|posted on 30-Dec-2001 1:12:19 AM by AngelDreamer86|
|Okay, so here's parts 2 and 3, which I slaved over thanks to some friendly feedback! keep sending it on in!|
Thanx again for replying! Feedback makes me feel sooo giddy! I could get used to this!
“So what’s your story Maxwell?” William asked
Maxwell ran a shaky hand through his unkempt and fairly long hair and took a deep breath. “My story is incredibly depressing....I loved something with all of my heart and it brought me here. It made me into what I am today: a lifeless zombie, I care about nothing and noone, but I guess you probably don’t care...I’ll start my story now. Are you comfortable? It’s fairly lengthy.” Maxwell asked, looking at him.
“As comfortable as I can be on a filthy stone floor, so proceed.” William urged.
Maxwell took a deep breath. “I guess the best place to begin is one year ago....”
I had moved to London in order to get out on my own. I had earlier lived with my parents in York, but my friends in London had found a flat and invited me to live with them. I was twenty five at the time, and more than happy to accept my friends’ kind offer to get away from the stuffy lifestyle my parents had given me. Unfortunately, they did not approve and decided to disown me from the moment I stepped out the door. I guess its just as well, considering the wreck I am now, and I often wonder what would have happened to me if I had stayed indefinitely in York and lived the life my parents had laid out for me, although I don’t regret my decision to move out in any way. As soon as I got off of the train and took a deep breath of the London air, I came to life, I became my own person....
Maxwell Evans looked excitedly around platform ten of the London train station with wonder. ‘I’m home.’ he thought with a grin. Soon tiring of the cockney voice of the train’s conductor waving people off of the train, Maxwell began his journey to the crowded London streets to find his new home that he would share with his closest friends.
Maxwell soon found a carriage, giving the driver his slip of paper with the directions to his flat since Maxwell had no idea where he would be going. During the twenty minute carriage ride, Maxwell took in the scenery of the beautiful city of London, paying special attention to a building that caught his eye. It appeared to be dormant at the moment, but it was obviously still in use. It appeared to be a dance hall or nightclub of some kind, covered in lights and about 5 stories tall. The sign read “Scarlet Fever”, and there were a few people inside of it, as Maxwell observed. He quickly dismissed it and continued looking at the many sights that London had to offer.
Once he arrived at his flat he quickly paid the driver and made his way up the stairs to the third floor, where he knocked on the door marked 4C and was greeted by one of his best friends, Michael Guerin.
“Maxwell old friend! Welcome to my...or should I say OUR humble abode! Its been so long, but I can tell you haven’t changed at all!” Michael gave Maxwell a manly hug and pulled him into the apartment, closing the door behind him.
“Alex! Max is here!” Michael hollered into the kitchen.
Max was greeted by a tall, wiry, dark haired and handsome man, also known as Alexander Whitman, Max’s other best friend and the final part of the trio that would inhabit the apartment.
“Max! We were wondering when you would get here, we thought maybe you had been pulled into some pub or something after your long train ride!” Alex greeted.
“No, no pubs, I didn’t pay much attention to the buildings, more of the scenery, but one particular building did catch my eye...I believe it was called the Scarlet Fever?” Maxwell asked.
“Well way to go Maxwell! You’re in London five minutes and you already know how to pick out your entertainment! You certainly haven’t changed! Once a girl chaser, always a girl chaser!” Michael clapped him on the back as the three made their way to a sofa against the wall in order to catch up on all of the years gone by.
“But Michael, don’t you realize that Maxwell just spoiled his surprise?” Alex whined. “We were going to take you out for a night on the town and bring you there for some fun, but you’ve already figured us out!” He finished, flopping back into the couch in defeat.
“Oh well, it doesn’t mean we’re gonna take the fun out of Maxie-boy’s night, it just means that the surprise is partially spoiled!! But remember the other part, Alex? The part we’ve been saving up for months?” Michael hinted, raising his eyebrows at Alex behind Max’s back.
“What did you do?” Maxwell asked with a hint of disdain in his voice.
“We didn’t do a thing Maxwell, why would you think that?” Alex replied with a grin.
“He’s right, we just hope you brought your dancing shoes, because you will be living it up on the dance floor tonight! We’ve made sure of that!
~~~~Later that night, at Scarlet Fever~~~~~
“Elizabeth, dear, you need to start taking deeper breaths or you’ll begin to faint! We can’t have well-paying men out there watching a nervous little girl!” Jonathan Wexler, the owner of Scarlet Fever said to his newest and by far the most talented performer yet.
