Floating in the pool on his back, Jaymi contemplates the sky above Electra Drive. He grins at the palm tree’s black asterisk high overhead. It’s time to earth that voltage: Scorpio and Amber, tunnelling into the future together…
First, the mental and emotional space Scorpio requires to house and make sense of his own complicated self eats up an unusually large proportion of the space available to him as a whole. If Jaymi had not made him into Amber’s lover in particular, it would have been quite possible that Scorpio might have failed to find a long-term partner, despite possessing prolific resources of desirability. For although many men would otherwise have been attracted to him, few of these would have happened to be strong enough to cope with him and stable enough to anchor him without feeling themselves overbalanced; and these few men Scorpio might not have chanced to meet.
Secondly, Amber’s own mechanisms are, in themselves, just as demanding and expansive as Scorpio’s. But the cold steel of his thinking has enabled him to build the horizons of his entire mental and emotional space at a distance far enough away to enclose a volume more than capacious enough to accommodate both the complexity of his own factory blades and the complicatedness of Scorpio’s. That volume is the size of a warehouse, in fact—sometimes leaving Scorpio to feel not just un-cramped from within himself, but positively lost in the space of Amber’s hangar-like darkness.
Jaymi’s eyes glint, as if the surface of the swimming-pool around his head were crackling with voltage, vermilion flame licking at the glassy-black water…
From that very first time Scorpio saw Amber, after crawling out from under the bed, Scorpio has always had the impression of colossal violence in Amber. The physical power of his presence derives from three elements: Amber’s movements, which are quick, unadorned and deadly efficient, as if every parcel of his energy is allotted; his stillness, bespeaking latent force; and his gaze, which sees into whomever it lands upon.
Scorpio has always been aware of this power, to an overwhelming degree; and yet, unlike most others who feel it too, he has never quite been afraid of Amber. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be afraid, except that Scorpio knows another truth, too: the sound of the pair of them together, shouting out to the whole world from a shared stage, both emanating an infernally beautiful music wherein the yelps of Scorpio’s alto voice spurt up in glee and pride, coiling around the charismatic growl of Amber’s bass… No one else has yet heard that music, Jaymi reminds himself—but oh, they will!
Soon: there is machinery in Amber’s eyes, glancing back at Scorpio from there in the doorway; and after he walks out, Scorpio has Amber’s smile burned into his mind.
Soon after that, Scorpio’s delicate head lies in Amber’s lap, at peace, with eyes closed: softest touch and after-quiver of desire.
Out in the yellow countryside fields together by themselves, there is unexpected, brightly-sunlit sex—and a sense of foreboding, hanging in the sunlight, looming in the sky above the hillside.
“I don't know what sump of my mind this came out of,” he says to Amber one day, “but the thought’s just flashed up: ‘I’d like to be killed by you.’”
Around the floating Jaymi Peek, neon-red flame plays soft across the surface of the water in the swimming-pool.
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