Lost Rainbows And Other Fables
Back to: Illusion Of Choice
Settling comfortably back against the sun-blushed side of the church spire, Ezra smirked before offering his flask to his only rooftop companion, a six-foot tall statue of the Archangel Michael. The winged gentleman in question, however, remained unmoved by his kind offer, preferring stand where he was, just a short distance away, holding his sword aloft and looking rather grim. With an amiable shrug, Ezra kept the smooth whisky burn to himself as he contemplated the sunset and the mess in which he had managed to embroil himself.
It had all started with those diamonds or, at least, the loss of them. Discovering their disappearance had left him bereft of his wits as well as his financial security. The sheer unfairness of it all had plagued his thoughts, driving him to distraction. It was inconceivable. How could any venture fail so miserably for the want of secure pocket stitching? Fate was truly a treacherous harlot.
Then she went ahead and dealt the Chris Larabee card again: "Don't ever run out on me again."
Ezra shook his head in weary disbelief then took another long drink from his flask. Damn, he was exhausted. He needed sleep desperately. Last night's illusions had been draining in the extreme. However, he couldn't afford to sleep if he wanted to leave this hellhole of a city before the Judge sent his dogs after him. Illusionary telepaths didn't exactly grow on trees and even with the upset caused by Ella Gains' 'accident', it wouldn't take the Judge long to figure out who was behind the diamond ruse. One thing was for sure: Ezra had no intentions of ending his life as anonymous body parts in black garbage bags.
To avoid this sticky end, he had to catch a train heading for the border tonight. But, of course, that would mean getting out of this damn church without setting of the alarms and having the six riders of the apocalypse chasing him down. He knew it; he'd tried it; he'd failed miserably at every turn.
Some people just didn't trust him.
Some people just didn't trust anyone.
Some people were just too damn distracting...
Ezra growled a sigh. Another judicious swig from his flask successfully derailed that wayward train of thought, but it didn't bring him any answers. He really needed to get some sleep. Frowning, he looked out across the rooftops, hoping to find a solution in their long shadows. Predictably, there wasn't one. He couldn't reason with the facts any more than he could with the setting sun.
It really came down to two choices. Since he was too weak to rustle up an illusion to fool all six men, seducing Larabee with liberal amounts of charm then somehow getting out of the church in time to catch a suitable train was his only feasible option. The problem with this choice was that, although he could certainly scare up enough power to get Larabee into bed, he doubted he could sustain an illusion long enough to fool the Meta Cops who would undoubtedly be patrolling the train carriages. Of course these sterling officers of the law could often be persuaded to look in the opposite direction of an unregistered Meta when given the correct incentive but, with the loss of the diamonds, Ezra had nothing to offer them but his winning smile.
The second option entailed sleep. A nice long dose of it. After a good rest, he would be firing on all cylinders and would come up with a cunning plan that didn't stink of desperation and involve facing a slow and painful death at every turn. In fact, he could probably talk his six newfound 'friends' into giving him safe passage to the station.
The problem was that all this would have to take place tomorrow and, at his moment in time, his over-tired mind found the first choice much more appealing. Graphic images of kissing Chris Larabee senseless, of stroking and pleasuring his naked body until he growled for more, were more than enough to have him seriously considering the seduction plan.
But then, suddenly, the roles were reversed in his mind's eye and he was the one being kissed and stroked -- only it wasn't pleasurable, it was urgent and painful and it wasn't Chris whispering low in his ear but 'Judge' Orrin Travis.
A long gulp of whisky banished the memory but did nothing to stop the shudder that accompanied it. A bitter breeze seemed to whip up out of nowhere just so he could almost feel the touch of those greedy fingers devouring his body once more.
Ezra shivered the chill and the memories away. Never again. Dismemberment held more appeal.
Still, even if option one was out, there would be nothing wrong with getting a certain Mr Larabee alone and plying him with enough charm to bring him around a little sooner...
With a wicked giggle, Ezra stood up then took another pull on his flask before picking his way over the loose tiles to Michael's side.
"Ah, my fine friend." He put an arm around the stone archangel. "I doubt you would approve of the images currently cavorting through my mind's eye, unrepentantly lust-filled as they are." He tilted his head in consideration. "I suppose I could justify the wooing of Mr Larabee as a way of talking some sense into him, but we both know that's not my usual purview." He leaned against the unyielding figure, resting his head on Michael's carved locks of hair and closing his eyes.
"If I had stayed on that train to begin with, I could have been across the border by now, living it up with Mother. Who's to say those Cops would have caught me? Instead, I end up jumping train into this disaster and I am as you find me: standing on a rooftop, procrastinating and drinking too much whisky." He opened an eye to squint into the dark depths of his suspiciously light flask. "Ah well, all good things." He drank down all but the very last mouthful then grinned at Michael's stern countenance. "What was that, sir? Why, I'd be honoured to kiss you. Really, I had no idea that you held me in such a high regard, given your enigmatic exterior." Smiling, Ezra moved in to carefully press his lips against the hard mouth in a gentle kiss.
He was lacing his arms around Michael's body and turning to rest his head upon one solid shoulder, when someone spoke up from directly behind him, "I thought I'd find you up here."
Heart hammering in his mouth, Ezra swiftly untangled himself to turn and glare into Chris' narrowed gaze. "Mr Larabee, how long have you been standing there?"
"Really? Did you witness anything of note?"
Chris didn't answer; he merely turned his attention to the darkening sky. "Gonna be a nice night, but too dark for rooftop gazin'. JD should be back with the food about now."
Ezra watched Chris' passive expression for a few rapid heartbeats before replying, "I appreciate the kind invitation, sir, but, as you can see, I'm drinking my supper." He drained the last drop from his flask pointedly.
"Ezra, even I know telepaths need their sleep and you can't do that up here." Chris frowned. "If you're having trouble sleeping, you should speak to Nathan. He does our doctoring and he needs a record of your normal readings for his files in any case."
"Why, that sounds utterly enchanting, Mr Larabee," Ezra drawled back sarcastically. "Who could refuse such an eloquently phrased opportunity?" He wrapped an arm around Michael again and ignored Chris' scowl.
"I'll tell Nathan you'll see him first thing in the morning."
"Oh, please do so. By all means." Ezra shrugged.
"All right." Chris concluded their meeting with a slight shake of his head before heading back downstairs.
Ezra waited until Chris had long gone before informing Michael quietly, "Perhaps curling up in bed with your good self would be the best plan after all."
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