We follow Valmont and Ruby as the Ambassador gives the young hooded mute a tour of the Embassy. All good intentions however bring back memories, that the girl cannot suppress.
Scene setting: The Embassy of Hell – Seven Sins series.
Co-written with Zu.
Zu: This place was amazing; everywhere Ruby went, Valmont had something that would show off just how wealthy he truly was. Just by his house alone, Ruby knew the kind of man Valmont was. Without words to speak, Ruby could see people in a far different light than others who could speak. She was very observant, and even if she was distracted, it didn’t mean she was paying attention. Despite these flaws, Ruby still loved Valmont the way he was. Without his help, she’d still be drifting from one place to another, endlessly finding nothing that would give her comfort.
She heard the servants speaking to Valmont, yet didn’t pay them any mind. She was too busy seeing this… empty room. It was just a room, with nothing in it. Was this the place where dance happens? Ruby wasn’t sure how you could do this… whatever it was, in a place where there was nothing in it. She’d find out soon enough.
Ruby looked up at Valmont, who had taken her hand and waist in his hands. This felt weird, and she even had a small blush to compliment this feeling. Valmont was really close to her; it was no problem to be around him, but being this close, Ruby could now see just how beautiful he really was. Her eyes, which weren’t exposed thanks to the hood, were drifting to the floor so she wouldn’t embarrass herself in front of Valmont. She only followed Valmont’s lead, and this dance was… pretty good. Ruby felt like she was drifting on air, and Valmont was the one to lead her across the sky. She did look up at him after pushing aside her emotions, which was a bit overbearing, and only pulled herself right against Valmont. She could dance like this forever, being in the arms of someone who cared.
The Embassy of Hell
The music drifted around the room, enveloping Valmont’s senses as he let himself become one with Ruby in the dance. It was a natural high that to many would be hard to understand. The closeness of contact, and moving to the tune of the music in a dance that was as old as time itself. By the look on Ruby’s face, she too was being caught up in the magic of the dance. She was following on in perfect unison with the Ambassador, as he took her around the floor in sweeping circles that would make anyone feel light headed.
The show of blush on Ruby’s cheeks looked adorable, in Valmont’s mind. It was interesting for him, to find her react so. The Ambassador could not hide his smile which would be infectious. If only Ruby was able to do the same. The crude stitching would limit this ability, but does one really need lips to smile? Eyes can too.
When Ruby looked up into Valmont’s eyes, the Ambassador whispered.
“You are very light on your feet, Lady Ruby”
Of course she was. For such a girl that could wield a great weapon, there was practically nothing of her and she floated along the marble floor surface with ease and grace. Not bad for a first time.
When the song came to its glorious end, the Ambassador simply held Ruby for a moment, staring into her eyes. Was it possible for her to bewitch the incubus. He was having to keep himself well under control, which was a good thing….for both of them.
“That was wonderful.” The Ambassador bowed low from the waist once he let her go and gave her space. “I would like very much to do that again sometime.”
Zu: Ruby just stared at Valmont in the eyes as they graced the floor with their motions. When she realized, in the middle of the dance, that she was just staring straight into his soul, as her eyes were seemingly lifeless, she just brought her head down to make contact with his chest. She wanted to bury herself in it for looking so dumb, but nearing the end of the dance, she had the confidence to look up at him again. By that time, the dance had already ended it’s run and so too did the music. Valmont was so sweet to her, treated her like she was something precious to him and this was a feeling that Ruby had always wanted but now that she did, Ruby didn’t know exactly how to take it. Her chest was beating like mad drums from the thoughts running through her head. It really was a good thing they stopped, she could compose herself.
However, just because the dance ended didn’t mean their closeness did. As their eyes locked onto each other, her blush became far more red and she even got a bit transparent from this encounter. Without thought, she actually wasn’t becoming a ghost at random moments; it really had to do with her emotions. Of course, that wasn’t what Ruby was thinking about. When Valmont bowed to her, and gave her some space to breath, she just held her hands against her chest. Never in her life, during her time in Hell, has she felt such a warm feeling. Could ghosts even feel warmth?
The Embassy of Hell
Valmont couldn’t help but feel the swelling of pride when Ruby placed her head to his chest as they danced. This contact was unique to Valmont. The girl had been careful in showing herself, let alone letting her emotions drive her movement. Was she shy of how she felt at this moment, or was she feeling a real closeness towards the Ambassador? Valmont moved his hand towards the centre of her back and caressed it with a feather like gentle touch. Even though he was an evil creature by nature, he was more than capable of affection, and this was what she deserved. His own head lowered and to look at them from afar, you may be mistaken for thinking that the were more than just friends.
