Content contains lemon, citrus, lime.
Category...I suppose would fall under Angst/Horror featuring noncanon Artemis Fowl characters.
This one's definitely rated R. If you're a child or a parent of a child under the age of 17....well gee, aren't you a busy tike.
But yes, this is my disclaimer. Due to the nature of the contents, no under-seventeens allowed. Or else the demons from Lost Colony will eat your face.
This is one of those weird stories where a couple ideas got blended together. If I had bothered to spend more than a month (and a half) on it, it would probably shape into a decent story. I feel it has weak points by me trying to connect it to other works. But anyway, hopefully you'll enjoy it or it'll kill some time on the train ride.
Jeremy was in hysterics.
Exiting the doctor’s office and building was conducted in a dazed haste, as though rapidly fleeing he could somehow escape his fate.
He had known this was coming; the witch with three arms had told him so.
She had known something more than the rest of the world. If Jeremy were to have trusted anyone’s opinion on the matter, it was hers.
He still remembered the day the witch had made her prediction. Oh certainly, she was a friendly enough bird – she had never tried to stuff him into a crockpot and eat him anyway.
After a summer of mowing lawns and a fall of raking leaves, in the winter, young Jeremy’s trade had turned to snow, namely shoveling and removing it. His sister, Kaley, had started also started a company December company that consisted of shaping the snow in more eye pleasing forms. Snow angels, snow men, snow forts, snow cars, snow AT-ATs.
Jeremy helped supply her with the snow.
On one particularly nippy night, Jeremey was finishing up with the witch’s driveway when the door cracked open and she offered him a mug of tea upon declaring the poor boy was frozen.
The other neighborhood kids were terrified of the witch….having labeled her as such.
Her face wasn’t covered in warts or boils, but her skin was wrinkled, as though all the ocean’s waves were reflected on her face. A penchant for black cloaks didn’t do much to her stereotyping. Occasionally, she was spied in the summer sporting an orange and yellow tropical shawl of some sort.
The matter of the third arm was bet not discussed at all.
For Jeremy, all that mattered was if her money was green.
It was that night she had made her chilling prediction.
On making him tea, she had offered to tell his fortune.
With tea leaves, like Harry Potter, he had wondered.
No, chuckled the witch with a simple cluck, her only tell of disproval. A sturdier method.
A ‘sturdier method’ turned out to involve plucking a live coal from the fireplace and holding it for as long as the tolerance level allotted.
The theory was the burn it left revealed the destiny within the person.
Jeremy was able to clasp the orange coal for a whopping seven seconds before chucking it into the witch’s sink.
She had been impressed…until she saw his hand.
Her eyes widened. Eyebrows shot up, kicking her wrinkles up like tidal waves of fear ready to splash down and surge through her. She stepped back, nearly knocking the tea saucer off the counter.
Jeremy thought she was just being dramatic.
“Your hand!” she gasped. “This is bad.”
Well, yeah, of course my hand looks bad, you made me hold a hot coal!
Alternatively, his ever-impressionable, young mind also sensed a con. Any medium or psychic knows the better part of the business is a lot of lead on and reeling in.
But he didn’t believe it. What did the witch need to con him for?
Instead he asked why the mark was bad.
“Because,” she started, after wrestling with herself to find the words, “It shows that you will die at the age of twenty seven.”
On speaking those words, a rogue gust of wind snapped through the neighborhood and knocked branches of local trees against the window, creating such a clatter, Jeremy was convinced a bandit had broken in.
Since then, so wholely convinced of her prediction, he tried to live as vivaciously as possible.
The doctors said there was ‘a small margin for improvement’ which meant, in so many words, ‘you’re Screwed with a capital S….but hey, your insurance hasn’t run out yet, why not let us pump a few grand out of it?’
No way was Jeremy going to die with tubes and catheters and machines hooked up to him, while doctors and nurses poked and prodded his body.
Vaguely, he said he had a few things to take care of, elegantly eluding their demands for him to immediately sign his life away and commit his body to an institute.
No sooner had he stepped out of their office then he traveled directly to the airport, hopping a flight to California.
No more snow.
“That’s way too much vodka,” Livy noted. To her credit, she sounded more interested than critiquing. Though the interest did desire a suggestion to know why so much vodka was being used.
“It’s the cheap stuff,” Roxy slyly informed Livy. “Cut it with the good stuff once they start getting loaded, they’ll never know the difference.”
She was right, delivering the round of drinks to the rowdy, but lovable, table of merrily intoxicated lads and lasses, they cheered and praised Roxanne, almost immediately raising their glasses to toast and boast before draining them.
Cheers slammed the table all around.
Most of the men were too occupied with drinking up the pretty French girl to notice what they were putting in their mouth.
It was a particularly busy night, busy enough they had the Swedish Viking Mattias serving as a bouncer. Nathan was even there serving drinks.
“Can you please take this over to table eight?” he begged Roxanne. “Those women over there keep trying to grope my a s s.”
Unsympathetically, Roxy cups Nathan’s cheek.
“Oh sweetie, we’ve all been there before, just think of the tip you’ll be netting.”
Money was the last thing on his mind.
“They’re old enough to be my grandmother – and she’s dead.”
“Is there some sort of necrophilia joke I’m supposed to make?” Roxy pondered. “It’s your own fault anyway for having a gropable a s s; how dare you go to the gym and keep it firm!”
Nathan blinked, uncertain he heard properly.
Roxy flipped a bottle, drizzling the daiquiri in a dazzling display.
“That’s what we women are told every day of our lives when some creep hits on us.”
“But…I’m not some creep,” Nathan says, his eyes attaining the hurt look of a puppy.
“Well…not most days,” Roxy agreed, a smarmy wink slipping off her eye. The wink didn’t entirely dispel the image of her friend’s puppy eyes and she relented. “The trick is you deliver, then quickly step back a respectful distance, out of arm length. If you need to, call Mattias.”
Nathan rolled his eyes, certain the Swede would somehow have other, more pressing matters to handle than to immediately come to Nathan’s aide.
At least not before Livy got blackmail photos.
But to her credit she seemed more occupied with the bartending gig.
Currently, she and Roxy had just engaged in a bottle juggling contest of sorts, tossing bottles of rum, vodka, gin, tonic back and forth to the other, artfully flipping and pouring the liquor.
