It was almost two o’clock in the morning and Jesse and I were completely intertwined, mid-kiss. After hours of intense physical intimacy, we were just about finished. Our bodies were covered in sweat and the bed was torn apart. I was submerged in post-orgasmic, post-coital euphoria and it felt as if my heart had doubled in size. Jesse was on top of me, cradling my head in the spider of his hand, caressing me with his lips. He kissed my nose, then my cheeks, then my eyelids, then my forehead, then made his way back to my mouth, where I was waiting, lips parted.
He pressed his tongue against mine, and the magic continued. I combed my fingers through his thick black hair, now damp with perspiration, as he reciprocated with mine, winding his hand through my tresses from roots to mid-lengths to ends.
Now that I thought about it, Jesse’s hair and my own were complete opposites. Yin and yang. His was thick, dark, and wavy; mine thin, fair, and pin straight.
I could feel the luscious canopy of his tickling my face.
Jesse pulled his tongue out of my mouth and pressed his lips against mine once. . .twice. . .a third time.
He lifted his head up, looked at my face, then smiled big.
My heart reeled.
I tried to drink it all in, every pixel, but it was too much to process, as if the algorithm of his beauty was too advanced for my weak human eyes to decipher, translate, or consume. Surely a creature with more prolific powers of sight would be able to appreciate the radiance of this beauty, to do it justice — a hawk or an eagle perhaps — but I would try anyway.
Jesse’s hair was a beautiful mess after the hours we had just spent together, a succulent tangle of raven feathers, ripe with sweat. His cheeks were flush with color, like always, but redder this time, crimson instead of rose. His fang teeth were sharp and glistening white, completing the exquisite array of pearls that made up his smile. And his lips were so red they looked like they were stained with wild berries.
“Are you okay?” he asked, still smiling.
Yes. Better than okay. Perfect.
I nodded up and down.
Jesse reached over and pulled a strand of hair out of my face. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured.
“Really,” he insisted.
I didn’t know what my face looked like in that moment but I imagined my makeup was either smeared or fading and the dark circles under my eyes black at this point.
He frowned. “I have told you this so many times. You never believe me.”
“That’s another thing you do,” Jesse laughed. “You literally can’t stop apologizing. If you say you’re sorry one more time Fiona I’m going to pick you up and throw you out that window,” he stated very matter of factly, gesturing to the glass.
“You wouldn’t dare.”
“Oh yes I would,” he insisted, leaning in to my ear to whisper, “but then I would fly right down and pick you up.”
Then he kissed my lips.
“Oh, so you can fly now?” I mused.
“But where are your wings?”
“They’re invisible. You can’t see them.”
“Invisible or imaginary?”
He shrugged. “Both.”
I laughed. “That’s good. You’re funny.”
Jesse reached over and touched my eyelids. “And you’re falling asleep.”
“When’s the last time you’ve slept?”
“Last night,” I lied.
His eyes narrowed. “Are you lying to me?”
My heart sank. “I don’t know.”
It was a lame, pathetic, nonsensical answer. But I didn’t want to flat out lie to him twice in a row.
I think Jesse could see that I felt guilty so he didn’t get pissed like earlier. Instead he just pulled my head into his chest and started combing my hair, humming a lullaby.
I stared to unwind. My vision started to blur as my eyelids drooped.
Then Jesse shuffled.
My heart lurched and I panicked.
“Where are you going?” I squeaked, forcing my eyes open. “Come back.”
I felt like Rose from Titanic, calling for Jack in her dry, cracked, broken voice as she reaches for him in the end. It broke my heart to feel him leaving, if even just for a moment.
He laughed and kissed my cheek. “I’ll be right back I’m just getting you something.”
I nodded and rested my head back on the pillow, counting his footfalls until he returned to me.
“These will be way too big for you but still,” Jesse laughed as he returned, throwing a pile of warm cotton at me.
My heart fluttered.
“Thanks,” I yawned, trying to find the opening for my head and hands with my eyes closed.
He laughed. “Here, lift up you arms.”
I did. Almost immediately I was enveloped in intense heat; a mens tee shirt and pullover hoodie straight from the drying machine.
“Wow. Right out of the dryer. I’m getting the special treatment tonight, huh?” I mumbled incoherently.
Jesse chuckled as he turned off the lights. He climbed into bed and pulled me into his arrest. It was a heavenly place to be. I wormed my body into his mold of his body, trying to stay awake, but it was becoming impossible now.
No, no, no.
You can’t fall asleep.
I hadn’t though this through beforehand and didn’t know what to do.
Jesse combed his fingers through my hair and kissed my forehead. “Go to sleep, my love.”
I warmed at the sound of those words, but a harsher reality soon set in.
The waves of exhaustion that had been lapping at me all evening were sloshing backwards and forwards with great force now, like a pendulum in full swing. They were coming close to overtaking me, and I was swimming above them by inches; the whole night I had been treading, trying to stay above the surface for as long as I could, but the water was licking at my jawline now and it was only a matter of time.
I was drowning.
And now I could feel three familiar sets of hands wrapping around my legs and ankles, pulling me downward. I kicked and yanked myself free over and over again, but they were getting stronger and I was getting weaker with each passing second.
Ugh, I moaned. No, no, no.
I had fought them off for as long as I could. It was a fierce effort. And I had done everything I had set out to do. I supposed I should have been pleased with myself. Jesse was satisfied — physically, sexually — and that was the ultimate goal. Nothing else mattered. Everything else could be dealt with at a later time. And that time was now.
The piper was calling.
There was only one more thing that I could ask of myself.
Please don’t scream. Please don’t scream.
Not in front of Jesse.
It had been about a month since I woke up screaming so I might be due for another episode. If I could get down on bended knee I would.
If there was no chance he’d see I would take duct tape and seal my mouth shut. Choking risk be damned.
This was it. There was no point in fighting anymore. So I didn’t. I completely gave in.
At that point, everything happened very quickly and all at once.
The waves that had previously been lapping at my shoulders reared high over my head, breaking over me and pulling me beneath the surface. They filled my lungs with seawater and proceeded to slam over me again and again, crushing me with the weight of what seemed like a thousand pounds per crash.
One of the sets of hands reached up, climbed the length of my body, and grabbed me by the arm, pulling me under.
Everything went black.