Angels and Freaks

The year is 1803 and the British empire needs informations about a smuggler and pirate, but he's dangerous and only one can get the information.
Coraline. A whore with a special talent.

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2. Chapter 2

I slowly turned around and met his hard, blue eyes. He was dressed in the normal, fancy attire of the white men who owned this town. He didn’t wear his jacket, or coat. Like me. His blonde hair had been pulled back instead of running wild like mine was. His face was marked by hard lines that only enhanced the stoic expression of controlled calmness.

I bowed my head down into a nod. It would have to do as a greeting. My heart beat too fast for me to trust the calmness of my voice.

“Such a young, beautiful whore you have become, so humble” he snarled, even as his face was the picture of calmness. He said it in Danish, his mother tongue. He came closer.
I was scared, but I always had been. This man was dangerous and powerful. His whole demeanor told the tale of how he was used to getting his way and never was told no. Nobody simply dared.

I fought to keep my head held high, and not bow down to the submissiveness he had beat into me all through my childhood. If I only could step backwards without falling into the roaring, chaotic sea I would’ve. I was as if pushed into a corner with a predator coming closer. I couldn’t get away.
My heart thundered against my ribs, my breathing trying to keep up. The need for screaming for help rose in my chest, but no sound came, because no one would hear me.

My eyes grew larger, as my head bent backward to look up at his face. He was so close now, he could touch me if he wanted to. He could hurt me.
He was a good head taller than me, and less than a meter away.

The roar of the ocean made it hard to hear anything beyond my thundering heart. Water from the waves drenched us both, and the cold seeped slowly into my bones. Whether it was that or my presence that made me shake, I didn’t know.

He grabbed my arm, and I scrambled backwards, but he pulled, hard. I fell forwards, slamming into him.

“have you lost your tongue? Or have you simply forgotten our language” he snarled as his grip around my arm tightened. Anger flooded me, but I kept by mouth shut in fear of being thrown into the icy ocean.

I wouldn’t be missed. I was just another whore after all.

“no, master” I bit out in Danish. It felt weird to speak the language again. I normally kept to English, but he was right it was my first language; the language I had grown up with and had spoken my entire childhood. But my job required me to speak another tongue, and I had specialized in the English men, so there rarely was any reason for me to speak any other language than English.

“Better, my sweet, little Coraline” his voice turned weirdly gentle, and as he ran a finger along my jaw I wanted to scream. He forced me to meet his cold, blue eyes. “You’re as beautiful as your slave mother was. My attention was the best thing that ever happened to her” he mocked, a devious look in his eyes. I tried to get away from him, from the bitter words, but couldn’t so I did what I could. I tore my eyes from his and looked longingly towards the chaotic sea. A storm was coming. If only it would devour me.

Fuzzy memories of my mother flashed before me, and I bit down on my lip to keep the tears from spilling. He pushed me at arm’s length and went oddly quiet. Did he remember her like I did?

Had he loved her in his own sadistic way? Or had I been bred in hatred like so many of the other half bloods? A simple form of punishment. For my mother as she had been raped, and for me to live with the knowledge of being created out of hatred.

I turned my head to look at him, feeling the need to stare into those blue eyes. My eyes. To see the monster that had helped create me. That hadn’t saved my mother had she was killed.
But also, the man that hadn’t let me become one of the orphans on the streets, that were taking in by the madams and brought up that way. The first 15 years of my life I had lived secluded and beaten into submission, but I hadn’t been sold.

“I have a task for you, Coraline” he said in a matter of fact tone of voice, like he wasn’t still gripping my arm like a snake and its prey. The ocean was becoming more and more angry around us. We should really get away from this harbor before it claimed us as the unknowing victims of its wrath. Suddenly truly afraid for my life, I looked towards him not fully realizing what he had just said, but too afraid and too smart not to ask him to repeat it.

However, I knew why I was here, the jobs he made me to. He had summoned me here, like an obedient dog. I had answered like a well trained little bitch. How I hated it. The consequences of not being it were worse than obeying. I had learned it the hard way. My eyes shot to the spot on my stomach, where I knew the forever marks was. I couldn’t risk it anymore.

“catch” he demanded as he threw something at me. It was a small, elongated square package, wrapped in white linen. It could’ve been anything, but it wasn’t. My stomach dropped, and I swallowed.

