-A Midsummer Night's Dream
The single light from Sullivan’s torch guided the way as Rain followed him down a dark passageway beneath her theatre. Silence lingered around them with nothing but the crackling fire of the beacon. Sullivan hadn’t said a word to her and remained fixated on the path ahead. They reached a wooden door covered in dust and cobwebs with a rusted lock. Sullivan stepped aside as Rain reached for her keys and unlocked it.
Ancient corruption greeted them as a blast of cold air and dust. Rain coughed and shielded her eyes as Sullivan moved forward. A beam of light ruminated through the basement’s only window, shining upon four upright coffins. Sullivan stopped before the coffins and extinguished his torch. With a snap of his fingers, the lids to each coffin fell forward.
Rain stifled a gasp. Each coffin lived a man who appeared to be sleeping. One wore white robes. The second wore red. The third wore black, and the fourth wore gray, who resembled more skeleton than man. It turned out Rain had gotten more than she bargained for when she accepted Sullivan’s favor. Each man reeked of corpses and graveyard soil.
“Are these who I think they are?”
“This is what you used to excavate her tomb?”
“It wasn’t easy finding her in Iraq.”
“But we’re missing the pearl. It vanished with Drake. You just had to kill him didn’t you-”
She blinked, and Sullivan’s hand covered her mouth. He put a finger to her lips and released his grip. Rain formed a scowl.
“Can you be any louder? Lyn will hear you,” Sullivan said, his voice quiet but firm.
Rain narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms. “Well, genius, how do you expect us to open the tomb now?”
“I’m working on it okay?”
Rain scoffed derisively. She turned to the idle corpses that loomed over her. She felt a shiver run through her body and her teeth chattered on their own accord.
He found Lyn lingering by the terrace behind Rain’s theatre. She bathed in the sun, wearing a floral dress and hat that gripped her body firmly. He leaned against the corner of the building and watched her with a lover’s indulgence. She picked at the rose bushes growing along the terrace as birds flew by and sang for their mates. Though Lyn was a rose in the garden as well. The most beautiful and vibrant one that existed.
Sullivan smiled and ambled over to her. Lyn reciprocated a smile upon his arrival as they embraced each other. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her closer. Then he spun her around to where her back faced him. His hands reached for her breast with lustful indulgence. Lyn moaned, though she tried to pull away.
But Sullivan’s grip was too firm, and she conceded. His hands continued to caress her breasts and made their way to her thighs. Her body recoiled against him, and she reached for his hair.
“Sullivan, not here…”
He nibbled her neck and growled, “Then how about there?”
Their gazes strayed towards the tiny guesthouse at the edge of the terrace. Not that it mattered. High bushes surrounded them like botanical walls, and everything outside Bordeaux was nothing more than vineyards and hamlets, anyway. She took his hand as he guided her to the guest house. By now, the spot between her legs throbbed and Sullivan laid her against the smooth teakwood floor of the guesthouse. Then they made love in the guesthouse.
A subtle evening breeze awakened her. Lyn opened her eyes to find herself alone with nothing but a thick blanket covering herself. She wrapped it around her body and sauntered towards the guesthouse entrance. As the sun set, the color of the sky resembled hot irons with blue streaks. That was France, and she was grateful to be back again. She missed those evening sunsets that England lacked.
“Did you have fun?”
She faced the voice that came from behind. Rain stood before her with a mocking smile and malevolent Indigo eyes. Razor sharp talons protruded from her fingers. Her skin was pale as a sheet with ruby red lips. The same look she wore all those years ago when she slaughtered her parents.
Vengeance consumed Lyn’s mind, and she lunged towards her. Rain disappeared into the shadows as Lyn snatched nothing but air. She emerged from the shadows behind her. Lyn spun her fists backward but missed again. Rain chuckled, now hanging upside down from the ceiling. Her evil cackles reminded her of the stories her father told her at bedtime as a child. In particular, the evil witch Baba Yaga, who lived in a house mounted upon giant chicken legs. If Baba Yaga was in fact real, this woman was worse. She was a witch who had no soul.
Rain dropped from the ceiling and landed on her toes. Lyn stepped back.
“What the hell are you doing here?”
Rain tilted her head. “Well, this is my theatre after all. My, you are such a rude guest…”
Lyn’s face was perplexed. Rain pointed to the masks hanging above the entrance. The mask of comedy; its companion, the mask of tragedy.
“So, you’re working with Sullivan?”
“We both have… similar goals. As do you…”
Rain raised a brow. “We all want Ulysses dead. Besides, don’t you want payback for his hand in killing Drake?”
“He’s making preparations,” Rain tersed. “You just need to understand your role in all this. It’s nothing more than a game of chess and you are the queen my dear.”
Lyn’s hardened expression turned to mush. Her body relaxed and her muscles unwound. Perhaps it was the thought of those blissful summers with Drake. A midsummer night’s dream where she would play chess with Drake and always lose. He would laugh, but always with a kind and reassuring smile. He would take her to the crystal colored lake behind the estate and row a boat towards the center.
Then they would float and watch the swans bathe or take a dip themselves to beat the summer heat. Drake always kept a picnic basket of wine, cheese, and fresh fruit that they shared. Afterwards, they would fornicate in the boat under the summer sun that blessed their love. Her orgasms were endless, that left her legs and hips shaking after each counter. Sullivan came close. Almost…