By Kris Calvert
Theirs was the VIP table—the only VIP. This made Mary walk a little taller through the crowd of enthusiastic onlookers. It seemed everyone wanted to know who Stirling Drake had brought to the gala as his arm candy. It occurred to Mary as they made their way through the sea of people, just as many women were eyeing her as the men.
Sterling leaned into her as they approached the highly appointed table dressed in red roses, candles, and exquisite linens. “You’ve attracted some attention but don’t be self-conscious. They’re merely jealous of your beauty,” he whispered.
The glow of his compliment showed on her flushed cheeks, and she couldn’t contain her smile.
The flower arrangements were bigger at their special table; there were more candles and a more attentive staff. Mary felt like the belle of the ball—a ball that she herself had planned.
An invisible spotlight seemed to shine on them, and she wasn’t mad about it—not one little bit. Tonight it seemed as though everyone wanted to be the woman on the arm of Sterling Drake. Mary was happy she was the lucky girl.
Sterling held the chair for his date, eyeing her perfect ass as she slid it into the red chair.
“It all came together beautifully,” she whispered to herself as she surveyed the room, noting all of her hard work and plans had been executed impeccably for the event.
Sterling took the seat beside her, leaning into her shoulder to steal a kiss from her exposed skin. He wanted everyone in the room to know Mary belonged to him. She greeted his advance with an inviting sigh.
“This is too much. It really is,” she said, looking into his dark eyes.
“Too much?” he asked with a flirtatious laugh. “Nothing is ever too much, my dear. Not for us. Not tonight. Not any night. Now,” he said bringing his voice down. “Let me pour you another glass of Cristal and discuss the Pastry Bitch.”
Mary brought the fresh glass of champagne to her lips but paused to giggle at his statement.
“I don’t want to spoil this beautiful evening. Besides, she’s not worth it.”
Sterling looked into Mary’s eyes. “Your lips are saying one thing, but the sparkle in your eyes tells me something completely different.”
“Really?” she asked with a hint of sarcasm.
Stirling placed two fingers on his full lips before transferring them to Mary’s. “The lips will lie,” he whispered. “The eyes, never.”
Mary couldn’t help but squirm in her seat. The man was turning her on and turning her inside out at the same time.
“So,” her voice cracked in hesitation. “Pray tell, what are my eyes telling you?”
“That they seek something.”
Mary swallowed hard, the party around them faded into white noise that merely filled in the gaps of her now focused mind. She did seek something. The man sitting in front of her. Stirling Drake. Instead, she begged the question, “And what is that?”
“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you us tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not…” Stirling paused in his Shakespearian quote for effect. “Revenge?”
“You think I want revenge?” she asked.
He didn’t say a word but nodded only once. Once was all that was needed.
“So what if I am?”
“So what if we do something about it?”
Mary took a long pause. Her mother had always taught her not to seek revenge, always saying, If you’re looking for revenge, you’ll surely find it. Just be sure to dig two graves. One for the victim and one for yourself.
Still the thought nagged at her. Maybe her eyes were telling the truth. “What could we do?”
Stirling cleared a space on the table in front of them, pulling an antique silver pen from jacket of his tuxedo.
Using the cocktail napkin from under Mary’s Cristal, he drew a star and circled it—the ink blood red. He then handed the pen to Mary.
“As I say the words, you say the words. As you write the words, you say the words.”
Mary cocked her head in confusion. “I don’t understand.”
“As I say the words, you say the words. As you write the words, you say the words,” he repeated. “Spoken to intention, intention to word.”
She poised the pen to the napkin, the red ink immediately spreading from the fountain pen with only a touch.
“Come Evil. Evil Come.”
Mary said the words as she wrote them on the flimsy paper napkin. “Come Evil. Evil Come.”
“Do my bidding to the one.”
Again, Mary wrote the words as she repeated them.
“Darkness Darkness hear my plea.”
“Mark the words, I commandeth thee.”
When Mary was finished writing all that Stirling had dictated, he took the small paper napkin from her hand and held it to the flame of one of the many candles that lit the table.
In a puff of fire and ash, it disappeared.
She watched in amazement, nearly oblivious to the fact that Sterling now held her hand inside his. Lifting her delicate hand to his mouth, he brushed her knuckles with his soft lips. “It is done, my beautiful Mary. It is done.”