What Happens in Esthar…
Disclaimer: NO, I do not own these characters, or FFVIII. So there.
March 3rd, 2:23 pm.
"Rinny! Happy birthday sweetie!" Selphie crowed happily as she bounced enthusiastically into Rinoa's apartment. Quistis followed more sedately behind and gave Rinoa a hug in greeting.
"Uh, thanks guys. You didn't have to come over, I really didn't have anything specific planned." Rinoa said.
"I know, and Selphie insisted we come by anyway. Doesn't do to be alone on your birthday, you've done far too much of that lately and it's time to stop." Quistis said.
"Yeah! So we're kidnapping you for the evening and taking you out! We are gonna par-tay!" Selphie announced.
"Oh, Selphie…I don't know…" Rinoa said hesitantly.
"Rinoa, I know losing Allyn was hard, but it's been nearly a year. You can't stay holed up here forever." Quistis said gently, adding, "You need to rejoin the living. You know he wouldn't want you to mourn him indefinitely."
"Yeah, so come on Rinoa, put on your prettiest dress and let's go out and have some fun!" Selphie urged her.
Rinoa sighed. She didn't want to go out, not really, but her friends were right. She couldn't hide in her apartment forever, watching the same four walls and feeling how empty the place was without her fiancée's presence adding life to it.
At least Caraway left her alone about it, though she suspected that the general mourned the young lieutenant nearly as deeply as she did. Certainly Caraway had gotten along well with Allyn, which was a surprise to all parties concerned; Rinoa tended to pick young men guaranteed to annoy her father. She supposed it didn't hurt that Allyn had come from a good family, had graduated with top honors from Galbadia's most prestigious military school and had garnered an officer's commission the moment he'd enlisted in the Galbadian army.
Of course, those were things that General Caraway had liked about Allyn. Rinoa had loved his sense of humor, how warm and loving he was with her, and his gentlemanly manner. For the first time, it hadn't mattered to Rinoa that the man she was attracted to was wearing a G-army uniform and served under her father. She'd overlooked that, just this once, and had found the missing piece of her heart.
It was just bitter irony that her father had sent him to a posting in a hot zone that had ended up taking his life just weeks before they were to be married.
Deciding then and there that she'd brooded long enough about it, she forced a smile and said, "Okay. Just give me a few minutes to get ready."
"Great! We're gonna have some fun, aren't we Quisty?" Selphie bounced happily.
"You bet we are," Quistis smiled at Rinoa.
They treated her to a nice, low-key dinner at one of Deling City's best restaurants, and Rinoa sincerely appreciated her friends' efforts to commemorate her birthday. Selphie in particular, who tended toward wild parties, had made an effort to tone town to Rinoa's speed just this once so as not to put her off entirely. They both knew that Rinoa wasn't completely ready to be out, but they also knew that it was time for at least a gentle push in that direction.
It was over dessert (and more than a few glasses of wine for each of them) that Selphie chirped, "I'm glad you were able to come out with us tonight Rinny. Quisty and I both chipped in for your birthday present. I hope you like it."
"What is it?" Rinoa asked curiously, wondering why both Quistis and Selphie would have had to go in together for the gift. That worried her, because that hinted at something horribly expensive. And horribly expensive gifts could either be exquisite in the extreme or just plain…horrible. While neither of her two friends was exactly rich, they weren't poor either. So that left Rinoa a little apprehensive about what it was that they'd gotten her.
"It's a weekend getaway at an exclusive resort spa in Northern Esthar. I hear it's really high class." Selphie answered.
"It certainly was expensive enough, that's for sure," Quistis interjected dryly.
"A spa weekend? Guys, really?" Rinoa asked, wondering what a spa weekend entailed, exactly.
"Yeah, we figured a change of scenery and a little pampering wouldn't hurt you and might even help you." Selphie answered.
"It's in a really beautiful location with a private beach, their staff is top-notch and they do everything there. It's a full-service spa with any health or beauty related thing you could possibly want; they even have world-class chefs on site. Concierge service to tailor your visit…all of it just to make sure you feel like a million gil when you're done." Quistis added.
Rinoa considered that. The location Quistis described was one of the most beautiful spots in the world, and she had always wanted to see Esthar. Allyn had wanted to go too and they'd started to make plans to go there on their honeymoon when he'd been killed.
