Welcome to QueerBlogWed! Christopher picks off at the Navel right where he left off on Monday. He’s speaking to Juno, trying to figure out how to deal with this Navel regular, who’s a lot more than she appears to be.
“Oh, you’re a confident one, aren’t you?” Juno asked.“You almost remind me of the boys in my lady’s land.” She let out a throaty little chuckle. “Beardless and gentle, yet capable of ensnaring anyone with their perfect pitch.”
How very different this was from the rugged hardness cultivated by men in other places. How they’d fume at stutter at being called ‘beardless and gentle’, yet they sought the same qualities in their male lovers.
An image came to me of a man, beardless himself, yet with wispy hair and a twinkle in his eye. The hair other men cultivated on their chin amused him.
A lump came to my throat, when I thought of him. Another memory lost, devoured by shadows. I didn’t even know which were truly mine.
“It’s all right.” Damian whispered in my memory. I held onto each word, letting them ground me, center me. “This is your rebirth, Christoper.”
I’d been reborn, when I took his hand. Once upon a time, I’d been someone else. Once Upon a Time. I shivered at the word, glancing at the shelves of the Navel, the crystals which Juno had casually touched.
Gabrielle stood to the side, leaning against the counter. In spite her relaxed posture, she kept her eyes fixed upon me, Tiny wrinkles marred her smooth brow, turned her smile lines into something concerned.
“I’m not trying to ensnare anyone,” I said. I met Juno’s eyes. “I’m just hoping to put you at ease. I’m not entirely sure how to do so.”
Juno’s mouth opened and closed. My direct honesty had caught her completely off guard.
“Oh, my dear boy, don’t worry about such a thing!” Juno tittered. She pressed my hands, digging her own long, carefully painted nails into my palms. “I’m quite the regular around the Navel, indeed I’m quite easy to please! Why, I’ve put up with so much from that brute of a husband of mine, there’s very little which bothers me, little indeed!” She fluttered her silvery eyelashes at me. They veiled and unveiled the metallic gray hardness of her eyes. “Besides, I’ve got my ways of taking care of what bothers me, seeing that it never troubles me again, oh yes!”
Such menace lurked within her simple words. No amount of simpering and giggling could hide it.
“I hope I’m not troubling you,” I said. I met her gaze with utter directness. “How might I assist you?” I was surprised at how calm I was.
“Oh, you’re a civil boy, quite a delectable boy!” Juno cooed. The similiarity of her words to Duessa’s struck me. I wondered if the two of them were acqauinted. “All I want is the usual, just a little tea, if you please!”
“Tea?” I glanced over at Gabrielle. I had no idea the Navel had any tea for sale.
She nodded over at collection of pretty tins. They had various images painted upon them. Which one did Juno want? I could have asked her, but she folded her arms and started to hum.
“Oh, can you guess? Can you guess?” She half spoke, half sang the words. “Which is the one for me?”