The Praetorian Outlet, vol. 4

The bitter wine tasted sour in my mouth but I drank it down in hefty gulps anyways. The wine wasn’t mine and I could get in a lot of trouble drinking it, but being the General’s Daughter, there was a lot I could get away with.

No matter what I did, including getting completely drunk, wouldn’t change anything. Perhaps I wasn’t really supposed to be drinking such copious amounts of alcohol, but to be bluntly honest, I didn’t give a fuck. It didn’t matter what I did, it wouldn’t change how he treated me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Of course there are times of extreme flirtation, times when he looks at me with those sharp blue eyes. I just want to dive into them but I never get enough time. It always leads in the right direction but there is never any payout for my efforts. By this point, most of what I do feels completely useless. At the end of the day he stands in front of me yet looks right through me. It’s like I’m not even there, or he’s seeing someone that isn’t really there.

He had kissed me once, several moons ago. It had shocked me straight down to my toes and it had been the first time I had ever been kissed, but it only lasted a moment. Before I realized what was happening he was apologizing profusely and backing down the hallway without a backwards glance. Now, it was little more than smiles and heavy glances, a subtle touch or quick embrace. A few flirtatious words and then a pause of blank emptiness before he ended the charade and immediately walked away. It truly baffled me and I didn’t know what to do with it.

Flirtation and hope be damned, it would never become anything. I picked up the bottle sitting next to me and skipped the glass, downing the last remaining gulps straight from the opening. As I set the bottle down I felt the easy swimming sensation melt my mind into blissful delight. “That’s better,” I said allowing a smile to float across my lips.

“You look like you could use a friend,” a burly voice said behind me. I turned to see him before he plop down beside in the balcony I had been hiding in.  “Care to join me?” He asked as he extended a second bottle of wine in my direction.

“What are you doing?” I asked sharply not caring if my tone came across a tad harsh. He didn’t seem to notice. He just smiled and slowly pulled the cork free from the bottle before handing it to me.

“I’m drinking with my friend, is that not allowed?”

“No,” I shot back at him though immediately regretted it and ammended my tone . “Well, I mean I won’t tell anyone about it.”

“Good,” he said with a wink as his hand slipped up to the side of my face and pushed into the blonde waves of my hair. “This will be our little secret.”

— Charlie Ballen, Second Lieutenant of the Rogue Resistence

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