Feedback: This is my first MR fic, so please comment!
Disclaimer: The characters depicted in this story aren't mine, unless otherwise noted. Baz, they're so yours!
Summary: It is 1890, and the height of the Industrial Revolution. Years before the sizzling Satine rules Paris as the "Sparking Diamond," she must work her way from her position of Garden beer maid to feature Moulin dancer. Watch as the innocence of her childhood falls away, and a brilliant diamond emerges.
Author's notes: I believe I forgot to post Part II of my story, so it can be found here. Other than that, I was quite proud of myself to tie in a line from The Portrait of a Lady. =D That's going to be one of the neat things in this story: tie-ins from other Nicole films, real historical events/people, etc.
Still unable to fully withdraw my attention from Satine, I continued to prompt Ziddler for more details. Once sufficiently satisfied, I told Ziddler to bring the girl to me after her number. He continued to be hesitant, much to my annoyance, but at least he was following my order. Not many could command Harold Ziddler in such fashion. Suddenly becoming vain, I checked my appearance in one of the mirrors lining the dance hall, and resumed sitting in my dark corner, away from the crowd.
Nonchalantly I glanced at the hundreds of people participating in this modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah, when upon returning my gaze towards the front of the hall, I saw her approach me for the very first time. I do not recall what my expression really said, but I had to use all my strength to keep it as calm as possible. With Ziddler in tow, Satine made her way through the throngs of leering nobodies towards me. With each step, her beauty intensified. I could also see her anxiety increased, as well. This was to be expected. I assumed she had no idea who I was, let alone the path she was about to begin.
"Satine, my pigeon, this is his Highness, Prince Alexis Vladimir Romansky of Russia. Now, be a good girl, and greet his Highness," Ziddler said, pulling out a chair for her, and gesturing towards me. Satine, never before having to greet royalty, politely bowed her head, and gracefully flopped into the chair, sending rhinestone fringe flying.
Ziddler, worried that I would be appalled by her behavior, began to apologize in force, when I stopped him with a wave of my hand. “Tell me, mademoiselle, what is your name?”
She looked at Ziddler, and then at me. “Satine.”
It was velvet escaping from her lips. My heart began to race as I pressed further. “You must have a last name?”
“If I did, I do not know it,” she replied, hiding by an ever increasing stiffness to her demeanor. She could not keep her eye contact with me, but nervously glanced all around her, as if she had never seen the Moulin Rouge from this side of it before.
By this time, I knew every detail about her; even those she did not yet know. My questions were pointless, but I merely wanted to hear her voice, and watch her speak. I was so tempted to touch her, if even to brush her hair away from her face, but I knew it was not appropriate at this time. I was caught up in this magnificence. Finally, I came to my senses and realized I was wasting precious time, so I then began my proposal.
“Ziddler,” I asked, finally breaking away from Satine’s vision for the first time since she arrived by my side to look at him, “I want to patronize Mademoiselle Satine, to refine her, give her everything she needs, and to eventually create a star out of her.”
Ziddler glanced at Satine, who did not understand what I meant, and then slowly spoke to me. “You do not play at words...your intentions are very clear. It is not that I don’t think you can succeed, for you have done it before, but I do not think that this is the appropriate path for our dear Satine here,” he said, hoping this would finalize the issue.
I was slightly surprised by his resistance to the almighty Franc, but I knew Harold Ziddler would cave in quickly with the right force. “Harold, don’t be foolish. You know what you have before you, and you know that when I return her to the Moulin Rouge, she will be the star of France. Are you saying you really want to pass on such a chance? No, I think not.”
He swallowed hard, and looked once again at Satine. “Very well then. I can send the paperwork to your hotel tonight, and she shall be ready for you in the morn—“
“No,” I interrupted. “She will come with me tonight, and I shall sign in the morning. We shall not wait on Mademoiselle Satine.” Gently I turned my attention back to my new project. “Satine, you do want to be a star?”
She looked as pained as Ziddler did at that moment. Picking up a strand of rhinestones, she twisted them around a delicate, white finger, and upon short reflection, said, “If it is what you think best for me, I shall do it.”
