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Airs and Heiresses
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Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Jul-6-2015 11:19

New York, 1938
St. Regis Hotel
Rooftop Nightclub

"So there I was, staring down a barrel INCHES from death...and I told the man, 'darling REALLY, if you simply must shoot me do allow me to remove my earrings. They are Cartier, you know." Molly Maltese paused to take a sip of her Red Snapper, popping the olive neatly between her cherub lips before gnashing it to a pulp. "And the man was quite flummoxed, he said- I say, is that Riza Hawkeye?"

She rose, the group of rapt men in tuxedos and women in glittering dresses and furs murmuring their protests as she wended through their knees. But the apparition she was quite sure had been Riza Hawkeye had vanished in the crowd of New York socialites populating the exclusive terrace.

"Well, this place is a bit ritzy for Riza." she murmured, fairly certain her old acquaintance didn't make a habit of populating social-climbing fetes. And she reasoned, any time Riza had appeared before it was hardly ever for a pleasant cause. Well, maybe that was unfair. It just seemed she was more the swirl-of-furs-and-stiletto-daggers type than a frothy socializer like Molly herself.

Peering around, Molly saw nothing but the shadowed faces of revelers partially cloaked in the smoky haze. She had just been about to give up and go back to her companions when the most shocking hubbub began. Over on the north part of the terrace, she could distinctly hear the shouts of men and panicked screeching of females. Moving forward, she could just make out..

"Did you see... The Ambassador... who could have... murder! Someone has pushed the Ambassador off the building!" Molly picked up speed, expertly weaving through the crowd of panicked voices. Sirens already began to sound twenty stories below. Just as she grasped the ledge and looked over, an all too familiar voice sounded in her left ear.

"Oh hello there, old friend. Lovely breeze out today."

Before her stood Riza Hawkeye herself, looking utterly unruffled as several ladies fainted behind her.


Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-13-2015 09:19

"I think this shade of red would look just divine on you." Molly said, brandishing a sleek tube of Ravishing Red lipstick. "We just won't tell dear daddy."

Molly sat Arielle in front of a makeshift vanity that Molly had constructed and began to wet her hair and comb it through. Humming to herself, she reached for her arsenals of pomades and waxes, arranging Arielle's hair around her face in sleek finger waves.

"I used to have a maid to help me style my hair." Molly began thoughtfully. "But things being what they were after I went into hiding, and my utter unwillingness to look like a terrible slob... I learned a few tricks myself."

Her fingers worked up and down around Arielle's face as she waxed, combed and then pushed her hair this way and that to achieve swooping waves. Arielle watched her in the mirror, transfixed.

"Let's see, you were Josee originally. Is that what I heard? And Anais is your mother but is not your mother. Sounds like an awfully complex family tree." Molly said casually, rolling pin curls deftly at the nape of Arielle's neck. Arielle leaned her head forward slightly.

"My mother... well, Anais. She's not my mother, but she's taken care of me as long as I can remember." Arielle said quietly.

"Ah, sometimes the best mothers are the ones with no blood relation." Molly said wisely, frowning at a particularly stubborn pin curl, then yipped indignantly as Arielle shook her head.

"No, Anais is really my aunt. My true mother Anais' sister Lisette died."

Molly's eyebrows shot up even as she finished the set. "And Joseph got involved with both of them. How interesting." She shook her head and mouthed "MEN." to no one in particular.

Arielle saw her reaction and gave a tiny smile. She was deciding she liked this somewhat flamboyant woman. She fit interestingly in the group made up of her mother, Aunt Riza, Vulkie, and the various men. Sort of like a peacock roosting with chickens.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-13-2015 09:20

"Ooh, did you see how fabulous I looked from that angle just there?" Molly said, opening her eyes wide and tilting her head again experimentally. "I should have all my portraits done this way!"

Arielle watched her with wide eyes. Definitely a peacock.

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-13-2015 09:33

Presently, Molly had primped, pushed, swiped, rubbed, patted and dabbed Arielle into a striking visage. No mere 14-year old was this! Her lips were perfectly shaped in red, her eyes bright and wide with dramatic wings of smoky liner around them, and perfectly penciled brows. Molly pursed her lips, wondering if this little waif would now outshine her but then decided she could be magnanimous and share the spotlight if only for one night.

In record time, Molly applied her usual red lips and neat eyeliner with dark sooty lashes and brushed out her hair. Noting the shorn piece in the front, she frowned and pinned a neat white velvet cap with a white fishnet applique over the whole 'do. Nipping into a blue walking dress, she left her room and struck an attractive pose in the living room.

"Yoohoo!" she called, and Phillippe and Arielle stepped in from the small porch outside.

"Darlings, really you are holding me up immensely. I must have a new dress." Molly said prettily, and shooed them out the door. Phillippe kept peering at Arielle in distaste as they begin to walk towards the shopping district, and presently Molly took her handbag and whacked him over the head with it.

