A modern day spin-off of the myth of King Polydectes, Danae, Perseus and Medusa
(If you’re not quite sure about the myth, read it here)
Dani was done with one night stands. She was done with men. And from what she’d learnt at college, even the Gods couldn’t keep it in their pants. Hell, she was done with the opposite sex for good. The final blow came when her honor-drunk father kicked them out of his house months after she’d given birth to the only person of the other gender she believed she could ever love- her son, Percy. Her father didn’t want an illegitimate grandson to inherit the empire he’d built from ground up. Being born out of wedlock wasn’t considered honorable- even more so when the father remained untraceable. Was it Percy’s fault that his father had fled the night after impregnating his mother? Dani had never hated disposable phones more.
She took the boat from Boston to New York for she had nowhere to go but where her feet decided to take her. They seemed to be fond of the pier. She arrived in New York with a bag full of emptiness and a child in her arms. The bench on the sidewalk seemed to be the only place welcome to her. She propped herself onto the bench while her face glistened with tears and her cascading hair shone under the light of the streetlamp, giving her an almost ethereal glow. Such a beauty could not spend a night on a bench on the sidewalk. And she did not have to. On the street abuzz with cars and people, there was a typical black limousine- a sight no New Yorker bats an eyelid at. Dani cradled her child in her arms and softly sung a lullaby to calm his near inaudible weeping and the man in the limousine watched her do so. Unable to watch the pitiful sight any longer, he got out of his car and walked towards Dani.
“Sunshine! You don’t tell me you’re going to be spending the night on the street.”
Dani was startled. Was he really talking to her? She looked up at him with her big, doe eyes.
“Get into the car, Sunshine. We’re going to take you home.”
Dani was scared and he was built. She couldn’t fight or take flight even if she wanted to. Once again, she decided to follow her feet as they lead her to the door of the limousine which was opened by a uniformed chauffeur. The man got in after her and sat opposite her. He offered her some Coke and chips. Dani ate hungrily before she told him her story. The man listened to her raptly before he introduced himself as Dick- brother of the King of New York. There was nothing his brother, Dexter, couldn’t do. New York was his baby. Dani had been found by the right man.
Dick led her to a large penthouse on the Upper East Side where he lived with his brother. Dexter was instantly drawn to Dani- to her large eyes and soft hair. He had to let her stay. Forever.
25 years later
The years had passed. Some faster than the others. Percy grew up to be easy on the eyes with the courage of a lion and the loyalty of a dog. The boy had been brought up just right. He looked up to Dexter and Dick as his father figures and loved Dani more than he could anyone else.
Dexter loved Dani too. Just not the way Percy thought he did. Dexter wanted to hold Dani close and never let her go. He had wanted to ever since the day he had set his eyes on her. He had decided to take it slow but as Percy grew up, he began to realize that the boy would never be able to accept this relationship. He kept up his subtle ways to woo her but he hadn’t been sure whether they’d been of much avail until Dani began to show signs of reciprocation only a few months ago. He was slightly startled when she touched his cheek in the kitchen that night but not all that surprised. Dani had spent her life looking after the Percy and the brothers. But mostly Percy. Percy, though, hadn’t been around a lot for the past couple of years. And that left Dani’s thoughts a lot of time to wander.
Percy had become the FBI’s most valuable external asset in the Narcotics Division. His off the record missions earned him quite a bit of fame in the circle of incognito agents. His main job was to catch the middlemen facilitating some of the largest drug deals happening in all of USA. The FBI had identified a common pattern amongst all the major drug deals. They were often facilitated only by the middlemen who held all the information from both the parties. The parties at either end did not know each other and nor did they wish to. The middlemen used simple disposable phones to store the data they required. There was no other trace of information left elsewhere. The information was relayed to them from either end using a complicated network. These middlemen were the only point of contact. And often, they were women.
One day, Percy and Dexter both found themselves in a fix. Both of them were stuck in covert affairs which were taking them nowhere for the lack of resources. Dani had confessed her love for Dexter to him in secrecy for she too was aware of Percy’s possible reaction. She did not wish to be with Dexter against her son’s wishes. And Percy had been spending far too much time at the penthouse wondering how to get hold of his next culprit who would be facilitating a large deal in the chambers of the Plaza after attending the Italian Ball. All Percy had to do was transfer the information from the disposable phone to his device and before the ball got over and he’d have stopped one of the largest narcotics deal in the history of the FBI. However, the Italian Ball was one of the most coveted events of the season. It was also highly regulated and not even the FBI could wriggle an invitation out of them without a valid reason. Percy’s off-the-record nature of job could not be validated by documents. He felt helpless that it was not his skills but the mere lack of an invitation that was an obstacle in his way.
Dexter could see the worry on Percy’s face. He knew something was wrong and desperately wanted to be of some help. Percy could not confide in him but voiced his desire to go for the Italian Ball. Dexter, of course, still held the position of the King of New York. He could get anything done. He decided to pull a few strings and get Percy the invite. That would send him away for the night and give him some time with Dani. It served both their purposes. Percy could be a hero and Dexter could have his Dani. He was sure he could have her when her while her son was away. She would consent to be his for the night.
