Title: Shiraz

Author: Elliott Silver

Email: ElliottSilver@hotmail.com

Author's note: I haven't written in forever, so there would be no greater joy than to let me know what you thought of this piece.

Summary: She was never what Miss Parker had planned, but she was shiraz and the cobwebs that stopped the bleeding.



She was twenty-four when Miss Parker met her.

When they kissed for the first time, her tongue tasted like golden raspberries. They were in Philadelphia at a trendy restaurant and when her hand had lingered at the lacey edge of Miss Parker's garter belt, the bar around them had gone dead silent.

It was the first time in six years Miss Parker could remember being in control.

She kissed her again without smudging her lipstick and ordered another Macallan without rocks. It was warm like the skin between her legs, like the June night.

The bar around them sprang back to life.

It was the first time Miss Parker remembered that awful word, hope.

It was the first time she felt alive, and it was the first time she forgot Jarod.




Elana had ridden horses all her life, and her thighs were tight that way from the way she gripped the saddle, but it was the way she moved that made people stumble or walk into things.

She walked the way metal flashed in the light.

They went for sushi when Elana was three days into twenty-five because Miss Parker couldn't wait any longer. Elana wore black satin with a mandarin collar and handling the chopsticks was the only thing that Miss Parker had ever seen her awkward at. They ate salmon and whitefish and the octopus was chewy as Elana mixed wasabi into her soy saucer and Miss Parker watched the bones dance under her skin.

Elana had looked up.

They didn't see each other for a week and then they were eating caviar with blinis and shreds of egg whites and Elana casually told her it was beluga and had cost $300 for a spoonful. The fish eggs crunched against her teeth, salty and warm like foreplay as she protested.

"Why?" Elana had asked and she didn't have to pretend her voice was innocent. "You're enjoying it, aren't you?"

Elana had eyes that changed color when she was angry, she had very long legs, and she drank cocktails like she was making love. She had a picture of a man she never talked about on her dresser.

Miss Parker had never believed she could love someone else until Elana found her silver Glock under her pillow and shot six out of six hand-blown martini glasses off the second story deck railing with it. She was wearing a tight grey cotton tee shirt she had stolen from someone named Orlando and a red satin thong and they hadn't yet brushed their teeth when Miss Parker kissed her under the pelting hot water of the shower.

Elana was metallic, like marcasite. She used shampoo that smelled like clover and they were still laughing when Miss Parker's phone rang, playing a thread of Mozart. Elana answered with her wet hair dripping water all over the dark blue sheets that still smelled of their coming.

"Who is this?"

For a second the world still spun, then Elana withdrew her hand from Miss Parker's shoulder. There was a minute of undefined space between them; part of it was because Elana would have kept the caller waiting a year if she wanted to, and she almost always did.

"He wants to talk to you."

Elana wore an aquamarine ring on her ring finger; the spider-sharp edge of it nicked Miss Parker's finger as she reached out for the phone and then she remembered there were nine years between Elana and her.

As she answered the phone, she realized there was only five between her and Jarod, but those were escape. A drop of blood welled on her finger and she remembered in the back of her memory that cobwebs had once been used to stop bleeding.

"What are you doing?" His voice was an accusation as Elana stared at her from across the bed. The silk shirt was dove grey; her breasts were high and full under the material and Miss Parker had fallen asleep there two nights in a row.

Elana was never what Miss Parker had planned, but there was a bottle of a limited Australian Shiraz on the black lacquer countertop downstairs because they both hated chardonnays. Miss Parker would arrive precisely at 6:17 after the drive from Delaware and she would have the wine chilled when Elana came home at seven. They would never talk about the Centre.

Elana had high cheekbones and a scar that hooked across her kneecap from where a horse had kicked her. She wore Balenciaga like magic and Miss Parker kept Chanel eye liner in her bathroom cabinet next to the Opium Poppy lipstick that Elana had scripted "I love you" across her bathroom mirror.

Elana was her middle name.

The phone was perfectly silent when she answered, "I'm living."

And for the first time in almost a decade, she told the truth.







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