"Did she just say "gorged to bloatation?" asked Rufus.
He felt Mister Six gently rubbing his tummy. "I think she did, yes. Funny, I've watched this five times and I was never quite able to figure out what she said there..."
"That's the worst-sounding description of it I've ever heard!" said Rufus.
A piece of popcorn appeared before his lips, pinched between two long red nails. He sighed, but obediently stuck out his tongue to receive it, knowing she would only press more on him if he refused.
"Put your right off your popcorn," Rihanna grinned, crunching a few bites herself.
The sight of a pretty BBW munching popcorn put ideas into Mister Six's head, but unfortunately he was on the other side of the couch. He bent to Rufus' ear, whispered, "See if she'll let you eat it out of her--"
Rihanna: "Oh no, he hit him with the tea kettle!"
After the brief flurry of excitement was over--he killed him and then was just drinking tea? That wasn't what they were after--they settled again in a big heap on the sofa (faintly dusted with popcorn fragments.) Rihanna sat on the left, Mister Six on the right and Rufus was snuggled between them, his head pillowed on Rihanna's ample thighs. They had been feeding him candy, popcorn, soda, and other sweets off and on all day, and he felt...not sick, exactly, but over-cloyed with sugar. Mister Six leaned up against Rufus' side, stroking his sides and belly. Rufus' slight discomfort added to the tension that always coiled inside him when they watched any kind of horror movie.
"You know," said Rihanna, taking a sip of her white wine, "I have no idea why I like this movie."
"It's got Johnny Depp in it," said Rufus, wincing as the boy sat on the trunk, crushing the fingers of the man trapped inside.
"No," said Mister Six, "everyone likes Johnny Depp," as if a universal should immediately be dismissed as an unfair advantage.
"What is it, then?" asked Rufus.
"Gives vore a whole new meaning."
"Oh, God, now that's horrible!" laughed Rihanna, and she pelted Mister Six with popcorn fragments until the barber opened the lid of the trunk and and the man that had been hit with the tea kettle rose up from inside like a zombie.
"Oh, is he going to let him go? No--look!" cried Mister Six.
Rufus sat straight up, his chest heaving. He felt his thighs and fists clench as he watched the lavish spirts of blood, the jerk and shudder. He brought his hands up--
"Don't hide your eyes, Rufus! The killing's the best part!"
Mister Six hand his hand on Rufus' biceps, and he felt the rolling of the great muscles there. Behind his emo movie-star locks and his cuddly tummy, Rufus had the arms of a prizefighter, but even Andre sometimes forgot this. He discovered his heart was hammering, transferred his hand to Rufus' hard nipples, his soft tummy, stroked him like a cat. He felt Rufus relax, and his attention was once again caught by the movie.
"'Haven't you had enough for one day?'" quoted Andre. "Ha! That's the best line ever!"
"It wasn't so bad," said Rufus, sounding surprised at himself. He found himself wanting to see it again, wanting the rush. The strength in those arms, the release of that blood...
"You know," said Rihanna, wrapping one of his long locks around her finger, "for someone who's stomach can take so much abuse, you're awfully sensitive!"
Rufus blushed. He was entirely unable to explain the fluttering, touchy, unbearable tension that came over him when he saw certain things in movies. It was like waiting for an explosion. "It's not my stomach that hurts when I see things like that in movies..."
"He's tender hearted," said Mister Six, ruffling Rufus' long hair.
"No...tender headed," said Rufus.
"Well," Mister Six smirked, "we all knew that!" He flicked the bulge in Rufus' pants, making Rufus blush all over again.
"Rihanna!" Mister Six called. "Did that box come in the mail today?"
His voice echoed weirdly off the harsh angles of his New York flat. Andre sighed in frustration. Even in a place less than a third the size of the Seattle Hacienda, she still managed to elude him. And here it was, almost 10-o-clock--and on All Hallows Eve!
He stopped by the darkened picture window, frowned at the elfin face reflected in the glass. He tilted his fedora onto his head, pulled up the collar. More than anything else tonight, he wished for a face people would take as a serious threat.