"Why are you throwing such rude looks around, what a boor you are." She said crossly and Phillippe blushed.

"It's just...she looks so... old." Phillippe said, and with a squawk of inhuman rage Molly pushed him right into a bush and kept marching on with Arielle, linking her arm in the girls.

"I don't know how you stand him, really he doesn't know how to talk to women AT ALL." Molly whispered, and Arielle gave a slight giggle. Brushing himself off, Phillippe trotted after the pair calling apologies and burning with embarrassment.

Molly had hit the perfect department store on the first try, and Arielle exited the doors in a stunning red dress with a slight Peter Pan collar, small ruching at the bust and fitted all the way down into a neat pencil skirt. A small red bow sat on her waist

Molly Maltese
Molly Maltese
Old Shoe

Sep-13-2015 09:40

and Molly had immediately called for white kitten heels and an adorable white clutch purse to match. She personally finished off the look by placing a white fascinator of pearls and fabric flowers above Arielle's right ear.

"Now remember, if your father tries to rush me, I am armed and I will shoot to kill." Molly said, straightening the hem of her own deep emerald wiggle dress. It sat just slightly off the shoulder with a crisply cut bustline, ruching over the waste and slinky material to the knees. Molly kept on her own white pumps and clutch.

So dressed, Molly paraded the group into a restaurant situated at the penthouse of one of the buildings. It was all dark wood and glowing lacquered red poppies in the table and wall panels. Candlelight votives glowed from each table. After a casual card was produced from Molly's wallet, Phillippe and Arielle were ushered to raised booth in the back.

"I hear they always keep this one reserved for the creme de la creme." Molly said casually, whispering to the attentive waiter. A bottle of fine wine appeared, and glasses were poured for all.

"A toast!" Molly raised her glass. "To not being insufferable bores locked in the house tonight."

With a full smile, Arielle and Phillippe returned her toast. Molly took a sip and set her glass down.

"Now, what's the happening? I'm simply on the edge of my seat to know why everyone is so wound up and I won't be satisfied until you tell everything to your Aunt Molly... oooh. oh. No, nevermind you mustn't call me Aunt Molly ever. It makes me sound terribly old and dowdy. Heavens." Molly washed that bad taste out of her mouth with another sip of wine and then looked expectantly at Arielle...

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-13-2015 21:20

Arielle had heard bits and pieces about Ms. Molly Maltese, her mother hadn't known this woman all that well, but Arielle always knew that Anais respected this woman whith the penchant for fine food and luxurious clothing. The day, thus far had been a whirlwind. She had never had makeup put on, or worn such a stunning garment before. She surreptitiously slid her hand slowly down the smooth silk sheath. What had happened to her? Who was this pretty, pampered girl?

Molly was lookiing at her expectantly. So was Philippe. She shook off her thoughts.

"Elle, are you ok?" Philippe asked, concerned.

"I'm sorry, what was the question," Arielle asked Molly, while giving Philippe a half smile.

"I simply want to know what is going on, popsy!" Molly flashed her brillant smile. Philippe looked like he might start panting.

"Motther has gotten herself... tied up. In a manner of speaking," Arielle said haltingly.

Philippe snapped to attention at the quiver in Arielle's voice. "Maybe we shouldn't discuss this here, Elle," he said, vocie low, with a glance at Molly.

Molly sat back, studying the two young people in front of her. She gave a quick nod and, with a tinkling laugh that caused heads to trun in stare in awe, said "Yes, you are quite right, darlings. What news do you have, Philippe, wubsy, of the coming autumn fashions?"

Philippe blushed as red as a radish and hemmed and hawed his way through descriptions of the coming changes to the wool industry. Soon the meal was over.

The light still shone on the street, though it was starting to darken. Arielle nudged Philippe when she saw a man sharpening kitchen knives in front of a small alleyway. Philippe looked in the direction, and nodded.

"Oh! Looksie! There is a perfectly lovely hat shop! Let's go!" Molly cried, grabbing Arielle's hand, and headed to the shop right next to the blade sharpener.

Arielle Zeo
Arielle Zeo

Sep-13-2015 21:21

Philippe went to talk to the man as Molly set about looking for new hats, and to find Arielle a perfect hat as well. Arielle watched Philippe out of the corner of her eye as he held up small metal discs that glinted in the dying light. She nodded at the blue ripple in the steel. Arielle turned back to the hats as Philippe pulled a few coins off his belt.

It was dark when they left the milliner's, Philippe's arms piled so high that he couldn't see over the boxes. Arielle had managed to keep the number of hats Molly had bought her to two, one a bright green cloche, and the other a black silk pillbox with a spray of white fabric flowers and a white feather sticking out.

Molly stumbled, almost knocking Philippe and the hats over.

"Whoopsie-daisy!" Molly giggled, managing to catch herself. "So sorry, wubsy. It's this hat!" she pointed to the immense black feathered concoction that swept over her eyes.

