In Paris – April 2014. Part 3 & 4

**HEAVY trigger warnings apply – adult content. Gore, violence,sex scenes, coarse language, adult themes.

IN PARIS (Part Three)


Tuesday 8th April, 2014

11.52pm


Armand's screams were inhuman, guttural and wordless. Lyra looked past the unfolding scene, trying desperately not to think of her mother. Her mother who had always had the soft look of an old movie star and smelt of jasmine, reduced to a bleeding tear-stained mess, sobbing Lyra's name until she bled out. Her mother, who had been attacked in the same way as her father was being now, and by the same man. The man she had brought here.


There was a gurgling noise, a shatter as Jasper dropped the broken bottle, slumping over the table and her father's body. Lyra was studying her hands, she had no idea how much time passed, but somewhere in that time she had sunk to the floor and crawled towards the pillar where her father had been bound. And there she had stayed…until now.


Still so much to be done. No time to fall apart.


She felt her head clear as polished black shoes approached - treading blood with them - as if her body had exhausted itself and flicked to a functional space. Slowly she drew herself to her feet, pushing away the offering of a bloody hand, waiting until she was steady before finally looking to Jasper.


He was spattered with blood…his clothing was soaked with it. Behind him her father was slumped over the table, passed out and breathing unevenly. They were done for now.


Wordlessly, Lyra went to the table and picked up another bottle, unscrewing the lid and sniffing its contents.


Vodka.


Having no energy to find a glass, she took a swig from the bottle instead, looking hesitantly at Jasper as she held the bottle out to him. He looked at her, then took the bottle without a word, walking over to the far wall and slumping against it, drinking deeply and closing his eyes.


Wednesday 9th April, 2014

6.27am


Lyra awoke to her father's wordless moans of pain. She rubbed her head and sat up, feeling something slide from her shoulders. Jasper's jacket. She smiled thinly and looked down at her hands. She'd fallen asleep holding something…pearls?


She blinked in the sunlight and rubbed at her eyes.


No…teeth.


She stood slowly and walked over to her father, hanging Jasper's jacket on a chair as she passed. Jasper was standing in front of Armand, appraising their work. As she drew closer she saw in her father's eyes a look of utter fear. He was still tied to the dining table. She held out the teeth to Jasper, who sniggered.


"I saw...took you a while, but points for determination. What are you going to do with them?"


Around her father's mouth, blood crusted in jagged wounds. The memory of the hammer and chisel, the two of them giggling at her drunken aim came swimming back to her. They had been play fighting over the chisel.


I'm doing it!

You're doing it wrong!

He's my dad Jasper...I can do it however I like!

Do you want to do it wrong?

You should shush now. You've messing with my aim.

Nuh uh. That's the vodka.

Shuuuush!


Then the silences, the long looks.


More vodka.


She glanced at her thumb, bruised from a mis-aimed hammer strike that had pinned it between the metal head and a cheekbone. Lyra pressed her face against Jasper's shoulder for a moment as she studied her father, then turned on her heel.


"I need breakfast," she muttered.

"He'd be proud of you, Lyra," he called in a singsong voice over his shoulder.


She whirled around.


"Don't you dare. Don't you fucking dare."


Jasper smirked, looking her over pointedly. She knew how she looked…she'd caught sight of herself in one of the long mirrors that lined the ballroom. Her fists were balled and her hair tousled, her eyes were dark from a night of emotional and physical strain, she looked even paler than usual. She slumped visibly.


"You're a cunt, Jasper Baelian," she muttered, walking off in the direction of the kitchens.

"Yes and you love me."

"Always," she called over her shoulder. "But you're still a cunt."


8.23am


"You've not touched your food," she said from the end of the long table. Jasper looked up as if startled from an in depth conversation.


"What?"


Lyra gestured with one hand to a plate of untouched food on the table - scrambled eggs and bacon, French toast, mushrooms, sausages and tongue de Monère - the other hand pinning a half finished paper toy in place. When she didn't get a response she resumed folding.


