Her eyes close as she breathes in deep and steady.
“Sex certainly changes things, doesn’t it?” I ask her, remembering how only hours ago I worried about where her mind was headed. She hums in agreement.
I pull the sheet down from her chest slowly, exposing her all the way down to her waist. A shudder rolls through her and with a single tug on her nipples, they harden for me.
“Jase,” she murmurs my name.
“I’m not done with you yet,” I tell her and her hazel eyes widen.
“I stored the lighter and alcohol pads in the nightstand yesterday, hoping to play with you this morning, but you were asleep.”
She huffs a small playful laugh as I open the drawer, still lying in bed. “Is that why you said sleeping doesn’t count?”
Keeping one small pad folded, I run it along her closest breast and then pluck the other one, letting the moisture cool on her skin and sparking her nerve endings.
Sweet sounds of rapture slip through her lips as her hands make their way between her legs. She doesn’t touch herself though, not until I tell her, “It’s all right to play with yourself, but be still.”
The fire blanket is in the drawer, I remind myself of that as I flick the lighter, staring at the flame and then gently bringing it to where the ethanol is still lingering on her skin. The flame grows along her skin, licking and turning a brighter yellow, but it’s gone just as quickly as it came. By the time her mouth has parted, the evidence of it is all gone.
“Again,” I tell her, sucking the other nipple into my mouth and running my teeth along her tender flesh before moving back to her right side, wiping the alcohol pad around her areola and then lighting it aflame again.
This time she moans louder, her knees pulling up the sheet that’s puddled around her waist.
“Do you know why I enjoy fire?” I ask her, massaging and pinching her left breast once again.
“Because it’s dangerous,” she answers me softly and I shake my head no.
“Because it’s wild,” I correct her and then do it again, a larger portion this time.
Once the fire’s gone, I grip both her breasts in my hands and run my thumbs over both nipples.
“Which one makes you feel more alive, cailín tine?”
I suppose I was never under the illusion that it was a tit for tat of information. So long as he answers my questions and keeps searching for answers I’ll never be able to find, I’ll willingly warm his bed.
In fact, I have little to no objection to it at all.
It’s obvious I’m a fool, that I have no grip on reality, let alone my own mind. I feel like I’m losing it to be honest. What’s the point in trying to stay afloat in the middle of the deep dark ocean when there’s no land in sight? I could fight it, and I feel like I have, like I’m exhausted from fighting to stay above water. Or I can fall into Jase’s arms, and let him hold me for a moment.
Fear plays a small part, but it’s shocking how small a part it is.
Someone is after me, and this arrangement prevents them from getting whatever it is they want from me – which can’t be good – and could lead me to information. Although that piece… that last piece about information. I’m starting to lose hope for that to happen.
I’m starting to accept it never happening.
If I think about it like I’m an undercover cop, suddenly it’s all okay in my mind.
That’s what I tell myself anyway. It’s all pretend. My life is turning into a tall tale like Marky used to feed me. And that makes the jagged pill easier to swallow.
These are the thoughts that lead me to biting my thumbnail as I lie in Jase’s bed. The clock on his nightstand, a beautiful contemporary clock with a minimalistic face of sleek marble and only hands to tell the time, must be lying to me because it reads that it’s after noon already.
I sink back under the covers, pulling them up easily since I’m in bed alone and listen to the ticking. My hand splays under the sheets onto the side of the mattress where Jase lay last night. The thought of last night brings a faint kiss of a smile to my lips, but it falls just as quickly as it came, finding the bedsheet cold to the touch.
I called work again when I first woke up, ready to leave a message this time. Half of me wanted to be professional and ask what the phone call regarded, the other half wanted to call my boss an asshole, assuming it was him. Instead of leaving a message, I found myself talking to the lead nurse on Michelle’s case.