It really doesn’t get better than this. I have Bridge cuddled in to my side with Sacha lying on my other side ticking my chest and Star, glorious Star propped up on the other side of Bridge toying with his hair while his eyes… ravish me.
I find myself drowsing, time slows down and the moment feels eternal.
“See? I told you if you just relaxed a little life could be good.”
“Sssh. I’m not really here and you know it. I’m getting ready to go but I need you to do one more thing for me before I go.”
“Anything. You know I would do anything for you.”
“Bring him to the summerhouse. I just want to see him once before I go.”
“Haven’t you been watching him?”
“From a distance. I’ve never seen him. I want to apologise for the way things had to be. Just once. Please Luma, just once.”
“I could be annoyed that it’s him you want to see, and not me.”
“Why do you think I asked YOU to bring him?”
“Because he wouldn’t be able to find the way himself.”
“That’s SACRED whore. Please at least try to get the right terminology.”
“It’s not the terminology I’m interested in.”
“Oh please. You’re sitting there with three gorgeous naked men ready to satisfy your every need and you call ME a whore.”
“Ah now, that’s better.” Her voice changes, becomes softer and less playful. “I’m waiting for you Luma.”
Gently disengaging myself from Bridge and Sacha I sit up.
“I have to go out for a while. Can I trust you two to make arrangements with Chancey for an intimate yet perfect dinner on the terrace tonight?”
“Awww. You are always going somewhere. Why won’t you stay put for a while? I miss you.”
I lean down and kiss Bridge softly and tenderly. “I’ll be back for dinner I promise and then I’m all yours until tomorrow morning.”
“I’ll be asleep for most of that.” He pouts beautifully.
“What if I promise you the whole afternoon and evening tomorrow, and all the day after? I’ll take you out into the garden and show you the roses.”
He lights up and I feel horribly guilty about how I’ve been neglecting him.
I kiss him again. “Absolutely. I promise.”
He is smiling as I get up and he bounces up immediately. “Where are you going?”
“I need to take Star somewhere.”
“Star? Why does Star get to go and I don’t?”
“Because Star needs to be there and you don’t.”
“Why?” he asks, curious.
I have a feeling that he’s not going to stop until he gets a satisfactory answer. I stop and turn to him, putting my hands on his shoulders. “Bridge, I love you with all my heart and you are adorable enough to eat. Curiosity is a wonderful attribute, which I know you have in plentiful supply, and I appreciate that. I also appreciate that you want to be with me, but you have to appreciate I am sometimes busy and there are times when I will have to leave you for a while and won’t always be able to tell you why or where I am going. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you or trust you, but that I need you to trust me. Can you do that?”
All the time I am speaking he casino oyna stares at me with his beautiful eyes in an intense stare. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be clingy. It’s just that no one has ever cared for me before and I suppose I’m insecure.”
“You surprise me constantly, my dearest one. You have nothing to feel insecure about. You have a place in my heart that can be filled by no one else, a part of my soul that is yours alone. I will spend every moment I can with you. And when I am not with you then you must remember that every moment we are apart weighs on my heart.”
His eyes are wide and shining and two tears glisten like diamonds in the corners, poised to spill. Before they can do so, I wipe them away and kiss him softly. I can feel him trembling. He is still so very frail.
“Wait. I have something for you. Star, would you dress please, we have to hurry. Mystified, Star complies as I hurry back to my own apartment.
I throw on some clothes and stand for a moment in front of my dressing table, looking at the image who stares back at me from the large mirror behind it. I am looking at someone who hasn’t existed for a very long time. Honey yellow hair shot with threads of copper and silver tumbles over shoulders that are wide and well built. It is tousled and messy from my recent activities and I take a brush and tame it to its usual smooth, deep waves.
Haunted eyes of soft green top full lips, which are more used to frowning than smiling, these days, and at the moment are softer than I have seen in forever. I smile and my face is transformed. I know I am beautiful but for centuries that beauty has been cold and cruel. For a moment, I see a flash of something in the mirror, a slender body and smiling face leaning over my shoulder but of course, when I turn she is not there.
With a sigh, I lower my eyes to the jewelled box that lies in front of me and I toy with the lid before I open it. I am reluctant but resolute.
Nestled on the black velvet, like stars in a dark sky, are rows of rings, marching in orderly ranks and files, trophies taken from various stages of my long life. Many of them are worth more than the average man will earn in a lifetime. In the corner there is a small box, part of the fabric of the structure. I open the lid carefully and stare in wonder at my most precious possessions. They are priceless, because they were given to me by the one I care for most in all the worlds.
I pick up a ring, which is wrought from pure silver. It is light because the silver is filigree and delicate as spun sugar. It is an angel, his wings spread out, their tips touching to make the band. In the centre of his chest, pointing downwards, is a perfect pear shaped sapphire. It would be easy for me to be lost in it for hours but I don’t have the time. I slip it into my pocket and move on.
The next thing I pick up is a necklace, a pendent in the shape of a seven pointed star, the points radiating outwards from the spider web at the centre, on which is caught a blood red ruby.