And a spa weekend…. two whole days of being pampered in any way possible that she could think of…Two whole days away from Deling City, her father, and everything that reminded her of Allyn. Maybe that was exactly what she needed.
"So, when did you guys book this for me?" Rinoa asked.
"Well, we wanted to get it as close to your birthday as possible but we left your options open as to when you actually go, so we got you a gift certificate." Selphie explained.
"So, I could go anytime then, right?" Rinoa asked.
"Yes. And airfare's included." Quistis answered.
"Wow. Guys, this is…wow. Thanks, thanks so much!" She smiled, reaching out and taking each of their hands.
"No problem. We really racked our brains to find something to get for your birthday and this seemed to be what the doctor ordered. And don't worry about Angelo, I'll puppy-sit her for you." Selphie offered.
"Thanks Selphie." Rinoa smiled at her.
"So, when did you want to go?" Quistis asked her curiously.
"Might as well go next weekend," Rinoa said, then asked Selphie anxiously, "Unless you'd rather take Angelo another time?"
Selphie shook her head vigorously, causing her red-brown hair to bounce around her face, "No, next weekend is fine! Go! Go and tell us what an awesome time you had. Maybe Quistis and I will start saving up for a trip for ourselves."
"I'll drive you to the airport," Quistis offered.
"And I'll come along to give you hugs good bye." Selphie declared.
"Okay then. I guess I'm going to Esthar next Saturday." Rinoa said.
"Actually, you might want to schedule your flight for Friday. It's a three night, two day package." Quistis advised.
"Okay then, I'll do that first thing in the morning." Rinoa confirmed.
A little over a week later, they all stood in the Deling International Airport awaiting Rinoa's flight to Esthar. According to the details of the package, the spa would have a car sent to pick her up and bring her to her accommodations there. In looking over everything that was included, Rinoa was amazed at the selflessness of her friends in getting it for her.
A car would be sent for her? There would be a concierge to help her enjoy her experience there? Room for three nights and two days with all meals included? With a full entertainment package as well as the regular spa services? That last bit puzzled Rinoa a little. What did an 'entertainment package' entail anyway? Whatever it was, Quistis and Selphie had to have paid an impressive amount of gil for it. Services like that didn't come cheap.
All too soon, Rinoa's flight was announced and she hugged her friends good bye and left to board.
As she walked out of sight, Quistis glanced over at Selphie to see her absorbed in studying a sheaf of papers.
"What are you looking at?" She asked her diminutive companion.
"Oh, I printed this off the spa's website." Selphie answered.
"Oh? You know, I don't think you ever actually told me the name of this place. I just gave you the money to make the arrangements." Quistis commented.
"Golden Chocobo Ranch." Selphie answered, adding, "I'm seriously considering saving money up to go there too. Take a look at their staff profiles will you? Such a collection of hunks I've never seen in my life!"
"Really?" Quistis asked, intrigued. "Show me."
She leaned close to Selphie and scanned the pages that she held. She was right. Every employee with the exception of a very few, were male. And all were drop-dead gorgeous, particularly the concierges.
"Whew!" Selphie breathed out as she studied one picture. "Take a look at this one will you? I wouldn't mind renting him for a night!"
"Let me see!" Quistis demanded, then her breath whooshed out just like Selphie's had as she studied the image.
Arresting ice blue eyes set off by thick, dark lashes stared back at her from a finely chiseled face framed by tousled, longish red-brown hair that flopped into those cool eyes. He was almost too perfect to be true, and the only thing that gave him any sort of reality was the scar slashed diagonally across that perfect face. It gave him a rakish, almost dangerous look. Beneath the photo were his initials, S. L., and a brief description of his specialty: Martial arts, self-defense and personal security. Availability: by appointment only.
"Wow. A private self-defense instructor even? How cool is that? And he's a serious hottie too!" Quistis sighed at that. Rinoa was going to have some amazing eye-candy to keep her occupied for the next couple of days, especially if she decided to opt for the self-defense instruction.
"Well, Rin did mention once that she wanted to study self-defense, so I booked an appointment with him. He must be in really high demand because it cost a mint to reserve his time for the entire weekend." Selphie commented.
"So that's why it cost us so much! You know, if you think about it, you didn't just rent that guy for a night for Rinoa, but the whole weekend." Quistis said.
