Her feet are pressed together at the soles, legs splayed apart in a diamond. Veronica is under her peach-pink sheets; still with her panties on, trying to ignore the way the elastic cuts into her arm as she wiggles a hand down inside them

She has never done this before, despite being sixteen, but someone took intimate things away from her and she doesn't want that person to have them anymore.

--

Her breasts shiver from the awkward motion of her hands. One finger pressed up inside her, too short to reach very far, the other worrying around her clit. Itching and touching in places and ways that might feel good.

She thinks of someone else doing this to her, of longer fingers and wider thumbs. There are more calloused fingertips with better friction and angles that don't double-up her wrist.

She thinks of Duncan, she thinks of Chad from her history class, she thinks of boys she's seen in movies. She thinks a little of Lilly but doesn't admit it, even to herself.

She thinks of a guy she saw in some TV commercial last week and thought was kind of cute, then she's running out of people to think about so she loops them all again.

--

Her shoulders push up the tiniest bit and it pulls the socket at the tops of her thighs away from her hips. The strain is hollow in an amazing way, contrasted by the imaginary hand holding down her stomach. If she tries really hard then she can almost feel it, but then she forgets to be turned on and the rubbing and scuffing of her index finger is reduced down to nothing and it's back to the start again.

Veronica blows out a frustrated breath. She's uncomfortable now, and too inexperienced to know any shortcuts to relief. Her hair itches at her forehead where it is sticking to her face and nothing about this seems to be worth it.

--

Cramp screams through her left leg, shooting, shrieking pain that spikes right down her muscle. She sucks in a rasping, painful breath between her teeth. The cold air inside her hot, dry mouth is worse and she grimaces, waits five minutes, and then tries again. Her fingers move more slowly this time. She knows that this has to feel good somehow.

--

Veronica's lungs get tight until she almost wants to stop and it forces her to release a soft huff of a breath. It takes away some of the tension and lets her carry on. Then, finally, something sort of kicks between her hips and suddenly she can feel her heartbeat in every part of her body. She's warm and shaky, a little underwhelmed, and she thinks the shivery blossoming feeling in her lower-half is the remains of whatever tiny orgasm she just had.

Veronica pulls her hand out of her pajama pants. She doesn't feel empowered or safer. She swipes her clean hand across puffy, sweaty eyes and when she finishes her other hand is still tremoring, fingers sticky and shiny.