Frankie was a happy man. Happier than he could ever remember. They’d been spending more and more time together until it seemed only natural to ask her to move in with him. For days he’d tried to summon up the courage to ask her. It wasn’t the fear of her saying ‘no’ – so long as they were still together, he would be able to handle that. His biggest fear was that the question might upset the balance of their fledgling relationship – would they fly or flap helplessly before crashing to the ground? He sometimes worried things were going too well, that she’d move on, leaving him with just the memories and his lonely flat.
Once the idea had taken root in his mind, it grew and grew until he couldn’t contain it. One night after work, literally as soon as they’d closed the door to his flat, he just came out and asked. Her face lit up in that way that made him melt and she jumped up at him, wrapping her arms and legs around him, screaming ‘yes’ at the top of her voice. She moved in the following weekend. He’d offered to come with her to get her stuff but strangely she shot the idea down, quickly moving the conversation on. It turned out she didn’t have much anyway – a smallish battered suitcase and an overnight bag seemed to contain all that she held dear in the world.
It was late one afternoon – approaching the time when they’d usually get out of bed in search of something to eat. She was sleeping softly next to him and he was content to lay there, just gazing through the window of his flat, looking out across Boomtown. He’d explored this view many times over the years and it used to make him feel uneasy, but now with her asleep beside him, the beast had been tamed. He no longer bothered about the heavy pall of smog that lay permanently over the city. He could ignore the rabbit warren of streets that stretched out below him and the million tales of lives like the one he’d survived before she’d walked into his life. Despite the endless chatter from the countless talking heads, the place had always seemed so dead to him, but not any longer. He pictured the usually grid-locked streets of mid-town but in his new enlightened world, the cars were gone and the dogs of downtown had lost their growl. The city thugs could riot and he would hear nothing, the government could demolish half the buildings in the city and the sound of those toppling buildings would be just like a lullabye.
As she stirred beside him, he turned to her and they kissed. They both knew what was to follow. What had been tender when they first met had become something very different….the crushing of mouths, the scratching of flesh and the scrape of bone on bone…teeth and skin….feelings of fragility rapidly alternating with feeling more alive than ever before. Perhaps the pain was necessary to counter the almost indecent pleasure they normally felt when they were together. For him, just the touch and feel of each other was enough but he meant it when he said he’d do anything for her .... and she seemed to need this.