The taste of the wine was slightly off. It was if it was close to turning into vinegar, slightly sour with a hint of sickly sweetness underneath it. Michael thought it was nothing more than cheap wine even as it bubbled on his tongue. Yet it made him feel like he had been drinking it for a while as it hit his bloodstream, making him feel giddy and stoned, even though it was nothing more than a mouthful or two.
Star gave him a look filled with sorrow and something out as he raised the bottle for another taste of the stuff. The taste is foul but it's additive. He'd looked away from Star who seemed on the verge of tears and instead looked at David. Gone is David's hateful sneer and replaced with something else that Michael couldn't name if he'd tried. The wine had already gone to head as the other boys laughed while Star took Laddie and curled up on some romantic bower.
At that moment, he doesn't care about her. She's forgotten as he breathes in the acrid smoke of the joint one of the boys had offered him. She's faded in his mind as he took another sip of the wine his eyes intent on David who lounged in the chair like it was a throne. When David approached him, Michael felt overwhelmed. He felt like a rabbit caught in the predator's gaze, his heart had speed up, a racing heartbeat in his chest, pounding so loud, he had thought that David could hear as the other boy took the bottle of wine from his hands.
Michael felt an odd sensation as David's gloved hand had brushed against his naked one as David had taken the bottle away. All else had faded away until it was just him and David alone in that cavernous room. David had smiled down at him, a gentle smile that had been full of promise and something else that Michael's far too drunk to recognize. Somewhere one of the boy shouted out something and he could hear Star's soft sobs of disappointment.
"Nectar of the gods," David had told him as he passed Michael the bottle of wine again. "Drink up."
The command had been unneeded because Michael had felt a thirst for the sickly sweet and sour wine that he had never felt before. A thirst burned in the pit of his stomach as he swallows from the bottle. The wine burning and bubbling as he drank from the bottle until it's empty.
The bottle had fallen to the broken marble floor and Michael had felt so alive. He knew that he was tipsy and he tried to shrug off the strange fog that seemed to take control of his senses. When two of the others grabbed him by the arms before dragging him out of the cavern. Michael felt powerless to resist. Even when Star had shouted out some warning that he couldn't remember when the bracing air of the ocean had hit him.
The other boys laughed in delight at the night and Michael had found himself laughing despite not knowing the punch line. All he knew was that he felt like he belonged to a group of people. He could feel how alive the night was and he felt like a young god when he was pushed forward towards David.
"One of us." Someone whispered behind him as David commanded him to get on the back of his bike.
Later on, Michael will write off as a side effect of being somewhat drunk on cheap bitter wine that was a few days away from being vinegar. (He'd wonder if David had laced it with some sort of drug that had made him complaint and high.) But in that moment, he'd climbed on the back of David's bike and wrapped his arms around the leather clad bleached blonde, content to ride pillion even as he knew it made him appear submissive to David's desires.
When they were racing along the long stretch of highway, Michael had felt like the two of them were new gods. Their mythology yet to be written as the wine bubbled in his veins. David had shouted something at him but the wind had pulled it away before Michael could make sense of the words. It didn't matter and instead he had wrapped himself tighter around David as the other boy took on every sharp turn with a recklessness that even Michael didn't possess no matter how much wine he had drank.
The next thing he knew, he was starting to sober up and he was hanging off of a railway trestle with everyone else. The night had become a blur and Michael had had no idea of how things had gotten to this point. The only memory that was sharp to him was being in the cave with the others, with Star trying to tell him the wine was blood. David was hanging across from him, a cruel smirk on his lips. Michael's head had hurt and he felt like he was coming down off of some nasty bender.
He had known that there was no way he could hang, especially when a train had started to shake the trestle as it rumbled over head. Michael had known that nothing but death had waited him below in the mist as each of the others had dropped one by one. Let go more like it. His mind was torn in two. He doubted that the boys would jump into their death below just for some cheap thrill at making a joke out a loser like himself. But a part of his mind, some instinctual part of it, had screamed at him, had screamed that nothing but death waited for him even as the boys had started to shout up at him.
Michael ignored it all as he gave into the inevitable, he conjured up the earlier feeling of the wine and let go. He floated into nothing until he was waking up in the blinding sunshine of his new bedroom. Michael felt terrible like he had been drinking for a month straight. Every time he tries to recall something from the night before, he can only seem to grab hold of a fragment. Instead of drowning in the sweet scent of Star, he's covered in the heady scent of David.
Nothing really makes sense. Not even his incredible thirst for more of that awful cheap wine.