Mister Six let out his breath, straightened, looked deep into his reflection. He tried to assume the mental attitude of the character he had chosen, tried to draw from his tempestuous desires that cold and stoic spark...into the goat's appetite for raw eggs and sugar cubes...the kind of mind that would see a head split open in the unfolding of a pretty butterfly's wings...
Mister Six's sigh fogged the cold window--it was no good without a mask. Who knew he wouldn't be able to find the right mask?
As he drew patterns in the steam something Rufus had said a long time ago came back to him, about the mystery of darkened windows. The pressure of dark was like the pressure of water, thousands of gallons held back by a single sheet of glass...
Somewhere above him a door opened, shut.
His fedora slipped to the floor as he turned, his thin hand splayed against the icy glass. On the floor above him began a heavy, measured tread, as if the feet and legs that made them were beginning to stiffen.
A figure appeared at the top of the stairs.
He wore a button-down shirt, white, the sleeves full. It was pulled in close to his waist by a purple vest, and his black pants were snug across his rounded thighs. Over this was a dark brown apron--as simple as what would be used in a butcher's shop. But it was his face that was the best...and the worst. Years ago he had been apprenticed to a master of transformations, and his fingers had not forgotten that art. His eye-pits had been blacked, so that his blue eyes snapped and sparkled in the depths. His coal-black hair had been swept back, teased so that it made a kind of mane, and above his left eye was a bleached streak a finger's width wide. But it was the smaller touches that made Mister Six draw in his breath, the subtle lines of age tracked across the brow, pulling at the corner of his eyes. His full cheeks had developed sooty hollows. The effect was of full, firm flesh that had been drawn back to show the angle of terrible hungers.
"I need a knife," he said.
Mr. Six could only say stupidly, "a what?"
"A steak knife, an exacto knife... something. I need one." He was trying to fasten the cuffs of his spotless white shirt as he spoke.
"You don't need a knife," said Mister Six. "You need blood."
Rufus stopped what he was doing and looked at Mr. Six. He ran his eyes down the filthy brown trench coat, the bulging pockets, the purple pants with their black pinstripe, ending in a pair of very scruffy shoes. "Who were you supposed to be?"
"I was going to have Rihanna paint my face with white and black, but--" Mister Six ran a gloved hand through his red hair, and was reminded of his fedora, which was still on the floor. "Never mind." He rescued his hat, pulled it down at a rakish angle. "Come with me into the kitchen--I know just what you need."
"Here we are," said Mister Six into the fridge. He emerged with a mound of uncooked hamburger on a plate, the bloody juices pooling around it. Its ridges made Rufus think of brains.
"Salmonella," said Rufus.
"Just watch where you put your hands," said Mr. Six, taking up a handful. Then he squeezed it over Rufus' arm, the red flesh oozing through his fisted fingers. It wasn't the bright blood they were hoping for, just a clear dribble.
"Ugh," said Rufus.
"Jesus, what are you doing?"
Rihanna swept into the kitchen. She was wearing an emerald dress with loads of frills, her bodice pushed her ample breasts out and up. Rufus grinned hard when he saw her. Just the sight of her made a warmth come up from his loins and cover his sensitive belly.
He had forgotten the effect such a lecherous grin would achieve, augmented by his makeup--Rihanna stopped dead, her fan fluttering in her hand. "Rhianna," said Mister Six, "the box--"
"Oh, it came today, silly!"
She came back with a brown-paper wrapped box, which she unwrapped. Both Andre and Rufus caught their breath, for were greasepaint and brushes, lashes and gummed gems, false hair, vials of glitter, the teeth of old men and beasts. And inside the box was a still smaller box, in which were three lines of ruby capsules. Mister Six held one up to the light, and it glowed like a stone taken from the forehead of an idol.
Rufus was confused. "How do you...."
"You bite them," Rihanna said. She plucked one out and held it to her prettily made up lips like lipstick. "You bite it, tho... I don't want to get it on my dress. Don't worry, it says it's OK if you swallow it..."
