She flew from treetop to treetop. Her hair flying behind her like ravens in the deep blue sky. As she made another jump and landed on a tree she took a deep breath and wiped the sweat from her eyes. She exhaled and tried to see over the treetops. Nearly there. She took another breath in the startling chilly air, felt her lungs go cold and she leaped once more. Her arms slightly reaching forward as she flawlessly landed on the tree. She once more wiped the sweat away and stood still on the tree. She looked ahead. Lovely. Only a few more trees. She braced herself and leaped. One tree. Two trees. Three. Four Five. Six. She peered directly in front of her.
A dazzling pristine white house with marble columns out front. A steady stream of carriages- all drawn by horse made a slow circle in front of the house. She saw ladies in their finest finery and gentlemen in their sharp suits as they made their way up the carpeted steps- hand in hand. She always liked to see the beautiful places she had to go before…before the deed was done. She bit her lip and pulled the crumpled letter from her black jacket. She skimmed it over quickly and made her way down the tree. Her fingers were numb with cold were shoved in her armpits when he arrived. They stared at each other. Giving each other a once over. “Gabriel Horn. Your late.” She said scowling at him. He grinned in return. The whiteness of his teeth shone through the dark.
“Vivian Bliss,” he said “How’s my favorite cousin?” He spread his arms as if for a hug like he had when she was younger. She gave a slight smile in the darkness. After a few moments Gabriel dropped his arms. His mood suddenly shifted and he said darkly “I’ve got a carriage a few miles away.” In the moonlight Vivian nodded and she and Gabriel ran through the forest.
“Why the hell did you park the carriage a few miles away?” panted Vivian as they ran. When they reached the carriage they were both soaked. The carriage was pulled off to the side of the road and the door was facing the way they had just came. Vivian wiped the sweat from her face and took a few deep breaths. She checked her pocket to make sure that the letter was still there. She leaned against the carriage, closing her eyes, preparing for the challenge ahead. She had done it so many times in the last few years, and it was sickeningly easy but the thought… she swallowed. She hated the thought of it. She looked down at herself as she opened her eyes. She was a mess.
It was a good thing Gabriel had packed himself a change of clothes along with the dress Vivian had asked him to bring. He dressed himself quickly in the carriage- switching his everyday clothes that absolutely reeked for clean, pressed ones and he was soon out for Vivian. She sat on one of the sides staring at the dress across from her. She could deal with blood, with gore -but dresses? She shivered. It was a completely different matter. She began to inch off her jacket. She dropped it next to her and began to separate the larger and frills of the dress.
It seemed like the dress have 5 layers. The corset. The frill layer- which just looked like a tangle of knots. The hoop skirt. The actual dress (which was a lovely rose color and reminded her of her childhood)- and than the last layer which was the décor. The décor included pin on flowers, A large pink frilly bow which was strewn on the ground outside. As soon as she had seen it she had tossed it away. “Do I have wear everything?” she complained loudly enough so Gabriel- who was outside could hear. No response. The little bastard was probably off somewhere urinating in the woods to mark territory like an animal or something like that.
Next Vivian stared at the corset. She knew from experience that there was no possible way to put one on in the back of a carriage- it was a difficult procedure involving- not breathing and screaming as your body shrinks. Just like the bow she tossed it out of the carriage. The frilly layer. How the hell was she going to grab her knives if they’re halfway down her leg? She tossed the layer just like the corset and bow- out of the carriage. A lone carriage passed theirs. Vivian stared at the small pale lady who was staring at her from the small circular window on the side of the carriage facing the road. The lady had probably seen the items being thrown out of the door as she was further down the road. Vivian laughed. That poor lady. What on heaven and hell was she thinking? Vivian quickly lowered the curtains to the side that faced the street.
She grabbed the dress and the hoop skirt which was tied by a rope so not to take up space. She took them in her hand and opened the door to the carriage and got out. She dropped the hoop skirt in the pile and held the dress. She stood stretching- readying for possibly hours of not being able to. That was of course the moment when Gabriel decided to pop up again. He stared at her than his eyes narrowed at the pile of clothes on the ground he looked up at Vivian again eyebrows raised. He quickly dismissed any thought he had about that view and his face went blank. Vivian raised her eyebrows and motioned with her hands for him to turn around. The thing with dresses was that you never know what will undo in the process of doing. That was what her mother said anyway. It was one of the few things she remembered of her mother. She hadn’t seen her In so long. Vivian reminded herself to stay on task. Her mother was the reason she was doing it. Doing it for her… Vivian lifted the dress and placed her arms in the sleeves on the dress and lifted it over her head. Her arms were caught quickly and her thin black sleeved shirt that hugged her every bend and curve slid up her arm her arms halfway. She tried to wiggle her way into the dress but no luck. “Some help” she called out weakly. The next moment shuffling as Gabriel sighed and reached his arm to retrieve and straighten her shirt sleeves.
After that ordeal was done and many curse words had erupted from both sets of lips the pair of them hopped into the carriage the carriage moved- thanks to Edmin- the stable boy (who had been climbing a tree because he was only thirteen and often thirteen year old boys did that) who had landed his job when Alistair- the usual driver was having a child. Gabriel stared at her from opposite sides of the carriage. “You know it’s a waste of money when you only use the dresses?”
“Than just get the dress” she suggested
“Its not that easy Viv.” he said staring at her. They shifted into an awkward silence.