Chapter 11: In Vino Veritas
The ancient Romans’ were a very merry bunch which adored naked debauchery in the name of Dionysus and the everlasting flow of wine made river. If there were booze, food and amorous intentions, you could trust that the party would be a success in the eternal city of Rome.
I got plenty of alcohol since Lys’ room had more than enough for me to make it into a booze tasting central. With a drunken stumbling, I waltzed with the bottle of red Gruzian wine, which was very delectable. In tune with the one-two-three step of the waltz, my mind drifted to the ever-daft Richard that came to my room to fetch me for the feeding a few hours ago. I could understand why Ly disliked him immensely.
“Time to go.” With a briskness in his voice, Richard commanded me to get up to my feet. “Faster!” He growled as I fumbled at the foot of my small bed, trying to prevent the bottle of Whiskey from sliding from the overly lumpy and shapeless hoodie.
“Yeah, yeah. Sorry for being a human.” I grumbled, trying to mask the triumphant grin that he didn’t care enough to check if I hid something.
“Move it.” Richard, with immense boredom, shoved my shoulder and I almost dropped the bottle that was tightly clutched underneath my armpit.
No other words were exchanged between us. In silence, I entered Lys’ room, and in equal silence, Richard just closed the door behind me. The sound of key scraping against the lock was an obvious indication that I was going to be alone for quite some time.
The sheer arrogance of the vampiric race made me giggle in my current intoxicated state and with a silent salute, I granted myself a generous gulp of the dark ruby liquid only to find it empty. “Aww, now this is a shame.” I somberly gazed onto the bottle for a split second. “Oh well,” I tossed it aside without a second thought and reached for a glass of previously pored Whiskey.
I jumped up and down on the spot while drinking the fiery liquid of hootch. The room spun funnily, the lights seemed to follow me around and were enjoying the happy display. I giggled frantically as I spritzed myself generously with the cologne from the bathroom. “Well, let us get reeeeaaady!” I threw it through one of the wide-opened windows. A second later, a crash was heard as the cologne bottle hit the ground. “Eeeeeey!” Lifting the glass in a toast like gesture, I yelled. “I hits bulls eyesss.” The ‘s’ at the end of each word was hard to pronounce, so I hissed as if I were a snake.
I glanced at the glass in my hand and addressed it as a living creature. “Oy there mate, tis’ a snoik.” The Australian accent I produced was poor; however, still hilarious enough that coaxed an uproar of laughter from me. “Look over there, right there’s a snoik.”
With a big gulp, I finished Whiskey in one drink, gave a big burp and threw the glass in the roaring fire. “Yeeeehawwww!” I shouted like a Hillbilly as it crashed loudly with its’ tiny glass particles bouncing back and under my bare feet. Being scratched by the glass particles was not on my mind as I displayed my jazz hands to the fireplace.
After the noise subsided, it seemed like a good idea to reprimand the thing. “SHHHH!” I said to the broken glass with my forefinger placed on my lips. “Can’t you break quieter? You’re going to get me into a mess.” Staring into the roaring, scorching fire, I wagged my finger at it. “You know if you replied right now, I would freak the shit out.”
With a stumble, I managed to wobbly get myself to the bathroom sink and brush my teeth with a toothbrush, so that the smell of alcohol wouldn’t be noticeable immediately upon entering the room. My plan would fail if I hadn’t done so; I needed to cover up my little nightcap. With the help of the walls, I managed to stay upright and find my way into the bedroom.
“Ha-ha, little nightcap.” The ‘p’ sound I produced in a way that resembled the popping of a cork. Noticing an Ostrich feather on the mantle place, I took it out from the vase arrangement and stuck it behind my ear. “Bartender another one please!” When there was no answer, I looked around utterly confused in the lack of response. “Bartender?” After a minute of dead quiet, the smack on my forehead made the room spin, I snorted. “Oh, I am him.”