After the bow that he presented to her in gratitude for the dance, it was Ruby who kept her hands upon his chest. It was at this moment, that Valmont happened to notice that she became in part translucent. What was causing this, he wondered to himself. He wouldn’t question her of course. Why ask something that may upset her? That was the last thing he wanted to do. Instead he brought his hands up to be placed over her own. A beautiful smile playing upon his lips.
“You are the most intriguing girl I have ever met, Lady Ruby.”
Normally he would be off again speaking of the next room that they should visit, or acting more like a dignitary, but he wished to be more than that. Valmont wanted to find out more about the girl. How she came to be in Hell for starters, and who would do such a thing as to silence her forever more. Valmont’s heartbeat was now the only sound that could be heard. Powerful and strong beneath his chest. His silver hair rested upon his broad shoulders, and he looked very much how you would expect an incubus to look. His thumbs slowly caressing Ruby’s soft skin.
For once, he was lost for words.
Zu: These emotions that Ruby were just now experiancing started to take it’s toll. It’s not that her body couldn’t handle it, nor that her mind could, but just the sudden rush of compassion shown by Valmont was enough to make her go crazy. She had heard of this word, but never knew what it meant; love. Is that what Valmont was displaying, the word love? Ruby, by the words combined with the hands over hers made her lose it and her whole body grew transparent, so that Valmont could not feel her warm skin, which was all thanks to him. Being invisible now, Ruby suddenly panicked and ran out the room, almost in tears. Only the sound of her footsteps could be heard, and it was the only thing Valmont knew about if he chose to follow her.
Ruby, if asked to stop, couldn’t hear him. Everything was happening to fast, and there was just no way that someone could make her feel this way. Ruby just didn’t know what to do with herself; she had seemed to grow attached to Valmont but now, now she couldn’t be in the same room as him. She wept and because of that blurry vision, she was hitting the walls. Of course, being a ghost, she could easily go through it. She was outside now, back at the courtyard where Valmont had consumed his food. She dropped there, her body shaking from the raw emotions and switching uncontrollably from transparent to visible.
The Embassy of Hell
Music attracts the most unlikely of guests, and while Valmont had been dancing with his young charge Ruby, another was watching from high in the ceiling. She had been wandering across the realms of Hell, amused by the carryings on by the likes of Greed and Pride. Now she had come to visit what was an old…family friend. Little did she know that Valmont had been entertaining the young Miss Ruby. Like a spider, Charlotte crawled across the roof silently, her hair hanging down as she tried to contain her mirth at the sight of the Ambassador dancing with the strange red hooded girl. She was like a voyeur at times, but that was just her way.
Down below, the Ambassador did not realize that his show of affection had caused Ruby to go completely transparent. But not only that she could no longer be felt. One moment, he was dancing with her, the next she vanished and the only way to tell that she had left the room was by her footfalls, as she ran away. Valmont lowered his arms to his sides, turning ever slightly, as he called out to her. “Ruby?” Had he done something to upset her? He hadn’t used his demon ways against her, in fact it was the opposite. Incubus were not supposed to feel or express an act of genuine love. This was what made it all the more unusual.
This was of course the perfect time for the girl high above to make her presence known.
“You frightened her away….” Charlotte said in a whimsical voice, before letting out a dark chuckle and descended from the ceiling on a strand of silver thread, before her feet bounced upon the floor.
“Ever heard of knocking, Ms Carrendar?”
Valmont didn’t even have to look to know who it was.
“And interrupt the dance? Why that would be rude, and you know me, I like to make an entrance.” The dark haired beauty winked at Valmont saucily, before skipping over to the door, to peak out and see where the girl had gone too. She tutted her tongue before looking back at Valmont.
“Did you touch her ass?”
“No…I did no such thing.”
Charlotte pointed at him and then started to walk over with a saucy gait. “But you wanted to.” She grinned, flashing rows of perfect teeth.“Valmont and Ruby..sitting in a tree…K…I….S..S…”
“Enough with the games, Char. What are you doing here?” Valmont was becoming greatly annoyed with the young woman, who was practically giddy at getting under his skin. It was a game to her and she licked the top of her teeth before walking up and behind him.
“Greed is in trouble….again.”
Valmont raised a brow. He knew about the disaster of a ball, but nothing of what happened to Lydia. Clearly, Charlotte knew since she had been staying at the Greed Castle at the time. “Go on.” Valmont said dryly, only interested in this conversation due to the fact that what affected one kingdom, affected all.