Mister Six had already taken one and given it a nip. He made a face. Then he stood back from Rufus and flung it at him, slashing his waistcoat with artful sprays, the drops trickling down the curve of smooth fabric that covered his belly. He squeezed whole capsules onto his shoulders, making red pools on his dominant arm. He held his arm lightly, lifting it, feeling the hard curve of muscle underneath the soft billows of cloth. He pressed himself a little closer, his thigh meeting the curve of Rufus' thigh, a little bit of his chest meeting Rufus' side. He tugged off the fingerless gloves and made Rufus pull them on--they were too large on Mr. Six but on Rufus they fit perfectly. Rufus flexed his fingers, smiling.
"Ready to go?" asked Rihanna.
"Not yet," said Mr. Six, and disappeared into the bedroom.
"We'll be late--!"
"Just a minute!" Mister Six yelled back. Through the open door Rufus saw the trench coat go sailing across the room and heard water running.
He was looking at her dress, at the structure of the bodice. "Feels nice, doesn't it?" he said, his eyes straying to the laces.
"Like body armor," she laughed, knocking on it gently with her knuckles.
"A hardness without for the softness within," said Rufus.
Rihanna shivered. His flexible voice could mimic a hundred different people, but this one...she had heard it a hundred times, filtered through speakers, but never carried by a living breath. Instinctively, she raised her fan, dropped her eyes.
"No. No..." said Rufus. "Let me see your face." He took a step closer to her, in the tiny kitchen, and she felt his hand slip under her smooth chin, his thumb caress her smooth neck.
He raised her chin. Rihanna's red hair was artfully piled on her head, little tendrils coming down around her ears. Her large eyes, fringed with velvet and black, looked up into his in their black pits.
"I hadn't seen you yet with your makeup on," he said, and there was a kind of purr in his throat. His hand, as it raised her chin, was faintly red, and smelled of the raw meat they had been handling.
"Do you like it?" she breathed. She felt as if his hand had stretched her onto her toes, unbalanced her.
With his other hand he fingered the cameo hanging from its emerald ribbon, the lace that fringed her breasts. "You look very pretty," he said.
When he let go of her his fingers left three small red flowers on her cheek.
"Think I should shave?" asked a mocking voice at his elbow. Mister Six was standing there. He had a white shirt and white vest on, and was turning a top hat in his hands.
"Well," purred Rufus, "aren't you beautiful."
He turned to the woman at his side. "Don;t you think he's pretty?"
"Oh, very much, sir," she said, holding up her fan again but her eyes gleaming with mischief. "But I think he needs one more detail."
Mister Six held his hat by the brim, pressed against his stomach. "What could that be?"
Rufus' eyes moved to the box on the table.
Rihanna handed Rufus a capsule. "You do the honors."
It was bitter, Rufus thought as he bit into it. It had a strange, pomegranate taste, with the consistency of corn syrup... sticky and red...
Mister Six wouldn't do what he wanted. Rufus was taller, he couldn't see under Mr. Six's chin. "Not far enough," he said gruffly, and reached up to grasp Mr. 6 by the hair, tipping his head back. Mr. Six gasped slightly--pushing his chest forward, his arms limp at his sides as if he dangled in Rufus' grasp... Rufus could see the great vein pulsing in his neck.
With great precision Rufus drew a cold red line across Mr. Six's neck. The pretty boy hardly made a sound as the red blood ran down his neck and pooled in his collar.
"Don't wipe it off," growled Rufus as Mr. Six reached up to touch the wetness, "you're going to wear it like that all night."
"I won't," said Mr. Six. touching it and laughing.
Rhianna plucked a pair of fangs from the box and put them into her pretty mouth. She smiled into her compact, snapped it shut. "Well, are we all together now?" She was already heading for the door.
His hand crushed her wrist, and she found herself snapped around, chest to chest, his prisoner all in a moment. She saw the red capsule trapped in the corner of his grin, felt her tongue poking through her fangs, flimsy plastic.
"I don't think so, love," Rufus growled. He pressed her up against the counter, and she could feel the heat spreading from his crotch through her dress, felt a warm drop on her breast. "You see," he murmured, caressing soft, "you're next!"