Saffron: Part 2
By: James Dubeau
Sprinkled about the dining room were a handful of late-night patrons. Romantic starlight dining was an airship mainstay. Solitary candles upon each table should be the only illumination. Their eyes should be locked upon each other while rich deserts would be shared. Nervously each couple avoided eye contact with Lord Hagen. Most people shied away from an agitated lord.
Alone, I entered the dining room. My cousin’s weak willed ways left him in refuge at the bar. His fascination with Saffron had not instilled courage like whiskey had done for me. He would not confront a lord, even if it was to defend her honor.
“Did you not hear me? I said, leave her alone.” I marched across the dining room.
Saffron looked up from the crouched man by her side with terror-filled eyes. Lord Hagen turned and erected himself, his full height towered over me. Olive skin contrasted with a starched white shirt and red bowtie. Black suspenders strained to contain a barrel-sized chest. A heavy black mustache hid his lips as velvety words slipped through. “I have business with this woman.”
I hesitated for a moment under his full height and power. He may be a full foot taller and wider than me but I was not about to turn tail and run. I slipped off my coat and stood toe to toe with the brute. “It sounds like a business which she wants no part of. Why don’t you pay us the niceties and be on your way?”
His meaty paw slammed into my jaw and knocked me across a vacant table. “So that is how you want this to play out,” I pulled myself off the floor and returned the candle to the table. Lord Hagen stared me down.
“You caught me unawares on that one,” I raised my fists and danced around the table. “I’ll let it slide though. Only fair, since you are a lord and all.”
The freight train slammed across my jaw again. Once more I was knocked across the table. Saffron screamed. Lord Hagen grunted in satisfaction.
“You don’t talk much do ya?” I spat blood as I spoke.
“This matter does not concern you.” His sausage fingers flexed and cracked.
I rushed forward and ducked another blow. Quickly I jabbed. Once, twice, three times. My fists bounced off his brick wall chest. My knuckles screamed.
Lord Hagen laughed. He wrapped me in an unyielding bear hug. Life was forced from my lungs. My legs kicked out as I was lifted off the ground. His strength and size spelt my death.