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Amanda had Dinah on one side and Noah on the other as they entered the party. A man dressed in something similar to Noah’s previous fortune teller outfit greeted them. He obviously knew Dinah and Noah, even though they wore masks.
“Evening Cat and Stag, I see you have brought a friend.”
Amanda found it charming that the doorman, or whatever his role was, used the animals of their masks for names.
“Evening Alphie,” Dinah answered giving him, in Amanda’s estimation, a very friendly kiss on the cheek. “We’re initiating this little mermaid,” she nodded to Amanda and squeezed her hand, “to our libertine world of debauchment tonight.”
Alphie bowed his head to Amanda, “You have excellent guides, mermaid.” He opened the door for them, and Dinah tugged her into the dimly lit and loud chamber.
She paused, noticing Amanda gawking at the spectacle. The room was dimly lit and filled with a variety of tables and chaise lounges and divans. The club members, most wearing masks, were engaged in all manner of activities. Many watched the stage, where a group of dancers performed the most licentious dance Amanda had ever seen.
Couples of various sexes were in various states of undress and all delicious array of debauchary.
She whispered to Dinah, “are they drinking absinthe?” She nodded at a small table.
“Yes, would you like some?”
Amanda nodded, and Dinah whispered to Noah, before leading Amanda further into the club. They hadn’t gone far when a waiter stepped up to lead them to a more private room. It wasn’t wholly removed, allowing for her to see out into the club and to see the stage, but removed enough that they could forgo their masks. A small table and four chairs were in one corner, and a large divan took up the other.
Noah returned with another waiter following behind. The waiter quickly laid out the accouterment for the absinthe on the table.
When the waiter left, Amanda following Dinah’s lead, removed her own mask and watched fascinated while Noah prepared their drinks. She’d heard all the scandals about the drink but had never seen it prepared.
Noah set a slotted spoon over the oddly shaped glass, the top looked much like any wine glass, but it had a reservoir at the stem, for what she wasn’t sure. Noah set a sugar cube on the spoon, and slowly drizzled the vivid green liquor over the sugar. He gently picked up the liquor drenched cube and gestured for her to open her mouth. She licked his fingers as they placed the sticky cube on her tongue. Noah leaned over and kissed her. His kiss was every bit as intoxicating as the liquor to her. He broke the kiss when the sugar had dissolved.
He finished preparing their drinks. This time, he poured the absinthe into the glass, the emerald green filling the reservoir. Now Amanda understood the oddly shaped glasses; they were for measuring, at least that’s what she thought. When he once again balanced the spoon and sugar, he picked up a metal ewer, condensation beaded on its dull silver sides.
“Watch the glass, not the sugar,” Dinah said, leaning so close that Amanda felt the other woman’s warm flesh press against her back.
Amanda gave a soft gasp of wonder as the water mixed with the absinthe it turned a delicious milky jade hue. Dinah gave a delighted laugh at Amanda’s excitement.
She took the glass Noah offered her. She took a sip while he and Dinah watched.
The herbal flavor was still heady, but not nearly as strong as the sugar alone. “Oh this is lovely,” she said, sipping again.
Noah repeated the process, preparing glasses for himself and Dinah.
Noah proposed a toast, “To debauching my future bride.”