Prompt: Hoodie prompt 10: perfume
Character(s): Marian, mention Guy, the Sheriff, a German booby
Word Count: 821
Disclaimer: I own nothing, Tiger Aspect, BBC do. No money is being made, not copyright infringement intended.
Summary: Marian discovers the perfect weapon in the plot to play a booby
Marian’s lip curled as she glanced at the scarlet gown laid out on the bed. The Sheriff had been right about the cost of enticement. The dress had come almost painfully cheap. She’d even had money left over to give to a beggar outside the dress shop.
She turned away from the dress, anger rising at the way she was being treated. She expected no better from the Sheriff; he generally behaved as though she was nothing but fluff, to be needled or insulted at his pleasure. Though sometimes Marian wondered if that was how he really viewed her.
Every now and again a look came into his eyes that told her he knew far more than he let on, and that he perceived her as a threat. She enjoyed that look, although it almost always boded ill for her or her father down the road. And now that she no longer had Guy’s protection to the extent she had commanded it before the disastrous almost-wedding, the Sheriff felt perfectly within his rights to push her into this farce. And Guy would go along with it.
He was another problem, added on to the others weighing down her shoulders. He’d never treated her to such cold bitterness before, though he came close with the whole necklace business. The way Guy looked at her now plainly frightened her. He’d always been fairly easy to read, his admiration for her plain in his actions and words. Now he had closed himself off from her, and she could never quite tell what he was thinking. She tried now to antagonize him as little as possible. He could make her life in the castle very unpleasant if he chose.
She had told herself she was in the right by refusing him, for punishing him for his lies about the king’s return. She still felt she had been. Plus he had burned her house down in a fit of childish anger, and now she and her father were stuck here in the castle under house arrest. Still, perhaps the whole mess could have been handled better. She knew Guy to have difficulty controlling his anger, and she had humiliated him quite handily in front of dozens of people, people whose respect he craved.
She resolved to at least try to mend the rift between them, if only a little, once this silliness with the German booby was finished. She was not too proud to admit she needed Guy as an ally more than she needed the luxury of nursing her grievances. Until then, she would just have to suffer the Sheriff’s condescension and Guy’s scorn. She’d certainly endured worse from the pair of them.
Putting the Sheriff and Guy from her mind, she began to ready herself for the charade she’d been coerced into carrying out. How did a woman not a born strumpet behave like one? How was she supposed to captivate this German count anyway? The dress would probably go a long way, she assumed, but surely there must be more.
She’d already decided she would have to be as quiet as possible to pull this off. If the count was as foolish as the Sheriff implied, who knew what biting words might fly out of her mouth? Marian had little patience for fools, which most men were, anyway.
She sat down at her writing table, which also doubled as a small dressing table of sorts. Picking up her brush, she drew it slowly through her dark hair, thinking about how to trick this German count and the Sheriff both that she was participating willingly. Her eyes wandered as the act of brushing her hair relaxed her coiled mind.
As her gaze meandered over the surface of the table, she spied a small vial nearly hidden behind her writing box. A slow smile crept over her face. Perfume. It would complete the entire effect the Sheriff desired. She recalled now how certain women in the marketplace nearly overpowered her with scent as she walked by them. She was sure it was no coincidence that it was always the ones who worked at the Tripp.
The perfume had been a rather intimate gift from Guy just before the wedding. Her reaction to the smell of it now was the same as it had been then. She recoiled a little at the heavy smell of roses as she uncorked the small vial. Well, she thought, Guy has never been a master of subtlety.
As she thought of how the German count would receive not only the dress, but the heavy scent as well, Marian smiled. The two aspects together would surely accomplish the effect the Sheriff desired, and she would not really have to do much of anything else. Satisfied she had found a way to pull this off neatly, without compromising herself too much, Marian’s smile widened. She might even be looking forward to this.