Blackwood farm, p.24

Blackwood Farm, page 24

 part  #9 of  The Vampire Chronicles Series


Blackwood Farm

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  "THE LAFRENI¨¨RE COTTAGES WERE nestled around a central brick courtyard crowded with the de rigueur palmetto and banana trees, and in the center of the courtyard was a wishing well that may once have served some purpose. Now it was merely decorative, and people had taken to pitching all manner of change into it.

  "Mona handled our check-in as if it were nothing, even telling me to put away my money, the bill would go to her family.

  "When I protested she whispered, 'Show your strength when we get in bed. ¡¯

  "And off we went, into the little flag-paved cottage, to do just that, in a modern pewter ironwork bed with an enchanting canopy of metal leaves and grapes, and a light breezy fabric wound loosely around its four corners.

  "As soon as the door was latched we both stripped off our clothes with the utter abandon of beasts, and when I beheld her naked, when I saw the pinkness of her nipples and the little blaze of red hair between her legs, I went appropriately crazy.

  "It was Mona who helped me on with the condom and Mona who had the presence of mind to pull down the covers, so that we didn't stain them, and finally they wound up on the floor as we went at it like little jungle animals.

  "Whatever was going on with my life, I figured, I had fulfilled one of my wildest dreams, no matter that it was newborn, it was wild and from the heart and I would never never forget it. I would never forget Mona's face as she blushed with the spasm that sent me into the final explosion of pure nirvana.

  "When it was over we lay together, embraced, warm, contented and kissing each other playfully and gently.

  " 'Oh, thank God,' she whispered into my ear. She helped me with the soiled condom. She went for the towel to clean me off. She kissed me again and she said, 'I wanted to put my mouth on it. Come, let me wash you in the bathroom and then I'll do it. ¡¯

  "I protested gallantly. I required no such sacrificial adoration!

  " 'Tarquin, I want to!' she said. 'I wanted to do it in the car. I just had an overwhelming desire to do it. And I never got to do it. Come on, out of bed!' and I was led like a slave into the tiled bath where she performed the arousing ablutions and then we were back amid the swirled sheets, only she had her mouth on my cock, stroking it hard, fast, and licking at the tip, and then I died when I came. All strength, all energy, all dreams went out of me.

  " 'Nobody's ever done that before?' she purred in my ear as we lay there.

  " 'No,' I said. It was all I could do to speak. 'Could we sleep, just like this, snuggled up together?¡¯

  "In answer I felt the warm weight of the covers and then her cool arm against my back and her lips kissing my eyes. There was a moist heat coming from her breasts and from between her legs. And the breeze of the air conditioner, chilling down the room, made the nestling all the more wonderful.

  " 'Tarquin, you are one beautiful boy,' she whispered. 'And your ghost is here, and he's watching us. ¡¯

  " 'Go away, Goblin,' I said. 'Leave me now, or I mean it, I won't speak to you for the longest time, I swear it. ' Then I turned over and looked around the room. 'Can you see him?' I asked her.

  " 'No,' she said. 'He's gone. ' She lay back on the pillows next to me. 'I am Ophelia once again,' she said. 'I am floating in the water, with only "nettles, daisies and long purples" to hold me up, and I will never sink to "muddy death. " You can't imagine how it is with me. ¡¯

  " 'How so?' I asked. 'I see you borne along forever, vital, precious, oh, so sweet --. ' I tried to stay awake, to listen to her.

  " 'Go on, sleep. Men want to sleep when it's over. Women want to talk, at least sometimes. I am Ophelia drifting in "the weeping brook," so light, so sure, "or like a creature native and endued unto that element. " They won't find me till tonight, and maybe not even then. I tip these hotels pretty high, I think I may have them won over. ¡¯

  " 'You mean you've done this before? You've come here with others?' Now I was wide awake. I rose up and propped myself on my elbow.

  " 'Tarquin, I have a huge family,' she said, looking at me, her hair exquisitely mussed on the pillow. 'And one time it was my goal to be intimate with every one of my cousins. I succeeded with more than I can count without the aid of a computer. Of course it wasn't always in a hotel. It was more often in the cemetery at night --. ¡¯

  " 'The cemetery!' I said. 'You're serious?¡¯

  " 'You have to understand that my life isn't normal. Most Mayfairs don't seek for a normal life. But my life isn't even normal for a Mayfair. And this goal, this goal of sleeping with all my cousins, it's been over for some time. ' Her eyes looked suddenly sad, and she looked up at me imploringly. 'But yeah, I've been here, I have to confess, I have christened this room before with my cousin Pierce, but it doesn't matter, Tarquin, it's all new with you, that's what matters. And I was never Ophelia with Pierce. I'm going to marry Pierce but I'll never be Ophelia. ¡¯

  " 'You can't marry Pierce, you have to marry me. My life's not normal either, Mona,' I said. 'You have no idea how strange it is and you and I are no doubt meant for each other. ¡¯

  " 'Oh, yes, I do. I know your ghost goes everywhere with you. I know you lived all your life among adults. You have no real knowledge of children. That's what Fr. Kev told me. At least that's what I could drag out of him. I almost got Fr. Kev into bed, but in the final go-round he proved to be immovable. He's what anybody would call a good priest, but he's loosening up when it comes to gossip, though not, you understand, about anything he hears in the confessional. ¡¯

  "Her eyes were so green that I could scarcely concentrate on what she was saying.

