She glided over to me, having just pursed her lips to lightly exhale away the tip of flame she had just transferred from match to candles. The smoldering sliver, laying on the dresser where she had dropped it before turning, sent a wisp of smoke up that danced itself into the ceiling. As she moved I immediately forgot the miffed feeling I had formed seconds before, provoked by her keeping her back turned toward me, thereby depriving me of taking in her appearance.

But now the flickering lights dancing off the wall sent a cavalcade of shadows across the white shirt she wore, a button-up left way-too suggestively unbuttoned save a single clasping at her breast, leaving me to wonder if the bra underneath, if indeed she wore one, matched the black panties she had on peeking out from underneath the edges of her oversized white shirt. Well, perhaps. Maybe just underwear. Black and lacy, hip-hugging, really more of a hybridization of a pair of ass-shorts and Victoria’s Secret’s finest.

Sexy, damn sexy.

Her hand always nestled so perfectly into mine. Ours would find their way together almost independently of our conscious actions, she allowing my thumb to fall on top of hers in a position naturally comfortable to me.

The same in bed, not sexually of course, but after. Sharing our naked warmth, we would prostrate ourselves in whatever manner we fell into each other. Her head on my right shoulder with her left arm draped across my chest. My left arm tunneling under her neck, my right hand resting on the corner of her upturned hip. Directly on top of the other, doing our best human blanket impersonations.

I supported her weight with my feet on the floor as I sat on the edge of her bed. The slight squeeze of her thighs wrapped around my waist passed over me relatively unnoticed, lost in the sensations of her hands almost violently combing through my hair and taste of her tongue in my mouth.

We lay there, curled up on her red and green plaid easy chair, the type of chair you would never think comfortable but hardly ever wanted to leave once you had settled into it, me slowly trying to put together the pieces of the night. The television sent a muted blue glow in our direction, accompanying it with an almost-silent humming. Or perhaps that came from the VCR. I gathered we had fallen asleep at some point, what exact point in the movie I could not remember, and the weariness of waking had still not left my eyes to the point that I could make out the message the clock on the far wall kept trying to whisper my direction.

The old blue blanket covering her rose and fell but the slightest amount in cadence with the breathing sounds of sleep. Curled up against a pillow and trapping my arm underneath her, she had left me with no manageable method of extracting myself without disturbing her slumber.

Changing the angle by arching her back slightly, she found the rhythm she wanted, and kept it for me metronomically with gasps jumping from her mouth. I almost grunted with the change, almost taking the tips of my fingers from the raised point of her bare breast, almost pulling my hand out from between her legs and our bodies, almost feeling the need to steady myself to her movements, not sure whether to try and meet them with my own or lay back and let her work, moaning all the while with her. Her hands fell on me then, just below my collar bones, grabbing my chest in bunches and digging into me with her fingers. In her flushed face I saw her building up and I wondered whether to try and keep her on the edge or let her fall off it with me coming right behind her.

I hate the damn telephone, and she made me want to talk to her on the telephone every day we were apart.

Against the wall, I held her up with my forearms wrapped her outer thighs, her inner thighs squeezing me harder and then softer as she tried to get the maximum range out of our motions against the off-white plaster trying unsuccessfully to pass on some its chill touch to our naked bodies.

Minutes on end. Miles on the long highway. The smallest details, the biggest stories, stupid things I had done when I had only five years of life under my belt. Nicknames people gave me, insults people had used to wound me. Achievements. Mistakes. Friends. Others. Pasts and futures.

She made me talk about everything.

“Harder,” she panted, “faster.”

I would lay there at night, long after she had wandered off with the Sandman, looking at her, wondering what dreams passed before those flickering eyes, wondering if I had a part in those dreams. I would muse upon the merits of fighting her sleeping body for an extra square foot of covers but would always decide against it, knowing that I always managed to stay a few degrees warmer.

I would lay there at night with her, naked beyond my skin, wide awake and hoping to never awake again.