Chapter 3

Magdalene kept a pleasant smile on her face as she listened to the small talk around her.

Another dull party with people she didn't know. Another round of hands to shake, jokes to laugh at and inane chatter to listen to.

She supposed her life seemed rather glamorous to anyone looking in from outside. A large apartment with every luxury and convenience, a chaffered car, legions of adoring fans….

And here she was… in the ballroom of a beautiful, glamorous hotel… sipping champagne with the most wealthy and influential people in the city.

So many girls would gladly have taken her place… but she would give it all up in a moment for her freedom.

She excused herself and went to get some air, walking slowly because of her high heels and the tight skirt of her dress.

Mag caught a glimpse of herself in a mirror as she walked through the hallway. The dress was a low cut fishtail dress in ruby colored silk. A silver choker dotted with garnets encircled her neck and her long dark hair was piled up on her head in elaborate curls.

Not for the first time she cursed the necessity of having to get dressed up in these ridiculous get ups. How she was supposed to breathe properly in a corset… or walk properly in heels six inches high?
She walked through the garden, feeling slightly better away from the all those wretched people.

Suddenly a hand grabbed her arm pulling her into the shadows.

She was just about to scream and alert the guards when the person who has grabbed her whispered 'sshhhh' placing a finger against her lips. She could just make out Graverobber's features in the shadows.

"What are you doing here? If they realize you weren't invited…" she whispered, happy to see him but worried he would get caught.

"Don't worry, they won't see me" he said with a grin, his tone so confident she couldn't help but believe him.

"Would they miss you if you took off?" he asked.

"Probably… but I could always make some excuse…" she said, her expression rather mischievous. Whatever he had in mind would no doubt be more fun than making small talk with Rotti's friends.

"Then how about we get out of here… and go to a real party…"

…...

The club was underground, lit with neon lights and crowded with people.

Mag's ears were immediately assaulted by the throbbing, infectious beat of the techno music.

Graverobber grinned at the way at the way Mag's eyes widened as she took in the scene. She had heard of underground raves but she had never been to one.

All around there were people. People drinking, slumped on various surfaces in a zydrate haze, and even… she noticed with some embarrassment… half undressed, kissing furiously in the corners.

All the eyes in the immediate vicinity turned their way. She flushed slightly but he just grinned.

At first she thought they recognized her… and no doubt some of them did… but she soon realized it was mostly the way she was dressed. She stuck out like a sore thumb in this crowd.

Mag excused herself and went to the girl's room. She looked at herself in the mirror and pulled off the choker, tossing it in her bag. The corset she was wearing over the dress quickly went in the trash. Then she tore the skirt of her dress, ripping it off at mid thigh.

Finally she tugged the pins out of her hair, letting in it fall in loose wild curls around her shoulders.

He stared as she emerged from the bathroom, looking her up and down approvingly. She grinned. Clearly he liked the new look.

"I thought I was attracting to much attention in that get up" she grinned.

"You'll do" he said with a teasing grin. She chuckled.

"Would you like a drink?" he asked, gesturing towards the bar. "I'd love one."

"Don't go anywhere" he grinned, disappearing into the crowd. A few minutes he he reappeared with two glasses of a bright purple liquid.

"What's in this?" she asked, raising an eyebrow. "Don't ask" he grinned.

She laughed and took the glass. "Cheers" she said dryly.

A few drinks later he pulled her onto the dance floor.

They were immediately caught up in a whirl of gyrating bodies.

The crowd pressed close around them, pushing them close together. She was very aware of his proximity as they started to dance, letting the infectious beat take them over.

She lost herself in the beat, in the press of bodies around, in the flashing lights and almost electric atmosphere. A laugh left her lips as she spun, hair flying.

He caught her around the waist, pulling her closer. Her eyes met his as he placed her arms around his neck. His hands slid slowly down her arms and sides to rest on her hips.

She could feel the warmth of his body, smell the clean masculine scent of him.

Mag didn't know it was the alcohol, the atmosphere, his presence or all three that was fogging her brain as they danced.

Then his lips were on hers… firm but gentle, and she couldn't think, couldn't concentrate on anything but him. And she didn't even care that anyone could be watching.