Copyright © 2013 by Michael Litzky
It seemed they fell for a long time. Lavinia’s eyes rolled in ecstasy and Sally wrapped her arms tight around in case Lavinia had to drop her. But they landed with a breathtaking thump and Lavinia’s arms were deliciously solid and firm as she flexed her knees to take the impact. And far from dropping Sally, Lavinia swung her into the air and around in a great circle. Sally gasped at the rush and, for a moment, let herself be a little girl. She couldn’t remember even once being swung around in the air for sheer joy.
At last Lavinia put her down and laid her hands on Sally’s shoulders. “Welcome, tiger,” she said in a voice which shook with intensity. “Welcome to our home.” She spread her arms to indicate the great world all around.
With her raven hair, her nearly ultraviolet eyes and her well-loved leather jacket which might be the handiwork of a god, her body rippling with ecstatic movements, she had never looked so lovable, so desirable, so hot.
She breathed great drafts of golden air, leaped high. With loud whoops of laughter, she danced around the parking lot, throwing herself into the air and twirling.
The intensity of Lavinia’s joy started to have an opposite effect on Sally. It was too much, too sudden. Sally was still reeling from the dark journey she’d just been on.
Lavinia scampered back, grabbed her and swung her into the air again. She was drunk on sunlight, just as she’d been the evening before. She’d put Sally down soon. Sally prepared to go on hold until that moment.
Baby, I trusted you. If you needed me to stop, god fuck it, you should have said!
“Stop!” she declared, strong and firm through the rushing air.
Lavinia instantly honored the magic word.
She put Sally down, stood for a moment with flushed happy face and vibrating body. Then, clearly making a difficult choice, she walked herself back to the camper and jumped in. Opening the other rear door, she sat with her legs spread in the wide opening, leaned back on her hands and let the last of the juice quiver out of her body. “Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmmhhh!” she said, shaking her head.
Sally, tentatively ready to be happy again, walked up to Lavinia and sat on her lap, wrapped her legs around Lavinia’s hips. Deliberately daring, she looked straight into the hypnotic eyes. “Please tell me how….” She spread her hands slightly to indicate the moving in daylight, the horrors of the nightmare, the new exuberance.
Lavinia said “Don’t you know, baby? You called me back. You found me, you called me.”
“But how, how are you walking, dancing in the sun? Did…” She almost didn’t say it. But she let the words come this time. “Did my love do this?” Boldly she faced Lavinia. I’m trusting you not to laugh.
Lavinia looked almost shy. “I, I think so, tiger. I really think so.”
Wow, Sally thought. If even Lavinia thinks so… wow.
“After the sun, I floated into dreams on a warm ocean of sweetness,” Lavinia said. Sally half expected her to interrupt herself with something like fuck, listen to me, ocean of sweetness, Jesus fuck. But she kept talking in a dreamy, peaceful voice. “Yeah, happy as a babe in a blanket, me. Mmmm.
She shivered. “But then I saw this big pale shape in the distance like, fuck, like a cold ancient fog. Soon it was everywhere. The whole world, you, me, everything was just a paint job over it. We were just a fucking mist. Everything could vanish with the puff of a breath. If I said ‘welcome’ to it.
“But I didn’t. I felt a little piece of you shining in me from when you breathed in my mouth. I held on to that. It was so tiny.
“And then you came bursting in like one of those damn ravens. Hugin or Munin. Their names mean ‘thought’ and ‘memory,’ but I don’t remember which is which. You flew right up to me, cocked your head, looked at me.”
Sally was fascinated at how similar and how different Lavinia’s experience had been.
“You had gold eyes. And I saw me in those eyes. I saw me the way you see me.” She grinned. “Damn, I looked good, too. I thought, man, the kid’s got good taste.” Then Sally saw her let go of the trickster. “Nah, what I really thought was I have to be that woman.
“Then you said it. ‘Your home is here with me.’
“And I got it. Humans build homes to wall out the vampires. Vampires try to get into the homes. But we’re all home!
“The world is a home. The animals know it. That’s why the vampires can’t trash the whole ecosystem: the environment is home to animals and plants. Even the damn word ‘ecology’ comes from two old Greek words, means study of the home. Super Brain, I bet you even know the words.”
“Oikos and logia,” Sally said promptly. This was the answer to a question she had asked the night before, why vampires didn’t just drink every living animal. The animals were in their homes and the vampires couldn’t enter.
“I fuckin’ adore you. So, this whole world is a home. And you welcomed me into it. Wherever we’re together is our home, you said. And I’m always welcome in your home.”
“And you woke up and found that you could move? Just like that?” Sally gave in to the delight and started kissing Lavinia as she answered.
Around Sally’s kisses, Lavinia said, “I woke up to your call. Mmmm.” A long kiss. “I knew you were my bride, I just knew it in, mmmmmm, every part of me.” Her eyes drifted shut as Sally put their foreheads together. “I wanted to carry you across the threshold of our new home. I didn’t even remember I couldn’t move until I was jumping out the door with you in my arms.”
Sally pulled back. “We have to find out just what the parameters of this thing are. And then we have to tell the world.” She was suddenly eager to explore. “Can you be in the sun without going bonkers?”
Lavinia stood, picking Sally up with her. “Ready and willing!” Then she looked abashed. “You okay if I keep carrying you? Feels good.”
“Yep,” Sally decided. Like stepping on a motorcycle or a rollercoaster. “Go for it.”
Lavinia stepped back into the light. Sally felt the power ripple all through her body. Lavinia threw back her head, whooped, tossed Sally into the air and caught her. “Yippee!” Sally cried experimentally as Lavinia leaped the line of stones at the boundary of the parking lot and skipped nimbly down a sandy hillside covered with ice plants. She heard that family off to the right but Lavinia ran the other way toward the south end of the big beach.
For a timeless interval, she closed her eyes, laid her head against Lavinia’s shoulder and reveled in the feeling of being carried. You don’t get to be carried enough once you grow up, she thought. She would never have believed how much she needed it.
She drifted into a dream of flying.
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