October 3, 2016

In Which Celina Makes Too Late a Start

May 20, 1202

"So, um..." Celina swallowed. Only a matter of hours ago, it had been impossible to conceive that she would have trudged straight up to Dani's room upon her return to Scorpio House, banking on insomnia once again striking her nemesis--and banking on Dani's willingness to be her usual dagger-tongued, sanctimonious self. But, within her stirred a toxic mix of guilt and emptiness where she'd thought she'd find ecstasy. Talking about it wouldn't fix anything, but it could bring clarity.

Clarity, and a scolding--which, frankly, Celina deserved. "...you might have been right."

Any other night, Dani's lack of surprise would have been insulting. "You went to see Nearina, didn't you?"

She nodded. If she'd already admitted to Dani being right, then there wasn't much she couldn't own up to. "Yes."

"Did you sleep with her?"

Perhaps, however, there were things she couldn't admit verbally--so she took to staring at the floor and curling her toes within her boots.

"Dear Lord. Look, don't tell me how you got a grieving widow into the mood, because I don't want to know--and it doesn't matter. Didn't it occur to you how grossly manipulative that would be?"

"Er... not until after, no." Or possibly during. Levels of enthusiasm among her past partners had varied, but they'd all been engaged enough to lead her to believe they liked it. Nearina's one request as she'd let her dress fall to the study floor had been to feel something, but the stony breath in which she'd said it ought to have betrayed the impossibility. She hadn't gasped, moaned, called Oswald's name. Nor had she cringed or struggled or begged for it to stop. She'd just lain there, staring up with a corpse's eyes, mind and heart both miles away from her body. It had been for sheer will that Celina even came, and Nearina certainly hadn't climaxed--not that she'd seemed to care.

"At least promise me you didn't--ah, never mind. We both know she didn't want it, not really."

"She initiated, though?" That implied wanting. Didn't it?

"Then she wanted to want it, maybe. She wanted to feel something." Make me feel something. Uncanny. "I suppose we can only hope you didn't just hurt her more. You should see her tomorrow--as yourself, as your friend, not whatever creep had his way with her the night prior. She'll still be grieving, but just make sure that she isn't... traumatized."

Traumatized. Dani's choice of word didn't need the hesitation. God, Nearina didn't deserve any trauma on top of her mourning. Could anyone be so vile as to deserve trauma? Had Celina traumatized anyone else?

"Do you think I should tell her?"

"Absolutely not. If she's not feeling violated already, then she'd bound to be when she learns that her alleged friend fabricated a new identity just to fuck her. She needs friends right now--real friends. If you care at all about her, you'll be that real friend."

Not that Celina had ever been anyone's 'real friend', if that was what it meant. "Am I bad person?"

Dani sighed. "You're a complex person. Complex people are capable of doing good, and bad--and yes, that was bad. Possibly worse than either of us realize, but for Nearina's sake, I hope that's not the case."

That was that, then. From now on, with the exception of Aydelle, it would be preferers of relative anonymity. And no bedding anyone as a man who knew her as a woman. That would be a start, at least.

But too late a start, maybe too little of one. "...I might need your help with a few things."


1 comment:

Van said...

Thus ends the semi-hiatus. This is your Sunday/Monday update; next will be Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday (though probably not Tuesday).

Thanks for your patience, all.