The Gold and The Grey


White dust and moonbeams slipping over her hair. Saturn's rings, a broken halo upon her head. Shadows, violet in hue, spreading at her thighs and shrinking below her hips.

The windows in her bedroom are large and without the curtains drawn. Portals to a shimmering outside that's pouring in all over them. But she insists on liking it this way. It's an open view to a universe that's blind to our existence, she whispers sadly. As if revealing secrets. Says she's fascinated by the idea of being in the dark but is in need of some visibility to work with. Fingers drumming in place against his chest. Besides, adding thoughtfully with a laugh, it doesn't hurt to be careful, even if the assignment's complete. A mouthful of cinnamon and warning.

He skates his palms down the sides of her neck and does not protest.

Her preference is rewarding. He decides he likes her best when she is arching above him, painted ethereal and full by the galaxy backdrop. Her body in translucent glow when easing his weight against the sheets. Constellations exhaling all across her cheeks. Twin breasts becoming bright moons by their very own right and his tongue, deftly eclipsing. Her moans dangling inside his ears, delicious and sweet, dictating the speed of his guttural heartbeat. Vicious, she cries. Words aching but voice steady and calm. Oh Vicious.

Leaning forward with legs splaying, lowering herself on top of him slowly. Both shuddering upon penetration, the shivers rippling through them, sharp but pleasing. Elbows and arms sinking into the bed on either side of him as she's gradually bending. Vicious. Deeper and deeper, as he starts moving. Vicious. Her sighs turn into singing.

Foreheads brushing past and meeting. Lustrous strands waterfalling and spilling, around her shoulders and further down, grazing his jaw just barely. Stomach grinding stomach in a slick and rhythmic melody. Her strong and slender hands cradling the back of his head. Twirling shapes into his hair, like the frenzied breezes of Ganymede. This is, he starts, but cannot finish. His breath coming in intervals shallow and low. Crystalline sweat beading together beneath her collarbones like grape-clustered stars. This is what, she asks curiously. The scent of hyacinths and spice hiding beside her nape. This is better than Red Eye. Her face as silent as space, but her eyes are widening and twinkling. A pair of tiny novas screaming.

He yearns to know her song.

Reaching up and catching her open mouth with his own. Trading air between them in an untamed percussion of music and movement. Each escaping gasp an invitation for him to thrust harder. Challenges to the very gravity of centrifugal force. With every thumping pulse an echo to her celestial chorus.

Oh Vicious, Vicious, Vicious.

It is the most human of ecstasy and the most precious of heat. He finishes while yet inside, in an explosion rived with sparks and fury. She follows and collapses against him, trembling under a radiance of her own cosmic sheen. Her back is a lucid, pale expanse and he believes he sees Europa and Io reflecting off her skin. Julia. He murmurs thickly. Sticky and damp, her legs stretching languidly in response. Bearing seaside salt and a musky ocean spray. Masking traces of worn perfume and retired shampoo. Julia, he repeats.

She remains ever still. Her muscles loosening and her warmth fast waning. Porcelain angles and hourglass curves clinging onto his taut limbs casually. Like a second skin needing to be shed. The heaviness is unwelcome and restraining.

He does not slide her off.

Tugging at a wrinkled, half-fallen blanket, he lifts it up and pulls, wrapping her bare shoulders in its silken sleeves. Looming before them is the heavens in black, studded with planetary pinpricks and astral arrays. Shining upon them in an overwhelming scene of benevolent display.


With an arm tangled in her angel hair, he watches as she sleeps.


Early morning delivers solar rays and a spectrum of energized wavelengths through the glassy panes. Red is the vased rose by the windowsill, the lone witness to all of their deeds. Yellow is the unplugged phone huddling on the table's corner. Blue is the printed bedspread that drapes lazily over her waist.

Cat-like eyes opening then closing. A shy rustling proceeding a parade of yawns. Her form now stirring. Good morning, stranger. Serenely purring. Pressing her smooth shins against his calves. A delicate smile glittering in the line of his glance. She rolls off his chest gracefully, shifting next to him with ease. Enchantingly childlike yet completely expert. Tilting her head, she plants a kiss on the bridge of his nose. Slightly reeking of empty stomach and intestinal acidity.

Julia, he merely states.

