i wanted to see their mouths touch

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.
We never know when the bus is coming.

—  Rachel C. Lewis, Tell The People You Love That You Love Them.

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.

—  Rachel C. LewisTell The People You Love That You Love Them.

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.

Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.

—  Rachel C. Lewis

some days i am death threat and
others i am apology poem.
you were a rose and some days
i remember your softness but others
all i can think of are the thorns.
i want to see this in something other
than black and white but in my memory
there is no shared responsibility,
only killer and killed, only one
bloody body on the ground.

i want you beside me and yet i
never want you to touch me again.
i want you to whisper the pretty things to me again
but every word from your mouth makes me sick.

i want you back but i know
you haven’t changed.
i haven’t changed either.

—  it’s funny how the missing puzzle piece can also be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, sarah kate osborn
A new way to be.

“I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, “Kiss me harder,” and “You’re a good person,” and, “You brighten my day.” I now live my life as straight-forward as possible. 

Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be- to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether it’s your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands. 

But there is nothing more beautiful than being vulnerable.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans. 

We never know when the bus is coming.”

~When You Want to Watch Them Masturbate~

Jin: “How about you come join my side and we can do it together?”

Yoongi: “That’s hot baby. Maybe you can suck the tip a little? I’d like to see your pretty mouth swallow.”

Hoseok: “You wanna come lay next to me? Maybe we can touch each other after awhile?”

Namjoon: “Oh yeah, baby? You wanna watch daddy? Okay, Baby. Sit back and watch daddy. Don’t be shy to touch tho, okay?”

Jimin: “Babe, that is such a turn on. You wanna see me play with my cock baby? As long as I can see that pretty pussy.”

Taehyung: “Alright. But i much rather you play with my cock instead. ;D”

Jungkook: “Wha? Really? Okay, but can I see you , too?”

Oh my god.
It’s really you.
I used to just see your face in the heat of my restless dreams.
Now, your fingers are grazing my inner thigh.
One at a time.
I know your eyes are on the destination but I want you to get lost.
Please…
Oh…
Please….
Explore all the parts of my body that have not been visited in awhile.
Love the vacant places,
with your soft touch.
I’m craving it.
Yah,
that’s what i remember.
Gasping for breath,
and my chest rising up and down.
I feel the heat flush over my face.
Oh, the things you can do.
Next,
Your mouth is over mine,
and my silent moan for you,
slides through your teeth.
One hand over my mouth,
and one hand on the destination.
We should adventure more together.
—  You’re the greatest destination
things i say to my cat ask meme
  • "What are you eating?"
  • "Get off me, I have to pee."
  • "Do you want me to rub your belly?"
  • "What's in your mouth?"
  • "Aww, you're so cute when you're asleep."
  • "DON'T TOUCH THAT."
  • "How are you still hungry?"
  • "You don't need any ice cream."
  • "Were you a good girl today?"
  • "Come sit on my lap."
  • "Ouch! That hurt, jerk!"
  • "What's so great about that piece of paper?"
  • "It's just an spider."
  • "What are you looking at? Do you see a ghost?"
  • "Oh, your nose is cold."
  • "Leave the blinds alone!"
  • "What are you doing up there?"
  • "Fine. I didn't want to cuddle anyway."

trapped-in-chaos  asked:

Wait can you elaborate with chihuahuas?

If by ‘elaborate’ you want me to talk about them the same way I did dachshunds and started (really, I only touched on one issue) discussing pugs, then sure. I can start an incomplete list of concerns I see in the breed. Lets start going from nose to tail.

Nose: The snoot itself is fine. They generally only have mild brachycephalic issues (elongated soft palate, secondary collapsing trachea), but it’s what’s under the nose that will get you.

Teeth: Look at this mouth. Just look at it.

This is severe dental and peridontal disease. It’s infection and puss and rot stuck around the teeth, down to their roots. Terminal teeth. Trash mouth. Sewer mouth. It smells like you’d expect it to. Half of those teeth would have come out with a good sneeze, but they’re all causing pain and inflammation in that poor dog’s head.

Infections of the tooth roots can become so severe that the result in abscesses behind the eyeball, or osteomyelitis, weakening the bone so much that spontaneous jaw fractures can occur.

Interestingly she was much less inclined to bite when examining her mouth later, after almost all her teeth were removed due to severe pathology. I think pain was a factor more than fear.

