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Immoderate Conception

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Ben gave her a hug. It was weird.

‘I hope you remember who loved you first,’ he said.

‘Was it you?’ Amy asked.

‘Hell, yeah.’ Ben sat on the edge of his desk. ‘Tom on the ticket and you as his chief of staff. I have a good feeling about this campaign.’

‘Yay,’ Amy said. Cheer, real or otherwise, did not come naturally to her. ‘I’m still filling the staff but we’re in a good place.’

‘Just, you know, steer clear of Selina,’ Ben suggested. ‘She’s still pretty pissed with you.’

Amy shrugged. ‘I meant everything I said. I wasn’t wrong.’

‘Definitely don’t tell her that,’ Ben said. ‘You know she enjoys criticism the way I enjoy a salad.’

‘Amy!’ Mike said, rushing in. ‘This is so great!’

She rolled her eyes. ‘I’ve been gone a few weeks. Quit acting like it was months.’

‘But we can be friends again now,’ Mike said. ‘Right? Please?’

Amy scowled at him. ‘You told people I had mental health issues.’

‘You were really angry. Mike said weakly.

‘Being angry is not a mental health issue, you fucking chicken-brained moron,’ Ben said. ‘If it was, half of congress would be under psychiatric care.’

‘You’re not even important enough for me to be angry at right now,’ Amy said. ‘Come back when you’re more important or I have less than eighty billion things to do.’

‘Maybe we can all grab a drink,’ Mike said, as he headed out of the door.

‘It’s like dealing with a concussed puppy,’ Amy said.

‘Any second now he’s gonna piss on the rug.’

‘As long as he doesn’t hump Jonah’s leg.’

Ben shuddered theatrically. Probably the best offer Jonah’s gonna get.’

Amy sniggered. ‘Yeah.’

Ben slumped in his chair. ‘Kent arranged a town hall for Tom today?’

Amy nodded. ‘It’s Tom’s element. He’s very natural and charming with the public.’

‘You’re not fucking him are you?’ Ben asked.

‘No,’ Amy said.

Ben clucked his tongue. ‘But you’re not fucking Kent either?’

Amy hesitated a little too long. Ben raised his eyebrows.

Are you?’

‘It’s complicated,’ she said. ‘I’m sort of maybe, kinda, seeing Kent.’

Ben grinned. ‘Oh, okay, now you are dating? Fuck, now I owe Joyce twenty dollars.’

Amy squirmed. ‘We’re just... working things out.’

Ben chuckled. ‘You already have a kid and now you’re working things out? Jesus, you two.’ He patted her hand. ‘Let me know when you uncomplicate it. Joyce will probably bake a cake.’

***

‘Do you want to get a drink?’ Amy asked.

Sue looked up at her. ‘Yes. The secret service has been very annoying.’

Amy leaned against her desk. ‘Two different intruders broke in to kill POTUS and your response is that the secret service is annoying?’

Sue gave it a moment’s thought. ‘Yes. The intruders were not in my office interfering with my work.’ She gathered up her things. ‘The men are having their Friday night drinks.’

Amy groaned. ‘Dan would have given his right arm to go to that. Tonight, Tom look Jonah and Richard.’

Sue raised her eyebrow. ‘Why would anyone do that?’

Amy shrugged. ‘He thinks he can use them for information.’

They headed out into the corridor.

‘That didn’t work for Dan,’ Sue noted.

‘Dan isn’t Tom,’ Amy said. ‘Have you ever been to their drinks?’

Sue nodded. ‘A lot of middle-aged men with nothing to talk about besides work clustered in a small, hot room with nowhere to sit.’

Amy showed her pass to security as they left. ‘I think they wanted to talk about women but didn’t dare with me there.’

Sue joined her as they exited the building. ‘That doesn’t sound like Kent, or even Ben.’

‘Bill was there,’ Amy said. ‘And Teddy. I give any odds you want that Bill says some shit about women when there’s none around.’

‘Oh,’ Sue said. ‘I would not want to be in an enclosed space with Teddy.’

Amy gave her a sideways look. ‘You’re not nervous of Teddy.’

