PRINCELESS by Cam Jace Storykiller
Copyright©by Cameron Jace
January 15 2019
A long week away with Pierre was simply heaven on earth.
With her phone turned off, they slept in each other’s arms every night—and half of the days. In bed, on the beach, in hammocks, watching the full moons lighting up the nights.
Not much sex like before. More talk and eating, which led to her telling him more about her past.
A past that was fiction not facts.
She told him about an ex-badboy boyfriend in the camp, but made him into a jockey in the university in Chicago. She turned her absent assassin mother into a drug-addict who left her with her uncle Pillar in London. Of course, her hookah-smoking killer mentor, now her uncle, turned out to not only be a professor, but a tycoon in the field of ‘Atomic Science’ with a shady business under it all.
She had to make up a story about her tattoo: a one-night-fling with a biker boy when she was eighteen. Pierre didn’t mind her past. He just wanted to know.
If Pierre questioned anything, it was her lack of having a particular taste in music and film. Venus watched little TV in the camp, and listen to lesser music. Not to mention music had attached its melodies to blood and gore in her mind. She once watched the Pillar kill a target while playing Mozart’s The Magic Flute in his headphones.
She made up a story about her weird interest in martial arts explained her limited knowledge of commercial music and film. Pierre sucked at martial arts, so they had a few laughs.
Each night, Venus walked past the phone on her night table and contemplated whether to turn it on.
Did the Organization really let me go that easy?
So far, she hadn’t seen anything suspicious. The Pillar had sent her a good luck bouquet to their getaway. That was about it.
Venus wished it was true because she loved her new life and longed to meet Pierre’s parents soon.
She also did more shopping. No leather jackets and boots, but a regular girl’s jeans and shirts. Freedom was wearing whatever the fuck she felt comfortable in whenever she felt like it.
One day, she woke up at dawn and left Pierre asleep. She walked out to the beach and waited for the sunrise. She sat cross-legged on white sands and watched the sun rise up from the belly of the sea. Reborn. Resurrected. A new beginning.
“Can I join you?” a female British accent spoke behind her.
She saw a woman, her mother’s age, more hippy than elegant, the kind who looked like she spent her life abroad.
“Please do,” Venus said.
The woman rubbed her own arms against the breeze from the sea. “I love the view,” she sat next to Venus, “I've almost never missed a sunrise in eight years.”
“You’ve been here that long?”
“Came with with hubby one day and never looked back.”
Never looked back, what a beautiful phrase.
“It’s beautiful,” Venus shared the view.
“You’re on your honeymoon?”
Venus blushed. “Nah, Pierre is my boyfriend.”
“You two sure look in love.”
“How long have you been together, if I may ask?”
Not that it was the proper question to ask someone you just met, but Venus was curious about how the woman saw her relationship with Pierre–and she had no one to talk to. “Three months.”
“I would have guessed three years.”
“Hmm…” She found herself thinking. “Does it last?”
“That feeling called love?” the woman said.
“It sadly doesn’t.”
“Don’t worry. It gets better.”
“What about them?”
“The more you grow older together the more they bind you.”
“That’s reassuring, but I’m not sure I want to ‘grow older' with Pierre yet… I mean who knows?”
“That’s the way it’s supposed to be. You’re never sure. It keeps you both working on the relationship.”
It occurred to Venus that her mother never talked to her that way. Was this how women from the Princeless were raised. Were they trained to kill and not feel? Venus' heart warmed up to the expat.
She stretched out a hand, “I’m Venus.”
“What a lovely name.”
“Oh, thank you.”
They shook hands. Amanda's were tough and wrinkled, reminding Venus she wasn’t going to stay twenty-one forever. Sometimes she wonders if all girls her age had similar worrisome thoughts.
“Look,” Amanda said. “The sun is up.”
“I love it.”
“I'd have liked to talk to you more, but I have to go back and fix hubby breakfast.”
“That’s the deal. I make breakfast, he goes fishing. Was nice meeting you, darling.”
“You too. I guess I have to wake up Pierre,“ Venus said. “Really, thank you.”
Amanda walked away and Venus turned back to stare at the sun, feeling ecstatic. She just had her first authentic conversation with a stranger in maybe her whole life. Not being Venus the assassin, gifted her with freedom of being who she wanted—or wished—to be with people she met.
She wondered why her Mother never chose the regular life over the Organization. What was wrong with this life? Why complicate it and care too much about the world before we care about ourselves?
And the, what a cool woman Amanda was, she thought, though she wondered if all British people actually said hubby not husband.
Come on, Venus. Stop doubting. In real life, people are relaxed. Not every word has a meaning. Not everyone sleeps with a gun nearby.
Venus smiled, maybe life was really a joke. A good one in that matter. One that brought a smile to the face. One that wasn't meant to be analyzed or interpreted or even judged. Life right now was simply sun, fun, beach, new friends, and Pierre. She couldn't see the fault in that.
Enthusiastically, she ran back to the room to make love to Pierre.
Half way there, she stopped.
A sudden dizziness attacked her.
She balanced herself, still without control over her limbs.
A terrible pain.
She stooped over, hardly breathing, not sure what was going on.
She wondered if she had been shot. Never had she tasted the bitter bleeding of a silencer herself.
Could it be?
A brutal ending?
Trembling she reached for her stomach. No blood there.
Now her thighs tensed, and the urge for stooping further intensified.
Hand on stomach.
Had she been poisoned. Was that the Organization's punishment?
She vomited, though she hadn't had breakfast yet.
What the hell?
She fell to knees.
What was going on? She surely wasn't shot, and the cyanide poison the Organization used had a much faster effect. She would be already dead.
But this was pain… deep down from her…
She called out Pierre’s name.
He didn't hear her.
Nor did Amanda.
She bent over, hands and knees on the sand, and called his name one more time.
Why was her stomach cramping when she was most happy?
The day after, she realized she was pregnant .