Head & Brain: A deer-head chihuahua has a fairly sensible head. I would consider it a good head if not for the dental situation. Apple-head chihuahuas are problematic, with frequency and severity of problems increasing with the extremeness of anatomy. The desired ‘apple’ shape is achieved by breeding for mild hydrocephalus, fluid retention within the brain, causing the skull to bulge. Breeding for this trait results is some dogs being more extreme than others and you can find heartbreaking pictures of your own of severely affected pups on google images.

Some are so badly affected that their eyes can’t focus on the same spot, some can’t feed properly, and the skull deformity leaves their brain with reduced protection. My partner has hydrocephalus, and because of it he started having migraines when he was 18 months old, and is currently suffering a 9 month long migraine. Now I can’t exactly tell if a dog is having a migraine or a headache like we understand them, bit I know that his condition is linked to his chronic pain, so I would not be at all surprised to find out that hydrocephalic dogs endure something similar.

Spine: These tiny creatures are unsurprisingly fragile and end up under the surgeon’s knife for spinal issues more often than expected for a breed without a long back.

Heart: Whether this is an inherent weakness, or whether it’s just a fact of life that something is going to go wrong in a breed that often reaches eighteen years of life. Everyone dies of something, eventually. Many elderly chihuahuas (and their mixes) develop some sort of heart valve problem during their life. Most of the time it’s a mitral valve issue, which will get worse with time and required medication to control symptoms. This is where being able to give the little dog becomes a huge advantage.

Trachea: Although a cough is a classic symptom of heart disease it is also a symptom of collapsing trachea, and these little dogs often get both at the same time. The trachea (wind pipe) can be so badly affected that it collapses in on itself. This is typically worse with excitement. It should be obvious why this is a problem.

Knees: Oh my goodness gracious, the knees on these things are shocking. Almost all of these dogs have at least one luxating patella (Medially Luxating Patella = MPL) to some degree. Usually a low-grade one isn’t a huge deal to a lightweight dog, but chihuahuas don’t just throw low-grade MPLs. The last one my poor boss had to do had its patella sitting out of joint by 90 degrees around the leg. In a dog under 2kg he struggled to find implants of an appropriate size to improve this deformity and let the dog walk normally.

He swore so much during that surgery, those tiny bones were so soft, and the implants needed to be so delicate, it was not a surgery he looked forward to doing again. He will though.

Anal glands: While not a breed specific issue, smaller dogs often have more problems expressing their anal glands. Some chihuahuas suffer from frequent anal gland abscesses, and rectally expressing these glands on such tiny dogs is something owners rarely choose to attempt at home.

Medicating & Feeding: Being so little owners have a tendency to let these dogs get away with bad or anxious behavior that wouldn’t be tolerated in a larger dog. Being so small in a big world is probably a bit scary anyway, but dogs often feed off their owner’s emotional reactions. If an owner always acts as though their dog might get hurt and should be scared, the chihuahua learns from it.

People also have difficulty understanding how much food is ‘enough’ for a dog that weighs less than a human newborn. Consequently they are often either overfed or become spoiled. So many owners insist their chihuahuas wont eat anything except freshly cooked human food, and treats. They were accidentally trained this way by their owners.

Difficulties with training and spoiling means it’s often difficult to medicate a chihuahua, and given that they suffer a variety of long-term medical conditions that benefit from daily medication, being able to actually give the dog it’s tablets makes a big difference to their quality of life.

They can be happy, confident, charming little dogs if handled confidently and understood.

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind owning a chihuahua, but one on the larger side (2.5-3kg) and with the deer head phenotype. This variation seems to have far less problems than the tiny, dome head versions. As with most things, you encounter more problems with more extremes of anatomy.

#8 “The skirt is supposed to be this short.”
#88 “You got a cute butt. Can I touch it?”


“What?” You ask Negan and he points with a nod to your skirt. “It’s supposed to be this short.”
“Yeah, can fucking see that.” He responds, a smirk plays around his lips. “Turn around.”
Slightly you frown and do what he wanted. Immediately you feel him behind you, his fingertips circle over the skin on your hips.
“You got a cute butt. Can I touch it?” He whispers hoarse in your ear and you nod, swallowing down a giggle.
Almost lovingly Negan strokes over the skin there before he grabs your ass cheeks, massaging them with rough hands. A quiet moan leaves your mouth as he presses his growing erection on your ass.
“Maybe you should fucking stay at home tonight.” He groans and you agree with a nod.

