The months past quickly, time passes quickly when you have fun. During those months, the affair with Marcus continued extending in everyway in yet remained undiscovered, and all rumors were quickly dismissed and suspicions overridden. However, during the summer months, the relationship became more intense.
The series performances had finished, and I was even given a lead role but now I have a large scar across my left thigh from where the stage blade ran to deeply into my skin, but they soon healed, mostly by Marcus' healing hands. However, a new large performance was in rehearsal something about a mysterious murder of a beautiful young girl by a deformed man who was a notorious serial killer of Paris. But it was becoming repeatedly hard for a stage boy and actress to think of perfectly reasonable excuses to spend time together, but we managed to with no one noticing.
But one night occurred which was particularly special during July. Marcus' birthday 18 years old, officially adult but still treated like a child. On his previous birthdays, his presents took the form of a fist and a bottle of iodine, so tonight we were to make this birthday one to remember. At 9 o'clock all the other actors and actresses either had gone out or went to bed, we had had a hard day at rehearsals and we were all tired but Marcus kept his appointment and I was in full energy for the evening as giddy as a school girl.
That evening I wore the same dress I wore the night we spent with each other in my dressing room even though the rips were still visible from the previous time. When he arrived at half past nine, I was busy at the mirror trying to tidy my hair but it wasn't going straight. I didn't hear him come in I was to concerned about how I looked, he frightened me when he started to speak "Even with your hair in tatters your still stunning." "I didn't hear you come in." I ambled towards him and he placed both his hand on my shoulders and he kissed me in complete satisfaction, then he pushed me back towards the door, slid his hand around the back of me, locked the door, and afterwards slid his hand down past the tail of my back. Then we became more accustom with no thought for him I grabbed the lapels of his shirt and tore it almost in two. He did the same with my dress, the last time I wore that dress.
There I was back against the door wearing nothing but a corset, when Marcus with all the strength a man posses forced me onto the bed carefully untying the strings of the corset. Gently holding both my shoulders then running them down past my breastbone, over my navel and along the inside of my thigh. A thrill of ecstasy trickled down my spine and along my loins, his touch gentle and yet sexual. Passionate and yet dominating. Sympathetic and yet masculine. I had never experienced such emotions throughout the months and nights I had spent with him. Eventually the movements of his body and sensuous kisses stopped and I fell back on my bed in exhaustion panting heavily in an orgasmic pattern, he gazed at my thrusting breasts with sensuous eyes I could feel them burning into my body, then slowly he collapsed onto my chest.
We slept in tranquility, swept away in a world of summer fields where I dreamed of a French village in the south, a cottage with a rose vine growing around the pine wood door and well cut garden where the two of us will grow old together and watch our children grow up at our sides. I pictured the village church in summer, hearing the wedding bells ringing, then Marcus and I walking arm in arm down the pathway. A different way of life to that of the theatre, not having to look over your shoulder to see who's following you, or having to wait till after dark for you to express your love to a person who feels the same way about you, and not to be punished but congratulated for it. Not having to fear your mother in the way Marcus did, and has done for many years, I was his freedom and his break; in the same way he was mine. Together we were forgotten lovers of Shakespeare, a memory to the theatre's history. The morning was so bright the sun came in and the refreshing summer morning breeze fluttered the curtains, I got up in my naked state to welcome the new morning in, but the only thing remotely beautiful was the man sleeping serenely, he looked so relaxed like a child. I put on a scruffy robe and Marcus awoke he came up behind me and encircled his arms around my waist and held me close "Did you enjoy your birthday present Marcus?" I enquired in an ironic tone, "It was the best birthday I ever had. Why don't you come down to the cellar tonight?" "It's cold down there Marcus." "Well I can keep you warm, as I have done throughout the previous nights." I turned to hold him close to me his warm chest against my cold breasts. I had not been down to that cellar in month but I found it hard to say no to him, his words were so persuasive, he had such a way words. We parted for the day, and for another rehearsal. Before the rehearsal, I came over all faint then I was vomiting in the bathroom, I realized what was wrong but I did not tell anyone and had no intentions of telling Marcus until the right moment.
All of us sat in the pews of the stalls watching Mathieu, listening to his wife and children being murdered behind a locked door, drowning in torment by the murderer and death of his family his performance was moving and emotional, one of the best performances I had ever seen in rehearsal. But my focuses were not on the rehearsals or the performance; instead, I was watching Marcus balancing on one of the beams getting ready to drop the next scene. But his focuses were not on the next scene but on me. Our eyes always met from over the balcony but always discreetly as not to show any signal to the others our relationship.
