The Birds and the Bees


eileen_icon.gif lucrezia_icon.gif

Scene Title The Birds and the Bees
Synopsis What is it they say about a bird in the hand again…?
Date January 20, 2009

The Ritz-Carlton — Lucrezia's Royal Suite

The morning after. The morning after some strange revelation was no less awkward to behold for these two women sharing the same big bed in the ugly, muted light of morning come through gauze curtains as day dawns over the broken city skyline than it would be had they tumbled into an ill-fated tryst. Lucrezia lies awake — eyes open, limbs limp — beneath unspeakably expensive sheets and stares absently across the way at an arrangement of live flowers bursting out of a Waterford crystal vase on the desk. Only the most perceptive eyes might be able to detect the pair of bees currently delighting in their fresh feast of imported pollen in this dim light, but… Lucrezia? She could be blind and still tell they were there. She can feel them. Hear them; not the buzzing of their busy wings but the frenetic noise that might qualify as thoughts if insects could rightly think. They don't. They're animals of instinct. Just like she is. And perhaps, too, like the girl lying next to her in bed at her back…

The bees are to Lucrezia what the birds are to Eileen; just as the older woman is aware of their presence in the room, so too is the younger aware of the pigeons roosting on concrete lip outside the bedroom's window, their dark gray bodies huddled together for warmth, feathers glittering navy blue and deepest violet in the morning light. She's drawn the comparisons before, dissected them in the long hours between dusk and dawn when she lies awake at Lucrezia's side, entranced by the sound of her breathing and the way her breast rises and falls with every breath she pulls in and then lets out through her nostrils. If things were different, if the circumstances that brought them together didn't have everything to do with Kazimir Volken's twisted whims, then she suspects they might even be friends.

"You love him." It isn't the most subtle of conversation starters, but Eileen has long since done away with formalities. "Tay-oh, I mean." Just in case there was any doubt as to who he might be — there are many men who exist in that strange, dark place where their lives intersect, and Eileen wants to make sure that there's no mistake about the individual to whom she is referring.

"Hmm." At first the noise Lucrezia makes might seem to be nothing more than an inquiry, as if the words that fell out of Eileen's mouth hadn't quite reached the other woman's ears while still intact; she was distracted, she hadn't anticipated conversation, there were other, louder things on her mind. The tangle of luxurious sheets they both share becomes a concert of whispers as the older turns to acknowledge the younger with both posture and sight. A pair of perfectly manicured hands slide like knives beneath the pillow that cradles Lucrezia's head and, after she exhales a sad, little sigh, she confesses, "I do."

There's a pregnant pause that builds up between them, empty air rebuffed from shoulder to shoulder, and then Lucrezia asks, "Do you?"

Teo? Eileen doesn't hesitate long before answering, her voice dark but not without a hint of mirth. "No," she says, reaching up to drape her arm across her eyes, pale skin milky white in contrast to the thick curls of raven black hair spread across the pillow. There's some reservation in her tone, an unspoken hint that there might be more to the answer she's given Lucrezia, but it doesn't come. Her body language, on the other hand, makes very clear what that addition could be. Her fingers curl slightly, small hand made even smaller as she pulls it into tiny fist, knuckles appearing as sharp little ridges beneath the skin and chords of ligament and tendon. No, not Teo.

"Non?" the older woman echoes, her accent making it sound as if she's decided to converse in her native tongue, even though the word itself sounds just the same. Eileen's answer is not pursued; comprehension of unspoken things complete. Lucrezia studiously observes the frail construction of pale skin and fragile, bird-boned frame with careful and calculating eyes. To her, Eileen seems no more marvelous a being than any other girl her age, except perhaps for the fact that she's found herself here beneath the suite's luxurious sheets thanks to a misfortunate twist of fate instead of whatever might qualify as 'getting lucky'. But, is she not lucky? Prisoner though she is, her conditions of confinement could be considerably worse.

"Tell me… how do you know him?"

