Yeah, Dana, he's a little boy, he's your little boy with killer smile, killer lashes, killer hands, killer eyes, killer anything, slit a man's throat and come home to you, drop his coat on the couch, kick his shoes off into the corner, tug you into the shower with him, remembering that hot water runs out after fifteen minutes so it's a quickie jammed up against slick tiles, your arm looped around his neck and you sobbing as he pounds you into the wall.
We're in the kitchen. Tea is on the stove. Ruins of Italian pasta (courtesy Pirandello's) soaking in the sink, half a bottle of white wine between us, and I've got the latest copy of SciAm in my lap. He's sitting across from me cleaning his favorite gun, swiping at some nasty dark spots, cursing underneath his breath as he scrubs away, and his face has that soft quality of someone who's just shaved. He smells just a little like tobacco, but he stepped out to smoke. He knows I don't like the smell of cigarettes, or, more properly, I'm not supposed to like the smell of cigarettes, so he goes out onto the balcony, and I watch him through the glass, sucking in the fierce dark shape of his body as he sucks in the night air, leaning against the balcony to stare down into the alley.
Now though, he's all business, all tense concentration cleaning his gun.
He came back with a little fringe of a beard. New-clipped hair, but the god-awful beginnings of a tufted goatee scattered about his jaw.
In between rounds of sex, nibbling on his collarbone, murmuring over some new nicks and cuts on his ribs:
"You look like a particularly rotten and mangy piece of road kill crawled onto your face and died." Small nip on the jugular, hand across his cheek. "Shave it off."
"I kind of like it."
Hand sliding between my legs. "Make me."
My neighbors think we're living together, that he's my boyfriend who goes on long business trips, and Mulder is my still infatuated stalker- ex who pounds on the door at odd hours. They like Alex better: such a quiet young man, my downstairs neighbors says, and I catch her teenage daughter slinging long sideways glances at him when he goes out or comes back.
Alex showed up at my door, one night when I was actually in town. He had this giant gash running down his ribs, soaked through the shirt, a bullet running in semi-clean bits through his shoulder, bleeding to death on my doorstep, me in my bathrobe, contemplating letting him bleed to death all over my doorstep, trying to come up with an appropriately cutting remark, and then suits through the hallway come pounding down. Ma'am the man you have there is a wanted fugi--
He turned away from me to run, this sudden fluid movement in the hallway light, , and then I just hauled him inside, bolted the door. Snapped back a few shots and hustled him through the fire-escape, he stole a car, we screeched off into the Virginia dawn, and then in the midst of the tumult, in a Motel 6 room, he kissed me and then, I tumbled into his bed.
Or he tumbled into mine.
Pretty euphemisms all:
I'm fond of him, yes. He's fond of me, I think. He likes my waterbed, I like him in my waterbed, but it's not quite that simple, no--
He shows up every once in a while, stays a few days, lounging around the apartment, reading my newspaper and using all the hot water. I usually either call out or sneak off at lunch or he sneaks out of the apartment and brings me lunch, and we eat together in the park across from the Hoover building. We're so sweet and conventional that old tourist women have smiled their blessing at us and asked us when the wedding was.
He smiles and says August, and I hold his hand, but now, he's taking a dainty sip from the wineglass, balancing the gun in one hand, holding the wineglass around the cotton swab.
I smile at him.
He smiles back.
He bats those fine, fine lashes at me.
I bat mine back at him. It's kind of pitiful how short and stubby they are next to his.
He sets the gun and the wineglass and the cotton swab down, it makes a little clink on the wood, and he says, "You wanna play, little girl?"