“Happy New Year.”“Happy New Year.”
Camellia Luxx turned her head to view the man standing next to her with a surprised raise of her brow. It was as if he had materialized out of nowhere; she hadn’t heard him, hadn’t seen him out of the corner of her eye. The party was large, but Camellia who was one of the more street wise escorts in London was always under control and watchful enough to know every detail that happened around her. Using the ‘Prime Minister’ title for evils such as sneaking up on women wasn’t a very attractive look on him.
“Prime Minister,” Camellia acknowledged with a small, not quite perceptible turn of her thin lips. Her bright brown eyes were narrowed on him, and the only indication that she may not have been as fond of his presence as others in the room. One didn’t just ignore an invite from the Prime Minister, however. Especially not an escort working for the London service he hired multiple times a year. There were stories of girls going to jail for the simple word ‘no.’
“Happy New Year to you as well,” Camellia said in response, her voice non-threatening despite the look in her eyes. “Quite a party you’ve thrown.”
“This is your first year, I’m assuming?” the Minister asked with a faint smirk. “I’ve been throwing them every year since 2020. They always turn out as much fun as I hope they will.”
Camellia wondered if that meant it wasn’t all that fun at all. She didn’t ask. “It is my first year,” she confirmed instead. “I’ve only been with Alexis for eight months. This is the first year I was lucky enough to score an invite,” she added, almost teasing now.
“Only eight months?” the Minister asked in surprise. “You’re how old? Twenty one?” Camellia laughed, harder than she intended to.
“Twenty-seven. If I thought you weren’t hitting on me, I’d take that as a compliment.” She would. As it was, she had never been fond of the Prime Minister. She had met him only once before, and he had given her a vibe that she hadn’t been able to shake for quite a while after leaving his presence. That vibe was slowly beginning to rise in the air around her again.
“Well, as a gift for making it this long so far, I have something for you,” the Prime Minister said, and held out a hand for her to take. She eyed it only for a few seconds before placing her own in it; looking skeptical and untrusting wouldn’t do well, for her, or for Alexis. He led her from the back of the grand room the party was thrown in, through a set of doors to their right, and into a smaller room that could have been a study. Camellia glanced around, taking in her surroundings.
“I usually don’t start handing out gifts until I hire a girl, but your one of sexiest London escorts I met in ages and I think I’ll be seeing you sooner than I thought,” the Minister said as he opened a drawer beneath a large oak desk. He came out with a square box wrapped in red velvet, and Camellia already had a good hunch as to what was within it. He stepped around the desk to stand in front of her, opening up the box and turning it to face her. Sure enough: the most polished silver bracelet she had ever seen, lined with diamonds and small rubies tucked just to the sides of them.
“I couldn’t possibly –“
“I insist,” the Prime Minister said, his voice changing a bit as he picked up the bracelet from the soft padding it rested on, then set aside the box. His hand took Camellia’s own, lifting it until he could trust her not to drop it as he undid the clasp and clipped it onto her wrist. She had to admit…it was beautiful. And it looked amazing with the deep red dress she wore.
But she also saw it for what it was: ownership. She was being claimed. The look in his eyes said it all.