Selphie giggled, "You know, I kind of did, didn't I? I hope she appreciates it. I certainly would if it were me!"
"Yeah, me too." Quistis replied, laughing as well.
Then something on the printed pages caught Quistis' eye and she frowned, reading the information about the spa more closely.
"Ummm…Selphie? What kind of a spa resort is this, exactly?" She asked, biting her lip.
"I dunno, a really expensive, remote one stocked with really hot guys? Why do you ask?" Selphie asked her in turn.
"Well…listen to this and tell me what you think it means." Quistis said, and read the printed information aloud. "The Golden Chocobo Ranch is located on a pristine stretch of Esthar's most beautiful white-sand beach on the coveted north coast. Our world-class accommodations and attentive staff are sure to make your stay as pleasurable as possible. Our remote location and professional security personnel guarantee privacy and discretion, allowing you to take advantage of all that we have to offer. Whatever fantasy you may entertain, our concierges will be more than willing to act as your escort to ensure that you are satisfied with your visit. If you are not completely satisfied, please tell us and you will be fully refunded."
Selphie frowned, "I dunno… sounds pretty straightforward to me, although I'm not sure about the fantasy thing…"
Quistis, who'd continued reading silently, suddenly gasped, "Selphie? Look!" She pointed out some text toward the bottom of the page that had been overlooked previously. Selphie read it in silence and her jaw dropped, meeting Quistis' eyes in shock.
"Wait. You mean…this place is…" she began, unable to finish her sentence.
Swallowing, Quistis nodded, "I'm afraid so. Selphie, we just sent Rinoa to a…." words failed her. It was too crazy to be true. And if it was, it was the cruelest thing that they could have done to their friend.
She took a deep breath, and, staring into Selphie's eyes, said slowly, "I think we just sent Rinoa to a brothel that caters to women."
It was a long flight to Esthar City. Six hours, in fact. Adding in the time difference between Esthar and Galbadia, and Rinoa was not at all surprised to feel exhausted and off kilter. Who wouldn't when one left in the morning and landed just a few hours later at full dark?
As she waited in baggage claim, the only thing Rinoa really wanted at that moment was her baggage of course, and after that, food and sleep. She hoped that it wasn't too late for dinner or that she could order room service. She supposed that she could, they had a chef on staff there. Hell, at this point she'd be happy with a cereal bar.
Fortunately, given the hour of her arrival there, traffic was fairly light and the driver that had been sent for her was easily found, exactly where she'd been told he'd be.
"Miss Heartilly, I presume?" The young man asked her with a smile.
"Ye-" she began and froze once she got a good look at the man had been sent for her. He was tall and broad-shouldered, wearing a well-tailored uniform, with close-cropped black hair and warm brown eyes. All of it in a ruggedly handsome tanned face that sported beautiful white teeth and dimples when he smiled.
" I'm Danton, your driver this evening. If you'll follow me, I'll take you to the Golden Chocobo Ranch and you can get checked in." with that, he smoothly took charge of her luggage and led her to where the car, which turned out to be a sleek, black limousine, waited for them.
After quickly stowing her luggage in the boot of the car, he courteously opened the back door and ushered her in, then came to the front and took his place behind the wheel.
As he fired up the engine and pulled smoothly away from the airport, he asked her, "How was your flight?"
Rinoa sighed tiredly and answered, "Long. I've never been to Esthar. I had no idea it would take this long to get here."
"Well, once we arrive, just check in at the reception desk and they'll help you from there. You can either opt to meet your concierge tonight or wait until tomorrow if you're too tired." He said.
"I think I'll wait. The only thing I want right now is several hours of uninterrupted sleep." Rinoa said.
"I understand." The driver laughed softly. Then he added, "It's a long drive to the ranch from the airport. If you'd look into that compartment directly in front of you, you should find a small pillow and a blanket. Let me know and I'll put on some music, or I can simply raise the privacy screen and let you sleep."
"Oh. Okay. Thank you…Danton?" she asked, and he nodded to confirm that she had the name right. "I think I'll just sleep for a bit, if the drive is as long as you say."
"Very well, and you are welcome ma'am. I'll wake you when we get there." the driver told her warmly, and raised the screen between them.
