by Nightwing

Part one


Even after all this time I can't get away. Sometimes I wonder if it's your chill that draws me in. You have ice to match my own. Nothing warms the dark crevices of your heart. Not even me, I fear, even after all this time. I feel your eyes upon me, eyes like fragments of ice so ancient that they have never seen the sun, as blue as the deepest seas in which I could drown. And I know that your plots concern me; your machinations include me; but there is no fire in your blood for me.

I hate you as much as I want you.

Even after all this time I am caught; your ice holds me in place as if I am frozen.

How could it not? Your heart is as cold as mine.

I'll never let you see that you can hurt me. I'll never show you that weakness. You are never weak; you never fail; even your smugness is cold. Everything about you is cold and in your eyes I am dying.

Even after all this time, you alone have the power to hurt me. I'll never let you see that I live and die in your ice.

It would be easier for me if you were dead.

It would be easier if I had the strength to kill you.

It would be easier if I had the strength to live without you.

The room is a chasm between us. It's just a cheap hotel room. They are all the same, sterile. Only the location ever changes.

You sit at the small desk finishing the day's labours - the work you had not completed before this appointment.

As cold as you are you are never late.

I sit on the edge of the bed as nervous as a virgin, even after all this time.

Part of me says to break the ritual, to force you to down your pen, to make you notice me in more ways than the physical. I never do.

Even after all this time.

What would you do if I stood up, crossed this small hotel room and put my arms around your chest and laid my head on your shoulder?

What would you do if I let you know that I need this; that I need you?

I fidget. I wait, though patience physically pains me. I want you to lay down your pen and notice me, to put aside the work you brought here and to notice me.

I say nothing.

I do nothing.

I just sit on the edge of the bed and fidget.

Are you even aware of the dilemma you cause me?

I dare not step up from my wary vigil and cross my arms about your chest, lay my head on your calm shoulder and kiss your soft earlobe the way that I want to. It's dangerous.

Whatever this agreement is, it's fragile.

I may be wanting but I am no fool.

Your taste suffocates me.

I drown in your smell.

Your touch burns.

And through it all you are turned away, your dark head lowered as your pen skritches on the papers your brought with you.

As much as I want to take the three steps that will put me behind your chair. As much as I want to sweep those papers to the floor I never will.

It's too late for me now.

I try to remember when this began, when I learnt that the ice in your veins meant that your kisses would burn. I can't remember when your cold disdain began to mean so much to me.

At first you had to hold something over me to make me come, you had to threaten, to bribe, to cajole.

But although you still say the words we both know you don't need to anymore.

It has gone beyond that for me now.

I couldn't escape if I wanted to.

I don't want to.

I doubt that I'll ever want to.

Even at your coldest your skin becomes slick with passion, even when your kisses taste of duty your skin reveals your truths to me. You enjoy this as much as I, though you never let me see. I do anything you ask, for the feel of your sweat stuck to mine.

For the susurration of your skin on mine.

For the lingering of your taste in my mouth.

I do anything you ask.

Do you still believe it's because I have to or do you realise that it's because I want to.

You have finished whatever it is that you labour at, whatever it is you consider so important that you bring here, to this time you share with me.

You turn in the chair so you rest your arm on it's back and say my name. You have begun the litany.

My name in your mouth is like an electric shock coursing through my body. It never fails to catch me unawares. Your eyes try to lock me in place as I stand, as you have trained me to do, and begin to unbutton my shirt.

Your disdain burns like ice.

How would you react I wonder if I broke the litany, that, instead of undressing so mechanically before undressing you, I reacted. If I took your earlobe between my lips, the way that I dream of doing, if brought my teeth down on your skin and dragged my bitter fingernails along the broad even planes of your back. If at the last I met your gaze with mine?

I never will.

I always consider it?

But in the end I lack the courage.

It's too late now.

The world could end and all I would know is the slightly sticky feel of your sweat and the lingering frostbite of your kisses.

I want this to be over.

I never want this to end.

I want you to stop touching me.

I never want you to stop.

I want you to look at me with desire in your eyes.

I always want to be the hunger you must slake.

What would it cost, I wonder, to turn my head from where your kisses chill my neck

and to touch your lips to mine?

Even after all this time, after all I have surrendered to you, we have never kissed on the mouth.

You tumble me backwards unto the bed.

You are reliable, sensible, dependable and cruel.

You're all I ever wanted.