With the music pumping, they were a regular act. Good thing too, since their scheduled show had had an unforeseen incident.
“Ready, Rox?” Livy called across the opposite end of the bar, holding a stemmed cherry.
“Born ready, cherie,” Roxy returned. “I’m your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!”
With that, Livy expertly lobbed the tiny red fruit across the bar where Roxy caught it in her mouth, holding the stem by her tongue for better grip as she puckered her lips suggestively around the cherry.
Seductively enveloping the forbidden fruit, those patrons seated closest to the fabulous Frenchwoman could see her jaw cheeks shifting as her tongue went to work behind a closed mesh of lips. When she opened her mouth, the cherry had vanished and the cherry stem sat neatly knotted on her tongue.
The bar attendees clapped, passing bills to and fro.
“You know, you remind me of my husband Earl,” a lady from table eight informed Nathan as he passed her martini over.
“You know, he was rich,” she confided in Nathan. “Now that he’s gone…I just don’t know what to do with all his money.”
She made eye contact with Nathan, a pink tongue escaping her mouth to race along a coral set of lips. Behind her thick glasses, her eyes were rheumy with plane desire.
“Play the lotto,” Nathan idly suggested.
“Oh I’ve some other ideas,” she shot back, a wicked smile curving her lips.
Sitting on a barstool at one end of the bar, Jeremy watched in wonder as the women worked. There was a mad fascination with how the bottles twirled and spun in midair. The ladies hardly seemed like ladies at all, their synchronization was too perfect, too perfect for even machines.
As he continued to watch, he felt a strange…arousal. A hungering lust that grew beyond his capacity.
“How about another round, cherie?”
The bartender with sand gold hair was before him, suggestively fingering his near-empty glass.
Up close, he was presented an intimate view of her every feature. Eyes, nose, ears, lips, cheeks, hair…all so much to take in!
Normally, he never would have bothered to notice more than a cursory glance.
But something had awakened in Jeremey. Something larger than he could control.
When they finally shut down, a little after two thirty in the morning, the four were beat.
Livy was giddily replaying their greatest hits for Mattias.
“Did you see when Roxy chucked the bottle at me, it slipped from my right hand, I had a glass in my left, so I kicked the bottle, flipped it up and managed to pour it in, mid-air?”
“Or when that guy bet I could make the dart shot from across the room?” Roxy chimed in.
The chefs had left by one, having cleaned everything in the kitchen. Surprisingly, the front of house areas weren’t too bad, nothing a standard sweep and mop didn’t fix.
“Well while you ladies were having fun, I was being used for fun; my a s s feels like a pin cushion,” Nathan complained, wringing his mop in its bucket.
“Awww, poor baby,” Roxy cooed, pouting her lips, “Want me to kiss it better?”
“Actually, that would be nice….after I bath in sanitizer,” Nathan said.
“Oh shut up,” Livy said, rolling her eyes. “You were properly compensated for your….services.” Nathan shuddered. “Which reminds me,” Livy continued, “Divvy a quarter off your tips and give it to Mattias.”
Nathan was aghast.
“What?! I worked hard for my tips, I’m not going to give – Mattias anything less than thirty percent of my tips,” he amended, catching the Viking’s eye. “Here, and as a bonus, there’s the number for a lovely lady written on this twenty.”
Wordlessly, Mattias accepted the compensation.
Emptying his mop bucket, Nathan wheeled the contraption back to its home in the closet, then stretched his arms over his head in a yawn.
“Man, I’m beat…ready to go home?” he asks Roxy. Arms descending from the yawn, the tips of fingers touch the Frenchwoman’s.
Sliding from his grip, she places her hand on his chest, bending the elbow.
“I’ll catch up later,” she promises, passing Livy a meaningful look. “Why don’t you have Mattias walk you home?”
“Aka, they wanna have girl talk,” Nathan informed the Viking, placing a hand near his mouth as if to convey the secrecy of the situation…not that he makes any attempt to restrain the decibel level of his voice.
To his credit, Mattias continues his silence, though he offers Livy an expressionless stare, as though seeking counsel. She inclines her head in a small nod.
“Well, see you later than,” Nathan says, bending in to kiss Roxy. She shifts away.
“You smell like wilted flowers,” she informs him.
The radiant glow in Nathan dampens like rainfall.
“That would probably be Gertrude’s perfume.”
“You should wash up when you get back.”
After the males made their exit, Roxy and Livy left alone – a dangerous situation even under the best circumstances.
“So what did you want to talk about?” Roxy purred, following Livy as she made busywork in replacing glassware and straightening things that were already straight.
“Who says I have anything to talk about?” Livy counters. “You’re the one that told them to go ahead.”
Roxy’s only response is to idly sweep a cloth back and forth on an already gleaming surface, never breaking eye contact with Livy….who relents.
“Alright, fine….jeez, whaddya think you are, a vampire? I just….I don’t know…”
Livy truly didn’t. She was wrestling with something even she didn’t know was there. But she felt it, nonetheless.
Roxy placed her hand on Livy’s, smiling softly.
“It’s alright. Care for a drink?”
Before Livy could object, Roxy had two flutes of a local wine she brewed at home, pressing one into Livy’s hand.
“Y’know, someone might get the wrong impression and think you’re an alcoholic.”
“Balivernes,” Roxy objected, tilting the glass to allow the aged fruit to entice her taste buds. “It’s only alcoholism if you can’t stop.”
Livy rolled her eyes.
“Right. Uh huh. I know a guy addicted to brake fluid; he says he can stop anytime he wants.”
The ladies share a short chortle.
“That’s terrible,” Roxy declared. “Sounds like something Nathan would say.”
“He probably did,” Livy admitted. Her eyes had fallen to the empty stage, wondering what had happened to tonight’s entertainment. Usually, she had no problem finding people to perform; after all, the Raven was nearly nationally known. Perhaps fifty years from now it would be considered the CBGB of California.
Fifty years from now…
Her eyes shifted back to Roxy….trailing down her arms to her left hand…to the small band around her ring finger.
“Is this what you want to do forever?” Livy asks suddenly, snapping her eyes back onto Roxy’s. “Bartending, serving…doesn’t it seem like there should be more?”
Shuffling her head to one side in a careless gesture, Roxy set her glass down.
“It pays the bills for now. What about you?”
Livy shook her head.