It had taken her some time to get her brother's chest cavity open. She'd been careful, working respectfully on the body and ensuring each cut was neat, each rib removed cleanly. She'd sat staring at the butterflied skin peeled away, methodically exposing the heart…dimly aware of Jasper watching her. She'd drawn the jar beside her closer, taking a deep breath as she'd started to sever the arteries…carefully drawing the heart out, holding it in her hands like a baby bird before carefully placing it in the jar.


She'd picked up the origami animals and slowly began arranging them where the heart had been, nestling them the bloody cavity. She had been at it for over an hour now…and he'd still not eaten anything.


No, not a crane near a lion...put the giraffe there.


"You should eat something," she said to him, her eyes still on her work.

"What are you, my mother?"

"No dearest, your mother is dead. And so is mine, you killed her remember?"


Jasper stared at her for a long moment before picking up his tray and heading towards the other end of the table, nearer to her father. He said nothing. She shrugged and went back to her paper animals.


............


IN PARIS (Part Four - Finale)


Wednesday 9th April, 2014

8.57am


Lyra returned to the ballroom with a tray of bottles, a few of the most expensive and rare of the Monère cellars. She placed the tray on the table near her brother's feet and plucked one from the selection.


Jasper was eating, his feet on the table, his hair over his eyes...again. He seemed in better spirits than before as he quirked an eyebrow at her.


"Thirsty are you?"


Lyra grinned and spread her hands melodramatically.


"Behold...the pride of every Monère social event, the golden fruit of the estate cellars. The best Europe has to offer."


He dropped his feet suddenly to the floor and leant forward with an unimpressed look.


"Well la-di-fucking-da Monère....what do you intend to do with it all?"


Lyra grinned and ran her finger over the label of the bottle she held. She remembered once spilling one at a dinner party as she had reached for a bread roll…and had spent the rest of the weekend bound in spiked shoes and a heretic fork as punishment.


To teach her self-control, Armand had told her.


She carefully undid the cork, breathing in the sweet smell of the fine whiskey within, then spun on her heels suddenly and threw the bottle at her father's feet, the shattering noise stirring him from his blood-loss haze as scattered shards dug into his naked flesh.


"Bloody hell…" Jasper whispered, eying her for a long moment, then smirking wickedly and picking up a bottle of Chandon, popping the cork and looking over the bottle, studying it intently. Lyra smiled at him and then glanced at her father…yelping as cold champagne splashed over her body. She burst out laughing as Jasper rose from his chair, seizing her own 'weapon' from the collection of bottles and turning to wave it at him threateningly.


"Fuck off," Jasper held out a warning finger, flipping his hair out of his eyes and fixing her with an 'I dare you' look, "Fuck right off."


She smiled and held up her hands in surrender.


"Is that an invitation, Black?" she almost laughed at his surprise, though he covered it well as smug amusement…she knew it wasn't like her to be so forward. Sidling over to him she drew in for a kiss, taking a moment to enjoy the taste of his lips before tipping a bit of port onto his neck. His reaction was instant - her head was wrenched back sharply. She gasped, then chuckled.


"I'm sorry! I'm sorry...let me fix it!"


Lyra waited for him to release her hair before nuzzling into his neck and licking softly at the spilt port. She felt him freeze, then melt a little as she nipped at his skin to get what she knew would be a momentary close of his eyes. So frightening, he was, to the whole world when he wanted to be, yet she knew the secret now, she knew how to make him swoon. It was pain that Jasper craved…pain…and someone else’s control. Drawing away, she grabbed his arm and pulled him towards a chaise lounge, licking port from his cheek. He followed, allowing her to drag him on top of her, those cherub lips seizing hers for another kiss before all at once she was coughing and sputtering, drowned in a waterfall of champagne that he was tipping over her face.