ALSO for those who wanted more tales of Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas being excellent buddies:

When the reading (of Marion de Lorme) was over, Dumas, with Herculean strength, lifted the poet (Hugo) in his arms and carried him about , crying “Hugo, we will carry you to glory!  Hugo, you will make all of us famous!”  Everyone cheered and laughed….Then Adèle Hugo, carrying herself proudly in silken evening dress, swept into the room with cakes and sherbets and ices.  “I can still see the gigantic Dumas,” wrote Henri de la Touche, another witness of the evening  “stuffing his mouth with cake , and shouting, with his mouth quite full: Admirable! Admirable! Admirable!”

It was always thus with the Romantics. The hero and heroine died a hideous death in some Gothic dungeon , after drinking their love potion together and singing their tragic love…Everybody in the audience wept, then turned to eat cakes and ices. 

-Victor Hugo, by Matthew Josephson

Excerpt from a fic “A Year Every Minute”

“Sans looked up at the doctor, watching as he fought to keep his mouth shut and gestured with his hands. He noticed what they were doing pretty quickly, the whites of his eyes bouncing to Asgore and quickly realizing that the King actually had no idea Gaster was actually cursing him out in his own strange, speechless way.”

I little fanart to the wonderful fic “A Year Every Minute” by @askull4everyoccasion that I’ve been reading for the past week. If you like well-written character development and want to see cute & touching interactions between these skeletons, I highly recommend reading it! :D

I feel like a watercolour painting.
All my pigments are merging together
and becoming an oozing mess
like the incomprehensible madness
on the inside of my chest
and I do not know what to say to you.
Try to find the sensible,
sophisticated words to say
but they are slipping away
like my vision
which is becoming blurred
because I don’t want to witness this moment
and I am holding back the almost-tears
that form when I try and process
our conversation,
our tragedy.
I still feel myself melting
under the influence
of your metaphorical touch
Is this lust?
Is this love?
I toss the words around in my mouth
until I choke on them.
I do not speak.
Cannot let you see
the sentimental side of me.
Keep my poems
in my fingertips
and touch you with them
while you are still asleep.
My blurry eyes
blink away
the thirteenth night of our reverie
and I tuck up my love for you,
make it small,
savory,
inoffensive.
Try and strip my heart down
to a blank canvas
but it doesn’t work
it never works
I’m a masterpiece of memories
and it’s only been two weeks.
Please.
Remember how to make time for me.
Remember how to hold me.
Remember how to look at me.
Like I’m the best thing you’ve ever seen.
Remember how to love me
even if you don’t
or won’t
or can’t
just remember how.
I’ll try my best
to make it impossible
to forget.

Hide makes the mistake of looking down.

Instead of finding relief, he finds torture. Absolute, hellish torture. At least when his eyes were closed he could fight back the urge to come, but now he’s directly at Kaneki, black hair sticking up as if he were electrocuted, cheeks hollowed out and eyes screwed shut. Boquets of red blossom along his cheeks and a loud, wet noise fills the room as he takes more of Hide’s dick into his mouth.

The perfect portrait of innocence destroyed, and Hide kind of hates himself for corrupting the kid. He hates it, but he loves it, seeing his best friend, sucking his cock so far into his mouth that Kaneki’s nose is almost touching his stomach. His hands find purchase in his old friend’s inky hair and a growl rips from his throat when Kaneki swallows around him.

“I’m - Kan-Kaneki, pull away, I’m about to cum -”

Instead of listening, Kaneki keeps his mouth right where he wants it, swallowing around Hide once again and relishing in the deep, rough sounds he makes. He doesn’t stop until a warm liquid coats his tongue and throat, and he swallows every bit he can until Hide has to pull away from the hypersensitivity. 

Taking a moment to catch his breath, Kaneki squeezes Hide’s thigh. He then looks up, mouth dripping with his friend’s cum, and asks innocently,

“Was I good?”

2

Your eyes widen in panic as the jug with milk drops on the floor. The sound of splintered glass hurts your ears and immediately your heartbeat increases.
Before you can kneel down to clean up your mother turns you around. Her fingertips bore in the flesh on your arms and you suppress a a small scream.
“I’m so…”
The first blow hits you unexpected and no noise leaves your mouth.
But when the second and third hit you a pleading whimper leaves your mouth and you fall on the floor.
Shards burrow into your palm.
Milk mixes with blood.

