“Lestat . . .”
“Shhhh . . .” I said as I touched the brush to his lips. “Don’t’ move.”
“This is ridiculous.” Louis murmured, but allowed me draw the brush across his lips, painting them a deep red.
“Claudia wanted costumes, and you certainly can’t be Hamlet. You don’t have the skill. Although you do have a talent for moping about . . .”
He lifted up an elegant hand. “I’m changing as soon as it’s done. I can’t imagine where you found this,” he said, motioning to the dress. It was a light grey, with white lace running down the front of the bodice, and silver flowers embroidered into it.
I gave him one of my most wicked grins. “I could tell you, but . . .”
He shook his head, “No. Let’s get this over with.” He stood up. All the things I intended to say dissolved from my mind. I was sure that if I had dragged him out into the streets of New Orleans with me he could have fooled many a mortal, and possibly many a vampire. The only thing that gave it away, was of course his chest, but could have been easily fixed.
I wasn’t the only one who seemed to be transfixed. He had turned to look at himself in the mirror. His face bore an odd expression, as he lifted a hand to touch his cheek. He reached out as if to touch his reflection, to touch the lovely woman staring back at him. “Finally he spoke, “Lilly.”
“My mother once told me that if I had been a girl, she would have called me Lilly.” He shrugged, and continued to examine his reflection. “You certainly have a talent for makeup. Where on earth did you learn. . . .
“Silence.” I said as I tossed him a shawl. “Place this over your shoulders. She is waiting.”
As we exited, I whispered in his ear “while you could make a fortune out on the docks tonight, I think we should stick to my bedroom, hmmm?”
“But . . .”
“It’s been nearly a month.” I said, placing a hand on his neck. “Remember you fledgling duties, Ophelia.” All these years, and he still believed that nonsense.
He brushed my hand away. Something I swore to make him pay for in a few hours. “Remember what you said. Claudia is waiting.”
Claudia let out a squeal of delight. She was still a child then, happy to see her fathers so willing to entertain her. She ran to Louis and embraced him. “So pretty!” She said, “I thought you would look funny, but you look so pretty father.”
I could see the blush creeping across Louis’ face. When he saw me staring the blush grew deeper. I could smell his blood, and for a moment, I considered, dragging him back into the bedroom. But we had a performance to do.
“To be, or not to be: that is the question.” As I spoke Louis drew Claudia onto his lap. There it was again, that look on his face. Not the glum, red-eyed expression he usually wore, this one was almost happy, as if he was thinking of something that pleased him, something delightful. And then he smiled at me. He smiled like he actually loved me.
“Father?” I realized Claudia was addressing me. “You’ve stopped.”
“Oh, oh yes. Devoutly to be wished . . .”
When my soliloquy was finished, he whispered in Claudia’s ear, “I believe it is time for my big scene.” Claudia kissed his cheek and slid off his lap.
“Good my lord. How does your honor for this many a day?” He said.
We had performed before of course. He was woefully untrained, and since I knew trying to teach him would provoke his usual maddening questions, I stuck to mocking his awkwardness. This time was different though; his movements were fluid, and his voice strong. And those tears that welled up in his eyes when I ordered him "to a nunnery”? I wasn’t sure if I was filled with longing, or arousal.
No, I am sure, dear reader, it was definitely arousal. He would not refuse me that night. I knew this.
When it was over, and the words, “T’have see what I have seen, see what I see!” Rolled from his lips, I leaned over and hissed in his ear. “Meet me in my room." I said, playing with a lock of his hair. "I will give you time to change. I’ll be in there shortly.”
Leaving Claudia to play with her dolls. I made my way to my chambers, locking the door behind me.
He was sitting on a chair, facing the mirror. He was still wearing the dress, and the make up. He was looking at himself with that expression again.
“Is this an attempt to stall?” I said. He did not respond. “Well, I said, dress or no dress, I still have every intention . . .”
“You would take me in this dress?” He asked, in a voice free of outrage. In fact, I could almost detect a hint of excitement. At this point though, he was merely trying my patience. Trying to avoid having to lay down on that bed, to expose his neck to me. Godforbid, he might give in to his desires!
“Do you wish to continue our little scene?” Standing behind him, I tilled his chin back. “Lady, shall I like in your lap?”
“No my lord.” He said. Now I was confused; what was his game?
“I mean, my head upon your lap?” I got down on my knees in front of him. He should be quivering with embarrassment, right now, I thought. That was always how it went; shaking he would remove his clothes, lay on the bed, and lie there at I sank my fangs into his neck. Silent. Passive. It was always the same thing.
That passive, submissive creature reached out and stroked my hair, “Ay, my lord.”
I was smiling now, I had started to enjoy where this was going. “Do you think I meant country matters?
“I think nothing my lord.”
“That’s a fair thought to lie between maid’s legs.”
“What is my lord?”
And then, oh! Oh, he lifted a finger up to his mouth. The scent of his blood overwhelmed my senses as he drew it across a fang. He was shaking now, as he ran the bloody finger across my lips.
“You are merry my lord.” He whispered.