Philippe sighed. "Ms. Maltese, did you really have to drink all the sake that they offered you? For that matter, did you really need to buy fourteen hats?"

Arielle giggled and tripped, catching herself and her hats.

Philippe scowled as he walked sideways, the only way to see with all of the boxes he was carrying. "We are going back to the house," he grumbled. "Right now!"

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-14-2015 07:36

The French Concession had the best doctors and Zeo knew it. Kerr was bleeding out fast and there was no time to waste.

“Marc can you still drive?” Zeo asked. The detective dusted his coat and nodded. Zeo started his Buick with Ed in the backseat holding onto Kerr, while Marc followed with Riza and Jasper in his Ford.

It was disappointing they could not interrogate Jack for more information, but at least he most probably died in the explosion and they were in possession of the Amulet. The mere thought of the blue stone sent headaches and images to Zeo’s peripheral, so he focused on the driving. Why did the British embassy suddenly blow up? More incomprehensible images.... Joseph kept his eyes on the dark road.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-14-2015 07:39

Marc kept his eyes on Joseph’s car. As much as he learned about this city, he could not beat a Shanghailander’s knowledge of its streets. Anger continued to simmer at Ed, and Marc would’ve smashed into the backseat of the car in front of him if Joseph and Kerr weren’t in it as well.

As they drew near to the hospital, Marc spotted a very pretty girl in red dancing in the street with her two friends and lots of boxes. Just as Marc was about to whistle, Joseph suddenly stopped his car, so Marc stopped as well. Joseph strode up to the girl and started to talk very loudly, yanking the girl into his car. He banged the door shut and continued with pulling the other lady towards Marc’s car.

“.... a big mistake to ask you to watch my daughter!...” Marc then realized it was Molly, drunk as a fish, giggling as Joseph shoved her in the backseat next to Riza.

“What about the boxes of hats?” The young man who was with Arielle inquired.

“I DON’T GIVE A SHOE ABOUT THOSE HATS!!” Joseph bellowed back as he banged his own car door close, hit on the gas pedal unnecessarily hard and sped ahead.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Sep-14-2015 08:19

Insufferable woman! Was it too much to ask for, to keep his daughter safe in the SAFE HOUSE for just one day? Instead, she paraded his little girl around town in clothes fit for a showgirl…. and with makeup!!!

Joseph looked around for a hot towel, and found some hospital linen. He went to the bathroom and soaked it in hot water, came out and proceeded with wiping Arielle’s face clean. The young lady struggled fruitlessly in her state of unsteadiness, but the ‘cleaning’ only made her eyes look darker, and runny black lines began to seep everywhere on her face.

Calm as he was earlier in the day under Sphinx soldiers’ relentless attack, Joseph now began to panic about makeup. Would his daughter’s face be permanently scarred? He began to curse under his breath.

Riza signed. She took some face cream from Molly’s handbag and walked over to the father and daughter. “Let me.”

Joseph looked at his watch. Now that Kerr is safe at the hospital and they have the Amulet, his duty to SMC and Ed was done. They can head for Karachi tomorrow. There was just one more thing he needed to do. He owe her at least that much.

Joseph made Riza promised that she would keep an eye on Arielle and not leave her sight and no alcohol, cigarettes, or clingy clothes, before he put his own jacket on Arielle and ran off into the night.

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa

Sep-15-2015 08:31

Marc's anger, at times, could get the best of him. Edward put everyone's lives at risk. Never mind him not realizing the British Royal Guards being Sphinx in disguise, but using Ann Kerr as live bait, was as dangerous as it sounded.

Archibald Kerr had been wounded, but thankfully he wasn't near as bad as Ambassador Johnson. Vulkie was gone. Either picked up by someone and taken to the hospital or kidnapped. Vulkie was tough enough and didn't seem to be a stranger to sticky situations, and would be able to get out if that was the case.

Marc surveyed the room. Those that he called friends were now piled in the hospital waiting room. And then there was Ed and Jasper. Jasper seemed like a decent guy but Ed's drinking was out of control. Something needed to be said.

"Ed," Marc called out as he approached,"a quick word?"

He motioned for Ed to follow outside and walked out. When Edward appeared Marc walked up behind him and grabbed him, dragging him out of view from anyone inside the building. He slammed Edward hard against the brick wall. He shoved his arm into Ed's throat, pinning him against the wall, applying just enough pressure that Ed could not scream.

"When I let go, I want you to take a look around that waiting room. Those are people in there that I call friends." Marc snarled.

Edward stared back, his face now turning red with anger.

"They are the closest people to a family that I have left," Marc continued. "If you ever put their lives at risk again, I will kill you myself."

Marc let go and backed away.

"Assaulting a federal agent," Edward said. "I can have you arrested for that."

"You wanna try?"

"I should have you arrested and charged with murder. Your friend Silas and Leo would like to see justice served, I'm sure."

Marc smiled. "You've got nothing." He turned around and walked back into the building.

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