This vignette draws its inspiration from Darkness by Doc. My thanks to Terri Derr (Doc) for allowing me to share her idea and for beta-ing this story. In terms of time, I would see Edge of Darkness as an episode preceding the scene described in Darkness.
She woke suddenly, a cool breeze against her skin.
He stood before the open window, arms raised and out-stretched, gripping the frame, a dark mass against the backdrop of a night sky. A coyote howled in the distance.
She watched him, his muscles tense, his breath silent.
She had been sent to him late. He did not speak. She acted by instinct. He stood in the middle of the room, motionless.
She undressed him, undoing his gun belt, his trouser belt, his fly. He did not resist. He did not help. When she was done, she pushed him back onto the bed and he watched her.
She undressed herself—slowly.
She stood in the moonlight and fondled herself until her naked body trembled in response.
She stroked and caressed as he watched—silent.
She mounted the bed and straddled him. His hardness entered her warmth, made slick by the skill of her own touch. Her arms raised and outstretched to his shoulders, his hands gripping her thighs, she move upon him— slowly at first, rhythmically, gradually increasing in pace as he lay there—motionless.
She was good at her trade.
Suddenly he came alive. In a moment, she was beneath him, panting. He took her hard and fast—urgently.
He took her with an urgency that spoke of desperation, of desolation, of …
He took her in a way that she had never been taken before.
Then he slept.
She slept. Until she woke.
He stood framed by the open window—silent, motionless.
She slipped from crumpled sheets and went to him. Her body moulded to his, still wet from their love-making, her hips pressed against his buttocks—skin on skin. Her hands explored his shoulders and torso. He smelled of leather and gun-smoke and musk. She licked the sweat from his back, salty and gritty against her tongue. Her hands delved lower.
His hands moved swiftly.
He halted her descent. He held her there—arms around his waist—silent.
Until he spoke.
“The first time I killed a man, I felt sick… sure remember that. Six banditos all firin’ at once comin’ at us from different directions. Me and the others shootin’ back and tryin’ to keep the cattle from runnin’ off. I figure I had no choice—had to shoot to kill, but I felt sick after the fracas was over… I was only thirteen.”
He stared into darkness. Instinct held her tongue as the cool breeze lapped at their skin.
“The second time I shook… Only time I’ve ever seen blood spray like that. He shot Mac up close. Thought he had a rifle—I was just a kid—but thinkin’ about it, must have been a shotgun. I was comin’ up the other side and Mac’s blood hit me in the face. The bastard killed Mac and I killed him. I couldn’t stop shakin’—for hours.”
She tried to move her arms, but he held her fast—once again silent.
Coyotes called to each other in the distance.
“The third time I was keepin’ a promise. For a while, I felt free—I had hated that piece of shit for so long, I felt free when I finally killed him. I gave my mother justice and I won my reputation the third time—but maybe I began to lose my soul.”
He shuddered. She caressed his back with her lips and tongue, but he stood as if alone.
“I’ve killed a lot of men since then. Always wanted to be good at my trade—now I am. Too good. I’m losing count. What kind of man loses count?”
He bowed his head to the night sky, to the darkness that threatened to consume him.
He raised his eyes to the cloud-covered velvet, searching the darkness that surrounded him.
“Every time I shot a man, I was sad or relieved, pleased with a job well done or sorry I had to do it, numb even… Every time I killed a man, I felt somethin’—until this time... This time I felt nothin’.”
He stood before the open window. She stood wrapped around him, holding him back from the darkness. The breeze was cool upon their skin.
They stood there together in the silence that comes before the birth of a new day—motionless.
“I felt nothin’… I feel nothin’. How is that possible? I want to feel somethin’… Dios, I need to feel somethin’!”
He released her arms. Like a cat she slid before him, rubbing her body against his skin. She held his gaze as her tongue teased at his mouth and she tasted him, the light of her eyes shielding him from the darkness as her hands went lower.
He groaned as the sun began to rise.
She descended slowly, her arms rising and stretching out, gripping his waist—
As her lips went lower.