Half way through the rehearsal his focuses were so distracted upon me that Marcus missed his step and fell 50 feet onto the wooden stage, I ran onto the stage and the others did not rush. I helped Marcus up and supported him of the stage and into one of the pews. Surprisingly no bones were broken but his head had a terrible gash in it. "Girls that will be all for today, have the rest of the evening off, go and enjoy yourselves." called Monsieur Artoir "Mary go and fetch some hot water and iodine for Marcus, make yourself useful. Marcus will be quite safe here. His mother and I will look after him." I was suspicious of Monsieur Artoir's words and I pondered as to whether or not to do as he asked, when Marcus nodded for me to go, leaving confused I fetched the water and chemical. But I knew it was to good to be true no sooner had I got back to Marcus I found him on the floor clinching his stomach. His mother had beaten him once again. I knelt beside him and squeezed him against me, his tears seeping into my costume. I placed the warm compress on his forehead dabbing it gently "I was so stupid, I shouldn't have left you." "If you hadn't have gone Monsieur Artoir would have hit you, I'm used to it. But I won't have you being hit." and we just laid there in tears, Marcus cradled in my arms. While tending his wounds I saw a scar which ran all around his body in a perfect circle and falling from the beam caused it bleed horrifically and around his back where it continually bled, it festered and his flesh decayed, we then walked down the stairs with me supporting Marcus as walking was to painful, down to Marcus' lodgings. And there I looked after him like a mother and child. I watched the bruise on his stomach grow larger and turn bluer and blacker. Someone had to care for him.�
From the wages I earned, I decided to indulge myself. I had earned 50 francs a month and, I came to the decision that I was to spend my wages on a new corset, along with stockings and suspenders to replace the ones I had broken. But there was only one place where I could buy them in the centre of Paris. I walked in to one of the grand shops and bought a ruby red and black striped corset with a black decorative frill across the top, and then I set my heart on a pair of black stockings and red suspenders. Marcus was going to like them red; he adored the colour red ever since he saw me in the red velvet dress, which in moments of dramatic enthusiasm was ripped. They cost a lot of money, near on half my wages but he is worth it. The only problem now was trying to get through the theatre without Marcus noticing, although he did not notice Jacqueline did "What have you bought then?" "Nothing" I answered with a tone of innocence "So what's in the bag?" she asked as I put it down in the corner. I did not answer instead I took my coat of and continued with the book I was reading. Abruptly Jacqueline picked up the bag and took the contents out "Why are you in need of black stockings and red suspenders?" "I had run out, all my stockings have ladders in them." "Oh I wonder how that happened?" she said while examining the silk of the stocking "What's that supposed to mean?" "Nothing Mary, only I just find it a coincidence that you buy some new black silk stockings, and a red corset..." she came close to me and whispered in a sly sinister tone "...while you have been seeing a lot of Marcus." I got abruptly out of my chair and put my hand around her throat, for a period I just listened to her wheezing, "Keep a civil tongue in that pretty head of yours and stay out of my life." and still with my hand around her throat, I threw her out of the room. As I watched her staggering with tears in her eyes, I realized how much like my uncle I had become, using violence to solve problems and to hush people up. But her words began to whirl in my mind did she know about Marcus and me? Or was she just being facetious?� People in this theatre never change and no one approached me for the rest of the day. Jacqueline was a gossip who would walk through a ring of fire for rumors and scandals, the atmosphere was tainted with alienation and isolation so she obviously told everyone what I had done and everyone was avoiding me, I pretended that it didn't disturb me and got on with the afternoon rehearsals.