It was all over. I hauled him out of the chair, and pushed him towards the bed. His emerald eyes shone in the dim light as he pulled himself up on the mattress. “Maybe I should go to the docks.” He growled. “Would you like that?” He began to pull open my shirt as I joined him. “Would you like to watch? How many men could I lure to their deaths in one night?”
“What do you think you’re . . .” For the third time this night I was left speechless when he kissed my chest. Grabbing his glorious black hair, I pushed him closer, feeling his fangs press against my skin.
“I want to keep the dress on.” He said, looking up at me. “Let me keep the dress on.”
I nodded. Is this what it takes to bring this passion out in you? I thought. My love, my darling, my beautiful one. I will buy you hundreds of dresses if this pleases you. If this allows you to let go of that guilt, that pain, I will paint your face every night. Suddenly, I found myself wishing I had bought a corset to go along with the dress. I was struck with an image of Louis, breathless, confined in fabric, bone, and laces. I would buy him one. I would dress him in it myself, I would pull those laces until he was gasping and begging for me to stop or pleading with me to continue.
Louis was drawing blood now, running his tongue along the cuts, and catching the drops before the wound healed. “Your skin.” He whispered. “I can’t . . .”
I drew my nails across my chest, causing the blood to flow. He let out a delightful sigh, as he drank, holding on to my waist. When he lifted his head up to look at me, his beautiful face was smeared with my blood.
“Do I please you?” He said. “I want to please you.”
I reached out to touch him, but he pushed my hands away, which I allowed. He began to trail soft, kisses along my jaw line. His hand slid up to the side of my head, tilting it ever so slightly. I groaned as his teeth grazed my neck. I could have let him take me then. But I wanted to wait, I wanted him begging for it. Just as I felt his teeth graze against a vein, I grabbed his hair and yanked him away.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I said, still gripping onto his soft black hair.
“I . . .” Tears had started to flow down his face. He was so damned beautiful like this.
“Are you frightened of mon chaton? Scared you might have taken things a little too far, hmm?”
He nodded. “I thought . . .”
“Lilly.” I hissed, shoving her down onto the bed. Gripping her hair with one hand, I slapped her with the other one lightly. “Do you like it when I call you that?” I slapped her again, harder this time.
She responded with a moan.
“I see,” I said. “Never thought you would enjoy such a game.”
I nipped her neck, not hard enough to draw blood; I wanted to enjoy this. I wanted to hurt her and please him at the same time. I wanted to drain him until she was weak and unable to fight; I wanted to drink from her until she was overcome with pleasure.
“How many men could you lure to their deaths? Many.” I hissed, “I told you could make a fortune.” I dug my hand into her thigh, and she drew in a sharp breath. “I would have you do so much more. I would put that little mouth to work, ma cherie. Think of it, you on your knees and me watching from the darkness.”
“Mon dieu!” He snapped, “just do . . .”
I cut her off with two fingers placed on her blood and paint stained lips. “Shhh.” I said. “Quiet. I don’t think you’re in any position to give orders, now are you ma petite?”
Usually that condescending tone of voice would cause Louis to fly into an impotent rage, but not Lilly. She delighted in it, her body arching towards me, desperate for my touch.
“No.” She said.
“Little bitch.” I couldn’t help but take it to another level, “speak to me like that again, and I might have to beat that pretty ass of yours. Disobedience can’t be tolerated.”
My grip on her thigh tightened and I could feel the blood begin to flow through the fabric. Pulling the shawl back I bit her again, just hard enough to give myself a small taste. She wrapped her free leg around my waist.
“Take me. Please, monsieur.”
I flipped her roughly onto her stomach. Kneading her ass through the fabric of her dress I growled. “I told you that I would beat that pretty ass of yours.”
“But monsieur,” she said, playing along, “I have done nothing! I have shown no disobedience.”
“You torment me with your eyes. With your haughty little mouth.” I gave her ass a firm swat. “But, to be honest, I would punish you no matter what. I’m punishing you because it give me pleasure to do so, and because it give you pleasure as well.”
And then it happened. It must have taken a only minute. Possibly less. A minute for Claudia to knock on the door, for Louis, now horror stricken, to attempt to push me off of him. Less than a minute for me to fly into a rage, force him back down, and sink my teeth into his pretty neck.
I drank. How dare you. How dare you give me this gift then try to take it back. I’ll teach you. Louis remained still, and silent as I drank. Everything was back to normal.
Claudia’s voice was frantic as I pulled away. What was that noise? Why did Louis scream like that?
Louis didn’t move. I realized that I had taken more than I should have. He groaned as he sat up. He looked down at his now blood stained dress, that miserable expression returning to his face.
“Get up.” I said, shoving him off the bed. “Get dressed.”
“Louis? Louis?” Claudia wailed from behind the door. “The door is locked!”
“I . . . I am fine.” Louis said, his voice ragged. “It is almost morning. Go, get ready for bed. I shall be there shortly.” He staggered to his feet.
“Hurry.” I said, “I’m already sick of the sight of you.”