The demons are coming, the demons are coming! Well, two of them, anyway, and mostly what they seem to want to do is drink. One was already known to me, the flame-haired girl from Jasper Cove with a sword that is almost as tall as she is, otherwise known as Senna. The other, an elegant horned demon that Senna introduced as Zoey.
I had thought it was going to be a quiet evening, just me, a glass of rum and my diary. I would have worked on the Dee journal, but I wasn’t feeling in an investigative mood. Gwyn came rushing in to tell me that Blaise was back. She was with one of the guards, who had come to notify her, but since the prince was apparently unconscious, she sent the guard back to the sithen and asked to be notified when he woke up. I did not enquire after his health, other than asking if Aislyn had left any teeth in his mouth, but apparently it is rude to knock someone’s teeth out while they are asleep.
I apologised for not seeing her the day before and explained about my meeting with Maric. She said it was ok, since she had been bit stressed about Blaise and Aislyn. Today, though, she felt better. I asked if the rather pretty dress and stockings were a birthday present, even though it wasn’t my birthday. It wasn’t any of my birthdays – my original birthday, my vampire birthday, or my getting zapped by Isabella birthday. She was just telling me we could pretend it was my birthday when we were interrupted by the arrival of Senna and her friend, claiming it was time to party. She introduced her friend as Amenti’Zo, but then kept calling her Zoey, which name I do not think she was entirely happy with. I bade them come in and get a drink. Gwyn had already ordered some food and tea, so Hal was kept busy for a few minutes.
Senna commented unfavourably upon my outfit, as I was wearing one of the ones that Valene had given me. I rather liked it myself, as it was more in keeping with the sort of things most other people around me wore, but she seemed to prefer my posh, her word, Victorian attire. I retorted that she should show us some of the rest of the wardrobe, as I had only ever seen her in the one outfit. She claimed she could make human clothing look really good.
Before she could elaborate, we were interrupted by the guard, who had come to tell Gwyn that Blaise was awake and would she attend upon him. She grabbed one of the pork chops from her plate and went, promising she would come back as soon as she could, since it was my birthday. That got Senna’s attention, complaining that she hadn’t known and would have gotten me a gift. I explained that it wasn’t really my birthday, saying it was just a joke. Senna huffed, telling me that she rarely gave gifts, so I was missing out. She then ordered strong drinks for the pair of them, it being 48 hours since she hadn’t been able to think straight, she said, and that was far too long.
Zo, as she insisted on being called, came closer to the fire and seemed to relax somewhat. She said that she wished she had other clothes to wear other than her armour. I joked that nobody here would mind if she took it off. Senna downed her drink, ordered another and told me that if I was lucky, she might get smashed enough to take her clothes off. Zo asked if there was anywhere she could get some clothing, so I pointed her to the tailor’s upstairs, saying I was sure she could find something up there.
While she was upstairs changing, I gave Senna a brief rundown of events – the castle falling, being chased by the Unseelie, Gwyn becoming Seelie, me becoming alive and taking on the role of trade representative, i.e. that nothing much had happened really. When Zo came down, she looked quite presentable, so far as demons with ram’s horns go, and looked a lot more comfortable than she had in armour. Senna wasn’t entirely impressed, yet appeared to be fascinated with the décolletage on display.
Gwyn reappeared. She had undone her braids and so was currently sporting what I had heard described as a free-form hairstyle. I didn’t know what had passed at the sithen, but her first priority was a hug from me, the second was a glass of bourbon rather than her usual cider. Senna welcomed her noisily before getting another drink, although she seemed to have had plenty already. When I asked how it had gone, Gwyn told me that it had been anti-climactic, that she had basically told him to talk to Aislyn and not put her in the middle of their arguments. I hugged her and jokingly checked her knuckles for the marks of Blaise’s teeth. She downed her first shot and took another, telling me that I wasn’t allowed to let her leave until she was at least as happy as Senna.
I rather hoped that wasn’t going to be the case, since Senna was clearly inebriated, calling Zo a titty-monster and complaining that she couldn’t give me my birthday present because Gwyn might punch her for it. Gwyn assured her that she wasn’t the jealous type, so if Senna wanted to come and give me a big sloppy kiss, she was fine with that, but drew the line at public sex acts, as did, she suspected, Hal. Senna wanted to know if she was sure about that, since she was a half-succubus and might pop my soul out while she did it.
I was less than thrilled with this idea. I have never been entirely sure of the status of my soul, since some people seem to think that vampires lack them, but in my currently alive state, I wasn’t about to take any chances. Besides, as I told her, I have very strict rules when it comes to ladies under the influence of anything; magic, drugs, alcohol, anything that might cause them to behave in ways they might not otherwise do. And since Senna was having to hold onto Zo to stay upright, she definitely fell into that category. And while Zo did point out that alcohol sometimes helped people to express things that they already felt, but couldn’t express while they were sober, I wasn’t going to be drawn. Senna, in the meanwhile, turned her attention to Zo’s breasts before sliding somewhat gracelessly to the floor and complaining about the state of it.
Gwyn had had a third shot of the bourbon and given the bottle back to Hal. She certainly seemed happier now, but without being anywhere near as intoxicated as Senna. I had been a little surprised, as I remembered that Senna had won a drinking competition in the Lucky Leaf at one time, so did not think she was this much of a lightweight. Zo picked Senna up and deposited her in one of the chairs by the fire. I assured her that it was perfectly safe here, having fallen asleep in those chairs many times myself, and that it was perfectly fine to leave her there to sleep it off. We left them to it and went off to see if we could find Valene in her den. We didn’t but, it was a nice place to spend the night, even if it wasn’t my birthday.
I find myself wondering where Gwyn draws the line. She apologised for throwing women at me, when Senna was offering herself, but did not in any way seem bothered. The line is already a complicated one because of the relationship with Val, but how far would it go? What if I rekindled my relationship with Aerodine, or gave Helene what she had wanted for so long? I have no real notion to do so, as life is complicated enough as it is., but I am curious. Maybe, some day, I shall have to ask her where the line is. Of course, I should also ask myself the same question, where would I draw the line? Not only for myself, but also for Gwyn, should she want to take another lover. Could I deal with that? I don’t know. I really don’t know.