“You’re right, I know once I get out there I will be fine, its just he getting out there in front of the mob that’s a little difficult!” A dark haired girl dressed in her show outfit of silver sequins, a corset, and a top hat replied while a girl with blonde curls fixed up Elizabeth’s hair so it was in curls.
“Lizzie, you know that everyone loves you and would do anything to get a hold of you, so use that confidence out there! You can’t let anyone know you’re afraid! Its a trick of the trade!” Another blonde replied, who was slightly less reminiscent of a gerbil than the other blonde. The one speaking was wearing her cancan outfit in red and looked extremely excited to go out and perform.
“I know Maria, I know....I’ve been doing this for a month, but it still doesn’t get any easier...being a courtesan just sounds so filthy and sinful to the outside world, I don’t like selling my love to random strangers!” Elizabeth replied.
“Its either that or starving to death on the streets, cold and alone, besides, I think Jonathan thinks you’re the best thing to ever happen to this place! There are so many men out there just to see you perform! The courtesan thing is just a bit of a downside to it all!” Maria tried to cheer Elizabeth up with that comment.
Elizabeth blushed, she didn’t particularly enjoy the attention of all of the men staring at her like a piece of meat while she would sing and dance, but she enjoyed the rush of being onstage and being someone she wasn’t for one song number.
“Besides, you look absolutely amazing! I’m sure you’ll catch the eye of a certain Duke....I believe his name is Sean DeLuca, he’s been here a couple of times, constantly asking Jonathan about you, but Jonathan has kept firm to your decision about being a courtesan, how you aren’t quite comfortable with the idea yet and are keeping the number of “customers” down to a minimum, but Lizzie dear, I think Jonathan is beginning to become impatient, especially since our Duke is waving large sums of money in his face!” Maria warned her, although she knew it would upset Liz terribly.
“Oh Maria! That Duke is absolutely vile! If there’s one thing that could make me turn my back on this business its HIM! He’s so incredibly disgusting! Besides, I much rather prefer the tall, dark-haired men over the blondes!” Liz giggled.
“And what’s wrong with blondes?” Maria tried to act offended, but to no avail. “And remember Liz, the hardest thing about this job is not letting your emotions interfere with your work! You can’t fall for anyone! Even the tall and dark haired kind!” Maria stated strictly.
“I was just falling into a fantasy, Maria, I know, I’ve become expert at cutting emotion off, besides, why would my dark haired fantasy man want a courtesan? I’m sure he’d much rather prefer someone with a future to offer and a complete heart to give free of charge.” Elizabeth sighed.
~~~~Outside of Scarlet Fever, On the Street~~~~~~
“Why would I want to go in here, Michael? Its a dance hall full of courtesans! They show you what you can’t have unless your name has a title attached to it!” Maxwell struggled against the pulling of his arms by his friends, who were on either side of him, yanking him toward the doorway.
“Maxwell, the way I see it, you have no choice, we’ve paid good money to get you a dance partner tonight, and besides, you’re ruining all three of our suits by struggling.” Alex reasoned.
With that, Maxwell stopped struggling, although the second point Alex made was rather weak, he didn’t want to feel guilty or ungrateful towards his friends by refusing to go along with their surprise for him. Besides, they HAD paid a large amount of money on him for tonight, and it wasn’t like he had to sleep with the girl.
“Thank you very much Maxwell, my arms were beginning to tire. So shall we?” Michael waved his arm toward the entrance to the building.
All three men straightened their black top hats and gripped their canes as they entered a completely different, new, and exciting world.
Maxwell’s senses were overloaded. All around him were women in colorful dresses, waving their skirts and kicking their legs as if they had no shame at all. All though he didn’t want to admit it, Maxwell found the place fascinating.
“There’s a table over here!” Alex waved to the other two while screaming over the music of the band.
Maxwell and Michael walked over to the table which was at the edge of the dance floor, a perfect seat for the night. Alex received a pat on the back for such great table finding skills from Michael, and the three were seated and immediately brought three glasses of champagne. The three had a good time watching the dance floor and the various partners of the women who were previously on stage, all three taking turns pointing and finding the oldest man in the house, laughing as he danced with his partner, who was many years, or decades younger than him.
“Enjoying yourself, Maxwell?” Michael asked, observing Max’s lighthearted mood.