If I was caught with this on me, then I would be sent to prison for the rest of my life or hanged. He gave me an address and a time it should be delivered. It was a popular inn in the middle of town, a very dangerous location to smuggle this package into without drawing too much attention to myself. It was for a gentleman that would make himself known, he would be expecting me. I nodded to each instruction as I placed the small package under my breasts. Most police officers weren’t going to look there, and even if they were I wouldn’t let them. Anyhow it was shaped this way for it to be able to look like a device that was used to push up my bosom making it look ampler. I had done this before.

“You know what to do, Coraline. Don’t disappoint me” he said coldly, and I didn’t dare meet his eyes. I just nodded. I had never disappointed in this manner before, never gotten caught. I was good, and he knew it, yet it still didn’t trust my abilities. He still felt the need to remind me of the danger of disappointing him.
Again, the consequences were far to bad to be dared. In the belief of him being done with me and having dismissed me I turned to leave. Eager to get this package off my body, and to sleep it all away.

He pulled me backwards, stopping me from leaving. I gasped, fearing for what he was going to do now. My eyes must have shown it, as a sadistic smile appeared on his face.

“Tell James to keep his hands off my property. I don’t pay him to be between my daughter’s legs. You are a whore, but only if they pay you well enough from now on. Is that understood?”

Eyes wide, I could only nod.

“Otherwise you are to act like my daughter in public. You are now the daughter of a Danish nobleman. You must act like it. However, if they pay well enough I don’t care whose bed you sleep in as long as you do it quietly” he finished with narrowed eyes and pushed me away from him. I scrambled away from him, trying to get as far away as possible. Too shocked to even reply. I turned and ran.

This was the first time in all my life he had called me daughter, and the first time he had entertained the idea of me acting like I was anything other than a half blood. He hadn’t cared about what I did before hand, hadn’t cared what the others thought of me. I had just been one of the many half-blood children running around on the streets, now serving as the whores the men visited as the night took over.
He usually only cared if I didn’t earn enough money, or if he had a job for me to do. If I landed myself in trouble I only had myself, because how would he look if he helped his bastard, half-blood child?

My hands hiked up my skirts and I sped up. I had to get home. I just had to get away from him.
I only slowed down when I reached the city lights. Knowing it would be too noticeable if I was running. I couldn’t afford to be paid attention to at this moment. The roar of the ocean disappeared in the roar of my own hearts hectic beating. I still kept to the shadows, but I hurried along. I had to get off the streets.
Right now wasn’t the time to act on my father’s other request. I couldn’t act like his daughter right now. Or ever.

Drunken men stumbled along the road, and I sped up afraid of them seeing me. Their slurred speaches reaching me. My ears perked at it when I heard the most interesting word of them all…

Pirates

I slowed down, too curious for own good. All thoughts about what I carried gone. You see, we didn’t get many pirates here and those who dared to dock here were immediately hanged or thrown in jail.
I let down my mental wall and focused on getting information from the one man who had mentioned pirates.

tomorrow night they will come. The Hollow will dock and have mercy on their poor souls” the thought reeked of malice and love of chaos. The man wanted this port to burn and he was going to relish in all the screaming women and take what he wanted.
Such vile thoughts. Bile rose in my throat, making me gag. The images of what he wanted to do to women, to girls, flashed before my eyes.
I had to get away. I quickly noted how the man looked, so I could avoid him at all costs, and tell Grace to do the same.

I sped up again, needing to get away more than ever. Needed to get out of this darkness that concealed all the horrors of humanity.

I practically flung myself through the back door of The Madams, gasping for breath as my corset restricted everything that I desperately needed. Black dots danced before my eyes, and I braced myself against the wall. The package pressed against my ribcage, and I wanted to throw it far, far away from me.

In that moment I wanted to cry and scream at how unfair all this was. But I didn’t.
I pulled myself together and composed myself. Nobody here would hesitate to rat me out to the officers if they thought they could earn a few coins.
I found myself in the small hallway made up of the bare walls made of dark wood, with the stairs up to the rooms upstairs, where we all slept and lived, and another door leading into the hallway where the pleasure rooms where.

I blocked out the sounds I could here from there, feeling disgusted of what they were doing. Doing because that’s what they had been taught to do, and not what they wanted. Well, that’s how it was for the most of them. Clara prided herself of the fact that she had chosen this life, and that she simply loved pleasuring the men. Something I would never understand.

I could only understand the pleasure one gained from seeing them submit to you because of their primal desires. Seeing them lust after me, practically falling over themselves to be the one I choose that night.
However, it was rarely so. A woman had to earn a living some way, and it wasn’t always time for a woman to be picky.

