Von stood behind the bar as if he had been there for years listening to patrons and dispensing wisdom with an avuncular smile. Rog had his ear and Yul, her arm around his waist, had Rog’s. Just a couple feet away Mairi was telling stories of Dr X and Emy and Trev looked like children at story time, eyes wide, drinks holding steady in tight hands with elbows tucked and still. Kyra stood at the doorway, observing the crew and smiled. Something special was in the air, she could feel it, a presence just out of reach, but the feeling was there.

As she stepped into the room, Von’s eyes caught her first, and like falling dominos, everyone stopped mid-conversation and looked in her direction. Kyra’s entire wardrobe seemed to consist of black venusian leather, but in the year they had been together, no one had seen this outfit. Her shinning sable mane flowed from head to shoulder like an Egyptian queen, a slight bounce with each stride, which in and of itself was in marked contrast to her normal ponytail. (Yul squeezed Rog just a little tighter).

Kyra wore long melanic gloves and polished fuligin boots but, well, neither caught the crew’s attention as much as what was not covered in black. Her formfitting outfit curved seamlessly from shoulder to breast, cupping each perfectly firm globe like a second skin, but unlike her bodyglove, from neck to glittering bellybutton was skin porcelain white, taut and tight, exposed like a sensual river reflecting the evening’s glow in the shadow of mountains atrous in dusk. Nestled low, in the seat of birth remembered, sat one brilliant sapphire, matching the twin windows of eyes deep as cisterns blue on a clear day. The natural flow of the design took eye from high to low and minds from welcome to hello.

“Never seen a girl before?” Kyra laughed, knowing full well they had never seen her dress like this. “Von, line them up. Only your best snoot, drinks on me tonight.”

Yul grabbed Rog’s arse and whispered in his ear, “Would you like me to pick them up?”

“What’d you say hon,” said Rog dully.

“Your eyes. Do you want me to pick them off the floor?”

Von reached under the bar and pulled out seven shot glasses, placing them down with that familiar knock of heavy glass on hard wood, as pleasing to the ear as eye. Moving from one to the other he filled each to the brim with golden nectar. Filling the last glass he placed the bottle down on the counter and looked at Kyra.

“One more.” All eyes moved to Kyra and Von looked at her with a blank look. “One more glass.” When he hesitated she added, “eight glasses. We leave no one behind. Now get that eighth glass before I have to mindbat you.”

Von reached under the bar and placed an eighth on the counter.

“Fill it up.”

He did.

“A toast,” said Kyra and she lifted her glass as the others followed suit. “To love, to life, to all we hold dear. A toast to you my friends and a toast to our future. We may part in the morn, but the ties that bind our hearts know neither time nor space.” And with that Kyra drained her glass in one motion and slammed the glass down on the bar as the rest, like a wave, joined and in that motion it seemed a light flashed quick as lightning. “Von, another round.”

Bottle in hand, Von just stood in place, his eyes locked on the end of the bar. The eighth glass was empty.

To be continued . . .

Categories: Story, Kyra, Von, Rog, Yul, Emy, Trev, Mairi, Kieran