If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song. --Khalil Gibran
Memory is more indelible than ink. --Anita Loos
Kenzi ran her hand over the plaster. She looked at Bo. “Holy shit! We have walls!”
The construction crew had finally finished earlier that afternoon. Lauren, having sent Bo and Kenzi away during the final stages was happily showing the new and improved clubhouse off. A kitschy chandelier hung over the existing table, new appliances sparkled in the kitchen, the walls were faux finished to carry over its old charm. The floors were now covered in laminate, their dark wood giving the clubhouse a classic look. Upstairs, the old vending refrigerator found a new home in Bo’s room, stocked with every manner of drink and smoothie for which Lauren was entirely too proud of herself. The windows had been gutted. Gone were the drafty, boarded up panes and new weather-stripping and efficient windows were installed. To ensure privacy, Lauren made sure to get coverings to match the bohemian décor.
That night they dined on take out and toasted the fact that they hadn’t had an intruder in three whole days. Life, as they knew it, was beginning to settle down. They were five shots in, toasting the recent developments.
“Here’s to Bo, for simultaneously getting Trick’s goat and destroying Lauren’s life work,” Kenzi lifted the shot into the air. Lauren and Bo clinked glasses with her and threw back the shots.
Bo smiled. “All in a days work.”
Lauren was practically glowing. This was all her doing and she selfishly absorbed every happiness it brought Kenzi and Bo. “Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough money to soundproof Bo’s bedroom, Kenz.”
“That’s okay,” she waved a hand. “I’d probably miss the girlie shows. I mean, not like that, it’s just it’s a good way to keep track of you.” She closed her eyes. “And not like that, either.”
Bo laughed and poured another round. She held the shot glass up to the light, peering through the amber liquid. “To…” Bo looked at Lauren, who was beginning to fade. She never could keep up with Bo and Kenzi when it came to drinking. “Lauren.” Lauren’s head snapped to attention and she cocked her head at Bo. “For making our lives better.”
Kenzi stuck a finger down her throat for effect. “I lurve me some Lauren, but that was the sappiest toast I have ever heard.”
“Love you too, Kenz,” Lauren grinned lopsidedly, leaning heavily on her elbow, she propped herself up. She poked at a plate of half-eaten lo mein as Kenzi poured another round.
“To the Doc. Healer extraordinaire, girlfriend to the baddest Succubus around and decorator a-go-go.” Tossing their heads back, they took the next shot. “And that’s how you do it,” Kenzi said, dipping an egg roll into its sugary sauce. “Speaking of which, Doc, you don’t look so good.”
Lauren smiled, waving a hand in front of her face. “You always could drink me under the table, Kenz.”
“C’mon,” Bo helped her off her stool. “Let’s get you to bed.”
“It’s early,” Lauren protested.
“I’ll keep you company,” Bo said smoothly, taking Lauren‘s hand and guiding her up the stairs.
“Oh, okay,” Kenzi called. “I’ll just be down here drinking by myself.”
“Save me some.” Bo whispered behind Lauren’s back.
An hour later Bo skipped down the stairs and rejoined Kenzi in front of the television. She kicked her feet onto the coffee table and sat back with a self-satisfied sigh.
“You two have a good thing going, you know that?” Kenzi was to the sloppy soothsaying stage of her inebriation.
“Yeah,” Bo nodded. After everything, she was worth it.
“Don’t muff it up, Succubus,” she warned.
Bo saluted her. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Believe me, Kenz, I just wanna make her happy.”
“Good to know where you’re at, though.”
Kenzi filled Bo’s shot glass. “To the doctor and the succubus,“ Kenzi said. Forgoing her glass, she lifted the bottle of whiskey to her lips, pouring it back. Shaking her head, she hissed as she swallowed the liquid fire. “I’m gonna feel that one in the morning.”
As night faded into day again, Bo and Kenzi found their way to bed. At noon hour, Bo woke with a start. Her hand outstretched, she smoothed it across the sheet beside her: empty. Bo sat up, breathless. As a succubus, Bo was used to waking up alone, but today she was distinctly aware of something missing and she felt it to her very core.
“Kenzi,” she whispered, throwing back the covers and sliding into a kimono.
Bo climbed the stairs to Kenzi’s room and when she arrived at the top step she found her friend looking as confused as Bo felt. Kenzi put her hands up. “Dude, what did we drink last night?”
“Everything, if the mess downstairs is any indication.” Bo sat at the foot of Kenzi’s bed.
“Hey, do you feel--”
“Weird?” She finished the sentence. “Yeah,” Bo sighed and Kenzi stood abruptly. “Where are you going?”
“Unlike you, Succubus, I did not get my monster hangover bang hilled out of me last night and I won’t be able to face mine without coffee.” She descended the stairs to the main floor.