She shrieked, thrashing beneath him as he laughed at her, chuckling jovially like a child as he pinned her with his much larger and stronger frame. After a moment she wrinkled her nose and started to laugh too, staring up at him and opening her mouth wide for another pour. Blinking, Jasper studied her in awe for a few seconds before obliging, tipping the Chandon bottle far more carefully into her waiting mouth. She smiled and took a mouthful, batting her eyes at him before tilting her head and spitting it right back up into his face. He must have gasped and laughed all in one breath, for in the next moment he was coughing and choking…a hand rising to his face as snorted Chandon trickled back out from his nose.


“Gross! You’re disgusting Black!” Lyra shouted at him, wriggling beneath him and shrieking as he tried to rub his nose on her face. He giggled almost madly, hands rising to grapple for her wrists, the empty champagne bottle falling with a clink to the floor as it was discarded. She laughed too, wrestling with him, slapping at his hands and shouting protests and curses in French before her lips were seized anew.


She didn’t know what it was that made her bite him so hard, perhaps the alcohol…perhaps the adrenaline of all that had come before, but her teeth sank into soft tiers as her fingers reached up to tangle in his dark hair. And then she was yanking his head back, hard, twisting violently so that he cried out, bewildered blue eyes widened in shock as he stared down at her.


For a long moment neither of them moved, their breathing the only sound within the large room. Lyra gazed up at him, her lips parting as her eyes fell to his mouth…and the blood that gathered there. Her free hand rose to it, fingers pressing against it, smearing crimson across his lower lip before drawing away so she could stare at the stain on her pale digits. Jasper’s eyes followed hers, his chest rising and falling against her as he studied his blood on her fingers. He blinked, brows furrowing ever so slightly before their eyes met once more.


All at once Lyra perked a brow, tilting her head as her lips pressed into a grim line and she twisted her wrist…hard. Jasper cried out again as she yanked upon his hair, instinct causing him to jerk his head back the other way in response.


“No…” Lyra said sharply, releasing his hair, “stop that.”


And then she slapped him.


The sound echoed through the ballroom, snapped his head to one side and prompted a strange gurgling sound from her father’s bound form across the way.


As for Jasper, his entire body stiffened and he didn’t move, his wide blue eyes glazing over with sudden tears as his lips parted and his breath caught.


Lyra smiled softly, reaching up to turn his face to hers, fingers brushing his hair from his eyes.


“Behave yourself, boy…” she murmured. Her fingers traced the curve of his jaw and over his lips again, brushing against his cheek, then trailing down his neck, nails grazing his skin ever so slowly as digits splayed and she curled her hand about his neck. She half expected him to pull away, to respond as he had so many times before…with sneering words and reciprocal violence, yet he barely flinched. His lashes flickered but slightly, those liquid blue hues swimming in unshed tears as he watched her with the pensive and almost wounded look.


When her fingers tightened about his throat, he began to tremble. When they tightened even more, his breath quickened, coming in ragged and short gasps. His body shifted above hers, pressing into her as she adjusted her position, legs parting and rising to wrap around him.


It was then that Armand Monère began to laugh.


For someone without teeth or a tongue, it was an impressive feat…and for anyone else listening in it certainly would not have sounded as such. Racking, guttural, choked and…slurping, but laughter it was. Mocking…judging…sneering laughter.


Lyra’s brow furrowed and she grit her teeth, anger flaring as she turned her head sharply to glare across the way at her father’s prone form. He was still bound facedown upon the dining table, his broken and bloodied body splayed spreadeagled…limbs stretched beyond any levels of human comfort – the least of his problems, really.


Yet his face was upturned, his blood-matted hair casting shadows over his features but doing nothing to hide the triumphant glint in his emerald hues as he watched the scene on the chaise lounge. He was amused…though the agony in his body must have been excruciating…the racking jerk of his form seemed less like someone in the throes of pain and more like…chuckling.


The icy and biting reprimand that Lyra would have thrown at him caught in her throat as she felt Jasper’s body spasm, his trembling giving way to full blown shivers, his breath accelerating until he was almost panting. Her attention snapped back to him, her hand shifting from his throat as she met his startlingly dead blue eyes.