Invitation in hand, Percy donned his smartest tuxedo and Hermes shoes and set out for the evening. He had Athena tucked away in his jacket. Athena was a smart device, a brainchild of the FBI that could attach itself to any electronic communication device, retrieve all its data and render it dead and useless. His other weapons were hidden in the various pockets of his tailored tuxedo. He decided against a gun. He wasn’t aware of the frisking protocol. Besides, ballrooms came with kitchens and if need be, his muscles would serve him just as well. His next victim went by the name Maddie.
The limousine dropped him off at the entrance of the Plaza. The security measures were heavy when it came to checking the invitation but nearly non-existent otherwise. He could’ve snuck in three guns. The ballroom was crowded with important looking people sipping on champagne and pretending to have important conversation. Percy had never liked such events. Dexter had taken Dani to a number of such galas throughout the years but they had never interested Percy. They still did not. He picked up a glass of champagne and searched the room while leaning on a pillar. He knew the layout at the back of his hand. His plan of action was crafted to suit an event of this stature. He was going to get his victim with as much poise as was expected of him from such a setting.
He saw her leaning against a pillar on the other side of the room. She was as beautiful as she had looked in the camera footage he had seen of her. He looked around the room and spotted her allies. Her protection for the night were two women. He recognized them too, Sheena and Eurie. They were only here to stand guard for they had no idea what Maddie was up to. No one did, apart from her and her disposable phone.
The night progressed and the floor was opened for all the couples to dance. Percy hadn’t been trained to waltz and jive for nothing. He straightened his jacket and made his way to Maddie. For some reason, he couldn’t meet her eyes. There was something about her face which sent a shiver down his spine. He ignored it. He was better than that. Her hair was wild and seemed to come alive. He wanted to touch it but he was scared it would sting to the touch.
“May I have this dance?” he asked, half bowing and offering her his hand.
There were too many eyes on them and she could not decline even if she wanted to. But why would she? He cut an image too impressive for even her to ignore. She obliged.
Percy took her hand and led her to the floor. He put one hand on her waist and held hers with the other while she rested her free hand on his shoulder. He led and she followed. They gracefully moved about the floor of the ballroom in perfect synchronization as though they had been practicing this routine for years. Percy tried to meet her eyes again but he was unable to. He was scared he might fall victim to her power- her charm.
Maddie could feel the muscles under his shoulders flex as they danced. She loved the feel of it and wanted to hold on tighter. She glanced at her watch. She could still afford the time.
Percy led her away from the floor after what felt like the longest wait and shortest dance of his life. Maddie picked up a glass of champagne from a passing waiter.
“What would you think of something stronger than that?” asked Percy, leading her to the bar.
The bar was long and behind it stood a wall paneled with mirrors. Percy asked for two glasses of their finest vintages. He took one in his hand, sipped it and spun her around to face him before she could pick hers up. He put his free arm on the small of her back and felt a shiver go down her spine. He set his glass down on the bar counter a little further from hers. He whispered sweet nothings into her ear and looked into the mirror to direct the deft fingers of his free hand to extract the miniscule vial from his sleeve and swiftly empty its contents into her glass. The job was done. He turned her around and wrapped his hands around her waist. She checked her watch again. There was time. Percy picked up his glass and handed her hers. He spoke to her until she had finished it. Her speech had begun to slur slightly.
“I was wondering if you’d like to come up for a drink” he asked.
She nodded and he took her to the elevators. He knew that Sheena and Eurie weren’t far behind.
He took her to his room and she sat on the edge of his bed. All that was left to do now was to wait. Hopefully it wouldn’t take too long or Sheena and Eurie would get suspicious. Maddie grabbed him from behind and pulled him close. The force startled him for a few seconds. She was strong. He wondered if his game was caught. Instead, she began kissing him furiously. She held him close and led his hand up her thigh. The girl did not have time to waste. However, halfway through her antics, the contents of the vial kicked in and she passed out on the bed. It would be some time before she would wake.
Percy did not have time to waste either. He slid his hand further up and found the disposable at the edge of her stockings. He quickly pulled it out and attached it to Athena. Athena did her job while he slid his hand up her other thigh. He knew he was being greedy but he couldn’t stop himself. He found the gun tucked into the edge of her other stocking. He slipped in into his jacket pocket. He had earned this weapon. He grabbed Athena and made his way out. He could see Sheena and Eurie in the distance as he shut the door behind him. He did not lock it. He walked away calmly and could feel the two women approaching from behind, going in to inspect the room. Once they were inside, he quickly retraced his steps, shut the door and used his keycard to lock them in. He did not wish to use the gun. He quickly left the building and got into the waiting limousine. He was sure he’d heard a couple of gun shots go off from above.
Feeling amply satisfied, he delivered Athena where she belonged and went back to the penthouse. However, at the penthouse he found his mother with bloodshot eyes and bruised legs as Dexter pinned her against a wall, his pants halfway down his legs. Percy decided to use the gun.