Sunday, April 3, 2011


The agitation of Seidhr's finger-dimpled skin was sending out a soft throb of red welts, satisfying the need in Cailer to've made an impact, to see the success of his inflictions.

"What?," Cailer intoned at the ugly request for protection, head tipped, teeth bared, then forced up his hands to tangle in masses of Seidhr's hair and direct him with it, by all the wasted strength in his arms, into a kneel. He bent over him, tore at the fine, faintly curled strands of black until his enemy's neck displayed an obscene arch. "What was that? Louder, fucking pig, I don't think anybody heard you."

When efforts to release himself were stalled by the superior grip and assistance seemed slow in the coming, Seidhr abandoned the darkened forearms that held him and swung up a heavy, drunken fist to Cailer's cheek bone, knocked his face off-center and briefly blurred his vision. Cailer would insist later, even as the purple swell of abused vessels glared there, that it was nothing, but it was enough that he let go, that he stepped away, and Seidhr was able to stand.

It was all so fucking offensive - that he would fight him, that he would pretend righteousness now and call like a coward for help. It felt natural, a necessary reaction to such sinister insult, when Seidhr came at him and Cailer caught him by the shoulders, slung him around and shoved (a firm, flat drill of two fists into the offender's chest) to force him onto the table, scattering its cards and players.

Lannial's presence, though only physically apparent when he offered an insistent, collecting touch, hadn't left him. Flushed clean of the need to analyze by the familiar tonic of aggression, he didn't begrudge it, didn't smack him away. "He's done," Cailer agreed, a hard, driven boil of a declaration, a scrape that rawed his throat but was, for once, not at all sarcastic. His alliance with the boy was fluid and swift, loyal to the idea, loyal to Lannial's desire.

But Seidhr's form twisted up, unrelenting, and he charged off the table's surface with the dumb, brilliant, boundless strength of intoxicated men. For a moment they were indistinguishable - all nails and teeth, arms colliding, the grunted, accidental noises of impact. It was only as a small, equally intoxicated crowd began to gather at the door that Cailer could regain control. He wouldn't relinquish it a second time. Cailer, he's done, Lannial said in his memory, encouraging, coaxing, permissive.

Cailer drank that inspiration deeply, spit it back at Seidhr and hammered into him, covered him up, drove him through the table and heard its splintered destruction as his reward. It wasn't enough. Straddled and pinned in the wreckage of wood and dusty playing cards, Seidhr fought more weakly in degrees as Cailer hit him, hit him again, hit with precision, with purpose; he didn't stop until he saw blood on the both of them and Seidhr wasn't struggling anymore.

Cailer dismounted, swore at him and straightened, taking in the room with not the barest suggestion of guilt at what he'd instigated, what he'd caused. His eyes touched Lannial's, but didn't linger long - with nothing left with which to bludgeon out the attraction there, he felt naked, and the crowd that swarmed would soon be parted by Ava's familiar watchmen.

He left, neither silently nor calmly, elbowing through people on his way. Whatever happened would happen. Until it did, he needed to breathe.

No comments:

Post a Comment