[Mock-Fiction] V - Fures Misericordiam

Note: Please read the Formal Notice movella. It should be on the list on the right hand side.

Aye. Tis me again.

Cover by Secrets Unfold

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17. 15 – Entourage

William Sedrick was a man in his early thirties, though he looked much younger. He looked every bit a man who skipped through life as if it were a big game – taking all the candy he liked from any baby he pleased. He was the son of the wealthy Lord Francis Sedrick, though William did little to appease his father. Where his father would have had strong objections to drinking, whoring, gambling and general debauchery (and thus being a fervent supporter of Lodovico Smith), William enjoyed all four of these outlets on a regular basis. Even from the distance at which Mariqah was sitting, she could see him eyeing her from the edges of her vision. She looked unbothered and sighed again.

 

“That’s him, isn’t it?” asked Edward, “So as not to interrupt whatever your bleedin’ bonkers mind is day-dreamin’ about, but shouldn’t you be making a move?”

“Oh, Edward,” said Mariqah, taking a scant sip of his cocktail, and trying (and failing) to look unmoved by the taste, “I already am,” she felt the need to spit, “Edward, somebody’s spiked your drink,” she muttered.

He ignored her, “He’s recklessly eyeballing you, lass,” said Edward, bitterly, “What kind of gentleman does that?”
Mariqah furrowed her brows at him, “Rich, coming from you!”

“Aye, aye – but I was joking with you. Teasing. That one over there is having a bloody moment!” Edward indicated William’s trousers, “He’s having all sorts of funny pictures running around in his mind–”

“Thank you for the heads up,” Mariqah interrupted, quite aghast, “Now, quit pointing. I could make out that euphemism without pointers, mate.”

“The duck? Euphemism?”

“I am not going to explain the definition of that right now,” Mariqah laughed, feeling a little tipsy, “Oh, this is so ridiculous.”

“Low tolerance, eh?”

“Your drink is spiked, mate, with some funk I’m familiar with. Chuck it.”
“You think maybe a saucy waitress did it?” asked Edward, smirking.

“Aye, maybe.”

 

“Well, hell-o, there,” called a voice, approaching nearer and wolf-whistling.

 

Mariqah sighed inwardly and didn’t turn. She continued to make idle chit-chat with Edward, about lodgings and about drugging attractive people. It wasn’t until a cold finger brushed against her shoulder that she turned her head slowly around.

“Erm…” she said dimly, looking at the pale face, “Yes?”

“You know who I am?” said William, raising a brow, and bringing his face closer to hers.

Mariqah tried not to wrinkle her nose at his horrible breath, “Should I?”

His entourage laughed.

He smiled, “I’m the man who’s going to make a woman out of you tonight.”

Mariqah watched Edward’s fists clench out of the corner of her eye, “Hmm, suppose I don’t want to be made a woman,” she said, turning away from him, and drumming her fingers on the table idly.

“Hard-to-get, eh? I like a woman like that,” he caressed her face with his forefinger, touching her neck and feeling her hair.

 

“Stop that,” Edward muttered.

Mariqah widened her eyes at him.

“Excuse me?” said William, looking smug.

“I said, stop that!” said Edward louder.

“Edward,” said Mariqah, touching his arm.

“It would appear, Edward,” sneered William, “That she doesn’t want me to stop.”

“Or,” said Mariqah, “that I do, but I can’t be bothered to waste my breath on that.”

“Who is this fella anyway?” said William, “A friend?”

“Aye,” said Mariqah, keeping her indifferent tone.

“Seems to me like he wants to be more,” he jeered, his entourage laughing with him.

“Well, maybe he will be. More than you will,” she refused to make eye contact with him.

“Oh, is that so? You don’t seem too bent on refusing my advances.”

 

“Big word for a small boy.”

 

William paused, “What did you call me?”

Mariqah looked up at him, “I called you a boy. Or as the northerners would say it: lad.”

There was an over-dramatic “Oh!” that reverberated around the room. Everyone seemed more interested in William Sedrick all of a sudden.

Feeling self-conscious, William said, “Would you like me to display my manliness to you?”

“By all means,” said Mariqah, looking away and putting her elbow on the table. She knocked over the vase of roses and the cocktail glass with a swipe of her arm, “by all means, go on,” she gestured for Edward to rise and for William to sit, and brought her hand forward, “Arm-wrestle?” she asked, smiling sweetly.

 

William looked at his men, smirking (even if with a hint of nervousness) and sat, putting his hand in hers, “Winner take all?”

Mariqah stared at him for a while, “Winner take all.”
She braced her arm as William applied pressure to bring it down. It wasn’t long before she could see the veins bulging in his forearm and then slowly, slowly, perspiration began to form on his brow and his teeth became clenched. His entourage were chanting his name.

“Constipated?” said Mariqah, smiling, her arm unwavering.

William gave her a curt snarl. And then gasped as Mariqah brought down his hand quickly. He yelped slightly and held his elbow. There was silence in the room.

 

Mariqah was about to turn and move, when he said: “Again!”
 

She turned to look at him piteously.

How ignorant the young are.

“You’re a sore loser,” she said, and smiled, “An ugly one.”

There was laughter throughout the hall of gamblers.

The hall was silenced again as William unsheathed a dagger and stabbed the table.

Again!” he scowled.

Mariqah paused, wanting to give the gamblers some drama, and then spread her arms and said, “One more time.”

 

She sat and put her hand in his. Again he struggled to throw her down, and she let him struggle, keeping her face impassive.

“Are you done humiliating yourself, Bill?” she asked, softly.

He only had time to glare before she slammed his hand down again. She saw him eye the stuck dagger in the table. She yanked it free, holding his arm down, and stabbed it deep into his forearm, the blade shaking as she sliced the flesh between the bones. Blood poured onto the table and dripped off. He screamed for good measure, before Mariqah grabbed his hair and slammed his face hard onto the mahogany, knocking him senseless.

 

Silence.

 

William’s entourage looked momentarily stricken, before dropping their drinks and acting macho.

She stood, looking angry, “Winner take all!” she proclaimed.

They advanced slowly.

She exchanged a look with a dark bearded man in a suit standing two tables away from her.

“Khadir,” she said, and nodded.

 

He smiled, and looked around, “What are you waiting for? An order?” he barked, “Get stuck in!”
Similarly-dressed men from all around jumped on William’s entourage, brawling and beating them down…

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