Next, and most beautiful of all is a bracelet. It, like the others, is wrought of silver and is filigree but less delicate, more robust looking. The canlı casino band is plain apart from the beautiful twisted designs of the filigree, but in the centre is a star carved from an enormous, brilliant emerald. Of them all this is undoubtedly the most beautiful. I turn it gently in my hand, watching the light catch the star and spin from its points, lighting a fire in its deep, green heart.
They are a set and I remember her giving them to me. It was a long, long time ago. We were in Versailles, just before… before we were parted for the last time on this earth. I pick up the last item in the box and slip it on my finger. It is very simple; just one circular cut stone set into a band of silver. Unlike the others this one has no colour and all colours, the multi faceted diamond taking colour from everything around it.
Shutting the lid and taking one last look at myself in the mirror, I hurry from the room.
Star is dressed and ready to go. Sacha is dressed too, standing with his arms around Bridge from behind and his head on his shoulder, as they watch Star make his final adjustments to his white linen cuffs. They all look up and smile when I enter. The smiles fade when they see the look on my face.
Now it comes to it, I don’t know what to say. It was an impulsive move and was incredibly important to me – is terribly important, but I don’t know how to convey what my heart is feeling.
“It’s been a long time, a very long time since I have opened my heart to anyone, and even longer since I have let anyone in. I haven’t lived the best life and I have often been cold and cruel. I felt safer that way. If I viewed human life as pitiful and expendable, I would never have to admit them; I would keep my heart safe.
“But things have happened; three things in fact, which have changed my perspective forever and opened my heart in a way it never has before. You are more than my family, you are pieces of my soul and I felt it was important I mark that in a way that really means something to me.
“A long time ago someone I love very, very much gave me a wonderful gift. To mark the occasion she gave me four lesser ones and I have held them close to my heart ever since. I have kept them safe for almost four hundred years and I would sooner lose my life than lose them. But the time has come to let go, to allow her to travel her own path while I travel mine in the hope that one day the two will converge.
“And so…” They are all staring at me with wonder and curiosity on their faces, knowing that something important is about to happen – is happening. “Sacha.” I call him over and he comes, looking at the others uncertainly. I turn him around and hold back his hair as I fasten the pendent around his neck. He touches it with his finger tips and holds it up as the light catches the ruby and sets it on fire.
I turn him round again and kiss him with passion. “You were the first. It may seem sometimes as if you are pushed aside but that is impossible. You are part of a whole that cannot exist without all of its parts.”
Still gazing in wonder at the glorious gem, Sacha stands to one side, speechless as I draw Bridge into an embrace. “Hold kaçak casino out your hand.” He holds it out with wide eyes expecting me to place something in the palm. Instead, I clasp the bracelet around his slender wrist and fasten it securely. Still holding his hand I turn it over and he gasps when he sees the star.
Speechless, Bridge stares at the star. It is sparkling, and the depth of colour is astonishing, but not as astonishing as the brightness and colour of his eyes when he looks up at me.
“I… I… I can’t. It… it’s too good for me.”
I put my hand over his where he is fumbling with the clasp. “Nothing is too good for you.”
“But I… I don’t deserve–“
I silence him with a kiss. “Bridge, my darling you have a lot of learning to do and one of the things you need to learn is that you’re here with me now. Nothing is beyond you. Nothing is too good for you. You deserve to be loved and protected and showered with gifts.”
“But I’ve nothing to give you in return.” He looks anxious and it makes me laugh aloud.
“Bridge, you still don’t get it. I have you in return and there is nothing I could give you that is of great enough value to compare with that. There is nothing I could give you that is a fraction of the value of you – your love, your sweetness. I wanted to give you something that you could look at every day and remember, even when I am not here, just how important you are to me.”
He tears his eyes away from me to stare downwards, as he runs his fingers over the star. When he looks up he is crying. “Thank you,” he whispers and I take him gently into my arms and kiss him. When we break, he rests his head on my shoulder and I hold him close, breathing in his scent.
I could have stayed here with him, like this, for a long time but there is no time and so I have to regretfully put him away from me.
“I’m truly sorry, Bridge, I would love to stay here with you but I cannot. I have to go and there is no more time to linger. Don’t forget to make sure we have a good dinner on the terrace to come back to.”
“I’ll organise it myself,” Sacha promises, with a smile.
“What about Star?” Bridge demands.
“What do you mean?”
“We’ve had presents, beautiful presents, wonderful presents: what about Star? Where’s his present? You do have one for him, don’t you? He can have mine…”
I give Bridge another gentle hug, silencing him. “It’s alright Bridge, you do not have to share your gift. Star has his own.”
I turn away from Bridge and walk towards Star. I can feel Sacha and Bridge following, curious to see what Star’s gift could be. Staring into his eyes the whole time, I reach into my pocket, while lifting his left hand and slip the ring onto his finger. It fits perfectly.
Blinking, Star looks down at his hand and gasps. Against his pale skin the silver seems enchanted, a moonlit tracery of spider web embracing a teardrop fallen from the eyes of an angel as blue as those which stare unblinking at it. The other two, looking over my shoulder, make exclamations of awe and wonder but Star is silent, mesmerised by the beauty resting on his finger. It makes me smile.
“Star, we have to go.” He looks up at me with dazed eyes, still speechless. “Star…?”
“Oh I… I’m sorry, of course.”
Smiling at the other two, still looking dazed he follows me out of the house.