‘I am not,’ she said. ‘Nonetheless I have better things to do with my time than turn Teddy Sykes into so much foie gras.’

‘Someone should,’ Amy said.

They walked towards the parking.

‘There’s something rather quaint about them squeezing into Ben’s office to drink and pretend to be doing something naughty.’ Sue glanced at Amy. ‘It’s like a scene from a schoolboy novel.’

‘Now you’re making them sound almost tolerable.’

‘I hope not,’ Sue said

***

‘Who’s looking after David?’ Sue asked over cocktails.

‘My mom. She’s dropping him off at Kent’s at eight.’

‘So there’s no need for to rush off.’

‘Don’t you have a fiancé to get home to?’

Sue was watching an attractive but clearly stupid man by the bar.

‘I do not leave before I’m ready, not for anyone.’

Amy toyed with her straw. ‘I can’t stay late and I can’t get drunk.’

‘You can do both,’ Sue said. ‘We had two intruders running around the White House. We deserve to get drunk.’

‘I’m flying to Oregon tomorrow,’ Amy said. ‘I can’t get drunk.’

Sue narrowed her eyes. ‘Oregon is inhabited by trees and hipsters. Why would you ever wish to go there?’

Amy waved at the bartender for another round. ‘So that Kent’s mom can meet David while she can still understand the idea.’

Sue pursed her lips. ‘Kent said that you wouldn’t let him tell his family about David. It caused him significant distress.’

Amy’s stomach clenched. ‘He seemed fine with it.’

‘He wasn’t. He was being respectful and he was being diplomatic,’ Sue said. ‘He didn’t wish to risk angering you and having you denying him access to David.’

‘Oh,’ Amy said quietly. ‘He didn’t say anything like that.’

Sue sniffed. ‘Well he wouldn’t, would he? He’s Kent. He’s a strategist. He made strategic decisions.’

‘I wouldn’t have done that,’ Amy said.

‘Doubtless he knows that now. He didn’t then.’

Amy pulled a face. ‘Thanks. Now I feel completely shitty.’

‘Have another drink,’ Sue said.

‘Only one,’ Amy said. ‘I should go home early, and I definitely can’t get drunk.’

***

Amy threw up copiously. She knelt up and tried to work out where she was. Toilet. Walls. Door.

There was a low, thumping music shaking the thin cubicle walls Right. Bar. Okay.

Amy very carefully got to her feet and flushed the toilet. She picked up her purse and left the cubicle. She didn’t look at herself in the mirror as she hunted through looking for her emergency kit. She wet the toothbrush under the tap, added toothpaste, and began brushing her teeth. What she... What she needed.... What she needed was some mouthwash. Why didn’t she have any mouthwash?

The door to the ladies swung open. Sue glowered at her.

‘They’re here? she said.

‘Who?’ Amy asked.

Sue snorted derisively. ‘Move your skinny white ass.’

Amy followed her out. ‘I wish my... my ass was skinny.’

‘Good breasts though,’ Sue said.

‘I wish I had your legs.’

Sue looked down, and nearly overbalanced. ‘Kickboxing.’

‘I hate exercise,' Amy said venomously as they stumbled to the doors. ‘Loathe it.’

‘You haven’t done enough. You must develop a taste for it.’

The sudden chill of the outside air was bracing. Amy squealed and wrapped her jacket around herself.

‘Fuck!’

‘You’re so dramatic,' Sue said, and fell over.

Amy waved at Sean as he stamped over. He grabbed Sue under the armpits and hauled her to her feet.

‘Careful,’ Kent growled.

Jesus, where he even came from Amy had no idea.

‘Hey man, look after your own problem,’ Sean said. ‘You had your shot.’

‘It has nothing to do with “my shot” and everything to do with common decency.’

‘I just threw up,’ Amy announced. ‘Pretty sure I could do it again if needed.’

Sue straightened up. ‘Men,’ she said in a disparaging voice. ‘Get your penises out, or kiss, or just grow the fuck up.’ She burped, and drew her jacket around her shoulders. ‘Sean, take me home.’

Sean scowled at them as he led Sue away.

‘Yeah, keep walking, asshole!’ Amy bellowed.

