Ruffians, thugs…

I squeak loudly and dash behind a mannequin. Almost completely eclipsed from sight, I peek around and then over the headless torso, warily watching every move of the man. Except that he isn't moving.

"Oh, no."

I scoot closer to the body, rolling the mannequin in front of me as a shield.

"No. No no no no no no NO!" I yell, panicking. "Pascal, I've killed him! I've killed a man! I'm a killer! A murderer!"

I jump up and begin to run around the room. I am totally freaking out.

"I am a despicable human being! Mother-" I gasp. "Mother will be furious!"

I look to my chameleon for some sort of help.

Pascal, eyes wide, darts around and then next to the man. Perching on his shoulder, he gives the stranger a good smack of his tail. No good. He serves him two more hits. Nothing.

Still holding the frying pan, I cover my mouth with my hands, nervously biting my nails. Then, Pascal comes up with a brilliant idea.

He straightens himself up to his full lizard height and points to his heart. He then begins to make clicking sounds, imitating a heartbeat.

"Of course!" I cry, quickly standing over the man. He's lying face down. Holding the pan, I use the handle to turn him over, so that his face is on its side. His brown hair spills down over his forehead, eyes, and nose, so I can't make out what he looks like. But he doesn't seem dead. I look to Pascal, and then back to the stranger. So far, so good. Pascal scoots over to Mother's crude drawing of a man with pointy teeth. He turns red and points his claws at his mouth to imitate fangs.

Biting my lower lip, I gingerly lift his mouth open to reveal a set of perfect, white, human teeth. I look at Pascal and shrug. I then flip his hair out of his face with the handle, and my muscles go slack. He's beautiful. I've never seen a man before in person, but he awakens something inside of me along with my curiosity. I begin to lower my frying pan when he makes a low groaning sound and opens his eyes.

He's alive!

He's alive!

I scream fearfully and quickly knock him out again.

I begin to wail. "Now I've killed him for sure!"

Pascal squeals and imitates a heartbeat again.

I hurriedly kneel down next to him and discard my frying pan for the time being. I'm not sure how to go about this. How to start… touching a man. A stranger. Who I may or may not have killed.

Forgetting all etiquette or possible social stigmas, I grab his shoulders and struggle to turn him over, onto his back. I cautiously place a hand flat on his abdomen, leaning back as if he's a ticking time bomb ready to explode at a single touch. But it's no use; I can't feel anything through the thick leather of his vest.

Exasperated, I sigh; I'll have to remove his clothes.

I clench my teeth as I straddle his waist to gain better access to his articles. My breath quickens and I shakily flip my hair back before I lean forward and begin to work. I can feel the warmth of his skin on my inner thighs through the fabric of his pants. It's very distracting.

It's quite a task to remove his vest, and required a lot of tugging and pulling back and forth and up and down, rocking my body to use my weight to my advantage, but I get it off and set it aside. I then begin to undo his buttons, one at a time. It's easy, with such small fingers, to push each tiny button through its corresponding hole. I work my way down until at last my job is finished. Slowly, and nervously, I spread open his shirt to reveal skin. He has a muscular but lean chest, toned, and slightly hairy. He's darker than I am by a couple shades, and I can see the contrast immediately when I place my hand tentatively over his heart. I think I feel something. For added measure, I lean down and place my ear against his chest, listening for the steady tha-thump, tha-thump of a living man. I hear it. His chest rises and falls with the beat.

"He's alive, Pascal!" I happily cry, and Pascal coos in response. I then turn back to dress him and be done, but something stops me. Seeing him, I'm compelled to explore. After all, this is the first (and probably only) time I'd ever be so close to a man. Swallowing hard, I press both hands to his stomach and slide them up, feeling the smooth, hot skin and the soft, thin hairs. My hands branch off and slide down his arms, feeling the muscles and veins. I pick up his hands and note how much larger and calloused they are than mine. I lock my fingers with his and notice how well they fit together. Looking over our coupled hands, I see his face, sound asleep, and want to touch it. So I do. I run my fingers through his hair, down the nape of his neck, then back up to his forehead, down the bridge of his nose and over his eyelids. His cheeks are scratchy with hair and I lightly grasp his chin, which has a small beard growing. My hand glides down his neck, down his torso, and past his belly button, where a small trail of hair leads south and disappears under the top of his pants. I momentarily stop my exploring there, resting my fingertips under his belly.

Something flutters inside of me, below my stomach, like butterflies. Even lower than that, I can feel a raised something poking me. I'm about to look down to investigate, as I grab the hem of his trousers and tug gently, when I hear a low groan that sounds like a chuckle. My head snaps up and I freeze. The man is watching me, eyes half-lidded and mouth in a lopsided grin.

"Hghi. 'ow ya djuin?" he slurs. I'm not sure how to respond and my face flushes. I'm too scared to reach for the frying pan. I'm sure my eyes are as wide as its circumference.

"I- um, uhhhh… "

He nods his head lightly as if that's a satisfactory response, and blacks out once more. I sigh in relief and wipe the sweat from my brow with the back of my sleeve. I look at Pascal, and he looks at me. If chameleons could shrug, he would.

He's going to wake up for real soon. I clumsily put his clothes back together and begin wrapping my hair around his torso, beginning the arduous task of stashing him inside the wardrobe.