Whether or not the smile pulling at the corners of Eileen's mouth reaches her eyes is a matter that's open for debate — with her arm where it is, it's impossible to see the expression reflected in them. Lucrezia's assessment isn't an unfair one; there isn't much that sets Eileen, only a few weeks shy of her twentieth birthday, apart from her peers, and what very little there is certainly doesn't put her above them. Unlike the woman beside her, she isn't extraordinarily beautiful — though she might certainly be considered pretty by some — and her body lacks any truly defining curves. In a few more years with a few more pounds packed onto her skinny frame, she might someday be able to compete with Lucrezia for the attention of the opposite sex, but for now the Spider Queen's title is most assuredly safe from any would-be usurpers.

Eileen lets out a slow breath, body growing tense with the effort it takes for her to restrain what could be laughter. "He broke my nose."

Despite the young woman's seemingly controversial reply, Lucrezia does not allow her expression to betray her emotional response — smug or aghast — if, indeed, she registers anything bounding beyond the borders of casually conscious at all. Instead, one hand slips out from underneath the satin-touch pillowcase it had so recently fled beneath and extends with a graceful arc to gently pluck at the girl's makeshift shield of bony elbow and porcelain flesh, drawing Eileen's arm away from her face; perhaps to test the veracity of the girl's claim by closer examination of the nose in question.

A moment of studious silence and then, "…did you deserve it?"

If Eileen is telling the truth, the incident must have happened a very long time ago — apart from a small kink on the bridge where the bone has been altered a fraction of an inch, her nose appears in pristine condition. The same cannot be said of her jawline beneath the bandages she wears on one side of her face, but Teo can hardly be held accountable for that.

"I don't blame him for what he did," she murmurs, reaching up to close one hand around the top of the headboard as Lucrezia's maneuvers her arm away from her nose. That's a yes. "He could have done a lot worse."

"But, you are friends now, hm?" Seemingly sufficiently satisfied with whatever sort of inspection she managed to make without moving an inch or batting an eyelash, Lucrezia slowly recoils from her bedmate and clutches at the corner of her plump pillow in the absence of a lover's shoulder to smother herself against. "He has forgiven you?"

Eileen's shoulders left into a diminutive shrug, neither a yes nor a no. Whether or not he's forgiven her is for Teo alone to decide, though in her heart she sincerely doubts that he has. If someone buried several inches of sharpened steel in her belly, she wouldn't be quick to embrace them again either. "Ask him the next time you see him," she suggests. "If there's a next time at all. Kazimir isn't going to let him live — you know that." It isn't a question.

The mere thought that any of her own mildly misguided actions might turn around to have dire consequences for Teo, for someone she does so dearly love, is enough to make Lucrezia's blood run cold in her veins. How is it possible that she could have not considered that possibility before? Of course, she has. She's not nearly so shortsighted as that. Still, her mask begins to crack even as she replies in a tone meant to sound matter-of-fact, "I will see him again. Some things are not for Kazimir to decide." Whatever that's supposed to mean.

"Do you really believe that, Lucrezia?" Eileen asks. "Or is it just something you tell yourself to keep the guilt at bay?" As she speaks, her tone grows low and strained, and a slight quaver enters her voice, though she's quick to smooth it out again, swallowing hard to put a stopper on the emotions she feels bubbling up through her throat from the pit of her chest. "I did the same thing, and look. Kazimir does as Kazimir wills. You won't protect Teo by lounging in bed here with me."

Understandably, the compulsion to draw comparisons both great and small between the two women certainly must be terribly tempting — they are so very similar no matter how much Lucrezia may be inclined to consciously deny it. She knows, deep down, that she and Eileen are but two different shadows cast by the same moon. Cross-phased. The older scrutinizes the younger through narrowed and tired eyes, "Why is it that you think you're still living then, hm?" There isn't really enough time between breaths of her pause to respond just yet. "Because I wished it. And you could be lounging bound on the floor of my closet if I wished it, too, should the bed no longer suit you…"

"I don't seem to remember him taking your wishes into account the last time he was here." Eileen sits up and places one hand on the flesh of her belly, fingertips twitching with visible agitation at the memory. "Unless, of course, you asked him to tear the shit out of the furniture and try gutting me like a fish. I don't have you to thank for that particular reprieve."