Kent pushed her hair back off her face. ‘Come on, let’s get you home.’

Amy leaned against a wall to take off her shoes. ‘Hey.’

‘Yes?’

They reached Kent’s car.

‘Hey, she said again.

‘What?’ Kent asked, opening the passenger door.

Amy leaned against the door. ‘I’m thinking.’

Kent sighed. ‘Get in the car.’

‘Watch your tone, Mister!’

‘It’s two in the morning,’ Kent said. ‘Get in the fucking car.’

Amy stared at him. He didn’t look angry. He just looked tired. ‘Because I want to,’ she muttered, and got in the car.

Kent got in the driver’s seat and started the engine.

‘Who’s looking after David?’ she asked.

‘Dan.’

‘Who the fuck is Dan?’

Kent gripped the steering wheel. ‘Dan Egan. My options were extremely limited.’

‘I wouldn’t trust him to look after a houseplant,’ Amy grumbled.

‘Nonetheless, he is aware that I’m David’s father, he was awake, and he was willing. I was in no position to argue.’ Kent glanced at her. ‘Did you say that you’d thrown up?’

Amy closed her eyes. ‘ln the ladies.’

‘Do you think you might vomit again?’

‘Dunno,’ Amy mumbled. ‘Maybe.’

She heard him drum his fingers on the steering wheel.

‘Perhaps it would be safer if you came back to my apartment,’ he said. ‘If you throw up in your sleep it could be extremely dangerous.’

‘’Kay.’

She drifted for a while, but woke up when the cold, night air hit her again. He had his arm around her as he guided her to the door.

‘Where are we?’

‘My home,’ Kent said. ‘I’m not sure it;s wise to leave you alone tonight.’

Amy smirked. ‘That your line?’

‘I don’t use lines on ladies who are too drunk to stand,’ he said, as they headed to the elevator.

‘I can stand,’ Amy protested. ‘Kinda.’

‘Did you have a good time?’ Kent asked.

Amy grinned. ‘I like Sue. She’s bitchy.’

‘Is “bitch” a reclaimed word now?’ Kent asked.

‘Yes! Our word,’ Amy said, lurching out of the elevator. ‘You can’t have it.’ She leered at him. ‘But you can have me.’

Kent smiled. ‘You’re going to be embarrassed in the morning.’

She rolled her eyes. ‘Because I’m down to fuck? Please. It’s the twenty-first century and... oh. Did you open the door?’

‘Yes,’ Kent said. ‘David is asleep so keep your voice down.’

Dan was in the living room, napping on the couch. He woke up when they came in and stood up.

Everything okay?’ Kent asked.

‘Sure. I checked on him a couple times but he’s fast asleep,’ Dan said. ‘Your cats won’t come near me but animals don’t normally like me anyway.’

‘Cats know a snake when they see one,’ Amy said with a hiccup.

‘Wow, she is gone,’ Dan laughed. ‘I’ve never seen her this drunk.’

‘She’s been under a lot of stress,’ Kent said.

‘You need help getting her into the guest room?’ Dan asked. ‘You have a guest room, right?’

Drunk as she was, Amy felt a certain tension in the room.

‘The couch pulls out,’ Kent said. ‘You could help me with it.’

‘Okay, good,’ Dan said.

‘I admit I’m mildly surprised you care to ask,’ Kent said, as they unfolded the couch.

Dan lowered his voice. ‘Amy’s my friend. I’m a “no-judgement” guy, but...’

‘You’re right to check,’ Kent said. ‘I’m pleasantly surprised that you did.’

Amy threw off her jacket and crawled onto the bed.

‘Guess sheets are overrated,’ Dan said dryly.

‘I’ll get her a pillow and a blanket,’ Kent said. He offered Dan his hand. ‘I’d offer you a coffee however...’

‘No problem,’ Dan said shaking Kent’s hand. ‘Would you make sure she knows that I was here? It’ll make it easier to tease her.’

***

Amy woke up and found a kitten sat on her face. She couldn’t tell which one it was immediately, because she couldn’t see properly.

Because there was a kitten sat on her face.