The back seat of the limousine was easily large enough for her to stretch out fully, and she took the pillow and blanket and made herself comfortable. Obviously, this place was high class if even the drivers were this courteous. She felt confident that the rest of the staff would be equally nice. Then her jet lag caught up with her and she fell asleep quickly as the low rumbling vibration of the car's engine lulled her.
A gentle hand touching her shoulder woke her some time later and she blinked up in confusion at the driver's smile.
"Miss Heartilly? We've arrived." He informed her.
"Thanks," she yawned. Then she stretched for a moment to wake up a bit before she attempted to exit the car and follow the driver into the resort's lobby. He waited patiently for her to gather herself, and then presented his hand to help her to her feet when she was ready.
When she appeared to be fully awake and steady on her feet, the driver let go and told her, "follow me."
Glancing back to the car, Rinoa asked, "What about…"
"Your bags are already in the lobby." He informed her. Glancing down at her with a slight smile, he asked, "feel better?"
"Much. I needed the rest. Now I'm starving." Rinoa admitted. Then she yawned again and rubbed at her eyes.
The driver smiled at that. She was certainly a cute little thing, and much younger than their usual clients. He wondered how she'd come to be there, and who had been fortunate enough to book her.
"Well, there's always room service," He informed her.
"Yeah, that's true." Rinoa said as they reached the reception desk.
"Well, here we are. I hope you enjoy your stay Miss Heartilly." He said, starting to turn away.
He'd only gotten a couple of strides before Rinoa suddenly remembered to tip him and dug through her purse, cheeks burning.
"Wait!" she hurried after him and took his hand, placing some notes into it. "I'm so sorry I forgot. And you've been so kind. Thank you."
His handsome face softened and, placing his hand over his heart, he bowed slightly and said, "Thank you, Miss Heartilly. You have a good evening."
Rinoa turned and went back to the reception desk, saying, "sorry about that. I guess I'm still waking up."
"That's quite all right," The receptionist said. "Are you checking in?"
"Yes ma'am." Rinoa answered.
"Name?" The woman asked.
"Rinoa Heartilly. I have a reservation confirmation number here somewhere..." Rinoa said, biting her lip and digging through her purse again. "Ah! Here it is."
She gave the information to the receptionist, who keyed it into her computer and then turned away briefly to get a keycard.
"Here you are, " She said, handing it to Rinoa. "Room 417. Marc will show you."
Rinoa glanced at the man waiting patiently with the luggage cart containing her belongings. It seemed a bit much for just her two little bags, which she could have easily carried herself. But, she was still tired, and dammit, this was her weekend to be pampered. So she decided to leave them as they were and allow the man to do his job.
"Follow me," He requested, leading her to an elevator.
As they got in, Rinoa leaned against the back and sighed, wondering briefly why the receptionist hadn't asked her about meeting the concierge. And what exactly did a concierge here do, anyway? The way she remembered it, they were just like butlers or something like that. Odd that she would have one specifically assigned to her.
The elevator pinged and the doors whooshed open. The bellman exited, tugging the luggage cart behind him, and Rinoa followed after, idly studying the décor as she did.
The entire place exuded warmth and class, and looked more like high-end apartments or condominiums than a resort hotel. Tiny touches like ultra-plush, immaculate carpeting, marble floors in the lobby, lush tropical plants and flowers in every alcove, and designer furnishings helped further that impression.
"Here we are, Miss Heartilly. He informed her, indicating the door.
"Good." Rinoa sighed in relief, swiped her keycard through the reader and then pulled out a few gil notes and tipped the bellman.
"Thanks, I've got it from here." She said, grabbing her bags and opening the door.
"Very well. You have a good night ma'am." The man said politely and left.
Rinoa stepped awkwardly through the doorway with her bags, suddenly wishing that she' d had the bellman carry them for her instead, and froze when she heard a voice say coldly:
"Sorry, I'm off the clock tonight. You'll have to find another room."
Heart in her mouth, Rinoa whirled; dropping her bags in the process, then froze as she met a pair of ice-blue eyes glaring at her from the couch in the sitting room.
"Wh…what?" she asked, staring uncomprehendingly at the stranger that was sitting in her room. The bare-chested, muscular, GORGEOUS stranger that was continuing to glare at her.
Her mouth went dry as he uncoiled gracefully from the couch, closed the laptop computer that sat on the coffee table in front of him, and stalked toward her.
"I said," he emphasized, "That I am off the clock tonight. As in not working. Find another room."
