Loire Valley, France

Loire Valley, France

A Chapter by Screamplay

there's a stranger in the night
who bears all the secrets of your life
and all the answers between wrong and right
- The Absolute Promise verse one, William Peachy

Loire Valley, France

The rain pounded against the carriage, and not being one to prefer rain, he reached over and yanked the last of the shades down in an attempt to shut out the noise. It did little to suffice. However his mind was on to other matters.
There was a deep frown on his face as he fiddled with his cuff lings and grumbled to himself about his numerous misfortunes, the rain being the least of them. Although it did seem to magnify them. His hopes had been that most of these very troubling misfortunes would be mended by this little excursion, though, his gut spun and twisted with the fear that it would not. For he was dealing with a man that was exceptionally difficult to please. A man that would accept nothing but what was agreed to; what he was to provide.
The problem was, he couldn't provide it. It was very clearly and undoubtedly impossible. No matter what heinous concoctions he brewed up, no matter how many months he spent exhausting himself over countless volumes written by supposed 'experts'. No matter how sick and dying he went through, seeming to heal them with his latest elixir, only to have them die mere hours later, and his joy along with them.
So many times had he believed he had finally cracked it, finally solved the age-old riddle that ever man before him strove their entire lives for, only to come up with empty equations, and countless 'almosts'. Ultimately dying with the very same outcomes and unknown answers as when they started, and he began to seriously consider that he was going to become one of those men. Not a legend, like he's fantasized about for so long, but just another arrogant ego-driven maniac who tried and failed like all the rest. 
So where did all this failure leave him? He had no answers, he hadn't even the slightest clue where to go from here. Except straight to the source of all his stress, agitation, and fears, to the man that brought all of this upon him. Straight to Damien. But…what would the man tell him? To just give up, that everything was going to be just fine? He rather doubted it, Damien was not hat kind of man.
He had spent hours before his departure gathering the courage to even make the trip and practicing his speech for when Damien questioned his sudden and un requested appearance at the château. But as he drew closer and closer to the grand estate, his courage began to ebb and the words of his speech were becoming lost to him. 
Realizing that because of the shut shades he had no idea how close they were. Maybe there was still time to turn back and he could try something different, look for answers elsewhere. 
His heart sank and a cold feeling of despair swept through his stomach the moment he lifted the shade. There would be no going back, the gates had already shut behind them, the clang as final as the last nail on his coffin.