“I don’t know…I’m torn. I feel like I was meant for more, yet here I am. I love Mom’s bar, I could never sell it…but that makes it seem like an anchor, weighing me down.” Livy voice had attained a note guilt, causing her to sound faint. “Holding me back.”
Roxy refilled the glass.
“Balivernes, you’ve never let it stop you from doing things before.”
“I guess it just feels different now. With you and Nathan back…living with Colin…it all seems so domesticated.”
Roxanne laughed, shaking her head.
“Only you could narrowly avoid being killed a dozen times only six months ago and then be bored that no one’s shooting at you.”
“It did keep me on my toes,” Livy admitted, prompting another round of snickers.
Perhaps if she dug deeper into that, Livy could be coaxed into confessing that being shot at, having mortal peril hang over her head like a carrot over a mule…it distracted from accepting her mortality.
It was Livy’s way of one upping Death. To quote that classic Who song, hope I die before I get old.
It was her way of still getting to be in control of when and where her life went. Where it might or might not end and how.
Without the direct immersion into the firing squad, she felt like someone on the sidelines of a busy traffic area.
Sure, you were probably safe on the sidewalk, but someone could still veer off and careen into her. Whereas if she went walking directly on the road…
There was some semblance of control. Dodge this car, dodge that one, leap here, lunge there. She was better prepared to face the world head-on, then with her pants down.
The Frenchwoman lay a soft hand on Livy’s shoulder.
“It’s all about finding balance,” Roxy told her. “Try to take it all, you risk losing everything. But wanting too little means you might not wind up with anything anyway. Fight for what you want, but know when you have enough.”
Livy was moved. It seemed odd the voracious vixen even knew the word ‘enough’ much less understood the concept.
She put on a tough face nonetheless.
“And what fortune cookie did you read that from, pray tell?”
Seeing through Livy’s mask, Roxy smirked.
“Oh that’s just basic bartender advice.”
Livy shook her head, chuckling.
“Maybe you are suited to stay here with me forever,” she teased.
Roxy smiled, though her eyes attained a far off look.
“Mm. For now. Though eventually I think it’d be nice to have a vineyard somewhere….either here or back home.”
“You think Nathan will go for that?”
If she wore glasses, Roxy would take this time to slide them down the bridge of her nose to examine Livy with her natural sight. As is, the Frenchwoman bends her head forward and cocks an eyebrow.
“Certainly. He’d go to the moon if I told him.”
“Must be nice to have him wrapped around your finger like that,” Livy jested.
Nonchalantly, Roxy shrugs.
“I don’t notice any complaints when I’m wrapped up around him.”
Livy grimaced, holding up a hand.
“Ew. Mental images.”
“Méchante fille…such a dirty mind.”
“You’d be disappointed if it was clean,” Livy disputed.
Roxy considered this with an appeasing nod.
“Oui, severely disappointed.”
Elsewhere in the bar, the modest tick of a clock reminded our rampant reminiscers of the late hour.
Catching an earful of its simple song, Livy thought of her warm bed awaiting her.
“Probably ought to get going,” she decided, emptying her and Roxy’s glasses, rinsing them quickly. Tomorrow she could give them a proper wash, but that’d do for now.
“Can I coax you into a beach walk?” Roxy purred, slipping a hand along Livy’s shoulder.
“Tonight?” Livy asked, with only mild surprise. “If I didn’t know any better….I might suspect you of flirting to seduce me.”
Coy as a ploy, Roxy flashed a grin.
“You’d only suspect? Dear, dear…I taught you better than that.”
The hand on Livy’s shoulder slid around to her back, parallel to her chest. Livy could feel the Frenchwoman’s fingers fanning near the clasp of Livy’s bra. Insatiable thing, wasn’t she?
“Alright,” Livy said slowly, leaning into Roxanne, their noses close. “I could be convinced to go…and possibly more…if you tell me what’s really bothering you.”
“Me?” Roxy repeated. “This was about you, finding your place and whatnot.”
Livy shook her head, raising a finger.
“Uh uh, you’re testing me, to see if you can trust me with some pertinent information – oh god, you did buy a vineyard or something, didn’t you? And now you’re wondering how to break it to Nathan?”
Withdrawing her hand from Livy, Roxy slipped off her barstool, grasping her wine bottle.
“Again, you’re only about half right…perhaps now isn’t the time, but I will tell you soon enough,” Roxy promised, placing the wine back in minibar fridge.
She walks toward the door.
“Which half?” Livy calls to her friend.
In response, Roxy blows her friend a kiss and walks outside.
It was a balmy night on the west coast. Stars intermittently peeked down from behind a curtain of clouds, like some intergalactic web.
Roxy allows it a cursory look, knowing Nathan would easily have been able to name all the constellations and shapes, even with only a suggestion of stars.
Now she knew how Livy must have felt back in Madagascar…afraid and uncertain. But not alone. Roxy had managed to get Livy to confide in her.
After she had guessed and deciphered the clues for herself.
Was that why she was making it hard for Livy now?
And perhaps Livy did have a point, even if she was unaware: Roxy would have to eventually tell Nathan.
A wind snaked down the street, vehemently snapping at her legs and flapping all loose clothing.
Roxy tightened her grip on her jacket, zipping it higher. It was actually a hoodie she borrowed off Nathan. Well, ‘borrowed’ might not have been the term Nathan used, but he hadn’t told her to give it back, so by rights it was hers to use.
The hoodie was black with red and green wolves woven on the front and back, as well as a pair of red-gold eagles.
Or perhaps they were phoenixes.
It smelled nice anyway. And kept the chill out.
And made her look fairly badass if she did say so herself.
Badass or not, as she straightened her absconded hoodie, she noticed the dark storefronts.
Not a single store, shop, restaurant, bar, or crematorium was open.
Of course not, it is pushing well into the three am hour….
Still, she had an odd sense. A notion of being watched by nefarious nocturnal necromancers.
….Were there any other type of necromancers?
If these even were necromancers.
If there even was anything.
Roxanne glanced back, as if hoping to spy Livy, a friendly face to walk with. But she would have gone in the opposite direction…provided she didn’t simply use the Raven’s upstairs apartment.
Nothing. Black windows, dark skies, a few gaudily lit neon displays offered the maximum amount of light anywhere.
She was alone.
Even her shadow had fled.
Perhaps it knew something she didn’t.
What would Livy do?