Kenzi was right. But where had Bo’s lover gone? Bo padded after Kenzi. “Who was I with last night?”
“I don’t know, tall, blonde, the usual?” Kenzi said, filling the coffee pot with water.
“Why can’t I remember?” Bo drummed her fingers against the counter as Kenzi camped in front of the percolating machine.
“Bump your noggin on the headboard a few too many times last night, did ya?”
“Ha ha,” Bo said sarcastically.
Kenzi pulled the pot from the dripping coffee maker and replaced it with her cup. “Just pointing out the most plausible explanation, Succybaby.”
“And what’s your excuse?” Bo challenged, elbowing Kenzi in the side.
“Isn’t it obvious? I drank myself unconscious.” Kenzi sprinkled non-dairy creamer into her mug and then dosed it with sugar for good measure. She held the mug with two hands and closed her eyes as she sipped oblivion.
“Something’s not right.” Bo tapped a finger on the side of the mug Kenzi passed to her. “And I’m gonna find out what it is.”
As near as she could figure, she became fully aware as she walked through town. It was the weekend and there wasn’t much open yet. She wandered aimlessly, not knowing what she was looking for or where she was going, she only knew that when she saw the sign to the Dal Riata illuminated in its window, she felt compelled to enter.
The bell dinged as she went into the empty pub. A small man stood behind the bar. “I think you’re in the wrong place,” Trick said callously.
“If this is how you treat potential customers, it’s no wonder it’s empty in here.”
“I’m sorry, you’re right. Please, have a seat. What can I get for you?”
“A pint would be great,” she said. “I was wondering if you could help me--I’m looking for work.”
“What’s your background?” Trick asked as he pulled a perfect pint and set it in front of her.
“I’m not sure that‘s important.” She sipped the ale and considered her failing memory.
“Well, I’m looking for someone who can polish glasses, do some dishes and wait tables if you‘re interested.
“That sounds perfect,” she said. “Do you take boarders?”
“Life changes abound for you,” Trick said with a knowing smile.
“Yeah,” she smiled. “Life can be pretty unpredictable.”
“I just so happen to have a room to let. It’s yours if you want it. I suppose I should introduce myself.” He extended a hand. “Trick,” he said.
“Lauren,” she said, reaching out a hand to shake his.
The bell chimed as Bo opened the door to the Dal and her first introduction to the new help was the sweet curve of her hips and ass as she leaned over the tables to wash them with a damp rag. Bo hopped down the few steps and sidled up to the nameless blonde.
“Hi, I’m Bo.” She smiled less than innocently. “I’m Trick’s granddaughter.”
“Oh,” she straightened. “I’m new, I mean…“ She smiled and rolled her eyes. “I’m Lauren. Nice to meet you.”
Bo leaned on a table pseudo casually. “What brings you to our little corner of the world?”
“I got lost and I’ve yet to be found,” Lauren said with mirth in her voice.
“I’ve been there,” Bo nodded.
“Bo…” Trick’s voice boomed dramatically in the quiet of the Dal. “Let her be.”
Lauren shook her head. “No, it’s okay. I’m fine.”
Bo sighed and pushed off from the table, trailing a finger along Lauren’s jaw as she walked past. “Nice meeting you, Lauren.” Bo’s confident stride carried her away from Lauren to the end of the bar where Trick polished glasses. “Never thought my own grandfather would succublock me,” she whispered. Trick poured Bo a whiskey and she looked around. “Wow, it feels like I haven’t been here in months,” Bo said, genuinely confused. “And judging from the new help you hired, I’ve been gone entirely too long.”
“I mean it, Bo. Leave her be.”
“And what if I don’t? Are you going to disown me?” Bo smirked.
“No, but I may have to fire her if you continue to distract her from her duties.”
“Anyone ever tell you that you’re a real killjoy?”
“Just you,” he said seriously.
“And?” Bo pressed.
“You may have a point but this is my business, Bo. You can’t come in here and feast on every pretty girl I hire.”
“Because it’s bad form. Find your own feeds and leave the help alone.”
Bo swirled the ice in her tumbler before taking a hefty sip. “Alright, alright. Point taken.”
“Good. Now what can I do for you?”
“Kenzi and I had a weird night. I’m just trying to figure out what happened.”
“Weird, how?” Trick asked.
“Ever wake up with the feeling that you’ve forgotten more than you knew to begin with?
Trick’s eyes grew shifty as he considered her dilemma, catching Bo’s eyes wandering to Lauren once again. “Did you by chance drink absinthe?”
“It’s possible. We drank everything last night.”
“That could explain the dream-like state you find yourself in.”
Bo sighed watching Lauren work at righting all the chairs. “You’re sure you won’t change your mind? Because pardon my French, but she‘s right up my alley.”