I had locked my self-hatred in a box and buried it deep, deep down within. I had thrown the key away for it to be never seen again. Otherwise I wouldn’t have survived this.

“only if they pay enough” my fathers words rang in my head. I huffed, how was I supposed to pay for my expenses if I only took those who paid enough? He would never understand, nor care how I carried on my living. What I had to do.

I was dripping on the floor. I sighed. Mr. James would be so mad at me if he saw that I just stood here and made a mess. I didn’t feel like getting reprimanded… or worse, not tonight.
I was cold and I was tired.

I made my way up the stairs, up into the rooms that lacked the smallest of luxuries. It smelled like sweat, tears and misery. The sweet stench of the perfume we were forced to wear, to smell better hung in the air. My room had two beds. We were four to share this room, two in each bed. Grace was already lying on her side of our shared bed. She looked so small, so fragile under the thin blanket.
The wind made the old wood creak.

 A storm was coming.

I felt the on coming doom that all awaited us. The man’s words from earlier echoed. Things were happening tomorrow, and I had no idea how it was all going to go down. Pirates meant either trouble or formidable pay. I had a bad feeling about this non-the-less.
I looked out at the window. The dark clouds were gathering on the horizon. I sighed as the feeling of doom truly took hold.

A storm truly was coming.

They arrived at dawn, and the town buzzed about the news. It was a massive ship, larger than many of those already docked.

I was lacing up Gracie’s corset, a black little thing that did wonders for her chest. It had cost a fortune, but it had been worth it. I had given it to her as a birthday gift a couple of weeks ago, and as far as I could tell it had earned more money than it had cost.
She gasped for breath as I tightened it, and I mumbled a sorry in return. I was too lost in my own thoughts to really know what was going on.

There was a weird feeling in the air today. It was just off. It was different from the other times pirates had come to town, then there had been raids and chaos in the streets. Nobody had been safe, and the people that ran this whole town were going crazy over how to stop them or kill them.

That wasn’t happening right now. Everybody was acting as if it were civilized gentlemen who had docked. Like they didn’t earn their living plundering, raping and killing. Personally, I didn’t care as long as they behaved themselves here and paid. It wasn’t the whores they bothered normally.
But I couldn’t help the feeling that something was very wrong.

Mostly I was bothered by the fact that they hadn’t entered this facility. We needed their illegally obtained gold.

Grace looked up at me with those golden eyes, questions in them. I realized she had asked me something.
“Sorry, I didn’t hear that”

She gave me one of her patient smiles, and it tucked at my heart. She was too good for this kind of work. I wondered if she thought the same of me. I suffocated the sigh and the jab of sadness that followed the realization that she probably didn’t.

“Would you mind doing my hair too?” she asked in her small voice, so gentle and so much like a white dove. I smiled at her and nodded. Another one of her smiles, this one brilliant and so happy it nearly blew me over. I started braiding her hair into fine braids that ended at the top of her head, so her mass of curls formed a halo. She sat there patiently and in silence, as I worked.

I started humming a lullaby my mother always sang to me when I was little. It was one of the few things I remembered about her. I kept singing it, because I was afraid that if I stopped then I would forget that part of our relationship. I had only had her for the first few years of my life… then he had decided that I was old enough to do with a governess. Bitterness followed that memory.
I buried the memories it brought along, and only focused on humming the lullaby.

It filled the air and peace took over. The other girls were already downstairs, or they had never been up here. We were alone. I cherished moments like these. Moments were peacefulness reigned and without contempt. Where no words were needed, just being content with the other’s company. I could feel her relax under my careful attention to her hair.

In moments like these I could forget where we were. In moments like these I could forget what we had to do. In moments like these I could forget that we were anything other than just two friends. In moments like these I could forget what I was preparing her for.

I sighed, and she tried to look at me, no doubt questioningly. I didn’t let her, stopping her head from looking up at me. I might’ve used too much force to keep her head straight, so I mumbled an apology. Embarrassed that I didn’t want her to see how sad I had just made myself. I tried to protect her from that too. If I could just keep a strong façade up, then she would feel brave too and know that she was strong enough for this life not to ruin her. Not like it did to so many others.

I was done shortly after, clapping her on her shoulder and hastily moving away to fix some other knickknacks that were laid out on our wooden table, though wobbly and worn it still worked. I was still embarresed by earlier, wishing I could let her into that part, but I had to be strong. For her, and for myself.

