How it all began was vague to her. Now, it was a distant memory in a time line of love. Ansem awoke her inner muse and flame. Frightened at first, she realizes he is nothing to fear. Or is he? She ...
Chapter 1: First Impressions
“Where are we going?”
“The more accurate question is to where you are going. You owe me, my dear, but I have no use for you.”
“Who am I going to?”
“To the worst the worlds’ have to offer.” Maleficent glided quickly down the hallways of Hallow Bastion Fortress, her debtor following quietly behind. Their heels tapped hollowly against the tiled and damp floors from behind.
The silent pair took a narrow hallway and up a flight of stairs to the inner living spaces of the crippled castle. After passing two more passages, Maleficent stopped at pair of wooden double doors. Drawing up her pale hand, she nervously knocked.
“Come in.” A deep voice boomed from beyond the doors.
Pushing the large doors open, both Maleficent and her company walked in.
“Ansem…” Maleficent called. She shivered at the mention of his name.
“What is it?” He was scribbling down notes from a hefty book. He was probably engrossed in some new study. He would look back and forth from his writing and literature occasionally; scrawling down new information.
“I have someone here who owes me debt, but I have no use for her.” She precariously eyed him, and resisted the urge to stutter. Talking to Ansem was hardly ever pleasant. One glance from him was as if sudden death.
“Hmmm…Is that so?” He murmured, distracted by his workings.
Good… Maleficent thought. Maybe he wouldn’t look her in the eye. This could work to her advantage.
“Yes, I was hoping you could put her to work. I’m sure she’ll make a fine assistant, servant, maid, slave, which ever.” She gestured with her globed staff. Her nails clicked against it in a nervous staccato.
Ansem turned in his chair and glared daggers. Maleficent’s mouth went dry.
“Fine.” She let go of a breath she didn’t know she was holding.
Ansem turned his gaze to the female in the room, and stood up from his chair. He let out an irritated sigh that vibrated low in his chest and bounced of the study’s thin walls.
“Your name.” He demanded.
“Phoebe.” She answered plainly. She twirled a piece of her hair in-between her small fingers.
Ansem looked her up and down skeptically. She was short even in the high round-toe pumps that she wore. He easily towered over her by more than two heads. She had silky dark purple hair fashioned into a Strait-Chic that fell to the middle of her back, and framed her soft, heart-shaped face(witch was dotted with light moles).
Brown, two toned eyes like chocolate and honey stared back before looking away. Her polished fingers toyed with the front strings of the black leather corset she wore over a tuxedo like blouse. The white shirt was cut in a way that resembled a tank-top. Large slits showed her milky brown shoulders, and left the cuffed sleeves to hang on her arms, while her black bow tied high collar held everything up, and left half of her back exposed.
Her pants where also black, and clung tight like a second skin over wide hips and thick thighs. Her short legs shifted in a fidgety matter under Ansem’s analyzing stare. Her heels clacked against the floor causing the room to echo awkwardly.
Maleficent sneered at Phoebe, and dispersed in a cascade of green light. Good riddance. Now that they were acquainted she had no reason, or desire to be in Ansem’s presence.
Phoebe’s breath hitched in her throat. She hugged her arms tight to her curvy frame. So this was the worst the worlds’ had to offer? They both stared at each other unmoving for several minutes.
“Um…Hi?” She chewed on the inside of her mouth, occasionally breaking their eye contact.
“I’ll let you stay for now. You’ll do all that I ask, whenever I ask of it.” Ansem was the one to break the relative silence the room had fallen into.
“Within reason...” Phoebe flipped a strand of her hair back into her cut bangs.
“Yes, my reason. You will work for me until the debt you carry is paid off. Every morning you shall report here, and I will have an assignment. When you finish, hand me a report of what you have done and you are free to do as you please. I’m not in the torturing mood. Count yourself lucky, but I warn you. Don’t bother my studies… “
“Just like that, huh? Sure.” She nodded going back to twirling a clump of her violet hair.
“Humph…Follow me.” He passed Phoebe and exited through the doors of his office.
Phoebe followed him with a sigh. Her eyes scanned him as he led the way. She was relieved to have him turned around. His face wasn’t visible, but more importantly, neither were his eyes. They burned like cold fire, and scorched holes where they rested. But, they were very pretty in a sense; like liquid sun or molten magma.
His appearance awoke her inner muse.
Ansem stopped abruptly at the only door with a crystal knob. He opened it, and the door creaked with protest. Phoebe peered inside the small living chamber.
“You will stay here. If you need anything hesitate to ask.” And with that, he left.
“Well then…” Phoebe rolled her eyes. “I can tell I’m going to have lots of fun.” She sat down the carrier bag she had been holding at the foot of her bed.
