Who: Lia & Samuel. What: Samuel shows Lia his club, then they go Greek. >.> Where: Lia's apartment, to start - then - to GREECE. Well, Greece in Pax. >.> When: the afternoon of October 2, 2010 Warnings: I'll say a PG-13 for language and sexy makings out!
Lia hadn't expected him to come up. She was on her laptop, looking over her e-mails for this week. She was barefoot, her legs folded up onto her desk chair, the skirt of her cotton sundress covering them. Her hair was pulled up in a pony tail, a few loose tendrils having escaped to lazily frame her face. The windows were open, incense burning, and she was smothering a laugh from Samuel's last response when a knock came at the door. Her eyebrows rose - there was just no way. He wouldn't have come up - but even as she rose to go to the door, she had to stifle another chuckle. When she looked through her peephole and saw what appeared to he a huge, spiked, wooden club, she couldn't hold back the laugh. She waited till it was over before she opened the door to Samuel, looking up at him with a smile and a shake of her head.
"Well, I'm proud of you, Sam, for facing your fears and coming all the way up here, where the fancy folk live."
"Who's going to tase me when I have this?" Samuel lifted the weapon still clutched in his hand, merrily brandishing it with a flourish of sullied spikes. Lia stepped back and away from it, her eyes widening visibly at the red stains. "Prop or not, it's got some heft to it." He slipped past her into her apartment, not deigning to wait for an invitation. Her lips pursed at his entry, but shut the door behind them nonetheless. His brow arched sharply, a wicked grin curving his lips. "You can touch it if you want." Giving him a dry look, she walked past him and his club with her brow arched. After a moment's hesitation he set the weapon down, propping it against a smooth tree trunk. His interest in the thing had waned, and though it would eventually return, for the moment his attention rested on the design of her own floor and flat.
"So you're in a goddamned forest, huh," he said. "That tree was a pain in the ass to get around."
"It looks like it, doesn't it," she answered, still not fully committed to the idea. It was strange to have him in her home, even such as it was. It was one thing to be in his apartment, but quite another to have him here. Some part of her was both disappointed and grateful that he didn't get to see her apartment as it really was - in fact, the larger part, she was surprised to find, was disappointed. "I took a look out in the hallway, but it smells worse out there than in here." She wrinkled her nose. "So what does your floor look like?" she asked. "Apparently you're equipped for a siege." A little half-smile lifted the corners of her mouth. "I guess that's appropriate."
"Or at least appreciated." He strode toward the nearest wall, resting his hand on a length of golden chain coiling around one thick trunk. "We have this down there," he said, patting the metal, warm as flesh to the touch. "I have a great tapestry in my bedroom. I'd been wondering what to put on that wall." He glanced around the room, smiling softly at the sight of her furniture and decor - all of it bearing the distinct, if indefinable, stamp of her - set now on such an unlikely stage. The heady scent of incense wafted to him on the breeze; he chuckled, immediately discerning its purpose. "We have wood plank walls, though, and sometimes I think I smell smoke. No rotting carcass smell, though. How did you get so lucky?"
Though she didn't miss him looking over her apartment - and again, she wished he could see it in its full aesthetic glory - that comment earned him a little squint, a scrunch of her nose. "I have no idea. Though I guess the mead keg kind of makes up for it -" Just then, her phone buzzed, and she reached for it, checking the text message. She gave a little grin and started tapping out a response. "Speaking of mead," she said with a little chuckle. She looked up at Sam, shaking her head. "You wouldn't even give Brighid a sip of that Jameson?" she looked at him with raised brows. "You're such a cop sometimes, Sammy." She laughed and typed back to Brighid.
"Samuel," he corrected. "And Brighid can have all she wants when she's legal. Did you say you have a mead keg?"
