Poison's Bend: Chapter 13
Warnings: Implied sex, violence
When I returned from the hospital early in the morning after Buzz’s death, I found the house empty.
The nanny, unaware that Buzz had actually died, had sent Catherine on to school... presumably telling her that Grandpere had become ill in the night, that he was in the hospital, and that was all.
I was glad of it.
It gives me time.
Few people had known Nervous had been diabetic. He did not make an issue of it; testing his blood and using his insulin in the prescribed amounts quietly and privately. When he died, he had left a store of unused lancets, test strips, insulin and syringes tucked away in the bathroom cabinet.
I should have discarded it long before now.
It was of no use to me.
It was dangerous, as well.
After all, an inadvertent injection of insulin in a healthy person could cause cardiac arrest.
Yes, I definitely needed to dispose of those medications before someone was hurt!
In the hours following my return home from the hospital, I occupied myself by burning Nervous’ leftover diabetic supplies in the fireplace until not a shred remained but tiny warped shards of unidentifiable substance.
Then, as I watched the last embers fade, I heard the school bus stop outside. Catherine was home.
Sadly, I took a deep breath and prepared myself to talk to my daughter.
“Nanny told me he was just sick!” Catherine wailed, her grey eyes wide and disbelieving. “Sick people go to the hospital to get better, Mommy! He’s going to get better!”
“No cherie,” I soothed, holding her close. “Sometimes there is nothing the doctors can do, and when that happens, the sick people do sometimes pass away.”
“Not Grandpere! He’s stronger than anybody!”
“I’m so sorry, baby.”
I held her in my lap and gently rocked her like I had done when she was very small, and after a time, her frightened, frustrated tears gave way to the cleansing sobs of grief, and eventually quieted.
“I’m going to miss him, Mommy.”
“So am I, Catherine,” I answered, sighing and holding her close.
Contrary to my initial beliefs, Lazlo Curious did call.
In fact, during the weeks following Buzz’s funeral, he actually called many times, and it was amazing how quickly we were able to become friends, despite his hectic schedule at the hospital and my occupation with raising Catherine alone.
Soon his frequent calls became regular visits, and we began to spend a great deal of time together, along with Catherine.
He was wonderful with her... offering her gentle friendship, guidance, and support, without appearing overly paternal, which was exactly what she needed.
Then, after Catherine would go to bed, he and I would spend the warm summer nights together, talking about anything and everything that entered our minds.
Oui... talking, although I could tell he wanted more, and if I was honest with myself, I did as well.
He was very hard to resist.
“Lazlo, are you seeing anyone... romantically?” I asked him one night.
We were relaxing in the hot tub, listening to the sounds of the summer evening. Although I didn’t drink alcohol, I had purchased a case of imported beer when I learned my new friend had a taste for it, and at that point in the conversation, he’d polished off quite a bit, saying it was the best beer he’d ever had.
“Why do you ask?” he replied, prizing the cap from another bottle.
“Well, I remember Pascal saying something about a girlfriend...”
“Crystal.” Lazlo affirmed. “Yeah, she and I dated for a while, but it didn’t work out. She wasn’t really my type, I guess.” He raised his bottle and drank. “We went our separate ways a few years ago, and I haven’t had a steady relationship since.”
“That’s too bad.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Is it? Is it really?”
There was no denying the suggestive tone in his voice.
“I’m not sure,” I answered. “I know if you were with someone else, you probably wouldn’t be spending so much time with me, and...”
I didn’t get a chance to finish.
More swiftly than I had ever seen him move, he reached for me and pulled me into a deep kiss.
Like a thirsting man who reaches an oasis, he hungrily devoured my mouth, his arms wrapping around me, murmuring soft words I could not understand...
It was odd how I had always detested the taste of beer until I tasted it on his lips.
Then, it was delicious.
“Aerin, this isn’t a good idea,” Lazlo whispered finally in a hoarse voice. “It’s obviously no secret how I feel about you, but you’re my... I mean, you were married to Pascal, and I think that...”
“Shh,” I said, trailing my fingers gently under his jawline. “Don’t think. Just feel...”
He gazed at me with an unspoken question, lust filling his brown eyes.
“Aerin...” he was breathing hard. “Gods, Aerin… I want to...”
“I know,” I interrupted. “So do I.”
“But do you think we should?” he asked, kissing me softly.
I didn’t need words to answer.
To Be Continued...