There’s such a sad love deep in your eyes, a kind of pale jewel, open and closed within your eyes. I’ll place the sky within your eyes.
“This is my favourite part!”
Jim looked up at Scarlett from his position laying next to her. She was sat up eagerly, her dark eyes shining in the light of the television.
“Really?” Jim asked, “I didn’t have you down for a romantic.”
“I love the goblin king,” she replied, reaching for the popcorn Jim had made and placed between them on the bed, “I was always gutted at the end when Sarah doesn’t run away with him.”
“Spoiler alert!” Jim exclaimed, flicking a piece of popcorn at Scarlett who flinched away giggling.
“Come on, it was released in the 80′s or something mental! I can’t believe you haven’t seen it already. Especially considering you claim to be such a big Bowie fan.”
“I’m a fan of his music, not his kid’s films.”
Scarlett rolled her eyes and smirked, laying back on the bed, her head only a foot away from Jim’s. The light from the television bounced off her long, smooth legs and her hair, particularly wild from the rainwater that day, streamed around her in thick, dark strands.
“You have a burn on your leg,” Jim reached out, his finger lightly tracing the outline of a red mark on Scarlett’s thigh.
“I think I did it earlier...” her voice trailed off and she bit her lip and looked downwards, the long fan of dark eyelashes casting a shadow on her pale cheeks.
She turned on her side suddenly so that she was facing Jim, looking directly at him, her eyes somehow simultaneously showing him her soul whilst also carefully hiding what lived in her heart.
“Did I say something bad to you?” she asked earnestly.
Jim turned so that he was in the same position. He resisted the urge to reach out and touch her hand which lay centimetres from his own.
“You said you don't like me, you don’t want to be my friend and you don't want me to make you food. Oh, and you told me to go away."
Scarlett frowned, "I didn't mean it. You know that."
Jim nodded and smiled half heartedly. It had been obvious that she had wanted him out of the kitchen for some reason and so he had waited by the door to hear her rummaging around in the cupboard. She'd barely noticed him loitering in the corridor when she lurched up the stairs concealing something in her jacket.
He'd paced the hallway downstairs for a few moments, telling himself it wasn't any of his business, urging himself to forget about it, move on. Scarlett had been ignoring him for weeks now, it wasn't that hard to believe that what she had said in the kitchen was true.
But still for some reason it didn't ring true. And he could see from her expression that she had felt bad as soon as she'd said it despite her drunken carelessness. He also recognised the desperation dripping off her with the rainwater as she stood there in the kitchen, steadying herself on the chair. She had a dark resolve in her eyes that worried him after weeks of what was clearly a depressive episode. He decided he wouldn't be able to rest until he'd at least checked on her.
No response came when he knocked on the door despite being sure that she had stormed into the room just a few moments earlier, slamming the door behind her. He decided to open the door carefully, peeping his head around just a little, all the while announcing himself as clearly as he could.
"Woah, sorry, I thought-" he started, when he saw her state of undress, but quickly realised she was near enough unconscious, a glowing piece of foil in her hand causing the bedsheets to smoke.
He rushed forward to extinguish the hazard and recognised with disappointment and anguish what she had done. His heart thumped hard in his chest. The bitter smell transported him back to a time that he'd done everything he could to forget.
He looked down at her, her pale skin wet from the rain dripping from her hair, her black eyes glassy and rolling back into her head. She made a soft noise and closed her eyes.
"What have you done?" he muttered angrily, attempting to cover her goose bumped skin with the covers.
That was when she had reached out to him and touched his face. Her eyes opened momentarily and she smiled. Jimmy.
He let himself be pulled gently towards her and settled next to her on the bed, trying to ignore the thrill he was feeling from her pressing her near naked body up against him. She was completely out of it, writhing and twisting and burying herself in his chest. He knew from what his mum had told him that when someone was like this they could stop breathing or choke on their own vomit so he decided he had to stay with her until she came around.
He felt a huge spectrum of emotions in the hour or two it took her to awaken. Worry, anger, sadness. Arousal. It was hard not to have naughty thoughts when she had wrapped her toned, curvy legs around him wearing only a lacy black thong and white bra. But mostly he was angry. She knew what he'd been through with this drug. She knew it had killed Jim's father and yet she didn't have enough self respect or self worth to save herself the same fate.
