|Series||Crossfire by Pixichi|
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Connie awoke with a throbbing ache in the back of her skull. Her eyesight was blurry, and she had to take a moment to survey her surroundings before she came to the realization of what had just transpired. She remembered her fight with Reaver, and the frightening gleam of wickedness in his eyes as she had stood before him, weaponless, and defenseless. Of all the times she had run into him, that was the first time in which Lance had not accompanied her. Had her loyal wolfdog been beside her at the time, he would have given Reaver a nasty bite, if not worse. Connie had been through many a situation in which Lance had jumped in and saved her life. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room she was in, Connie realized that she was tied down to a chair. She pulled and struggled against the ropes, but only managed to dig them deeper into her delicate wrists.
"Reaver!" She hissed under her breath. The scoundrel had kidnapped her, but as of why, Connie had only to guess. It was no secret that Reaver wanted to sleep with her, and Connie only hoped, for her own sake, that there was some other reason for her abduction. While she was still young, Connie was already mature and extremely wise. While other girls would cut off their left breast to be with Reaver even once, Connie could never look at him without seeing the monstrous visage underneath his charm. Heros emitted a certain aura about them, and some said it was so strong, that it even changed their physical appearance. Connie hadn't met all that many heros on her travels, but of those she had met, these facts had proven true. The benevolent heros, the neutral heros, and the malevolent heros: they all had special physical traits developed over the years that made them stand out from the usual farmers and peasants throughout Albion. Good heros tended to have lighter hair colors, blue will lines, and even, although rare, a silhouette of light that seemed to rest atop their heads. Neutrals were harder to notice, they maintained a normal visage, and aside from their incredible skills and magic wielding abilities, they could easily be mistaken for an ordinary citizen. But the evil heros were the most striking by far. They possessed red eyes, and dark hair, and most disturbing, horns. It was said that when a hero became pure evil, their soul turned black, and their humanity became distorted. Horrendous acts and violence became normal, and they felt no remorse or guilt nor any emotions at all. They became more beast that human. And while Reaver's continuous dealings with the Shadow Court kept him young as well as handsome, Connie could see him for what he really was. Everytime she looked at him, she saw it. His sickly green eyes, glowing with twisted corruption, his pale blue flesh, and worst of all, his protruding blackened animalistic horns. Even though they weren't physically there, Connie knew that nonetheless, they were, she could sense them. She could also feel something else, a strange presence that he emitted. It wasn't heroic aura, it was something else. Something that he had pushed down so deep into his blackened heart that it was nearly invisible. Although she had rarely felt it, Connie knew that it was sadness. Coming from Reaver, sadness was one thing that she could never understand. Why did he project that aura to her? He was an evil hero, the type that felt no regard for life, no emotion, and yet, he had that very real projection of sadness. Thinking only made her head hurt more.
"Ahh! My darling, your finally awake." Reaver's voice crooned to her from across the dark room. Connie looked in the direction of his voice.
"Reaver you sick creep, Let me go!" Connie screeched, lashing again in a futile attempt to free herself. Reaver struck a match and lit a nearby candle. He was sitting in a comfy-looking red velvet armchair, a book on the table beside him and a sly grin on his face.
"And hello to you as well." He said sarcastically as he stood and made his way across the room, barely looking at Connie as he did so. He lit the oil lamps on either side of the door, and then the fireplace in the center of the room, all before directing his full attention to Connie. The room was now fully alight, and Connie could now see that she was in one of Reaver's bedchambers. She felt a wave of adrenaline shake her system. It was looking more and more likely that he was going to try and have his way with her. Connie glared up at him from her chair. Reaver bent down and then forward, locking eyes with his fiery young maiden.
"My, you certainly look lovely amidst the glow of the fire my dear, the way the flares dance across your auburn locks, such a tempting treat..." Connie looked away.
"Should I take that as a 'no' then?" Reaver grinned, knowing Connie all too well. Connie refused to reply. Reaver stood back up and walked heel toe to the back of the room.
"Connie. I know that your an oddity and all, but when I kidnap people, usually the first thing that they ask me is what I intend to do with them." Reaver mused.
"I think that you've already made that perfectly obvious, what with all the flirty remarks you made about how the fire lit up my hair, and that bit about me being some sort of treat." Connie replied sourly.
"Quite. You know better than anyone that I want you Connie, but, I am sorry to say that this particular time, you are wrong." Connie sat up in her chair.
"What?!" She was taken aback by the fact that sex was not the reason for the kidnapping. Reaver continued to pace the room.
"No, in fact, I am a bit booked. I have two lovely sisters upstairs and waiting even as we speak, not to mention all the other lovelies that have been patiently waiting their turn since before I met you Connie. I told you once before, I'm a busy man and I do not tend to waste too much time on nobodies." Connie bristled at the remark, remembering that it was exactly what Reaver had called her the day they had met, one year ago. He had told her that unless she gathered more renown, he could never waste his time helping a nobody like herself.
