the other partygoers. This was the first time she hadn't seen prostitutes at Reaver's many parties. What a nice party. Its an actual ballroom dance, and everyone looks so beautiful. I can't belive Reaver did all this just for me. Maybe he WILL be truly happy with me. Her thoughts where cut short as Reaver walked over to her, and he looked like he was in a hurry. Connie looked him over and she could tell that something was troubling him.
"Reaver? Whats-" The arrival of two buxom women stopped her from asking him what was wrong. The two looked to be in their mid 20s with perfect bodies and flawless skin and faces. They both had long hair, one was a blonde, and the other sported jet black hair. They wore dark makeup and the blonde wore a pink gown made of silk, the other woman wore a black satin gown that matched her hair perfectly. They came straight towards Reaver and they looked very angry. The blonde was the first to speak.
"Reaver?! Whats all this about then? Who's she?" The blonde woman asked looking Connie up and down. The black haired woman just sneered in disgust.
"Doesn't look like much..." The black haired woman rudely commented. Connie glared at the two woman. She knew what they wanted.
"Sasha, Alondra. This is Connie Remswood, my guest of honor." Reaver introduced the young heroine. Sasha, the black haired woman shot Connie a poisonous glare. The blonde on the other hand, completely ignored Connie. She turned back to Reaver and squealed as she spotted the heart-shaped kissmark on his cheek.
"What is that? Some sort of new tattoo? It certainly looks adorable..." Alondra flirted as she crept closer to where Reaver was sitting. He looked most uneasy. Connie reached out her hand to the two women, both of whom ignored it and went to stand by Reaver's side. Connie watched them, and a surge of jealousy rose inside her.
"Ladies, please. Show my darling a little respect." Reaver scooched closer to Connie, and possessivly put his arm around her, sending the two women into a panicked shriek.
"Awwgh! Reaver! I thought WE were your favorites!" Alondra cried. Sasha followed suit, tugging on his arm.
"Yeah! First you liked Alondra, but then you started fancying me, and when we both found out you told us that you loved us both and so we all decided to-"
"Enough!" He interrupted quickly. Connie knew that he was in a predicament. The old him would have just shot them both, saying they where old news, or made up some false infatuation and purred in his charming voice that all four of them could go upstairs and "get to know each other better." But he didn't do either. Instead, he did something that Connie could have never imagined.
"Sasha. Alondra. I know that this is most unfortunate for the both of you, and since you both have very limited brain cells left, I shall be blunt. We had some amazing times together, but I am about to take a different direction in my life, and well, you two sweet things aren't going to be in it. Now, stay for the party, but mind your manners around me, my guests and above all, La Madame Connie Remswood. She is after all, the reason that this party is even in existence, being the guest of honor after all."
"Oh no...you-you can't be dumping us!" Alondra squeaked.
"I'm afraid so my lovelies. Tatty-bye." Both girls began to cry, and Connie watched as the two of them ran off in a sobbing heap. She turned back to Reaver, who was to say the least, a little embarrassed that she had not only met with his exs, but had also been given so much detail on their twisted erotic relationship. He put a comforting hand out onto her gown.
"Are you alright?" Connie feigned sincerity as she nodded her head.
"Uh-huh, fine..." Reaver sensed otherwise.
"Connie. What I have with you is far more perfect, pleasurable, and beautiful than any other relationship I have had in more than 200 years." Connie could hear the seriousness in his voice.
"Yes. Even compared to her." Reaver looked away into the crowded room. He motioned for one of his servants, who came forth in a hurry.
"Yes Master Reaver?" The servant asked, bowing. Reaver spoke poshly.
"I would like for you to bring my dear Connie and I a bottle of my finest red please."
"Right away sir." He bowed and then started away towards the kitchen. Connie's heart suddenly jumped. The plot! Tell him about what you heard! Connie's mind was screaming.
"Reaver? Theres something I need to-" Again, she was interrupted by the sound of a pistol being fired. Women screamed and a few fainted. Even the heroic Connie jumped. Reaver was the only one in the mansion who was not in any way caught off guard. He was on his feet at once, brandishing his own pistol, looking around, poised and ready.
"Alright. Who dares come and try to ruin my party?! Show yourselves now, or consider yourself warned!" He proclaimed with a snarl. The crowd split and a familiar old man emerged. Reaver spun and then holstered his pistol.
"Claude! You old clamdigger you! How have you been?" Reaver rushed over to embraced his old friend. Connie looked at Clammy Claude. The old pirate smiled at her, revealing a mouthful of rotting teeth.
"Good ta see ya again hero." He said with a laugh.
"Why are you laughing?" She asked.
"I thought ya said ya didn't even like Reaver eh lass? Whats all this then? Rumors are flyin like crazy. They got me sellin' counterfeit weddin certificates of yers now to feed all of them rumors instead of me usual counterfeit documents." Reaver elbowed him in the ribs.
"Shhhh! Claude!" Connie glared at him.
"...What did you just say?!"
"Erm, well, that is...Hey Reaver! Looks like ye got a whole lotta ale here so come on! Have a drink, fer old times sake, I'll just go and fetch us some goblets..." Connie fired her new pistol, and the shock of the blast made the old man to stop dead in his tracks.
"Take one more step, and I'll not let you take another..." Connie was more angry than she had been her whole life. The ancient scroll that Claude had given her three weeks ago, it had been nothing but a fake. A letter forged to trick her, to get her to care about the evil scoundrel whom it concerned.
"Connie, my love, surely this can wait until tomorrow. Why I hardly think that this is the time for-" Connie cut him off with a thrust of her hilt into his side. She screamed at Reaver.
"The documents that you had your lackey give me about you were fakes then Reaver ?"
"Connie...Please, let me explain." Before he can answer she continued.
"And so was that whole spheal about your lover in Oakvale, and how you made a big mistake? Tell me the truth, no wait. You can't because your nothing but a filthy son-of-a-hobbe liar and murderer!"
"Connie.." He tried to console her, but she bolted through the throngs of people and out into the cobblestone streets, sobbing. Lance followed in a blaze of white not far behind. Reaver glared at Clammy Claude.
"What did you just do!?"
"Erm, well, I was just making conversation is all." Claude replied nervously.
"You idiot! You can't just barge in here and tell her that you sell forgeries. Connie's a sensitive girl, its taken me a long time to get her to trust me. Now, thanks to you she thinks that it was all a trick!"
"Its not my fault, she's the one who took it the wrong way!" Reaver rubbed his temples.
"Claude, if I'm not able to undo what you've put into that girls mind I swear that I'll kill you!" With that, he rushed off after Connie.