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Dancing With Fire
By Eleni Vyne
They were in the first floor dining room. It meant that there were no children. A first in this household in a long time. But it was true and the lights were dimmed but not so much to make it inclusive but rather warm and inviting. The two of them sat on opposite ends of the small black leather couch, each with a glass of cabernet.
"You remember when we first met, Dela? How we avoided each other like two territorial cats?" Alex laughed, shaking her head in mirth as she put her glass on to the small table in front of her.
"You do know that when we are in the house, you can call me Sheridan. You aren't off limits to that anymore." replied the raven head.
Sheridan Delilah 'Dela' Renard preferred to be referred to as her middle name or the shortened version of it in the public and only use her real name in the privacy of her home and only between those she cares for. Smiling, Delilah mimicked Alex's actions and placed her half full glass on the table. "You've known me for almost 8 years, my dear. You've definitely earned the right to call me that."
Alex flushed slightly, contrasting greatly to her pale skin, platinum hair and ice blue eyes. Quirking a lopsided grin, Alex chucked gently. "Has it really been that long? We were 14 when we first met It feels like pretty much nothing has changed." There was a slight hitch in her voice that Delilah took note of but did not inquire. She took in the sight of her ivory haired friend.
Alessandra 'Alex' Faye DeVry almost matched her in terms of frame but was far more petite and several inches shorted. She had a small face that didn't hinder her beauty and the platinum blonde hair shined white in the light making her eyes seemingly glow. "Well Not everything." Alex thought for a moment, the grin widening. "You finally took out all those piercings."
Delilah grinned impishly. "Not all of them." Was her response before she childishly stuck out her tongue, showing off the glow-in-the-dark tongue ring that had been there for 6 years.
"Fine. You have one left from the multiple ear piercings, eyebrow, nose, snake bites, monroe, labret and navel ring. Forgive me for forgetting the all inclusive tongue ring." Countered Alex, her sarcasm rolling off her naturally as she lifted her glass to take a sip of her wine.
"You forgot the nipple rings." Smirked Delilah, laughing in satisfaction as Alex choked on her wine in surprise. Coughing and sputtering, Alex managed to glare in her direction before giving her the finger.
"Well if anything, you're still a bitch."
Laughing louder, Delilah moved closer, wrapping her arm around Alex's shoulder and squeezing gently. "Aw You know you love me for it."
"I plead the fifth, your Honor."
Both of them were smiling broadly, relaxing against one another. Both took a moment to take in this rare instance of silence. Reflecting on how they managed throughout the years as friends, growing closer with each passing day. Delilah, smile still intact, rested her head on Alex's, murmuring softly, "We need to get Marie and Zikra over from France or wherever they're at. I miss them and they haven't seen me without my piercings."
Alex chuckled. "You just want an excuse to flirt with Zikra and watch Marie get all flustered and jealous."
Alex laughed fully this time. "You're such a damn tease!"
"I know. But you love it."
"Once again, I plead the fifth."
By this time, Alex's upper half rested on Delilah's as her arms wrapped around the ebony head's middle. Delilah's arm still around Alex's shoulder and the other hand toyed with Alex's hair gently. Alex closed her eyes; she knew what was being expressed. Delilah's way of showing affection was to toy with their hair. On a rare occasion, she would gently caress the cheek of an individual although that was generally reserved for the children. To Delilah, hugs and friendly kisses were too universal, too common. She preferred subtle, gentle actions that were more or less overlooked.
"Where is Alexander tonight?" Alex asked, breaking the mood slightly but not moving. She was referring to Halcyon Alexander Renard, Delilah's twin brother and her only true biological family.
"He's over at Electra's house tonight. Ever since they got engaged, they've been getting more and more domestic together."
"So We have the house to ourselves?"
"Scary, huh? How long has it been since we've spent any time alone together?"
"I don't know." They both knew she was lying.
"Liar. The last time was before you walked in on me and her."
"I didn't know how to react. I never thought in a million years you preferred the fairer sex. I just thought you were a damn emo child."
"I am an emo child. But I didn't realize my orientation until after she disappeared "
Alex bowed her head slightly. "I felt so guilty when she disappeared. I didn't know how to comfort you when all you've done is suppo-.." Her words were cut off by Delilah's fingers.
"Let's not ruing the mood I don't speak of her and I want to keep it that way."
Alex nodded gently and relaxed back against her, taking the hand that was just on her lips into her own and toyed with the fingers gently. It was how she expressed the things she couldn't say or would not say aloud. They were very aloof individuals, words didn't always have to be spoken where are subtle and slight movements were enough to portray the message. Over the years they had developed a sense of understanding and communication through those actions and it benefitted them greatly.
"Je' Tadore" Alex whispered in her native language and Delilah smiled softly. The room suddenly got quiet and Delilah observed their surroundings, watching the lamps give off light to the maroon colored room. The couch and the cherry wood table looked like they were slowly disappearing in the dim light as the vast amount of art decorating the room seemed to give off their own aura. Delilah mused, this would almost be very romantic given the circumstances but she refused to push her luck.
