Author Topic: When strangers meet again. *2,230 words  (Read 4256 times)

Offline beezy

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When strangers meet again. *2,230 words
« on: November 04, 2013, 10:02:26 PM »
1842, London

Nadya Lovel excelled at one thing—taking things that did not belong to her. It was a talent she was not particularly proud of, but under the given circumstances, she could not afford to have a sense of morality. Tonight, she was putting her thieving abilities to use on a staggering drunkard who had fallen in the middle of King street.

"Hand it over gypsy! Or I swear when I get my hands on you, I'm gonna"—

The gypsy cut the man's threat off with a boisterous laugh. "Drunken fool," she mocked, "perhaps if you were not laying upon the street like a cod fish, you may actually have a chance of catching me." She shook her head slightly, "No, not even then would you succeed."

The man lifted his head from the ground, and shot Nadya a piercing gaze that should have withered her on the spot. But instead she only laughed at his fury, and held up a little golden heart trinket that had been the cause of their encounter. "All this trouble over a measly necklace. Let me guess, for your true love?"

"None of your damn business!" The man growled, and hoisted himself up unto his feet. He stumbled at first; his feet crossing over the other. But after a few seconds of reassuring his stance, he managed to balance himself out.

The man was much bigger than Nadya had expected; for he looked smaller on the ground. But now that he was standing upright, she saw that he was an easily strapping six feet, and possessed a muscular build that was more than capable of inflicting pain. His attire was not made for a commoner on the streets, but for a gentleman in society. A fine black tailored suit clung to his powerful body along with a white untied cravat hanging around his neck. His facial features were hard to distinguish, due to the dim lighting of the street lamps; but Nadya could tell that he was very young, perhaps four or five years older than herself. And she could also tell that he was very much angry from the way his brows pinched together.

"A gentleman," she scoffed, as she eyed him head to toe. "Should have known." Nadya had seen her fair share of respectable men succumb to the nature of strong drink; for it was a common occurrence within the streets of London. "What are you, a Viscount? Marquees? Baron? Or am I in the honor of a Duke?"

"The necklace. Now," he ordered, as if she were a servant.

"Well my lord, that is what you are called by is it not?" she said in a mocking grin, "I'm afraid I cannot give you what you seek."

"And why is that?" he barked.

Nadya knew he was losing his temper; however, she could not help but find it somewhat entertaining. "I quite fancy this piece of jewelry, and I think I should like to wear it."

The man lifted his finger with a menacing stare, "if you even dare place it around your neck, you will regret it."

Although his manner was that of a baited bear, which was a clear sign for her to leave, Nadya felt more amused then threatened. She decided to make things a bit more interesting. "Strong words, for a man that cannot walk straight," she mused. "I'll tell you what my lord. I am going to give you the opportunity to throttle me as you so desire."

Nadya did not miss the way his brows quirked up in confusion before returning back to its deadly glower. "Lets play a game," she continued, "if you can catch me before I reach the corner of the street," which was a rough half mile distance, "I will give you this necklace, and you may do whatever it is you see fit to me."

The man clenched his jaw tightly. Oh, he was definitely annoyed, which made Nadya illicit a smile. "When I catch you, and I will," he replied darkly, "you're going to wish the devil himself caught you instead of me."

"Look around you," Nadya gestured, as she extended her hand toward their surroundings of cobbled stone streets, crumbling buildings, and stench filled alleys, "we're already in Hell," and placed the necklace within the pocket of her long blue skirt. "Now enough talking, more running." Nadya dashed off without warning, letting her legs fly as she headed for the corner of the street.

Deftly dodging passing hackneys, hoards of prostitutes, and dirt faced beggars, Nadya wasn't the least bit worried of losing. Ever since her Gypsy tribe moved to London a month ago, she had spent almost every night pick pocketing, and raiding merchant goods across the desolate streets of West End. She was more than capable of outrunning a drunkard.

Risking a glance to see where her perpetrator was, she saw that he was nowhere in sight. Perhaps he took another tumble she thought mockingly. Slowing her pace, she began to catch her breath, and smiled in triumphant as the corner laid a couple feet away.

