The Bloody Rose of Morning

For Vryka’s prompt.

Facets of Dusk has a landing page here.

Cole woke.

He generally considered this a good start to the day, getting things off on an immediate positive note.

He woke in a bed, which was even nicer, a comfortable bed with soft sheets. The day was already looking up. And there was a warm presence next to him, soft-skinned and pleasant smelling. The night was beginning, slowly, to come back to him, in blurry flashes. The team… the team was in another room, in the same house, or perhaps several rooms. Their hostess…

…Propped herself up on one elbow and smiled at him. “The water of the dawn falls sweeter than the rain of the evening.”

Ah, this.

Cole wracked his mind, but the only thing that came up was

“He drinks a whisky drink
He drinks a vodka drink
He drinks a lager drink
He drinks a cider drink

He sings the songs that remind him
Of the good times
He sings the songs that remind him
Of the better times”

The girl smiled uncertainly at him and reached for a bottle by the bedside, while, still smiling, Cole cursed himself. Josie had been on a roll last night, pulling lyrics out of her ass, and even Aeric had been able to come up with a poem or two. Cole? Cole could manage Chumbawumba.

“But the sweetest morning comes,” she continued, her gaze far too intense for his comfort, “with the coldness of reasoning.”

Oh, shit. Where was Josie when he needed her?

Right, not watching him in bed with another woman. Or at least not with this bronze-skinned beauty with the stunning eyes.

Stunning eyes. Stunning… blue… eyes. Sinatra!

“I thought I found the gal I could trust,
watta bust, this is how the story ends:
She’s gonna turn me down and say,
‘Can’t we be just friends?'” He gave her a game smile, but she was frowning at him. Which was still a lovely expression, but not the one he was hoping for.

“Those who would be drunk upon the bloody roses of the morning beware the price of the wine,” she informed him firmly.

“The price…” He quashed the Kanya West lyrics that came to mind, and just shook his head. “It was a lovely night, beautiful.”

“The bloody morning wine,” she repeated, one hand gesturing crudely at parts of herself, “is sweet, but ware the path its taste will lead.”

He had to get out of here before he ended up married. Again. Was it bigamy if the wives were in different worlds? “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra,” he tried weakly, and, because it generally solved things, he kissed her.

She kissed him back, and seemed to agree with him, by the press of her body, that it was a good idea. So he kept kissing, fully intending to keep on tasting her bloody morning roses as long as she’d allow it.

Until someone started pounding on the door. “Those who taste the morning wine must pay the sherrif’s rosy fine!” shouted a deep and angry voice.

Sighing, Cole reached for his pants, the girl, and his gun. And the morning had been looking so good!


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