Black Widower 4.3: The End of Illusion

 

When Angelo said we only had about an hour for lovemaking, he meant we had an hour and a half before we passed out.
 
It began slowly, heaviness creeping into my limbs, until I could no longer move or even talk. Soon after, it was like falling into a coma. No dreams. Just a black hole of nothingness that I could not surface from until the sun went down. When I woke up, my brain was alert but it took a little while before my body regained enough feeling to be able to move.
 
Sleep. The most vulnerable time for any juicer because it was the only time we were helpless. Juicers always made sure they had a safe place to crash, and safe didn't always mean comfortable. It didn't even necessarily mean clean. None of that shit mattered because from sunrise to sunset, we were in a state that was somewhere in between hibernation and death. We were beyond unconscious.
 
That's why a lot of our kind ended up Sleeping in cemeteries. Don't get me wrong. Crawling into a box with a rotting corpse or even resting buried in the soil was disgusting. But we knew no one would attack us there, and the sun couldn't reach us. The Old Country bullshit about having to Sleep in native soil or in a wooden box lined with satin was plain ignorance. If we had a choice, we preferred to sleep in as much comfort as possible.
 
When I woke up the next night, I was alone. I didn´t have to open my eyes to know this. I didn´t feel Angelo in the bed or even in the Nocturne. Where the hell was he?
 
I opened my eyes. On the bed was a bunch of clothes. Nice clothes. Black slacks and a purple silk shirt. I figured Angelo left them, didn´t know where they came from. Didn´t want to know.
 
I went into his bathroom, took a shower, then got dressed. I wondered how I looked. There was no mirror there or anywhere in the room so I had no way of knowing. No windows either. I wanted to make a good impression on Sylvie, so I was desperate to see if I looked good enough. Only problem was, there was nothing I could use. It was as if everything that could be used for that purpose had been removed from the room.

I was getting a sinking feeling.
 
I finally decided on peering at the doorknob, far from perfect but at least I´d see if I passed muster.
 
There was nothing there. Oh I could see a little of the room, the charcoal carpeting, and a bit of the dark blue bedspread but no sign of me. It was like I didn´t exist.
 
I had no reflection whatsoever. It was one of those things where I hadn´t expected it, but wasn´t surprised because I´d somehow already known it. However, knowing it and experiencing it were two different things. Not showing when everything else did was more than a little disconcerting.
 
No wonder there was nothing even resembling a mirror. It would be useless.
 
Angelo´s room locked from the inside so I pushed in the button on the then slammed it shut. I´d thought we´d be sharing a room but now I realized there was no way in hell that was gonna happen. Angelo may´ve liked *Sleeping* with someone but I was quickly getting the feeling that I´d wake up alone all the time and if that was the case, I´d just get my own damned room.
 
I made my way back to the main floor because I remembered that someone behind the bar had to flip the switch to make the wall rotate or I couldn´t get to the Playground. I also remembered that Dimitri would have to be the one to do it. What if he refused? Would he purposely stop me from getting to this meeting?

I worried for nothing. Dimitri wasn´t behind the bar, some boy with brown hair, brown eyes and high cheekbones was there instead. Felt like a juicer, but I´d already met all the Nightchildren so it had to be a Stalker.
 
In-teresting.
 
My relief quickly died when my brain did the math and I realized what that meant. Then my eyes swam with burning tears. At least now I knew where Angelo was. The honeymoon was over. Guess he was done with me now.
 
I angrily swiped away my tears, leaving streaks of red smeared across my cheeks. I wasn´t gonna cry.
Damn it, I was not gonna cry.
 
It seemed like everyone knew, their eyes mocking me, accusing me.
 
*How could you have possibly thought you were good enough to keep him?*
 
I dreaded the meeting even more because I knew Sylvie would rub it in my face. She already thought I was beneath him, this would only confirm it.
 
It didn´t matter though because I suddenly remembered *how* Angelo got down there. The floor was going to drop and the only way to get the stairs to pop up was to flick the switch on the wall. And I still couldn´t fly. Or even float. Fuck, why didn´t he teach me last night?
 