However, her silent victory was abruptly interrupted by a pair of sturdy hands that gripped her upper arms. All too soon, she was dragged into an alley and found herself pinned against a cold solid wall. There was no way he could have gotten ahead of her that fast! As Nadya's chest heaved wildly, she felt something was very wrong. Staring wide-eyed at her captor, she realized that this was not the same man. It was a different one; and from behind him emerged two dark figures.

"Look what I've caught boys," the man holding Nadya exclaimed, "I got a fresh one." The men began to howl like wolves in delight.

"Let me go," Nadya demanded, as she thrashed in his hold, trying to knee the man in his groin.

"So you likes to play rough do you, filthy wench?" asked the man in a velvety voice. He was standing so close that Nadya could smell the bourbon emanating from his mouth. Her nose began to burn from its foul stench. Suddenly without warning, she felt a stinging slap across her face.

"Ready boys?" he called out. "Let's have some fun."

Before Nadya could work up a sufficient scream, she saw a flash of movement slip into the alley. Within minutes, she witnessed one of the men falling to the ground with a loud thud, and the other grasping hold of his stomach. The man holding her turned, and was met with a right hook to his cheek. The impact was so precise, that Nadya flinched as she heard the sound of his jaw crack from the punch. Outraged, the man rushed forward with a left kick, but was instantly flipped to the ground.

Squinting in the dark shadows, Nadya saw that it was the man she had stole from! "Leave. Now!" he ordered with a rippling snarl, "or I'll have all of you swinging in the gallows." All three beaten men quickly leapt from the ground and scurried away, none of them daring to look back.

Nadya remained against the wall, and stared upon her unexpected savior that was full of primal lust. She swore he could of have been the devil himself with his huge brooding form and piercing dark eyes. She had seen that same look of rage and hostility before within the men of her camp. The best thing to do, was to wait until it subsided.

"Are you alright?" he asked gruffly, as he approached Nadya with a swiftness that caught her off guard.

"Yes," she answered unsteadily.

"Did they hurt you?"

"Nothing I couldn't handle." Before she could ask where he had come from, she felt a huge hand grasp her arm and pull her out of the alley. He guided them directly under a street lamp and turned so that they were facing each other. Now that there was light to reveal the man's face, Nadya felt herself catch her breath. He was absolutely the most handsomest gadjo she had ever laid eyes upon:

He had midnight colored curls that drew above the front of his forehead, along with a honey tan complexion that hinted to the fact that he spent most of his time outdoors, which was unusual Nadya thought for a gentleman. He also had a strong distinctive jawline that gave shape to his angular face accompanied by dark brows and a straight nose. But what immediately caught her attention, was a pair of the bluest shade of eyes that shot right through her.

And Nadya knew exactly what he was seeing in return: A girl with a small malnourished figure, almost matchstick thin, with raven colored hair tumbling by her waist and dark shaded brows and lashes.

She knew her appearence resembled nothing of the civilized women in society, with their clean angelic expression, blonde hair, and fancy laced trim dresses. She looked more like a wild pirette with a hint of danger that people sensed to avoid. And unlike the ivory-pale faces that populated the streets of London, she had almond tan skin that enhanced her dark striking features of exotic hazel eyes and pale pink lips.

Time seemed to slow altogether as they surveyed one another. But the sound of cackling laughter echoing from across the street broke their concentration. Two old beggars dressed in rags were happily chattering away with each other, and continued to laugh loudly as if they were enjoying brandy in a drawing room instead of being seated on a dirt paved sidewalk.

"I win," she heard him utter.

"What?" she asked dazed, too preoccupied by those piercing blue eyes.

"In light of me saving your life and catching you before you reached the corner, I believe you'll be handing over that necklace now. Or are you going back on your word?" he accused, arching a dark brow.

Cursing inwardly, Nadya had no choice but to give it back. She couldn't outrun him now, given their proximity was only a foot apart.

As if he could sense her contemplating an escape, he spoke darkly. "I would catch you."

Hearing the undeniable assurance in his threat sent a chill up her spin. But there was something she had to ask before departing. "Quick question," she said abruptly.

"You want to know the importance of this necklace," he interrupted, in a matter-of-factly tone.

"No," she shook her head, surprising him in the process, "I want to know why you helped me."

He gave her a quizzical look as if she was speaking in another language.

Taking note of his confusion, she explained. "I stole something that obviously meant great value to you, and yet you helped me. You could have let those men do what they wished as punishment for stealing from you. So why help?"

