Call Off Your Ghost [one-shot] [ FB ] Feb 7, 2022 14:57:19 GMT -5
Post by Regan Lassiter on Feb 7, 2022 14:57:19 GMT -5
Regan came in through the back. The hood of her cloak was pulled low over her face, just like always, no matter the weather. It was Banks that was there this evening. He peeked at her face, affirming her identity, and let her in as she slipped him a coin. It was her toll for going undetected. For saving face. Avoiding embarrassment. Creeping up the side staircase, she went for the first door on the left, ducking inside and shutting the door behind her. Once she was finally alone, Regan released her held breath.
We shouldn’t do this.
The room was draped in velvet and smelled of whiskey and cologne. It was almost serene, with a plush-looking bed, table and drinks, and a full-length mirror in the corner. Regan tried not to look too hard at her surroundings, lest she fully appreciate just where it is she was. Mechanically dropped her bag and her cloak on the floor and started to strip off without ceremony. Once her clothes lay in a heap, she went to the table and poured a double shot of whiskey, taking it in one gulp before pouring another and downing it too. It burned in her throat and made her cheeks flush. She closed her eyes and let the warmth sink down into her bones. After a moment, she opened them and went to the mirror.
Regardless of what you do to me when I look at you.
Regan stood before it as naked as the day she was born. She observed what she saw there with passive disinterest as if the reflection were an everyday object that merited no comment or response. A silken band hung from the mirror like a flag of surrender. Regan took it up, the whiskey and the chew just starting to blur the edges of the real. She tied the band tight around her eyes as a blindfold, plunging herself into darkness. The world around her slipped away. All that was left was the smell of cologne and the whiskey on her breath.
She heard the door open behind her but did not startle. Regan remained by the mirror, blindfolded and motionless as she listened to the sounds of shuffling behind her. After a moment, there were footsteps, followed by the warmth of someone coming up behind her. “Hello, kitten,” A voice rumbled as hands took her by the shoulders. It was a cheap facsimile, but she could feel the words hum against her skin all the same. Her breath grew heavy, her mind distancing itself from the present as if it couldn’t bear to watch. She surrendered herself to the newcomer who guided her from the mirror.
I'm not just going to let you walk away.
It was quick, hard, impersonal - over. When the newcomer parted from her, panting, Regan straightened to standing and took a deep breath before loosening the blindfold. She blinked rapidly as the light burned her eyes, for a moment seeing someone else. But when they adjusted she saw Apollo, brushing back his hair. Regan stared for a moment, mind trying to reconcile the image of who she saw in her head to the actual man before her. She offered him a shy smile, and he smiled back in a way that was almost apologetic.
“You alright?” Regan nodded, taking another deep breath before starting to gather her clothes. “You can stay for a bit if you want to. Have a drink.”
“No. That’s okay.” She hardly looked at him now, pulling her shirt over her head and tucking it into her trousers. “Hey…” Regan felt a hand grab her shoulder and she startled, whipping around. Apollo stepped back, eyes wide and hands up. “Sorry.” Regan’s eyes softened. She went to him, pressing her forehead into his chest as he wrapped his arms around her. “You’re alright, kitten.” The word rippled through her again, as calming and sweet as the first time. Regan pressed closer to him and he squeezed her more tightly. Regan waited there for a moment; eyes closed, breathing in the cologne and whiskey, imagining she was somewhere else, somewhere a million miles away.
“I should go.”
Apollo released her. She stooped to pick up her boots, moving through the space with the ease of familiarity. Perching on the edge of the unused bed, she pushed her boots on, lacing them efficiently and tightly. “I’ll be gone for a couple of weeks,” Regan said flatly going to her bag, “But I’ll send word when I’m back in Skia.” She shook a stack of gold coins out into her hand, holding them out to Apollo who took them with a glance.
“This is more than-”
“I know.” Regan did up the clasp on her cloak before slinging her bag on her back. “I’ll see you,” Without further comment or awaiting a response, Regan pulled her hood up over her face and exited the same way she came, out onto the dark streets of Skia. A light rain had started to fall. As she started back for the barracks, she brushed droplets from her face: unsure whether it was the dampness of rain or tears.