Get out of the open for one. If she even suspected treachery afoot, she’d go into Assassin mode and sneak off to get the drop on her interloper.
Or she might brazenly stride into the middle of the road and shout out bring it on.
It was Livy after all.
Roxy cut down a side alley. Maybe her best course would be to head back to the Raven. She was more tired than she had initially thought.
Down the alley, dozens of trashcans lay slumped against the rear of their business’ doors, fire escapes cast rusty shadows, like foreboding jails. Debris littered the ground like ethereal remnants of a forgotten deity.
A scratch of movement made Roxy spin in place, only to find a stray cat the source of the clatter.
“Go on home,” Roxy ordered the feline in a scolding tone.
Turning a corner, she edged back, retracing her way back to the door of the Raven.
She had a key somewhere in her purse –
Hands grabbed her from darkness. One covered her mouth, the other rammed her head into the brick door jamb.
Bright sparks and blackness nibbled at Roxy’s vision like piranha.
Faintly, she aims a stiletto heel at her assailant. One good jab is all she needs, the groin would be ideal, but hell, even a leg shot could give her the advantage –
She’s more out of it than she thinks.
In her heart she knows she’s only got scant seconds left before she gets hit again or something more sinister.
Alas, no. Hardly another second passes before she feels a need clumsily stab itself into her.
Angrily, Roxanne jabs an arm back, but her blow lands way off. The momentum of her swing makes her unstable and she starts to fall forward.
Before she hits the ground, her attacker catches her.
She almost can feel it in third person.
The world begins to slow down. Her attacker, thinking victory has been achieved, begins dragging Roxanne further down the alley.
Trails of paraphernalia seem to drag and stretch along as well.
Those rickety stairs elongate and wisp away. Barrels of trash knocked over in their scuffle infinitely roll.
Her breath began to feel faint, as though she couldn’t quite breath in a full lungful.
Don’t fall…asleep….she warned herself. Then it would certainly be game over.
Now if this were the 90s, all she’d need is a pager and instantly be able to summon Nathan or Mattias or Colin.
Her breathing felt weird. Like her lungs had hopped out of her body and were walking next to her. They didn’t seem to respond to her.
Oddly, this didn’t trouble Roxy.
Her eyes were starting to feel heavy.
Fight it, have to fight it…
Her legs didn’t want to support her body anymore, they seemed to have turned to jelly.
The attacker didn’t seem terribly impeded by her dead weight, roughly pulling her along.
Faintly she was aware of her heel dragging on the ground.
That’s an Alexander McQueen, she sternly tries telling her mugger.
Her tongue only lolled lazily in her mouth. The lips weren’t much better, barely fumbling open and closed.
Putain de merde…in a few minutes, she’d be completely unconscious.
She tried concentrating on her shoe, her heel, feeling the abrasion forming. But it was distant. Like she was watching it happen on a movie and imagining it was her.
Still no words.
If she could, Roxy might have blinked, but she suspected if she closed her eyes, they might not open again.
But she got it. The heel.
With sluggish speed, the French woman hooked her heel into a passing grate.
She had a little energy left. She could potentially cause the attacker to lose his footing, rips herself from grasp, then maybe roll under a dumpster.
Not very romantic, but better than the alternative.
The mugger took a step, noticed the resistance, gave a sharp tug and the heel snapped off to Roxy’s dismay.
The blackness had eaten away the corners of her vision, swiftly circling in for the rest, like vultures.
Why was she being dragged? If he wanted her money….
He doesn’t want money. The sturdier part of her mind was already piecing the situation together.
Essentially this boiled down to a natural succession of words repeating in her mind.
Kidnap. Rape. Murder.
Pick your poison…
The dragging ceased and Roxanne faintly registered they hadn't actually gone as far as it had felt; she had been dragged from the door down to a trashcan.
She tried screaming. She willed her vocal cords to rent loose one good scream.
Aphrodite knew many a neighbor had complained previously from her and Nathan's more promiscuous activities.
But no sound came. Like a movie that had been muted. Expressions flare and crest, lips heatedly yabbed up and down, twisted and contorted...only no sound permeated from the TV to the viewer.
As a bonus, Roxy didn't even feel her lips or face at all.
The attacker lifted her from under her arms, causing her head to loll back and finally allow her a proper look at this scum.
Unfortunately there wasn't much to look at. Pasty putain with short hair that looked spoiled. As though it had previously enjoyed a treatment of being pampered and nurtured, then abandoned. There was a nose that wasn't worth mentioning beside the sickly glisten of sweat.
…guy is a newbie....this isn't normally his bag....
So why are we here....
The eyes though....a common brown, but they gleamed with an animal hunger Roxy all too well recognized.
To her horror, once placed on the trash can, her attacker ripped open her hoodie and blouse (hey, that's vintage), he fumbled with her bra a second then gave in and ripped that off as well.
Oh fine make it a package deal, creep.
She wished she felt as tough as she thought she sounded.
But it was a little hard to keep the faith with her tits hanging out like laundry and knowing what was to come.
Definitely not her.
Greedily, his hand stretched out, cupping and squeezing her breast, fumbling to find and kneed the nipple.
Definitely a beginner, terrible form.
Hephaestus besieging his wife and Ares, what was the matter with her?! She was being molested right before her! She had to do something!
It was the damned syringe, it had dulled her muscles and ability to resist…but she was still aware. Gods help her, she almost wished she had been put under entirely.
“Fffffckkoo…” she drooled, achieving little more than blowing air out at the attacker, despite each sound taxing her to her extremes.
“Shh, it’s okay, I’ll be gentle,” the brown eyed b a s t a r d softly promised, lifting a warm hand to her cheek.
Warm from fondling her breast.
The talking made it worse.
It sent shivers down to the bottom of Roxanne’s spine, trickling through her legs down to the tips of her toes.
The voice itself didn’t sound particularly sinister or nasty. A hungry edge at most.
The tone was flat, ordinary. Like how a doctor would tell you it’s okay, the shot won’t hurt. It filled Roxy with doubt – not only about his daffy guarantee, but made her wonder whether this guy’s marbles were all in place.
Well, obviously a few were askew.
Question was….how many?
It occurred to her that she kept waiting, trying to hold out for the part where someone would find and save her.
Waiting for something she quickly began to doubt was coming.
Livy will think I’ve made it back and bedded with Nathan.
