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PRINCELESS by Cam Jace Storykiller

Chapter 23

Copyright©by Cameron Jace 2019

Paris, France

The Organization hadn’t called for three days, and it was a blessing.

Venus spent all of her time with Pierre. Three days with the ‘do not disturb’ sign hanging from the doorknob from outside. They only opened the door for food and champagne — and anything pineapple flavored.

The sex was amazing.

Well, she couldn’t really tell. She never had sex with the boy in the camp. As unbelievable as it was, Widowmaker was an experience more that anything. A deliciously dangerous experience. On the long haul, delicious meals weren't always the best.

On the contrary, Pierre was an adventure.

It baffled Venus how little she knew about Pierre but felt so safe in his arms. Talk about a twenty-eight-year old computer programmer who never held a gun in his life—his best shot was a computer game; Scooter Shooter.

She didn't mind that he seven years older. In fact, she liked it. Maybe he wasn't as tender in his younger days.

Two days in, bathing together in the shower, eating naked in bed, and actually playing Scooter Shooter, she kissed him with such devotion she didn’t know she was capable of.

Pierre didn’t drink. Like never. He didn’t want to lose himself to the magic potion–he always used fairy tale words like ‘magic potion.' He also said ‘witch way to go' which was cheesy and lame, but was a also a breath of fresh air. Not everyone had to posses John Long Sailor level of sarcasm. The one phrase that irked was when he called the Cinderella story ‘from prostitute to princess' instead of ‘rags to riches.' It sounded incongruent with his upbringing.

His family hadn’t been religious, he said, but traditional. His mother was his hero, but she tried to avoid listening about her. Was he supposed to tell her so much about himself too soon

She definitely pricked her ear to the story about her being the second girl he had been with. Same like he was her second. His first was his high school sweetheart who left him for a rich Spanish man twice her age.

Though Pierre had his phone turned off, Venus couldn’t follow suit. She tried to explain how she was rather always on call. When he asked her what she did for a living, she realized she was about to lie.

“I save lives,” not really a lie.

“Huh?” He lay next to her in bed, facing her and twirling a strand of hair around his forefinger. “Orphan kids in Africa and such?”

“Yes,” she lied, though it wasn’t quite the lie, yet.

“Like with the Red Cross or Unicef? My mother works with Unicef.”

Ouch. “Not them. It’s a non-profit NGO. I’m not allowed to tell more.”

“Why?”

She said nothing. She didn’t want to lie. Not anymore.

“If I may ask,” he followed. “It’s okay if you don’t—”

“They’re rich people with big business all around the world. They don’t want their name dropped around.”

“So you’re like Mother Teresa all over again,” Pierre said. “I knew you were good at heart.”

“Yeah?”

“You know the drunk man who hit on you that night?”

“The one you stopped, yes.”

“He kills girls.”

“He does?” Venus' cheeks twitched.

“Imagine I let him take you from me,” he seemed much more confident than when they first met.

She let out a muffled laugh. “Imagine that,” then. “What did you mean with ‘kills girls’?”

“He lures them with his charm and never shows up ever again,” Pierre lay back on his back, staring at the ceiling. “I really like it that you save lives.”

“It’s just a job.”

“You saved mine,” he sighed.

Pierre could be a bit dramatic, she noticed. It’s like he liked her more than she liked him, though she really liked him. Watching him casually breathe next to her, she realized she wanted to see him again.

Was this supposed to happen? Did assassins have private lives like these?

‘Love is a Lie’ she heard her Mother whisper in her ears. Venus agreed this wasn’t really love. This was whatever it was. It made her feel loved and human before her next mission.

Speaking of missions, she had to settle some score with Pierre. “You know I don’t live in Paris, right?”

He turned his head, “I know. You’re American, right?”

She nodded in agreement, though she wasn’t sure. One of her many passports was Victoria Wright, American, from Washington.

“So I’m not going to see you again?” Pierre went pale.

“No,” she said abruptly.

“No?”

“I mean yes,” she said. “I mean…”

“I understand if you will not see me again,” Pierre said. “American girls usually have a fling in Paris. You call it ‘fling’ right?”

“Pierre,” she touched his face. “I want to see you again.”

He smiled like a baby with kaleidoscope eyes, looking at rainbow-colored candy.