He discovers that she's even prettier in the day. All ruby, topaz, and sapphire set against a brilliant ivory frame. Rising off the bed, she walks over to the wooden table, fingering a consumer-size pack of smokes. Naked as the newborn Aphrodite climbing onto the shore. Free of any blemishes or scars. Light exuding from beyond the window. Flowing behind her, until she is no more than a silhouette. Mystic, pristine, and pure.

Are you returning soon to Mars? Questioning him coolly while singling out a cigarette. He replies that he needs to be in Tharsis before it orbits away from the sun. Says the elders actually have another job waiting for him when he arrives. Then perhaps you should have left last night, chiding in a more dulcet tone. Handling an engraved lighter settled sideways beside the pack. But...Pausing. Sunshine filtering through her hair and kindling it to flame. Placing the cigarette precariously between her lips. I'm glad to have met you, Vicious. I believe we are alike. Holding her breath almost pensively.

And isn't it strange?

Red is the faint smear of yesterday's gloss. Yellow is a feathery lock curling along her spine.

Even though this Milky Way is so big, it's rare to find people like you and me. People with our blood and spirit.

Blue is the dawn hailing twilight in her eyes.

He sits up suddenly, pushing his head in towards his knees. Bedcovers gliding off and pooling at his feet. The springs within the mattress whining and clamoring. Come with me, he breathes. Looking past her and into the crown of the sunrise. Unrecognizable words on an unrecognizable tongue. Leave here and come with me.

Raising the lighter, she flips open the lid and lights up. Paper oxidizing, discoloring, crumbling away. Like forgotten pieces of dying coals. The long inhalations from her lungs leaving behind wispy trails of smoke. The stale aroma of nicotine wafting by him discreetly. Reminding him of former addictions and current needs.


Pointing at the ceiling, her left heel is tucked behind her other ankle idly. Five toes perpendicular to the ground. Her body relaxing against the edge of the table. Cigarette poised and smoldering. Specks of ash, like Callisto snow, falling softly down. He watches their descent. Piling soundlessly within a silver tray.

She supposes that after being in the syndicate for this long, it wouldn't take much effort to transfer over to the headquarters on Mars. Taking another drag on her diminishing cigarette. Its tail end more orange than a firefly's. Says she's heard that the economy is stable. Living standards are higher. Better weather control and transportation systems. A world where society could actually be termed civil. A wistful arc playing atop her mouth. And doesn't being branded a Red Dragon mean that she's bound to end up at Tharsis sooner or later? After all, there's no escaping this kind of life, is there. Wan laughter dissipating before even beginning. The hazy smoke around them coming apart.

There's nothing to escape from, countering in undertones. Removing himself from the bed, bottom of his soles scraping the surface of the floor. He approaches her. Swiftly and mute, like an unheralded wind. Crossing the distance between them in a blinkable instant. The cigarette teetering in her grasp when grabbing both her wrists. Drawing her nearer to him until he can feel all of her skin, supple and quivering. There will be a day when those corpses can't dictate my life or yours. Cupping her chin and guiding it upwards.

Come with me to Mars and you will see. I swear it.

A flash across her features, inexplicable and vague. Flushing rose tints to pomegranate. Hardening her eyes from Venus azure to Earthian sky. There's no way to break free. Especially in our business. But she continues nestling her head underneath his jowl. Sinking against the smells of his faded aftershave. Memorizing both the convex and the concave of his body through her passing gaze. Still, there's something about you, Vicious. His name, yielding velvet from her throat.

Gathering her into a tight embrace, he caresses all her secret places. Circling a thumb over the small of her back then fanning out his hand, dipping lower. Bringing her close until their navels kiss. Honey of her hair rubbing splendidly upon his nipples. Blood pumping rapidly inside their veins. Their two hearts throbbing inaudibly with identical lilting tunes. I'll go with you...Tiptoeing a little, she sucks gently on his lower lip. Humming a million pleasures and delights. Entering and swallowing his hot, pink tongue. Tasting of sour tobacco and an exotic wetness.

I'll go with you.

Through the window, he finds Saturn and its satellites as phantom shapes, hovering in an aureate stratosphere painted much too far away. From five stories below them, he can hear the waking noises of decay and city street. People scampering and vehicles honking angrily. Strident voices amidst chaotic rage. But as she rests against his mouth, he melts. Telling himself that it is not a dream. And the cigarette, halfway burnt and still respiring, sneaks through her fingers and drops beside his feet. Rolling away to nowhere aimlessly.