He's sitting on the edge of the dock, legs dangling over the water, and he's thinking of Drusilla.
I don't need to be Dru to see the phantom images of her, hovering before him. Dancing, cool and coy, eyes tilted up at him with all the secrets of her madness just waiting to be sucked from her lips. Like honey, like blood.
He's staring out at the water and seeing Drusilla, and she's standing behind him. Watching. Laughing. Taunting him with a song, daring him to touch her, and he knows as well as I do, if he does, she'll push him in. He's in disgrace, for some daft thing he did or didn't do, and touching's not allowed.
I don't need to read his mind to know what's in it. I put it there, sure as I put the buzzing and the slivers and the roses in my girl's head. Those twitching fingers, as he fights not to stand, not to reach for her anyway. That flare of need and hatred in the thing he calls a heart, that he wants her so, yet a word from her can freeze him there -- and a word from me right now, a breath, would have her at my side.
Another word, of course, would have him at my feet -- or at my throat. One for the shame of the other.
I put that there. My children. Made them both what they are, frozen in pain or spinning wild-eyed to the music of her laugh. Made that balance in each of them, so easy to topple, the wire so tightly strung. So perfect, to pluck at it and feel it thrum.
I move behind her, press lips to the crook of her neck. Growl her name, and watch his back go stiff.