I slide two golden coins over to the barman. He gives me a cool green bottle. “The good stuff,” he grins and pockets the money, like the bad seed that he is. The mere thought of work tomorrow, makes me irritable.
I melt to the back of the bar, to my kind.
“Wicked day?” Morningstar smiles and invites me to his table. I nod. “You have it?” I pull out his commissioned sword. As it touches his table, the wood smokes. The bottle on top explodes. “Man! My drink!”
“Buy you another one, if you don’t use the sword.” I grin. ” Until I get back at my dear brother, and my wife.”
I bring in the tray with a steaming teapot and two gold-rimmed cups. John throws me an amused looked. „Tea? Really?“ He’s happy to throw me out of my house. I’m just a joke to him.
„Courtesy. One last time. Before…“ I put down the tray on the coffee table. Tears sting in my eyes. I cannot force them back down.
„You brought it on yourself!“ He does not hide his annoyance. I nod and pour in the hot liquid into the cups. He takes a sip. „Mmm, good.“
I do not drink it, I just stare. „It’s monkshood.“
I stood in the middle of the garden. The sun shone down and tried to melt the blue out of the sky. In front of me, a big Hydrangea bush dipped. Something moved, fell and rose again. Something black. It dropped… Mhmm.
“You see it? Landed over there. Bird of paradise flowers. Look.” Danaus plexippus. Monarch butterfly. His steps stopped right behind me. I looked him square in the eyes, but I couldn’t read anything in them. The insect moved across the orange flower. “They’re bigger than I thought.” He told me lazily leaning on my shoulder. His weight and warmth attached itself to me… I felt a tiny click somewhere inside. The click of two magnets meet. His breath smelled of coffee and liquor. “You know it by name? Don’tcha, doc?”
Breathing was always hard with him around. Speaking even more, so I swallowed instead. He snuggled with my nape. “Why do you always smell so good?” He hummed into my hair.