Through the little window beside me I spot Angel on the pavement outside. He is dancing alone, lewd and rude, as if he owns the space, obscenely gyrating his bottom independent of the rest of him, with one hand in the air and the other on his hip. Upon his tight black T-shirt, just above the gentle undulation of his breasts, hangs a little silver crucifix. I tune in, as he moves … and I catch you imagining, Angel, that you’re just a skeleton with flesh around it, and then recalling with unease that you are just this—and always in your head, like a drug, that sultry thrumming beat. Beneath the smooth seductive curve and flicker of your subtly made-up eyes and face, the starved baby she-wolf inside you licks her wounds and cocks her ears, hunting for the next scrap of trotting meat to spring upon and fight and bite to death without getting killed or hurt—knowing she will always have to do this until she is sprung upon and bitten to an agonising death herself, by something bigger, stronger, faster. That’s just nature, after all. (Great design, don’t you think?) So on you dance, alone in the light, lewd and rude, your bottom still gyrating independent of the rest of you, awaiting just that bigger, stronger, faster thing to bound up beside you, bite you through with its canines and chew you up with snapping bone and ecstasy of pain.
Right on cue, the Cadillac purrs around the corner and stops beside you, in a pool of yellow lamp-light. You stop your dance and wait there, your torso trembling invisibly. Lucan climbs out from the passenger’s seat at leisure. He grins and half-snarls, pantherine, and gestures with his head towards the door beside this grimy little window where I stare out—and you, of course, follow.
Though startled myself, I continue to tune in to you behind your little wolf-lips where a smile plays, as Kev spits his gum onto the floor, lunges forward, pulls the daggers out and puts them down, leaving the head looking even worse than it did, and stands there at a loss to know what to do next. “Oh, Kev, it’s very flattering!” sniggers Flames, and Lucan shushes him.
As conversation bubbles up again among them, you stand near the cigarette machine, between the crowd and the wall, still half-dancing, with your little bottom waggling and gyrating as it did outside. But it stops waggling when you notice that Kev has drawn an angry-looking Lucan into a corner and is muttering into his ear, casting looks in your direction: planting poison about you, obviously, as confirmed now by Lucan’s doubtful glances at you. Oh, Angel—you know you should really go join them, remonstrate, take control, as you usually try to, but you’re so spacy from the drugs and that sultry beat in your head and all those hormones in your blood, and no food, and no sleep but tossing and writhing and churning in bed throughout the few hours last night when Lucan was asleep and so left you alone.
You see Lucan move away from Kev and head back to the front door, beckoning you to follow, which you do; just as I follow you, inside myself, from my table here. When you reach the pavement, Lucan has already walked to the Cadillac and is standing by its open rear door, awaiting you. You walk to him and straight past him, and climb into the car in silence. Kev gets into the driver’s seat. Lucan closes the door behind you, staying on the pavement, and leans down towards you. From opposite sides of the window, just before the car moves, you and Lucan each rest a hand, palm-down upon the glass for a second, in the same place, staring at each other. This romantic gesture, unexpected in itself, especially in public, is rendered all the more assaultive by the evil promised in Lucan’s smile and by the need in your eyes to be its victim. Positioning himself so the others cannot read his lips, Lucan mouths in silence, “You’re my dog.” The Cadillac pulls away and you settle into a poisonous silence with Kev.
Yes, you really are spacy, you realise, from the skunk you smoked before you came to Downstairs and from that never-ending sultry beat in your head, but nevertheless you attempt a piece of clear thinking, here in the cavernous back seat of the Cadillac: those hormones are ramping up your system to a fever-pitch, you decide, and now the time has come for you to insist that Lucan stop forcing them into you. You try to remember how long it has been. Two years, you believe.
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