He started to walk out of Vitals and towards the shattered lobby, but stopped and pressed the lighter into her hand.
She tried to give it back but he grabbed her hand and pressed the lighter back into it. “But I don’t smoke.” She said.
“Keep it,” he insisted. “Don’t forget that I gave it to you.” He didn’t let go of her hand until she looked up at him when she did, he leaned down and bit her. You could say it was a kiss when it started and she was stunned for at least two full seconds. Just as she was about to pull back and slap him, he bit her.
“Ow, shit!” As soon as the kiss broke, she brought her fingers up to her lower lip and when she looked down, she saw blood. “You son of a bitch, you bit me!”
“Be pissed. You’ll thank me later.” She searched her pockets and found nothing so ended up using her own shirt to dab the blood. With her hands busy, she did the best thing she could. She kicked him. Unfortunately, he only grunted and headed out the busted entrance. “I deserve that. Let’s go.”
They walked a few blocks up the strip and made a right on Flamingo Road. It was then that she noticed a tall skyscraper that wasn’t there before. At least not in Las Vegas as she knew it. Her lip had stopped bleeding a few minutes before, but she was still annoyed. If there was anything she hated more than a split lip or a paper cut, it was assholes. That was her first kiss. Only kiss and he’d bit her.
He stopped around the side of the building in front of a painted white metallic door that sported a LCD security box. “This is it. I can get us in and it’ll take a bit for anyone to realize that I’m not supposed to be there, but we’ll still have to hurry.” Sarah said nothing. She still had the lighter in her right hand and the twinge of pain in her lip every time she licked it, which was almost compulsory.
The lighter had a jazzy little Las Vegas engraved on the side but other than that it wasn’t special at all. She’d just watched him pick it up from the shop so it couldn’t be sentimental, if he were even the kind which he wasn’t or else he wouldn’t have spoiled a perfectly good kiss. She put it in her pocket all the same and followed him inside.
The stairwell had none of the bright lights of Vegas and as usual, Ash appeared unhindered by the darkness. She had trouble keeping up and the second time she almost tumbled, he slowed down. At his aggravated sigh all she could do was mumble a quick “Sorry,” and begrudgingly put her hand on his shoulder. It didn’t help her pride at all, but it gave her a sense of security that if she took another wrong step, there was more than open air and nothingness to fall into. And maybe she’d take him down with her.
After about ten minutes of descent and about the time her thighs started complaining, she asked “How much farther?”
“You don’t want to know.”
“Can you see? I don’t understand why power is fine all around Vegas but this stairwell has to be unlit.”
“Likely if you weren’t here, it would be lit. I told you, this place is going to make escape as hard as possible. And yes, I can see. Be happy you can’t see how far it is.” Jesus. She wondered if they had enough time- Light suddenly flooded the stairwell as the lights sputtered on around them.