"Oh, I'm a photographer." He says this with a lopsided grin, a twirl in his fingers over the long-stemmed glass. His voice is a nasally whine and his eyes seem to always squint. But he's got a fire in his head and I struck the match.
"Ah, what work have you done?" I smile and lean across the table, carefully and subtly positioning my shoulders and arms so his rat eyes will follow the line of my breast. Humans are simple creatures, so trusting when a woman they bumped on the street is suddenly asking them to dinner. I am almost never hungry for food - there is hardly anything I actually want for. War is lovely for the financial markets. I make a mental note to send off a message to Shepard later, perhaps he will find it amusing though I doubt so, with his serious eyes and tired lines that I so fondly recall.
"I've worked with Kitt, you know, the playwright. And I did a spread for Fortuna last month." His beady eyes scan my cleavage and follow the defined line up my neck and to my lips. He does not meet my eyes, nor has he, since I introduced myself. Pig. I will enjoy watching light flee from pinholes, to be sure.
"Ah yes, the vorcha. It was an excellent article." I choke down the cheap wine and pray the food is better. Photographers - poorer than dirt and limey as the rest.
I pause for a moment, lamenting only that it is him instead of another and wondering how much more of his pointless diatribe I will have to suffer. "Would you care to get out of here?" Immediately I feel the familiar black that is always waiting cloud over my vision. He appears sharper, more complex and less annoying than he did just seconds before. And it seems he knows asari custom enough to have excitement paint his features and he rises from the table with a proffered hand.
I do not recall the walk to his tiny apartment, or if he pleaded for his life or if those senseless mumblings were pure ecstasy. I wish that it mattered, that I would remember beyond the little taste he gave, or the smallest of sparks I felt when he crawled so willingly to my web.
I savor the memories consumed - the little boy standing over his mother's grave, the not-quite-yet-a-man receiving his first kiss, the full-grown man starving and tirelessly working to make himself known in such a vast sea of faceless and nameless souls. The man who craved greatness so badly he dove into shoddy dealings and owed vast sums to the Suns. I wonder if I should contact Massani to see if there is a bounty on the photographer's head.
I leave sated, but know the feeling will not last. It hardly does. Each consumption invigorates and empowers, but the reverie slips like water through stone and I am always left starved and driven to near madness.
I turn the corner of my street, the lightness in my step already fading and hear a voice familiar and gruff.
"You're late," he says with a tired grin and a new wound on his face.
I smile, a real and foreign thing as he strides to me with confidence and ease. I know one day he will join the rest, become a phantom in my mind and the longing I will feel will be something so great and grating that it will bleed until the end of my days. But, my head fits easily on his shoulder and his arms come to rest in all the right places.
"I missed you," I say as the scruff of his beard chafes my forehead.
"Have you?" He asks and meets my eyes, drawing a playful turn to his lips. "Have you eaten?"