Nathan will think I must have stayed the night with Livy.
Livy would love it. Classic miscommunication. Just like an episode of Friends. “The One Where Roxy Gets Raped.”
Even if one of them did cosmically sense something amiss, it would likely be at least an hour before they found her.
More likely, it was around three thirty, knowing Nathan, he’d likely be up at six or seven to go to the gym (he seemed to take pride in wasting as little time as possible on sleep, especially when it came to his precious gym).
He’d probably check his phone to see if there were any messages from her, though he wouldn’t be surprised to not find any; she and Livy did enjoy their rest…especially for “liaisons.”
He’d spend about an hour and fifteen minutes working out, give or take if someone distracted him with conversation, along with driving time…
It’d be about nine in the morning by that point. Nathan would try to call, or text. Failing that, he’d likely wait another hour before calling again. Around then he might begin to suspect something wrong and try calling Livy.
Most likely she’d still be asleep, but would likely be able to be roused, if grumpily.
It’s likely they wouldn’t start looking for her until at least ten or eleven in the morning.
By then, she would already be raped and possibly disposed of. Or worse, kidnapped and tied down in a mad dungeon for future frenzied feastings from the fiend.
The fiend in question stretched a hand down to her skirt. She noted the hand trembled, as though barely able to contain the raw force of power surging through the cretin.
Aphrodite…please let me live…so that I can destroy this putain de merde.
Underneath her skirt, he found what he was searching for, callously shoving her flimsy panties aside.
Don’t you dare ruin those…they’re not for you.
Roxy willed her body to grow teeth, like that movie, and snap this putain’s fingers off. Instead she was horrified to feel her body betray her.
His breathing sped up, a small sheen of sweat shined across his forehead as he explored.
Satisfied, for the present, he withdrew his glistening fingers, slipping them in her hair.
He bent down, pressing his body against hers.
Grimly, the Frenchwoman felt the knave’s excitement.
His lips clumsily mashed against hers.
Idiot. Try taking your time. No wonder you have to rape women.
Not that she suspected him of being a serial rapist. Not yet anyhow.
Steadily, he came down, his kissing growing less frantic.
That’s it. Get comfortable. Relax.
If he let his guard down, maybe she’d find a way out.
Her lips lifelessly parted at the prompting of his tongue.
Though too numb to move, Roxy could feel it all. His sick, slimy tongue invading her mouth like a conniving snake.
A white hot fury boiled through her. She wasn’t going to make this easy for the b a s t a r d. Not if she could help it.
As his tongue passed by her teeth, she willed her muscles and jaw to clamp down,
…bite his tongue off….hurt the b a s t a r d…make him bleed…
Her teeth tightened, sharply indenting on his tongue.
But not enough to cause injury.
Spooked, her attacker lunged back.
Hit something. Jump back and hit your head on the fire escape ladder. Knock yourself out.
But he didn’t. Instead, he angrily lashed out, slapping her across her face.
Even his scolds sounded plain. Like he was talking to his pet cat.
Probably murdered it.
Perhaps fearing her mouth and future attacks, the attacker shoved a sleeve of her hoodie in her mouth.
The fibers tickled her nose.
It didn’t smell like him, not entirely. Her perfume had long permeated the polyester and cotton…but traces of Nathan and his cologne lingered still, mixing with her.
Their scent. What they smelled like together.
Focus on that. Block everything else out, she ordered herself as the attacker began reaching down again.
Just the hoodie…that scratchy soft hoodie…
She wanted to shut her eyes. Maybe if she shut her eyes, she could block it out. Or imagine it was Nathan.
Instead, she forced herself to meet the animal’s hungry stare. Her blue eyes on his beastly brown eyes.
Nathan always said her eyes were the same blue as the flames of a gas burner. She wished she could shoot flames at this creep and incinerate him. Failing that, the next best thing was to identify as much of him as possible.
That way, when she gets out of this, and she will get out of this, she can find and kill this insufferable sunuvabitch.
The thought gave her a vague tinge, imagining the various unpleasantries she’d take against him.
Chop off every appendage, starting from fingers and hands and toes, all the way to his tiny testicles. Burn his hair off with a butane lighter. Use manicure scissors to jaggedly slash his eyelids off, pour bleach and alcohol over his eyes.
Oblivious to the storm in his victim’s mind, the attacker lined himself up and sank with a gruesome sigh.
Roxanne wanted to scream, to flail and maim and murder. To flee. At best she could twitch her fingers.
The hoodie….the hoodie….think about the hoodie….
The scratchy soft hoodie stuffed in her mouth, muffling any attempt to vocalize her distress.
The hoodie….the hoodie…
The hoodie that smelled like her and Nathan.
Is this what our child will smell like?
There it was.
The secret she had been so reluctant to share with Livy. The secret that had thoroughly rocked the unrockable Roxanne. Eventually, of course, Livy would have to find out…as well as Nathan, at some point or another.
You have to be strong. You have to survive. Not for yourself, or even Nathan or Livy….for the baby.
She hadn’t gone to any doctors, but she knew. She knew it as well as she knew she was going to get out of this. It was that mystical connection every mother has with their child. Along with a few other telltale signs.
Once upon a time, the thought alone of bearing a child would have been horror enough for Roxy. Even still, the concept was fresh to her. It was one thing taking care of yourself in this world…
But to be responsible for another human that isn’t capable of controlling any aspect or element in its life?
She could picture saying this to Nathan.
In response, he’d lay a reassuring hand on her shoulder and simply say, “Heavy.”
The load was lighter though when you knew you had people who cared about you.
Nathan. Livy. Colin. Mattias. Nymeria. Ione. Her mère and Papá.
Who would help you.
But where are they now?
A small voice sidling from a dark corner of Roxanne’s mind. A demon Livy was all too well familiar with.
Roxy refused to submit to it. Submitting meant all hope was lost.
It already is…give in to me and I can help you survive.
The alluring promise of freedom and rationality.
None of that would help her now.
Instead, Roxy focused on her child. Whether it would be a he or she or she-he. Not that any of that mattered…as long as their child was happy and healthy.
An unfounded pride welled in Roxanne. She felt a strength stroll through her. Not a physical, momma-bear-will-lift-a-car-off-you strength. It was about forty five percent mental, forty five percent spiritual, and about ten percent physical.