You sweat under the gloves and the hood, but you don’t care as long as no one sees your fresh wounds.
“(Y/N).” You hear Ramsay’s voice behind you.
As you wanted to pretend that you didn’t hear him he grabs your ankle.
“I’m talking to…” Ramsay stops speaking as he looks in your face.
Anger flickers in his blue eyes as he almost gentle touches your cheek.
“Don’t.” You flinch back, but he doesn’t listen and press your head on his chest.
Shamelessly you start crying, sobbing while he holds you tight.
You don’t know why he does this. Maybe because you know each other since your childhood and you punched other kids when they called him ‘bastard’ behind his back.

The night you spent in his bed, while he had ‘important things’ to do.
As you get out of his room you notice the cluster of people, some of them sending you pitying looks.
And then you see why.
Your mother is hanging from a beam, her neck is broken.
“No, no, no.” You whisper, but before you can reach her, Ramsey wraps his arms around your hips and drags you away.
“You shouldn’t see this.” Ramsey whispers in your ear and you shiver slightly at his cold voice.
“Why did you do this?” You scream at him under tears.
“Isn’t it obviously, (Y/N)?” He asks back and furrows his brow.
“But…but I’m alone now.”
“You aren’t.” His fingers circle around the scratch on your eye. “You’ll take care of me now.”

“I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.
Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.
But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.
And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.
We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.
We never know when the bus is coming.”
—Rachel C. Lewis, Tell The People You Love That You Love Them


painting by Scott Listfield

Under My Control

Eisuke x Reader

You’re tying a naked Eisuke to your bed, much to his surprise. “Babe, what- what are you doing?” He asks. "Shut up, Eisuke, you know exactly what I’m doing.” You smirk down at him, as his confused expression turns to a lusty one. "You know what I want to do to you? I’m gonna drive you insane, I’m gonna tease you until you can’t take it anymore, I’m gonna rub myself against you, I’m gonna take your dick into my mouth, then I’m gonna ride you, hard…” You start some dirty talking, as you rub yourself really slowly against him, making his breath uneven. You can see him swallowing hard as you keep talking dirty to him, also feeling his erection growing harder and harder under your already wet core. “You’ll moan and groan and growl in desire and frustration and you’ll beg to touch me, you’ll beg me to unleash yourself, you’ll lose… your… mind.” You whisper against his ear, nipping at him, then starting to trail kisses all over his body. You finally reach his dick, grabbing it in your hands and pumping it painfully slow. You kiss its tip, licking and pressing sloppy hot kisses on his length. You tease him a bit more and he’s already a groaning mess. You take his dick in your mouth and the fact that he can’t touch you or himself, it’s driving him insane. "You like it this way, baby?” You moan against his dick. "Hmm, yeah…” He moans, not being able to form words or even think straight. “Let me touch you, please.” He begs. "Uh oh, what did I tell you? I told you you’d be begging to touch me.” You smirk teasingly, faking a pout as you spoke. “Don’t be a bad boy.” What you didn’t know was that he was managing to loosen up the ties on his hands and that you didn’t tie the ties very well you put on his feet. You positioned yourself on top of him, taking him inside of you. That felt so good, you felt so filled up. You start riding him, bouncing your ass up and down, in circles, whatever you felt like doing. You’re the moaning mess right now, and Eisuke is in a complete haze. He fucking growled just now and seeing him that undone, that wild and frustrated..it was driving you crazy, it’s turning you on so much. Suddenly, you hear a thud, followed by another, and you’re on your back in a heartbeat. Done with all the teasing, he manages to unleash his hands, rolling your bodies, pressing you down with a hand as he unleashes his feet with the other. "Eisuke, what-” You ask shocked, but he cuts you off. "Now, what were you saying you’d do to me?” He smirks down at you. "You listen to me right now…I’m gonna hold your hands over your head…” He says as he is holding your hands as he said. “And I’m gonna fuck you hard, so hard, you’re gonna scream my name so loudly, the whole building will know how good I’m fucking you. And you’ll beg me to touch you, you’ll beg to touch me, to let you run your hands up and down my back, to let you grab my ass, just like I know you love doing and I’m not gonna let you.” You can’t help but moan just by listening to his voice and feeling his dick’s tip pressing against your core. He doesn’t waste any time in getting inside you and make you moan mercilessly under him, as he pounds into you harder and deeply, hitting you in all the right spots. With your hands still tightly in his grip, he leans down and takes a nipple in his mouth, sucking and nipping it, driving you insane. You let out a huge moan and shout his name, and he fucking growls again. You can’t handle it when he growls, it sends heat right to your core. He keeps thrusting into you mercilessly. Damn, he did say he’d give it to you hard and he is. "Eisuke..fuck. Please… please let me touch you.” You beg, your hands aching to touch him, to feel him, rub his body, grab his ass. His thrusts become sloppy but still deeply and he’s having trouble in controlling himself already so he lets your hands go. Finally..the release you wanted as you feel his sweaty toned back and ass under your hands. "Babe, I’m gonna cum.” You moan, as you feel the pressure in your belly. "Cum for me, _____….Cum for me.” He pleads, as he starts feeling your walls clenching around his dick. After a few more thrusts, you’re both a moaning mess, your bodies shuddering and quivering against each other. With his face hidden in your neck as he tries to regain composure, he lets out a chuckle. "What?” You ask, confused. "Damn, what came over you today?” He asks, pulling back to look at you. "I wanted you… under my control.” You smirk, as he leans down and presses a kiss to your lips. "Well, feel free to do it anytime. Just know, you’ll end up under my control.”