After a few seconds, she heard David’s voice. She couldn’t make out the words but he was chattering. A lot.

Amy picked up the kitten, which protested loudly, and put it on the pillow beside her.

‘Oh, it’s you,’ she said. ‘Hello, Batman.’

Amy was more or less dressed. Her hair was still up and she was still mostly wearing makeup. Ugh. She clambered to her feet and followed the sound of David’s voice into the kitchen, where Kent was cooking breakfast.

‘Hi Mama! You look funny!’

‘I feel hilarious,’ Amy agreed. She untied her hair. ‘Any chance of a pancake?’

Kent nodded. ‘Would you like a shower first?’

‘Is that a hint?’

‘It’s a hint that you look like you’ll feel happier after a shower and brushing your teeth,’ Kent said. ‘Do you need to borrow a toothbrush?’

Amy wasn’t sure what was going on with him. He wasn’t obviously angry, but he was definitely a good bit cooler than she was used to.

‘No, thanks,’ she said. ‘I have a toothbrush in my purse. But sweats and some socks would be great.’

Kent nodded and took the pan off the heat. ‘In my bedroom, you’ll find both.’ He ruffled David’s hair. ‘Top drawer in the dresser for the underwear and the sweats are in the drawer beneath the wardrobe.’

‘Okay,’ Amy said. ‘I won’t be long.’

‘I’m going to help make your pancakes,’ David said.

‘Thanks, baba.’

She didn’t feel terrible, just tired and a little nauseated. She’d have some food, shake off her tetchiness, ask Kent what was going on with him, and then go to Oregon to meet his mom.

Why the hell did she think it was a good idea going out with Sue?

***

Kent brought her a coffee and painkillers while she in the shower. She heard the tap on the door and felt the cooler air swirl around the room and crawl under the cubicle door. She pushed back her wet hair, opened the door, and grabbed both the coffee and the painkillers he’d put on the counter.

By the time she returned to the kitchen, she was feeling no worse than she did any morning.

Then Kent asked David to go watch TV so he and Amy could talk.

Shit.

‘Is there where you ream me out for getting drink last night?’ Amy asked.

‘Of course not. You’re a grown woman with an incredibly stressful life.’

Amy folded her arms. ‘But?’

He pushed his fingers through his hair ‘I’d be happy to look after David any evening, every evening, and I would much rather come and pick you up when you’re inebriated than risk cabs or ridesharing. But from a practical point of view is has to be one or the other. I can’t do both at the same time.’

Amy toyed with his shirt. ‘Did you tell me to get in the “fucking car” last night?’

His cheeks reddened. ‘I was very tired. If you’d given me some warning I could have taken a nap.’

‘You can be pissed,’ she said, pushing her hair back. ‘I don’t particularly want you to be pissed at me but I get that you would be.’

He chewed his lower lip. ‘I was annoyed last night. I would appreciate it if in future you give me due warning if you’re going to ask me to pick up after midnight.’

Amy rolled her eyes. ‘I’m not one of your cats, I’m not gonna run screaming because you make a loud noise. You can be pissed and if you are then you can tell me. You can even fucking yell at me. I worked for Selina too long to be freaked out by it.’

Kent tilted his forehead. ‘What’s brought this on?’

‘Nothing,’ she said quickly. ‘I mean, I’ve yelled at you. We’re not gonna make whatever this is work if you never admit when you’re mad at me.’

‘I normally tell you when I’m unhappy with something you’ve done or said,’ Kent said.

‘You don’t yell.’

He shrugged. ‘I’m not really a person who raises his voice. However, yes, there are of course moments when I lose my temper. I was annoyed last night. Not because you got drunk, although the intensity of your intoxication was concerning. I was annoyed because you were thoughtless. If you’d told me you were going out drinking I could have made arrangements. I realise that you probably haven’t been able to get drunk in a long time and if we have another child you won’t be able to do it again for a long time. But it’s unfair to expect me to shoulder the responsibilities of being your partner without giving me any of the benefits.’

Amy stared at him. ‘Wow.’

‘Amy –’

‘No.’ She held up her hand. ‘My turn. Fuck. You’re …right. Fuck. I thought you were maybe going to admit you were pissed about your family not knowing about David but this is this and you’re right.’