When she did wake, one glimpse at her slender frame shivering with despair dissolved all of his anger. He caught himself thinking that if he could save her perhaps it would make up for everything bad he had done in his life. A silly thought that he tried to shake away. He wasn't in a position to be saving anybody.
"So you do want to be my friend?" Jim asked, gazing at her pouting lips as she lay facing him on his bed.
Jim thought he could see a small smile playing on her lips. He wanted desperately to provoke a smile like he had seen in the home movies Sasha had shown him. A smile that closes her eyes so all you can see is the glint of her pupil and her thick eyelashes. A smile that exposes each perfect, white tooth and causes sexy dimples to appear on those creamy, pink cheeks.
"Be my friend!" he exclaimed when she didn't answer, reaching forward to tickle her ribs.
She responded immediately, shrieks of laughter bubbling up from where Jim's hands were grabbing at her through the thick, navy jumper. She brought her knees up to her chest to fight him off, exposing those lacy pants Jim had been trying to hard to forget, and grasped at his tensed biceps. He restrained her with one hand, holding both of her arms above her head as he tickled her again, this time underneath the jumper.
"Please stop! I'll be your friend!" she called out, laughing heartily in spite of herself to Jim's delight and arching her back to pull away from his touch.
"Okay, okay," he grinned, retaining his grip on her arms above her head but ceasing the intensity of the tickling, his hand coming to rest on the curve of her hip.
In the heat of the moment he had positioned himself above her and she had wiggled out of her jumper, exposing her entire lower half. Jim gulped, suddenly painfully aroused.
They stayed like this for a few seconds. Their breath hot on each other's cheeks and lips. Their eyes searching the others for a sign, for some truth. For a saviour.
"Friends it is," Jim cleared his throat and attempted a casual smile before rolling off her.
There was nothing he wanted more than to bring his lips crashing down onto hers. To fill his nostrils with her scent, drown himself in her aura. And he was sure she'd be receptive, she'd wrap her legs around him and open her mouth willingly to accept his keen tongue. They had always fit together so perfectly in that way, each anticipating the other and melting into their touch.
But she was here in his bed so he could look after her, he'd decided that when he'd led her up the stairs, her small hand cold and needy in his. This was the closest she had gotten to him in weeks and he didn't want to scare her off. He wanted her to know that she was safe with him and he didn't just want her for sex. Drew had been right all those months ago when he'd said she needed friends more than anything, Jim hadn't seen it then but from her actions today it was clear.
Scarlett pulled her jumper down, a hint of disappointment flashing across her face, but she smiled through it and the pair watched the rest of the film in a comfortable silence. At some point before the end, Jim heard her breathing deeply and turned to see her asleep, her hands positioned under her cheek as if in prayer. He couldn't help but stare for a few seconds before pulling the covers over her and clicking the light off. He slept easier that night than he had in while.
* * * * *
Scarlett heard the birds outside before she opened her eyes. When she eventually did, she was greeted with pouty lips and black eyelashes, bathed in the dark grey light of the winter morning. At some point, despite the chill in the air, Jim had taken his t-shirt off and slipped under the covers with her. She noted the ever so slight pink line stretching across his pecs, creased in the middle due to the position he was sleeping in. The last remains of his self inflicted stage wound.
She daren't move in case she disturbed him, he looked so peaceful and angelic. She could hardly believe this was the same person who had careered around the stage that night, drunk and bleeding and screaming. She had barely looked at him properly since then, too scared to look and remember how she felt about him.
She looked at him now. She looked at the slight stubble peeking through on his chin, the light frown on his face as he slept, his pink lips pouting like a boy who had been denied dessert.
She had seen a completely different side to him yesterday and it had felt so good to be so close to him. She realised the reason she was staying so perfectly still was because she was scared that the minute they awoke and began a new day they would lose this newfound closeness, and she didn't want that to happen.
Scarlett decided there and then, as she counted each black eyelash, that she would try hard to be his friend, to be close to him in whatever capacity she could. Even if it meant a life time of unrequited love, it would be worth it to be near him. To be the recipient of that wicked smile. She could bear the torture in her heart at the thought of him with other women if there was a special part of him that he kept for her. The part that wrapped her in his jumper and put her to bed with her favourite film.
She inched a little closer to him, feeling the warmth emanating from his wide, bare chest and closed her eyes. As she was drifting back to sleep she felt him reach out for her and pull her into him. She melted into his scent, his warm skin on her cheek.
The morning, along with the outside world and all its pain and complications, could wait a few more hours.