Skedaddling toward the golden liquor on a coffee table in a not so straight line, I, with a low tone, asked: “What do you wish, madam?” Then in my familiar voice, I decided to reply to the nice gentleman while carefully pouring the drink into a new glass. “Whiskey, neat. Hold back the rocks, no need to mine them.”
I flung myself to the sofa and almost bounced off, of the other end. After a careful assessment that the glass was still full, I decided it was safer if I just emptied it. It burned my throat as if a fire was licking my mucosa with its’ flames on the way down. I stared into the amber liquid with fascination until a very vital thought needed to be addressed out loud. “My Goodness, the Scottish must have caught a Dragon and then stuffed it inside the bottle.” I leaned forward and tapped on the glass. “Hellooo? Mr Dragon? You there?”
As the clock struck twelve, The London’s Big Ben chime was heard throughout the empty house. When it ended, I had a sudden urge to sing ‘God save the Queen’ at the top of my lungs; however, I laid back onto the sofa listening to the wind whistling through the opened windows. It felt nice as it danced on my face, caressing my red cheeks with its’ crisp fingers. My eyes closed on their own, enjoying the sensations of wind playing softly with my features.
The lock turned, and I listened to the door opening silently without checking who it was. The steps were silent, muffled by the plush carpeting, yet the energy the person brought to the room gave me no doubt to who it was. My foggy brain remembered the brazen, spiteful plan; I hatched during the hours of waiting for the summons. The cushion gave under Lysanders’ weight, and the scent he possessed wafted over me, making the perfume fill my head. He gently took the glass from my hands, and I heard him take a careful whiff of it. Inhaling deeply, I relished in Lys’ fragrance, and I noticed with only my olfactory senses that he was freshly showered as well. I imagined him with a loofa and a big pile of shampoo bubbles on his head while singing some stupid, catchy pop song at the top of his voices. Before I could stop myself, I giggled.
“Dess?” Ly asked softly, and the low vibrato made goosebumps erupt on my arms. “Are you awake?”
As I made no answer, he assumed that I was not. With a sigh and grumble Ly lifted himself and after a sound of steps, the windows were being closed with a silent thud. “The last thing we need is for you to catch a chill.” After a pause, Ly muttered under his breath as he shut the last window. “We have enough trouble to deal with as it is.”
Then there was silence I had no idea what he was doing or if he was even in the room, but as I felt his fingers graze my hand, I saw from behind my eyelids his shadow looming over my body.
Oh man, I need to see this. Gonna be hi-la-ri-ous.
Opening my eyes slightly, I observed Ly through my lashes inspecting my wrist as if it was a foreign object. It seemed the vampire couldn’t decide if to bite or not to bite. His nostrils flared, trying to discover what was bugging him, but Ly just couldn’t put his finger on the problem. Turning the wrist this way and that way, he finally decided on which action he was going to take. Carefully as if it was about to combust, Ly lifted my wrist to his lips. I felt it when he grazed his fang on my skin and a room span just a little.
After a second, he recoiled and started to cough. “Oh, my God!” Ly choked and quickly dropped my limb.
“What is it, Ly?” I asked in a syrupy sweet voice. “Is the taste not to your liking?” Cackling like an old witch, I gleefully rubbed the salt to the wound. “Too bitter perhaps?”
Ly stared at me while the green pupils of his eyes drilled a hole into me; however, his voice was still coarse as he slightly wheezed. “You are drunk as a skunk.” It wasn’t an accusation but a fact.
“Guilty as charged Mr Var-blah-blah-wsky”.
Fingers were snaking around my shoulders and locking themselves there in a vice tight grip. Ly shook me so hard so that my teeth chattered, or perhaps that was my brain hamster complaining. “You are out of your mind! Dess, how much did you drink?”
“Maybe a little, maybe a lot, who knows I lost count after a bottle. Or two.” Pushing his hands off my shoulders, I decided to move away from Ly. He was killing my buzz quicker than I wanted. I couldn’t hold myself up, and without his help, I would have fallen on the floor, probably kissing the rug with my face. Feebly battering his hands away, I exclaimed: “I can walk you ruffian. Paws off.”
