I stop sucking on her nipple and look up. She’s spent. Her eyes are closed, her mouth is slightly ajar, and her breathing is quieting. She doesn’t look like a beast on a war path anymore, only beautiful, like the night we met. It reminds me of why I was attracted to her in the first place, why I let her take me home with her, and why I allowed myself to delve into something…different. I know it was my frustration with Erik and the alcohol to an extent, and I know I blamed it on that the next day, but there was also something about her. She was the yin to my yang and I’d only ever felt that once before.
Remembering the camera in the drawer of the end table, I reach for the latch and open it quietly, not wanting to wake her. The camera is still there, but all the receipts have been removed…it’s not important right now.
I focus the zoom on the perfect arch of her one eyebrow and click the shutter button. Flecks of mascara have amassed under each eye and I document this next because it gives the impression of a woman who’s worked too hard to notice. The lens moves down to the dark mole near her rib cage, and every time the aperture opens and closes, I’ve caught another detail of the woman preoccupying my mind.
If only things hadn’t gotten so ugly and complicated, and so quickly. I turn on the lamp to get a softer hue. After testing the focus about an arm’s length from where she lies, I slide back down next to her, nuzzling my face into her neck and inhaling her musty scent. Maybe she could’ve been my…I scold myself for so quickly losing sight of my mission. I’m supposed to make her fall in love with me, not the other way around.
I run my fingers along the black lace of her bra and untwist one of the straps. I lift the camera back to where I tested the focus. Pictures begin to snap of two women in bed. Their eyes are closed. Maybe they’re sleeping, or maybe they’re enjoying a brief moment that’s out of the ordinary for both of them. They could be a couple, strictly lovers, or considering a change to the status quo.
The camera lets out a mechanical whirl, signaling the film’s end. I lower the camera, enjoying the stillness of the moment, listening to our shallow breaths syncopate in an irregular pattern.
“Impressive.” She yawns and stretches. “Not many people can use that piece so deftly.”
Her voice startles me. I thought she was in a deep sleep. “Something I picked up.”
She adjusts the underwear that’s been moved out of place and rolls to her side. Her fingers float up the side of my face and whisk the long bangs of my wig out of my eyes, carefully removing the bobby pins before sliding the entire piece off my head. “You don’t have to change a thing for me, Angie.”
I place the camera on the bed. “I know.”
She unbuttons the tight latex of my vest and my breasts spill out in relief. “We can develop it tomorrow.”
My chest heaves in anticipation. “I’d like that.”
A knowing smile curls on her face as she unzips my bottoms and peels them off. “I’d like to see what it is about me that inspired you to embrace a different destiny.”
The cool air hits my thighs. “As if you don’t already know.”
I reach up for her, grasping the back of her neck, biting at her shoulder, wanting to pull her in. My body in another frenzy, needing to feel her skin against my skin. If only we could completely absorb one another…
She shifts back. “You’re trying to make me fall in love with you, aren’t you?”
“What? No, I mean, I—”
Her throat clears as she rolls away from me. “You don’t want my type of love.”
“That’s not true. Why would you say that?” I reach for her but she stops me. “Love is for strangers and fools, and you and I are neither.” She sits up. “I need to cool off. It’s been another long, hot day at the office.”
The muscles of her back flex as she fluffs out her hair.
I watch her leisurely stroll to the bathroom before laying my head back down, not willing to accept that she doesn’t want what I thought she did all along.
Copyright 2015 by S.L. Hannah