I like how artwork can inspire the imagination, and this image I linked to on my Sunday Post a couple weeks ago inspired this quick story.
He didn't want to leave.
Funny how these things happen, he thought as he lay there looking at her. A few weeks ago his life had been quiet, he thought he'd put the drama behind him. He'd made some mistakes, had been in some trouble, but he was working it out. Now he'd hardly been home in the last week. He had been in relationships before, of course, but not like this girl. He knew he should be careful, knew he was going all in, but he didn't care. 8124. Her apartment up here in the spire. He liked that number.
He watched her sleep for a while, her breath rising and falling. Sabine jumped up on the bed and walked on him for a moment, then settled down at the foot of the bed and stared out the window. His gaze followed, at the gleaming towers and sky traffic. She has a great view. He wondered how she afforded it. He turned onto his stomach and fiddled with the keypad, and the sound of falling rain filled the little room, punctuated occasionally by distant thunder. She woke slowly and smiled at him, and his heart skipped a beat. You're in way over your head.
"Hi.""Hi yourself," she mumbled, kissing him. She lay there for a bit and looked at him and their fingers interlaced as the rain continued to fall. Sabine came up and made herself comfortable, purring in that loud way she had.
"When do you have to go?" he asked after a while, toying with a strand of her hair.
"My shift starts at eight. We have a while yet."
He smiled. "Whatever will we do?"
She smiled back. "Oh I don't know, maybe go for a walk. We have to leave sometime."
"I don't think so," he said as he kissed her, "but nice try." She mumbled something and pulled him down, and Sabby had to vacate. The kiss was long and deep, and afterward it was quiet for a while.
They hadn't left the place in two days. Food was from some Chinese take out place a few levels down- they delivered thankfully. The cartons were mostly strewn on the floor near the tiny kitchenette, where they had sat crosslegged and devoured like there was no tomorrow. The cat had been after what was left. I hope Sabby likes General Tso's. She had told him he could stay, and he thought about it. He liked the view, and he'd be here when she got home. Definitely a plus. He also liked that no one knew where he was. But, he had some things he should take care of. And he was getting attached, always wanting to be here. Thinking about her all the time. If he wasn't careful he would lose his shit for this girl. Too late.
All too soon it was time and she had to get up. Eventually she pulled away and stepped down into the living area, pulling the sheet with her. He decided not to let go and it fell away, and she smiled back at him as she walked naked into the bathroom. He laid back contentedly and closed his eyes, listening to the faint whirring of the traffic outside and after a few moments the shower turning on. He thought about joining her, but it was getting late and he was happy right where he was. Sabby jumped up to keep him company.
A chime sounded behind him and he turned onto his stomach. An incoming message. Knowing he shouldn't, he swiped. A deposit with an attached message. A deposit for a large amount of money. Wow. In spite of his better judgment he kept reading.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF CONTACT. SUBJECT WILL BE ACQUIRED AT 20:00 ST.
STANDARD PROCEDURE. BALANCE OF FEE WILL BE DEPOSITED UPON RETRIEVAL OF SUBJECT.
His picture and social ID information were there.
Stunned he fell back against the pillows. No. No no no. Not possible. How could she know? Are you kidding me? The last few weeks had been nice. More than nice. Tears stung his eyes. The cat was still purring against him, and he shoved her off the bed angrily. The events of the last few weeks replayed themselves through his mind- the questions he hadn't asked, the vague playful answers she gave to the ones he did ask. It all made sense now. 'I work in the history section of the library', she had said. Yeah sure you do honey. Although he had not exactly been honest either.
The water turned off. Shit. He closed the message as unread and scrambled up, pulling his clothes on. Sabby was in the cartons again. He was at the door when she called out.
"Do you want to stay while I'm gone? We could do something when I get back, maybe go for breakfast?"
"No," his voice cracked as he answered. "I should get going, I've got a few things I need to do. See you after though?" Yeah right.
"Sure. You're welcome to stay though. Sabby won't mind."
Hesitating, he wanted to say something. Anything. But what did it matter? He stepped outside and looked around. Just off her hallway was a busy concourse, throngs of people going here and there amongst the restaurants and nightclubs.
He didn't want to leave. With a last look back he stepped into the flow of people and disappeared.