Queen Dairy
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  • 9

    Lil was a last-minute entry applying to be Odeile. With the personal approval of Bonanno, she's substituted in for Sofia, who's inexplicably fallen sick at last moment. It was troublesome applying the makeup and decoratives upon Lil to suit the role, as she struggled with the trembling of her limbs - courtesy of the methamphetamine cocktail the Antonionis gave her to spice her up. Twice did the contact lenses have to be reapplied, until the make-up artists resort to a dirty trick of offering her propranolol to calm a jittery model down.

    As she gazed upon the mirror during her transformation, Lil grew intoxicated by her own looks, witnessing her own beauty as a wintery princess. Soon, as she put on the re-fitted dress, she was all but unrecognizable as herself. It was simple, really; she didn't need to speak – just stand regally and presentable while the contest happened.

    She'd never imagined getting knocked down by a bullet to the cheek.

    ..

    "Are you sure you're OK?" the paramedic asks, as Lil sits up against the bannister. She nods her head, feeling the sting of the paramedic's laser, working its magic in sealing up her facial wound. Her eyes are more focused on the mysterious masked man, talking privately with the staff, who had saved her life from the younger one.

    The bullet's impact lingers in her mind. Lil had been centimeters away from death, let alone facial disfigurement. Her hand goes over to her cheek, where she feels the scar. And when she shuts her eyes, she half-mutters out a word of gratitude to God who has spared her from a horrid fate. God's a weird concept; He allows people to suffer and die, even good people who have done everything right in their lives. Sometimes He leaves desperate pleas for help unanswered. Tonight, even if Lil doesn't usually believe in such things, she feels like owing her life toward someone who has been watching over her. Moreso, she hopes that watchful eye goes out to Vincent also.

    The announcer had called him Vincent. It can't be the same Vincent Law.. can it? The towering demeanour of that man, as she watched him hold out the revolver in her name – it's a far cry from Vincent's mild-mannered timidity.

    Something in her stirs over him.. an arousal, which she doesn't even want to admit to herself. Much as she tries to look away, she always catches him out the corner of her eye, and then she follows through with temptation, letting her gaze catch his cloaked figure and letting her mind go wild over what body awaits underneath his clothes. She hasn't been able to get a good look at his face; if only she could see his eyes..

    The wheelchaired Bonanno stops in front of her. His assistant twiddles thumbs on the handles, while the don's wrinkled face musters a cold smile – his eyes darting over Lil, almost saliviating. She buries the urge to recoil.

    "You looked very dashing on-stage, Lil," he goes, "and you've handled yourself remarkably well. Especially in light of the firing mishap, which I must duly apologize for. I'd have never expected – why, the nerve of that Nowe chap! Shooting a woman to spite the rivalry! How are you right now? How's your face?"

    "My face is fine-" Lil taps her cheek. "See, good as new."

    "That's good. But your job isn't over yet; if you've recovered, we'll need you up in the main bedroom. What is a victor if he doesn't get his reward?"

    She understands, all too much. Lil's stomach lurches, and she looks away with a hesitation that has Bonanno raising an eyebrow: "We'll give you contraceptives after it's over, if that's what you're worried about."

    If only this were just a dream she could awaken from.

    "Lil - out of all the other substitutes for this role, I've chosen you. Yes, you are undeniably nervous and that's understandable when it's your first time. But you are also gallant, energetic, intelligent. And though you may not know it yet, an affectionate, loving and tender woman. A woman like yourself deserves a moment of great joy, spent in the arms of a gentleman who's stood his ground. If I were you.. I wouldn't let this night go to waste."

    The moonlight gleams through the window where Lil looks. Outside, the courtyard's fountain – the water almost shimmers as it spills out the archer's bow. In a way, it reminds her of arriving back home. Her grandfather had once chastised her when she'd thrown a pebble out the car's window, narrowly missing one of the flower pots that hung by the shed's windowsill. How lucky she was, that the pebble ended up shattering the window; Donov lectured her on thinking before you take action: "Even a second's thought can spare you the regret of doing something rash. But sometimes, even that won't save you from regretting your silences and inaction.."

    Lil sees the masked "Vincent." He locks eyes upon her in a slow-motion stride, her heartbeats undeniably reverberating beneath her chest, and it only takes about two seconds for her to forget

    (Vincent I'm sorry)

    any inhibition

    (forgive me)

    about yielding to him.

    /

    The bathrobe's cotton texture is so cozy.. and so soft over her arms and body. Lil wouldn't allow the staff to undress her entirely, but here, in the lonely bedroom, as she tries finding a spot to pose herself for the masked man's desire – could she sit upon the bed? Or try laying upon the couch? She's done erotic photoshoots before, but it was always under the photographer's direction on how best to arouse the viewer.

    This room is so luscious; a small pond with koi fish, a bedside cabinet full of liqueor.. the king-size bed with its brass railings.. a sense of jealousy comes over her with the degree of tasteful aesthetic they've picked out for this bedroom.

    Worst of all, she knows that she's being watched; whether by hidden camera or one-way mirror, the awareness of a peeping tom really spoils the intimate mood. (Unless it's by someone who she really adores..) It's best just to try forgetting that fact.

    Sitting down, Lil closes her eyes. She musters the sensation of catching the masked Vincent's eye, and her repressed desires about wanting to be the recipient of all his desires. It's dirty, but the mere thought has the blood rushing through her whole body.. her skin quivers, the goosebumps forming all over her, and the desire just to quell the deep, primal hunger swelling in her being..

    It's almost unbearable, simply waiting for those doors to open.

    She finds her hand travelling down, slithering through the robe's opening to rub herself down there – an itch, and scratching it, over and over and over with the thought of him, it feels oh, so right.. and yet, so wrong, like she is already betraying her own Vincent who is out there somewhere.

    She hasn't really promised him anything. So nothing is really broken, right? But her heart says it's false of her to just give in to this stranger, as if a long-forgotten vow that's made, long ago, is urging her to reconsider.

    Her fingers stop. Lil's breaths come out in trembles, as she tries reconnecting with that rational part in her which has helped hold all her shit together.

    The double doors creak open - the sounds of a party briefly spilling through before she hears them shut.

    It's the masked man. He stands before her, seeing her sprawled out upon the couch, and when Lil makes out his eyes, that glisten in candlelight with so much longing, and the way how his breaths turn into ragged, uncontrolled pants..

    ".. b-be gentle with me," she says, clutching her bathrobe.