Rinoa couldn't seem to find the power to speak as he approached her. Instead she simply stared, eyes wide, taking in the thick, unruly mane of chestnut hair, the beautifully modeled face that was oddly marred by a diagonal scar slashed between the eyes and over the nose, the well-defined muscles of his chest and abdomen, and the loose-fitting black cotton pajama pants that left virtually nothing to the imagination, including the fact that the man was apparently commando for the night.
Swallowing, she tried, "Bu…but this.. I was assigned…." He came to a stop in front of her and Rinoa stopped again, noting vaguely that he was taller than her, but not by much. Certainly, he couldn't have been over six feet. Nowhere close to Allyn's six-three.
An exasperated growl made her jump as he deftly snatched her keycard from her hand and glared at it. Then he stalked from the room without another word.
"He-hey? Um.. my card?" Rinoa asked, wondering what the hell was going on.
Why was this guy in her room? Why was he so upset at her being there and what did the fact that he was "off the clock, as in NOT WORKING" have to do with it? Was he her concierge? Had they not told him that she was coming? And why hadn't they asked her about meeting him tonight when she'd checked in, anyway?
Those questions spurred her to action and she closed the door and followed after him. But he'd seemingly disappeared. Rinoa wandered through the hotel room… suite really… looking for him, and growing more and more confused as she did. The place was immaculately clean and tastefully decorated, but there were personal care items and a toothbrush and toothpaste in the bathroom, along with copper-colored towels that were plush and soft and obviously not standard hotel linens, likewise with the matching shower curtain and other bathroom accoutrements. There were clothes already hanging in the bedroom closet...his clothes…and the bed looked like it had been slept in recently.
It didn't look like a hotel room; it looked like he actually lived there. Like it was his home. She began to wonder if there had been some kind of mistake in assigning her this room.
She finally found him in the kitchen, leaning against the counter and talking on the phone in a low, angry voice. Seemingly unaware of her presence as she paused in the doorway.
"I told you I was taking this weekend off!" He was growling. The unheard reply drew his brows together into an impressive scowl, which coupled with the scar, made him appear downright dangerous.
Rinoa gulped, taking in the rest of what the harsh, bright light of the kitchen revealed: He was young…her age or possibly slightly older, certainly no older than twenty-five. A tattoo rested upon his left shoulder of a symbol that she vaguely recognized but couldn't quite place at the moment, numerous scars decorated his lean body, a metal stud earring was in his left ear, and a heavy, silvery chain with a unique pendant that combined the head of a roaring lion with what looked like a dagger hung from his neck.
"There isn't any one else available?" he was asking, cursing under his breath at the response.
"What's the problem?" he suddenly burst out angrily. "I get no notice, nothing. I'm supposed to be off but suddenly I'm not and to top it off, she's not even my type! You know I only book blonds!" Here he paused, listening, then sighed.
"All right, fine. But you tell Marti we're going to have a discussion about this on Monday." He stated, grudgingly capitulating, then hanging up the phone.
Then he folded his arms and looked right at Rinoa as though he'd been aware of her presence the entire time, saying, "I know you're there. Come on in."
Slowly, she walked into the kitchen, hands clasped nervously behind her back. The scowl and folded arms had changed his appearance from attractive to intimidating, and she was more than a little apprehensive.
"I'm sorry about this, I don't know what happened. I didn't mean to invade your home…" she said, biting her lip.
"Scheduling fuckup." He said shortly, causing her to blink in surprise. "And it can't be fixed. So you're stuck with me for the weekend."
"I don't understand. Stuck with you? Are you my concierge then?" she asked, puzzled.
The scowl cleared from his face and he assessed her for a long moment before answering, "Yes, among other things. If you want to, we can get right to that, but it's rather late and not to be insulting, but you look a little tired."
"I am a little tired, I've flown all the way from Deling City. I haven't even had a chance to eat dinner yet…" Rinoa's voice trailed off as the rest of it sank home. "Wait. So…I'm staying…here? With you?"
When he nodded in confirmation Rinoa's mouth went dry again and she asked in a small voice, "Do…you have another bedroom?" She hadn't seen one, but she asked anyway.
When he shook his head Rinoa licked her lips and asked, "A hide away bed in the couch?" Another negative shake. "A...roll away? An airbed?" Headshake. "A sleeping bag?" Ditto.
