There were twenty-four Amber Giletti's alive in the wild as of three months ago. I noted there were eleven plates at the table, fumbling with the math briefly. It was elementary arithmetic, but the answer weighed astonishingly heavy upon my mind.
Half of a species was laid out at the banquet table, covered in a mildly spiced truffle glaze. I couldn't help but feel a sense of anticipation. I was disappointed that it tasted like lean pork, though the hint of molasses in the glaze gave it a savory glow on the pallet.
It was quite good.
For the money, quite good was unsatisfactory. I had thought certainly this would be something to remember. The woman across from me didn't seem to share my disdain, laughing loudly in the ear of her companion, her mouth open wide, the million dollar meat tangled between her artificially white teeth.
Leering and smacking, she looked to be having a good time. Everyone did. They lifted their glasses in toast after toast, and when it was my turn, I mumbled something I thought appropriate before draining my glass and insisting on a fourth to wash the taste of the evening out of my mouth.
Then I noticed Her. Four chairs down, She was enjoying the meal clearly, indulging in slow, methodical bites, an almost sensual air in the way She chewed. I only capitalize "Her" in retrospect. At the time, I did not do Her the justice She deserved, idly imagining myself in Her every orifice in turns.
Those thoughts failed to even stir a flutter in my trousers, so idle was the fantasy. I had another glass and left half of my meal untouched. It wasn't until the wee hours of the morning when She came knocking at my door with Her proposal that I stood up and took notice.
"Do you want to see Something?"
I could hear the emphasis on Something. It was a habit She had that always piqued my interest. She could lend an inexplicable texture to words that made me ache. Even then, a total stranger, I knew... yes. I wanted Her to show me Something.
I think even then I knew I was signing my death warrant.
They say the worst way to die is Ennui. Eaten alive by your own boredom. This is the story of a man who has grasped life with both hands, wringing every last drop of blood from it, greedily taking all that he could and always screaming for more.
Independently wealthy and always seeking a thrill, he at last finds what he's been looking for at an underground dinner over the remains of an almost extinct species of bird.
An even more exotic species... a woman of interest. Together, they will violate every law on the books, both moral and ethical, in search of something profound to clutch close to their hearts forever.
A succubus, an angel, Death, a mad woman, or simply an eccentric genius of the flesh, her origins are up to you and that's part of the application. What would you do with limitless wealth and absent morality? How would you guide such a man whose obsession seems to be losing himself in the moment? Or would you simply let him crash as spectacularly as possible in your name? Is this a story of redemption through excess? Or is this one last ride you're taking him on, the last chance to see the world on his way straight to Hell?
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