|Percy I. Chapman | Ἑρμης (polytropus) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-04-16 18:29:00
|Entry tags:||bastet, hermes|
do you know what it's like?
Who: Max and Percy
What: Trapped within Pax Letale, a cat person and a dog person seek level ground on a bed of sand.
Where: The Deluxe Floor, a.k.a. fig tree central
When: Mid-afternoon, April 18th
He’d lied about the tequila, naturally. It would make for a better surprise if Max didn’t know what he was bringing beforehand. Bottle in hand, Percy left his floor, the tree roots crawling like tendrils down the hallway walls. When he approached the elevator, a distinct feeling of apprehension caught him, and he opted for taking the stairs instead.
It wasn’t as if taking the stairs would be slower for him right now, anyway. For whatever reason or another, getting anywhere in Pax Letale took less time than it had previously, despite the oddities on each floor. He simply needed to focus on where he wanted to go, and quite without trying, he’d arrive sooner than expected. There was nothing silly about it, no science fiction element concerning the matter of teleportation--by all accounts, Percy could simply move much, much faster than he’d ever been able to before.
And he’d never come in second place.
Without further adieu, he arrived on the Deluxe floor, caught off guard by the desertscape in front of him. Heat penetrated the entire area, its source an unknown entity. He tugged uncomfortably at his shirt collar for a moment, before stepping through the sand and stones, his eyes open for fig trees and Max. While there were several trees nearby (and where, exactly, were their roots?), she certainly had to be at the other end of the corridor.
The sand slowed him down, but only marginally.
“I brought my best bottle,” he said with a smile, approaching her. He shook the sand off one shoe, and then the other, as if it would make any difference. “You look like you’re enjoying yourself.”
Max was lounging on her stomach on the sand, her pajamas from the other day having long since been converted into short shorts and a sleeveless crop top showing off her now darker bronzed skin. She stretched her limbs languidly when she spotted him, as lithe and comfortable as a cat in its territory.
“I thought you'd never get here,” she sighed happily, twisting so that she lay on her side, looking up at him. “What'd you bring me?” she asked, pure curiosity now glinting in her eyes as she looked over the bottle in his hand. “Take your shoes off and get over here,” she said, sitting up and crossing her legs, waiting for him to join her.
“Tequila, as a matter of fact. Just a little surprise from me to you. Not as surprising as the Sahara Desert suddenly appearing up here, however.” He surveyed the area, sparse vegetation pushing up through the endless grains of sand. Max effortlessly fit into the scenery, the atmosphere seeming to be her second home. It was hard to not notice how good she looked, laying there in the sand, as if she did this sort of thing every day. And maybe she did, but it was typically at an actual beach, and not at the far end of a public corridor. Percy reeled in his focus, tearing his gaze away from the smooth curves of Max’s figure, the darker, warmer tones her skin now held. Instead, he bent to stick the bottle of Tequila firmly in a small dune of sand, freeing his hands to toss off his shoes, socks tucked safely inside of them. Leaving his footwear behind, he picked up the tequila bottle again and sat down across from Max, holding the liquor out to her. “You’re not a connoisseur, I hope,” he said with false sense of sheepishness. The label on the tall bottle read Don Julio 1942. “Because I don’t mind a little vanilla and honey with my liquor.”
Max bit her lip to temper the wide smile that broke out on her features when he showed off the bottle of tequila. “A man after my own heart,” she said, taking the bottle from him and opening it. She took a healthy swig from it and passed it back, reveling in the pleasant burn and the delicate sweetness in the background.
She leant back, her hands planted in the sand behind her. “So how do you like my new crib?” she asked playfully. She looked around them, at the sand, the scrub, the trees, the Nile coursing lazily not far away under the hot sun, and then over to her little makeshift hut, built of reeds and palm leaves, with a plush bed of pillows and rich fabrics pilfered from other floors. Next to it was a large palm leaf covered with fresh figs and dates, grapes and melons and pomegranates. “The whole floor is my sandbox now,” she joked, smiling widely. “I may never leave.”