In one smooth motion, she swings her bare legs over the side of the bed and rises, sunlight bathing her half-naked body in a rose-tinted glow. It reflects off her pale skin, catches the highlights in her dark hair, but fails to make her appear any more appealing than the gaunt little thing that she is. "I don't think I'd be any happier in the closet, thank you."

"No, you have yourself to thank for that," Lucrezia readily retorts in response to the reference of Kazimir's furniture-tossing temper tantrum. The older woman's expression is unforgiving but not unyielding; she purses her lips when the younger girl departs their shared bed in search warmer climbs and company, perhaps. Not that there's much variety to be had in the suite, but at least there's space enough to put between them before things become too bitter.

Dark hair and long limbs tangle briefly as Lucrezia rolls over onto her back and engages in a languid stretching of arms up over her head before her ardent posture collapses and she sinks back into the mattress utterly unmotivated to move. This cold weather; all she wants to do is sleep and sprawl beneath the sheets and wait for the summer sun to warm her window instead of the half-hearted effort expended by its winter ghost.

Eileen flicks a glance over her shoulder at Lucrezia and seems satisfied to see that she's content to remain where she is. There's no use arguing with her — that much is clear. As alike as they may be, there are differences between them, and these difference are too stark for them to be in agreement for more than a few minutes at a stretch. No amount of feminine beguiling will convince Lucrezia of anything she hasn't already put her faith in.

It's difficult not to respect her for that.

"Are you just going to lay there all day?" Eileen inquires as she pulls her night shirt over her head and discards it on the seat of a nearby chair, briefly exposing her back while she goes in search of clean clothes to change into. "I can put a call in for breakfast."

If only she could… if only Lucrezia didn't have to contend with playing menial minder to her unwilling house— er, suite guest. Unfortunately, however, she has a variety of other unsavory tasks to see to as well. In truth, she would more rather waste away the day keeping Eileen company than tending to… whatever else it is that might call her away from her warm and shadowy den.

"Come back to bed," she says, as if biding a lover stay, even though the other woman is far from such a companion. "Talk with me." Or maybe she's just lonely up here on top of the world, eh? Why would she so willingly cast off her armor and display this sort of weakness for a girl who might just as readily find some way to use it against her warden, unless…

…is this a test?

Whether it's a test or something more sinister, Eileen rises to the bait. She pauses, oversized sweater draped over one arm, watching Lucrezia in her peripheral vision. It would be easy to come back to bed, to spend the rest of the morning and early afternoon in that warm, hazy place between wakefulness and dreaming, but it would be counter-productive too. Maybe even dangerous. Lucrezia is more the spider than she first appears, her web a tangled mess of silk sheets interspersed with downy pillows. Lay down again and there's always the possibility she might not get back up.

"What did you want to talk about?"

Lucrezia leans back and rolls through the clouds of her Egyptian cotton sheets in order to lounge on whichever side with allow her the most favorable view of Eileen. She even slinks her lacy hips away from the edge of the bed in order to allow for more space to remain between the two of them; best not to frighten the bird on the windowsill if what you really want is to hold in in your hand. "Whatever you like," she croons convincingly, her voice somewhere between sultry and sweet. "Just… come back to bed," she bids again, one hand open and outstretched toward the girl, hoping to lure her in. What she's really saying, however, is stay with me.

"You remind me of my mother." It isn't a compliment, though Lucrezia isn't likely to pick up on this fact even in spite of the sullen expression Eileen adopts. The sweater finds its way back to where she first picked it up, and the younger of the two rejoins the older in the bed after donning her night shirt again.

There is no luring about it — the bird does not go immediately to its mistress' hand. Instead, she adopts a perch nearby, one leg tucked beneath her, the other dangling over the edge of the bed into open space.

If Lucrezia wants to talk, then she'll talk.

She won't sing.


[OOC] Lucrezia says, "and then they make out."
[OOC] Eileen says, "hahaha"
[OOC] Lucrezia snogs.
[OOC] Eileen smoosmoosmoo.

January 20th: A Morning Flotilla
January 20th: Disturbingly Human
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