"If you don't want to get into my pants, why am I here Reaver?!" Connie yelled.
"Because, we had a deal. Remember this?" Reaver held up his coat, the deep crimson one that he always wore, which now bared the charred bullet hole from Connie's assault. "You agreed to pay me back for the damages, remember?"
"I agreed to no such thing! Your the one that made me gather all that renown before you would even hear me out, your the one that tried to sacrifice me to the shadows in the Shadow Court, your the one whom after all that tried to sell me back to Lord Lucien, and even recently, you torched my house, had me manhandled by that beefheaded lackey of yours, embarrassed me in front of my friend, stole my charm, and now you've kidnapped me! Why one earth do you think I owe you ANYTHING?!" Connie roared. Reaver rolled his eyes and gave and aggravated sigh, as he ignored Connie and walked over to the closet. He opened it and pulled out a neatly folded maid outfit, complete with a laced headband and shoes. Reaver sat it down atop the bed and then smiled at Connie. He bent down beside her ear, and pulled back some of her long hair and whispered.
"Why do I think you owe me anything my dear girl? Well I'll tell you. I have you hostage, and you are weaponless, which means that you do what I say when I say it. If you try to flee, I will find you, and I will kill you. That, in my parlance, makes you owe me, because when I have that much power in the matter, what I say goes." He growled. Connie felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Without warning. Reaver drew his cutlass and slashed the ropes from the chair, freeing Connie. She tumbled to the floor.
"Now, get into that lovely little get-up Connie, I belive that it shall accentuate your figure beautifully. This room shall be your new place of residence, sorry no pets. You should thank me, Connie. This room, while quaint and small by my tastes, is a practical palace compared to your last place of residence, or anywhere else for that matter. After you are properly kitted out for your new job, you will report to miss Courtney downstairs in the kitchen, she'll fill you in on what to do next." Reaver instructed as he headed towards the door.
"You can't make me work for you!" Connie retorted. Reaver glared at her.
"Oh can't I? Let me remind you of that dear little mutt that always follows you about. It would be terrible if he was the one who ended up suffering for his mistresses stubbornness, would it not?" Connie felt her blood run cold. Lance. She couldn't allow Reaver or his cronies to hurt her beloved companion. She had no choice.
"Alright. I'll do it..." She sighed reluctantly. Reaver beamed.
"Very good! I look forward to seeing the newest member of my staff in action." He winked at a distraught Connie before turning on his heel and slamming the door to Connie's room. Connie fought back the temper stirring up inside her. She had to obey Reaver, and she knew it. One bad choice or disrespectful action, and Lance was as good as dead. Connie locked the door to her room and reluctantly picked up the maid outfit. It was a lot shorter than a standard maid uniform, and that's when Connie realized that it was more a skimpy costume than actual working attire.
"At least he doesn't want to sleep with me..." She grumbled to herself as she slipped off her dark green dress and put the maid costume on. There was a full length mirror in the corner by the closet, and Connie stepped in front to adjust her headband. She had never worn an outfit that revealed this much skin before, and it almost embarrassed her to see herself dressed in such a way. The short laced dress barely concealed her butt, and the low cut top accentuated her large breasts. Connie fumed at the thought of Reaver seeing her this way for weeks on end. But for Lance's sake, she had to comply. Connie put on the black pumps last and then slowly unlocked her door and headed out into the main hall of Reaver's gigantic mansion.
"At least he doesn't want to have sex with me, at least he doesn't want to have sex with me, at least he doesn't want to have sex with me..." Connie repeated it and repeated it over and over again in her head as she headed down the stairs, but she just couldn't convince herself of it, even as loud moans and thumps began to emit from upstairs. As Connie opened the door to the kitchen and larder, she caught sight of a young woman who looked roughly the same age as she. Connie walked over and caught the girls attention.
"Courtney?" Connie called to her. The blonde haired woman looked up from cutting potatoes and gave Connie a once over before replying.
"Yes? That's me. Who are you then?" She asked.
"I'm Connie Remswood, I'm Reaver's newest maid." Connie forced herself to finish the sentence. "He told me to come and find you." Courtney nodded.
"Yeah, I'm the head maid around here, someone's gotta train the rookies, otherwise someone gets shot. So, lets see. Master Reaver will be wanting dinner just as soon as he's done up there with his latest tarts." Courtney pointed to the ceiling. "That gives us about two hours to prepare his meal. Are you good at cooking Connie?"
"I guess so, I mean I cook for myself anyway." Connie replied, still embarrassed at what she was wearing. It didn't help at all that Courtney was wearing a normal maid uniform. Reaver had picked this skimpy costume out especially with Connie in mind.
