Pouty Lips

"And that's why I need the money," she breathed, her words punctuated by the barely audible clink of a shot glass wood. Across the table, shadowed by the slanting walls of their private booth, his face remained stony. He wasn't convinced, but he would be. He had to be.

She raised a hand from her lap and let the fingers rest daintily along the edge of the table, pale and white beneath her scarlet nails. A cigarette nestled daintily between her fingers, unfurling an elegant spiral of smoke that rose in circles beside her neck and spun like a halo above her knot of yellow hair. Each movement was carefully timed and carefully controlled as she watched his face intently, searching for a sign of recognition. But there was none. Beneath the plummeting neckline of her tight velvet blouse, she felt her heart began to sink.

"They thought you were dead." The hoarse whisper of his voice was barely audible above the din of the bar behind them. "I thought you were dead. That night, on the bridge--"

He stopped abruptly, raising his face to hers. His eyes were cold and hard, but she began to wonder if perhaps his passion was still there, behind the wall he had erected. She wanted to break his facade and burn alive in his fire. She wanted to take him, to possess him, to feel alive and dangerous as she once had. She supposed that she could, if she really tried. The defenses that men erected against women were never difficult to break down.

As he rested his hands on the tabletop, inches from her fingertips, she imagined what it would feel like to entwine herself in him, breathe through him, to let him inside her. She imagined him drawing into the very depths of her soul and then pulling out, over and over, to a rhythm that echoed the many times before.

"Oh, Jake. It was only a game," she whispered, and she felt him begin to crack, to open up to her. He would give her what she wanted. Later, in the shadows of the alley, behind the bridge that marked the beginning of her story.


The End

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