CH 15 To be wooed
CIRCUS OF THE DEAD SHORTLY BEFORE DAWN
Jean Claude rubbed the bridge of his nose tiredly, dawn was rapidly approaching and he was only part way through his private mail. Usually Asher was willing to assist with these mundane matters, but of late he had been conspicuously absent.
Mostly the correspondence contained pleas from younger vampires seeking haven in his kiss or inconsequential matters of protocol. But tonight at the bottom of the pile he had spotted the thick cream parchment. His body had stilled, his face freezing into an expressionless mask, while inside he felt as cold as ice. Slowly he reached out his hand, brushing the other letters away, letting them fall carelessly to the floor. The scroll had been flattened but the identity of the senders was unmistakeable. Heavy scarlet wax seal, with gold rubbed inlay. Thick bold script announced his name in a swirl of crimson loops. He stared even at this distance he could smell the dried blood that had made the ink - unmistakeable werewolf both a message and an insult. It seemed the council was back to playing games.
In a purely human gesture, he covered his face with his hands and sighed deeply. Would it never end? Would he never find that peace and security – that safe haven he so craved. As a young vampire used and abused by all. He had once thought that to be a master to have the power, to be strong enough to hold a city would be enough. Now, although he was no longer a toy for amusement. He was no longer so naïve to believe that more power made him and all he held dear safe. It only made him all too aware of how much he and his could loose through carelessness or just by chance. His dream of peace and safety was just that an unattainable dream. He glanced up as he felt somebody approaching, schooling his face into a unreadable façade as he covered the scroll with sheaf's of paper.
The door opened and Asher entered, for once his face was unhidden. At least his chardonnet was at last feeling at ease in his presence.
“Jean Claude I would retire now, dawn is approaching”. Stated Asher formally, a small smile around his lips. Jean Claude stared at his mouth his mind flashing back to other nights, other more intimate moments.
“Yes my second”, Jean Claude paused as he hesitated to share his fears with Asher. “I will join you in a short time”.
Asher bowed and glided out the room, as the door shut softly behind him. He listened for the soft foot falls of his ex lover as he made his way to the coffin room. Frowning as he caught sounds of Asher humming a simple American melody. Jean Claude raised an eyebrow it seemed his friend was picking up Jason’s casual American ways.
ANYA’S FLAT LATE AFTERNOON
Clad in her scanty pink underwear, Anya should have looked sexy as hell, as it was she looked ….well bizarre. Her hair pinned in bright pink rollers, pink rubber gloves and a bright green face mask. She certainly did not look like the Vengeance Demon Anyanka. She hummed happily as she scrubbed, danced as she dusted and sang as she vacuumed. She had a maid that came in daily, but her lover was coming tonight and tonight would be perfect. Followed by lots of lovely, scrumptious mind blowing, messy orgasmic sex.
She smiled hugging herself in secret delight as she smelled the lilac roses that had arrived this morning. There was no message but then there was no need she had been gradually wooed all afternoon by messenger boys bearing gifts of flowers, Godiva chocolates, balloons, soft plush teddies with what suspiciously looked like mini fangs and finally a beautiful black box had been delivered, unwrapping the many layer of tissue she had gasped at the dress inside, pure black silk with intricate cut out sections that would be immodest if she ever wore it in public, it would drape her like a second skin, simple but as provocative as the designer underwear that had arrived next. Anya smiled happily, Asher wooed so well and now it was her turn.
Sometimes it was the simple things that showed you cared, she mused, as she fluffed up the pillows on her bed. Like a lover taking note of his women’s dress size. Why Xander was always getting it wrong either buying the tiniest t shirts that were almost doll like or panties that would fit two of her. She laughed and then paused in surprise realising she could actually think of Xander without the usual back lash of melancholy or bitterness over events. She smiled fondly, realising with new found clarity she had moved on. It had taken turning demon, unturning demon several acoloclypses, dying and turning demon again but she had what the women's magazines termed it “had a significant and major breakthrough”. She laughed giddy with excitement. Throwing off her gloves and pirouetting around the room. There were a few more hours until her Asher arrived, time to make herself beautiful.
Asher glided over the roof tops, usually he did not arrive is such a dramatic way, but he needed .. nay… was desperate to get to Anya’s. He scanned the street carefully before alighting in a nearby alley and strolling to Anya’s building lobby, his eyes widening slightly at the opulent surroundings. His Anya lived in style. A man came rushing forward almost bowing in his subservience.
“ Monsieur Asher… Please this way, Miss Anya told me you were coming, I am to send you up immediately.
Asher raised his eyebrow, but silently obeyed the man’s urgings, as he was ushered into a private elevator. The man grinned widely as he pressed the top button, the doors sliding smoothly shut. Asher stiffened as the man continued to examine him from top to bottom showing no fear of him.
“ Missus Anya, she said to watch a man with hair like spun gold, face of an angel and a body like a movie stars and that would be you”. The man whispered at him expectantly, Asher blinked, realising the man must be ‘touched’.
“ Is it gold? Real gold?” the man whispered, his eyes wide, his _expression as innocent as an awed child.
Asher softened a little, “Non my friend” he replied. “Just hair that is all”.
“ I don’t have many friends, just Anya, she got me this job” the man licked his lips his eyes darting around the glass elevator as it slowly made his way up. “ My name is John Bell, I’m the con… connnn … concert…gie
“ Concierge, inserted Asher helpfully.
“Yeah that’s it, I’m not so good with words, but Miss Anya she says that’s no excuse I can still be a con….ermmm trib utory… member of society. Ensuring the errmmmm polars don’t collapse”. John stumbled over the unfamiliar words his head creased with concentration.
Asher blinked. The elevator pinged. The doors slid open.
“just go right in, she’s waiting for you and she looks right and purty”. John waved at him enthusiastically
Asher nodded dazedly, looking in bemusement at the trail of soft rose petals that was leading through the apartment. Candlelight flickered and the sweet heady sense of incense filled the air. He glided forward the strange concierge forgotten as he followed Anya’s breadcrumbs.