The Temptress

He looked into the glass window and watched the gentlemen and ladies strolling about in perfumed air as well-dressed salesmen with dazzling smiles and smooth words approached them with the promise that this car – and this car only – would solve all of their problems. That is, whatever problems the rich and mighty were burdened with.

And through all of that wealth, he spotted it. Sleek and beautiful, it stood on its own pedestal, obviously in a class of its own and far above its peers. He watched as men were drawn to the elegant carriage, the women to its subdued hues, never mind the fact that the its price easily glided past a million. He stood before the window as the blessed and ignorant admired the creature that had been born of her father’s people and had been named after her before one of their rivals had bought the design and all of the strings attached to the project.

And as he stood there, he wondered what his girlfriend would think if she knew that he visited that glass window everyday until the morning when he found out that, both to his relief and disappointment, someone had finally given into temptation and had taken her home so that he could keep her in the shadows until it came once or twice when he was in the mood to sit behind the wheel of such a temptress.

.           .           .

She desperately held her hat down. Behind her, she could hear her friends screaming excitedly as they tore down the empty road. The throaty growl pitching into a whine, they flew through the dunes, scattering sand in their wake and all and any prudence. The young women weakly smiled as she tightly clung to her seatbelt.

She couldn’t decide whether she was more embarrassed for her friends or of her boyfriend. They were the ones who had asked him for a detour after he had offered to drive them home and were the reason why they were going on such a reckless drive in the middle of the desert. But the topic of her boyfriend’s wealth was always something that she never really liked to discuss. It made her feel funny – as if talking about it would tell others that she was only seeing him because she liked his money, and not who he was. Which wasn’t true in any way whatsoever.

She glanced at him. Though she could see the faintest of smiles on his lips, for some reason, she doubted that it reached his eyes. Even with his dark sunglasses, in her heart, she knew that his eyes were still as cold and as blank as they always were, no matter what they were doing or who they were with. But more importantly, she took notice of his causal grip on the wheel, as if he was used to driving at breakneck speed. Not so much because he was accustomed to such luxury – though his posture suggested that too – but because he drove by putting his life on the line, as if it was something that he didn’t really care to safeguard.

Almost as if, she realized much later, the blessed had nothing more to lose than their ennui.

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One thought on “The Temptress

  1. Sean says:

    I sort of love the fact that Lelouch is a bit of a car lover with him going and admiring this particularly nice one until it finally gets bought. It feels like the sort of thing you wouldn’t expect of him or at least not before he got involved in the world of organized crime.

    There’s a bittersweet angle to him finally getting it later on. On one hand, I imagine some part of him enjoys having something he had only been able to stare at in a window before. But as Shirley herself notes, the smile he has while driving doesn’t reach his eyes. He may be able to get it now, but the cost of doing so wasn’t worth it to him.

    Makes me feel sorry for Shirley too given how she got involved in all this despite being completely innocent.

    Thank you for this interlude. 😀

    Like

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