"And here I was under some impression that you were the best Monsieur Tartempoin. 
The very best were you exact words I believe. Yet here you stand before me, the very same 
distraught, desperate, stumbling fool you were when you huddled in that same spot, pleading 
to me a case most glorious. So full of certainty, with eyes of fire that held no doubt in 
your abilities. And yet--" He paused, his smooth, strong soprano halting as he stopped
his pace, coming to stand directly in front of Tartempion, who very noticeably cringed as
he took in Damien's darkened expression.
"You come to me, bearing stories of how what I've asked of you, what you've promised 
me is not in the realm of this world's possibilities. Crying in my ear of missing ingredients 
and incomplete equations, telling of how the laws of nature will not permit you to full fill 
your promise, no your vow to me." He stopped again, taking a step closer to Tartempion, 
who began trembling, swear glistening at his brow.
"However, I am here to enlighten you that you made a vow none the less, and that you 
will make good on it. Because if you don't, you will be signing your own death warrant." He
finished, his voice so low and dark, Tartempion could practically feel the malice radiating from it.
He mustered up what little courage he had held onto and choked out : "You can't kill me." He 
didn't know why he spoke back, perhaps it was his pride as a man not to be put down so harshly by 
another man. Whatever the reason, he immediately regretted it the second he saw the dark smile 
slide onto Damien's face and he chuckled softly. "And why is that Tartempion? Why can't I kill you? Do you really believe that anyone's going 
to care about the mysterious death of a poor, rambling idiot who fancies himself an alchemist? You 
have no family Tartempion, you have no one to turn to, no one that gives any damn about you. Because 
you are nothing but dirt and you always will be. You were born s**t and you will die s**t. That, I will make 
sure of." He said, the smile gone, and eyes full of the threat he had just made. "And unlike you," he added in a 
whisper, "I always keep my word." 
He stood there, immobile, taking in Damien's dark, gleaming hair, equally deep, smoldering eyes and 
expression so fierce, the Devil himself would cower beneath it.
It was then that Tartempion saw it, really saw it. Damien wasn't just another greedy man after everlasting 
life, he was quite the contrary. He wasn't merely a man in search of endless riches or unquestionable power, in fact 
Tartempion questioned whether he was a man at all. He though about all the influence Damien had on not only Loire 
Valley, but on all of France. Never before had a single man have so much influence on the King and his decisions. There 
was even rumor that Damien was bedding the Queen, thus controlling the royal family via blackmail. But somehow, 
though Tartempion knew that it was well within Damien's nature, it wasn't a method he would use. Because frankly, 
he didn't need to. The man could persuade a tree not to grow or the sun not to shine.
So the question that was on Tartempion's mind was: how does one man come to have so much power? 
Damien was not a noble, he was not a liason from an ally country, he was not a diplomat, and he was not 
of royal blood. He was a rich unknown who just showed up one day and the next he was standing behind 
the King's shoulder whispering in his ear. Tartempion really began pondering who really leading the country.
Ever since the king started taking Damien's council, things in France had changed. There had been a change 
in the winds, and everyone felt it. But it wasn't only Damien's influence and crushing grip on France. There 
were other traits about him, traits you wouldn't find in any ordinary man.
It wasn't just the gravity of his presence, the way every eye was automatically
drawn to him when he entered a room, the way he owned all the attention and 
emotion of a crowd. It was just the odd allure of his voice, that demanded the 
attention of whomever was listening, whether it be a whisper or a bellow. It
wasn't just his remarkable ability to persuade even the most stubborn to do his 
bidding. It wasn't just his extraordinary personal beauty, the way he had every 
woman in France wrapped neatly around his finger, easily manipulating them 
as he pleased. It wasn't just that smile that could disarm even the most guarded 
of men, and make anyone trust him instantaneously. Though all these contributed
to Tartempion's fears and suspicions, there was one other thing, the one thing that 
confirmed them.
It was his eyes. The deep, unfathomable pools that held so much, so much 
that Tartempion couldn't even begin to describe what he saw. Damien's face 
was that of a man of nineteen, possibly twenty, but his eyes and demeanor did not 
match his face.
Tartempion stood there, unable to move, unable to even breathe as Damien
studied him, those eyes seeming to pierce straight through to his very core, to his 
very soul, where nothing was hidden, nothing was secret and nothing was sacred. 
Those eyes took in everything and he couldn't have felt more naked or more
vulnerable then he did at that moment.
"You are to return to Paris and you will not burden me with an un requested, 
empty-handed visit again." Damien said as he stepped away from Tartempion to 
address a servant holding a silver tray that bore nothing but a folded piece of 
parchment. He picked it up and scanned it. The strangest look flickered in his eyes, 
but as soon as it was there, it was gone and Tartempion wondered if he had even 
seen it at all. Damien skimmed the paper again before finally seeming to come to 
his senses and snapped his fingers.
"Ready my coach." He demanded in a short, quick voice before turning to 
Tartempion, a smirk playing on his lips. "As it turns out Monsieur Tartempion, 
I will be accompanying you to Paris."
The terrifying anger in his eyes was gone, but that did not comfort Phillippe 
Tartempion in the slightest, because they were now swimming with something 
much more frightening.

© 2010 Screamplay

Author's Note

there may be grammar errors. Kindly ignore them.

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Added on December 10, 2010
Last Updated on December 23, 2010



Pueblo, CO

Heey! Um...I love to write, mostly about dark subjects...kinda. I do a lot of original works, as well as fanfiction. Um...if there's anything you'd like to see, just hit me up at [email protected] more..

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