“Excellent. You are very well-behaved, Satine. Many girls do not recognize such opportunity as you do, and must be broken before they can appreciate what I offer. I can already tell you have the potential to not only be a great star, but a grand lady.”
She perked at this thought, and a small smile passed her lips, before fading away again. I could not tell if she was more beautiful with or without one. “Thank you,” she said, finally looking me in the eyes. How blue they were—how brilliantly blue. Sapphires buried in soft, white sand.
“Well, I suppose I—“ Ziddler began, standing up as I cut him off once more.
“We will go to the Gothic Tower. I expect it to be ready, yes?” I asked, standing and reaching for Satine’s hand. She reluctantly took it, but once her hand was inside my own, her body softened, and seemed to know that I was one to trust. I would not hurt her. She stood, and allowed me to lead her to my side. She kept her eyes upon the floor, hiding them behind feathery eyelashes that beckoned to be kissed. I could tell she was beginning to blush, as well.
Ziddler grew increasingly upset at my forwardness. “Yes, it is ready, but I think you should take more time with her...and...” He sighed, took his hat in hand, and looked once more at Satine. “Pigeon, I will see you tomorrow.” With that, he left us alone, and walked back off towards the stage.
As if she had found sudden courage, Satine threw her head back, and the most resplendent smile I have ever seen upon any creature crossed her face. Her eyes were set on fire, and she shook her radiant hair behind her. “Shall we?” she asked, cocking an eyebrow at me. I was completely beside myself at this sudden change in demeanor.
“My, you have suddenly changed,” I breathed, grasping her left earring with my free hand, and comparing its brilliance to that of its owner. “How can this suddenly be?”
“I suddenly understand I am faced with a great challenge in my life. I somehow sense you would never hurt me.” She stepped closer, and my hand went from her earring to her bare shoulder. It was so temptingly warm. “Therefore I plan not to shy away from it, but embrace it with my whole.”
“And do you make many of these?” I asked, trying to hold my composure.
“I’m rather ashamed of my plans. I make new ones every day,” she smiled again, her voice tinkling like a bell.
Somehow lifting myself out of the fog she had wrapped me in, I came back to the task at hand. “To the tower, mademoiselle?”
“Very well,” she answered, as her apprehension flooded back. She knew what happened in the tower. We left the great hall through a side entrance, and into the night.
I followed her as she crossed the tiny courtyard. It was quite late, and we were completely alone during our walk. The first snow of the year had begun to fall—the dusting was light, but still blanketed everything. It was hardly cold, either. Or perhaps my blood ran so hot, I did not notice. All I paid attention to was the petite figure before me, sashaying a few strides ahead of me towards the Gothic Tower. It was breathtaking to see this creature, still only wearing the light wrapping of silk and rhinestones, move so effortlessly through the darkness. She had probably crossed this courtyard a thousand times, and knew each step by heart.
But what stunned me the most, what kept me enthralled in this most human of tasks, was the way the snow shone upon her as it was caught in her hair, on her costume, on her body. As bizarre as it was to have snow in September, it was even more so to have a moon shining along with it. This eerie blue light caught each prism of each snowflake, and made Satine sparkle like a diamond.
Satine stopped as we reached the door to the Tower, and looked back at me. “What?” she asked, raising an eyebrow in question.
I was startled out of my thoughts, and replied, “The way the moon catches the snowflakes upon your body...it makes you look as if though you were a sparkling diamond. Do you realize how amazing the effect is? When you look at me, the contrast of your hair and eyes make it even more so tantalizing to behold.”
She tried not to blush, and broke her eye contact with me. “Thank you. No one has given me a compliment so wonderful before.” Satine then opened the Tower door, and blindly reached back for my hand. It was if though she knew what she was to do; like she’d known all her life. I gently took her hand, and followed her inside.
“You’ll have to get accustomed to the compliments, my darling. The whole world will one day sing your praises,” I whispered, not letting go of her as we climbed the steps. I knew what I said and did in these next few moments would be crucial to her progress in life. I had to teach her that her new life was only going to be what she would make of it.
It was definately a long time in coming, but the saga continues!