It was enough to allow a few cracks to crawl across her cranium in her present state of duress.
No wonder you need to rape people with that needle, might put an eye out if you try to stick it somewhere else.
Must think you’re such a big man, drugging women. At least johns that pay for pussy have a little more respect for woman than you do.
You’d be nothing without the fun stick between your legs. Well, stick might be too generous. Twig might be closer to it.
Suddenly her assailant’s pace quickened, an urgency cresting inside him as he roughly thrusted, knocking her head against the brick wall behind her. His fingernails dug into her back and shoulders as he traded the frantic thrusts for longer, deeper, harder thrusts.
With a final grunt and thrust, the assaulter deposited a reminder of their coupling.
Finished already? Hah! Pathetic.
For a minute or two, the attacker lay frozen atop Roxanne, as incapacitated as his victim. Then he regains his senses….or whatever passes for and he clambers to his feet, fastening his clothes.
“Thanks, that was good.”
At last, an emotion! A marked smile tugged the corner of his mouth and he bent down again, kissing her cheek.
Roxanne shuddered, the point of contact like a drop of acid, eating through her skin.
The assailant turned and casually strolled away, a spring in his step practically skipping off.
For a few minutes…or maybe it was hours, at this point, Roxy didn’t know the difference…she lay there, tears streaming down her face, snot bubbling from her nose, other orifices leaking foreign fluids.
She wanted to scream.
She felt she could. The drugs had to be wearing off by now.
But she was afraid.
What if screaming attracted someone else?
Gingerly, she tested her fingers. They tingled, but curled. Making an actual fist for punching was out of the question.
Just this small excursion seemed to wind her.
Come on, you have to get out of here.
Before someone worse stumbled upon her.
Swallowing, her throat felt dry.
Without even trying, she knew walking would be out of the question; her legs felt like a young foal. She’d collapse in an instant without something to lean on.
Lolling her head to the side, she plotted a route back to the Raven. She wasn’t necessarily that far from the bar. The sheer mobility was her only problem.
But it wasn’t out of the question…if she used a few handholds, she could stumble back and use her key to open the door and collapse inside the bar.
Dionysus, I need a drink….
Shakily stretching a hand, she reached for a window to her immediate left. Her fingers curled around one of the iron bars loping up and down across the window.
Tugging with all her might, Roxy felt herself shifting off the trashcan, her feet tingling as they touch the ground.
Gripping hard on the window, she attempts to stand. Her legs prove too wobbly and almost immediately buckle under her. She lands on her knees.
For a moment, she has a horrible vision of someone coming and finding her in such a…ready position.
Oh stop, it’s not that big a deal, she scolded herself, the censors cutting off the rest of her thoughts: It’s not like you’ve never sucked a cock before.
But that was different. There was a sense of consent and control and safety involved. Consent being the primary concern of all.
Dropping her hands onto the ground, she dragged herself forward. A trash bin, one of those large fifty gallon types with an attached swinging lid, had fallen over. A raccoon or other hungry animal had decided to tear through the bags in search of sweet treats and now flutters of filth and debris floated down the alley.
Filth and debris…just like me…
No, no…that wasn’t true.
Trash, left to be disposed of…
Her eyes felt hot again as she pulled herself forward, slipping on a wet piece of a tattered magazine.
Nathan wouldn’t want her. He’d think she was damaged. Livy would be disappointed, but not surprised. After all, she was Roxanne, the original Queen of Queans and Sluts.
Grimly, she forced a small smirk.
My kind of people.
Her knees scraped with each movement, her left hand hit upon a broken bottle and now was bleeding freely.
She needed help. Help that wouldn’t come for hours.
If at all.
Stop it. You’ve more than yourself to think about, she sternly reminded herself.
Even if Nathan and Livy and everyone else abandoned her, at least she’d have the baby.
Through sheer determination, she propels herself to the backdoor alley entrance of the Raven.
Automatically, her hand stretches over to withdraw keys from a purse that isn’t there. Her hand halts, mid-reach.
Fruitlessly, she gives the door handle a try. Locked. Naturally.
Livy was never lax when it came to the sanctity of her bar.
Dismay descending, Roxy sank against the exterior wall of the Raven, the bricks lightly abrading her.
Curling her arms around herself, Roxy buried her face in her arms and slumped to the side. An odd, floating sensation descended on her and she knew she was drifting. What she didn’t know is if she would ever drift back.
She stayed in this position until Livy and Nathan found her.
Roxanne had tried to insist she was fine, she didn’t want to go to any hospital. Perhaps from shame. Perhaps she knew already what they would tell her.
In the end, Nathan, Colin, and Livy won that argument and the Frenchwoman was near literally carried into the hospital.
From there, she was given a room where doctors and police officers zipped back and forth in the room like flies buzzing around a rotting carcass.
Initially, the majority of her stay consisted of doctors prodding and poking and collecting DNA samples, from her and the attacker. Officials from the police took down a detailed report of what happened as well as a description of the assailant.
They were all kind and understanding.
She hadn’t said anything to her friends about the pregnancy yet.
It seemed…wrong. As though breaking the news in such close proximity would cause it to be sullied by the overlaying shadow of her recent ravage.
Regardless, through it all, Nathan never left her side, except to sneak her snacks and when the doctors shooed him out.
Three days after the assault, Californians were treated to an optimal day: Blue skies to pair with crystal waters that glistened in the sun like spears. A light breeze snaked its way along the beaches, assuring the patrons of the outside stayed comfortable.
It found people by the beach, in the parks, couples walked along a boardwalk, walking hand-in-hand, eating ice cream. The odd sailboat crawled across the ocean, grateful for so generous a gust.
It was the exact sort of vanilla activities our stalwart soulmates enjoyed partaking in.
Today, however, finds our duo in the hospital room Roxy’s languished in.
Restless and bored, she’s ready to leave, though the doctors have final tests to run.
“You really don’t have to stay,” Roxy told Nathan.
“I know,” he said, with a simple innocence it made Roxy want to hug him. The doctors were likely to have a coronary; they didn’t seem to like her eating too fast. Not that the goop they served was very appealing. And they didn’t even furnish a single glass of wine!
Rather uncivilized in her opinion.
“It’s a beautiful day out…I hear there’s some sick waves,” she continued, a gentle nudge entering her voice.
The doctors were coming soon. Never prone to worry, she nonetheless felt an anxiety building.
