the night air was crisp and unforgiving. The street was silent and uninhabited at such a late hour, the gas lamps burning dimly and the heavy industrial fog that choked London thick. Violet Rain sucked in air through her teeth, her frozen hand clutching her bloodied handkerchief and scarf to her collarbone. The night had not gone as planned; their chosen target also had a revolver and it was violet who had greeted it's bullet. Her fine men's suit was ruined, it was getting harder for her to concentrate, harder for her to breathe. But she couldn't die, she was only a mere girl of 16, she had so much more to do with her life. Violet laughed. How was it that she, a well educated girl of 16, had become involved in such an awful business? It had not been her choice, that much was certain. She paused for breath, looking ahead to the older girl that was running up the steps that lead to Violet's brother's set of rooms.
"Emerald, please...what will James say ? Please don't do this to me!" She had all but begged, tears falling freely now.
"I have no choice, V ioleta. It's what is best for you. You are young enough yet to be free from this awful game we find ourselves in." The older girl replied, her crip English accent only slightly tinted with a Spanish one.
"Emerald, please! You're my sister in all but blood! You are to marry my brother! Please don't just leave me on his doorstep!" Violet sobbed as she was being led up the steps.
The Spanish girl knelt beside the younger girl, cupping her heart shaped face with her gloved hand. "No es que yo vea a su hermano, ya que sólo hacerle daño a usted y él. Yo no puedo hacer eso. Tenga cuidado, mi Amiga."
The Spanish girl rose quickly and fled into darkness of the night, leaving violet utterly alone.
Violet Rain shot up with a start breathing hard. She had not thought of that night two years ago in a very long time, and every time she did it was as real to her as it had been that god awful night. Violet took in her surroundings. She was back in her bedroom in the set of rooms she shared with her older brother and his wife, the fire dying in the grate and the curtains blowing in the wind. She crossed the room to shut the window, her hand subconsciously rubbing her scarred collarbone, before she guiltily hid the empty needle from view of her brother. The clock on the mantle read half past six, she had been asleep for some two hours and knew that her brother would be gone to the theatre, or the music hall or perhaps the opera with his beloved,leaving her at liberty to do as she pleased this evening. Violet sat down at her vanity table with the little painted roses and her reflection returned the stare. Violet Rain had indigo eyes under her full fringe that held knowledge beyond her eighteen years of life it seemed. Her pale gold ringlets framed her heart shaped face as they cascaded over her shoulder. Violet consided her favourite feature to be the little beauty spot under her left eye, but her eyes fell to her bruised and scarred underarms. A permenant reminder of her bad habit, the vice she couldn't give up because it kept the nightmares away and dimmed the memories of all the awful things she had hurriedly rolled down her shirt sleeves ashamed of herself for even needing such a habit, yet it had such a hold ever her that she knew she was perhaps too selfish and fragile to break. Her reflection looked back at her disgusted. Violet Rain left the vanity table to finish dressing in one of her brother's older suits, cursing his name for being so trim as it made it hard for her to conceal her full bust and Hour glass figure. She carefully arranged her ringlets under one of his old hats, and once satisfied with her appearance, Violet carefully removed her revolver from her drawer of undergarments and tucked it into the back of her borrowed trousers, leaving her room to head off to the prize fight.
The prize fight was taking place in a dirty tavern in the east end that was known to host such events and known for the many illegal betting rings that often accompanied such events. The tavern was dimly lit, all the tables and stools stacked aside to make room for the makeshift ring, the grimy floor covered with sand to soak up the blood. The air was thick with the smell of sweat and alcohol, cigarette smoke creating a haze over all those that had come to see the fight. Men of all walks of like were gathered here, shouting encouragement to their favourite and abuse to his opponent. They waved fists and their own ages around, shouted for more and called to the working girls who had seized such an event to benefit their profession. Violet lit up her own cigarette as she stood near the front watching the two men in the ring intently, even though she gave more attention to one and not the other. The first boxer was a young man of one and twenty years with unruly auburn locks and pale, almost translucent freckled skin. He was of a slender build and when he had first stepped into the ring years ago, many of the spectators had not expected him to last the first round never mind win that fight because he looked as though a good meal would do him no harm. His brown eyes always held a hint of mischief and his voice a broad cockney accent. Violet knew him intimately; this man was Constable Dietrich 'Trevor' O'Keefe. He was her fiancé. The second boxer was unknown to her. He was perhaps a few years older then her fiancé, no older then five and twenty years she thought with jet black hair swept elegantly from his face and eyes so brown they were almost black. His eyes had a mean glint, his face wore an expression of arrogance mingled with malice. But it was a handsome face, that much could not be denied, as was his body. This boxer, unlike her lover, was highly toned and most of his torso was solid muscle. His trousers were of a fine material and from the way he presented himself, she knew he was a 'toff slumming it' as her fiancé would say. But from the way he held his stance and carried it his punches,she knew he was no bare knuckle boxer; he showed signs of being skilled in martial arts as she was. Violet found herself drawn to the handsome stranger, and yet she could have sworn she recognised him. The fight was intense between the two and no one was certain as to who would be champion, perhaps the handsome stranger would be victorious too. It certainly looked that way too, until he let his guard down as he glanced at a woman in a fine silk green dress, her face obscured by the view of her hat. Violet watched the two interact, noticing the woman glance at her before she disappeared into the crowd. But in his split second of distraction, the handsome stranger left himself open to the constable's excellent right hook which took him completely by surprise and knocked him to the floor. Constable O'Keefe waited for his opponent to get up, but he didn't, so the constable wiped his bloodied lip, raised his fist with a grin before he made his way over to Violet and kissed her, knocking off her borrowed hat in process. The woman in green shook her head and sighed at the handsome stranger as he came to his senses, a small smile playing across her lips.
The best part of a bottle of gin later, Violet and the red headed constable left the tavern, his arm round her waist as they stumbled together back to her brother's residence. The lovers laughed and joked, the cockney stealing passionate kisses when he could. Violet noticed for some time that they were being followed by a man with his cap pulled low wearing an old pea jacket and scarf to conceal the lower half of his face. Constable had not noticed him but she had, and he had been walking the same path as them for some time. The couple stopped to light a cigarette, violet all the time aware of the man getting closer and closer. No sooner had the redheaded constable lit his own cigarette then the man had taken him by surprise, managing to give a blow that left him clutching his ribs in an attempt to catch his breath before he bent the constable's finger that he had broke in the prize fight back further. The pain caused him to swear and cry out. Violet took their attacker by the collar of his scruffy jacket and threw him with all of her force over her shoulder. The man looked at her shocked before she manged to pin him to the wall in a blur of quick blows and jobs. With her arm pressed against his neck she gave him an intense stare.
"Who sent you?" She demanded, pressing her arm even more against his jugular. "I'll tell you like I tell the others! If she wants me she can come after me herself!"
The man laughed and with all his strength threw Violet off him and to the cobbled ground. He leant ove her. "I've been sent to give you warnin'. La Señora Esmeralda is back and she's back for you."
Violet had hit he head hard and she could feel the blood on her face. The man turned on his heels and fled, Constable O'Keefe running quickly after him, shouting profanities in the attackers direction to stop and her last moments of consciousness, Violet Rain managed to pull her revolver from her trousers and take aim at the man, watching him crumple as she pulled the trigger.