Feeling Of Gaze
by Oro

And CJ's hands, fingers fucking, fucking, fucking, you die with a sigh and live with a breath, and long and lithe fingers killing slowly. You call her name and she doesn't answer, not once, not saying your name at all but looking at you with two focused eyes.

You thought you were the killing kind, but.

"Fuck, yes."

She picked you up at a bar as if she didn't know you, and you followed her like you didn't think she could have anything to offer. Her breath is expensive alcohol hovering above your lips, above a whisper, slowly sinking into bedsprings.

Bedsprings creak and so do you, a little bit.

You come out of the bathroom and she's sitting on the bed, coffee table beside her. She takes a long drag out of her hand-rolled cigarette and doesn't offer you one. You watch the sweet smoke fly in grey streaks out of her mouth, watch her lips move to suck again on the sloppily rolled, hastily licked paper.

She pauses before placing the cigarette in her mouth. "Do you?"

"What?" You shake your head suddenly, because (it's not that you weren't paying attention, you were just distracted).

"Do you feel uncomfortable around me?" she asks again, her breath even, her skin damp where your tongue moved not too long ago. Your marks on her, so unlike the scratches on your back, are temporary, to disappear in a matter of seconds. You can't tell if she wants a real answer to that question.

"I didn't know people still rolled cigarettes." Your reply takes a little too long; choose to ignore the question and it'll go away, not echo in your brain as it does now. And you don't, you really don't feel uncomfortable. It's those awkward moments after being fucked senseless that you hate, when she's awake so you can't just leave.

"People do. I do." She pauses to dust away the ash from the burning cigarette. You roll the word on your tongue: dust, to dust, to be dust. To be the ash flying into the metal ashtray with the light touch of CJ's finger. She says, "You locked the door when you went to the bathroom."

She doesn't say it accusingly, but you still feel a little bit guilty, a little bit enraged at her presumptuousness. You slide into silence, just watching her smoke and not trying to figure out what she must think of you, what she must think you think of her.

You don't want her to know what you think.

And her hands, fingers tapping on the bed to a soundless rhythm in her brain, you can only hear the buzz of the streets, and the sound of her fingers on the sheets, fingernails slightly grazing the fabric as she touches it.

Your eyes glide over her long frame, from her eyes to her toes. She keeps her gaze on you even when you avert your own.

You lie to yourself.

She picked you up at a bar as if she'd come there especially to see you. If you hadn't been quite so drunk, you would've been half- flattered. Her apartment was more lived-in than you thought it would be, but you didn't see much of it: you moved quickly from the entrance to her bedroom, drunk like you said you wouldn't let yourself be.

You got tired of listening to your own bones all the damn time and CJ's moans were the best distraction you could think of, and the alcohol in your mouth mixed with the taste of her, wet on your lips and sweet down your throat.

"I'm not the one who can get your boyfriend his job back, you know that," she says at one point, "you should have fucked Leo McGarry."

"This is not about Josh."

"I tell it like I see it."

"You're looking it at it wrong." Beat. "You told me to come over, I came over."

"Maybe you shouldn't have."

You hate Josh for defining your character in her eyes and you hate her for seeing you this way. She's supposed to be the smarter one, with the stupid vases she keeps in her lived-in apartment that you could just pick up and break for no particular reason.

Your shards are jagged where she broke your dignity, and you try to break her with your fingers like she did you, harder and faster and deeper than her fingers went, with your tongue and your self-disgust that keeps you out of your apartment on Saturday nights.

Fingers tapping into fabric, buzz buzzing into your brain, you could dance insane with the rhythm but you're too entranced with faded smoke and the distance you keep, three and a half steps exactly from the wall to her bed.

The floor is cold underneath your bare feet.


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