“I know,” he said again, his tone so perfectly duplicated, he may as well have played it off a tape recorder.
Yet somehow beneath the auditory words, another message could be heard.
I’m not leaving you again. I can’t. I failed you.
To this, Roxanne had no counter. The topic of his failure to keep her safe could be debated, but ultimately that was how he felt.
“God, I could kill for some chocolate,” Roxanne commented, changing the subject. “All they give is Jello and juice. The juice wouldn’t be so bad if they at least allowed it to ferment.”
“Ah! Lucky for you, I’ve an excellent lead on chocolate,” he said with a chaotically wide grin.
“Really?” Roxy ravished, lightly dispensing her natural charm. “You’d be my eternal champion if you could fetch me some, cherie.”
Ever the obtusely humble agent, Nathan beams.
“As you wish. I’ll be back in five minutes,” he promised, heading for the door.
“Take ten,” Roxy generously offered.
Nathan waggled his fingers in a farewell wave, letting them trail off the door jamb.
No sooner had the door shut than the smile retracted off the Frenchwoman’s lips.
He was an absolute dear…
But not what she needed at the moment. She needed to be alone, at least until the doctors came back with her results.
Then she’d be able to tell Nathan and Livy and the others.
She just needed a little extra time…
Taking her phone off the bedside table, her slender fingers deftly tapped a quick message to Nathan.
Bonjour, while you’re at it, could you fetch one of your hoodies? The blankets here are atrociously thin.
Her finger hovered over the send button, thoughts blasting like a dozen boomboxes, each set to different stations.
What if you sending Nathan away causes him to get in an accident and get killed? It’d be your fault and you’d then be truly alone.
Is it fair to send him away? Would your reaction be any different if he or Livy got hurt?
Doesn’t he have a right to know as well?
What if he doesn’t believe you?
Then screw him.
He wouldn’t though.
Gripping a button attached to her bed, Roxy buzzed the nurse.
The nurse, while professional in every manner of appearance, was a gorgeous little thing. Her hair was short and dark, Roxy suspected the nurse wore it in spikes on the weekend, judging from slick tell-tale signs of styling gel.
Her uniform was crisp and hugged certain areas and left enough to imagination for Roxanne to fantasize.
On any other day, the vixenous Frenchwoman would have coaxed the nurse into joining her on the hospital bed. It would be so easy, she could complain about some random pain and need a massage. Or lure the nurse in with a few sultry laughs, lulling her into a sense of comfort and security…
But not today.
A professional head shrinker might argue that in lieu of her attack, Roxy’s entire nature of habit and living was being called into question. If Roxy seduced the nurse, then perhaps it would cause the nurse and others to ponder the authenticity of Roxy’s story; had she actually been raped or had she led the fellow on?
Then the psychiatrist would write a paper or a book and pad his (or her) reputation, blissfully ignorant of how the Frenchwoman really felt.
Which was something that was a mystery even to her.
If she stopped to think, there were plenty of emotions that ran rampant. Anger, fear, abhorrence, confusion…
But they were all on hold. They had to be put on hold for the moment.
The nurse’s cutesy smile faltered at Roxanne’s prolonged pause.
Roxy snapped herself back to reality. The cute nurse who probably spiked her hair. And would look killing in leather. Maybe a few chains? No that’d be too far.
Still, those legs would be delicious…
Can’t let the nurse think anything is wrong, lest she warns the doctor who forestalls any bad information.
There won’t be any bad information, she sternly tried to assure herself.
Aloud, she formed a dazzling smile.
“Can you tell the doctor I’m ready?”
As it turns out, Roxanne’s relatively minor concerns for sending Nathan to his doom were unfounded. He had to walk no further than his car where he had a storehouse of goods stashed in the trunk.
From a cooler, he withdrew a pink box wrapped in a bow with the words La Maison du Chocolat stenciled across the top in black ink. Specially imported from France. Next to it was a humble bar of Hershey’s and a four pack of what Roxy called ‘Tiny Winies.’
On second thought, Nathan nagged a wine and the Hershey’s bar.
Never can have too many.
From the backseat, he retrieved a hoodie (a black, galactic styled hoodie with stars and constellations traced all over the sleeves and body).
Now…how to sneak this all back up.
Maybe if he went around to the church and slipped back through there…he still had his visitor badge (wrinkled as it were). Stuffing the Tiny Winey in his pant’s pocket, he artfully draped the galaxy hoodie over the chocolates in his hand and boldly sauntered through a side door to the Narthex.
Peeking into the Nave, he saw only a lone woman in seated in one of the pews midway back.
Her head was bent forward, obscuring most of her face. Grey wisps of hair suggested an advanced age, yet she didn’t strike Nathan as a weak. Her hands were clasped together, a few beads from a cord spilling through her fingers.
Never one for religion, pending it be his own variant, Nathan averted his gaze and strolled through the hospital entrance.
Behind the desk sat a male vigorously thumbing a portable gaming device, posing as the side reception.
He spared Nathan a glance, eyes flicking to the rumpled badge sloppily stuck to Nathan’s shirt. The receptionist issued a permitting nod before returning to the Netherworld of Zarn where he swiftly dispatched a Swine Knord with the Fork of Elegance, clangs and mystical mashes of sound echoing obnoxiously off the bouncy hospital walls.
Through the double doors, Nathan struts down the hall…until he sees a nurse and doctor swing down at the opposite end, enraptured by a clipboard the nurse held.
Immediately suspicious they’ve been alerted to his nefarious smuggling scheme, Nathan ducks into a hospital room on his right.
Inside, a phantasmagoria of phenomenal phlowers phloor him. Roses, lilies, lilacs, daffodils, orchids, tulips of every color are woven in infinite bouquets that seem to spin with a kaleidoscope effect.
The deter from the room’s occupant…an elderly female attached to tubes and propped up on pillows, reading a trashy romance novel, featuring a hunky male figure with a zodiac symbol in the background.
The elderly female poked her nose above the trashy tome, her eyes alight on Nathan and instantly a glee shines through her wrinkled skin.
“Oooh, are you my Mr. Wonderful?” she coos.
Horror slipping down his spine like a spinster slipping on a banana peel down a set of stairs, Nathan stiffens.
“Um…no…you’re having a hallucination induced by morphine. Keep your grandkids in the will…and definitely sell the SafeAviator stock.”
