|This Is Not a Fighting Song
Author: Bad Faery PM
The first time, they didn't talk at all.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Romance - Words: 1,109 - Reviews: 63 - Favs: 77 - Follows: 10 - Published: 09-09-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2573302
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The first time, they don't talk at all. He checks in while she is in a meeting, leaves a red rose at the front desk.
She takes the stairs up all twelve flights, too angry to bother with the elevator. When she reaches his floor her legs ache and her lungs burn, but these minor annoyances fade in the face of her rage.
She doesn't knock, just lets herself in with her key. She has her pepper spray and a knife. She doesn't know which one she plans to use. Probably both.
She'll hurt him like he hurt her.
He waits for her just inside the room. Jacket off, hands empty.
She lunges for him, weapons abandoned. She uses her fists, her nails. She pounds his chest, claws his face. He absorbs it without a sound.
They end up on the floor, her straddling him, screaming out her pain. He makes no move to defend himself.
Somehow her mouth ends up on his, biting, tongue thrusting. When she withdraws and pulls her hands away from his head, chunks of his hair come away in her fingers.
She stares down at him, his icy eyes melting under her assault.
She wakes up alone the next morning in the tangled sheets. There are deep bruises on her hips, but she feels like the victor.
That is the first time.
The second time he leaves a mark on her neck that she has a hard time explaining to Cynthia and her father. She wears turtlenecks for a week to work. At home, she stands in front of the mirror, running her fingers over the bruised flesh.
"Why?" she asks him when she joins him in the room.
"Why not?" he replies. And they say nothing more.
That is the second time.
And so it goes on, once a month. They never discuss it, never plan it. It just happens. He makes a reservation. She takes the night off, gets Cynthia to cover the desk.
It is an unusual courtship. Lisa doesn't let herself think of the word love in connection with Jackson. She loves her father, her mother, her cat. She tells herself that Jackson is nothing more than lust.
Cynthia has taken to whistling the Wedding March when she sees Lisa's roses. Lisa doesn't have the heart to tell her the truth.
They talk more now. Lisa tells him funny stories about her guests, and he laughs in the right places. He tells her about the places he goes, the things he sees. He doesn't mention his business.
He likes to stroke her hands; he traces her fingers, the veins in her wrists. She remembers how surprised she was that he could be gentle.
Sometimes he brushes her hair, and she goes limp against him. No one has done this for her since she was six years old.
She runs her fingers over his profile, strokes his nose, his temples. He sighs and closes his eyes.
They paint each other's scars with lips and tongues. He has new marks on his body every month. She doesn't ask where they came from, but she worries about him.
This time he watches her closely, memorizing the way she moves, looks, breathes. Blue eyes stare into brown as their fingers lace together on the pillow beside her head. He moves inside her slowly, staying focused on her even as he finds satisfaction.
She wakes in the night, in his arms, and he is still watching her.
"I have to go," he whispers against her temple, and she grabs his arm, willing him not to say anything more, not to upset the delicate balance of their communion.
"I love you," he says into her hair.
"No," she whispers, and even she isn't sure what it means. Don't say that? Don't go?
His eyes cloud over, and she knows how he has interpreted it. She rolls over in his arms, presses her nose against his, stares into his shadowed eyes. "No," she says again, and she decides that it means 'don't go.'
"Don't leave me."
"I have to."
"They'll kill you." There is a tremor in his voice that she has never heard before. "I can't protect you."
"I'm fine." The same words she has said so many times to her father. It feels strange to reassure him in this way.
"You won't be." He guides her hand to rest on a jagged cut on his side. Earlier, she'd run her tongue over its length, feeling him shudder. Now she fingers it gently, realizing its cause.
"You got this because of me?"
He rolls her underneath him again, nibbles her throat. She refuses to be distracted. "Did you?"
He shrugs a little, his flesh sliding against hers. "It was worth it."
Somehow those words frighten her more than his earlier declaration of love. She ignores them. "Is this still because of Keefe?"
"No." He doesn't press for acknowledgment.
"Then why?" She is honestly puzzled. There is nothing else special about her. She has no power, no importance other than that one isolated incident.
"It's because of me." At her puzzled look, he clarifies, "Because of who you are to me."
"To you?" she asks, but she already understands. The scope of the situation has come into focus, and she wishes for her previous ignorance. If she isn't aware of his feelings, she doesn't have to do anything about them.
He reaches for her left hand, brings it to his lips. He kisses the base of her ring finger. "You know."
"I do," she whispers and it feels like a vow.
He closes his eyes and rests his forehead against hers, looking pained. "I wish we could."
With a slight shift, he is inside her again. This time their lovemaking is tender and slow, and it makes Lisa cry.
"I wish I had a life to offer you," he whispers as she drifts into a troubled sleep.
When she wakes up, she is again alone. This time there are no marks on her body, but she feels as though she has been broken beyond repair.
That is the last time.