"What kind of man would I be had I just left you there?" he said incredulously; as if the very notion of standing idly by while she was in danger was positively absurd.

"Like any other man," she replied nonchalantely, "I wouldn't have blamed you for it. No one would risk their life for a Gypsy."

The man began to stare at her oddly, like she was a puzzle he couldn't solve. She didn't like it. She already felt like an outcast within her own camp, and didn't need some stranger looking at her the same way.

Dismissing his inquisitve gaze, she reached into her pocket and pulled out the golden object he had been so desperately trying to retrieve all night. "A deal is a deal," she sighed, and extended the necklace outward.

He reached forward, and grabbed it as if it were a sacred jewel. It was in that moment she saw his expresssion change. His face had taken on the look of a lost soul; a person who experienced the worst life had to offer and had let themselves be consumed by misery. She had seen that same look within herself. Perhaps there was more to this man than she thought.

Glancing around the smog covered environment, she saw the darkened sky beginning to fade into a soft shade of grey, and sensed that sunrise would soon be approaching. Her uncle would be awaking any moment, and she had no desire to face his punishment for returning to camp so late.

Bringing her gaze back to the man with sapphire eyes, she spoke abruptly. "I have to go," and turned to leave. She froze in place as she felt a tug on her hand, and looked up with a questioning glance.

"What's your name?" he asked, giving her a look that took her breath away.

Before common sense could react, she replied softly. "Nadya."

"Nadya" he said with a slight smile, and left her standing under the street lamp while striding away with a cat-like grace down the road. Meanwhile, Nadya stared after him in bewilderment, and would later on realize he hadn't given his name in return.

Taking one last look at the dark haired stranger who had turned her night topsy turvy, she walked the opposite direction back to her camp, and continued to walk until she was sleeping safely in her vardo, while the memory of two pair of eyes; the color of the deepest parts of the ocean, haunted her dreams.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: When strangers meet again. *2,230 words
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 05:27:07 PM »
Beezy, thank you for offering us an easy and interesting read. From the beginning I wanted to like Nadya, but her being a pick-pocket held me back.

I like her changing impressions of and reaction to the man she robbed.

Good writing, keep it up.

Smiles,
Alice
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Offline jeanette

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Re: When strangers meet again. *2,230 words
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 05:56:47 PM »
I like this piece, you've got a few issues with your writing, but, hey, I enjoyed it, and was interested to see where you're headed with it. It's full of spontaneity, you're full into your story, and that means you love writing. Post some more, don't be put off by just getting a few reviews. Everyone's busy. Keep it up!
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Offline Gyppo

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Re: When strangers meet again. *2,230 words
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 06:11:21 PM »
Ah, those theiving Lovel(l)s.  Nothing ever changes ;-)

Seriously, there's things you could do to smooth out some of the speed bumps in this tale, but you obviously have a tale to tell, which is a good start.

A couple of things to think about

The man began to stare at her oddly...

People don't begin to stare, they either do or they don't.  

...while the memory of two pair of eyes; the color of the deepest parts of the ocean, haunted her dreams.

Did the mysterious gentleman really have four eyes?

That's enough for now.  Keep writing.

Gyppo
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Offline jeanette

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Re: When strangers meet again. *2,230 words
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 06:30:46 PM »
oh Gyppo! love it that you just say it like it is, but in such a nice way! No one can ever be offended. Beezy, have a laugh at this, we've all done it!
\"Abandoned\" is available from www.lulu.com/content/2072117<br /><br />\"the Dragon\'s Promise is available from<br />www.lulu.com/content/8075592<br />visit my website at www.jeanettemccarthy.co.uk

Offline 2par

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Re: When strangers meet again. *2,230 words
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 06:38:41 PM »
Hi, Beezy.
I enjoyed the read. Since you put this in the Gallery and not into one of the workshops, it wouldn't do to comment much more. However, if you read this over, out loud, you'll notice those little parts that need attention.
Is this the opening of a novel? Or is it a part of a story?

Offline beezy

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Re: When strangers meet again. *2,230 words
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 06:44:07 PM »
Thanks everybody. Yeaa, I'm new at writing and this website lol. I read it over and found parts of this I have to edit. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to do with this story. But I think I'm going to make this into a prologue. Thank you guys again.