answer me this because it's out of the question (let's do it anyway)

It's something about the way he says, Peter, slowly like he's tasting it.

Slowly like he knows what it does to you (pray that he doesn't, he has enough of you already).

Peter, like he knows you. Like he owns you.

And sometimes when you're lying awake next to your wife (who's beautiful and charming and almost everything but not really quite) it's like he cares about you.

But that path leads nowhere. Nowhere you want to go because (the way to hell is paved with good intentions and)you swear that you only signed the paperwork because of your job. You swear it.

Why don't you believe yourself?

It's something about the way that he flirts with everyone he meets, and all you can do is grit your teeth and count to ten (in French because you're an idiot, that's why). It's worse when it's a guy.

When the guy flirts back.

Because you can't pretend (what a stupid word, with it's implications) to intervene to save the poor girl's virtue. Because if you squint just the right way, it's you and him and you know all about those damn good intentions.

They lead to you and him and (the way he looks when he copies your signature).

It's something about the way he looks when he's sitting in your chair, grinning like that with his eyes bright and blue and looking at you like that.

Looking and seeing and all Peter like you belong to him.

And he looks at you (intense like there's nothing else) and you look back (because there isn't). Peter, like you're supposed to be his when the only thought running through your mind is-


It's a game, a game that you never stopped playing but the stakes are higher now like this (close quarter and too close to home and help, the boundaries are blurring) and you think you're losing because you're the one looking up at the ceiling like it'll hold the answers you so desperately need.

Need and want and consequences (all mixed together in a sigh and the ceiling doesn't know what to do either) and always, always the laws of physics.

Every action has a reaction and every Peter is a little closer to breaking point.

You know his shoe size and his favorite ice cream flavor and that he hates spiders but he hates snakes more and that when he was little he wanted to be an astronaut. You know that he plays Mozart in the morning sometimes with his eyes closed, perfect like he does everything apparently. You know his mother played piano and when he really misses her he'll play something that's a little bit of sadness and anger and longing. You know what he looks like when he's about to crack and tell you everything before lying at the last moment. You know how much it hurts.

But… (you don't know what he tastes like.)

It has to do with those hands of his. And those lips. And those eyes. And… he could go on. But it really, really, really comes down to this.

Those eyes are looking (and seeing and begging) at you.

Those lips are parting (and swollen and red) for you.

Those hands are handcuffed and he's not going anywhere, not now, maybe not ever because you have questions, endless question and (you don't care about the consequences).

Peter, like it's an answer.