“Seduction isn’t making someone do what they do not want to do. It is enticing someone into what they secretly want to do already.” Essence’s gaze didn’t deter from the mirror as she painted the last bit of color upon her lips. She pressed them tightly to blend the red and blue into a dull purple, somewhat to match her violet orbs. After a few moments of teasing her auburn curls, her emotionless gaze focused on the delicate scar that trailed from beneath her left eye and down her cheek. As her stare lingered within, the silver lining that encompassed her pupils began to swirl against the glow, causing purple mist to flash. At first it seemed like nothing changed. A small smile hinted at the woman’s success, her fingers scaling the smooth and now flawless skin of her own face. The scar was gone. 

“ that is pretty complicated.” A voice echoed from behind the Biombo; a decorative dressing screen Ess had personally painted black with pink cherry blossoms raining down towards the earth. The young girl, who couldn’t have been more than fifteen, peeked out from behind her cover, a distrustful look crossing her features. “How do you even know what someone secretly wants, if it’s such a secret?”

Ess sighed, letting her eyes close and releasing the mirage so that the ugly scar across her cheek reappeared to it’s proper place. Slightly annoyed, she turned with a sudden burst of energy, opening her eyes as her fingers snapped out to grab the younger girl roughly by the arm and pull her into view. “You don’t need to read minds in order to see what is in the eyes. If that’s too confusing for you, then you start with body language. Are they standing facing you, wanting your attention? Are they close enough to feel the teasing of their body heat? Do they take that extra step to reach out to you? Sometimes they aren’t even that bold. Sometimes…” Ess’ lips parted in a pitying smile, casually straightening the girl’s gown and shaking her head at her ponytail, snapping the threads so blond hair cascaded down past the girl’s shoulders. “Sometimes they smile, but if you look into their eyes you can see the cold and the darkness, all warning signs. But then, some look terrified and yet the excitement is clear as day, beaming behind those same eyes.

“I’m not pretty enough, like you..” The girl said finally, her grey eyes absorbing Ess quietly.

“You don’t need to be pretty in this line of work..and it’s debatable if pleasant features are really a curse more so than a blessing. Consider yourself lucky you were able to hold onto your..virtue for so long. I was merely eight years old when they stole my spirit.” Ess sighed, placing a comforting hand upon the girl’s shoulder. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?” The girl gawked, a bit confused.

“You’re actually quite beautiful and you’ve attracted the eye of Hector. Even if you were to soak your face in acid, he’s seen something in you that  he deems special compared to the other girls and I think that is why they… long..” Ess’ gaze shifted uncomfortably and she twitched at a heavy knock at her bedroom door, quickly pushing the girl forward and bowing her head obediently as the door opened. “Don’t look into his eyes..” Ess quickly whispered, seconds before the girl was escorted out the door. The girl tried to ask Ess why she shouldn’t look into the man’s eyes but Derek was waiting by the door, his cold stare watching Essence carefully, a sudden, snide, sneer parting his lips.

“Hurry up, Reina…don’t make me clip those wings, we clear Birdie?” He scoffed, slamming the door behind the girl as she passed through.

Reina. Was that the girl’s name? Ess hadn’t bothered to ask this time. She hadn’t bothered to know a single thing about this girl. Their time together was not nearly enough for Ess to warn her or to give much advise on how to survive. Part of her wasn’t even sure if ‘Reina’ was better off going out with a fight especially after the last time she tried to interfere. What a disastrous mess that had turned out to be. Still, Derek gave Ess the task of preparing those girls for the inevitable and it sickened her to the core. It was as if the man enjoyed the pain it would cause Essence, so she hid her emotions. She couldn’t escape and she couldn’t do much to help Reina with her fate except to release her pain from the present moment. Reina would either fade away without a care or she would survive only to relive it in her nightmares.

Derek was slow these days and was usually easily distracted by Ess’ painted smile; that same smile that she had decorated on Reina. Lucky for her she knew the key ingredient would be most beneficial in subduing the young girl’s pain. Ess only heard the screams for a few moments before the dreaded silence came, her own mind growing numb as a single thought passed of her only friend who lived in the other side of Blackpond.

‘Jakey…I pray you never find out…’



Note: Just a random bit that could be a flashback for Essence to Shadows of the Forgotten..


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