Percy took a drink from the bottle himself, although it was with less immediate relish than Max; really, a flavor like this was meant to be savored, but he couldn’t hold it against her for diving head first into the tequila. He situated the bottle between the two of them in the sand, cap returned to its rightful place with a twist. “I can’t say I’ve ever been in a desert like this, especially not one on the 11th floor of an apartment building.” His smile was wry, and he followed Max’s line of vision--the expanse of the desert surprised him. Was it because he was sitting down now rather than standing? Surely it hadn’t seemed that expansive before. Nor had he initially noticed the makeshift setup Max had created, which breached the realm of both opportunity and picturesque for a vacation catalogue.
“All of this might be nothing more than a mirage,” Percy lightly chided, eying his date with open interest. “Or a dream. I haven’t decided yet, but seeing that it’s the third day and nothing has changed, well. I might have to give up on my dream of moving to a beach off the coast of Mexico.” He shrugged, one shoulder rising and then falling. Restless fingers tapped the side of the tequila bottle as he thought. “This reminds me of that story you were telling me at the observatory, the one about the pyramids. Whoever designed this massive optical illusion forgot to add a few of them.”
Max shrugged, seeming perfectly at ease with their strange surroundings. “Who says they aren't around here somewhere?” she asked, looking up behind him as if they'd magically appear like the mirage he thought this was. The strangeness of the past few days had occurred to her, of course, but being someone who grew up in an environment where she never knew how long she'd be in one place, she took to change easily. And when the change benefitted her, so much the better.
She reached for the bottle between them and uncapped it, burying the base in the sand. “let's play a game,” she announced, sitting up and grinning wickedly at him. “A guessing game. Wrong guess takes a drink. And maybe at the end we can play spin the bottle,” she added with a mischievous glint in her eye. “I'll go first. Uhhm,” she hummed for a moment before coming up with a guess. “You are an only child?”
Truly, he wasn’t quite as unnerved as it seemed several of their neighbors were concerning the massive amount of changes within the building. Nevertheless, something about being in a desert didn’t feel exactly right to him, despite his enjoyment of new places, particularly if they were outside.
Alcohol, therefore, served as a good medium to chase these thoughts away; the time for introspection could wait. “I’ll play,” he said lightly, interest piqued. “You’ve struck out, because I have three,” here he held up three fingers for extra emphasis, “older sisters. You can easily imagine that I had to wait my turn to use the bathroom for hours as a kid. Nothing but torture day after day, hair ties everywhere, lots of princess movies.” Pleased as punch, Percy gave Max a self-satisfied smile, blue eyes lit up with interest. He touched the sand near him, grains of it coarse under his palms, falling through his fingers. “Should I give you a second chance?”
“Nope! I have to take a drink, that’s the rule,” she said, as if she was a ten year old arguing about a game of tag. She was enjoying herself as much, after all. “Geeze, you must know an awful lot about women then, growing up with so many females,” she chided, a mischievous glint in her eye as she reached out for the bottle, taking a mouthful of tequila and letting it sit briefly on her tongue before swallowing with a smile. “Now it’s your turn,” she said, planting the bottle back in the sand between them.
“I know enough to not get high-heeled shoes thrown at me,” he replied with a laugh. “It's all about finding the right balance.” Max’s delight at their game was engaging, nothing but pure joy on her face from the simple act of being alive. Her attitude brightened something from deep within him, a stirring of energy and potential, waiting for the right moment to be set free.
Percy brushed the feeling aside, gearing up for his purposely false guess--based primarily on their location. “You’re a collector of ancient antiquities, who’d probably belong better in a museum than in the middle of a desert floor.” Indiana Jones had gone to Egypt, hadn't he?
