Ms. Craven was a fast worker, and diligent too. Within the half hour, she managed to cut all the pieces to size and almost finish pinning it to my form.
Unfortunately, it looked like the dress was going to turn out to be something from a white nightmare. The skirt had a long, maybe a meter long train; the strapless bodice was weighted down with tiny, crystal beads; I had maybe 5 layers of tulle underneath the overly lacy overskirt. This dress was probably the farthest away from being “simple.”
“And…done!” she said, putting in the last pin. “Now let’s go show it to your beau.”
We headed towards the door, and all of a sudden, I heard a very large and resonating bang. It sounded like a mixture of shattering glass, snapping wood, and screeching steel as it scrapes against something. I pushed past Ms. Craven and opened the door (which was surprisingly unlocked).
I came across quite the interesting scene. All of the Tiger’s men were standing around two, well-dressed men, whose backs were facing me. The Tiger faced the two men, and I could tell by the way he was smiling and tossing his gun around that he was teasing them, playing with them. Behind the two men in suits, the door was smashed in, and a smoldering wreck of what looked like what was the remains of a car lay at the entrance of the door. I decided to inch closer as to see what was happening.
“What have you done with her, you villain?!” said a voice I recognized immediately. His voice hadn’t changed a bit since I last saw him 6 years ago. Think deep, suave English accented voice, except with a little more…shrillness in it.
“Me, a villain?” asked the Tiger. “You are the one breaking into private property, causing a lot of damage. And are you intoxicated?”
“Do not try to distract me, you vile criminal! You have captured Miss Theodora, the prestigious rose of the North family. I am her suitor, Heathcliff—“ Heathcliff’s voice is muffled by something.
“I’m afraid it’s too late, fellow,” replied the Tiger. “She’s already engaged. To me.”
Now I didn’t care much for Heathcliff, but being held here against my will, and getting married against my will to anybody is and was not a pleasant prospect. So I stomped my way over, and pushed through the crowd of men encircling Heathcliff, his mysterious friend, and the Tiger.
“What is the matter?” I asked politely.
Heathcliff turned and fell into what looked like an apoplectic seizure. I just looked at him calmly; he’s always been like that. His friend knelt over, and helped him back up to his feet again.
“Nothing, darling,” said the Tiger. “Just taking care of some intruders. And by the way, the dress looks perfect. You may want to lose your boots though, we’ll have to find you some appropriate heels.”
I looked down at my feet, and saw the scuffed tip of my boots peeking out from under the dress. I suppose it did look strange with the whole ensemble, but I didn’t plan to be in that dress.
The Tiger glanced at Heathcliff, who still seemed to be in some sort of shock. “Is he all right?”
“It’s fine. He’s been like that forever.”
“Oh, so you know him?”
“Family business associates. He’s the son of the president of one of our associated companies.”
“I see. So he’s not…your beau?” There was a hint of jealousy in the Tiger’s voice.
“Heathcliff?” I sputtered. “No, not at all. At most, a childhood friend. I haven’t seen him for more than 6 years.”
By this time, Heathcliff had recovered. “Miss Theodora, darling, princess! Are you all right? Have you been harmed? You look absolutely ravishing!” He nearly pounces on me in an attempt to hug me, but the Tiger catches him by the scruff of his neck. He held up his gun to Heathcliff’s head.
“Let go of me, you felon! Let’s settle this like men!” Heathcliff unsheathed a gun from his own pocket, and pointed it at the Tiger’s head. The Tiger let go of him, and Heathcliff spun around, still holding the gun. “Let’s settle this in a shooting challenge.”
Within a few minutes, Heathcliff and the Tiger had a target set up, and they stood quite a distance away. I was standing off to the side, near the still smoking wreck of the car. Heathcliff’s mysterious friend also stood besides me. He was tall (nearly a head taller than I am) and lean, with tanned skin as if he’s been under the sun for some time. He stood slightly hunched, dark brown hair swept over his eyes.
Heathcliff and the Tiger started shooting at the target, creating quite a bit of noise. All of the men had their attention on the pair, silently cheering on their boss. That’s when I noticed my chance. I started sneaking towards the large gash in the door, my footprints disguised by the sound of gunshots. I started to run when I got out of the warehouse.
I saw a car in the parking lot, the only one there. I tried getting into it, but the door was unsurprisingly locked.
“Hey, need some help there?” asked someone behind me.