“Remember….the suit that Mammon wore to his death?”
“Beserker….yes of course. Horrid thing that it is. The fool was mad for wearing it.”
“Someone stole it. Right….from under Lydia’s nose.”
“Mhm…” Charlotte grinned widely. “Servants…of Sloth.” Why would Charlotte find this so amusing? What was worse, why did the Ambassador suddenly find this very amusing. So, Sloth wanted Beserker? For what possible purpose? Charlotte picked at an imaginary speck of dust on Valmont’s coat and blew it away, as she could see the cogs in Valmont’s mind were turning.
“I suppose this means I should pay them a visit.” Valmont pushed Charlotte’s hand away, which made her pout in a mocking fashion. “And do what? You want to see if Belphegor is derp enough to put it on?”
Valmont snickered loudly. “That’d make my day.” But soon the smile faded from his face, as he remembered that he still had to find Ruby. She was either somewhere in the building or outside. He glanced down at Charlotte who was waiting to see what the Ambassador had planned. “What?” She didn’t like how he changed from being the scoundrel that he was, back to this pompous ambassador. “But really, I can’t. Not yet. I need to find Ruby.”
Charlotte blew a raspberry and rolled her eyes. “Fine…go find your little hooded dolly and play. I think I will go and entertain myself with your staff.” Charlotte blew Valmont a kiss, before sashaying out of the room, headed for Zachary’s office.
Valmont, now alone – pulled on the edges of his jacket, and headed out in the opposite direction for the Embassy gardens, in search of Ruby.
Zu: Her body, her mind, down to her very soul and everything in between was going haywire. Ruby didn’t now what to do with herself. She didn’t have a mouth to scream, maybe to lessen the pain but with her voice lost to the people responsible, Ruby couldn’t do such a thing. The only thing she could do was cry in silence as her image faded and came back like a flicker of a lightbulb. She covered her eyes, shaking terribly and all for what; it was only someone who cared for her. It was nothing special, but to Ruby it was everything. Not once in her life here in Hell had she ever encountered someone who actually gave a damn about her existence. Any time there was a chance, her ghostly powers took over and she wouldn’t interfere with their lives in the slightest. This however, was different, and Ruby couldn’t handle all of these emotions that were hitting her skull like a sledgehammer.
Maybe Ruby needed to kill something, or someone. That could possibly cheer her up, but without the will to even move from her downed position, she wasn’t going to do that. Her mind was so fragile, that another problem came about. Memories, though they were not ones that Ruby knew of. She didn’t know what that even meant but right before her eyes, flashes of blurry images spun through her head like a cog out of control. None made sense, but she did see a few things that stood out. An image of a hag, herself looking human and a flash of light. WHAT THE HELL DID ALL THIS MEAN!?
The Embassy of Hell
Walking along the corridor, Valmont saw that the door to the gardens was opened, and though it may not have been the direction that Ruby had taken in her flight from the ballroom, it didn’t hurt to take a look outside to see if this was where she had gone. The ambassador grew concerned as he walked out the garden door, and cast his eyes across the vast estate. He happened to glance down to where he and the other staff, along with Ruby had enjoyed a light meal. It was down there that he happened to spot the crimson red hood. This is where she had ended up.
Valmont didn’t run down to be at her side. The last thing he wanted to do was scare her all the more, though he was still unsure as to why she ran in the first place. Had no one ever shown that they had cared for her before? Valmont was not one to know, since he had not yet been able to get much out of her, apart from a nod, and the dance of course.
Ambling down, he walked with his arms at his sides with a troubled expression. It didn’t take much to see that Ruby was deeply distressed. He stopped a good few feet from her and bowed his head.
“I’m sorry…if I upset you.” His words were almost a whisper. “I felt the need to touch you, and if that was inappropriate, than I can’t do enough to beg your forgiveness.”
Zu: Ruby suddenly stopped her shaking when she heard Valmont’s voice. The man that made all this happen, both good and bad, was now right behind her. She turned her head, and slowly let her hood drop down and Valmont would be greeted by a face full of saddness. Her tears flooded her face and made her look quite ugly. Even her stitches got wet, but the one good thing was that her disappearing act was slowly coming to a halt. She just stared at him, almost into his soul, as if asking a question she couldn’t form. One word, there was one word that continued to flash in her mind and scatter all around Valmont. It was the only word she could see. Remembering her board, Ruby, with a shaky hand, grabbed it and tried her best to create this word. She used her entire hand to write it out, and the word was hardly visible when Valmont would see it due to her poor hand-writing but that one word spoke volumes.