As I took a brave step toward whichever part of the room was the furthest, I stepped on a shard of glass and yelped. “Fuck!” Hopping on a foot that wasn’t damaged, I grasped the injured one with my hands to see the wound. “I forgot about this.” Suddenly the world was strangely tilting sideways in slow motion.
Either Ly had enough of my theatrics or was genuinely concerned for my well-being, I wouldn’t know the reason, but he zoomed towards me and lifted me in his arms. “Enough of this nonsense,” Ly growled in irritation. “Where did you even get it?”
I was as a limp noodle in his arms; however, his question made me giggle. “Are you stupid or what? The glass came from the glass.”
“Not the glass, the alcohol.” Exasperated with me, Ly clenched his teeth in such a way that masseter muscle danced underneath his skin.
“Well you did say: mi casa es su casa, so this casa-” I gestured to myself, “Took your brandy, and I think that there was Whiskey from Ali and wine somewhere in the middle and I drank a little bit of this and a little bit of that. ”
“You have mistaken me for Rosa.” As I snorted with laughter at Lys’ obvious irritation, he bristled angrily. “Damn it, Dess; you shouldn’t be proud of yourself right now! We need to get you a doctor before you die on me from alcohol poisoning.”
Carrying me toward the bed with haste, Ly disposed of me on it quickly as if the touch of our skins burned him immensely. I bounced up and down on the mattress, making my head and stomach give a slight whirl.
My God, who crapped in his morning coffee?
“You know I don’t drink coffee.” Ly was looking at me rather pitifully.
“Damn, did you learn how to read minds for real when I was gone?”
“You said that out loud.”
“Did I really?” When Ly sat on the edge of the bed, the mattress dangerously bounced, and I rolled away from him, trying to get up on the other side. “Wow easy there, party pooper, the night is still young, let us get you a glass of whatever I haven’t drunk yet and-”
Interrupting me rather rudely, Ly covered my mouth with his chilly palm. “No more drinking for you.” He commanded with a stern, paternal voice.
I lifted my brow, and without a second thought, I bit his palm.
“Jesus Bleeding, Fucking, Christ, Dess!” Ly shook his hand, then pressed his mouth to the bite wound until it healed entirely without any visible evidence it happened.
Laughing as if I escaped from the nearest mental asylum, I started to sing God Save the Queen into the pillows, and when the lyrics avoided me, I just made them up.
“Do you realise that if I drank your blood with all the alcohol pumping through it, I probably would get drunk too? I could have killed you.” He continued to preach while he turned me around as if I weighed nothing. Searching my face with concern and seriousness, Lys’ eyes shined as the firelight reflected in them, making them more yellow than purple.
“Like you would care if I died,” A sudden wave of melancholy gave me a moment of clarity in the otherwise alcohol fogged brain.
Eyes flashing vividly red, Ly turned his back on me and placed his head in his palms, looking tired. “I am the only one who does. I protected you from every single Stainless and Created since you left.”
“Oh, really, Ly? It is fascinating that you think you protected me from others. I never knew that treating me like shit is protecting to you. Why don’t you protect me from yourself then?” Words I uttered were drunkenly jumbled as were my thoughts. “Use me then lie to me. Saying you love me then stab me, twisting the knife in my heart.” The slurring made my speech really hard even to me to understand, yet I continued in the drunken filter-less talk. “And you wonder why I trust you as much as I do my dear ol’ dad.” My lips tightened as I felt a quiver in my stomach.
Oh boy, this will not end up good.
Lys’ brows furrowed at my words, clearly able to decode them, and as we stared at one another for a few minutes I saw they hit its’ mark. Slowly his eyes turned to the usual mesmerising colour then his face was contorted with visible shame. Pity that I was so drunk that I would probably not remember anything in the morning. This face was rendering me victorious.
