He was still watching her, as though she were a full moon. His ash trembled but didn’t fall.
She exhaled into the dark sky, the smoke curling in elegant script,
and picked up her drink, if only to have something to feel in both her hands.
Scotch buzzed over her tongue.
He took a long breath, in and out.
She was thinking about control, about the loss of it, about hot hands on white skin.
He was thinking about her profile.
She kept her chin lifted higher than it would be if she were at ease. Composed and collected.
She could not guess that it was this he wanted to see undone;
This elegant composition.
Already the whiskey was starting to soften her around the edges but now he saw her in his mind,
small as a bird, delicate and naked and curled around him. Her hair spilling over his chest.
Perhaps asleep, lashes wet.
Or murmuring a thought that his would be the only soul to hear.
He thought, for a moment, what it would be like to see her shoulders rise and fall,
to hear her gasping breath as she took her pleasure from him, and then sank slowly to sleep;
To be for her, for a moment, the one to stand guard over her dark tower, while she, exhausted,
Could seek her peace beneath his arm and rest.