Saffron: Part 1
By: James Dubeau
“Lord Cillian.” The bartender smiled at my outstretched cabbage and left the blonde waitress at the bar’s far end. Money was the only way to get service with a mug like mine.
“I never understood your taste for that whiskey,” my cousin said when my snifter and his tea were slid in front of us.
“Keeps out the cold on these long airship flights,” I tugged on my fedora. Several other passengers had shared my thoughts and had not changed out of their hats and coats. Unseasonably cold thin air seeped through cabin windows and chilled the lounge.
“See her?” a bony elbow jabbed my ribs.
She was a fallen angel. A slender fiery headed woman glided through the airship lounge. Long green silk gown flowed over her gracefully malevolent body. Delicate fingers were encased by long white silk gloves. Golden strings glittered with diamonds draped a willowy neck. Mischievous green eyes washed over us. Her keister swished and held our gaze until she disappeared into the dining room.
We weren’t the only ones who stalked her progress. Every eye was firmly upon her. Fixed upon every curve and dove into the same gutter.
“That dress hardly looks warm.” I drained my glass.
“There sure is a tail on her.” A wistful glaze consumed his eyes and soul.
“And horns too I’ll bet. You know that succubus?”
“You can say that, she’s a flapper from back home. They call her Saffron. A few good nights at the craps table were had with her by my side.”
“She blow your dice?” My empty glass slid across the varnished countertop to the bartender. He topped it off and picked a bill from the small green pile before me.
“Blew my dice and my money, was a good time though. Too bad her luck was not as divine as those luscious lips.”
“Leave me be.” A feminine voice rang from the dining room. The background cacophony of voices and glasses ceased. Only the outboard prop engine hum filled the void between outbursts. Trouble seemed to brew for Saffron.
“I do not have what you are looking for Lord Hagen!” Only her half of the conversation reached my ears.
“Unhand me.” Her desperate protests grew louder.
“Leave her alone.” My once again empty glass slammed onto the bar. The caramel liquid insulated me from the cold and fortified my courage.
“Would you like to say that to my face?” A soft masculine voice slipped from the dining area.
“You don’t have to go in there.” My cousin grasped my arm.
“Her honor demands to be defended. Besides,” I winked, “I’ve never known a lord to back up his words and fight.”