"White Suit–Solomon" A Gorgeous Carat Story by Arwensong

(with thanks to Guardian for the original idea, and Astra Plain for her encouragement and beta, this continues the theme begun in her "White Suit" and continued in Astra Plain's "White Suit-Azura")

I only caught a glimpse of him, that first time I saw him, a tall slender form in a white suit, young Florian du Rochefort. He was the very image of protective nobility, even as a small child clung to his back, indeed, all the more noble-looking because he so clearly stood guard over the child. At the time I was too caught up in the excitement of my verbal sparring with Noir to pay too much attention to the pair...I confess it...and while my analytical mind filed the information away automatically, I didn't reflect upon the odd pair until later, when I learned that the young du Tassel boy was missing. It was then that I recalled the details, the platinum blond hair, the pride that demanded upright carriage even with a small child on his back no matter the fatigue that shadowed his pale face, and of course, the glittering amethyst eyes.

Those eyes. They were part of the deceptive package, along with the white suit. A dangerous man doesn't have amethyst eyes, the hard-boiled detective in me insisted, and I dismissed "the little lord" as unworthy of a second glance. A man to be reckoned with would be like my black cat, all sleek edges and sharp tongue, his glittering green eyes shooting sparks of green fire when I scored a point against him. Such as when I remarked on his youth. Ah, Noir didn't like that being brought up, especially not in front of Florian, who, at twenty, was a whole two years older. I could not remember when two years last seemed a vast gap, yet never in our acquaintance have I once thought of Noir as anything but a man. It was Florian whom one was misled into underestimating, with his pretty hair and lovely amethyst eyes, and yes, his white suits that he kept so clean. So innocent looking.

Then I saw him again. He didn't see me. I learned that first impressions can be very wrong, even those of clever detectives like myself. The little lord was not afraid to stand up to my very dangerous Noir. Face up to him! He struck him! From the look of it, the blow had some power behind it too. Without wasting words, Florian made his point and left, shocking both me and my Noir. I felt a wry amusement at Noir's expense, again, I am man enough to confess it, and I tried to turn the row I was fortunate enough to spy upon to my advantage.

It was then that I learned of my second mistaken in my assumptions about the man in the white suit. And yes, he was very much a man, despite the delicate features and tender feelings, and the amethyst eyes. Florian was loyal to Ray Balzac Courland. I was unable to manipulate his finer feelings and soft heart for the child he so clearly cared about to get him to betray the man who'd treated him as a possession, as a slave.

The man I'd called a little lord in my mind made me feel very small before I was done trying to manipulate him. He won our little battle. And he left me wanting to win back his good opinion.

I was still obsessed with Noir. But I now found I was growing obsessed with his treasure as well.