“Breathe, mon couer bleu…” she murmured to him, seizing his face in both her hands, “Breathe…”


Jasper made a small sound, like a whimper…his gasps causing his entire body to jerk above her, his own fingers gripping the edges of the lounge so tightly that his knuckles turned whiter than white and made the wood creak in protest.


“Jasper…” Lyra’s voice grew sharper as Monère continued his wheezing laughter, “…Jasper, breathe…come on…”


Her pretty, blue eyed and blood-covered companion was having none of it…whimpers gave way to moans, his chest heaving so sharply and quickly that he began to hyperventilate, the blood draining from his face, pupils dilating as his eyes glazed over. A few more moments and Lyra knew he was going to pass out.


And Monère laughed on…coughing, gagging…maddeningly.


“Shut up!” Lyra shouted in Armand’s direction, then to Jasper she whispered, ”Hold on, little brother.” Her fingers left his face to press against his shoulders, her body shifting beneath him again, “Just hold on…I have you…”


She wriggled and looped her foot with his then, with a violent shove, she threw her hips up and over, rolling him onto the hard wood floor. He fell awkwardly, her arm barely able to cradle his head to stop it snapping back and cracking against the floorboards as Lyra vaulted herself down on top of him, rolling him onto his back, straddling him quickly and once again taking his face into her hands.


“It’s alright…you’re alright…” she crooned, raking fingers through his hair and pressing her cheek to his forehead, “Jasper…you’re fine…”


Jasper seemed anything but – his racking and seized breaths had turned his face so pale that Lyra was all at once worried he would suffocate and die. His prone form jerked spasmodically, pitiful whimpers and moans falling from those bloodied lips as glassy eyes just stared into nothingness. Lyra’s own eyes filled with tears as she stared down at him, her breath catching in a sob as she shook her head.


“Stop it, Black…stop it right now…”


Nothing - no response…just more trembling, more whimpering, more hyperventilating.


“STOP IT!” she shrieked, her hand rising and falling to deliver another sharp slap to his pale face. And then another. And a third. Throwing herself forward, Lyra crushed her mouth to his, forcing her tongue between his lips and biting them, tasting rust as she licked away the blood she found there. Her hands gripped his face, fingers tangling in his hair and catching as she kissed him, sharing her breath in an attempt to slow his own. Her body rocked against his, hips grinding down on him, thighs squeezing as she moaned into his lips and kissed him over and over.


Her father’s laughter died away suddenly, something akin to a gargle of protest rising from his throat as Lyra released Jasper’s face, one hand snaking between them and fumbling with his trousers, her shaking hand taking a small eternity to navigate the relatively simple buckle of his belt and the solitary button that kept his pants on.


She had made fun of him about it, on the plane as they had sat lazily taking in the sunset through the first class windows.


“Easy access is a necessity, is it Mr Black?” she’d smirked at him.

Jasper had simply smiled that arrogant little boy smile and shrugged, saying nothing.


Right now…she was damned thankful for small blessings.


His breath finally caught when she closed her fingers around him, his body arching up against her touch, lips softening against her mouth. He shuddered, his tongue snaking out to meet hers, his anxious breaths slowing…then quickening again in response to the deft movement of her hand. Lyra blinked away tears and smiled, her lips moving to his cheek, his nose, his forehead as she once again took hold of his hair, turning his face away from hers so she could nuzzle into his neck, her tongue lapping at his skin, teeth moving to graze his earlobe.


Jasper moaned, his breath coming in much healthier gasps as those shimmering blue eyes of his slid closed, his shaking hands sliding up Lyra’s thighs and under her velvet gown.


“Shhh…lie still…” Lyra crooned, a flick of her wrist rendering him helpless once more, the hand in his hair turning his head back to a more favourable vantage point. She kissed him again…and again, smiling against his lips…nibbling gently before licking the pain away.