Taking his chances, Nathan quickly retreats back into the hall, where he sees the doctor and nurse have disappeared, to his relief.
Sneaking into the stairwell, he hikes it back up to Roxanne’s level, fancying himself as Solid Snake or Sam Fisher, taking care to leave no more shadow than a ghost.
In fact, so stealthy, he manages to approach Roxy’s room without alerting them and overhears their discussion.
“Ms. Anson, I told you, we ran the tests and double checked them…it’s the same results. The embryo was lost. Most likely from trauma endured and the drugs. However, if it’s any consolation, they were really nothing more than just fertilized cells, there’s no guarantee – ”
“They weren’t cells!” Roxy roared in a raging fury that Nathan has hitherto never heard before. It gives him worse shivers than perverse octogenarian females.
Cowed, the doctor tries to mutter something too soft for Nathan to hear. This only enrages Roxy further.
“Get out of here! Leave me alone!”
More than glad to, the doctor and his cohorts fling open the door and rush out, unintentionally revealing a shocked Nathan to Roxanne. Their eyes meet, leaving little doubt as to how much Nathan heard.
Unable to help himself, as though in a dazed dream, he walks in, dumbfounded.
Searching for the words, he strives to properly tie them together.
“Rox….were we…were you...pregnant?”
There’s an oddly hopeful note riding his Adam’s apple.
“Not anymore,” Roxanne bitterly informs. Then she adds, “Miscarried.”
Stupefied, Nathan stands there, processing.
For as many emotions Roxy has felt in the past three days, in addition to since her initially suspected her pregnancy….they’re all assaulting Nathan at once.
Sheer joy and happiness, euphoria, and glee roll through him….only to cascade and crash with a disparaging thunk to realize it was no more.
What easily should have been the happiest moment in Nathan’s life since dating Roxanne…and it was sullied before he could properly enjoy it.
He and Roxy don’t say a word. So closely knit they’ve been for so long, nearly don’t even need to talk to know how the other is feeling.
Silently, slowly, he walks to her and climbs into the hospital bed, holding her tight. For an eternity, they hug and cry into each other’s arms.
The doctors ended up releasing her not too long after that – something to do about violating policies on food and beverages, as well as being a bad influence, if you can imagine!
Nathan, Livy, and Colin were saints, going above and beyond to take care of Roxy and make sure she had everything she needed.
Nonetheless, there was a divide that had wedged itself between Roxy and Nathan...a wedge neither had installed. Likewise they had not licensed or approved anyone to hammer on the wedge, causing them to drift like Arctic islands, cold and alone amid a wasteland plain.
This cumulated to a day where Nathan went to lunch with Livy. Alone. An oddity of itself. Normally there was a buffer, Colin or Roxanne, to help prevent bloodshed.
Even stranger, Livy had been the one to initiate the plans.
They met at a restaurant housed at the end of a pier jutting out into the Pacific Ocean, a promise of refillable fries and rootbeer floats enticing him in. The view was nice as well.
A blanket of blue surrounding nearly three hundred and sixty degrees. Except that awkward patch of land to the East.
But not everything can be perfect, Livy thought.
“I feel like there’s more I should be doing for her,” Nathan continued, snapping Livy back to the present moment.
Aimlessly, he swilled his drink, eyes casting out to the azure field beyond the pier.
“Knowing her, there probably is more you should be doing ‘for’ her,” Livy implied with a wink, filching a fry from his tray.
Tearing his gaze from the carelessly caressing waters, Nathan met her eyes, a bright humor playing behind them. He wants to smile, to grin and make some lewd assurance…
“Truth is…we haven’t…”
Livy cocks an eye, though she’s not surprised. Well…not fully.
“No? For whatever reason, I envision, were the roles reversed, she’d be telling me the best way forward would be riding in the saddle.”
There it is, a smirk at last, Livy thought.
“Yeah, probably,” Nathan nods. “Somehow she’d end up getting your panties off.”
Appearing to suffer an internal debate, Livy exhibits further uncharacteristic actions. She leans across and grips his hand.
“Go to her. Be her rock. Be the strong one for her.”
Taking her advice, he came back to find their apartment empty.
Instantly walking through the door, something felt off. As though some ambient, omnipresent sound had been turned off.
Further inspection revealed a suitcase missing, as well as a few racks and drawers of clothing missing. She had also taken one his hoodies, the scratchy wolf hoodie she had professed to detest. Supposedly.
(How the hell did she fit all of that in one suitcase?)
The only other indication something was amiss besides the missing clothes was the CD player.
For about fourteen seconds, Nathan had no idea what he was looking at, before the McFly alarm kicked in. That was when he grew concerned. Note: Downright terrified.
A hand trembling like a Parkinson’s victim in an earthquake, he picked the player up, searching for a note, finding none.
Popping the lid open, he found a Guns n’ Roses CD. The track listing for November Rain had been circled with a red marker.
Curious, Nathan set the player down, convinced he had missed a note somewhere.
Nothing in the bedroom, the kitchen…bathroom….
In the living room, which also doubled as a writing office, he saw his scratch pad had been moved. On closer inspection, indentations atop the surface suggested a message had been written…but perhaps she threw it out or decided against it?
Whipping a pencil from his collection of utensils, he lightly shaded the pad, allowing the graphite powder to fill the indentations, revealing the message.
(This was scratched out.)
You must think I’m a coward. That I’m an awful, horrible wench…
The simple truth is that I’m not strong enough to handle it right now. I need time and space to put everything in perspective. Then I’ll be ready. I can’t ask you to wait for me.
(This also had an X slashed through.)
At the bottom was a shorter text:
Listen to this. It will explain everything.
Not everything, but it’s a start.
Heading back to the room, Nathan lay on the bed, scrounged a pair of earbuds, and hit play on the machine.
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- artymon I\/
- Dwarf Thief
- Posts: 495
- Joined: Thu 9th Feb 2012
- Location: Beyond time and space
The last step in any journey may be the first step of an even greater adventure.
WARNING: I may post stuff that is not for suited for immature eyes. READ AT YOUR OWN CAUTION
Nautron respoc lorni virch
The last step in any journey may be the first step of an even greater adventure.
WARNING: I may post stuff that is not for suited for immature eyes. READ AT YOUR OWN CAUTION
Nautron respoc lorni virch