r | sexual content

And he was fascinated by the sound of her heartbeat: slow, steady, and almost weak. And it hardly sounded strong enough to keep her body going. And there were moments when it seemed to stop altogether. And he would lift his head off her chest, not quite panicking, but not completely calm. And he was reassured only when he saw her breathing, heard her mutter incoherently in her sleep.

And she shivered. And he pulled the blanket up, putting his head next to hers on the pillow. And he contented himself with watching her eyelids flutter, watching her lips move, almost imperceptivity. And he kept track of the half a dozen things that living, sleeping people do. And her flesh was hot, and it felt as if it was burning her fingertips, even as she shivered again.

And he said her name, even though he didn't expect her to respond. And it was more a random jab at the silence that he found stifling.

And he extracted himself from her at that point, snooping around her room, because although they had only been separated for two months, he felt as if he had missed so much. And he found a small cat figurine on her dresser, with a seam running through its belly that clearly indicated it consisted of two pieces. And he opened it, discovering a hiding place inside. And it was empty, and he thought, of course, because he hadn't given her anything small enough to fit inside it.

And she stirred. And she mumbled something, chastising him for going through her things. And he cracked a joke, and he returned to her bed. And then he was on top of her, fingers finding all the new familiar places, and he was kissing her and she was kissing him and she was ready and then he was inside her. And he moved and she moaned and he shifted against her and she sighed.

And time slowed, and all he could hear was the sound of her heartbeat - or maybe it was his - pounding in his head. And she told him he should sleep. And he promised her he would, and he hoped it wasn't a lie. And she asked if he was okay, and he contemplated telling her he just wanted to make sure that he wasn't going to wake up alone. And he conceded that such a thought was silly, as it was her bedroom, but he couldn't shake it.

And she fell asleep again. And he was fascinated by the sound of her heartbeat.

And there were endings and there were beginnings and maybe he was starting to see that things didn't always have to be either/or.


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