“Coraline!” a female voice screeched up the stairs. I groaned. What did they want now? I yelled a yes in reply.
“There’s a gentleman here for you”

Already? I didn’t normally have gentlemen that called on me this early in the day, it was only afternoon after all. They usually didn’t make their entrance until after dark, and here it didn’t go dark until in a couple of hours. With a quick look in mirror and a readjustment of my corset, this one a whiteish one that made my breasts sit under my nose, I was good to go down there. I put on my work face; the bedroom eyes, the pout and the breathy voice. My lips were painted blood-red and my eyes rimmed with black. My hair cascading down my back in spirals, the golden locks that Grace had one said reminded her of an afternoon sun. I looked good enough, and so I made my way down.

Curious to see who it was that had dared come here this early.

A flustered Mr. Holloway met me in the front room, the room where most of the other girls were preparing the room or taking care of a sailor or two before they had to go to sea again. Juliet was next to him, running a finger along his chest as she circled him, telling him of all the things she could do for him. As soon as he saw me he looked relieved and rushed to me, leaving Juliet standing there dumbfounded. She was definitely one of the prettiest ones here and by far the most popular one, as she was blonde and had green eyes, only her skin showing her slave mother roots, with it’s golden tint. She was lucky she could pass it off as a tan.  

I was almost knocked over by Mr. Holloways thoughts as he took in my appearance. Apparently, I was a vision. I almost blushed at that one.

“Mr. Holloway, a pleasure to see you. Follow me” I said in my most flirtatious, persuasive voice, taking his hand and starting to lead him to the back rooms. I shut the door and looked at him with predatory eyes. He was one handsome man. I reached for him.
“Miss Coraline, please listen to me!” he yelped and avoided my hands. Looking more like a trapped animal than a man who was about to get his way with a woman. I looked at him utterly confused. What had he come here for if not for this?

“I have come to appoint your services” he said out of breath, his cheeks dark red.
“Yes, of course” I replied and began unlacing my corset. I didn’t get very far, as he leaped at my hands, frantically stopping me from pulling the strings out of the second loop. I looked at him more confused than ever. What in the world was going on?

“Your other services” he breathed and looked at me with troubled eyes.

Oh. Oooooh!

I smiled at him and started lacing my corset up again. I laughed at my silliness, and he seemed relieved, exhaling, his shoulder slumping in the process. He cleared his throat and straightened his back, like a good proper gentleman. I giggled at his behavior and at how uncomfortable he was.

“I do apologize for misleading you, Miss Coraline. I should’ve made my intentions clear” he said and seemed to genuinely mean it. He was one sweet gentleman, which made me giggle once again.

I rarely giggled, so it was nice to meet someone who made me do it. It made me feel young and carefree.

“No need to apologize, Mr. Holloway” I smiled at him. One of my real smile. He seemed taken aback, until he once again cleared his throat and shook his head. Was my smile really that unnerving? Silly men.

“I need all the information about this man that you can get, this is what we’re willing to pay” he said in a serious tone of voice, suddenly looking like a man more than a flustered boy. He handed me a piece of paper with a number on it. My eyes nearly bulged at the number. Never had I been paid this much. Which meant it was too dangerous for themselves to go in and try to get the information.

This amount meant danger. But this amount was also almost enough for Grace and I to board the next ship out of here and never look back.

Almost.

Letting my wall down, I searched his mind for whether or not he was willing to pay more.
I scrunched my nose in response to what I found. This was one dangerous man. He went by the name of Azrael and he had killed every single spy they had sent after him.

So, time for the mindreading whore to have a go.

Lucky me.

What was lucky for me was the fact that they were desperate, so I could ask for more money. I searched for who they were, but nothing came up other than Mr. Holloway and his father. This lovely gentleman, who was prone to blushing, was a simple pawn in his father’s hands. What a shame.

“I need more. It’s a very dangerous man you’re after, I need to know I’ll be compensated for it” I said, my tone serious and one I used for business. This was a tricky situation as I knew his father had told him he couldn’t pay me more than this, as I was a simple whore that would jump at that generous amount. I rolled my eyes at that, earning a bewildered stare from Mr. Holloway. I shook my head, and gestured for him to write down another number on that piece of expensive paper.

He sighed and wrote another number down. He was in a tight place, and a small part of me felt bad for him. Luckily it was a very, very small part of me.

He gulped and threw a bag of money at me. I quirked a brow, and he fished another little bag out of his pocket, throwing it at me too. I weighed it, and I smiled up at him. My teeth flashing.

“Pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Holloway”

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