A few hours later and Dominique wakes up (he didn't know he was asleep) and doesn't want to eat. Calls for someone to clear up the broken vase and flowers, glares at them over a file as they work, accepts their silent and meek departure as apology enough for his inconvenience. Sits with the same file, reading, reading, finally stuck on the same page, words read over and over, but meaningless. Rests his head on his hand, hears a hollow tapping, again, again, the same pattern; finally it stops. Leans back in the chair, puts his head back, hears nothing, sees nothing, doesn't realise he has slept. Glances around the darkening room for a clock, instead is distracted by a note that has been slipped under the door, can't fathom what it could be, fetches it, opens it, reads it, has seen it before, scoffs at it, 'non ritardare', hates the order, looks at the clock, is already late, laughs. Sits down and decides to be later still.
Another hour passes in which he stares at the clock, defying it. Finally, he gathers his jacket, steps out the door, finds himself where he should be, finds himself knocking, that faint and hollow sound.
The door opens, he is greeted by Silvio's white smile… and black suit… by the question: would he like a drink here, or at the bar before dinner?
Then they are heading downstairs, to dinner, and he feels numb, betrays panic with a congenial smile and wide, nervous eyes, hears nothing of the words that are said to him. Sits down, orders, eats, drinks, tastes nothing, all the while impassive, unable to feel his hands or to think,; like watching a bad play, doesn't even feel like he is any relation to the man smiling across from him, instructing him on manners and punctuality, telling him he'll learn…
The waiter clears their plates, asks if they'd like dessert - Silvio informs him with a broad smile, small, dark eyes gleaming, that no, they'll be having dessert later, alone. The comment is ignored by the waiter who goes to fetch the cheque for Silvio to sign.
Hardly anything registers, just the motions of the waiter moving away, Silvio dropping his napkin on the table, raising an eyebrow, smirking at the woman across the room, must be an American, star-struck, has been watching them the whole time. He doesn't look, watches Silvio sign, follows him up from the table, turns… and blanches. Pretends not to see her, stares ahead, feels Silvio's hand on his waist ushering him out, moves without seeing; is going to be ill; wants to die.
The night starts and passes with little variation from the previous one, he has Silvio in his mouth, his throat, in him, paining him, careless, selfish, just getting what he paid for.
Everything the same, but worse, the shame, all eyes watching this time; everyone knows. All they need to do now is glance at him to know his worth, to know that his ony wealth now is this hollow, empty body being invaded, soiled, pressed against, pushed into, grunted at, discarded on the bed between crumpled sheets, snored beside.
He is afraid to fall asleep and be accused and rejected in disgust by the shadows in his dreams, but he is wrong, finds calm, peace, security in loving arms, imagined unconsciousness, then is suddenly awake again moments later, but not moments, for it is morning and the sun is yellow triangle patches on the grey world, and he's cold, but gets out of bed anyway, fumbling for shorts, a shirt, a plea to be alone to the groggy, stirring figure on the bed, a grumpy assent, mutterings spat at him to return before noon for your things and your money, I have a plane to catch, don't be late, then collapses again in sleep.
Dominique has stumbled out of the room and can't quite tell where he is going, but the number he is searching for on the door is not his own...
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D/V CANON TRAIL: You are in Volume 09 ("Weekend of Silvio's First Two Nights"), Chapter 06
NEXT CHAPTER: The morning after. Dominique flees to Vladimir's room.
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