The next problem was to sneak through the theatre, along the dressing rooms and down to the cellar with no one noticing. I put the corset and stockings on and carefully straightened my suspenders then I placed an old dress over them, which concealed the colour and left everything to the imagination. Half an hour later I crept out my room with no shoes on, feeling the splinters in the floorboards piercing the soles of my feet. The cold air stuck my legs like a thousand knifes as I walked down the cellar stairs flattering the hemline in all directions revealing more suspender than I intended, so early in the evening. I reached the bottom of the stairs the fire burning in the centre taken back by a larger surprise, Marcus had cooked dinner it wasn't cordon bleu cooking it was just plain and simple coque au vin with fresh bread and chardonnay I couldn't help but wonder where and how he got the food, but completed the evening. I had not tasted a meal like it not since I was a child with the Sunday roast. Afterwards we laid in one another's arms divinely watching the fire burn and drinking the rest of the wine eventually the wine bottle was empty in yet the glasses are half-full. I got up and Marcus looked up at me "I have got a surprise for you." an intriguing smile appeared on Marcus' cut face and excitement appeared in his eyes. Then with his arms around me, I slowly took the old dress off; the suspenders and red corset looked so bland in the dim light, it wasn't really the effect I wanted "What do think?" "I think you're the most beautiful woman in the world, let alone one of the most assassinated in the world." he drew nearer to me and casted his hand over and around my suspenders plucking them against my thighs. He dragged me onto the bed with me putting up little resistance slowly and delicately unclipped the buckle attaching the stockings to my suspenders that were attached to the corset then unclipping the clips at the back of my corset. With each pluck, I heard the more I desired his touch and sensuous bodily love, the more I desired his kisses and embraces. The outfit added to our love although no one would think it; we enjoy our moments together and with no rehearsals or performances the next day, we would spend the complete day together like a real couple does, 24 hours, 1440 minutes, 86400 seconds together, alone in our space. The cellar glows a golden radiance every morning I awake and 95% of it is from the presence of Marcus, but by mid afternoon he went "I need to buy something in town, do you want anything?" I shook my head in curiosity and suspicion especially as he was gone for nearly two hours, he ran down the stairs with a typical male guilty look on his face, pretending everything was normal "You've been a long time." I said with an inquired tone curious has where he had been and what he had bought, "Every where I went there was a long queue." he said with a guilty expression, quickly concealing something beneath his coat. "I've bought something for us." he said bringing out two bottles of wine "One for you and one for me." straining out his words as he tried to unscrew the cork, in giving me the bottle he pulled me onto his chest caressing my hair between his fingers softly allowing each strand to slip out of his grip. After an hour or so, I had fallen asleep with the wine going to my head. Then Marcus slowly brought me of his chest and placed my head on the pillow. He started to wonder about the room mumbling as he walked his mumbles and sound of footsteps awoke me, I walked towards his and embraced my arms around his waist subtly kissing his shoulders "What's the matter darling?" "Nothing love," he whispered as he turned to face me holding me close to him rubbing his hand down my back "Go back to bed."
In the evening, I was refreshed from my sleep and Marcus had brought down some dinner from the kitchens, "You're up a last." he said smiling and I smiled at the accusation even though I knew him to stay in bed all day and still awake tired, "Mary I've got something to ask you." "Yes Marcus?" I said virtually breathless in anticipation, but a sensation in the back of my mind caused me to believe that I could predict what he was about to say. He brought out a blue box and drew nearer to me, then he got down on one knee and opened the box to reveal a diamond ring "The diamonds aren't real but how I feel is real. Will you marry me?" I was taken back surprised, shaking and not knowing what answer to give him, while thinking about which response to give him I thought of my mother and how I was going to be living her life, she never married there was something humble in that thought. Which alone made me make up my mind "Yes I will marry you Marcus." we both could not believe the answer. Marcus picked me up in air swinging me against his body and within his embracing arms spinning me around in one large circle then slowing down and we stared into one another's eyes. Then confirmed the engagement with Marcus sliding the ring on the third finger of my left hand. The ancient Egyptians believed that the vain of love ran from the heart to that finger; and now a ring was on that finger I believed the legend. But my vain of love ran through my third finger and extended to Marcus' heart and with the placing of my ring Marcus owned me I was his property to hold forever and ever. But although we were engaged still we could tell no one, we knew his mother and Monsieur Artoir wouldn't approve of the engagement so I couldn't wear the ring in public in case questions and hands are raised, Marcus didn't mind because he knew just as well as I did what the consequences would be. But this was our engagement night and one not to be taken likely, Marcus went up to the kitchens to fetch another bottle of wine while adored the brilliance of my ring in the fire light and I remembered the dream I had of the southern French village and summer church, thinking that it may come true. Marcus returned from the kitchens carrying the wine "Did you miss me?" "I miss you every time I am alone." he gave me the bottle "Marcus if we put together enough money let's set up a new life together away from Paris and the theatre." "Where do you intend to move?" he enquired with an interested tone "The south of France. Well out of reach of Claudia and Monsieur Artoir, we could start a new life together." "What we do for a living?"