She let a slow grin spread across her features, half between deciding he really believed the question and that he was guessing wildly. “Drink,” she ordered with a playfully serious face. “Although I think somewhere I have some Ankh stud earrings,” she added with a little shrug. The fact that she knew what an Ankh was didn’t mean anything special to her, though she had been having dreams about Egypt out of nowhere.
“Okay me…” she said, excited to have another go. “You....are secretly a government agent sent here to spy on the building for the Man, and your reporter stuff is just a clever cover story to keep us all in the dark,” she said, another purposefully wrong guess, but she schooled her features enough to make a stab at a serious serious-face.
“Foiled,” he said with a smirk, quite willingly taking a shot of the tequila. The honey, vanilla, and cinnamon mixed together for a smooth taste, while the alcohol created a pleasant buzz. He looked first to the left and then to the right after Max made her guess, as if anyone could be watching them. Deciding that no one was in the immediate area, he leaned forward over the tequila bottle. With one hand he motioned for Max to come closer, and then he lowered his voice. “It's true. The Man tells me what to do and where to go, and I do it. Everything. And He's making me spy on everyone here…you're under my surveillance, like it or not.” Percy sat up straight again, managing to withhold laughter. “But you didn't hear it from me.”
Max leant forward when he did, his playfulness enhancing her own. She grinned and took the bottle from him, took a drink and set it between them. “I won’t tell,” she said, “though I’m sure now that I know you’ll have to kill me...maybe torture me first, right?” she asked, mock fear shining in her eyes. “Or you could recruit me...people would talk if I just up and disappeared…” Yeah, she was getting a little drunk, but the sudden role-play was kind of fun too. She settled in the sand a little closer to him, her hands and knees half buried in it as she leant forward towards him. “It’s your turn,” she whispered conspiratorially, as if ‘they’ were listening and she had to be careful who heard their very important conversation.
“Never rule torture out of the equation,” he added casually, smile betraying the very idea of it ever being a possibility. Percy leaned in slightly, keeping the attitude of what he felt a spy might act like...albeit within the fast moving frames of a B movie. The tequila bottle acted as a wall constructed between the two of them. “You're a wanderer,” came his educated guess. “I can tell because I am, too. My spy knowledge comes in handy sometimes. This? This could be one of them. But correct me if I’m wrong.” He reached for the tequila bottle, hand wrapped around it, waiting for Max’s answer.
“You’re close,” she admitted, sliding a little closer to him on the sand so that their knees touched, the bottle of tequila parked between them. “I’m an army brat. I never lived anywhere very long. I think the longest I’ve been in one place has been two years,” she said with a little shrug, as if she didn’t care about the impermanence of her life. He’d gotten one right, so she drinks.
Her hand wrapped around the bottle in his hand, guiding him to bring it to her lips, taking a long, slow drink from it and then giving it back to him. Her eyes lifted to meet his, hers slightly unfocused from drink. “My turn,” she said, her voice low and husky. “You’re a player; you don’t do relationships, or at least not very well, but you like to play. It doesn’t bother you, just like it doesn’t bother me.”
Percy gladly accepted the bottle, filing away the bits and pieces of information Max was practically feeding him. Her dark brown eyes were large and inquiring, lending further honesty to her declaration in their little game. “First, do I need to cut you off? Secondly,” Percy continued holding her gaze with his own, reality soft around the edges thanks to the tequila. “Secondly, labels are arbitrary. I can do anything well if I want to, but where would the challenge be? Besides, there's too much that needs to be done; settling down would only get in the way.” He tipped another smidgen of tequila back, emitting a quiet whistle once it went down the hatch.
“My turn.” In saying so, he took perfect advantage of their closeness, their knees touching. He slid the palm of one hand slowly up her thigh, then paused. Beneath his hand, her skin was as warm as the sandy desert floor. “You're waiting for me to kiss you, aren't you? Or is this the kind of torture you had in mind?”
