It had been a decade, and still it seemed everyone knew her for being that coward who didn't enter the 70th arena. Instead, that honor had gone to a worthy candidate: Circe Lyon. Who was she to compete with such a prestigious name, and such a prestigious girl? And now she was dead and enshrined and there was exactly fuck all Duchess Grant could do about it.
Or was there?
She'd watched the Mayoral election with some interest. Was there a candidate among them who could turn the focus of the district inward? To something other than the Games? It was a good crop of candidates, mostly new and exciting faces. But there was definitely one star in the crowd.
Now all she had to do was fan the woman's already impressive ego. "Candidate Janga?"" She hurried up alongside her as she crossed the district square. Duchess removed one red glove to extend her hand. "Duchess Grant. I was wondering if I might be of service to you?"
Post by little bill cubs d8m [cameron] on Jan 26, 2019 14:08:31 GMT -5
The first time a man made her feel uncomfortable about her body she was eleven and being questioned by the peacekeepers for something another foster did to the mayor’s son. Jelani never met the mayor’s son and knew nothing about the alleged incident, but they were relentless, spitting in her face and threatening her with separation from her younger brother. After most cleared out and scattered off to investigate other impressionable youth, one remained in her holding cell.
He flipped off the recording and waltzed behind her, a fingertip brushing her shoulder like wisp of air. Something was whispered about her ass, and hot breath on her ears turned her palms colder than snow. Her hands tingled, and it spread to her legs, and it spread up her body until she opened her eyes and saw she was alone.
She was let go and became a shining target, a lighthouse calling out to wandering eyes to dream of temporary solace in her beam.
Mayoral candidacy upped the ante for unwelcome approaches.
Duchess Grant’s approach was not unwelcome.
When the embodiment of elegance slipped off a red glove for her greeting, Jelani was stricken. “I believe you would be of service to anyone, literally anyone in the world.” Clasping her ungloved hand, she continued, “but how specifically, may I ask, will you service me?”
There was the briefest flicker of hesitation before Jelani met her, palm to palm. Duchess was careful to leave her hand loose. If her outfit didn't speak to her professionalism, she doubted a hefty handshake would do much. “But how specifically, may I ask, will you service me?”
She pressed her lips together.
Tried to think of something else.
But eventually, within a moment, the laughter came peeling out of her rouged lips. "Well, when you put it like that," she said, offering a wink before composing herself. "I'm a former Career - but who isn't? - that wants to make District Two mean something outside of the Games. I think I'd be a great Public Relations woman for you. I could remind the district that we have work and pride in things more than a yearly event. What do you think?"
Post by little bill cubs d8m [cameron] on Jan 26, 2019 16:35:33 GMT -5
The second laughter spilled from Duchess Grant, the world froze on its axis. Glaciers rose across the planet, from the farthest point all the way to the district square, where she was left as the only spot of warmth, the only fire burning across the barren, icy land. Her words were mushed in a slow motion trance, red lips moving in ways that seemed otherworldy and familiar at once.
It became clear to Jelani that, in fact, the world continued spinning and the people continued aimlessly gambling through life and the spectacle of a human before her had stopped talking and was waiting for some form of response beyond brain death. She opened her mouth to start, but closed it and took a big gulp of accumulated saliva she didn’t remember salivating. Then, an affirmative nod that seemed cooler than a cucumber despite the sweat already breaking free of her armpits.
“You are amazing, I want everything you’re selling.” Jelani covered her thankfully diverted humiliation with a hearty chuckle that she may have held a tad longer than necessary. She covered more. “Unfortunately, I am so sorry, but I really have to get going. But if you’d like to meet me for cocktails tonight, I’d be pleased to, uh,” she paused to pretend she wouldn’t arrange all her plans for the defiance of nature named Duchess, “to pencil you in."
She'd arrived at the chosen cocktail hour - at a new, trendy spot - far too early. She couldn't explain it. Usually it took her hours to get ready and time was a melting clock that never made sense. She hadn't been early for anything since... well, she couldn't remember. But tonight she had been, so she ordered a lemon twist, up, and drank the entire thing before the Mayoral candidate arrived.
Then they'd ordered a round.
By the bottom of her third drink - a bitter grapefruit concoction - she was leaning halfway out off her barstool. "Oh, you can't really mean that," she said, giggling. She reached for the last vestiges of her drink, sloshing a little only Jelani. As she tried to right the glass, she followed it, nearly landing right in her lap. "Oops! Oh, I'm so sorry. I think I might be a little, you know," she apologized, her cheeks going flame red. "I might... I might need a little help home."
Post by little bill cubs d8m [cameron] on Jan 27, 2019 23:11:38 GMT -5
Three drinks in and the perfect blonde thing, hair still unnaturally kempt and shiny, began to show shades of shitshow. A cold splash of what made Jelani’s nose crinkle instinctively when ordered hit her forearm. Before she could react to that, which she could’ve with a funny and relatable anecdote actually based in truth, which made it even more important, which really pissed her off that, Duchess fell face first into her lap. This time she was dumbstruck, her hands held above the mess happening on her thighs and a face stiff as a clean stack of money.
“Yeah, girl, you gotta come with me.” She looked down at the model, who seemed entirely human, and clicked her nails. “Shit. Bartender, five margaritas to go, STAT. And an ice water for the nice lady!” He was one of hers, anyway, as the bar was partially financed from her very wallet. She planned at least three more drinks, and she got what she wanted. At least three.
A large plastic bucket was handed across the countertop, and after swearing to bring it back to reuse, she heaved Duchess up and worked an arm around her shoulders. “My shop is two blocks down, and we have a cot in the back. Let’s head there.” She couldn’t bring an inebriated wealthy lady back home to her brother, who would have too many questions and probably make her puke. And she was pretty sure she left the last five days of bras on the floor three steps in from the door.