Name: Riven, last name unknown/undisclosed
Hair: Shiny black, wavy, just below shoulder length
Eyes: Silvery gray
Skin: Pale, unblemished
Demeanor: Normally calm, cool-headed, a little sultry, sometimes flirtatious. Her eyes always seem aware, focused, alert, occasionally with an intensity that makes some people squirm under her regard. When angered or pushed to it, she is cold, calculating, and ruthless. In either state, the wise would consider her dangerous.
In this day and age, everyone has a tragic story to tell, a harrowing experience (or 20) in their childhood that’s put that old familiar wariness in their eyes. I’ve been told that you can see mine peeking through every now and then, like a street sign emerging from the smog for a brief moment before it’s once more obscured by the blackness. I think that’s sentimental bullshit, and I’m not tragically sad deep down inside, but hey. If it makes the tip higher.
Men have asked me, sometimes, while we’re lying together in their dimly lit bedrooms, musky with the air of sex, booze, and smoke… they’ve asked me, what happened to you? How did you get here, like this? “I mean, a girl like you…” they say, their eyes roving over my face. Like I’m some kind of angel. Just ‘cause my skin’s pale and clear of junkie sores or scars, ‘cause I’m pretty and soft and my lips are full and made for kissing. Or maybe it’s because I treat them like the kings they feel they are while they’re inside me, because I open myself to them in more ways than the physical kind, and yeah, I know exactly what they’re thinking in those moments. I make it my business to know. There’s a reason I have rich, powerful men still asking after me even though I’m the Madame now and not a common escort anymore. There’s a reason, and it’s one that I don’t talk about.
I’m no angel, though. Very far from it. How did I get here? “Life isn’t kind,” is what I usually tell them. People born without privileges have to make the best they can of a shitty situation. That’s all.
If anyone is an angel, it’s Rodrick. He’s my angel, anyway. He’s the reason I’m still here, still making my way up in the world. He found me when I needed someone the most in that tragic childhood tale of mine, and he took care of me. He taught me what friendship is, and the beauty that can be found in sexual intimacy, among other things. He’s the angel, not me.
I’m something else. Something dangerous. The most dangerous parts of me are not the obvious ones… not the age old power over men (and some women) afforded to me by my genetics, not the soft manipulations whispered into yearning ears, or swaying hips in a skin-tight dress, or a slowly crooked finger beckoning towards a dark bedroom.
No… the real danger is hidden beneath the surface, waiting to be unleashed.
And I’m learning.
Maybe that sadness they think they see, that tragic history in my eyes, is really just an echo of their own unspoken sorrows. My sadness is long dead. There’s no room for it in my skull. And that’s fine by me.