Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dark Redemption chpater 18: Taxicab Digressions

Beneath the gleaming skyscrapers and picturesque facade of the City of Redemption lies another city; a community of dark and ancient magic populated by creatures of the night. Dark Redemption is a shared-world novel based on an online role-playing game by James Crowther.

Melchior's party has finally ended; and a good thing too. Cassandra True, a reporter for the Daily Oracle, narrowly escaped death after becoming trapped in a virtual reality game. Only the fortuitous appearence of her date, Strephon, (who unknownst to her is a semi-immortal half-fae) saved her from a dire fate.

"Did you folks have a good time?" Tobias said cheerily as he stowed Strephon's chair in the trunk of his cab. Strephon mumbled something vague in return. His attempts at small talk thwarted, Tobias shrugged and proceeded to drive them to Cassandra's flat.

"You know," Cassandra said after a couple blocks, "This is twice in the past forty-eight hours you've saved my life."

"Three times, if you count the dream," Strephon replied absently.

"That's right!" A faraway look came into Cassandra's eyes. "I was at the paper and Potts was a wolf and he attacked me and you were there... and then we were walking on the beach and then we..." She turned red. "But that was a dream! How did you know about that?"

"Hm?" Strephon jolted out of his thoughts. "Didn't you tell me about it? Perhaps I was thinking of a dream I had."

"Oh." Cassandra paused. "You've been dreaming about me?"

This was not the direction Strephon wanted this conversation to go. He suddenly flashed an insincere smile and said, "Tonight, my dear, you are a dream." A calculated risk. A stammering denial would only intrigue her; she'd be more likely to dismiss shallow flattery.

"Right," she said sarcastically and gave a little giggle.

Strephon turned and looked out the window. He should never have taken her to the party. She could have died, all because he thought she would be useful. In that he was no better than Melchior or any of his lot -- or than the Queen for that matter. Not that he particularly cared for Cassandra. He couldn't. She was mortal and he a Fae, or half a fae at least. No, it wasn't fair to put her in any more danger. He would drop her off at her flat and let her return to her own life. He probably would never see her again.

Why did that thought seem to stick in his chest?

The cab pulled up in front of the block of flats where Cassandra lived. As she climbed out of the cab she paused. "Say, Strephon... would you like to come up to my place for a bit?"

Strephon gaped like a stunned codfish. "Uh..."

"Well, since you had me over the other night, it's only fair, right?"

He almost said yes. That would certainly bollocks up his plans. It took him a moment of stammering to engage his tongue and say, "I... would dearly love to, Cassandra, but don't you have a story to write?"

"Oh, that can wait."

Strephon gave her a reproving glance. "Cassandra... you do want to escape Page Three, don't you?"

Cassandra sighed. "You're right." Then she added hopefully, "Some other time then?"

No promises, Strephon told himself. "We'll see."

The cab drove away from her flat and Strephon settled back into the seat.

"You should have taken her up on it," Tobias said.

"Just take me home."

NEXT:  Cocoa  

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