Innocent Blood

June is 15. She doesn't have a family, or any life to be proud of.

July is 16. He doesn't have a family, or any life to be proud of.

These two young adolescents are part of a society that is falling apart around them. They are 'Innocents".


3. The Job


My employers weren't at all amused when I arrived late. The whole family glared at me as the real Lady Dartworth waved goodbye to them and was taken to the secret, secure location organised by her family. "Are you ready to begin Annetta?" I nodded silently as the father addressed me with his daughter’s name. "Here is your dress. Don't get it dirty." The mother instructed, handing me a lilac evening gown and avoiding my eye contact. Even though I had been Lady Dartworth's shadow since she was 11, her family still treated me like filth when we were out of the public eye. I followed the family into the car and got changed quietly as we drove to the destination in silence. As we arrived the father pulled me aside and gave me my instructions; "So I know exactly who Annetta will marry, you just have to seal the deal so to speak. I will point him out to you as we arrive. Our families have been competing in the business world for years, so be prepared for any cold attitudes". 

All duties aside, the ball was beautiful. Completely lost on everyone present; who were all avoiding eye contact with opposing parties and only socialising for business. "That's him..." the father muttered, smiling at the family that were approaching us "Yes father" I replied quietly, preparing myself for the biggest event of my career.


The ball was ridiculously extravagant. And I felt ridiculous being dressed up like a pet and paraded through crowds of girls who considered themselves beautiful. The father of my character gave me a stern look as I passed yet another crowd of giggling girls.

"Talk to them at least son. It isn't like you to be this quite." he hinted through a clenched jaw. I looked around, and spotted a small girl in a lilac dress standing awkwardly next to her parents. "What about her?" I asked the father, as he saw me looking. "Ho ho" he chuckled (I couldn't believe he actually said ‘ho ho’ either) "That is Young Lady Dartworth. Now, from your notes you should know that the Dartworths are our rival companies in business." I looked at him and then at her before making a suggestion; "Well, if I marry her, the companies will merge and your income will increase right?" Mr Risington looked at me and smiled. He evidently approved of my idea, and admired my guts for entering such a dangerous situation.

"Good day Dartworth!" Mr Risington called as we approached the family "I don't believe our young-uns have met before have they?" I smiled and brushed the daughters gloved hand with my lips as the fathers began talking.

"So, is this your first ball?" I asked her politely (after having gauged she was younger than me). She shook her head and smiled at me. "I'm afraid not, my mother and father have been trying to get me married off for a while now."
"Why do you sound so apologetic about a thing like that?" I asked her, taking her by the hand and leading her to the dance floor (momentarily forgetting that I had no idea how to dance). "Because it's clear from your body language that you really hate everyone here." I looked into her eyes and noticed what a unique brown they were. "And you also have no idea how to dance."


I took the boy’s hand in mine as the music began playing, and placed his other hand on my hip. "Was it that obvious?" he asked me as I guided his feet along the floor. "No, but like I said, I've been to many a ball. I can easily tell when someone isn't enjoying themselves." I replied, keeping my smile as I became weary of the group of men stood near us on the dance floor. I had to make a move. "And honestly, I shan't have a husband who can't at least pretend to enjoy himself. Get in touch with me when you find your feet." I said suddenly; letting go of the boys hand as the men proceeded towards me.

One of the first rules of Shadowing was not to cause a scene, and do not endanger any Ups. I had to lead the men somewhere away from the crowds. "Wait a second, maybe I should go with you!" the boy called after me, taking my hand in his and leading me away. "No, really, I think it would be best for me to leave you with the other girls for now." I said firmly. "Too late, just stand over there okay..." he muttered, turning around as we reached the empty corridor and turned to see the 5 men staring us down.


Why had this stupid girl not gone back to her family? Now I would have to fight in front of her. The men began to advance, so I slowly removed the gloves that had been given to me with my costume, and turned around to hand them to Lady Dartworth. As I turned around however, I saw something that quite frankly blew my mind.

She had hitched up her skirt and was now loading the gun she had taken from the holster on her leg. "Sorry about this." she muttered, stepping to my side and kicking off her heels. "But I can't have any Upper-Society members being harmed, or alerted of any danger." there were 5 loud bangs and each of the men gripped their shoulders as the bullets struck their bones.

"Nice shot..." I muttered, patting her on the shoulder and running up to the men. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" she shouted as I began swinging punches at the men; "Finishing the job, what does it look like?" I called back as my fist sunk into one of the men's stomachs.

"We don't do that. Go to your family and report the attempt. I will do the same, and then we shall return to the centre." she instructed me, putting the gun away and sliding her feet back into her heels. "Or I will report your mis-conduct and you'll be out on the streets again." she added as I stared at her. Who the hell was this chick?

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