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Dinner on the Overnight Express

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Arthur often wandered from job to job, seeking adventure and treasure as he might, and leisure whenever time and civilization permitted such luxuries. The mutant’s current happenstance, however, was entirely unexpected as he steadily dived deeper down the rabbit hole that Isabella so alluringly provided. In the aftermath of the woman’s birthday party, where the mage had fought and bled to keep Isabella safe, he had spent the night in the woman’s bed and knew that he had fallen into her web. Escape was futile. His attraction and curiosity (because he certainly desired to solve the mystery that Isabella presented) kept the mage in place, better than any trap. It wasn’t a surprise that the woman didn’t have to do much convincing before Arthur departed the hotel the next morning, making the trek to his own hotel to pick up his belongings. Now, Arthur travelled among Isabella and her politician’s entourage, acquiring boarding passes and making their way onto the lavish train. 

The black mage found himself caught between two worlds in that moment. On one hand, he was an employee amongst employees, serving as Isabella’s bodyguard and fencing instructor. But Arthur didn’t feel like a member of staff, and it was clear that the job titles had more to do with explaining his presence than it had to do with an actual employment opportunity. And it was clear that the staff didn’t view Arthur in that light either. For, on the other hand, it seemed abundantly clear that the mutant was a new yet special friend to Isabella. After all, despite their unflinching loyalty and near religious obsession with the woman, none of them could boast being a guest in Isabella’s own bedroom. Arthur was on the cusp of spending his second night with the mysterious woman; a fact that separated the mage entirely from the rest of Isabella’s staff.

As evening descended upon them, the locomotive made its way down the tracks at a steady pace, and the mutant looked up from his book and stared contemplatively at a nearby wall. What would his choices bring him? Had it been smart to travel so far with a stranger? Was a romantic relationship even worth it considering the secret motives that Isabella was undoubtedly still hiding from him? And despite the questions that raced through his head, he knew the answer as his dangerous eyes glanced back towards his book, but only for a moment as his gaze turned towards the alluring woman. Seated comfortably in his chair in the corner, Arthur watched Isabella - both curiously and with admiration - as she applied her cosmetics and dressed for the occasion. It had been the mage’s idea to reserve a pair of seats in the train’s ritzier restaurant compartment. A date, he called it unabashedly, and the woman had accepted in her usual, puzzling manner. 

She certainly knew exactly what Arthur wanted. Arthur couldn’t say the same of the politician. 

Unlike his companion, the mutant had prepared for dinner quickly and without much ceremony. Arthur wore a finely tailored and magically pressed ivory-colored, three-piece suit which fit firmly against his robust frame. Underneath his waistcoat, the mage wore a light blue dress shirt and a green colored tie, though the latter contained a pattern of white dots along its surface. The pocket square that hung from the front pocket of his dinner jacket matched his tie. Meanwhile, his feet were clad in dark socks and a pair of brown leather dress shoes, while his jet black hair was slicked back and styled into a prominent quiff at the front. By most people’s standards, Arthur’s outfit was complete. That said, the mage sat in his seat with his robes of black velvet hanging from his broad shoulders like a cape. The mantle of black wolf fur that surrounded his head like the mane of a lion adding an intimidating flair to the ensemble. It didn’t match his outfit (though they clashed in an oddly fashionable manner), but it matched the black dress that Isabella had chosen, and the mutant’s culture demanded that Arthur presented himself as a black mage always. 

Arthur coughed into his free hand, spreading out his time between reading his book and starring at his date. As he did so, the mage glanced up at Isabella and closed his book with an audible crack. 

“Are you actually getting ready for dinner or are you just trying to torture me?” 

Edited by Voldemort

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Decked out in Art Deco glamour, Gabriela realized that she had never felt quite as at home as she did in the luxurious compartment of this swift-traveling train. It was the bold and vibrant colors, framed by safe geometric elements -- streamline surfaces, clean lines, and the implementation of delicate, but strong curves. It was masculine and feminine. It was a dance that lacked unnecessary emotion, but emboldened contrasts. The gold, the brass, the bright yellow and living, blood red of the wall paper, the simple but elegant furniture, the minimalism. Every piece in the coach was a work of art, and none more so, than the oval mirror that sat atop her vanity. 