Her apartment's floor plan bore little resemblance to his own, being of quite a different stripe. All the same it was easy enough to find the kitchen, where he began rummaging through cupboards in search of a glass - or, truthfully, any other suitable container. She watched him go curiously, one brow arched at his obvious comfort in his surroundings. After a brief bout of this unannounced pilfering he returned to her side, two matched glasses in hand. "I can't believe you'd have a guest over and not start with 'I have free honey beer'." He shook his head, affecting a disconsolate frown. "I thought you of all people would have better manners." She gaped at him, a laugh colliding with a snort of disdain so that no sound actually emerged from her, only her eyebrows raised and her mouth open. Samuel strode past her, his expression falling back into its far more natural state of self-satisfied borderline glee. Stopping at the door, he turned to her, gesturing genteelly. "Shall we?"
There was nothing she could do but shake her head and follow. Something utterly childish in her made her want to pinch him on her way out - and she did, hard, on the arm, winning her his earnest laugh. The contact, though, struck her strongly, and she shuddered as she looked up at him, overtaken by some strange memory - like the dream, but different, more vivid. It was only a moment before she walked more quickly than she might have otherwise toward the stairwell, her phone still in hand, shaking off the strange feelings that had briefly overtaken her. The tree, though, slowed her down - she'd forgotten that bit. Getting to the keg was actually more difficult than getting to the elevator, because of where her room was placed in relation to it; she started picking her way delicately over the roots of the tree, looking back over her shoulder at Samuel. "Also, I still like Sam better. Also, Brighid is legal, where she comes from!" She bit the inside of her cheek as she stepped over another root. She thought the tree might have grown since when she'd last seen it.
"I'm sure that's very handy when she goes to visit her family." Where Lia's steps were light and agile, his were sure-footed but almost stamping, as if by sheer force he might will or coerce a path to open up amongst the upraised roots and twisted earth beneath their feet. With some effort he managed to meet her on the other side of the massive tree, registering the unforgettable fetor of death and decay only after this task was done. It did not give him pause for too long, however, and in moments he had turned his attention to the vital business of finding a relatively comfortable seat atop one thick root. "If these are the kind of bonuses you silver spoon kids get for higher rent," he said, "I may have to rethink my stance on living up here." The keg was already tapped, ready and waiting for the first enterprising souls to drink from it. He slipped each glass in its turn beneath the tap, grinning broadly as he watched them fill to nearly overflowing.
"God damn that looks outstanding," he laughed, swirling the thick amber liquid in his glass. He passed Lia her glass, raising his own for a toast. "To renovations."
Taking her glass, she wrinkled her nose as she clinked it to his, then shook her head. Looking around, she thought of what a shame it was that the place looked so lovely and smelled so awful. The smell of rot and blood was overwhelming here, and it was starting to make her want to gag. Somehow, she managed to keep her composure - sort of - but even so, she didn't sit. "I think I could enjoy this more if we took it somewhere else," she said. Beckoning him with a little wave, she started picking her way over more roots to the stairwell, sliding delicately past the thick tree trunk without spilling a drop of her mead. "Do you want to see what the other floors look like?" she asked.
He followed after her, drinking deeply of his own glass as he walked. "Sure," he said, his tongue flicking over the foam at his lip, contented as a cat. "If they're all as good as ours, we're in for a treat." He thought a moment, his grin growing as they arrived at the stairwell. He reached out, careful to not spill a single blessed drop in opening the door. "Shit, at this rate at least one floor is bound to have an orgy."
Samuel paused on the landing, glancing up and down the stairs in turn. For a moment he seemed quite content to sip at his mead and contemplate the pure, simple joy of it. "Up or down, then?"
Lia considered this for a moment. "Down," she said definitively, taking the first few steps. "Wouldn't want you to get too excited about seeing where the real fancy folk live." It was surprising to see the stairwell was utterly normal, looking as it always had, but she took it in stride. Real shock was hard to come by when your apartment had been turned into a sacred wood-slash-keg-party-slash-off-hours-abattoir. Just then, her phone buzzed; another text from Brighid. Lia laughed, then turned to look at Samuel over her shoulder. "Also, on a dare, sort of, I'm telling you that you're a pussycat." She grinned at him as he rolled his eyes, then moved a little more quickly down the stairs; not paying quite enough attention, she darted right past the tenth floor, but at the door to the ninth, she stopped short. "Here," she said quietly, almost to herself.