I love being horribly straightforward. I love sending reckless text messages (because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be?) and telling people I love them and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist. I love saying, Kiss me harder, and You’re a good person, and, You brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible.
Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.

Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way whether its your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.

But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate.

And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.

We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans.

We never know when the bus is coming.

—  Rachel C. Lewis, Tell The People You Love That You Love Them
Queen’s Return

Pomegranate-stained lips
breathe out words like liquid fire,
molten pleasure across his skin,
and suddenly it isn’t so cold.

“Six months,” she says.
“An eternity,” he answers
and holds her close in a way
he’s wanted to since she left.

Her voice is a laugh, a song,
breathless and dizzy and home.
And off the walls it echoes,
and on her tongue it’s sharp.

Hands seek flesh like growth seeks
light, desperate for something to touch,
to feel this ever deeper,
to treasure being whole.

Tart kisses unending, unbridled,
“I’m yours, I’m yours, I’m yours.”
She willingly struggles for breath
with a thirsty, lust-drunk mouth.

And rhythm. And weakness.
And those few moments for a night,
for a lifetime. To see her, still.
To see him, found. And found again. Again.

Delicate Chapter Two

Ao3 is down, so I can’t update on the website, so no link. 

Thanks again to @blithelybonny for the editing, @obeydontstray, @dadharbour, @deniblogginstuff for being the best and @elephant9998 for the original prompt. 







Jim felt sobriety come rushing up through his brain like a hammerstrike. The hallway was dark, but even in the obscuring gloom, even through his booze-fogged eyes, he could see that she was hurt. Her little face, ordinarily porcelain with roses in the cheeks, was chalk. Her haunting, dark eyes were glued to the floor, and he detected the slightest touch of a tremble in her narrow shoulders.

“Who is—”

“Joyce,” Jim repeated, cutting Marissa off.

Joyce looked up, her eyes soft and her mouth smiling.

“His daughter’s nanny. I apologize. I’m usually well out of the way of the main house by now. Goodnight.”

He wanted to rush to her side, particularly when she tripped over her feet and stumbled with a faint gasp. Joyce did not fall to the ground, however. She straightened up without looking back and continued on her way. The shame was overwhelming. He shrugged Marissa’s hand off of his shoulder.

“Sorry. I’m not feeling so hot, Marissa. Let me show you to one of the guest rooms.”

Marissa sniffed. “I’ll just call a cab.”

“You’ll never get anyone this late.”

“You must not know me very well.” She kissed his cheek and smiled sympathetically. “She seems nice. Don’t treat her like Callahan treats his babysitters.”

“I’m not fucking her, I promise.”

Marissa shrugged. “Honestly, I don’t care. I’m hot and rich, and you aren’t as cute as you think. She seems amazing, and I’m guessing your girl is in love with her.” Jim shifted his weight, becoming even more uncomfortable with the chastisement he guessed he had coming. Marissa raised an eyebrow at his expression. “Get smart. It’s not worth getting your dick wet if it’s just going to be an ego trip for you.”

