Prompt: #005 Hot

Notes: Written for joss100. Mal's POV.

The blood pumped through my body, thick and hot. I could feel it coursing in my veins in a wild frenzy and sending strong waves of anger to every inch of my being. I couldn't remember ever feeling so angry in my life.

"You did it, didn't you?" I demanded, staring as intensely as I could at Inara. Her delicate features betrayed no emotion and for the billionth time I found a stab of hatred at her job as a Companion.

What was the point of it, anyway? All Companions did was pleasure rich men and show no emotion whatsoever. I had occasionally wondered whether they were human at all! I mean, being that gorram emotionless is humanly impossible. Or it should be! And there had to be more reason than the money. Plenty of other jobs out in the black play jus' as well.

"I don't know what you're talking about, Mal," Inara replied blankly. I felt another surge of anger pulsate through my body and clenched my jaw as tightly as I could. That woman! She could be so damn infuriating sometimes!

"You know exactly what I'm talking about, Inara," I threw back. "Don't play dumb with me now." I shifted from one foot to the other and swallowed hard, trying to push some of the anger down.

"I'm sorry Mal, but really. I don't know what you're talking about." Inara's voice hinted at veiled annoyance. She was even glaring at me now. Finally some emotion!

"Yes you do! You took it! I know you did!" I was beginning to lose it. Or maybe I had already lost it long ago and was just getting louder. Whatever. It doesn't mean a damn thing. Not really.

"I took what, Mal?" She wasn't trying to hide her anger anymore. It was etched into her face, plain as day.

I was about to tell her when Kaylee suddenly popped her head around the door, a look of utter sheepishness plastered onto her pretty face. "Sorry, Cap'n," she said with a nervous smile. "It was me that took it." She handed me an old, tattered book with a dark brown cover that had seen better days.

I felt my face go red hot at her next words. "See? I told ya you're not a mean ol' man. You like poetry now, don't ya?"