"Stop brooding." Whispered Alex again, her eyes still closed and head still rested against Delilah's chest. Delilah looked down at her and quirked the familiar eyebrow in response. "If you have any ideas on how to stop the insanity in my head, you are more than welcome to tell me." She retorted and then twitched her eye playfully as Alex poked her temple.
"What is it that consumes your thoughts that leaves you so defeated?"
Delilah averted her moss hues, suddenly unsure of how to respond. "I suppose I suppose they can be called sudden self epiphanies." Opening her eyes, Alex, with her hand, Alex coaxed Delilah's eyes to meet hers. "Are they based on self presumption or history?"
"I suppose a little bit of both." Delilah once again averted her eyes, missing the concern and understanding flash in Alex's. The topic was closed; Delilah would not speak of it any further.
"Guess what I did last week." Alex waited for the familiar eyebrow to rise in response. "I spoke to Max." This time, Delilah's head snapped up in surprise, eye wide as she faced her fair friend.
"Are you serious? You haven't spoken to him in almost five years! What happened?"
Alex shrugged. "He called me. I didn't know who it was at first but then when I realized I just couldn't bring myself to hang up. And we spoke, Delilah We spoke for the first time and there was no screaming or insults. Now don't look at me like that. I don't trust him either but I want to give him a chance; and no, you can't stalk him."
Delilah closed her mouth and pouted playfully. "You ruin all my fun."
"Nah.. I just keep you on a tight leash."
Delilah's attitude went back to serious. "I want you to be careful. He may have changed; there is no doubt that he might have. But there is always the chance that he hasn't."
Maximillion Jacques DeVry was Alex's own twin brother. Though no one knows entirely what transpired between the two siblings, Alex always became introverted when it was brought up. Delilah was surprised at Alex's enthusiasm but did not want to throw rationality into the wind.
"I know " Sensing the unspoken need, Delilah wrapped her arms tighter around the petite blonde, taking a small form of comfort when she felt Alex give in to the affection.
"You have a family here, mi bella. This family will never hurt you." A gentle squeeze of her hand was the response she got. They stayed like this for several minutes, in this time, there was nothing to be said and nothing that wanted to be said.
"Did it hurt?" Alex asked suddenly
"Did your piercings hurt?"
"Very random, my dear."
"I've just always been curious."
"Yes. But it's a different kind of pain."
"There's a sense of pleasure. You want that needle to puncture and pierce through your flesh. You know that the pain will make you feel beautiful."
"That's romantic Now tell me the truth. Why did you get them?"
"Self-mutilation. A legal way to destroy your body "
Alex didn't respond. She couldn't. Turning, she faced Delilah and took in her face. The defined jaw line accentuated a long forehead. Almond shaped eyes that housed green irises that varied in tone. High eyebrows that were nicely curved and to the edge of them, Alex could see the scar where the eyebrow piercing once was. A slightly narrow nose that fit her face well, there was no evidence of her nose stud to which Alex was grateful for. Delilah had unusual colored lips. They looked as if someone has smeared blood on them but they were natural. Surrounding them were small scars from where the rest of her piercings were They seemed out of place and Alex couldn't help but want to take those scars and remove them from Delilah's skin. Maybe then, when the scars were gone, so would be the pain.
Delilah watched Alex's face. Had she not known that she was being scrutinized, she would have found the blonde's facial reactions adorable. "Stop. I'm not a portrait."
"Do they fade?"
"Maybe I don't know." Delilah disentangled herself from Alex, standing up and stretching before reaching over to grab the wine glasses. Alex watched her from the couch as she walked into the kitchen, dumped the leftover wine and rinsed out the glasses. With a sigh, Alex stood, walking over to the tall beauty.
"I'm not damaged."
"Don't judge me."
Alex wrapped her arms tightly around Delilah, resting her head on the taller woman's shoulders. "I don't."
Delilah hugged the smaller woman back, sighing softly as she noted the time was well into the early morning. "It's late. We should go to sleep. Come." Pulling away, Delilah walked around the house, turning off the lights and locking the doors before heading her way up the stairs to the bedrooms and walking Alex to the blonde's room of choice. Turning to face her, Delilah tilted her head in interest. "You're short."
"Wha- Wait Where the hell did that come from?" Delilah laughed and shook her head. "I'm sorry. I just couldn't help it."
"5'0 is not short!"
"Sweetie I'm 5'9. You're short."
"Whatever " Alex pouted playfully. They looked at each other before laughing. Delilah opened her arms and Alex automatically curled into them, a nighttime ritual that became almost mandatory when they were together. "La buena notte, la donna più bella della mia vita..."
"Will you ever tell me what that means?"
"Nope." Delilah grinned and shooed the smaller girl into her room before briskly walking to her own. Shutting the door and leaning against it, Delilah sighed softly before stretching again. She mused, things were about to get complicated. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad thing.
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