“He sounds like an ass,” corrected Malakai, without any malicious intent. Without any real conviction either, making conversation as he was for the pure pleasure for it he didn’t actually feel, and yet his mind was spinning. The calm he experienced, he knew, was more related to the influx of information. To the constant state of intelligence swapped between them, natterings perhaps intended to be useless but far be it for him to disregard facts. Even if he doubted he’d make large use of the nonsense spoken today, the analytical, and obsessive parts of him, his entire being in fact, understood it wiser to know than the opposite.
And like that, he knew that that Evan liked his tea with alcohol, and that he drank it without it, as well, prompting Malakai’s mind to return to the matcha and how it may appease the man. He knew, too, that Evan regarded religion with no great appreciation, no more of a fan than a random heathen. With his pagan mind and disbelieving smile, he dubbed it fairy tales, and Malakai quirked his lips into a sardonic smile. He actually didn’t know what to feel. His mind, keen on facts, and ignorant of vagueness, in fact agreed wholeheartedly. They were fairy tales, and they were fairy tales for adults. Not a concern unless you considered their voting rights. How could you trust a man with your future if he bows to an invisible figure? He ventures out to the church when he finds the time and passes by all those begging, all the poor, all those whose faces spell poverty; he walks by and pays them enough heed as he the dirt under his heels.
Men of similar caliber had no right to dictate the futures of others, and yet time and over again world elected them for their leaders, for those who promised brightness in the coming days. Nonsense. But if fairy-tale-loving men were elected, they had been given voice by men who needed said fairy-tales to feel better about themselves. Malakai regarded Evan with something cool, and something that lay in wait. His brow quirked. “We might just bond, after all,” he said, slowly, like he’d rather not hear himself talk at all if these were his words. The confession of a probable bond twisted his guts and made him want to fire the contraption; let the innocent arrowhead no larger than his thumbnail kill the bond that was not wanted. He didn’t move from the spot. Studied Evan, instead, studying his features, that hint of a smile, that familiar, reminiscent fondness of a mind buried in the past.
Wrongly, Malakai wondered who Evan had made bread with-- wrongly, because he actually didn’t want to know. They’d not be making bread together and he declared it, decreed and passed as law that he’d pin to the walls by dawn: we are not to bond. But-- his features tensed. Lavender. He had said it in light, and it was a mistake. Now, Evan repeated it, and Malakai’s mind swam; to the woman who’d loved it, a woman not from his history but a woman who’d once been an important feature in another’s, before killed by a disease. Malakai forever defended that what had killed Lenore Marciano had been the bite of a rabid dog. It hadn't been the husband who'd injected her with pentobarbital. But she’d loved lavender, and he’d claimed the association as his own, and recalled the lavender fields he’d used to help out on. He felt strange and bitter.
“Who is Isobel?” he asked, his tone almost inflectionless. He gentled a strange, subtly wry look at Evan. Almost chided, “The flavors of rose and lavender are ones for humble flavor profiles. Which is where many people err, to my experience; they’re subtle contours of the sweet meals they color, and should not be used in big quantities. They do, after all, produce a flavor you correctly called soapy.” He enunciated the last word stronger, his tame, suspiciously mellow tone staining with emotion. A brow was quirked. He drank from his tea.
“I’ve actually had my eye on something, to be truthful with you,” he said, then, his tone oddly too resonant, too much like something that mattered.
“I suppose you have heard it too, that dangerous, ill practice that few address, and few want to admit it’s here…
“... Suffice to say, if I did want wards, I’d want them made by me.”
He rose up from his chair and retrieved a couple of spoons from the drawer. He gave one to Evan, either into his hand directly or down by his mug, and slipped the other into his own mug so gently it barely disturbed the water surface. He sat back down, and gave his drink a stir. His green, bright eyes watched the rippling surface of it as though it spelled the answer to dozens mysteries. His lips curled back.
“Hmmm, would you say our conversation is coming to an end?” He glanced up at the large kitchen clock spelling time. His eyes narrowed. “The night is young.”
Perhaps he should visit that stripper. He supposed he knew which one Evan had meant. But then, she had dark, long hair and he didn’t know how he could get over that; it reminded him of a small gap between teeth, of a pair of green hues, so much like his. Livelier, he’d push, and kinder and sweeter, since She wasn’t like him at all or he wasn’t permitted to be like Her. He wouldn’t let himself live if they were alike at all. His gazed darkened, clear and yet focused on concerns of the past that stained his thoughts unpleasant. Malakai set the mug down on the table, and tapped his fingers over it.
“So I trust you’ll take a look at it-- and yes, I do enjoy sweet potatoes, may I request you get your mind out of the gutter? Foodie,” he drawled, with distaste. But then he smirked, derisively, amused. “I suppose we shall have a lot of interesting meetings together, you and I, kneading bread and handling the very unpoisonous avocado. I will say I don’t mind meat strongly, and still encourage you to keep it separate from my products. I will not touch your meat but if it touches my tofu, we will be at war, Lavender.”
He quirked his brows at that. Seemed cheery, in fact, as he promised in a lilt, “Just you and I wrapped in the chaos of wrath. Almost sounds delightful, if I didn’t know I could never defeat you in a battle. Perhaps if I didn’t play fair, of course. Well, life doesn’t, why should we?”
He stood up. Finished his drink, hot as it was. And began to fiddle with his shirt, like he ached to upend it up but stuck as it was on his frame, it teased his need for movement. Obviously fretting, Malakai tapped his finger over his lips, and then, just then, he bent at his waist.
He planted a kiss on Evan’s lips and tasted his tea.
His form sank down over his chair, moved under him to support his frame and its four legs gave a skidding, obnoxious sound over the floor that currently spelled like guilt and secret. He kissed Evan, a kiss like he cared.
When he pulled away, his hand had somehow found itself on the back of Evan’s neck, and he said--
“... Periwinkle blue… I’ll make you wear contacts.”
He cocked his head to the side, his thoughtful expression cut short by the puckering of his lips. They made him look younger. A member of the tortured youth everyone ignored since what did the young know about struggle? His eyes narrowed.
Unreadable and gentle, he drew back, muttering almost to himself, “Perhaps it is a shame we won’t have sex. Alas, closeness is nothing I can risk. I hope you understand that.”