Timeline: March 17th, 2008

Lyla found Ramiel asleep on the front porch when she crept back to the house in the early hours of the morning. He had only recently passed out as the clove was still burning in the ash tray. He had been acting fatigued for the past couple days, and a bit unusual.

She paused, picked up the pungent, black cigarette and snuffed out the still-glowing cherry in the ash tray. She sat down next to him on the bench he was using and used her own body as a pillow to better support his head and neck.

The new warmth startled him. “Michael…” He muttered as he sleepily sat up. Smelling perfume he asked, “Hmm… Lyla?” He asked as he rubbed his eyes.

“Hi,” she said softly. “Dreaming about your boy toy?”

Ramiel’s eyes grew wide enough to pop out of his head. They held shock in them, and not what she said, more what that phrase made him recall. Shock with an edge of terror. He shook the thoughts from his mind and ran his hands through the tangles his hair was becomming. “I’m not sleeping well.”

His reaction both surprised and worried her. Concern etched itself across her face. “What’s wrong? What could trouble my noble man so much?”

“I will never live this down. But I get the feeling it is serious, so I am willing to risk you endless teasing. Do try and not tease me.” He took a drink from the water glass next to him.

“I have not been with anyone in a couple weeks now, not since, well. My dreams have turned erotic, and disturbing. Over and over again I kill the person I am with. I don’t know how, they just start getting weak and then cry for me to stop whatever I am doing, and say I am killing them.

“I think it is just lack of sex, lack of sleep and too much on my mind. Still, it is disturbing.” He watched for her laughter he knew would be coming.

But she didn’t laugh. “Dreams try to tell us something. They usually aren’t literal, so all we can do is just guess at what they meant.

“Whoa, wait a minute!” she said abruptly. “You haven’t even had sex? Is it me? Is it because I’ve been upset about our loss?” She suddenly wished she’d gotten to work on finding out more about the Bar to Birth rite. She was a little surprised to find she was willing to have sex again after only a few weeks since she’d lost her baby, but she wasn’t so sure Ramiel would be since she didn’t have the rite yet.

“Surprised.” He said. “Bet you didn’t think it effected me that much. I lost my child too Lyla. Our child. Yeah I admit I did not react too well but really you could have chosen a better time to tell me. I was nearly dead, pissed off and soaked in blood. Add in Chaska and his mockery, no I didn’t react as I should have.

“I really wanted to hold our baby, to raise him, to share our lives with him. I even saw a glimmer of finding peace in that. So yeah, I was hurt and affected just as much as you were. No I have not felt like fucking for a while.” He sounded almost drained as he spoke, like the onset of a cold.

“Me either,” she said. “And your color isn’t good. Maybe I can help you feel better. Let’s get you to my room.”

Ramiel picked her up and headed upstairs.

Lyla laughed chuckled softly. “I guess you are a little lonely.” She put her arms around his neck. “My poor man,” she said softly. “But I’ll show you how much you really are appreciated.”

He moaned deep within his chest and locked the door behind him.

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