“So wise. Filthy, but wise.”

“Listen, we’re still friends. Not in a sexy way, obviously, but friends. You can always count on me for honesty. You’re a dog — spare me, I’ve heard the stories — you’re a dog, but I think you know what’s at risk if you go after her and think it’s just going to be convenient live-in screwing. Think about it.” She yawned, stretching her bare arms over her head. He noticed how her breasts lifted and moved against the slinky fabric of her black dress, and a dark part of him wished he hadn’t ended their little adventure. She was braless, and he was only human, after all.

“There’s a telephone down the hall.”

“That’s fine. Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”

__________________

Joyce threw the windows open in her living room, pulled up a stool, ripped open a pack of Camels, and began to smoke. The pack was her “Break in Case of Emergency” Supply, so the cigarette tasted musty, and the smoke seeped into her lungs, thick and sickening. Tears sprang into her eyes, as she coughed for a solid minute after the first inhale. Two years of progress down the drain  because she had a crush. Pathetic.  

The night air felt cool against her inflamed cheeks, the icy breeze putting out the little fires under her skin. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Why was she so angry? It was his home. He was allowed to bring home whomever he pleased and without explaining himself to a servant.

“I’m not a servant,” she grumbled harshly to her cat. His little paws were outstretched and placed on the rung of the stool, contemplating a steep climb onto his owner’s lap.

“Mrrrr.”

“I’m not!”

When Joyce was on her fourth cigarette in a row, light flooded the living room through the window. Joyce squinted and stared out, surprised to see a taxi pulling into the driveway. Several beats later, the woman Joyce had seen near Jim’s bedroom came tripping into view. The woman paused at near the cab and looked up. Joyce felt her pulse quicken, as her confusion grew. The woman gave her a sad smile and waved, before entering the car through the backseat.

Joyce felt a stab of irritation. She didn’t need anyone’s sympathy, especially not from a socialite fleeing into the night. She frowned. There couldn’t have been enough time for them…not that it mattered, anyway.

She put out her cigarette and went to bed.

___________

“You ought to have a party,” Marissa remarked before biting into her sandwich.

Jim frowned at her from across the bistro table. In the two weeks since the hallway incident, they had not entertained a reprisal; however, they had settled into a comfortable friendship. Jim didn’t have women friends before Marissa, and it was kind of nice. He was learning new perspectives.

“I don’t do parties, my–”

“Yes, we all know about tragic Diane and her grand parties, and the time Marlena from ‘Days’ vomited in your pool, and how parties make you sad.”

“You’re kind of an asshole.”

She shrugged and sighed, wiping a bit of mustard from the corner of her mouth. “It’s a big, beautiful house. It should be filled with people. Isn’t your birthday coming up?”

Jim rolled his eyes. “Maybe. Did Powell tell you or something?”

“It’s in my address book for some reason. Anyway, you’re going to be 40.”

“Shhhh!”

Marissa waved a hand at him and shook her head. “Oh, honestly. I think I’d like to throw you a party. Will you let me, pleeeeease?”

“That’s annoying.”

“And it won’t stop until you say yes.”

“If I say yes, will you go crazy with it?”

“Probably. I’m very good at planning things.”

Jim pinched the bridge of his nose and exhaled dramatically. “No masks.”

“Okay.”

“No costumes.”

“Fine.”

“I want it relatively family-friendly. My kid needs to be there.”

“Anyone else’s kids?”

“Fuck no. I just don’t want an orgy, don’t go hiring a clown and a pony.”

“But you just said you didn’t want an orgy.”

Jim snorted. She was funnier than hell sometimes. Sometimes. Mostly she was annoying and tried to pull him out of his comfort zone. “Just keep it tasteful, but not stuffy.”

Marissa smirked. “Sure.”

__________

“A birthday party?”

“Yeah. It’s not usually my thing but Mar-Ms. Kerbough from work wants to throw a spectacle.”

Joyce looked up from her paperback. She had been stretched out in the library’s heavily-cushioned picture window, allowing the early morning sun to heat and relax her body on her day off. The early summer was proving to be a hot and sticky one most days, but Joyce enjoyed the mornings where the sun wasn’t quite at its peak. She was also enjoying air conditioning for the first time ever. Even her  garage apartment had central air.  