“But you have to go back,” he said.

“I’m American but my uncle lives in London.” She made it up on the fly.

“Your uncle?”

“Yeah,” she saw he wasn’t really convinced, or at least suspected it. “Professor Jeremy Saint.” Sailor used aliases the same way she did.

“Professor?”

“Yes. A professor of,” — what Venus, The Delirious Art of Mischief and Murder? The Blunt Physics of Killing? “History.” Where did that come from? What does it mean? “He is not really a professor. Historian. He is low key, and doesn't like the attention.”

“Historian, huh,” Pierre wheezed, pretending to know what that was. “Didn't know Historians make a lot of money.”

Venus squint with a slight tilt of her head. “Money?”

“I mean look around, girl. You live lavishly.”

“Oh,” she scanned the hotel room and realized for the first time how she comes across to foreign people. She supposed The Princeless like that, being thought of as a spoiled girl as a camouflage. Did Pierre like her because of that? “Yeah, my uncle traces rich people's ancestory.”

“Wooh-hooh,” Pierre totally bought it. “I heard that there is a lot of money in that field,” he winked. “Dark secrets. Incest. Undeserved inheritance.”

Venus wondered where got his wild imagination from. He was a nerd for sure, but he can tap into corniness too often, too.

Pierre rubbed the back of his head, probably noticing the awkwardness of his questions. “Sorry, my mother tells all kinds of crazy things about history. I'm from a small town. We like to gossip and gossip brings up the past. Unless the past is a lie or with untold facts, it's boring.”

“It's okay. Tell me about your family.” she said, realizing again that it might be too soon for this. She was just being polite.

“My family bakes bread,” he didn't sound proud. “Being a computer programmer is an advancement.”

“Bakery is good,” Venus said. “My mother kills it… at baking cakes.” Why did she like the underlined sarcasm in this one? It was fun knowing more than others. It made her sees the world from two sides, and realize that truth is subjective.

“She lives in London, too?”

Oh he is never going to stop asking, will he?

A notification on her phone saved her from answering.

She read it and jumped out of bed and got dressed, “Listen, Pierre, I have to take this call.”

“You want me to leave?”

“No, just stay here. I will take it in the bathroom.”

Pierre leaned against the side of bed, starry eyed. As Venus read the message, he said, “Are you seeing someone else?”

She felt a lump in her throat. It didn’t hurt. It made her giggle actually. If he only knew how hard it was for her to find a proper man she could trust. 

“Yeah, the other guy,” she pursed her lips. “He wants to when we meet today. His got bigger junk to be honest.”

Pierre looked as he had a heart attack, died, and came back a mute, imobile zombie.

Venus' body shook to her laughter. “It's my uncle.”

“ba Saint,” he pronounced in a French sweet and elegant accent, still looking suspicious but trying his best to hide it.

“I wouldn’t call him Monsieur, trust me. He will scare you if you see him.”

“Wooh,” Pierre's eyes dilated, playing along. “

Sailor sent another message. She wasn't supposed to keep the banter going, but she enjoyed it too much. Mother should have given her a sister or brother as a kid. That would have helped, she thought.

So your uncle is not a historian, but a serial killer?” Pierre added, putting on his underwear and glasses.

“Maybe,” she texted Sailor that she needed a minute to text him back. “Maybe he sent me to lure to his castle so he can cook you for dinner.” She knew he would like that, this silly fairy tale lover.

“I can't fall for that,” Pierre picked up his laptop and leaned back on the bed again. “I'm French. My grand grand grand ancestor was the first documented serial killer in history.”

“Uh-huh?” she said nonchalantly, reading Sailor's reply: you having a mattress rodeo, girl? She had text him about meeting Pierre yesterday. “So you're grandfather is a serial killer?” she kept teasing Pierre.

“The baron himself,” Pierre entered his password into his laptop.

“A French Baron?”

“Gilles de Rais himself,” Pierre began reading emails.

“Never heard of him.”

Venus was about to text back Sailor with a giggle on her face when Pierre's. “Baron Gilles de Rais, otherwise known as Bluebeard,” Pierre stretched his hand sideways, ready to work. “It was never fairy tale. A true historical crime, disguised as one. You uncle definitly knows about that.”

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