"Well you better be good. We lost three maids last week on account of bad cooking, so let me make myself very clear. Do not burn the food, do not add too much salt to the food, and above all, NEVER mess up on Master Reaver's favorite dessert." Courtney warned.
"His favorite dessert?" Connie asked.
"Apple pie. Usually, he only asks us to make him an apple pie when one of us has to, shall we say, retire. There hasn't been a maid in this home to my knowledge that has ever done it right. Master is very, very picky about it." Courtney looked at Connie again.
"But from the looks of your 'outfit' Master Reaver seems to fancy you, so your probably safe, but you never know with that one."
"You have no idea..." Connie muttered. Courtney handed Connie a basket of fresh vegetables.
"Here. wash and cut these up. We're gonna make him stuffed salmon tonight." Connie nodded as she took the basket from Courtney. The two girls chatted and cooked together all the while. Courtney seemed pretty nice, and Connie was glad to know that she would have someone to talk to during this long and agonizing nightmare. Courtney was from a small village that even Connie was unfamiliar with, the village of Harrensburg. She had come to Bloodstone to seek a job as a trader, selling homemade cakes and pastries, but it had never taken off. Having no income had forced her to Reaver's door, where she had worked as a low-income maid ever since.
"Yeah, working for Master Reaver isn't the most enjoyable position, but it pays the bills, and while he's a homicidal maniac, at least he's nice to look at." Connie made a face.
"What? You don't think so?" Courtney asked, noticing Connie's expression.
"I'm just getting so sick of everyone acting like he's a cute fluffy puppy instead of a heartless monster." Connie groaned. Courtney looked at her and then smiled.
"To each his own I suppose. Lets change the subject.
It was eight o' clock sharp when Reaver descended the staircase for his evening meal. The six maids, including Connie, stood in two rows of three as he walked into the dining room, bowing before him as he passed them. Connie was the last maid on the right row, and she reluctantly copied the other five maids, remembering Reaver's threat towards Lance. As she bowed before him, Connie looked up to see Reaver had stopped and was grinning at her. She felt herself blush, embarrassed by the promiscuous costume he was forcing her to wear.
"You look delicious my darling Connie. I may just be having you for dessert." He purred before continuing towards the table. The other five maids gathered around him, accompanied by several more male servants, many of which took more than a quick glance at Connie's get-up. The maids set the table before Reaver, and then the servants began to present the food that the maids had cooked carefully. The salmon had turned out well, and the smokey smell mingling with the sweet juices of the vegetables and butter sauce that it had been smothered in, made Connie's mouth water. She had never seen this much food in all her life. There was only one man at the large table, and before him was a feast large enough for twelve. Reaver had his pick of everything from smoked salmon, to sweet cake dripping with creamy icing. Connie knew that there was no way that Reaver could ever eat this much food, even if he took a week to do it. It sickened her to see him wasting so much when there were beggars right outside his door starving to death. She compressed her rage as much as she could before approaching to assist the other maids in serving the grand meal. Connie was unsure of where she was needed. Courtney had told her to just do as the other maids were doing, but thinking back on it, now the instructions seemed a bit too vague, as every maid and servant seemed to be performing a different duty. Some maids were fetching china plates from the shelves, while others were carving the meat and spooning out food onto Reaver's plate. Still others were at their master's feet, giggling as he flirted and winked at every one of them. Connie felt like she was going to throw up. While she had gotten some sleep due to her being knocked unconscious by Reaver earlier, she still was very much exhausted from the night before. The lack of rest coupled with the sickening fact that she was now Reaver's maid in exchange for the life of her pet, was almost unbearable.
"Connie dear." Reavers smooth voice called to her, making her jump.
"Yes Reaver?" Connie walked over to him. Reaver gave her a stern look and then motioned to the other maids and cleared his throat.
"Shouldn't you be doing something?" Connie was still unsure with what he wanted.
"Well, you seem to have more than enough help, and it looks as though your about ready to eat, so I was unsure as to what more you could possibly want Reaver." Connie snapped, without thinking. Some of the other maids exchanged worried and surprised expressions, whilst the male servants chuckled amongst themselves, impressed by the foxy new maid and her sharp wit. Reaver continued to look at Connie, with neither amusement nor disdain.
"Connie. I take it that you have forgotten our arrangement dear. Need I remind you that it only takes a snap of my fingers for Mr. Dowells or one of my other ruffians to go and break that charming little dogs neck?"
"No, I haven't forgotten..." She backed down, still fearing for Lance. Why? Of all times why did I have to leave Lance behind today? She thought, cursing herself.
"Connie? Your still not doing anything dear." Reaver taunted. Connie started towards the platter of salmon and began to carefully cut a slice for Reaver.