“Actually Michael, yes I am, although I’m rather dreading meeting this ‘dance partner’ you two have set up for me. I have no doubt she is the most vile-looking thing in the house who is most likely missing all of her teeth and reeks of decay. I’m sure she’s much more my senior, but of course won’t look it from far away. I'm sure my obligated dance with her will be the low point of my night.” Maxwell huffed, crossing his arms over his chest.
“A bit cynical tonight, are we Maxwell? Lighten up, your partner has to perform before she begins making your night terrible. Although I, personally, am greatly offended by your little outburst, Maxwell. Is your faith in us that weak?” Alex pretended to be brokenhearted.
Before he could respond, the room’s lights dimmed and all attention was fixed to the middle of the dance floor, where a platform was being raised from a trap door in the floor. Maxwell caught sight of the main attraction and immediately his jaw dropped. He saw before him something so beautiful that makeup couldn’t intensify her looks. A dark haired beauty in a silver outfit was breaking into song. The world around Maxwell slowed as every fiber of his being was focused on the newest addition to the room.
Liz’s eyes darted around the room, trying to find a focal point instead of a face to look at, or she would have fainted. She took a deep breath and belted out the first note of her number, and suddenly became energized and continued with her song and dance, moving through the well-memorized steps as if she had been dancing the number all of her life. As her nerves washed away with each note that left her throat, Liz felt more confident and she began to lock eyes flirtingly with random men in the room. She only paused when she locked eyes with one particular man on the edge of the dance floor. Her step faltered momentarily and she continued on, making a mental note to avoid that particular side of the floor unless she wanted to end up tripping over her own feet.
Maxwell sat gaping at the dark haired performer who was oozing confidence with every fluid step she made. He observed her grace and beauty as she moved swiftly through her number, flirting with numerous men around the room, until her eyes met his. He could have sworn we saw a falter in her step momentarily, and then she looked away, avoiding his eyes for the rest of her song. Maxwell felt hurt, which was strange for him, since all she did was look away from him. ‘Why does that bother me? She’s a dancer, not your fiancé or anything, why is her attention so vital to me all of a sudden?’ Maxwell thought to himself.
Michael and Alex were laughing hysterically. Between fits of laughter, Michael managed to speak. “Maxwell, do you need a handkerchief? Because you’re about to drool all over the table!” He guffawed.
Maxwell snapped out of his reverie and immediately blushed. Had he been staring? “Shut up Michael, I wasn’t drooling” Although, at that moment, Maxwell casually ran a hand over his mouth to be sure Michael wasn’t correct.
“Whatever you say!” Alex chuckled.
“So I take it you like what you see!” Michael teased. “The program says her name is Elizabeth Parker, the newest and brightest star of Scarlet Fever and quite the product on demand.” Michael stated.
Michaels unintentional reminder that the girl was unattainable brought Maxwell crashing back down to reality. “She....she’s a courtesan?” Maxwell stuttered.
“A singing dancing courtesan, although I hear she’s slightly uncomfortable with that last bit, something to do with morality, I’m sure. In any case, she is quite the price!” Alex stated casually.
Maxwell had toned out Alex’s voice because he was so focused on the fact that he truly couldn’t have that showgirl. She could never be his. ‘Why is that so hard for me to accept? You glance at a girl and you immediately love her? Wait...where did love come into the equation?’ Maxwell began having an inner debate with himself. He quickly downed his glass of champagne and tried to focus on the dance floor once again, which was currently filled with tons of girls doing the can can. Where had Elizabeth gone?
“Elizabeth! You must change quickly into your dance hall outfit because you are to be out there soon! Remember to look your best and keep smiling! Be kind to all of the gentlemen and be sure to pay special attention to only those with money! Keep stardom on your mind and you will be fine!” Jonathan coached to Elizabeth as she changed into her outfit.
“Right, smile, stardom, energy...got it!” Elizabeth mumbled to herself as she was pushed out into the smoke-filled atmosphere of the dance hall. ‘I’m probably meeting some fat, balding old man’ Elizabeth groaned internally.
~~~Back at the table ~~~~~
“Okay, Maxwell, Jonathan should be by any time now with our surprise, and I know you’ll enjoy it!” Michael said with a grin.
“Oh look, here they come!” Alex pointed out excitedly to the approaching figures.
Maxwell braced himself for the worst and came face to face with......his dance partner.