Hello! this is my weekly serial, written raw as a writing exercise.
You can find the first post in the series here.
Last week’s post is here.
The Pink Pearl was newly renovated and very popular. We were ushered around the back by a pair of burly doormen in black leather studded with ‘diamonds’. The perfectly manicured garden path let to a little patio cut off from the rest of the grounds, sheltered from the rain by the series of decks and balconies above. A little round glass table awaited us with chairs set all around.
As the doormen left, a pair of servers, one young, one old, appeared, bringing wine and port as well as a tray of cheese and grapes.
“Diamond will see you shortly,” the elder said as they departed.
I could sense more ‘doormen’ nearby, my ears picking up the sound of leather creaking and my nose the odor of the cologne that they were told to wear.
Carmen held up her hand in making a gesture or inquiry. “Five?”
I nodded affirmatively, wondering if she was just guessing or she had some other method to count the guards. I doubted her senses were as sharp as mine.
The Twins sat down at the end of the table facing the door. They were dressed in simple evening wear appropriate to a Myrhnese woman of any station; a knee length back dress, short black blazer, and knee-high black boots. Vethri wore a simple gold chain, while Eiskra wore her favourite ruby ring.
Carmen was still dressed in her ‘apprentice’ clothing, although she now carried weapons both hidden and in-character.
Vethri and Eiskra looked at each other once and settled, still as statues. I contented myself by listening to the sounds of the Pink Pearl and the streets beyond.
Diamond Silvermane waited just long enough to make her entrance. She strolled through the heavy oak door, resplendent in a cloak of white minx fur and the most impressive diamond necklace that I had ever seen. Her silver hair billowed about her head like a candle flame. She smiled at the twins, but there was little warmth in her eyes.
A pair of guards followed her out. These carried swords.
“Welcome to the Pearl, fellow whores,” said Diamond Silvermane. “The best brothel in Myrrhn.”
“You seem a little understaffed, Diamond,” said Eiskra.
“We’re just busy, darling,” said Diamond Silvermane. “But I do thank you for your concern.”
“Half of your rooms are empty,” said Vethri. “We know the capacity of this house and we know that the Silk Swan is already drawing some customers away from you now the Dierdre Dark and Troy work there.”
Diamond Silvermane laughed. “You’re right. Those two do have a loyal following, and I admit that their defection has caused us to lose their regulars. But you can see that we are busy and I assure you I am recruiting new talent; young women who will build their own followings. Now I assume that you did not call this meeting simply to insult me, girls. Let’s do business.”
“We are not going to take you to council.” said Vethri.
“We have decided not to challenge The Pink Pearl’s severance from The Doxies’s Union. We welcome the competition; Myrrhn has always been governed by market interests and we will not try to force you or your girls to join us you do not want to.”
“That’s all. No need for wine or anything,” added Eiskra.
The Twins stood, in unison. It was a gesture complicated by the fact that Vethri was a head taller than Eiksra, but they managed it.
Diamond Silvermane look confused for a heartbeat, then she recovered and stood as well. “Are you certain you don’t want to discuss this further?” she said, a little less bombastically.
“What is there to discuss?” asked Vethri. “Thank you for your hospitality Diamond, I know that The Pink Pearl is in good hands.”
“Have a nice afternoon,” added Eiskra, a little too gleefully, I thought.
And we left.
“What was that?” asked Carmen as soon as we were in the carriage.