He pushed his head against mine. He's warm. I am cold on the inside, blood running over sheets of crackling thin ice, breaking with every breath. His hand drops from my head to my hand and he pulls it up between us and slides off my ring. I argue softly but he ignores me. His eyes are flashing, pupils dilated. He puts my ring in his pocket and I watch it disappear. It's a rule I don't subscribe to but I understand.
He bends his head down again and kisses my ear. I lift my chin up and rest it against his shoulder as his arms tighten around me. I whisper things under my breath and he responds with light squeezes. He can hear me. I cannot hear myself. I pull him in against me and he responds by pushing me down, his weight the only leverage he will need. His hands are feeling for the zipper on the side of my dress while his lips crush against mine, biting. Breathing me in. It's dark but our eyes are not adjusting. He gives up and reaches for the hem instead, pulling it up, shoving the fabric out of his way. The dress is between us, the beading digging into his flesh, straps pinning my arms down. He grabs the worst one with his hand and pulls until it rips away and I protest and he immediately covers my mouth. Silence is easier. I am lifted up and pulled in close against the uncanny warmth of his skin. All business now, we aren't going to give away anything here. We aren't going to bow to the whims of the shadows standing nearby, cuff links glinting in the pitch-black night.
His hand comes down from my mouth as he finds his way home and it wraps around my throat. I am helpless now, clinging to the waves of euphoria. It's an eternity. I know that he is close and he presses his head down against mine again and I am already turning blue, clawing for precious air with no strength, held captive with no means to save myself and all I can do is wait for rescue. I am three lifetimes ago and I can hear the calliope and his curls are in my mouth and his breath is hot against my shoulders and finally he lets go and he never fails to land a kiss on my shoulder as he pulls me up. I come back to life.
He whispers loudly that the shadows will fade. He takes his time. Checking to be sure he left no marks. Checking to be sure he left no feelings of afraid or of sad for Bridget to trip over or fall into. Telling himself it's all going to be okay because she can't hear him. He doesn't dare speak any louder.
While I slept on my ring was taken. When at last the shadows stopped watching I lost my mind.