She bit her lip, moving closer, her skin tingling where he touched her. “I don’t know,” she breathed, “is it?” Her brow quirked just slightly, daring him to answer her however he wanted, her heart thudding in her chest with excitement. She was of two minds right now...part of her wanting to rush forward and just take what she wanted, but the other was enjoying the chase, the challenge, the playful banter. The torture. “Should I drink?” she asked, slowly leaning closer, just barely not touching his lips with hers.
“That depends,” he said suggestively rather than being thoughtful. The desert had temporarily faded away, Max now the only element which mattered. “I won't stop you.” But in saying so, he set the tequila bottle off to the side, the action a tad slower than he'd care to admit. Percy then closed the minimal space left between the two of them, cupping Max’s cheek and capturing his feisty companion’s plump lips in a lingering, languid kiss. She met his kiss hungrily, opening her mouth to him and returning his movements with the same slow, soft touches. Pulling back, he fixed her with a devilish smirk, blue eyes alight with mischief. “Still need another drink?”
She took a breath and grinned. “Fuck, no,” she murmured against his lips, pushing forward just enough to take his lips with hers this time, drawing his lower lip gently between her teeth, burying her hands in his hair and finally sliding the rest of the way into him, closing the gap between them on the sand so that her thighs wove with his, pressing herself flush against his body as she sought out whatever tequila remained on his lips.
Between the alcohol and the previously budding attraction between the two of them, who could ever have blamed Percy for this afternoon dalliance? He embraced Max in turn, feeling the smoothness of her skin, hot from the sun’s touch--the sun which neither of them could currently prove as real. In truth the only thing real was the hedonistic need between the two of them, Percy’s hands traveling the expanse of Max’s backside, sliding up again to cradle the back of her neck and tug her closer to him. He broke their kiss to nip at the rounded curve of her jawline, to kiss the hollow of her neck. The crunch of the sand beneath them as they moved proved the audible (and tangible) testament of their carefree affections.
Max moaned appreciatively into his mouth at his wandering touches, opening her mouth to his explorations and letting her own hands roam over him. She tipped her head back when his lips found her jaw, encouraging the contact and making a sound low in her throat that was almost a purr. Her hands wandered down, popping the buttons on his shirt one at a time and smoothing it over his shoulders, allowing the warm sun access to his skin. A smile tugged at her lips and she caught his eyes with hers. “If this is a kiss, what do I get if I ask for more?” she teased, biting at her bottom lip.
“That depends,” Percy said with a sly grin, halting in his advances to better assess his free-spirited partner. “But if the crocodiles don’t eat us first, I suppose only time will tell.” Either that, or the grains of sand both of them would likely be dusting off themselves at a later juncture. For now, however, this was enough; the sun and Max’s touch were a pleasant distraction, her lithe form pressed against his own, dark brown eyes filling his vision. He pushed a wayward lock of hair away from Max’s face, tracing along her cheek with nimble fingers which slid down the side of her neck, alighting there for the moment. “We’ll hold off on the tacos, save that for another day. Half the deal’s been settled, I did bring the tequila.”
Max grinned widely, one hand leaving his side to search blindly for the bottle of tequila sitting in the sand nearby. She leaned back on her heels just enough so that she could take a swig from the bottle, and then held it up for him, bringing it to his lips and helping him tip it back. “I’m betting the crocs will leave us alone,” she murmured, leaning forward, nuzzling his neck with soft kisses and gentle bites, taking in his scent and letting it thrill her with want. One small hand found its way past the buttons on his shirt, tracing her fingers along his skin with her heated touch.
The tequila went down far smoother this time than it had when they’d first begun their afternoon jaunt, hearts light and moods carefree. That was always a good sign it’d flow freer if nothing was done to contain its ever-flowing fount. Fumbling in such a way that would have seemed absurd when sobriety retained its hold on him, Percy just barely managed to finagle the tequila bottle from Max before she let it fall. Rooting the bottle in the sand, he fixed his attention back on more important matters--chin tipping upwards to accommodate Max’s endearments, heartbeat quickening at her advancements. The heat from her touch felt stronger than the makeshift glare from the fraudulent sun, kindling a need for closer contact with her.
