First Watch

by Jane Davitt

I've stormed buildings, kicked in doors, but nothing has ever felt quite as invasive as watching Daniel sleep. He's got his head against a piece of stone pillar carved by God knows who, God knows when, no longer doing its job. It doesn't need to; the roof it supported is rubble around us, and the pillar, like Daniel, is resting, lying on the ground.

His face twitches sometimes and his eyelids tremble with a dream, but his lips remain closed and silent. He doesn't say my name. Even if he did, the others are asleep, and really, it's just my name, not an indiscretion, but he can say it in ways that sound filthy, cajoling, sweet, or, most damning of all, commanding, so maybe it is, yeah, maybe it is…

He can make my name a weapon or a caress, can goad me into giving him what he wants (harder, yes, Jack, I won't fucking break, give it to me, now, damn you --- oh, that's good, that's good, Jack…). He uses it, plays with it, shapes it thoughtfully with that mouth of his -- me, he just fucks with.

I feel as if I'm looking at him naked even though the only thing he's taken off is his glasses.

I walk over, being thoughtful, taking care of him, just like I'm supposed to, and slide my folded jacket under his cheek; dust and grit against his stone-cooled skin; the tickle of his hair against my fingers.


And I can't look away.

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