She rest against his chest listening the quiet thrum of his heart beneath it, tracing her fingertip idly over one of his hardened nipples smiling when he let out a low purr of drowsy discomfort, “don’t start that, I don’t have enough strength left to punish you.”
She peered up at him with mischief in her gaze kissing him quickly before settling down to watch the twinkling starlight come through the open window, for once not blocked by the blinds that he usually kept closed.
Something entered her expression, a sort of melancholy that made him sit up and look down at her stroking back a strand of rebellious hair following it with his hand cupping her cheek tenderly, careful not to brush the cut that was starting to heal.
“Penny for your thoughts?” she watched him quietly saying nothing for the moment, a feeling of unease started to fill him about to be voiced till she spoke softly, “if this was like ‘1984’ and they took us away right now and tortured us, what would you tell them?” He felt the tension in his heart, something in her gaze telling him this was an important question to her; it was something that could break them if he didn’t give the right answer.
He only knew of the book because she had read it to him, had said it was one of her favorites; since meeting her he had come to appreciate books more just for the chance to imagine her voice as he read.
He swallowed and looked up to the ceiling feeling he himself would lose it if he looked at her, into those eyes that made him lose himself and spill the secrets he didn’t even have answers to fearing her would find them in her eyes.
“I would tell them that we’re both broken people looking for something to mend us, by fitting our broken pieces together we found a place that we could call sanctuary. A place where the rest of the world didn’t exist and there was only us, two broken people looking for a way to be whole again. I would tell them that they could take their torture and their lies to hell. I lived for the truth and I told the truth of what we are; I was a man who never stopped running until you perked my interest enough to keep me grounded. And you are the broken girl looking for something incredible, and I would tell them that the only ones that could make or break us is ourselves.”
He looked down at her searching her eyes for something that would indicate the reasoning behind her sudden question, but she ignored him staring into the smoking fireplace, the flame having gone out an hour ago.
She didn’t speak for a moment, her eyes finally met his own and captured him instantly; the unread emotion lingered in the edges of something wistful, he wanted to take her away from it and sink into the oceans of distraction.
“I would tell them that we were children hiding from the storms of life, that though they smashed the coral paperweight that held all of our hopes and dreams that we are made of thousands of possibilities yet to be discovered. Every moment that we spent together we danced closer to the edge of losing ourselves in the fire, uncertainty is a strong emotion propelled by the events of our lives. Either of us could be gone in the morning never to be seen again leaving the other to think ‘huh, that was it then.’ and they can either move on with their lives or pursue that person. We can accept the brainwashing and love life or we could fight it and rediscover ourselves in the person we had lost. I think the reason we work so well is because we dance so close to the fire but know enough about being burned to walk away before someone begins to-”
She stops and his heart fills with something tight suffocating the air from his lungs holding it captive in his throat like a hard lump. He could almost taste the vulnerability of what she was about to say hanging heavy between them in the air, so thick that nothing could cut through it.
“Before we begin to fall in love,” she rolls away from him and hides away in the blanket she wraps around her naked form, the slow rise and fall of her chest felt against his side as he stared out the window at the flashing lights.
The slow undulation of twinkling electricity drowning out the natural wonder of the stars.
There is the ever present passing of car lights momentarily flooding the window illuminating jumping shadows before it is gone, why is there always cars filling the darkest latest hours of night? Do they ever stop and just stay home and appreciate anything?
For once he wishes that the world would fall silent, time would cease to move and give them this time to figure out everything that had been said; the admissions he had always feared that came from her lips, the idea of a reality that could never be possible for them.
The cars moved slowly, naturally each day in a set routine of things like the love that had slowly built between them for some time unnoticed because of their blissful ignorance; that tunnel vision of lust that had finally failed.
This wasn’t slow or normal, this thing they had. He liked to think that there was something different about them, something abnormal, something that could last so long as it stayed above earthly things. Love was not an abnormal thing, that was why he ran so fast and so far away from it.
He ran hard till everything in him was raw and he couldn’t run anymore, she had made him stop running because he was too busy looking at the person she hid beneath the mask, getting to know her little quirks when they made love or when she was reading.
He had allowed himself to become consumed with the fantasy till it was too late to remember why he had been running in the first place.
He had been running from the thing that slithered its way into his heart and around his throat, coiling tighter every time he drew breath till he felt suffocated clawing silently for air, too late now to run from love.
He loved her.
By tomorrow everything would go back to how it had been before, neither would mention what the other had said brushing it off as a terrible philosophic “what if” scenario.
They would laugh about it as he took her out for breakfast and teased the spoon between her lips imagining what they would feel like wrapped around him back at his apartment, and they would make love till she was too tired to mention anything but sleeping for eternity.
He told himself this as he turned onto his side and held her close, burying himself inside her, curling around her heart as well as her body. He twisted himself deeply into her core seemingly into the very fabric of her being, as if he were terrified to let her go.
Maybe he was, maybe, just maybe, he was afraid to let go of the only woman he could ever love.
He fell asleep to the thrum of cars passing outside the dismal apartment illuminating the broken pieces of their lives wedged together by the intertwined bodies hiding away from the world.