Friday, April 8, 2011

Flashfiction - To Change

featuring the characters from On The Edge
(700 words)

So early after sunset on a weeknight, the club was still empty for the most part. The DJ was already playing music on the lower level, trying out a few new songs, the thumping rhythms like a heartbeat, sometimes accelerating, sometimes slowing down.

Lisa had kicked Brett out of his office and sent him upstairs to eat something, and now she waited for his return, seated on a high stool at the bar, watching Leo serve a couple other customers before he could come to her.

He had been at the club – and in their lives – for a few weeks already, and she had observed him in his duties of bartender often enough that the sight should have been familiar by now, and still she always felt a bit of surprise every time she realized that yes, he did know his way around a bar, and she had yet to see him hesitate because a customer asked a drink he hadn’t heard of. He wasn’t just a bartender; he was a good one, and the always full jar of tips attested to that. Lisa could have had trouble reconciling this Leo with the one that had lived in her head for so long, the one she had known what felt like an eternity ago, the one who hadn’t even liked the smell and taste of wine, if not for the easiness with which he chatted up the customers, men and women alike.

Back when they had hunted together, Lisa – she called herself Beth, at the time – had often taken a step back, allowing Leo to seduce a prey they would then take to their bed and from which they would feed together. When they had parted ways, Lisa had learned to hunt on her own, and learned to enjoy it as well. By bringing Leo into her relationship with Brett, she had finished to reverse what had once been the norm, closing the circle again.

“You look awfully thoughtful tonight.”

Lisa snapped back to the present to find him leaning against the bar in front of her, a light smile flickering on his lips. She had the sudden urge to kiss him, and couldn’t think of a reason why she ought not to. Leaning forward over the counter, she pressed her mouth to his, briefly, chastely. When she pulled back again, Leo’s smile was deeper, gold flakes glittering in his dark eyes.

“My shift is just starting,” he reminded her, the trace of a lusty rumble in his voice.

“Can’t I kiss you without expecting anything more?” she asked with a smile of her own.

“Not even a drink?”

She nodded. “A drink would be nice. Martini?”

Leo had started reaching for a wine glass, and he stopped mid motion, giving Lisa a surprised look. “Martini?” he repeated. “I thought you hated gin.”

Lisa shrugged lightly, uncrossed her legs and crossed them back the other way. “I did. But I learned to appreciate it. Things change, I guess.”

The next second, warm lips pressed a kiss to Lisa’s shoulder. She turned a smile to Brett as he sat on the stool next to her. He smiled at her, then at Leo.

“Gin?” he asked Leo. “Just a finger please.”

Bottle already in hand, Leo chuckled quietly. His eyes flashed to Lisa, as though to say he understood now, and he started preparing their drinks.

Brett frowned for a second at Leo's amusement before turning a questioning look to Lisa. “Did I miss something?”

She shook her head and, taking his hand on the counter, squeezed it lightly.

“Nothing important,” she assured him. “Just the realization that even vampires change.”

Why it had taken her so long to realize as much, she didn’t know, but seeing how much Leo had changed during the time they had been apart – how much he had changed even in these past weeks since meeting Brett – she couldn’t ignore anymore how she had changed, too, both before and after moving in with Brett. She had a feeling that a lot more changes were ahead of them, and she couldn’t wait to see what was still to come.

She raised her martini in a toast. “To change.”

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