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Sunlight had warmed the room. I sleepily struggled out from the tangle of his bedclothes, burying my face in the pillow once freedom had been achieved. The soft breeze cooled the sweat on my body, sending pleasurable tingles down my spine. A hand stirred from the huddle beside me, searching. Fingers brushed against my mouth and remained there, lightly touching my lower lip. "Morning, Nico," the voice was quiet, with a sleepy rasp to it. I opened one eye - the man in my bed still had his closed. I gave an incomprehensible murmur in response and nibbled lightly at his fingers, shutting my eyes and attempting to wriggle deeper into my bed. Last night's entertainment had different plans, however. He chuckled, stroked my cheek, inched closer. His fingers drifted down to my neck, lingering just over my throat. My eyes remained closed.
"Nico?"
The wandering digits traced my collarbone, over my shoulder, to my spine. He said my name again. His fingers were on my side now. He traced my tattoo. I felt the bed move as he pushed closer.
"Nico," he whispered, his breath warm on my face. It smelled like alcohol. Finally, I had to give in. My eyes opened, blinking in the bright room. His face was inches from mine. I could see bloody threads in the corners of his eyes. The centres were the same bright blue I remembered from last night: the only thing I remembered from last night, if I was honest. He smiled, and his touch moved down to my hip. With an over-exaggerated yawn, I pushed myself upright, moving away from his hands as I did so. He half-smiled at me. I checked the time. Only ten. It seemed my teeth had sprouted fur overnight; my tongue and lips, too. The sudden upright movement sent my world spinning. "What?" I rubbed my eyes, looking back at the stranger in my bed.
"I said good morning," he looked concerned, and reached out for me. "Are you OK?"
"Hung over," I slid off the bed and stumbled into the kitchen. He followed me, and I tried to ignore that. I busied myself with coffee while he watched. Waiting for the kettle to boil, I stood with my back to him, tapping my fingers on the counter top. My head hung, my eyes were half closed. My head throbbed. I felt him approach, and quickly stepped away. I took out a glass, poured myself water and drank it fast. Some spilt down my chin. I refilled the cup and drank again, more slowly now. I still didn't look at him. The kettle clicked. I poured boiling water into a coffee pot and walked back into the bedroom. As the coffee stewed, we dressed, this stranger and I, both in silence; his hurt, mine cold. I didn't want him there, and I suspected, I hoped, that he was beginning to want to be elsewhere too. With my coffee poured, I returned to bed, burying my feet under the covers with my mug nestled between my stomach and my thighs. I turned on the TV with the remote I kept by my bed, but yesterday's mistake had something to say.
"You want me to go?" he seemed angry, hurt.
"Yes,"
And that was it. He nodded, turned, and I never exchanged another word with him, though we saw one another occasionally at parties. He never acknowledged me, and I paid him the same courtesy.




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