The tone of Fall Damage has changed substantially from what I initially had in mind. I'd call it a good thing, as my initial concept wasn't nearly as lighthearted. Frankly, comedy and young romance are my comfort zones, and the angst in scenes like this (which infected my head and sat menacingly in the notes for Fall Damage), would have made for the kind of story I often skip over. Still though, the scene below was just too complete for me not to share it. This MIGHT make its way into Fall Damage somehow, but for now, I think it can stand on its own.

Jaywalking, or The Man in the Mirror

Because he hadn't heard the shower turn off, Dave was shocked nearly out of his skin when Mindy accosted him from behind. Her fingers had curled over his shoulders, causing him to jump and then immediately still himself. She'd been counting on that. The huntress rose to her tiptoes, fixing her prey's neck with a lengthy, but chaste kiss. She let her heels drop to the ground, pressing herself against him the whole way down, dragging her small breasts over the smooth planes of his bare back. Her hands, meanwhile, snaked under his arms and slowly pulled him closer. She splayed her fingers out, trying to feel as much of him as she could. Her right hand lay over his heart, while her left dropped to his navel, brushing over the sparse, wiry hairs that led below his waistband. She peppered his back with a few kisses - feather-light pecks that eventually dissolved into a continuous dragging of her lips over his skin.

Dave shivered at the sensation. Mindy's lips tingled almost unbearably, but she fought the urge to pull away. Dave reached up to take one of her hands, slowly turning around to face her. He sucked in a silent gasp of surprise. He'd expected her to be topless; instead, he found her bare from head to toe. He closed his eyes, feeling as though he shouldn't look.

He settled for feeling. He let his head drop until his nose brushed the roots of her wet hair. His hands began to roam over her back. Not wanting to waste a moment, Mindy took one of Dave's hands and gently guided it to her rear. That's fine. He thought. She's doing this. It's her idea. She wants that hand there. He took a ragged breath. Pedophiles chase minors. This one's chasing me. He assured himself. Mindy reached up to his face, taking his jaw in her hand and coaxing it downward so that their lips could meet. Compared to Katie, it was a long way down.

Another voice, still his own, but with a venomous, disgusted edge, spoke. Yeah, asshole, but you still like it. You're the adult and you're supposed to know better, but I don't see you stopping her.

The voice from before was back, and it was defending him, though it sounded panicked and unsure. Mindy chose this. She's smart enough to make her own choices. She's no less adult than you are. The law is just a law. Everybody jaywalks sometimes. We don't beat people up for that.

The hateful voice chimed in again with knowing, condescending laughter. Jaywalking isn't quite this much fun though, is it?

Dave pulled away from the kiss and pressed his cheek against hers, still craning his neck down to reach her.

He ran his fingertips over the smooth flesh of her ass with his right hand and raked his nails over her spine with his left. She shivered, and he liked that. As he opened his eyes, he happened to catch a glimpse of himself in the mirror over his dresser.

There he is. Dave thought ruefully. There's Dave Lizewski and his idea of a good time. There were no voices to contend with now - only the objective truth as reflected by the mirror. He raked his eyes over the reflection of Mindy's naked back, draped with her damp hair, and then up to his own face, alternating every second between hating his mind and loving her body. He locked eyes with the man in the mirror and judged him harshly.

After a few seconds of self-loathing, he averted his gaze, ending the staring contest with a predictable tie. Mindy pulled away from him slightly so that she could look him in the eye. She stroked his cheek. "Let's go to bed." She whispered. Dave closed his eyes, clenched his teeth and nodded in response, pressing his face into her palm before she pulled it away and led him where they both wanted to go.

He avoided the mirror for the rest of the night.