“Greetings and welcome to Stratica!” A robust woman stepped through the door. A wide brimmed emerald hat sat atop long, orange banana curls. A single large feather was stuck in the band. She wore a long green dress that hugged her body in a flattering way. Everything she wore was trimmed in gold. “I am Madame Telvas.” She announced as she approached us. “You two must be the legendary S & M.” She held out her gloved hand.
I took it and we shook firmly.
“So which one is S and which one is M?” Her piercing green eyes and crimson lips curved into a grin.
“Well I’m Jeron Miles and this is Sylus Synclaire.”
“And how do you spell that, dearie?” She turned to Sylus.
“With a Y.”
“Interesting.” Her grin faltered.
“Is that a problem?” Sylus snapped.
“No no. Not at all.” She looked him over carefully. Her gaze was so penetrating that even I began to feel uncomfortable. Her gaze shifted to behind us. “Samuel dear?”
“The Gale Room, if you would.”
She turned to us again. “It was a pleasure meeting you both. We can get down to business in the morning.”
With that she whirled around, kicking out the train of her dress, and returned from whence she came.
“This way, please.” Samuel was leading us back into an elevator.
Sylus was already tensing up again. I took his hand.
We only went down a few floors, but it was enough to really agitate him. When the doors opened again, he immediately stepped out.
Black marble covered the floor and walls. White leather furniture sat in the middle. To the right was a full kitchen.
“And to the left is the bathroom and bedroom.” Samuel spoke as if he had read my mind. “I hope these accommodations are to your liking.”
Sylus staggered across the room to look out the massive panoramic window that adorned most of the far wall. It looked out over the main street of Stratica.
“I will return in the morning to collect you for Madame.”
I turned to reply, but he was already gone.
I joined Sylus at the window.
“I hate it here.” He muttered.
“We won’t be staying long.” I rubbed his back gently. “Just gotta get the job done and be on our way.”
“Now come on.” I pulled on his sleeve. “Let’s go see what that bedroom’s like.”
He turned to me with a smile.
It was over the top. More of the black marble filled the room. A massive bed with dark wood posts and an emerald canopy sat in the middle. All of the other furniture was a matching shade of wood.
“Wow.” I choked.
“Yeah but is it comfortable?” He made his way to the far side of the bed and sat down on the edge. “Eh. It’s okay.”
I sat down on the closer side. “It’s a bit firm, isn’t it?”
“I was gonna say it's too soft.”
We both had a good chuckle.
After getting undressed, we laid down flat on our backs under the covers staring up at the canopy.
“I should set the phone up to charge.” I muttered as I closed my eyes.
“We’re on a job. No taking calls.” Sylus murmured.
I rolled my head toward him. “Yeah but what about more work?”
He shrugged. “If they need us that badly they can wait until we’re available.”
I suppose he was right. I could try to remember to set it to charge tomorrow. If I had time and actually remembered.
I rolled over and moved closer to him. He lifted an arm allowing me to rest against his side. Feeling his arm around my shoulders was far more comforting than any bed could ever be. I rested my head on his chest and slipped an arm over his stomach. Everything about him was so soft and smooth which was a startling contrast to the reality that beneath this façade was a monster of legendary proportions. That never mattered to me. He was my monster. Always had been and always would be.
I pulled myself as close to him as I physically could.
“There’s something about this place.” Sylus whispered.
“We’ll worry about it later if we even have to.” I tightened my grip around him. “Don’t worry.”
He squeezed my shoulder a bit before releasing me.
I looked up to find him already asleep. That was something he never struggled with. It was like all he had to do was command his body to rest and it would. Not like the rest of us humans who’s minds could keep them up all night worrying about things we had no control over. I rested my head on his chest again and let his even breathing ease me into my own rest.