� He asked, "Well I can get a job in the village, and there are numerous of jobs going in the vineries and we grow our own food, live of the land." Marcus paused thinking about it still drinking his wine while I played with my ring to occupy myself as I waited for his answer "If we put some money together and leave with nobody knowing." I smiled in excitement and our lips meet in love and companionship, it sealed our future together. That night I dreamed once again of the house in the south. The belief in me becoming Mrs. Marcus Desir�e was so strong, my heart felt free and released in yet bounded in Marcus' grip. My soul belonged to him and his belonged to me. But I still had doubts about the marriage it would be years before we could save enough money to get married and no one would approve of the marriage, I am a catholic girl raised by nuns. I broke all laws included in the faith giving myself over to Marcus and the men before him in the tavern, but who would know about it? It's not as if anyone would care. As the sun began to set Marcus and I walked up onto the roof of the theatre, and watched the sun go down, the bright orange glow illuminated the area. This was the moment to tell him "Marcus. There's something I have been meaning to tell you. I'm pregnant." a sudden turn of surprise appeared in his eyes and before long, in affection he couldn't help placing his hand on my stomach after a long and awkward pause he spluttered out the words "When did you find out?" "This morning." After a few minutes, he carried me back down to the cellar.The night of our engagement was nothing like any night I had spent with him before. Together we were swept away carried out of the witch's cave of horror and back into a fairytale castle of romance. Away from violent murders in the streets of Paris to a dancing, world of buttercup fields and clear blue seas where he would dive for pearls. Then arise to the surface satisfied as well as appreciated. The feelings were split then joined between us bounded by more than a false diamond. At this point within the hidden vaults of the theatre Monsieur Artoir and Claudia were in meeting, a few glasses of wine and the occasional indulgence in cocaine started many conversations, "What do you think of the girl Mary?" said Monsieur Artoir complacently admiring the crystal glass, "She's an amateur and amateurs need to keep their distance. She won't become the professional she hopes to become, not with her background", "What do you mean her background? Yours was no better, in many ways yours was worse." "True but I overcame my background, and made it a part of my distant past. Anyway my past would not have been as bad if that born wasn't born." The two of them laughed and chinked glasses, "Speaking of Marcus have you not noticed a change in him; he is becoming joyful it needs to be stamped out, we can't have our stage boy being...content in his work" again hey laughed. A knocked came to the door. Our enjoyment was short lived, as we did not know that half way down the stairs leading into the cellar listening to our pleasure was Jacqueline she did know about us, and in revenge for me hurting her in my dressing room she walked through the theatre to the room where Claudia and Monsieur Artoir were talking. "Marcus and Mary are together... in Marcus' room." As soon as she told them they stormed towards cellar, it takes about 5 minutes to reach the cellar from the dressing rooms all the while we continued to take pleasure in each other's company. Monsieur Artoir, Claudia Desir�e and Jacqueline tiptoed down the stairs listening to the seventh heaven echoing throughout the staircase. Suddenly Jacqueline had kicked a loose stone, which fell down the stairs, I heard it but Marcus did not "Marcus I heard something coming down the stairs." "It's probably just the wind blowing the loose stones it happens all the time." I was nervous about continuing but I did believing Marcus was right, but he spoke to soon the sound of footsteps drew ever closer. I looked up and saw a shadow be cast along the stonewall, my breathing deepened and heart began to race, I started hitting Marcus' shoulder to gain his attention, he looked up and saw shadows and heard the footsteps but it was too late. By the time, Marcus was able to cover me with a blanket and put shirt on; they had reached the last step. All three of them were looking in disgust Monsieur Artoir stood aloof with the riding whip in his hand twisting it around his knuckles; we could hear the sound of the leather being stretched from where we were sitting. Together we could feel the intense burning look from Claudia's eyes staring at Marcus in disgrace then looking at me with the same look as if I had led him astray. Jacqueline gloated in pride she tried to conceal it but it was impossible to. A deathly silence ran throughout the room, Marcus and I sat in silence hand in hand. Marcus was shaking he knew what was to happen to us, I was completely motionless didn't know what to do or what to think until Monsieur Artoir spoke not to us but to Claudia, "Take Marcus away I will deal with this slut." Claudia snatched Marcus' hand away from mine beating and kicking him up the stairs, and I was marched to Monsieur Artoir's office.���