‘That’s part of it,’ Kent said. ‘Apologies. I promised you time.’

She shrugged. ‘Maybe I didn’t need time. Maybe I need to hear that you want more than two dates a year in secret, Saturdays with David, and flirting over breakfast cereal.’

‘I do,’ he said.

‘Yeah, I do too.’ Amy looked away and blew at her cheeks. ‘Okay. That didn’t go too badly.’

‘Is this where I ask you to move in?’ Kent asked.

Amy smiled at him. ‘I hope so.’

He took a deep breath. ‘Would you like to move in?’

‘Try to fucking stop me.’

* * *

Amy had forgotten how annoying flying commercial could be, even first class. The flight attendants made a big fuss of David, giving him crayons and little toys, which baffled her until she heard another passenger muttering that young children should be banned from airplanes. He almost exploded when David was invited up to the cockpit, and Kent nearly trampled the asshole in his haste to get in on that. Men.

‘David’s probably racked up more air miles than most of the staff,’ she grumbled to Kent, after they came back to their seats

‘They’re not to know he’s a seasoned traveller,’ Kent said mildly.

Amy nodded at David, who was completely engrossed with his Black Widow action figure and a My Little Pony.

‘Does he look like he needs help amusing himself? Or that he’s going to run amok?’

Kent put his hand over hers. ‘It’s going to be okay. You don’t need to be nervous.’

‘I’m not nervous!’ she protested. ‘Shut up. You’re nervous. I’m not nervous.’

‘Anything you say.’

Amy glowered at him. He winked back. But she could feel his hand shaking.

Her family had heart attacks and strokes on her dad’s side and stomach problems on her mom’s side. When she’d asked, neither of them could remember any dementia in the family. It was weird, alien, and terrifying. Kent said it didn’t naturally occur in his mother’s side of the family either. His father’s side had some “ego” issues, whatever that meant. The whole thing gave Amy the creeps. Your mind gradually crumbling. It was horrifying.

***

‘Why is Grandma Rose in hospital?’ David asked.

They had gotten a cab to the facility. It looked more like a hotel than a hospital. There were beautiful flower gardens and wide meandering pathways that wound through the trees.

Kent squatted down to look David in the eye. ‘Grandma Rose isn’t well. She forgets things and she gets confused.’

‘Remember David,’ Amy prompted. ‘We talked about it.’

‘Are they going to make her better?’

Amy bit the inside of her cheek.

‘No,’ Kent said. ‘They can’t make her better. They look after her and make sure she’s safe and happy.’

David was frowning. ‘Why not?’

Kent took hold of his hand. ‘They don’t know how to, but doctors and scientists are working on it. One day they might know how to make people like Grandma Rose better.’

‘Okay,’ David said. ‘When I grow up can I be a scientist?’

‘If that’s what you to be,’ Amy said.

‘A scientist is an excellent thing to be,’ Kent said.

They found Rose in a section of the garden behind the main building. She was sat at a table with her carers, in dappled sunshine. As they approached her, the carers stood up and discreetly moved away.

Rose was beautifully made up. Her clothes were spotless and perfectly pressed. Amy had heard horror stories about care facilities, but all the guests here looked comfortable, clean, and well-cared for. Even so, when she looked at Kent, she saw him swallow, hard.

Amy took his hand, and squeezed it gently. He gave her a quick, grateful glance.

‘Hi Mom,’ he said to Rose. ‘Marie told you we were coming.’

Rose put down her knitting. She was a striking woman, even now, with familiar, deep-set hazel eyes, and sharp cheekbones.

‘Oh,’ she said. ‘I’m so sorry. It must have slipped my mind. Can you remind me who you are?’

‘I’m Kent,’ he said quietly.

Amy cleared her throat. ‘This is your grandson, David. Say hello to your Grandma Rose, David.’

He stepped forward timidly and offered her his hand. ‘Hello, Grandma Rose.’

‘He’s your grandson,’ Kent said, gently.

Rose solemnly shook David’s hand. ‘I didn’t know I had a grandson. Who are your mommy and daddy?’

