Sitting in the dim glow of the amber lit cocktail lounge, the patrons engaged in muted conversation, and the light touch of magic fingers graced the
piano in the corner.
The attractive blonde glanced up from her drink as the handsome man approached her table.
"Hello." She greeted, him, accepting his rose and cocking her hand towards the seat. He settled, and found himself unable to quit drinking in her
"Oh, stop that, you're not a child. What's your name, my sweet angel?" She purred.
He smiled, revealing a set of dimples. Nice...
"Number Seven." he responded proudly.
"Ah! Number SEVEN.....of the lineage of the House of Seven. Very....Interesting." She allowed her green eyes to travel from the tip of his shaggy
mane of light brown curls, to his finely sculpted features, to his gentle hands, folded around a small gift!!
"Is that for me?" She asked; who was the child now?
He pushed the little box across the table, and deftly signaled for two fresh drinks. He grinned in anticipation of her reaction....
"I LOVE it!" she gushed, holding the unicorn brooch in her palm. It glittered with an array of precious gems. "Delightful! Oh, pin it to me,
please." She held the brooch out to him, and when their hands touched, they both locked eyes, acknowleding the spark. He pinned it to the top of her
dress, which covered very little this evening, and took his seat again as the drinks arrived.
As they sipped and made eyes at each other, he casually asked,
"So, my beautiful rose, what is YOUR name?"
He watched as she filled their booth with hearty laughter.
"Why darling, don't you know? My name is Number One, of the House of One, the Ancient Sect of the People's."
His features froze when he realized the implication, but he tried to hide his assumption by smiling even larger, and busying himself with the menu.
"What is your creativity, Number Seven? The House of Seven is the House of Cerebral Creativity. Or are you fronting for me? Are you really just an
entertainer of the Lower Commons of the House of Seven? I know how rakish young rogues of the Seventh House enjoy shortening their given
He turned red, angry at such an insult falling from the sugared lips of such a remarkably breath taking beauty.
"Of course not! I am of, I ASSURE you, high lineage. I was told I was chosen for this....client meeting....based specifically upon my high level of
skill in my field."
"Which is?" She knew exactly what was his special field, it was precisely why she had chosen him. And precislely why she failed to mention her
house. Most House of Seven's in his guild were refusing an initial meeting for any reason with a House of One, and subterfuge was how the House of
One loved to operate anyway.
"Why, darling..." he sneered, "You are wearing my talent."
Her laugh tinkled across the room, a lovely melodic sound that filled all it touched with mirth. Her green eyes twinkled t the young man, and she
reached across the table for his hands. She spread them in front of them both on the table, drinking in their delicate features, and then, leaning
ever so close to his face, she parted her lips, and spoke,
"And that is why the House of One has Chosen you, Number Seven, of the Most Highly Skilled of the Jewelers in this Galaxy. How can you say no to
spending your life creating Jewels for the Heir to Throne of the House of One, the Ancient Sect of the People's? It is a Great Honor, and your name
shall become immortal. Your works will be seen by generations to come. Now, you may be talented, but you shall never achieve the heights you can
achieve by being the Royal Jeweler."
"I thought another One was in line for the Throne." Number Seven asked, genuinely confused.
"WAS. Right now my brother is excused from the Throne, due to his....predilictions. I am direct Heir, and with you by my side, I will OUTSHINE All
other Ones who have Ever graced the Throne. Who says no to that type of infamy?" Now she was genuinely puzzled.
Number Seven scowled.
"Those of us with Pride would never sell our works, and enslaving an artist for Royal duty..."
"Enslaving?? You would be living the life most only DREAM of!! How dare you!!" Now she too felt insulted, and angry, very angry. Her lineage kicked
in, and within seconds she turned an ice cold glare onto the handsome jeweler, who was, of course, correct.
"How ungrateful your House always turns out to be. Vomiting your arts all over the rest of the Common Houses, and spending your life time avoiding
your CIVIC DUTY to the Royal House of One! Why is it your Creativity is fine for consumption at lower levels, but must be forced at the highest level
"Because, to serve a Princess, or Queen, or Empress or Lord or Governor or any of your House is to sign one's life to them, until death!! The perks
may sound great from your respect, but not mine. I see it as slavery, and I enjoy my freedom. VERY much." It disgusted him that he had not realized
the trap, and he cursed himself getting sucked into her beauty instead of hanging back and waiting for his instincts (which had never failed to detect
a House of One...until now that is, and he had been warned of their ways ever since entered the Jeweler's Guild!!) to guide him.
She continued to snarl at him, her caramel voice dripping with ice and venom...
"Your...KIND.....acts too GOOD to serve at the foot of their Overlords. Is that it? The subservience? Most take it as an Honor. The Jeweler's Guild
is turning traitorous. Why can't you accept the Honor with Dignity, like the Sewing Guild does? I have to weed through hundred's of applications,
daily, form young men and women from YOUR HOUSE who want the HONOR of working for me!! What is your problem with that? You are the BEST JEWELER in the
Kingdom, the Planet, the Galaxy, and by the time you get to work with MY stash of jewels, you could possibly be up for Universal Consideration in the
Universal Jewelers Guild. WHO DOES'T WANT THAT????"
Now, HIS lineage kicked in.
"Of course, your most humble Highness. Please forgive me, it must be the libations. I would NEVER intentionally insult a member of such high steed in
the House of One. Of course it would be an Honor to represent my Guild in the House of One, and to create for one of the most beautiful women in the
galaxy, honored." He bowed his head, and held out his hand, to which her squeal of delight told him she had accepted his apology. He raised his head
to watch her unwrap the second small box. Her gasp made his chest hurt from pride, it WAS one of his most exciting pieces he had ever had the honor of
"MOONSTONE! So BIG! What a gorgeous choker, oh, Number Seven, I HAVE to wear this, NOW!" She held the glittering lavendar and pink stones across the
palm of her hand, mesmerized by their sparkle and beauty. Number One loved beautiful gems more than anything in the world. It was the only thing in
the Galaxy that captured her entire essence and soul.
"Oh, not yet, mia bellisimo. Please, let us enjoy our dinner, and I shall affix it to your throat afterward, and we shall go for a stroll through
the park, to see if the moons cast a special glow upon the stones. I mined these myself you know, from Taurino last month. They are still infused with
the energy of the moon itself. That is how close attention to detail I pay to my work, your Highness."
After dinner, Number Seven affixed the priceless choker to Number One's ivory throat, and the pair set off across the way to the park, to stroll
underneath the glow of the planet's three moons. From afar, they appeared to be two beautiful young people, madly in love, enjoying an evening
together in the city.
But from Number One's Vantage Point, it suddenly became crystal clear what had just happened, and, unable to speak, she slumped into his arms on the
bench in the park, her green eyes begging for him to remove the choker, that caught the moonbeams so perfectly that evening. What Number Seven had
failed to tell Number One, Her Royal Highness, was that the Taurino Moon Stones he had harvested last month were a brand new variety of gemstone.
They were a LIVING gemstone, and thus as a living thing, were compelled to FEED to remain alive. As they fed, they outgassed a paralyzing enzyme,
which rendered the victim/food source still.
Number Seven waited until the stones had been sated, then removed the choker and placed it back into the special box. He left the Princess on the
parkbench to be found and recovered by her House.
As he melted into the night, he gave thought to visiting another member of the House of One, the only member to whom the news of the Princess' demise
might just be good.
But not until he told his Guild the Good News....the Royals had finally come knocking on the Guild's front door, and that meant the Guild needed to
prepare for an an all out War of Houses.