Gabriela sat nude, except for a black pair of cheeky panties made of some silken material and a rope of perfectly round and iridescent pearls around her neck. She was examining herself in the mirror -- turning her face this way and that, lifting her chin then dropping it. At one point she even reached up and ran her fingers over the length of her clavicle bone, marveling at how pristine her skin appeared. Just last night, after the catastrophe of her birthday party, she wept and mourned the loss of her unmarred flesh. It hardly seemed fair that even the slightest scratch, if it cut deep enough into the skin, would leave an ugly mark. But she had been saved from the horrors of such a fate by the magician whose usefulness appeared to be ever-growing. 


“Are you actually getting ready for dinner or are you just trying to torture me?”


She had been lost in her world, but at the interruption to her vain-filled thoughts, she frowned and ruined the illusion of beauty. There were frown lines showing from the corner of her yes, and her forehead creased when she was annoyed enough to show it. To anybody else, these small imperfections would be unnoticeable -- human even, but not so to Gabriela, who felt the passing of time now more keenly than she ever thought possible. Every passing second propelled her closer and closer to old age, and to death. 


“I just want to look pretty,” she replied, but she hardly seemed present.


Plucking a lipstick up, she went about the awkward business of applying it. Rather than looking the part of elegant socialite and powerful politician, she appeared more a child playing with makeup. As a vampyre, she never needed to apply paint to her face and the whole ritual was foreign to her. But her paleness now made her look sickly rather than otherworldly. As a vampyre, her skin appeared as moonlight or even shared the hue of her perfect pearls -- but as a human, she just looked sick and strung out...which she was.


After fixing her lipstick, to the best of her abilities, she picked up a small glass vial off her vanity. It appeared to be a perfume bottle, but after opening the container she scooped out a small pinch of white substance onto a tiny ladle-like spoon that was attached to the inside of the bottle’s cap. Carefully she brought this small spoon to her nose and sniffed harshly, ensuring every last bit of white dust had been inhaled deep into her aird lungs. 


The relief, in the form of loose muscles and an ease to the sharpness of her thoughts, was almost immediate. 


“There we are,” she said to herself, as she dabbed at her left nostril with the pad of her pinky finger, “...isn’t that better?”


She smiled at herself and then turned to look over her shoulder at Arthur. He was dressed and looking rather bored, but even with that dull expression on his face, she could see how his eyes glided over her naked, rounded shoulder, wondering if he might get a peek at more. Her smile grew softer as she felt the cocaine melt into the lining of her esophagus. 


“But torturing you is rather fun...you’re very proper, very reserved. I don’t know that most men would be in your situation,” she had turned back to her reflection and was busy now pulling the great mane that was her hair back and into a loose braid. Both her hands were bent above her head as they worked to blindly weave her hair by touch and not by sight. If he was bold enough to peer into the mirror set before Gabriela he’d have the most satisfying of views -- her perk, round breasts pulled up high on the expanse of her rib-cage as she worked diligently to get her hair ready. 


“There, all done.”


She stood up and took her time to adjust the hem of her panties against the shape of her buttocks. After ensuring her panty-line was smooth, she plucked a dress off her bed and slipped it over her arms. Like a robe, she adjusted it to her body and bound the sashes that would keep the dress modest.  A deep, plunging V neckline exposed the fact that she was not wearing a brazier, but the humble size of her breasts hardly warranted such a cruel contraption. A soft, cream color, her dress had a loose collar that rode over her shoulders, long sleeves that were rolled up to her elbows, and a generous portion of material wrapped around her waist as a proper skirt. 


She looked at herself one last time in the mirror -- and even tilted her head, before, quite suddenly, taking her pearl-necklace off and tossing it back onto the vanity.


“See? All done. Let’s go get you some food...grumpy magician.”

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