I answered my own question. Because we were doing other things. Or maybe it was just one more thing I´d only learn when he was good and ready. Being at Angelo´s mercy for information was getting old, real fucking quick.
 
Now, how the hell was I gonna get there? Oh, I was gonna make a great impression by standing her up. She´d think even less of me.
 
Fuck-fuck-fuck!
 
(Is there a problem, cher?) a familiar voice asked.
 
Amorette. I´d know her voice anywhere. But I was ashamed to tell her that I couldn´t get there without her help.
 
(Non,) I lied, (Tout va bien.)
 
Amorette shook her head. (Vraiment? Is that why your cheeks look like you´ve rouged them?) She patted my shoulder. (Come with me, we´ll fix you up.)
 
She walked up to the bar, and spoke to the bartender in English. (A glass of water, please.)
 
He handed it to her, but shot me a look of pure hatred. I glared back at him, my anger rising. (What the fuck is your problem?)
 
To my shock, he flinched, not meeting my gaze, cowering like a dog.
 
Amorette must have seen the confusion in my face because she led me away from the bar. (You may not have realized it, but you´ve just won the fight.) She dipped her fingers into the water and proceeded to wipe my right cheek.
 
Now I was really confused. (What fight? What just happened?)
 
Amorette wiped the other cheek. (He challenged you, thinking you were just another of Angelo´s flings. Instinctively, you fought for dominance, using your will on him and forced him to submit. If we´d remained there any longer he would have knelt before you and offered his neck.)
 
(But I didn´t do anything.)
 
(Not consciously, you just reacted like any Nightchild who was provoked. It´s good because once Angelo´s protection ends, you will be confronted all the time. You scared the hell out of him and everyone saw that. No one will be quick to mess with you anytime soon.)
 
I laughed. (Not like I knew what I was doing.)
 
(He won´t know that. All he knows is that he made the mistake of challenging a Nightchild. That´s a no-no for a Stalker. He committed a major faux pas and will be punished for it.)
 
Something suddenly occurred to me. The Stalker wasn´t gorgeous but he was pretty...

(Is Angelo sleeping with him?)
 
(He was your predecessor, Jacques)
 
If I´d had breath in me I would have lost it. (You´ve gotta be kidding.)
 
She wasn´t. No wonder he hated my guts.
 
(He was Angelo´s last pigeon, just before he found you.)
 
My heart dropped through my chest, and into my stomach as I slowly put things together. This was a preview of what would happen to me when Angelo found a new toy to play with.
 
Amorette examined my face. (Perfect. Trust me, cher, you do *not* want to show Sylvie any weakness. Especially crying your eyes out over that Greek tomcat.) She sighed. (I swear, I love him to pieces, but I’ll be the first person to warn you that Angelo has a...warped attitude about relationships.)
 
I knew she was trying to help and meant well but I was irritated anyway. (Don´t you think I figured that out already?)
 
(In your head, not your heart. Angelo and I have Shared kills and Pleasure many times but the only reason we´re so close is that I´m not in love with him and he´s not in love with me.) Then she winked. (I can´t say the same about you, though.)
 
I blinked, her words not sinking in at first. When they did, I thought I´d misunderstood her. There was no way in hell he was in love with me.
 
A mischevious smile played upon her lips. (I´ll let you in on a little secret. Angelo would rather be celibate forever, than have you know that you are the only pigeon he´s ever brought for my approval.)
 
I violently shook my head, not wanting to, not daring to believe her words.
 
(When I met you, I knew he felt differently than he has with any of the other lovers he´s gone though like underwear. Angelo´s eyes usually burn with a craziness he´s developed over the years but when he was looking at you, his eyes actually sparkled, Jacques. He doesn´t realize he´s in love with you and you´re lucky.) The smile faded. (As soon as he does realize it, he´ll be gone before you know it.)
 
 All night I´d been desperately trying to keep myself together. Knowing that I´d fallen in love with someone that would abandon me as soon as he became aware that he loved me back, was enough to make me unravel. My lower lip began to quiver uncontollably and I bit down, hard, to stop it.
 
