It hurt, the sobering thought of his father, the biological one, the one who bore the red hair as he did. The one who drank to escape things, as he used to. It hurt. He'd wanted to think he, he never thought, well, he knew he'd escaped a terrible fate. He tucked into the next town's inn around 4:00am, in good time to settle down before the coming of the dawn.|
A part of dawn had forever awakened in him. He would try to be more compassionate. Two more nights travel, and he was back at his mama's house, where again, she was delighted to see him. He was so grateful for her sure affection. This visit, however, Reginald could not be avoided. He was home from his business trips, and took a great curiousity to Sebastian, calling him into his office.
It was a well-appointed room, with a beautiful library of books on one wall, and an elaborately carved desk and chair, where he often went over his business figures. It was a quiet room, which bespoke determined industry. Sebastian had always felt a clumsy stranger here. And it was here to which he was always called when Reginald had 'choice words' for him. How he chose his words, Sebastian did not know. It came from some part of that so orderly and industrious mind of Reginald. And there, Sebastian, the bloodsucker, the non-working, non-industrious bloodsucker, was perched on the red velvet chair facing the stern man with the cold blue eyes.
Everything about the man seemed a judgment, from his attire, to the very delineation of his skin, separating the man's spirit from the outside world. He opened his mouth, ''Oh, here it comes,'' thought Sebastian, and spoke: ''So what have you been doing with your life since we last saw each other?''
''Hopeless, all hopeless,'' Sebastian thought, as his sweaty hands fumbled with a hankerchief. ''I am the cornered dog!'' He knew anything he said would be useless, so why bother to consider it greatly. ''I've been out traveling, seeing the countryside. England has many interesting small towns.''
''NO, I haven't been working, you schoolmaster from hell!'' But some things were best left silent. ''Out traveling, I see . . . Do not take me for a fool. I know you are not really of my flesh and blood. Rachel's indescretions have been known to me. You are really quite the stranger to me! I do not understand lack of industry, and have no truck with lazy fools who do not possess it . . .''
Sebastian interrupted, ''. . . I've not been drinking. I've given it up. I've not touched alcohol in over a month!'' ''Yes, no virtue to myself, really, as I had no choice in it. Why am I bothering to tell you, nothing I do will impress you?'' Sebastian thought with deepening despair.
''Yes, the damnable Irish blood in you! I know of that, you see. Well, keep up the abstination. Perhaps your lazy ass, with its lazy liver, will be preserved for a few more decades of laziness . . .''
''One can always hope. I hope to live a very great long life of much laziness indeed!'' Sebastian declared defiantly, and thought, ''No point being dishonest about it. Besides, I really don't care what this old man thinks of me. Can I go now? Is he done? Is he quite done in pointing out to me my complete uselessness in the scheme of things? Is he done? I want to go now.''
''Can I go, now? This is pointless, you know. You should really save your industrious attempts for chaps who will benefit from your lectures. I am really far gone now. I don't care. May I take my hell-bound self out of here?'' Sebastian said, hoping really to end this farce.
With that, the cold blue eyes widened, ''Hell-bound self? Well, I hardly know what to say to that! Seeing as you are so determined, you possess enough determination for THAT, I see, I will let you go to pursue whatever debauchery suits you at the moment.''
Sebastian got up, shoved the chair closer to Reginald's desk, and said crisply, ''Thank you!'' As he walked out, gathering what bedraggled dignity he still had about him, he felt his skin to be quite thin, scarcely able to hold his exploding self within it. But it held, and he held together as he left. He kissed his mother on her hand, held back his tears and gave a look towards the tall windows. ''Daylight! I can't flee just yet.'' So he crept silently to the room in which he'd slept before, shed his outer garments, and crawled under the soft, forgiving down covers of that nice bed.
Tears did not need to be held back, now, so he let them run freely. How was it he had no virtue? None at all? Even the cursing lady had said so. ''No virtue. Twenty two years of life, and no virtue. What is 'virtue'? Can I go to the store and buy some? I'll take some of my rich 'daddy's' money and buy some. Oh, you want me to have some of my own, that I earned myself, to buy your virtue? I'm fresh out of luck. Oh, I have a gold guinea here. That didn't come from my father. What? My father is a drunk, dying in a pool of filth? Yes, but . . . I have no currency at all to purchase your virtue? This comes from a land to which I've not been? You're showing me the door? You have no patience for wandering bums? Good day, sir!'' And with that, he cried himself to sleep.
His last thoughts before sleep finished in this imaginary shop, ''Surely my tears should purchase something? Nothing, nothing you sell for them? Lessons for my own life, I should get those out on the street, you say. There, the street will take me and educate me? You're telling me to get out, AGAIN? I'm gone. Good day, sir! I'm gone.''
Come sunset, he arose with heavy heart, and went downstairs, thusly weighted. He embraced his mother one last time, keeping his tears in check, and headed out the door, into that street, where he would receive his education.
It didn't really matter where he went. He pointed his horse on a path he'd not been before and proceeded out of town. It wasn't long before he saw the light coming from a friendly tavern. Parking, petting and feeding his horse, he then made sure it was secure and entered the tavern. Glowing oil lamps illuminated the scene well. A cheerful barmaid came to him, surprised he asked only for water. They were always surprised with this. The clear liquid seemed to cleanse him somewhat, though he still felt very sad and pensive.
An older man, with long dark hair and a thin moustache approached him. He had the look of the world on him, well 'educated'. Sebastian smiled in return. The man returned this smile with some intimacy, a wink in the grin that was inviting. ''Come with me,'' the man offered. Sebastian followed, curious and lonely. Which was he more of? He didn't know.
There would be time later to analyze the evening's events. Robert continued his warm, happy grin, as he ushered him into his room. It had a pleasant disorder to it, a few things strewn here and there, but not overly chaotic. Robert patted the bed, and Sebastian laid upon it. He did not protest what the man did next. Robert unwrapped him like he was unwrapping a present.
''Such beautiful fair skin!'' Robert declared of Sebastian's now naked glory. Sebastian gave easy surrender to what the man wanted. It was wonderful to be under him, feeling his power. He would need to explain nothing, apologize for nothing. All he had to do was BE, and this he did with great expertise. Consciousness never so happily received the pricks of lust, nor so gratefully.
The words of Reginald were happily forgotten in this welcome embrace. All men were not bad. All men were not harsh. One even found him attractive, and Sebastian smiled, as the pain in his nether region grew. ''All hot, this thrusting, all hot and wonderfully painful,'' Sebastian thought joyfully. Debauchery would be his to enjoy. Reginald would never be so favored. ''Ow-w-w-w!'' A final bit of pain with the last thrust, and Robert gave his release of satisfaction. He felt back on the bed, smiling, and Sebastian drew near to him, also smiling. How wonderful Robert smelled! How rich his blood! He could smell it, having made its happy headward surge after body's release.
How tempting! Sebastian found a blue line crossing the inside of the man's elbow. A blue line, and he set his small pointy teeth to that blue line as gently as he could. He didn't want to disturb the man's mellow. Slowly and gently, he settled in for just the tiniest and sweetest of nips. ''Delicious! So sweet!'' And he felt a small swoon of his own. He nipped as much as he dared. He didn't want to weaken the man too greatly. Then he returned to the happy curl of embrace. Sleep easily transported him to idyllic dreams.
All wide, the waiting world, and he would know all of it, in time. All good things in time.