Chapter 5 (ish, but who’s really counting?)
Eve was sitting on the bed of a pickup truck when we got to Cain’s. Yes, I know it makes more sense to say she was sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck, but she wasn’t. This particular truck, a late-70s model Ford with an impressive green-and-rust-patterned paint job, didn’t have a tailgate anymore. It had a rope across the bed where the tailgate used to be, and Eve was leaning against that with her hands twined through the frayed rope like a bad Delta S&M flick. She’s changed out of her stripped chic and was sporting more restrained brown cowboy boots, Daisy Duke cutoffs and a faded Faster Pussycat t-shirt with a hole under one arm big enough to show her ribcage tattoo.
“How’d you get that to stick, anyway? I’ve always had a hell of a time with ink fading after a few days.” I pointed to the cherry blossoms that lined her left side and armpit.
“It does. I get it touched up about once a week. Let’s go up, I gotta pee.” My Eve, mother of humanity, but a few steps removed from Anne Landers.
“Doesn’t that hurt?” Emily asked.
“Like a bitch.” Eve followed Cain up the stairs without a backwards glance for the girl and me.
Emily looked up at me and asked, “Why would she keep getting it fixed if it’s just going to fade? And why hurt yourself over and over again?”
“That, my dear, may very well be the essence of what makes Eve, Eve. No one’s ever accused her of taking the easy road, or the painless one, or the logical one. But once she commits to something, it’s not a good idea to get in her way. Let’s go on up, we need to grab our bags and get moving.” We followed the others upstairs and found Cain standing in the small living room looking around confused.
“What’s up, son? Mom peeing with the door open again?” I slid past him towards the kitchen and grabbed a Red Bull out of the fridge. Immortal or not, I still wanted a little extra boost if I was going to be driving half the night.
“Where are they?” Emily asked as she looked around the room. That’s when I realized that we were alone in the apartment. Myra and Michael weren’t where we had left them, which would be on the sofa. As a matter of fact, they weren’t anywhere in the apartment.
Eve came out of the bathroom buttoning her shorts and said, “What’s the holdup? Where’s the floozy and the fucknugget angel?” The snarky grin faded from her face when she saw the look in Emily’s eyes. “What’s going on?”
“They’re not here.” I said.
“What do you mean, they’re not here?” Eve said. Finally, somebody else’s turn to give the stupid response.
“Small words, Eve. Was there one in particular you didn’t understand, or was it just a general denseness that you needed help with?” I was worried about Myra, but wasn’t going to pass up one of my few opportunities to be snide. When most of the people you associate with are sharper of wit than you are, it’s important to take your shots whenever they come along.
“I get that they’re not here, asshole, but where are they?” Eve shot a concerned glance over at Emily, who was looking a little frantic at her mom’s absence.
“Saint Patrick’s.” Cain’s voice came from the kitchenette.
“Huh?” I lapsed immediately from witty to my typical eloquence as I wandered into the sitting area with him. He handed me a note in Myra’s hand.
“Don’t worry about me, Michael is showing me St. Patrick’s Church. We’ll wait for you in Lafayette Square until dawn. If you haven’t shown up by then, we’ll watch the sun rise in the park, go to the early Mass, and meet you back here. We’ll pick up some beignets for the road. Love, M.” I showed it to Emily, who was starting to show signs of early freak-out.
“It’s her handwriting, and she loves old churches, so it makes sense. Not sure why she’d go off with Michael, though. He’s a bit of a douche.” Emily looked around as Eve barked out a laugh at that last bit. I stifled my own laugh, but Cain didn’t bother.
Between chuckles he said, “She probably went out with him because we were gone all friggin’ day. Remember, we left around 11:30 in the morning to bail Mom out. Then we went to the casino, and what happens in casinos happened, which is to say we lost track of more than a few hours. Then we had our little encounter with the Prince of Fucking Darkness and meandered on back here, and now it’s well after midnight. So I’m not surprised that your mom got tired of waiting on us and decided to go off and do something on her own.”
“Prince of Darkness? This would be a really good time for you to tell me that vampires are real and Lestat really does wander the Quarter.” Eve said in a voice more concerned than any I’d ever heard her use. She actually looked frightened, an emotion I’d thought her incapable of.
“No, Mom. It was Him. He found us outside the casino and made his presence known.” Cain went over to Eve and guided her down to a diner-style kitchen chair when it looked like her legs suddenly wouldn’t hold her weight.
“What did he want?” She looked haunted, like everything since The Garden was flashing through her mind.
“He wanted to warn Dad.”
“Warn Adam? About what?” she asked.
“His Choice.” Cain told her. He sat next to her in another chair that looked like it belonged to a four-top in Mel’s Diner, but also looked just about perfect against his ultra-modern kitchen appliances. The fifties-style vinyl chairs and flecked table stood is stark relief against the iPod white of all his various blenders, dicers, juicers and other implements of destruction that would surely baffle Paula Deen, much less me, with my culinary skills leaning more towards the Swedish Chef on the Muppets than anything ever shown on the Food Network. Eve just stared at him for a minute before she looked up at me.