  " 'And did he warn you off of me?' I asked. 'Did he tell you I was crazy?¡¯

  "She laughed a sweet laugh and she bit down on her lower lip as if she was thinking. 'You've got it backwards. They're out to protect you from me. Course they do want to keep me under lock and key. That's why I was at the front door of the house waiting for you. I am now considered to be a raving slut. I had to see you before they did. And I'm not the only witch in the family. ¡¯

  " 'Mona, what do you mean when you say "witch" ? What are you talking about?¡¯

  " 'You mean you've never heard of us?¡¯

  " 'Yes, but only good things -- like Dr. Rowan's dream of Mayfair Medical, and Fr. Kev and how he came South to revisit the Irish Channel where he was born, that sort of thing. We go to St. Mary's Assumption Church. We see Fr. Kev all the time. ¡¯

  " 'I'll tell you why Fr. Kevin came South,' she said. 'He came South because we needed him. Oh, there's so much I wish I could tell you, but I can't. And when I saw you in the Grand Lumini¨¨re, when I saw you talking to Goblin and embracing Goblin, I thought, God, you've answered my prayer, you've given me someone with secrets! Only now I realize it doesn't change things with me. It can't. Because I can't tell you everything. ¡¯

  "She began to cry.

  " 'Mona, you can tell me! Listen, you can confide in me completely. ' I kissed her tears. 'Don't cry, Mona,' I pleaded. 'I can't stand it, seeing you cry. ¡¯

  " 'I don't doubt you, Quinn,' she said. She sat up in the bed, and I sat with her. 'I'm not sure Ophelia actually cries in the play, does she? Maybe crying is what keeps people from going mad. It's just that there are things that can't be told,' she went on, 'and there are things that nobody can do anything about. ¡¯

  " 'It's always been my way to tell,' I said. 'That's why you saw me embracing Goblin. It would have been very easy at a certain age for me to stop embracing Goblin. I could have maybe sent Goblin away to wherever he came from. But I never kept him a secret. There is a ghost who haunts me too, and then there is a stranger, the man who beat me up and put me in Mayfair Medical. I just let these things come out. I believe we have to do that. ¡¯

  "I handed her the paper tissues from the bedside table. I took another and wiped at her tears.

  " 'I know I'm going to marry you, Mona,' I said suddenly. 'I know it. I know it's my destiny. ¡¯

  " 'Quinn,' sh
e said, wiping her eyes, 'that isn't going to happen. We can have a little while, talk to each other, be with each other like this, but we can't ever really be together. ¡¯

  " 'But why?' I demanded. I knew that if I lost her I would regret it always. I thought that Goblin knew it. That's why Goblin had gone away with no argument. He knew this was too strong, and he hadn't said a word to me.

  "Yet I remembered what Goblin could do now. Goblin could break these windows if he wanted. Goblin had told me that he liked being angry. Could I tell Mona that? Should I tell anyone that? I felt a twinge of my panic, and I hated it as unmanly. With Mona, I wanted to be manly.

  " 'Come back with me to Blackwood Manor,' I said. 'It's where I live. We can stay in my room, or I'll put you in my Pops' bedroom if you want the proprieties. Pops just died. The room's all cleaned and ready. He didn't die in the room. They packaged up his personal things right away. Where's the phone? I'll tell them to get it ready. Give me your size of clothes. Jasmine will go to Wal-Mart and get whatever you need to tide you over. ¡¯

  " 'God, you're as mad as one of us,' she said with honest amazement. 'I thought we Mayfairs were the only ones who did things like that. ¡¯

  " 'Just come. Nobody in my house is going to mess with us. My Aunt Queen may have some sage advice. She's pushing seventy-nine, or so she says; sage advice is to be expected. And I have a new private teacher, Nash, but he's a perfect gentleman. ¡¯

  " 'So you don't go to school, either,' she said. 'Cool!¡¯

  " 'No, never have, going to school never worked with Goblin. ¡¯

  "I flew into action. She watched with continued amazement as I spoke on the phone to Jasmine. Petite everything, white shirts, pants, cotton underwear, a few toiletries, and away we went.

  "As soon as I got behind the wheel I realized I had been awake for over thirty-six hours. I began to laugh at the way everything looked, and at the way everything was working.

  " 'Here, let me drive,' she said.

  "I was glad to give in.

  "She took over like a pro and off we sped, catapulting out of the narrow French Quarter streets and on to the interstate.

  "I couldn't take my eyes off her, it was positively sexy the way she drove, that somebody so delectable could drive, and when she shot those green-eyed glances at me I felt weak and overjoyed, and in that mood, that crazy, elated mood, I spoke to Goblin.

  " 'I love her, old boy, you understand, don't you?¡¯

  "I looked into the backseat and there he was, gazing at me with that cold contemptuous expression he had adopted in the hospital. It took the breath out of me. And then came his dark monotone voice:

  " 'Yes, and I enjoyed her very much too, Tarquin. ¡¯

  " 'You're lying, you bastard!' I said. I wanted to choke him. 'How dare you say that to me? I would have felt you if you'd been that close! You think you can sneak inside me!¡¯

  " 'Oh, he was there,' Mona said as she pushed the car past eighty-five miles an hour. 'I could feel him. ' "
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