Hey, Little Songbird

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and knock the wind

He smiled. "I'm kidding, of course. Go back to sleep."

She turned over.

He looked down, unable to sleep. Today was a day of losses for him.

He glanced over at her face. Maybe not completely though. He gained her today.

He chuckled. A flood. A flood brought her to him.

A flood. Funny how that worked out.

He couldn't sleep. He didn't want to take that medicine. Not today. Not yet.

She smelled like lemon grass and peaches. What an odd but nice combination.

Was that her natural scent? She'd said that she used fragrance. Still, fragrance wore off.

She always smelled good. He put his nose to shoulder, inhaling deeply.

Like lemon grass and sleep.

• • •

He woke up.  Oh shit he woke up. He went to sleep.

He blinked, looking around. He laid very still gathering his mind, figuring out his surroundings.

Then he turned over. And looked at her. He reached out, his fingertips dusting her skin. It was soft and gorgeous. A beautiful brown, that glowed.

She was beautiful.

He loved touching her. Holding her. Talking to her. And he...liked spending money on her. He wanted to spend more and more time with her.

He sighed. But that meant exposing himself in a way he didn't really feel comfortable with. 

"You keep sighing," she whispered her back to him. "Am I bothering you?"

He kissed her back, putting his hand around her waist.

"Of course not," he told her.

He wrapped his hand around her throat gently, letting his fingers rest on her pulse.

"You're pulse...it's faster than normal," he remarked. "Are you afraid?"

"No. When you touch me, my heart speeds up, because I like you."

His lips quirked up. "Turn around," he whispered.

She did. His long hair swept over his shoulder messily, as he took her hand. He hesitantly put it to his chest.

"I feel the same," he looked down. "I can't stop my heart from beating so fast around you."

She smiled softly. "That makes me happy to know."

She laid her face in the crook of his neck. He held her tightly.

He liked her. But he didn't like the vulnerable feeling liking her came with.

"Tomorrow I think I'll start looking for an apartment."

He narrowed his eyes. "I thought we agreed—"

"I don't think you're actually interested in dating right now," she said bluntly. "Your eyes shift at the mention of it. Let's stay friends."

She kept doing that. Drawing lines between them. Building walls. Making boundaries.

"I agreed that we would date," he said sternly.

"When I pushed you away, and forced your hand. It's obvious you do like me, just not enough."

"Honestly, Songbird. Let's just sleep."

She smiled ruefully. "You say you like when I'm honest. But you lie more than anything."

He clenched his jaw. "Don't push me away. I just want to be near you."

"You can. As friends."

"More," he demanded. "I want more."

She sighed. He kissed her, making her lean back slightly.

He let his fingers roam her body gently, sensually, slowly.

"Oh Songbird. You already said, you wanted to be mine. So now you are. Why are you pulling away?"

Her back arched.

"Don't say such cruel words to me," he whispered in her ear.

"The truth is cruel," she shuddered.

He tugged his shirt off her shoulders more, kissing the exposed skin.

"Ophelia...Ophelia. Don't do this to me, not when I...feel for you."

She sighed.

"Oh Hades. You walk like you're a god. Don't sound so weak."

He tightened his grip. "Me asking you is weak? Do you want me to force you? Is that what you what? I can. I could build a glass cave for you to sing in, like in the mines. Drape you in expensive clothes and food. Keep you living in luxury. After a little while I'd plan a large wedding, and we'd get married. Then, maybe, after some time, I'd give you my baby."

He kissed the back of her head. "And even if you asked for help, or called the police, I'd just pay them off. Is that would you like? Money can buy anything after all. Silence, Freedom, Sex, Violence, Murder, even humans. So, is that what you want?"

"No," she whispered.

"Well I want to impress you. So if me asking is weak, I'll show my strength."

"Hades," she whispered.
"I like you. But..."
"You're not ready."

"I'll decide that," he said. "I am ready. I'm your boyfriend now, that's what we said. And to be clear, I'm dating you with the intent to marry you someday."

She snorted. "You amaze me Hades. You're unyielding, but soft. Seductive but innocent. Powerful, yet weak."

She ran her fingers through his long hair. "My mother doesn't trust you," she remarked offhandly.

"Is that so?"

She nodded. "Hades?"
"Ophelia," he whispered.
"Is your mother dead?"

He paused. "What?"

"You said earlier. That your mother was dead. But you were on the phone with her. Are you alright?"

He smiled. "A flood. When I was younger my mother died in a flood. Well, trying to drive in one. She was trying to get out, to get home but she was on her phone. And...she didn't see the water rushing toward her."

He looked away. "My father made sure her number couldn't be used. Yesterday was the anniversary of her death. Since I was 11, I call her number, and update her on my life. It's just a habit now."

She smiled. "I think it's sweet. And I'm sure, she's listening."

"I hope so. My father has paid that phone bill for almost 20 years. When I call that number, i ger her voicemail. It's the only time I'll ever hear my mother say anything," he smiled sadly.

She hugged him. "I'm sorry I made that day harder for you."

"You didn't Ophelia. You didn't."

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