lust, caution

it's morning again, and pale light is peering through a window i don't recognize. and this is time-honored tradition: this is where i wake up and wonder where i am and who it was that i went home with last night.

i pick my way through the debris of last night's lust: crumpled black panties, lace-covered bra, and heels that make my eyes ache. i find his shirt beneath my dress and slip it on. i don't bother to fasten more than the one button right above my navel.

i look in the mirror: skinny legs stick out underneath a white dress shirt. where was i a half-day and night ago? i don't remember, but judging from the leftover curls and smudged black eyeliner and lips still smeared with kisses, we must have had a hell of a party.

'hey,' i hear, and i turn to see him in shorts and shirt identical to mine. i know who he is, in the back of my mind. office parties, i think. silly of me. he is struggling with his tie, his hands knotting and reknotting.

'morning,' i say, and take over while he slips his hands around my waist. it's not hard: one of those skills i learned over an excess of wine and consequences at dawn.

'thanks,' he says, and runs a hand through my hair. 'i don't know what i'd do without you. look,' he continues, eyes skittering around like glass marbles dropped on the floor, 'i have to go. duty calls. i'll see you later, anyway, right?'

i nod. 'sure.'

his gaze strays downward. 'though i really wish i could stay,' he says, and his hands explore my shoulders, hips, thighs. we both know he has to leave, but he just can't pull himself away. 'i really wish i could stay,' he repeats.

'i know,' i reply, and i mean it just as much as he does. whatever that means.

his hands shift to the space between, and i push him away. he wants what he doesn't see, but we can't always have what we want, and i am no exception.

'don't be mad,' he murmurs into my hair. 'i'll make it up to you.'

'that's not an issue,' i say. 'careful.'

'you sound like a road sign,' he says. 'slow. stop. danger ahead. caution is advised.'

'you have no idea,' i breathe.

his hands behave now, but his lips move to my throat, and this time i can't resist. he feels the change in me, the lowering of my defenses, and he is on the offense once more, looking for openings to widen, boundaries to push. he slides his hand through the gap above the button of my stolen shirt and exhales, raggedly.

'it's your own goddamn fault if you're late,' i say, as he pushes me back onto his bed.

'God, i want you,' he says to my bare shoulder.

and i smile. 'God has nothing to do with this.'



and yees, i did rip the title from eileen chang's superbly excellent novella, which i highly recommend. :D