She smells cigarettes and knows it’s him. Even now, years later, her body knows the scent of Marlboro Reds. She can hear his voice if she tries to, in dreams, in her own…it disturbs her to hear his voice in her own. Lilting aural shrug. Sardonic, slanting grin. She learned that smile from him. She uses it all the time.
He is in her house in the dream, working, building. She comes in prepared, having smelled the Reds. He is so tall in her dream, much taller than in life.
“Hey,” she says.
He tosses the word like a stone.
She steps closer. Approaching him is like approaching a wolf, but she does it casually, accepting the risk. She is bigger than he is. Now she is.
“It hurts to see you,” she says.
“Yeah,” he replies. “Good.”
She smiles. Of course he said good. It’s a good sign, that good. He’s angry and it shows. He showed her so much in the time they were together, things he didn’t see and didn’t know. But she did. She knew. She knew and she left. She remembers him hurt and cold.
“I’m sorry,” she says.
He lights a cigarette with the lighter she gave him. Brushed, stainless steel worn dull. It slips back into his pocket as if the denim holds its place. Narrow hips, like a knife…. She leans into the edge, loving the risk, loving the heart’s blood she feels beneath her skin.
She puts her arms around his waist. His cock hardens as she presses her hips to his. Her own soft and narrow hips. He resists. She knows he will. He resists anyone’s terms but his own. But he wants her. She knows he does. And that’s why he gives.
She thinks of their first kiss, in the hall of her old place. Sunny hall, sunny day, he caught her in his arms, playful but they knew. When they kissed, they knew. It was better than sex, that kiss. It held the promise of their relationship. Mutual evisceration.
He tosses out the cigarette. She rest her cheek on his.
“I could kill you,” he says.
“I know. I know. That’s why I love you.”
They are pressed, hip to hip. He wants her so much. But there is a reckoning still.
He brings his hands up, gentle and lover-like. His fingers circle her neck. She thinks of the knife he once put there, and the calm that she felt when he did. He could kill her. She knows it. She loves him because he could kill her. It would be a relief, in a nihilistic sense, and he is dead enough to do it. She is dead enough to want it. She sees parts of her in him.
He squeezes her neck and she lets him. Eyes flat. No feeling. Cold, dead eyes. She places her hands over his. They are scarred and rough. Familiar. She knows them like her own. Her palms cradle his knuckles as he squeezes her throat.
Their mouths are close. He is taut. But she is soft. She is soft, which is why she will win. His hands tighten around her neck and she holds them there, calm, inviting, through shiny, bursting stars. Stars in her eyes and she smiles. He could kill her now. He should.
She kisses him then, while his hands squeeze her neck, bruising her obstinate pulse. He tastes like he always tasted—cigarettes, mint, whisky, death. He tastes like fucking death. He squeezes harder. She tightens her grip, forcing his fingers into her swollen, beating pulse. Pushing him. Daring him. Do it. Please.
Suddenly, the pressure lifts and he is with her. His reckoning is done.
They are on the floor as she yanks at his jeans, hungry for his cock. Split open like fruit, sticky with juice, she cannibalizes herself. She fills herself with him in a slow, slick stab. She eats her painful heart.
She is lonely, so lonely…. Her hands go around his throat, the way he’d wanted then. But she was sunny and young, blue skies and white clouds. She hadn’t found her night…a swirling black sky punched through with starlight. But he’d seen it. He’d wanted it. And she’d kept it from him.
She gives it to him now.
Her fingertips drift over his throat and press, harder than he had, harder than he’d dared, though she can already feel the bruises forming on her neck.
“I could kill you,” she says.
She is riding him and crying it feels so good. So right for her with him.
“I know. That’s why I love you.”
He fucks her ache harder, the grinding ache, deep and bruised with years. She is lonely. So lonely. And he is lonely too. He’s lonely and he comes. He seeps into her edges, miles and miles of edge. It’s the part of her he wants – the night sky with its blackness and its cold, pretty stars.
He wants the thing. The monster. The mirror. He wants not to be found. That’s what she wants too.
She comes ugly and feral. He bites her and she bites him. They draw blood from each other and lick it like juice. They would. Of course they do. There is so much blood between them. Drops spilling into years…. One day they will kill each other. One day it will be done.