'OK, Xelle, one more time.'
His voice, silver and velvet, was heaven and hell to me. And purgatory, and absolving fire, and bloody ice bucket shower. All of it cascading into my poor sinner's soul.
Yeah, hi, this is still me. Agata Carson, trust fund brat, cheater, liar, smoker, sex addict, maker of the Vortex, blah-blah. Only it is called Sol Vortex, and it is tech, not damned Middle-earth. And I am working hard to stay sane by sleeping with my ex, not planning to move to the suburbs and get a minivan or something.
No. All of the above is not true.
I am presently hanging out by the door of a recording studio and dying.
He is back. My Rob is back.
How dare you? To my Earth? After we said goodbye forever?
How dare you?
I caught my breath. The breath did not obey.
Obey, Gate. Control yourself. You're not in Brock Cairn any more.
Then I heard his band member reply. That was probably Xelle.
That voice was unfamiliar. Rougher, lower, more guttural. Loaded with sexy cynicism, but to me, it was as appealing as a dog's bark. I could hear only him.
'Sure, Rob. If you want to do J.U.N.O., for the millionth time today, let's do it. Who am I to argue?'
Then it hit me. Fire, ice, poison in my ears. Bubbles of ire and lust literally pinching my mouth like champagne. Asti bleeding Martini.
Away from the eyes
Off all scanners
This shuttle is a wreck
And deeper I go down, down into the darkness
I look for ways back
Well, I know, deep down
It's in your eyes I'll drown
I will be the prayer in your temple...
The black marble wall of the Solaris Records hall was cold against my back. I shook my head violently, but it didn't help the tears in my eyes. My knees, already weakened by months of heavy working-out, were aching, so I just gave up and sat on the cold floor, and stared at the simple plaque.
THE TRESPASSERS. RECORDING STUDIO. AUTHORIZED ACCESS ONLY.
Silver. Blue. Black. His colors.
'No, Rob, it should go "I'll be the prayer in your temple", otherwise it won't fit the scansion. And the rhyme is screwed, if you ask me...'
The other voice was mocking, but I could now discern worry underneath the light scorn. And care, and concern. And Luminite musicality. Bloody hell. Another one.
'Well, I am not asking you... and I don't give green dragon shit about the scansion! Just pick up that bass, will you?'
'Whoa, Florin, who bit your dick this morning? A Gypsy?'
'Shut the fuck up and play, Xellevar!'
Whoa, that was new. Rob swearing? The Qu'El'Saruk military training camp must have been even worse than Lena had described. Hell on rollerblades, they called it.
The song went on, but I stopped listening. I knew he could feel my presence, but for some reason did not react. That was just wrong.
I wiped my tears furiously and stared at the door, analyzing. The lock was a joke. Unauthorized access my foot.
I got up and looked down. My foot was clad in a black Adidas running shoe. Perfect for kicking some Luminite butt.
In three quick steps, I crossed the hall and approached the door. My breath suddenly became a ball of lead in my throat. I will see him, I will see him now. After eighteen months of misery, I will see him now.
And he will see me. Oh dear Lord.
Straightened chin-long hair, dyed auburn. Kohl-lined gray eyes, acid green with tears, anger and sleep deprivation, emphasized by a decrepit second-hand green velvet blouse three sizes too large. Brown gangsta pants hiding two throwing knives secured to my calves by handmade sheaths. Blacked-out shades holding my hair back. Razor-edged geisha fan on my belt. And muscles. All over me.
Beautiful spring again. Then what, another trice-damned summer of love? No shit.
I inhaled, made a little jump, landing onto my left foot to give my right leg some momentum, then exhaled and kicked the studio door.
Well, I could say I did Lena and Pablo proud. Their efforts re: my training were evident. They made me ready for war. But they sure as Keaxy did not make me ready for this. For the resurrection of the love I buried... in my past, if not in my heart.
The door flew open with an earsplitting "BANG!", and three pair of Luminite eyes stared at me mid-note. Green, narrowed, and laughing. Golden-brown and widened with surprise, so much like my Lenatireya's.
Blue... but not the blue I remembered. Turquoise now, like the Aegean. Like the sea by which we lost and found each other, and so many other treasures and curses.
My gaze slithered up and down on his body. Oh dear God. His hair was two shades lighter, discolored by suns and storms and heavens know what else. I was tall, but he was two heads taller than me now, probably due to his new posture, and he now wore a short well-trimmed beard. And he was huge.
Well, what did I expect? I was trained in a gym, he - in jungle and mountain and desert. Me - in Montreal. He - in Lauranarin, Level 4, in the camp whose name served to scare nasty children before bed. If you won't obey, I will send you to Qu'El'Saruk to clean battle dragons' stables.
And trust me, this is how you begin, no matter what your name is.
I looked back into his eyes and saw even greater surprise. Well, boo hoo, what did he expect? Did I look like freakin' Penelope?
'Hello assholes! Missed me? I for one didn't miss you!'
The voice. The voice.
Somebody help me.
To be continued....