Tugging Max closer to him, Percy encircled her waist with his hands, fingertips brushing against her bronzed stomach. Toying with the fabric of her shorts, he tucked the deft fingers of one hand beneath the hem, teasing at the latched button. “Possibly, and not to mention highly likely,” he finally said, “but don't blame me if I run at the first sight of a toothy lizard.” Blue eyes flashing with good humor, he ducked his head to return Max’s favor--two could play at this game. He lavished her neck with kisses, humming low in his throat with pleasure.
Max chuckle into his skin, taking that moment to softly paint his skin with her tongue, from clavicle to jaw. She let her head tilt back when he started to return her kisses, purring softly and letting her eyes slip closed. “Mmmm, I promise not to think less of you if you run from the extremely sharp teeth,” she groaned happily. Her hands started working on the rest of the buttons on his shirt, taking her time teasing his skin with her fingertips as she did and enjoying his lips on her neck. “There's pillows...in the tent…” she murmured, moving to catch his lips again with hers in a heated kiss. “Much nicer than getting sand everywhere…” she murmured against his lips, though she made no move to get up though, happy right where she was.
Given their current situation, it wasn’t too difficult for him to assuage the next best course of action. “Good, I wouldn’t want you to think less of me,” he breathed in a low voice, hands on Max’s cheeks as he kissed her one last time before disentangling himself from their embrace. Percy shifted on the sand, not bothering to fix his shirt. “I think I might have seen a couple of those lizards on the way here,” he continued, a goofy, two shades to the wind grin brightening his features. “Which gives me reason enough,” here he recovered his bottle of tequila, and glanced around for his discarded footwear, “to think we ought to take this elsewhere. We’re....sitting ducks out here,” he added, fully aware despite his inebriated state that the line between inside and outside had been completely disregarded with the advent of the apartment complex’s changes. Still, the altered state of his mind fixated on the notion of crocodiles, while the more rational side of him dug for a bargain that would please both of them. Furthermore, it had to be an offering which would double as an excuse to see Max again. “I’ll give you a raincheck for a room without sand as the bed. Are you willing to take the risk of waiting?”
Disappointed, flustered, disoriented from drink and flushed with passion, Max sat back on her heels with a fairly pronounced pout. “We could go somewhere else…” she started hopefully, but she saw that he was done, he was pulling away, searching for his shoes. She let out a cross between a heavy sigh and a groan of frustration, but then some of her old playfullness seeped back into her expression. “Are you gonna take that risk?” she answered with a grin, one eyebrow raising as she watched him getting ready to leave. “Today I’m a kitty cat, next time I might be a lion,” she said with a smirk. She pushed herself up off the sand and stood, brushing grains off her thighs and backside and straightening her short shorts that he’d been pawing at. She shrugged then and made to turn away. “Your loss,” she teased, though instead of turning away she walked towards him, grabbing the bottle of tequila in his hand and bringing it to her lips for one last parting swig. “Coulda been fireworks,” she said, grasping the bottle between them, her eyes slightly glazed and unfocused from drink. Perhaps a long nap in her cool tent would be in order, she decided, since nothing else was happening today…
“I’m never afraid to take a risk,” he said with a quick smile. Shoes on, and fingers drunkenly fumbling at his shirt buttons, Percy leaned forward quickly to kiss Max chastely on the cheek before retrieving his tequila bottle. “But I think--I think we should set those fireworks off elsewhere than in a sandy public hallway.” And, preferably, when both of them had imbibed far less alcohol--but this was better left unsaid at the moment. “I’ll be seeing you around.” Percy finished his sudden goodbyes, pulled away by thoughts and inclinations even he could not find words to form. Stumbling slightly in the sand, he managed to make it to the stairs, for a much slower descent than his initial climb up them.