“I guess your Ms. Kerbough knows best,” she replied with false cheer, bringing a hand under the strap of her tanktop so she could scratch an itch on her shoulder.

She hadn’t heard much about his date since discovering them in flagrante delicto (Jonathan was really taking some weird classes, and she had to ask him where exactly her money was going. Latin was dead and buried last she heard) but then again, that made sense. He was her employer and the details of his romantic life were none of her business. Still, it was odd for her not at least to hear about the woman in passing or see her around the house, if in fact they were dating. He hadn’t been away on any sleepovers either. Business or otherwise. Not that she would have noticed because it was none of her business.

“She’s not my— she just thinks the house is empty and wants me to start socializing again.”

“I hear you socialize plenty.” A bridge too far, Joyce. He signs your paychecks. She looked away from him, fixing her gaze on the gardens in the backyard.

“I never said sorry about the night you saw us.”

“Because you don’t have to. It’s none of my business.”

“But this house is the place you work. I don’t want you to think that that’s a regular occurrence, despite what Flo has probably told you.”

“We don’t gossip. This isn’t Upstairs, Downstairs.” She was lying, of course, but that wasn’t any of his business.

“I’m sorry all the same. Anyway, I’d like for Sarah to be at the party, at least until her bedtime, which you can push back by an hour that night, if she behaves.”

“That’s fine.”

“That means I want you to come.”

Joyce sat up and raised an eyebrow. “Okay, but I don’t really have party clothes. I suppose I’ll just be part of the wallpaper though, so it doesn’t matter.” She tugged down on the hem of her shorts, a move that captured his attention, drawing his eyes to her exposed legs for a millisecond before they snapped back to her face.

“What do you mean, part of the wallpaper?” He sounded irritated.

Joyce sat up and rolled her shoulders and tilted her head to work out a tension that had built the moment he entered the room. His eyes, ever distracted, flickered to one side of her neck. The room was becoming hot, and Joyce was becoming aware of how very brief her day-off outfit actually was. Her tank top was cut low, and her shorts were cut high, and she very clearly had his attention. She smirked, folded her arms over her chest, crossed her legs, and leaned forward slightly. His breath hitched.

“Well, I’m staff, so I suppose it doesn’t matter what I wear. Everyone will know that I work for you, so no one will be paying attention. I could flounce around in a French Maid’s uniform and no one would be the wiser.”

He coughed, color flooding  his cheeks as his gaze flew to the floor. “I think you’d make an impression that way.” He took a deep breath, and their eyes met once more. “I don’t want you to feel like wallpaper.”

“How would you like me to feel?” What a loaded question, Joyce.

He held her gaze as the seconds ticked by without a response. She could hear her heart beating, could feel it in her pulse points, rapid as hummingbird wings. He stepped forward and she sat further back into the windowseat, a knee-jerk response that caused him to finally blink. He stepped back.

“I want you to feel like a valued member of this family. I want you to know how much I— how much Sarah looks up to you and admires you.” He reached into his right jeans pocket and pulled out a leather billfold.

Joyce shook her head. “What are you doing?”

He handed a black credit card towards her. “It’s a bonus. Think of it as a bonus.”

“Are you buying me a dress?”

“Shoes, jewelry, whatever you like.”

Joyce stood and reached a tentative hand towards the offering. The hand dropped at her side and she frowned. “This isn’t something you do for an employee.”

“But you’re not—”

“Then what am I?”

“I told you; you’re family.”

“This is something you do for your mistress.”

Jim reeled back a few steps, and his features darkened. “I don’t have a mistress!”

The thunder in his voice made her flinch. She was well aware that he was probably in possession of a fiery temper. He had just never aimed it towards her. She decided now was as good a time as any to search for imperfections in the hardwood.

“I’m sorry. Joyce, I’m sorry.” He stepped over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. His hand was cold and caused a little shiver in the back of her neck. She lifted her eyes to his and saw a penitent softness. “Like I said, it’s a bonus. I can even dock your pay if you want — just take this and get yourself something nice.”

Joyce stepped back from his touch and held out a hand, palm up. “I don’t want you to come with.”

He raised his hands in front of his chest defensively. “That’s fine.”

“And if you yell at me like that again, I’ll leave without notice. I don’t care if you are one of the richest men in the state.”