She looked around curiously. She peered over the furnishings that filled her new living space. With one finger she tapped her chin, and looked out a window parallel to a work table on the opposite wall from her. Night was quickly approaching. That’s when all hell usually broke loose. More Heartless prowled at night, looking for unwary souls (or hearts) to feast on and nab at.
Phoebe shivered unsure of what was to become of her. She was staying servant to the King of Heartless himself. She was safe? But, not sound. Her situation made her paranoid. Ansem was known to be ruthless. She hmm’d thoughtfully in an attempt to calm herself. She sighed again. She’d just have to test the waters.
Ansem growled at his desk “Accepting anyone who asks.” He shook his head. The presence of another in his castle was irritating, for he was used to being alone, and he liked it that way. How did he know if he could even trust this woman?! Aggravated and exhausted he left his notes for his private chambers.
He had been working for four days straight, and even those such as him needed rest. With one hand running through his ghost white hair, and the other covering a yawn, he prepared to rest for the night. He’d stay alert though, his new company set him at unease.
Phoebe stared at the ceiling as she laid spread out on her new bed. No matter how much she attempted to still her worrying mind, she could not. She felt too uncertain staying with this man in a mysterious injured castle. Like a pinch to an arm, a thought came to her.
“Why don’t I take a little tour?” she sat up on the sand colored bed sheets, and swung her legs to the edge. She couldn’t get to sleep anyway. Hopefully, Ansem wouldn’t mind an exhibition of the castle. Snooping was always fun. She grinned in the dark. Her bangs dangled from her forehead as she bent over to slip off her pumps. They would most defiantly make noise on the castles’ floors. Moving swiftly she crouched out of her room shorter than when she came in, and barefoot.
Phoebe tiptoed down the dark halls. The moon acted as her only guide as it glimmered through cracks in windows and doors. If she was going to be a servant here, she might as well get familiar with the place, right? Soon she found herself in the lower parts of the fortress. It was fairly dark. She had to squint to see.
Little. Yellow. Dots. Of .Doom.
She frowned, hard. Her face scrunched up in a displeased manner. Heartless ground on her nerves, especially the shadow kind. They lurked and watched her from corners, nooks, and crannies. Their twitchy little black bodies shook and spasmed excitedly. Fresh meat was approaching. She could hear their high-pitched squeals and squawks. Phoebe mentally cursed them.
“Oh shut-up you evil little nasties…”
One scampered messily across the ground, and brushed against her leg. She resisted the burning urge to kick it. Even though they swarmed her like moths to light, they made no move to attack. She let go of one of the arms that tightly covered her waist, and let it fall stiffly to her side; ready to summon her weapon, Motivation, at any split second.
Still in the mode of caution, she looked about the cracked and chipping hallways memorizing doors, routes, and stairways. She felt another pang of paranoia. She growled and hissed at Heartless that got too close. Sweat lightly formed on her skin, and her bare feet felt numb against the concrete. She let her other hand rack through her strait hair, claiming her favorite strands and pulling at them.
The temperature dropped as she climbed down another flight of stairs. Her hands using the wall to now guide her. It had become pitch black. She groaned. Now she’d gone and done something completely retarded.
Heartless + no light what-so-ever + can’t see + no sense of direction = Die.
“Uhhh, I’m a horrible ninja.” She groaned.
She was disappointed to end her ‘tour’ with a pitch black dead end. She backed away subtly from the wall wary now of her surroundings. Phoebe swiftly turned on her bare heel only to collide with what felt like a brick wall.
In a daze, she gasped and found darkness at first. She looked directly upwards to meet the bright glowing amber eyes of her ‘brick wall’.
“S-see what happened was...” She immediately began stuttering.
“What are you doing?” Ansem asked monotonously in a voice alike warm water pouring on skin.
“Trying to be a ninja…I know I failed.” Her full lips pressed into a tight line, and her eyebrows furrowed.
“Go back to your room.” He raised an eyebrow at her response, “wouldn’t want the heartless down here to deny my orders and snatch your heart anyway.” He summoned a dark corridor, though it was unseen by Phoebe. Unlike him, she could not see perfectly in the dark (of course this was already obvious).
Phoebe’s physical heart thumped wildly in her rib cage. He had scared her with his enigmatic appearance out of no where. She almost jumped a mile high when she felt one of his large hands latch onto her back, and push her roughly. Before she knew it, she landed face first into the sheets of her bed. Her thick hair fanned out messily above her head.
Her breathing was rapid, and she could feel her pulse rattle in her ears. “Well, that wasn’t scary at all.” She pushed herself up to her knees. “Let’s not do that again…”