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   Chapter 17 No.17

The Black and White Angel By Lady Lilium Characters: 5270

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:07

Ken stood where he was for a moment in thought.

'Lilith' he spoke aloud. 'You haven't told him have you?' he took a deep sigh. 'He would never marry you if he knew.'

Ken made his way through the city. He took a carriage to the edge of the poor quarters, and walked the rest of the way. He wore a dark cloak on this day, to hide the rich colours he wore, for he owned nothing plainer. Even so he stood out in his dark cloak, but much less so had he not brought it along.

He found the mystery man indeed where the boy had told. In one of the many dingy, dark streets of the poor quarters, a street as unremarkable as all the others, Ken found the man.

William was standing in a ring with many other cheering men, leaning over a crude wall made of a cheap board built in a circle and hollering, calling bets to one another and cheering.

Ken stood at the edge of the low board wall where there was a small gap, just large enough for him to stand comfortably. Looking over the wall he looked on in distain at the spectacle before him. Dog fighting. Two small and muscular dogs with wide heads and short legs tore at each other with a ferocity that was possessed by few other creatures in the world.

Ken shook his head in disgust at the scene. After a short time, one of the dogs were dead. Ken looked up at William standing on the other side of the ring. The small crowd began to disperse, Ken watched as many of them exchanged coins, those losing bets gave coin, those winning bets took happily and filled their purses. Ken approached the man that took his interest, ignoring the peculiar looks he was receiving from all directions.

'What is your name?' Ken spoke to the man.

The man glanced up at him, giving Ken the same strange look the others had given him.

'A rich man in the poor quarters?' William said. 'What possible business do you have here? And why speak to me?'

'What is your name?' Ken asked.

'It's William.'

'I need to speak to you about something important. In private.'

'Whatever you wish you tell me' William said, 'you can do so here.'

Ken sighed wearily. 'It's about Lilith' he said. 'Believe me. You want to hear this.'

Lilith looked utterly beautiful in the dress she and William had stolen together; it required only a brief adjustment to fit her size.

'You look amazing!' one of the children said.

Lilith smiled down at him, glancing back at the tall mirror before her. The dress, now her dress, was pure white and fit her slender frame perfectly. Its design was created for modesty, with a high collar and the arms, shoulders and chest made of an intricate lace p

attered with flowers. Lilith stared at her reflection; she looked taller in the dress. Her grey hair was tied back behind her, and she wore not jewellery, only awaited the ring William would soon give her. Her husband, or soon to be.

'I've never been happier' Lilith whispered to herself. 'I wish this day to last forever.'

The gathering was set place in the green field on the edge of the city, where the grass grew green and the open space was fresher and more beautiful outside the city than it was in.

There was a holy man standing below an archway of white flowers. Nearly a hundred people, friends and family and friends of friends were gathered at the wedding that was due to begin, even complete strangers turned up. But all were welcome at such public events in the poor quarters, be they stranger or not. Lilith stood near the holy man, at the bottom of a short flight of wooden steps that had been brought out especially for the occasion; they were painted white to match the dress she wore, and the flowers above them.

'Where is he?' Lilith asked tentatively, her voice a trace of concern.

'This is his last day as a free man' the holy man explained. 'He is making the most of it I'm sure.'

Lilith listened to his words, looking away from him into the distance, her eyes glazed over.

He was an hour or so late, when he arrived, and when he did, he was not dressed in the fine suit he had tried on that morning. Instead he was dressed in his casual clothes. Lilith's stomach sank at the sight, and the people, the guests around them broke out into murmurs which rippled like a wave.

As Lilith gazed down at William who stood at a distance, she knew something was very very wrong.

'The wedding is off' William spoke loudly in a dead voice. He said quietly now, 'I will not marry Lilith.'

The gasps erupted and the murmurs continued louder. The guests glanced from side to side at each other uncertainly.

'Lilith' William said in a sombre tone. 'We need to speak alone.'

They walked a distance away from the people. Even if they shouted here, they would not have been heard. The walk to this spot had been agonising for Lilith.

'If I have done anything to offend you' Lilith said when they were alone, 'I am very sorry.'

'You didn't tell me' William said in a harsh voice, one he had never used speaking to her before. 'Lilith. Why? Why didn't you tell me?'

Lilith stared at him wide-eyed.

She sighed deeply, letting her shoulders sag. The white flowers she held, she dropped to the floor now. The bundle tumbled and separated, falling a distance from each other. Forgotten.

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