“Why is it that you can only be honest with me when you are drunk?” Ly ran his fingers through his hair in frustration; he gave a big sigh. Leaning his elbows on his knees, Ly lowered his head, letting the silvery hair cover his eyes. All I could see was the lower part of his face, and even that was covered in the game of shadow and light that the crackling fire provided. “But in our current situation, I fully understand where you stand. Look Dess other things are far more threatening at the moment.” Taking a big inhale, Ly looked drained. “Damn it; Ally was supposed to give you clues so that you could connect the dots without us blowing the cover.” Grumbling more to himself than me, Ly rubbed the back of his neck, again searching for a bun on his nape in reflex.
“Um. Ly,” I interrupted his serious monologue, “I think I should go.” I started to shove him away, forgetting that the bed on the other side didn’t have an over six feet vampiric obstacle which I decided to go through.
“What are you doing? Where are you going?” Lys’ hand grabbed the crook of my elbow and shoved me on the bed.
My stomach was lurching, demanding to be emptied; I tried to shake him off. “Stop assaulting me with questions and let me go.”
“Dess, you are not fit to go anywhere.” His voice was full of reason; however, my body could not listen to it; there wasn’t time for that. Then as his rock-hard forearm grabbed me roughly around the waist, I knew it. It was too late, and without another ado, I royally emptied the continence of my stomach.
Once the retching was over on my part, a deep, awkward silence filled the room. We both stared at the vomit, which landed half on Ly and half on the floor.
“I told you I needed to go.”
“Ah.” Ly looked to his shirt which was covered in smelly puke waste. “So, you did.”
My eyes ran over his physic and the afternoon confusion resurfaced. I wrinkled my nose and threw myself back onto the soft pillows. “I hate that you look gorgeous even when you are covered in puke. Its’ not fair.”
Ly stood up and miserably looked onto his ruined shirt. Then with a shrug and a quick tug, he disposed of the ruined fabric. “I will pretend I didn’t hear that.” His olive skin glimmered in the light that the fire cast. Lys’ physic was just as I remembered, glorious. With the shirt in hand, he leaned over and started to clean up after me. The movement of the muscles underneath that skin; the contractions and relaxations of different muscle groups, made me lose my train of thought. I crossed my legs, giving them a tight squeeze, hoping the tension I felt would ease away.
It had been months since the last time I had sex, no wonder my vagina has particular demands.
“I said: I HATE THAT YOU LOOK-” I hollered since Ly was pretending to be deaf and continued to tidy up without acknowledging my existence.
Since when was I a needy baby?
“Alright, alright! I get it.” Ly sprang to his feet and stalked away to the bathroom with the shirt full of puke, irritated for some reason. “Thank you for sharing your observation.”
“Welcome.” Mumbling back, I covered my eyes with my forearm, suddenly very tired and wishing the room would stop spinning.
I heard him shuffling around, going this way and that. It seemed that he was moping the floor with cleaning utensils; the smell was probably hurting his nose twenty times more than me. We remained silent, not needing to fill in the silence; it reminded me of the good old days that were long gone. They seemed as if they were just a dream constructed by my overly active imagination in collaboration with pink-tinted glasses.
“You know I wished you never lied to me; things would be so much different.” The calmness I haven’t felt in a while came with drowsiness.
I heard a big exhale at the edge of the bed; then the mattress dipped with his weight. “Believe me; I was delaying the news till after the Gala. At the time, it seemed to me as the best thing. But then everything exploded in my face. I guess that’s what happens when you are afraid of fucking up again when you just righted one fuck up. And then you do just what you most feared.”
“Why didn’t you just tell me?”
“I was afraid of losing you again, and every day I promised to tell you the next day. I didn’t want to ruin the happiness I felt after a long while.”
“And you are you telling me this why?” Moving my arm to the side I looked at Ly in all seriousness.
He smiled, but it was a sad one. “Probably because I’m relying on you forgetting it due to your overindulgence of looking deeply into several bottles. Plus, there are no Created in the house for me to pretend.”
“You are positively vile! So much pain! I’m in such an agony, ALL. THE. TIME!” I grabbed the only handy thing, which was a big orb-like rock that held the papers from being blown away on the bedside nightstand. With a big hurl, I flung it at Ly as if I was an Olympic ball thrower. “You have no right to be sad! I should be miserable, not you! So, don’t give me the puppy eyes!”