Silently she cursed the vodka and champagne, her head was a blur and made everything take so much longer than it should have. The hand she held crushed between them stroked him, tickled, teased…fumbled here and there…tore at her own stockings…it was a rather complicated procedure for one so inexperienced and drunk. But in the end she got where she needed to, her lithe form tilting slightly as she drew him inside her, lips quirking at the thoroughly childlike and helpless gasp that spilled from his lips as a result.


In that moment, she loved him more than she ever thought she possibly could.


His trembling hands came up to grip her face as he tilted his head and kissed her, his entire body shaking as she moved against him, her hands pressing against his chest. Each shift and thrust of her hips prompted some new sound from him, a shudder, a moan…until she was giggling at him like a child. Jasper smirked against her lips, his fingers shifting to tangle tightly in her hair as he whispered her name over and over…


And across the way, Armand Monère’s mocking laughter had given way to sobbing.


10.35am


Afterwards, Jasper had returned to working on Armand again with the Art Deco blade. Lyra watched her father's chest hurriedly rise and fall with panicked breath…so much like Jasper’s had only an hour earlier, then fall still....then shudder back into a few more hurried breaths moments later. Eyes widening, Lyra lunged forwards suddenly, pulling Jasper back and away from her father.


"Stop. You'll want to hear it."


He looked at her, surprised and agitated at her interruption.


"The fuck?"


She clamped a hand across his mouth, wincing at the automatic bite reflex but not drawing away. With her head she gestured to her father and they both waited as the minutes crawled by…and Armand made no sound. Eventually, a rasping, rattling noise started to come once again from within Monère's limp body. She looked at Jasper.


"We may have an hour left...at most."


She walked up slowly and stood toe-to-toe with her father. After their extended liason on the ballroom floor, they'd retied him to his pillar as he’d wordlessly cursed the pair of them. Lyra knew ironically that it had been the sight of his daughter and the ‘Black boy’ in, ahem, the throes of passion that had broken him finally…he hung limply now, like a rag doll. The smell of blood, sweat and urine filled her nostrils with a suffocating air.


"La lumière du soleil est sur vous, ogre," she whispered to him, "Et je voir vous."


Armand’s eyes were downcast…broken. Lyra shot a quick glance at Jasper before stepping aside and walking back to the chaise lounge, drawing Jasper's jacket around her as if she were cold.


The golden eyed Jackal was by her side again. She didn't turn, she knew he was there...or wasn't.


Where does one draw the line? she mused to it. When do we become devils ourselves? The first time we attack when we are not in danger? When we start smiling and laughing? When do we become them and not us?


The creature blinked its great eyes, large as bread plates.


-And if you are some devil?-


Lyra drew her knees up to hug them bitterly.


'I would not be surprised.'


-If you are...-


'Then I suppose I am not alone…'


She looked over at Jasper. His blood-covered hands had seized handfuls of Armand's blonde hair as he methodically scalped him. She wondered if - with little else recognisable about Armand left, the hair the same colour as hers was unnerving him. The expression on his face told her it was so.


-In a world of thrashing demons, clawing at the world…perhaps it is not what you are, but where you stand…-


'Right beside him', she answered. 'Between the children in the towers and the demons who put them there.'

-And perhaps some blood gets spilt along the way. It seems natural.-

'Le lion dèvore l'agneau'

-End it.-

'Pardon?'

-This. It's done. End it now.-


Jasper was standing back, glaring at her father's unmoving body. She could see he was stuck. The man in front of him was dying, but Jasper had not found an end to his anger, grief and hurt. Neither of them would, she realised, none of this fixed very much.


Perhaps what little it did fix was enough, but the creature was right, no further good could come from it.


She moved up behind him and took the knife from his fingers. He released it willingly, leaning back against her form for a brief moment as if he couldn’t stand on his own. She pressed her lips against his shoulder then slid around him, stepping forward, considering.


Armand's eyes rolled in their sockets, but she was not sure he saw her. In the end, she didn’t think it mattered anyway.