He glanced up to the landing above, somehow certain the floor they had skipped would later prove to have been the one with the orgy. Still, her tone was convincing - undeniably so, in fact - and Samuel found himself loath to disagree with her. This floor in particular seemed to draw him as no other had, weapons and endless, high octane alcohol notwithstanding. He nodded, opening the door, holding it wide for them both to peer inside.
There was no getting around this. It was a temple, remarkably familiar in nature, unnaturally clean and precise in its design. As they stepped onto the marble floor Samuel began to look around in earnest, searching for some remaining thread of the mundane apartment building this had so recently been. There was nothing: only the faint smell of incense, soft sunlight, and images and objects that had no right to look and feel and be the way they did. True to form, he concealed his uncertainty beneath bold enthusiasm, striding toward the altar at the end of the hall. A spear lay across its carved length, its bright shine winking in the light. After one long pull from his glass Samuel set down his drink, his hand reaching out to curl tight around the spear's shaft. He drew a sharp, quick breath, shaken by the utter rightness of it, by the heft and shape he seemed to already know so well.
"What..." He looked back to Lia, his lips parted on words he now forgot entirely. His heart pounded in his chest, beating so hard it seemed it might escape. His familiar, comfortable grin eluded him.
For Lia's part, she was awestruck. It felt as though someone had struck a tuning fork that had taken the place of her heart; the place resonated so strongly that she had to stand still for a few moments to take it in. As Samuel walked through to the altar, Lia took a few small steps, a frisson of something she'd never felt so strongly before ricocheting through her. She pressed her hands to a sun-warm marble column and closed her eyes, breathing slowly. Home, was her only thought. Home. The absurdity of that didn't escape her, and she released the column, but didn't leave. She turned, instead, to face Samuel, following the sound of his voice, and the sight of him standing there, holding that spear, struck her as hard as the marble. She walked toward him, as though in a dream, closer, closer still, until he was within arm's reach; then closer. She looked up at him, put her hand on his arm. She didn't know what to say. His face reflected that he was feeling this, too - that she wasn't alone here. Afraid to speak, she touched instead; the hand on his arm moved to his chest, his throat, his cheek.
In an instant that dream came rushing back, all its intimacy and tenderness reflected in that gesture. It struck him with a force greater than he would have imagined; these were memories, if someone else's, and that simply could not be. He set aside the foolish thought, and with it the spear upon which his grip had, at some point, tightened considerably. His head canted toward her hand, his smile returning, though with a decidedly different cast than before. His own hand raised, covering hers, pressing her slender fingers close against his cheek. His palm, still warm from the weapon he'd grasped, moved now to her, curving close at her hip as he pulled her toward him. There were no words for this. Only the touch of her body to his seemed answer enough; it resonated with an intensity Samuel had never felt in the presence of another, sending a hard shudder racing down his spine. Without thinking, he pressed his lips to hers, his arms circling her slender shape as his tongue traced the swell of her mouth.
What was there to want to resist? This, like everything else about this place, felt perfect. Without another thought, her mouth opened to his, her tongue tracing over his before it slipped under. He tasted of the sweetness of mead and perfection - the perfect taste, him, and she only wanted more. Her arms slid around his neck, pressing her body flush to his, the thin fabric of their clothes nothing compared to the heat of their bodies. There was a slightly desperate quality to the kiss, as if he were going off to war and she didn't know if she'd ever see him again. Somewhere, some logical element left in her brain dismissed this; made note that Samuel lived four floors below her, and worked in Orange County. But something deeper still, something that stirred with every moment of touch, said this could be the last time, the last time, and so she kissed him more deeply, more sweetly. That same part of her urged her to speak, urged her to whisper words against his lips that she didn't understand - but Lia refrained. This was enough; her hands splayed on his back, she sucked his lower lip before sliding her tongue back into his mouth.
