prologue

My eyes are barely open although it's only a little past 11 pm. I try to widen them a bit more to keep reading the documents in front of me, praying for the extra coffee to work its magic. As my prayers go unheard and my eyelids start closing, I feel a familiar sense clawing at my neck: the feeling of being watched. I'm proven correct when I feel the subtle touch of cool hands on my bare shoulders.

"Hey," he says, his voice rough from the little amount of rejuvenation I previously forced him to endure. I close my eyes and start to give in to the temptation of a deep slumber, only to have him tighten his grip on my shoulders to turn me back to reality.

"You ought to get some sleep," he whispers and I sigh. It's been almost two days since I've last had the chance to sleep, and although I really want to give in, I know that I can't. That I mustn't, if I want to finish this stupid thing before the dawn comes. And God knows, I need, we need to have this finished till dawn. Tomorrow might be too late.

"C'mon, go to sleep, you look like hell," he insists with a weary look etched on his handsome features. I shake my head, my shoulder-length brown locks grazing his unnaturally cool hands. He's always had cold hands. Back in high school, I used to tease him about that. He always stared at me with that unamused look and gave me an equally unamused chuckle. His eyes often seemed duller back then. I hated that, so I just laughed and smiled prettily at him. That smile always calmed him down, made him relax and helped a smile, more like a small upturn of his lips on the sides, ease onto his face. That sweet smile has a control over him. I have control over him. Most of the time. The smile works, it does. Well, perhaps not very often...

Now is one of the abnormal days, but it appears he doesn't think that way; he resists the smile. Damn it, my pretty smile doesn't work. Well, I know it rarely does, anyway. Shouldn't really get worked up over it. Besides, knowing him, this "rarely" is probably an exaggeration.

"Please."

That does it. I sigh and nod. He never says "please" unless he is getting worried. And I'm touched by his concern, I really am. So I let it slip, force myself to forget how important it is that I read this file and memorize all the contents, and struggle to stand up on my feet. Unfortunately, hours of sitting on the same chair without moving my butt causes some numbing in the said area, so I stagger, trip myself, and manage to fall down to his arms. He lets out a chuckle and helps me stand up as normal people do. Well, I'm abnormal, so I guess that means I have an excuse here. And, um, I like control. Quite a bit more than your average person. Still, got an excuse, right?

"C'mon, go to bed and have some sleep. You really look like hell."

"Gee, thanks a bunch. Love you too, honey."

"Don't call me 'honey'."

"Whatcha gunna do 'bout tha', darlin'?"

"Don't do the accent either, you know I hate it."

"Okay, daddy. I'll go to bed now. Just make sure we don't die a gruesome death by that sadistic killer out there who wants to get a bite at us."

"I will."

With a grin on my face, I walk to the beige and fluffy couch in the middle of the room, but not before I blow him a kiss, to which he replies with an exasperated sigh. Letting myself fall on the aforementioned couch (quite disgracefully, I might add), I close my eyes and let sleep take over my body.

Oh, how I hate losing control.