Wincing, Lyra threw the blade out into an arc across her father’s throat, slashing it open. The blood sprayed over them as Armand spasmed, gurgled…then slumped.


Jasper watched for a long moment, drawing in a sharp breath, then turned on his heel. She heard him walk away, his footsteps careful and soft on blood soaked floor. Her eyes returned to the limp corpse, as if surprised that he had actually died.


Devil’s were supposed to be immortal…perhaps he had been a man after all?


"Ainsi se termine, Armand Monère,” she muttered, “Whatever the hell you are.”


3.23pm


In the silence of the mansion, the water hitting the marble basin sounded like a tidal wave. Jasper idly pulled a soft washcloth from a plump pile of towels, dipped it in the water and lifted her chin to him with a crooked finger. She had streaks of dried blood on her cheeks.


Lyra thought back a few weeks to their last physical altercation, when the blood he'd been wiping from her face had been his own. He'd had the same look in his eyes then. That same haunted look.


Neither of them had spoken for the longest time…almost sleepwalking through the Monère mansion and to the ostentatious bathrooms instinctively.


Biting her lip, Lyra pulled herself reluctantly away from him, taking his hands and guiding him to sit on the edge of the bath. Plucking up a small nail brush she knelt before him, picking up one hand, then the other, carefully cleaning his nails before washing the blood from his hands. She dried them on a towel, her fingers playing at the soaked cuffs of his shirt before rising to his shirt buttons.


Jasper’s hands clamped in an iron grip around her wrists suddenly and she gasped, looking up at him as he pulled away, eying her. For a moment they stared each other down, a threatening darkness in his eyes. Then she moved to make the same gesture, slower this time, fixing her green eyes on his sapphire ones.


Ever so slowly, she unbuttoned his shirt, her gaze never leaving his as she moved to pull it open. Blood had soaked through the fabric, staining the skin beneath, but no amount of it could hide the grotesque patterns of scarring that met her eyes when she finally let her gaze drop. If anything, the blood highlighted them.


Lyra recognised surgical cuts, burns, branding, marks from being flayed and any number of other tortures…she'd seen them on people before, though not this many and not all on the one body. Drawing in a breath, she bit her lip and pressed her hands against his chest, drawing his shirt further open and over his shoulders, stripping it from his body ever so slowly.


More cuts, some bruises…badly stitched cuts, gouges…claw marks.


On his arm she saw the letters 'A L I N A' in a jagged script of scarring, and she felt a flush of anger upon seeing the name.


Alina.


She'd heard bits and pieces about her, like any child hears about the bogeyman in stories. No one at the Underground really seemed to know what to expect from her...except evil. Lyra had never given any weight to the stories, after all, what was one more monster to her? Alina was a name to attach and thread together the horrid anecdotes of others…until now. Now there was a mark. The mark of a very real girl who had made a very real impact on Jasper.


Surprisingly she didn’t feel afraid, but not because she didn't understand...which was refreshing. Apprehensive, angry, protective, defensive, yes...but also resigned. And not afraid. For once.


Almost absently Lyra traced her fingers along another scar, this one clearly from a suicide attempt - there were a few of those…some of them rather raw and recent. A sigh escaped her as she touched each new welt…she expected him to pull away or hit her, but when she finally glanced up she realised that he was not even looking at her. Those blue eyes had become distant and lost again, he was staring out of the window in silence. Raising the cloth, Lyra worked slowly to remove the red stains and crusted dark splashes, taking her time to enjoy focusing on a simple, non-violent task, listening to the sound of him breathing steadily. She tilted his head back and poured warm water over his scalp, soaking the blood and alcohol from his hair. She towelled it dry, drew a comb through it, smoothed it with her hands.


Eventually, of course, the silence started pressing in, as if the world outside had quietly turned away and paced the long stairway down to hell along with her father.


She finished cleaning and fussing over him and primly set the cloth to one side, exhaling a breath she didn’t even know she was holding and staring at the stains of blood on the plush fabric.