"Ah-ah..." He reprimanded, shaking his finger at her. "I already have some of that." Connie sighed and moved over to the shelf that held the silverware and napkins. She reached up for a napkin, and Reaver cleared his throat.
"No no dear, I already have one of those as well." Connie was starting to get a tad agitated by Reaver's obvious taunts, but she wasn't about to let him get the best of her. She had to stay strong. She was a hero, she had surely tackled worse than this.
"Connie, could you come here for me?" Reaver called out once again to his flustered new maid. Connie sighed and walked back over to him.
"Yes Reaver?" She asked annoyed. Reaver patted the seat of the chair next to his own.
"Sit down." He instructed. Connie reluctantly did as he had told her. She smoothed the short skirt over her lap as best she could, but her upper legs were still very much exposed. Reaver looked her up and down, and his eyes came to rest on her ample bosoms. Connie looked away from him.
"You know dear, I have always wanted to share a meal with you."
"Then I suppose you got what you wanted-like always..." Connie muttered, still not looking at him. Reaver chuckled and placed his hand on her exposed leg.
"Now now. This is a supposed to be a happy evening! My little Connie and I are finally together. Oh! How I have waited for this day!" Connie pushed his hand from her leg.
"Get off me!" She yelled.
"Connie. You do know that pushing away your master's advances is seen as very disrespectful in this house. I'm afraid that if you continue to be defiant, I cannot be held responsible for the harm or death of your dear little pooch." Connie stared at him.
"So you expect me to just let you touch me and have your way with me whenever you like?!" She asked, shocked in disbelief. Reaver grinned.
"Precisely. My clothing doesn't come cheap you know. Maybe you should have thought of that before you blew a hole through my coat." Connie was beside herself with rage and surprise. Even though Reaver had originally said that he hadn't kidnapped her for sex, he intended the whole time on her visit leading up to it. Thus the skimpy costume. None of the other maids wore the same maid outfit as her, and Connie was beginning to feel more trapped than when she had been locked away in the Tattered Spire. She wondered if she would ever get out of Reaver's mansion alive and untouched, or if she would ever see Lance again.
"Speaking of clothing, where's that charm of mine that you stole from me?"
"I didn't steal it Connie. The night you crashed my birthday party, you must have dropped it." Reaver replied, taking a bite of salmon. A servant prepared a plate in front on Connie, and then all of Reaver's staff bowed once more before exiting the dining room. Connie looked down at the tasty meal, and felt her stomach rumble. She pushed the plate away. She couldn't eat at Reaver's table, she hated him. No matter how hungry she was.
"Something wrong with it?" Reaver asked, noticing Connie push the loaded plate away.
"I'm not about to accept food from you. Now give me back my charm!" She hollered. Reaver smiled, eyeing her mischievously.
"Of course. Just tell me one thing...Why is this pitiful trinket that important to you?" Connie was taken aback by the forwardness of his question.
"Thats none of your business." She snapped.
"Oh isn't it? I am your master now my precious. Everything of yours is now MY business."
"Your not my master, you will never be my master, I'm only here to pay you back for that stupid coat that got hit when I shot at you, which by the way you richly deserved. The second I have paid my dues, I'm leaving, far away from Bloodstone and YOU!" Connie screamed.
"Awww...but I thought you really loved the seashore..." Reaver mused in a mocking voice. Connie turned red at the comment. That had always been her excuse for living in Bloodstone. But as her friend Hammer had attested, it had always looked somewhat suspicious, as both Westcliff and Oakfield had lovely shorelines, and no thugs and little crime.
"How do you know that?" Connie turned to face Reaver, who was finishing the last of his plate, the sweet cake.
"Oh, I have my ways dear girl. But tell me, is that really the only reason you chose my little coastal paradise as your own?"
"Yes! Of course, why else would I want to live so close to you?" Connie snapped. Reaver finished his cake and wiped his mouth with a napkin with a red R embroidered on the corner.
"I don't know. Why don't you tell me?" He smirked, locking eyes with his desired heroine. Connie smiled.
"I guess I can see why you would think that it would have something to do with you being here, your so conceited Reaver." She replied. Reaver turned away from her and stood. He took Connie's charm from his pocket and flipped it up into the air.
"Yes, your right, I am." He answered proudly. "But Connie, I never did mention that I was the reason for you to live here, now did I?" Connie's face turned red again, the realization of her last comment hitting hard. Reaver merely gave her a satisfied smile, accompanied by a slight twinkle in his eye, and tossed her the old charm. Connie caught it and looked up to Reaver.
"Wait a secound! What do you mean by that Reaver?" She called out to him. But Reaver simply walked out of the dining room, leaving Connie alone at the table.