They didn’t have long to bask in the memory of shags past, or to worry overly much about their potential distant relative status.
“I will kill you now,” Lotus said, unwinding herself from Çrom’s body and rising to pad away across the stuffy little room. She crouched and opened one of a little collection of boxes against the far wall, and rummaged inside it while Çrom struggled to sit up.
“Hold on,” he said, “that was very enjoyable and all, but it didn’t exactly make me see the wonder and opportunity of my immortality. I wouldn’t be averse to another round at some point, but I’m not about to embrace eternity and find new purpose, so-”
“Of course not,” Lotus turned back around with a couple of antique-looking leather pouches in her hands, and returned to the slightly expanded nest they’d rolled out together.
“Oh,” he said with heavy inevitability. “You mean you’re going to just-making-sure kill me. Because nothing I’ve just told you about how bad it is had the slightest impact on you.”
“On the contrary,” she said softly. “I have the greatest of sympathy for you – unless of course you are simply insane, and have been lying all this time, and will in fact die permanently the moment I kill you. That would be most disappointing … but I suppose you would be dead, thus escaping my ire.”
“That’ll show you,” Çrom said, glancing uneasily up at the pouches. “So…”
“I will observe, using these,” she knelt beside him and pulled out what looked like a pair of old all-seeing goggles from one pouch. The lenses were dusty and scratched, the straps so worn and often-repaired that the script burned into them was no longer legible.
“Are they soulwatchers?” Çrom asked out of archaeological interest. “I thought you didn’t go for gadgets … although I have to admit, they don’t look quite as out of place in this setting as a mica reader would have,” he continued to eye her uncertainly as she coiled the goggles around her head, settled the lenses into her eye sockets, and examined him with a slightly uncomfortable level of scrutiny. “Are they working?”
“As well as they ever have,” she said with a shrug. “You seem entirely normal.”
Çrom couldn’t help glancing down. “I’m not too old to take some comments personally, you know,” he said. Lotus smiled dutifully at the joke, then opened the other pouch with a worrying degree of caution. This pouch was darkly stained, and had a very suspicious smell coming from it. “What are you thinking?” he asked, trying to keep the quaver from his voice.
“First,” she said casually, “I was thinking of having you again.”
“You were?” he brightened. “Well like I said-”
Quick as a flash, she straddled his legs. Still watching him quizzically through the weird old soulwatcher glasses, she pulled a wrinkled black leather object from the pouch and gingerly unfolded it. It was a glove. She donned the glove extremely carefully, then reached inside the pouch with it. Çrom heard something unpleasantly damp being manipulated in its stained depths, and he frowned when she set the pouch aside in another waft of that highly suspicious smell.
“Is that-” he said, but she leaned forward over him, blocking his view. With her un-gloved hand she reached down between their bodies, while the gloved hand – now with a fresh and glistening dollop of something on its first two fingers – went in and wiped his perineum with an almost electric jolt. “Gah it’s lovespike,” he accused through suddenly clenched teeth.
“Mm,” she said, shifting back and carefully removing the glove, rolling it and tucking it back into the pouch. She stood, returned the pouch of thoroughly illegal and altogether merciless narcotic ointment to its box, took something else from the box’s depths, and returned to mount him.
The compound, which had gone by many names over the years, worked fast but also wore off fast unless you followed it up with other, equally illegal chemicals. Lotus didn’t appear interested in doing so – but she didn’t really need to. Çrom was paralysed, his body incapable of movement although the full range of sensation remained … and, as the name of the ointment suggested, his organ had become painfully hard while she was still pacing across the room.
Lotus had her way a final time, studying his face disconcertingly with the dusty grey lenses even as she bounced and ground herself on him. Within another fifteen or twenty minutes, the lovespike began to wear off. It was hard to measure time with any precision given the circumstances, but Çrom knew this was roughly how long lovespike lasted so he guessed that was how long it had been … in any case, he found he was able to move his toes and fingertips, although his speech was still a little slurred.
“Damn it, Lotus,” he half-laughed, half-groaned as she rode him through a climax that was more muscle-clench than ejaculation. “I think you got them all.”
Lotus knelt on his hips, her body going as still and taut as it had been when she’d settled by his side earlier. She looked down on him with the weird glasses, her head tilted to one side in that way that had somehow become so very familiar, and so very endearing, in a very short time.
Then, without breaking eye-contact, she reached into the drifts of litter they were lying in and produced the other things she’d taken from the box on the other side of the room.
Çrom didn’t get a good look at them because she moved faster than a snake. But whatever they were, she hammered them into his skull through his eye sockets where he lay paralysed, killing him instantly.
– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while waiting for the bus.