14 Lovers: 8 : Neville Landless 1965 – 1967

“I’ll have to pay for all this,” said Neville, when his fortunes turned, “there is always a price.”

Nothing good ever happened to Neville without a equal and opposite reaction. Neville born to be orphaned, Neville brilliant and walking with a limp, Neville the popular but penniless musician, Neville the weak, Neville the small.

Neville knew Charles was too good to be true from the moment the monster found him playing in 30th street station. Charles was handsome and tall, rich and well regarded. He should have been swarming with women, hell, he should have been married. But Charles was single, and Charles was willing to sin.

It was worse, Neville knew, that Charles fell in love right away, that such a man should take an interest in him. If Charles had beaten him, Neville might have sighed in relief, knowing that he had properly paid for his new lover. But there were no beatings, no cruel words and so Neville waited, tense, knowing that his debt was unpaid

It came as no surprise to Neville, when Charles told him what kind of creature he really was. Neville had expected far worse than to be consumed, a little at a time, to be engaged in a peaceful sort of horror. For the first time in his life, Neville drank wine, he ate rich food, and with the attentions of his lover, even his limp faded. Now it was Neville the lean, Neville the strong, Neville the loved. But the price wasn’t high, not nearly enough for this fortune.

“There’s a toll” said Neville, to Charles, nearly even night “My fortunes are always bitter.”

“Perhaps your bad luck is over.” said Charles.”Perhaps your fortunes have changed.”

“People like me don’t get to leave their fortunes.” said Neville.

“Can’t living with a monster be your toll?” Asked Charles.

“I’m sure it will be.” said Neville

But it wasn’t Charles the monster that killed Neville. At a party, another decadent, gilded affair, a rival saw Neville, blush and healthy, strong and vibrant, his violin singing, those strings so tight. Neville was like glass, so delicate, so easy to destroy. Neville was a bully’s dream.

Neville collapsed under his fortunes. The scum destroyed Neville, simply because it was easy, because it would anger Charles. It was careless and jealous, thoughtless and bitter. “Was that yours?” asked the rival, knowing full well the truth,”So sorry,” he said, laughing. “No really, so, so, sorry.”

Charles picked Neville up, his body limp and relaxed against his chest, like he had finally let go, his last payment made.

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