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May 31, 2012

I Hraet You (10)

Beat 10: A Shame There’s No Moon Tonight

Lloyd blinked for what felt like the first time in an hour.  While he thanked Aphrodite that Trixie hadn’t tried to attack him, he still didn’t find any solace in her bleak stare.  He wasn’t getting anywhere, just sitting by the door like a guard dog; he’d have to take a chance.  “Are these accommodations enough for you, Miss Walters?” he asked.  He waved a hand in front of his face.  “My apologies if my room isn’t quite up to your standards of décor; had I known I’d be playing the host tonight, I would have furnished it far more suitably.”

“Yer room ain’t the problem, pal,” said Trixie, glaring at Lloyd from the bed with sheets clenched tight. 

“Oh?  Then what is?”

“Ya been starin’ at me for the past hour.  How am I supposed to get to sleep if I gotta keep an eye on you all night long?”

“You could sleep with your eyes open.”

Trixie groaned, and let her eyes drift around.  Even though the host had said otherwise, he’d kept his room in almost immaculate order.  While the room -- like the rest of the house -- didn’t have much in the way of space, he’d managed to give his bastion a minimalist style.  Wire-thin shelves held dozens of books, perfectly arranged by size and title.  Orchids blooming from rectangular pots lay in the room’s corners.  Colorless paintings hung from the walls, each one framed in black and descending like a staircase.  By the right wall stood a rack full of frilly costumes, flanked on the left by rolled-up papers, and flanked on the right by a box full of stage props.  Even the bed she sat in felt too clean for use; propped up on a violet carpet, and bearing corners sharper than the average knife, she almost felt like a filthy slob in comparison.

Her eyes slid momentarily to a door on the left -- a plum-hued door, just barely a shade above black thanks to the street lamps’ light slipping through the blinds.  “Ya got a nice room,” she muttered. 

“No, no, this is nothing too spectacular.”  Lloyd followed her gaze to the purple door.  “My closet.  I wouldn’t recommend opening it, my dear.  It can get rather…er…unsavory in there.”

Trixie nodded.  “So…listen…mind if I ask ya somethin’?”


“Why do ya keep starin’ at me?”

Lloyd smiled cheerily.  “Establishing eye contact is the first step in forming a satisfying, long-lasting relationship!  If I’m to make my ambitions more than just a flighty dream, then I’ve no choice but to appeal to the daughters of Eve in whatever manner I can.”  He held out a hand.  “Are you in the mood for a bit of late-night socializing?  I assure you, that is my only aim for now.”

“Like that’s supposed to make me feel better, pal.”  She shook her head.  “Fine.  Whaddya wanna talk about?”

“Well, how about…ummm…hmmm…you know, I so rarely get this far when it comes to women that I’m a bit at odds.  What do women usually talk about in situations like these?”

“Ah, ya know -- just whatever comes to mind.  Stuff that’s been buggin’ us, or --”

“An incendiary statement provoking a pillow fight?”  Lloyd stroked his chin.  “At least, that’s how common media outlets paint the picture.  Who’s to say how truthful the occurrence actually is?”

“What’s yer problem?”


Trixie stared at Lloyd with a heated gaze, leaning forward and twisting the sheets about.  “Takin’ me into yer home…actin’ all buddy-buddy with me…goin’ around and talkin’ like a damn lunatic…”  She glanced at her hand for a moment.  “And I still don’t know what ya did to me.  Ya tryin’ to make me yer slave or somethin’?  Ya wanna make every girl in town a part o’ yer little harem thing?”

Lloyd stared at her with widened eyes -- and then, offered a slight smile.  “Yes.  I DO want to make you a part of my harem.”

“So yer some kinda perve-”

But before she could finish, Lloyd held up a finger.  “BUT I have no intention of making a slave out of you or anyone else, Miss Walters.  As disgraceful as it may sound on the surface, I can assure you my intentions are far nobler than they appear.” 

“What’s that mean?”

The price turned aside for a moment, taking in a few deep breaths.  “How to explain this…?” he asked himself.  He sighed quickly.  “You assume that what I’m after is the pleasure associated with a harem -- that is, the carnal relations you’d expect from such an organization.”

“W-well, yeah.  Just not in so many words.”

“Then as you or any normal person would put it, you think that all I want is to make love to as many women as I can.”

Trixie could only nod.

“You wouldn’t be the first to assume such -- and you won’t be the last.”  Lloyd lowered his head, with just a slight smirk visible in the night.  “I want to gather as many people as I can together, under one world-renowned umbrella.  And when I do, I’ll begin moving towards my goal in earnest.”

“What’s that?”

Lloyd looked back up at her, grinning like a child with a lollipop.  “To spread love.”

“Yer serious?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?  Love is the force that permeates our world, transforming us, enlightening us…and in more than a few stories, entertaining us.  It’s a power that I aim to make more known, more respected throughout the land -- a counterbalance to the cynical times that grip us, as well as the loss of faith in humanity.  We need love now more than any generation before us; therefore, as its self-dedicated agent, I intend to spread it as far as my mortal body will allow.”  He shook his head and laughed.  “Silly me.  Though my body may be flesh and bone, my spirit will endure for generations to come -- and so long as it does, so too shall my dream.”

Trixie’s mouth moved, but not a single sound came out of it.

“Oh.  There is one minor caveat to my harem,” said Lloyd, rubbing his cheek with one finger.  “As per my specifications, ideally those with specific body types are to be the first official members.”

“Specific body ty-”

“Buxom women.  They’re the ones I want to show my love to first.”

“…Yer sure yer not a pervert?” Trixie asked, her brow tightening.

“Last I checked I wasn’t.”  He shrugged.  “What I do, I do for a reason.  I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a bit haphazard at times, but there is indeed a line of reasoning that I adhere to.”  He waved a hand through the air.  “It’s all squiggly, like this.  See?” 

Trixie stared blankly at Lloyd as he drew a garbled mess -- all with the same lighthearted grin.  Before he could say anything more, she held up a hand.  “Hate to cut ya off, pal,” she said, patting her crown, “but I’m beat.  Mind if we call it a night?  We can talk tomorrow.”

“O-oh, yes, of course!  You women should get as much rest as possible, so you can retain your supple charms!”

Trixie flung herself down onto the mattress, and threw the sheets over her face.  “Yeah, yeah.  Whatever you say, Romeo.”

“Romeo…that’s the second time you’ve called me that today.”


Lloyd turned aside, his eyes narrowing and his lips tightening to maintain that smile.  “Heh heh…Romeo.  Ha.  Yes...that name doesn’t suit me at all…”  He glanced upward at Trixie.  Still hidden by the sheets. 

Perfect.  As an actor, he couldn’t afford to slip up in a performance.


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