The hunger he felt for her seemed years in the making - long, hard years, not the mere weeks since that first, stolen kiss. He drew her closer into his embrace, more from his own desire than any real concern she would pull away. His hands slipped brazenly beneath her dress, seeking out the warmth of her skin, the smooth flesh he had dared to touch upon their first meeting as if it had always belonged to him. Careless, he leaned back, pressing against the altar itself, the spear's sharp edge sounding a loud scrape as it was displaced. His tongue pushed over hers, his thumbs soft as they traced her thighs. I missed you, he thought, unbidden. His brow furrowed as he realized how badly he felt it needed to be said, and how little sense it made. But rather than dwelling on this he merely kissed her deeper still, sighing against her parted lips, shifting as his body stirred in answer to this new proximity.
Her hands stole over every inch of him she could easily reach; his back, his broad shoulders, his chest, his arms. The closeness of his embrace both comforted and aroused her. Strange, displaced memory merged with the present, and his hands on her thighs felt right - felt as though it always had been. As he brought her with him to shift their position, she felt him against her, and that, too, felt right, as it should be. One hand slid under his shirt, caressing his heated skin as she returned the kiss, as her other arm wound back around his neck. "Samuel," she managed to whisper against his lips, even though another name had wanted to come out - one she'd likely never spoken before. It was all blurred together - dreams, reality, past, present - she kissed him harder, pulling him closer to her still - then, a sound.
Lia didn't recognize the person - he might have been maintenance - but he had quite a grin on his face, and didn't seem to feel much shame about it. For her part, Lia had the decency to blush and pull away from Samuel.
She cleared her throat. Samuel merely clenched his jaw, a dark scowl crossing his suddenly thinned lips. "D'you mind?" he snapped, straightening up from his casual lounging at the altar. He made no effort to otherwise adjust himself; for better or worse it was clear what the two of them had had every apparent intention of doing, public corridor or not. The interloper clearly did not mind in the least, but in the interests of keeping the peace - or perhaps merely having seen his fill - he seemed content to shuffle into a vacant apartment and presumably get back to work. Samuel shook his head, exhaling a frustrated breath through his gritted teeth. Every minute that passed was time without her touch, time that further cooled the places her heated hands had been. He keenly felt that loss now, and struggled to find words to fill the silence suddenly driven between them.
Strangely, the desire to touch her had not truly dissipated; he reached out, his rough fingers brushing almost apologetically at her arm. "Lia..."
Brought back to her senses by a healthy dose of alarm, then embarrassment, she laughed - though she did take his hand and squeeze his fingers briefly. "Well, that's probably my cue to head back to my apartment," she said with a little smile, even as she released his hand and stepped out of reach. She'd never planned to sleep with Samuel, and she still thought it was a really, really bad idea. The fact that they seemed to keep being thrown into situations where things got physical normally might have persuaded her otherwise, but they were too different; the amount of heat between them was likely to burn them both, and badly. They weren't suited to each other. Part of her wondered if they just got to it and had sex if the flame would peter out - but that thought bothered her even more.
This floor was getting to her; the dreams and the strange not-memories were getting to her. And Lia Valencia didn't make decisions like these under anybody's influence but her own.
Her resolve to steer clear of Samuel Wolfe was renewed. "We should probably stop meeting like this," she said with a little laugh, backing away from him further, moving toward the door of the stairwell.
The furrow in Samuel's brow only deepened. That things had gone from perfect to irreparable in record time was clear; that it was entirely the fault of the wandering mechanic was far less so, but Samuel was willing to accept that flimsy explanation. "Yeah," he said, flatly. "I need another drink anyway." He leaned down to retrieve his glass, turning it up against his suddenly sneering lips. In a single long pull he finished the mead; he crossed the corridor, holding the empty glass out to her. "I'll head downstairs and get my own." For one brief moment his eyes met hers; in them he saw a reflection of that dream, a flicker of something he now doubted he would ever have. In silence he shook his head, his footfalls echoing on marble as he strode toward the elevator. For a moment, Lia wanted to reach out to him, to stop him, to assuage the regret that plagued her from the first moment he'd looked at her that way. But she let him go; it was better this way.