"I have a bed and a couch, and we can use either one but I prefer the bed, personally. More comfortable. But really, now's not the time for that anyway." The man replied, shaking his head. "I mean, I really wasn't ready for a client to come in tonight, so obviously we got off on the wrong foot, initially. Plus, you've already mentioned that you missed dinner. So let's take care of that first, shall we?" Turning away for a moment, he picked up the phone and started dialing.
Numbly, Rinoa nodded. Of course. Room service. Her mind swam as she replayed everything that he'd told her thus far, trying to make sense of it. She was staying with this incredibly attractive young man, in his home, and he casually spoke of them possibly either sharing the couch or the bed like it was inevitable. She was having a bit of difficulty wrapping her head around what that implied.
"What did you want for dinner, anyway?" he asked her as he listened to the phone ring.
She hadn't thought to pick up a menu, so she hadn't a clue, "I don't know, really. Maybe a salad? Soup? What about you?"
"I've already eaten. What's your name anyway? Normally they tell me before the client ever gets here but..." Here he shrugged.
"Rinoa. Rinoa Heartilly." She answered. "And um… Yours?"
"Squall Leonhart," He responded back. Then the phone was answered on the other end and his attention was diverted momentarily as he ordered her dinner.
He glanced at her briefly, listening to the phone, and asked her, "Do you want anything to drink with your dinner? They've got a nice wine list here."
Rinoa shook her head and answered, "No. Just tea. Or water. I'm not much for drinking."
He frowned slightly at that, and then nodded, telling the person on the other end of the line, "just tea." A pause, then, "Thank you." Then he hung up the phone.
Gazing at her again in that disturbingly intense manner that he had, Squall asked her, "Are you a vegetarian? I suppose I should have asked. I did order a vegetable barley soup and garden salad just in case, with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. They should be up with it in a few minutes."
Rinoa cleared her throat and said, "No, I'm not, but that's fine. It's a little late for anything really heavy anyway."
Squall nodded in agreement. "There is that." Then he gestured with his head toward the main room where she'd dropped her bags.
"Come on. Let's get you settled." He pushed away from the counter and padded out of the kitchen. Rinoa followed him, uncomfortably aware of his taut backside and lean muscled back…again liberally crisscrossed with scars. They weren't terrible, and really only visible at all in the right light. He was undeniably attractive in spite of them, but it left Rinoa wondering how he'd gotten them.
Then he picked up her bags and carried them into his bedroom.
"W-wait! We…we haven't really talked about our sleeping arrangements!" Rinoa protested as he tossed the bags onto his bed.
He paused, folding his arms and frowning at her. "I have a spare dresser here, so you won't have to dig through your bags if you want something to wear. The bed's more than big enough for the both of us and I promise I won't touch you until you ask me to."
Rinoa's mouth went dry again and her mind began to swim as she slowly began think through everything he'd said to her that evening up to that point. He'd said he was her concierge…among other things. What other things? He spoke in a matter of fact tone about them getting to those other things, and sharing a bed as though it was part of his job. He'd said that he wouldn't touch her until she asked him too, and finally there was the comment that she'd overheard indicating that he only booked blonds. That last part left her even more confused. Why was she even there, if that was the case? And why did it even matter?
What the hell kind of resort/spa was this place, anyway?
"Miss Heartilly? Rinoa? Are you okay?" Squall's voice drifted through the fog that had begun to seep at the edges of her vision.
"What…does a concierge do…here?" Rinoa asked him faintly.
Squall frowned, beginning to feel a little concerned for his client, as she'd gone deathly pale, and answered, "Well, whatever the client wants, really. We help them to determine what it is that they want to gain from their visit here, then help them obtain it. We'll help organize their itinerary to take full advantage of all the spa's amenities, whatever they want to do… skincare, health and wellness, anything, really. Our main goal is to make sure our clients have a pleasurable experience, whatever their fantasy might be, from mild to wild. I do have some limits though, just so you know. I prefer just one on one, and women only. No threesomes, no couples, and no men. Of course, you came here alone, so I guess that won't be a problem. And ordinarily I just do blonds, sometimes the odd redhead but…. Miss? Rinoa?"
As Squall outlined what it was that he was actually hired to do, it all fell into place for Rinoa and crashed in on her, smothering her in wads of cotton and sending her drifting away to oblivion