 Shit, that was a mistake. To say it hurt was putting it mildly. But at least this pain could distract me from my misery.
 
 (What are you trying to do Child, shred your mouth up?) Amorette took me into her arms and stroked my hair. “It´s okay,’ she whispered, “Here you can cry.’
 
 I sniffled, mad at myself for breaking down but relieved she´d let me keep my dignity. (Why did you tell me all this? So I´d do the smart thing and leave him?)
 
 She cupped my chin with her hand and turned my face upwards, meeting my eyes. (If you´re going to leave, go now, while you still can. I don´t want you breaking Angelo´s heart in a few years because you change your mind and decide you can´t deal with how he treats you.)
 
(Oh yeah? How about *my* heart?)
 
(If you stay, then you do so with both eyes open. You know what you´re getting into.) Amorette hugged me. (It will not be easy and he will constantly test you. But once he trusts you, Jacques, it will be worth it.)
 
And that was what had drawn me to him in the first place. Those little glimpses of the vulnerability he had deep inside him. I wasn´t going anywhere and Amorette knew it. (When you say he will test me, what do you mean?)
 
(He will do everything within his power to drive you away. Once he figures out that he can´t drive you away, he will let himself get close to you. Not before.)
 
Something suddenly occurred to me. (How did you know I was meeting with Sylvie?)
 
She let me go. (Who do you think sent me up to get you?) She grinned. (You´re also the only one Sylvie has met with. If it were up to her, she´d let you sink or swim, but she´s doing it for Angelo. That alone should tell you how much you mean to him.)

(She´s tending bar,) I realized. (How did you know Angelo hadn´t taught me?)

Amorette rolled her eyes. (We´re talking about Angelo. He didn´t know about the meeting until Sylvie told him and in the little amount of time left, would he teach you how he gets there, or Share Pleasure with you? Hmm, I´d guess the latter.)
 
(You´re gonna teach me to fly then?)
 
She stared at me for a moment, then laughed.(Mercy no, that´s not how he does it. He only used the old bank entrance because you were a Breather at the time. He goes through the floors, cher.)
 
 Now it was my turn to stare. (Huh?)
 
(Follow me and I´ll show you.)
 
We went towards the back of the bar, then stopped. (I want to do this where no Norm can see us. Watch me very carefully. First I will do it, then I will show you how.)
 
Amorette began to shimmer at first, then gradually fade away, until she completely vanished. I thought she´d teleported away, until I heard her voice in my head. - I´m here, Jacques, You just can´t see me because I´m mist. -
 
Then the air shimmered again, as the particles of mist condensed and reformed back into Amorette. (This is how we get in and out of places. We go through walls, floors and ceilings.) She put her hand on my shoulder. (I want you to relax, Jacques. Relax and feel the substance of your body. Feel the relation to the air to your body. Now, shut your eyes.)
 
 I listened to her command and immediately felt my nerves begin to tingle. Suddenly I felt like I was outside my body. Like I had no body. No substance.
 
(You won´t see me Jacques, but you´ll feel me. I´m going to phase out, then I want you to follow me.)Amorette vanished again, only this time I could feel her presence. A cold mist that passed through the floor and I dove in after her.
 
It was strange, to say the least. I felt the wood as I passed through it, then the plaster of the ceiling. Cripes, I was actually floating in this form.
 
- You see, you made it. Look down and to the bottom step, slowly. -
 
It was easy, kind of like Shadowdancing. Once I focused on my target, I was there. Rematerializing was sort of the same. Angelo was right, a lot of tricks required that I use my will. I imagined my body, wiggling my fingers and toes, and almost instantly, I felt myself flow back into shape.
 
Amorette smiled, like a proud mommy. (I knew you could do it. Now, let´s go meet Sylvie.)
 
That was the last thing I wanted to do, but I followed Amorette to the bar, where Sylvie was waiting.
 
She flashed me an evil smile, that made me want to run away screaming. (Strike one, you´re late.)
 
I couldn´t tell her it was because of Amorette, which meant I had no excuse.
 
Shit, it was gonna be a loooooong night.

Black Widower©Janette, 1997 - 2005

Page Last Updated 9/11/04