On the Town in Satin and Lace. Part the Third.
My taxi dropped me off in front of Chez Martine in proper time to meet my Slayer, Miss Montoya, and her belle. I was wearing one of my favorite dresses, recently recreated with plenty of black lace. Miss Emma was waiting at the door wearing her new green gown, and I was secretly very pleased to note that she was wearing the cross from my old rosary round her neck.
"Come along my dear, fashionably late is for those who have no sense of propriety, " I took my Slayer by the arm, and marched the pair of us up to the maître d'hôtel, "Excusez-moi mon cher monsieur, ayez-vous une réservation pour quatre pour Drusilla.?"
He was startled but recovered in an admirably quick manner, "Oh oui Mademoiselle...the other two members of your party have already arrived, would you like to be seated now, or would you like to join them in the lounge for a drink first?"
I glanced over at Miss Emma, "We would like to be seated, could you please inform my guests?"
"But of course, "with an imperious snap of his fingers and and whispered command to one of the senior waiters, we were whisked to lovely table where we could see and be seen. Shortly thereafter my guests were seated.
Renee was wearing a tight black satin tube dress and had her hair loose instead of a ponytail. Her girlfriend was a tall and slender with short red hair and skin almost as pale as mine. She was wearing a bright red leather mini dress and thigh-high black leather boots. Miss Emma gave a gasp when she saw her, causing Renee to smile.
"Dru, Emma, I'd like you to meet my girlfriend..."
"That's my name Emma, and it's a pleasure to meet you both."
"I mean you're the Kate Kane of the Gotham Wayne's and Kane's!"
"Uh huh, that doesn't mean I'm a alien or something...does it?"
"Breathe my dear, " I patted Miss Emma's hand, "All at this table are so much more than their current face."
Kate's eyes narrowed at me and I pretended not to notice, "It is pleasant to see a couple whose beauty complements each other so well."
Miss Emma nodded in agreement, "You really are beautiful Miss Kane and so is Renee. I wish I looked like any of you three."
"You have to call me Kate, Emma. I only let people I don't like, call me Miss Kane, and what are you talking about? You look absolutely gorgeous. I could never wear a dress like that."
"Dru got it for me so all the credit goes to her."
"Don't be silly my dear. A beautiful dress might make a woman shine, but a beautiful woman will make a potato sack shine. At least that's what me mum always told my sisters and I. That might not be a potato sack, but you are certainly making it shine, " My Slayer began turning a lovely shade of crimson at the complement and Renee and Kate began laughing softly.
"Dru, " Renee spoke up, "It looks like your protégé isn't used to complements."
"Well Miss Emma had better get used to them, and that's final, " the girl in question began blushing furiously again.
By this time the sommelier had stopped by and I had chosen a good starting wine for the table. Then we placed our orders, I had only some beef consommé and assisted Emma with her order. We spoke about naught but pleasantries until the meal was done and the last spoonful of sorbet had been consumed. I began to say something, but then my little unbeating mouse heart froze. He was here.
I glanced round the dining room till I saw him with his current peacock. He was wearing his false face and was blending into the flock of lesser fowl, that circled and squawked their inane calls. He was a raptor though. As much a predator as the four of us seated at this table only far far more dangerous. He felt like the blond Slayer's Watcher, with the same iron core resting beneath a glossy coat. He noticed my glance and I knew he recognized me, though I doubted he would suspect the inverse was true as well.
I turned back to my party as I felt his overwhelming presence move closer. I wanted to flee on my little paws. I wanted to hide in the wainscoting till he departed, but at this time I had no choice but to stay as he approached.
"Kate! Renee! So wonderful to see you tonight. And who are your charming friends?"
"Bruce! When did you get back in town?" Kate had risen from her seat and gave the Dark One a kiss on the cheek while Renee simply gave him a friendly nod, "This is Emma and her tutor, Drusilla."
"A true pleasure ladies, " he performed a courtly half-bow, "In answer to your question, I just returned this morning. I was a little bored, so I called up..." he pretended to search for the name that clearly visible upon his lips, "Anna, and decided to do dinner."
"Anna again? Bruce, you need to find yourself a good woman or at least a good man and finally settle down."
"But you're off the market Kate...unless Renee wants to share?"
"Bruce Wayne, behave yourself!" Kate was smiling.
"Ah rejected again by the fair Katherine. I shall return to Anna who will salve my wounded heart. You will be coming to the Mayor's ball next week, and I expect you to bring Emma and Drusilla as well, " with that he strode off to return to his table.
"Was that really Bruce Wayne?" my Slayer seemed shell shocked.
"Oh yes, " Renee said dryly, "The one and only God's gift to females."
"Renee! He's not that bad. He was always very nice and considerate to me in the past, and to both of us now."
"Yeah I'll give him that. Wayne has always been a class act."
My heart had unfrozen by this time, and I remembered to begin breathing normally.
Kate finished her wine and looked over at me, "So, Renee said you would be needing some help training your protégé?" she spoke so softly only one with superior hearing would have noticed. I nodded slightly and saw Miss Emma listening with interest.
"I have just purchased a residence north of the city with ample space for for such pursuits. It will be ready for tenancy in a few months. Until then the school that Renee located should prove adequate."
"Sifu Po and his wife owe me one."
"Do your parents know about this Emma?"
"No Miss Ka...Kate, my mom and my sister work all the time. I was planning on getting a job this year to help out with the bills, but then this happened."
"Miss Emma, I believe I can assist in your job search. When I move, I will be needing a live in personal assistant to take care of things that can only be accomplished in the light of day. As my skin is so fair as to burn with the merest fleck of a ray...Would you be interested? You would need to secure a Driving Permit of course, but that can easily be arranged."
Kate gave me a searching glance, "How do you know the things you do Dru?"
I gave a small smile and a half-shrug, "The world likes to gossip, and I always manage to hear its prattle."
"Well, Renee and I must be going, " She handed me her visiting card, "I suppose we should make arrangements for both training and the Mayor's Ball?"
"Oh certainly, Grand Balls are ever so much fun!"
The four of us walked to the door and waited for Kate's car to be brought around and a taxi to be called for my Slayer. We bid the pair of them goodbye as they drove off.
As we waited for Miss Emma's cab, she turned to me and spoke, "Dru, why did Mr. Wayne scare you so badly?"
"He reminded me of a bad memory my dear. That's all, " with that, I placed her in her taxi, waved goodbye, and made my own way home through the shadows.