It was over.


She began to cry. She didn't even notice at first, the initial tears sliding down her face with barely a trail. She looked up to Jasper and saw that he was watching her again, the same sudden realisation in his eyes. What did she look like now, this pale girl at his feet? The girl he had tortured, beaten, teased, spurned, torn down just to see if she would stand back up. She knew she looked like her parents…she probably looked like everyone who had never come out of Funday. Often she saw in his eyes that horrified anguish that told her he saw the world exactly as she did.


He slid off the edge of the bath and to the floor beside her all at once, sprawling one leg out, drawing up a knee and bringing a hand to his eyes. Great shuddering sobs wracked his body as he began to cry silently.


Lyra's face crumpled and she slid her arms around him, pulling him close, his damp face pressing into her neck. She wanted to be telling him to calm down, to breathe...but how could she? She'd just washed the blood of the only world she'd known off his body. She couldn't even open her mouth to speak.


They stayed that way for a long time, crying together, until there were no more tears left.


…………


Afterwards, Jasper was the first to stand. They'd been sitting for hours in silence, limply resting against each other, occasionally shifting a hand, a limb, readjusting, then settling. Outside the window, the pale light of twilight was starting to stretch across the sky. He stood and offered her a hand, she slid her fingers into his and let him help her to her feet. They walked in silence to the master bedroom and slipped beneath the pristine sheets without a word.


She curled against his shoulder, watching him as he watched her, fingers curling around each other's as they lay there. The room slowly darkened and his eyes began to close, she blinked, determined not to sleep until he did. Finally, when his breath was even and calm, she let her own exhaustion claim her. She awoke a few times that night to the sound of murmurs and cries, sobbing and whimpering. Each time, clumsy with sleep, she would fix the blankets around him and kiss his shoulder, running her fingers through his dark hair and whispering words to chase away whatever nightmare was torturing him before drifting back off to sleep, trying not to shudder at the shadows of memories that danced on the edges of her mind. Memories of other children crying in the dark…and her brother’s voice, whispering her name.


Thursday 10th April, 2014

10:35am


They awoke late, Lyra muttering to the two ever so helpful men who had once again appeared. By the time they rose, the bodies had gone, the ballroom was spotless. A solicitor came and went in a whirlwind, confirming that 'yes Ms Monère, everything is in order.' The morning disappeared in a haze.


At noon she was standing at the graves of their victims, watching the priest shuffle away down a cobblestone path away from the private plots in the Family cemetery. She had no idea how she felt, or if she felt anything at all.


She turned to Jasper, standing there beside her in pristine black velvet. He was being alarmingly patient with her. He had been since they arose. She looked him over and gave him a tight smile.


"Do you love me?"

He looked at her, blue eyes weary and sad as he nodded, "More than life."


There was a silence.


"Shots?"

"Shots."


Lyra smiled again as Jasper offered her his arm, the pair of them walking to the limo and sliding into the back. Once they were settled and on their way to the airport, Jasper pulled from the bar the bottle of absinthe that he had brought from Vert de Absinthe on Tuesday morning. He jerked the cap from the bottle and began to pour.

"Now..." he said solemnly, "if you tip this on me, I will rape you with the bottle."

"Trying to collect the whole Monère set?" Lyra teased, picking up the shot glass and lifting it in toast.

"Well, I do know where your brother is buried."

They clinked their glasses and downed the bright green liquid.

"You are telling me that you could actually be fucked digging him up?"

"Of course not...I'd get you to do it."

"Uh huh. After you raped me with a bottle…" she said doubtfully, watching him pour again.


Jasper threw her a charming smirk, his eyes glimmering with a spark of mischief that momentarily chased the shadows away as again they took a shot and toasted their journey.


"I never said it was a flawless plan."


The End.


Written by Luna Madness and Natalie Ristovski.


All characters and story lines remain the property of N.Ristovski and the Underground. All character writings within the Underground are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Copyright © 2015. Natalie Ristovski.

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