Interlude: Sally and Lavinia, Safe at Home
Copyright © 2013 by Michael Litzky
“People still try to go outside, nights,” Lavinia snorted from behind the New York Times.
“Yeah,” Sally joked. “What jerk-faces. You never know what kind of psychopaths you’ll meet.” She was trying not to talk exactly like her lover, who most emphatically would not have said “jerk-faces.”
The violet eyes, framed by reading glasses, appeared twinkling over the top of the paper and gave her a mock-severe glare. “I meant people we didn’t already know were crazy. Look at this.” She folded the paper and held it so Sally could see the story.
She read about Calvin Fredrick who had somehow acquired a space suit and tried to wear it for a walk around the block. You’d think vampires couldn’t penetrate a space suit, even though it wasn’t a home. But witnesses (safely inside) said the vampires had simply piled onto the spacesuit until it couldn’t move. They had ripped the oxygen bottles loose, smashed the helmet a hundred times against the sidewalk until the unbreakable plastic broke, slashed at the suit with anything sharp from blocks around, and finally crushed it with their weight (crushing many of their own in the process). When the wreckage had been found in the morning, only twisted broken scraps of metal and plastic had remained. There was not an ounce of flesh or a drop of blood. Even the bodies of the crushed vampires who had been on the bottom of the pile had been consumed.
“That’s nothing,” Sally remarked. “I read they’ve sent tanks against the vampires. They still break in.”
It was a mild May Sunday morning and they were side by side in the camper’s bed, a brunch tray between them. Lavinia had been right that a place called Caspar’s Challah made the best bagels on the planet and Sally, a Mushroom Benedict kind of brunch person, had happily consumed two onion bagels with herbed cream cheese, red onions and lox. I’m having brunch in bed with my lover and we’re talking about the news, Sally thought, delighted. She still intended to hunt vampires. Eventually. She’d worked hard enough to train herself. But for now, she was thriving on the love of this woman.
In the two weeks since the night they met, Lavinia had driven them from place to place in the old green Commer Camper. She’d done all the driving while Sally had allowed herself to lean adoringly against her side. They had stopped at both Sally and Lavinia’s apartments to grab clothes, kitchenware, books and CDs, food. Sally had been thinking about getting a cat and was glad now that she hadn’t.
When Sally had tentatively gone back online, not only was there no fallout from Bunt’s death, she herself had gained a following. More than one idiot had asked when she was going to start hosting Runs. She shuddered. Lavinia felt the shudder and without putting down her newspaper, put her arm around Sally and pulled her close. Sally sighed, leaned against Lavinia’s shoulder and closed her eyes.
She thought of the morning after their first night together. They’d pulled on the only clothes they had with them, swung open the cupboard-lined back doors and stepped out into a cold morning quivering with dew. Ignoring the dozens of footprints on the ground, looking only at the bejeweled spider web which was invisible a few steps later, the veil of mist across the trees, the single black bird coasting through the white sky, they’d walked side by side.
She’d snuck a look at Lavinia in the morning light and seen the wrinkles around her eyes, the grey hairs among the raven black. Her body still floated from the night just past, but she’d felt an instant of buyer’s remorse. She’s got to be twenty five years older than me, she thought (it would turn out that she was exactly right).
Then she’d blushed furiously: Lavinia had caught her looking and, with raised eyebrow, seemed to know her exact thoughts. Hastily, she’d covered by asking Lavinia about her leather jacket with the crow emblem, a shining black bird whispering into a stylized ear. In the better light she could see that there were flames in the background, all beautifully rendered in colored leather, and tiny hand-stitched letters.
But Lavinia had seemed reluctant to talk about it. “Bought it back when I was in Germany. From this older hippie Ledermacher with an eyepatch, claimed he dated Hannah Schygulla before she worked with Fassbinder.” She’d shrugged and seemed embarrassed. “Fell in love with it.” Sally had wondered if Lavinia had slept with the guy. No law said Lavinia had to decide her sexual preference at birth and stick to it.
But she’d let the matter drop since she’d had her own embarrassing secret at the moment, and since she hadn’t wanted to admit that she didn’t know who Hannah Schygulla was when she prided herself on being a 27 year old who didn’t need any pre-1990 reference explained to her. So instead she’d asked about Lavinia’s wonderful lavender smell. Lavinia had grinned and said, “Tom’s of Maine.”
Sally reached up now and, with the hand which had killed vampires, stroked Lavinia’s face as she read the Times, was rewarded as the light of those amazing violet eyes (really a deep deep blue, Lavinia had told her, because true violet eyes are only found on albinos) turned on her and Lavinia laid down her newspaper. Her strong hands captured Sally’s smaller hand and held it still. Sally felt her heart beat faster. They were going to make love again. Lavinia was dressed in her old soft cotton nightgown and she was naked and that was just how she wanted to be. She waited for Lavinia to say words which would stoke her fire.
“Say it,” Lavinia told her, very quietly, letting go of her hand.
“Master of all Masters,” Sally breathed. The embarrassingly forbidden title which Lavinia had commanded her to reveal and which she had allowed to be forced out of her. Lavinia’s crow tracks and grey hairs somehow made Sally even more turned on. Holding perfectly still, she looked with longing and passion into her lover’s eyes. I still can’t believe that you’re mine, those eyes said, even as they blazed into hers.
“Lay back on your elbows. Arch that beautiful body and hold absolutely still.”
Sally did just that, body quivering from the stress of holding that position, feeling the cool of the air against her crinkling, dripping vagina, eyes never leaving Lavinia’s. All thoughts on hold, a warm extension of her lover’s will, she felt as free as she’d ever felt.
But when they were satiated, full, Lavinia honored Sally’s first demand and stopped dominating. Kissing Sally, stroking her damp, shining body, Lavinia said in a casual tone, “So babe. What’s your pleasure now, huh?”
“Cuddling. Napping. Another bite or two of bagel. And then,” she flung her arms wide, “I don’t know! Mmmmm, whatever! Ha ha!” Lazily kissing Lavinia, she drifted on sweet waters.
She floated through the house she’d shared with Callista, the other great love of her life, in the sweet time before the fighting and secret affairs. She kissed Callista, adored the red and blue streaks in her hair and the fresh young body with no pot belly and no wrinkles. The bedroom was more richly ornate than it had really been.
But a red envelope with an unlucky thirty coins was by her bedside and a masked vampire was trying to get into the house. In terror she slipped right through Callista’s arms, because Callista hadn’t been there when Sally was a little girl, and floated through the ceiling.
In the attic, she saw with relief a little fairy woman with gossamer wings. She was the guardian spirit of the house. Because of her, everyone in the house was safe from the vampires outside. She was about the size of a cat and she cocked her head, as though she was listening to a voice from above.
Then she said, “And therefore, you may come in. Welcome.” An evil white form slipped in through a crack in the roof!
Sally jerked awake, heart pounding, with the confused thought, how can you be safe from vampires if your own guardian spirit invites them in?
But Lavinia was sitting up with her paper again and the dream faded as she said, “Hey kid. Here’s something we might wanna check out. Prob’ly gonna get themselves all killed, though.”
She held the folded paper for Sally to see. But Sally, still disturbed by the dream, folded herself around Lavinia’s thighs.
“Later,” she said, rubbing her face against Lavinia’s warm skin. “Later.”