He needs to stay at your place. Marc had the sack of food and was putting it away in his fridge. Marilyn was leaning against the counter; Bash was sleeping on the sofa. I don't have a bed large enough for him to sleep with his wings all out, and Liese does.
Liese said she shouldn't see him like that, she said, meaning Cora. Marc nodded; they weren't the best circumstances. And it would be hard to move him. But he'd heal more quickly if he was comfortable, and he'd be most comfortable at Liese's.
Aye, she shouldn't. But she'll have to. He looked at Bash, who was stirring, and was surprised to see the man sit up. He was groaning and pressed the butts of his palms against his eyes. He sat with the half hunch of restless pain and too much drink. His wings drooped heavily and when he tried to stretch the left one didn't move. He looked over his shoulder at the splint. He explored it with his right hand, as far as he could
Cora 2:13Harmon, please, she pleaded in a soft whisper. He would make a scene, she knew. He would make a scene in the restaurant, in front of everyone, and leave her to clean up his mess. It was his new favorite thing. Harmon, please just eat your fish and we can talk to the manager later, if you still want to. The plate had come out cold, barely cold, and he'd made a snide remark to the waiter. Now he was glowering at his plate and pulling at the fish with his fork. Next he would catch a server by the elbow, or snap his fingers if he was feeling particularly indulgent. She hadn't eaten more than a bite of bread, but she'd already put her fork back on the table and folded her napkin.
It's cold, he said just loud enough for everyone to hear. It's cold, and I won't stand for this. She watched him stand up and flag down a waiter, watched him poke the poor boy in the chest and demand the manager. She closed her eyes and shielded her face with her hand
He eyed the bottle and swished the honey-colored liquid within. He hated this part. He pressed the bottle to his lips, mouth to mouth with the cool glass, then tipped the bottom up. He closed his eyes and tried not to taste the liquor that filled his mouth and burned his throat. He drank until his lungs burned and he tipped forward with the bottle to cut off the flow of the liquid and hissed as he swallowed the last bit. Its looks were deceiving; it did not taste like honey. Bash coughed and his wings quivered. He winced and eyed the bottle again. He had to finish it. Then he had to wait. Then Marc would fix his wing, and then he would sleep. He tipped the bottle up again and hissed when it was lowered. The third time he raised the bottle and lowered it he growled and slammed it on the table. Marc looked up from the screen of his laptop; he'd told Bash he didn't want to hear a word until the bottle was empty. Bash had protested and Marc had expertly ignored him, a
LuxuryHarmon, please, she pleaded in a soft whisper. He would make a scene, she knew. He would make a scene in the restaurant, in front of everyone, and leave her to clean up his mess. It was his new favorite thing. Harmon, please just eat your fish and we can talk to the manager later, if you still want to. The plate had come out cold, barely cold, and he'd made a snide remark to the waiter. Now he was glowering at his plate and pulling at the fish with his fork. Next he would catch a server by the elbow, or snap his fingers if he was feeling particularly indulgent. She hadn't eaten more than a bite of bread, but she'd already put her fork back on the table and folded her napkin.
It's cold, he said just loud enough for everyone to hear. It's cold, and I won't stand for this. She watched him stand up and flag down a waiter, watched him poke the poor boy in the chest and demand the manager. She closed her eyes and shielded her face with he
The way back to Liese's place was different than the way to Bash's. First, it was not made of doors and hallways and stairs. Second, it was much nearer. The way to Bash's always felt like a dash for life or death. The way to Liese's was like a quiet stroll through park. They walked down a street for several blocks, then turned down another street. Liese held Cora's hand and chatted pleasantly with Marilyn while they crossed a bridge and turned a second time. There was a long row of buildings and doors and Liese chose one and took them inside. There were stairs, now, but different; these were bright and clean instead of the dark, secret stairs Bash used. The hallway at the third landing had a long row of red doors. Liese chose one and opened it. Her place was nicer than Bash's, too. First, it was more than one big room, one small closet and one adequate bathroom. Second, it was simply better. There was an entry with a table, where Liese dropped her keys.
She awoke because of the explosions. She opened her eyes and saw Bash across from her, skin pale and yellow in the city glow. She watched him and wondered what was different that she was awake, and she traced over his lips with her eyes. They were half parted and she could hear the soft rustle of his breath over the sheets. They shared a bed nearly every night, but they did not sleep together. She smirked; they were obviously sleeping together but in quite literal terms. They each owned a side of the bed and stayed comfortably, respectfully separated. She enjoyed it, the simple intimacy, because it reminded her of old days when she was young and things were good. She was not old, now, and the old told her she was young. But the presence of true youth betrayed her old heart and soul and made her feel weathered. She felt old. She was watching his eyelids twitch with dreams when the barest flicker of red danced across his nose. It was familiar, but she couldn't place
Cora, Book Two, Part 9Cora
It was warm in the bus station. It was too warm for a coat, but Bash couldn't take it off. He would be found out and there would be trouble. The public assumed he would bite them all, though he never would. He had chosen Cora because she'd seemed right for a target, but he found her company enjoyable. He felt a blush creeping over his neck and adjusted the scarf, then pulled the hat over his ears. He enjoyed her company, but he couldn't get used to it. She wouldn't be staying. A woman walked in and he slumped in his seat and checked his watch. It was nearly six o'clock and he was nervous. He thought of leaving early, but that wasn't fair to either of them. He decided he would wait a few extra minutes. Just to be sure. The woman sat beside him and jiggled her knees. He glanced at her without moving his head. Seat's taken, he growled.
Oh, she said the way women do when they've had a bit too much to handle, and he looked at her again. Cora. He
Sounding BoardSounding board,
on my wall,
watch me bleed,
watch me fall.
But I don't need you
to save me.
Hear my heartache,
hear my pain;
just stay the same.
A sounding board,
that is all:
watch me bleed,
watch me fall.
Stay up there,
where it's safe
from my hell.
I'll do it all
on my own,
Little PrincessOh, little princess, twirling with your pink dress, toole and satin that slips down on one shoulder.
The scene would be obscene, bare pink skin visible in places that should not be shown except to a mother, and later a lover.
She is excused, in her age of innocence and her princess dress a size too big.
She has long blonde ringlets that hang over her shoulders and fall down her back. It would be cliché except they are mussed with play, undone and frizzed out in a soft halo around her head.
She has tiny crew socks folded down at her ankles and a frill of lace around the edges and scuffed tennis shoes that flash red when she runs.
She is coy, the princess, and bats her long dark lashes over blue eyes that sparkle under the flourescent lighting. Butterfly princess with butterfly lashes. She hides behind legs and around legs and between legs and peeks through and around and around, teasing. She is not afraid of the men who wink and smile. She is coy and teases them with her