Ly caught the rock instinctively while looking confused at what brought this outburst of temper from me. “Dess,”
Screaming my head off, I balled my fists. “Don’t Dess me! I was for four days smelling so foul that it brought tears to your eyes, pissing in a pot and now you are trying to be all nice! Fuck you!” Then the hailstorm of my punches made contact with anything; his chest, arms, face but Ly didn’t retaliate. “Fight back!” It was frustrating for me that he to just took it without even displaying some anger.
“I won’t.” Sounding soothing, Ly caught my fists in his palms, trying to cool down my red, bruised knuckles.
I was readying myself to start using the length of my legs to my advantage with kicking into the nether region were Lys’ thighs connected, but the familiar turning in my stomach stopped me. “Oh, dear.” I feebly exclaimed.
“Bathroom, now!” Ly lifted his hands from me and picked me up by the armpits sprinting with his super-speed. That only made it worse and I could hear him cursing as he cleaned the trail of puke even with my head in the toilet bowl as I heaved.
Who has the right to turn the sun to the brightest possible feature?
I groaned as I squeezed my eyelids, hoping the banging behind my eyes was not the premonition of the worst hangover I had ever had. My mouth was drier than the desert of Gobi and Aspirins’ were the only thoughts I entertained besides water. Every bang of the door that I heard made me wince, and I wished to massage my temples; however, even the slightest movement of my body was accompanied by sickness. When the head decided to stop the sensation of me being on a rollercoaster, I peeked through my eyelashes.
On my navel was an overly familiar hand. It was attached to a forearm which was linked to the arm that travelled to a shoulder. With dread, my eyes slowly decided it was time to stop staring at the very bare shoulder and acknowledge that it was attached to the neck. And that that part of the body also continued, had a head at the end.
Ly was on his side; his palm was resting against his cheekbone, propping the head up and displaying a huge smile that promised nothing good. “Well, well, well. Good morning.” His voice was still full of the usual morning raspiness.
An internal scream of utter dread, of an undeniable possibility what had happened made me completely mute. I searched my brain, wide-eyed, trying hard to remember last night, and I drew a big, fat blank. The last thing I clearly remembered was me opening a bottle of Gruzian wine while talking about the Romans and throwing something out of the window.
Flicking Lys’ hand off me, I felt my body moving freely. Too freely, which could draw only one conclusion from it. I wasn’t wearing any clothes. “What happened last night?” Mumbling more to myself than my hated bed buddy, I double-checked if my assessment was valid.
Ly, stretching with delight, chuckled as he noticed me flush as I was observing his bare chest, torso and the lower V. “Why Dess, don’t you remember?” With an evil cackle, Ly lowered the sheet even further for me to glimpse at his blatant display of not wearing underwear.
It wasn’t hard to add up what must have happened; naked woman + naked man + sharing the same bed = sex. The equation was simple.
I turned on my stomach, buried my face and screamed into the pillow while Ly was humming, for some unknown reason, God save The Queen. Once the apparent anguish of realisation that I must have had drunken sex with him subsided, I turned and with panic searched for my clothes.
“Oh, they are not there. You need to go to your room.” Patting my ass in patronising kind of way, Ly suddenly yanked the sheet away and secured it around his waist.
”You- You-” I searched for the words that would describe my loathing, while I clambered to cover my front with a pillow.
“Me, Me?” Ly questioned, and when I couldn’t find the words, he gave a rakish smile. With a wink, he came towards me and leaned toward my right ear. “You fucked me then fed me.” Without another look, he strolled toward the bathroom, and before he closed the door, Ly left the sheet fall. The visible ass cheeks made my cheeks crimson, yet I couldn’t look away. “Next time I suggest you know your limit when drinking. Who knows what might happen and you just won’t remember for the life of you.”
After the door closed, I threw the pillow at it with a provoked anger while still very ashamed.