by Oro

CJ can taste Andi on his lips, and it frightens her; it's never occurred to her, how everyone who touches them leaves a mark, fragile and transparent and temporary as it may be. She's constantly aware of her existence on him, in him, screaming as they touch, the past forever effecting the present. The future. To her, it seems something private of his, and Andi's: a family. No matter how much she longs to be a part of that, she never will be; she will always stand on the sidelines, even if he tries to make her feel as though she's one of them.

He says that blood relations don't matter, and she says yes and of course, but they both know she doesn't believe his kind words. He kisses her thoughts away, and she's again the empty vessel she was at fifteen. (He fills her and for a moment she is whole: she winces slightly and the moment's gone.)

Andi's fingers graze CJ's back through Toby's thumbs, sending their poison into her blood. The warmth of his touch and the cold of his occupied state intermix into bittersweet, lukewarm lovemaking. Her lips meet Toby's, her tongue exploring his mouth to find the flavor of the mother of his children. CJ's body spasms to this ambiguous, somewhat androgynous touch, and for a moment, she isn't sure whose name she's supposed to cry.

She's never been more confused, and yet things have never been clearer: it was never going to be a long term thing with him, and there is nothing she can do in order to change that. Her life suddenly feels like an anti-drugs infomercial as she lies next to her lover in his bed, their legs tangled together and his arm wrapped around her. She's supposed to say no, isn't she? Get the hell away before she gets more drawn into this epic novel of a lifestyle.

She listens to his steady breaths and all she can think of is that line she's heard so many times, but never read too much into: just say no. His embrace around her tightens in his sleep, and he quietly moans her name. She'll make the most out of what they have, whatever this thing may be, and when it's time to leave, she will. She turns around to look at his face, semi-tranquil in his sleep. He sighs into her mouth, unconscious: his sigh tastes vaguely of Andi's self efficiency.

Her heart sinks as she snuggles against his chest, falling into restless sleep.


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