Amy expected him to point at them, but instead he squared his little shoulders.

‘My mama is Amy Brookheimer and papa is Kent um...’ Now he glanced back at them.

‘Kent Davison,’ Amy said.

David turned back to Rose. ‘My mama is Amy Brookheimer and my papa is Kent Davison.’

‘You’re Kent’s son?’ Rose asked.

‘Yes,’ David said.

‘I’m very proud of him,’ Kent said.

Rose nodded. ‘I have a son,’ she said, touching David’s face. ‘He’s very handsome too.’

David grinned at her. ‘What’re you doing?’ he asked, pointing at the needles.

‘I’m knitting a jumper,’ she said. ‘Would you like to help?’

‘Yes, please,’ David said.

Amy winced as David climbed onto Rose’s knee.

‘I’m sorry dear,’ Rose said to him. ‘What did you say your name was?’

‘David Brookheimer.’

Kent sat down in one of the guest chairs. Amy took the other.

‘How are you today?’ Kent asked.

‘Fine, thank you, doctor,’ Rose said, kissing David’s cheek.

David giggled. ‘He’s not a doctor!’

Kent sighed. ‘I’m Kent. I’m your son.’

Rose looked up surprised. ‘Come on now, you’re older than I am!’

Amy squeezed Kent’s hand.

‘I’m Amy,’ she said. ‘I’m David’s mother.’

Rose jogged her knees to make David bounce a little. Kent hastily took the knitting needles.

‘Do I know David?’ Rose asked.

Amy glanced at Kent, but he had his eyes tightly closed.

‘David is sat on your lap,’ Amy said.

Rose shook her head. ‘This is Kent, he’s my oldest. He’s such a sweet boy.’

***

Kent didn’t say anything as they got in the cab and stayed silent all the way to town. He managed some smiles for David as they got dinner, and finally spoke to answer direct questions from David, or the server.

Amy didn’t ask Kent any questions. She didn’t prod or push. If it had been her, she would have wanted space to figure things out. So that’s what she was giving him.

‘Is papa going to be okay?’ David asked, when Kent went to the restroom.

Amy ruffled David’s hair. ‘Papa will be fine,’ she said. ‘He’s feeling sad. Sometimes people feel sad and that’s okay. Papa needs some time and then he’ll feel okay.’

‘I’ll draw him a picture,’ David said definitively.

Amy smiled and kissed his forehead. ‘You do that, baba. I’m sure that papa will love it.’

After dinner, they went to the hotel. It was late, and their flight was pretty early the following morning. Amy gave David a bath and Kent read him a couple of stories and then they put him to bed. Kent went through the connecting door to his own room. He was still subdued and very quiet. Amy didn’t blame him. He hadn’t expected it. Not that. It had shaken him and that shook her.

Amy had a shower. She scrubbed the dirt and misery from her skin and hair. She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, pulling the warm, humid air into her lungs.

She turned off the shower and stepped out of the cubicle. She dried off and blow dried her hair. She put some perfume on her wrists and the nape of her neck. She pulled on the short towelling robe and went to check on David.

Her little boy was deeply asleep, his mouth slightly open, and his leg hanging out beyond the covers. Amy tucked his leg under the covers and tipped his chin up to close his mouth. She kissed his cheek and put a note on the mirror where he’d see it.

Then she opened the connecting door without knocking.

Kent was startled enough to stand. His eyes were red-rimmed. He was barefoot and had taken off his jacket, but otherwise he was fully dressed.

She could smell whiskey. There was a bottle on the bedside table. Amy closed the connecting door. She walked to the bed, and dropped her robe to the floor.

Kent’s eyes widened. His gazed dropped to the door and then crawl back up to her eyes.

Amy stepped up to him and removed his tie and belt. She unbuttoned his shirt as he cupped her face in his palms.

He didn’t speak but she could hear his breathing. She felt the warmth of his skin and the tremor of his body.

Amy kissed the corner of his mouth, and then the other corner. She gently pulled down his hands and pushed his shirt of his shoulders. Kent shrugged out of his shirt and cast it aside. She unbuttoned his flies. He took off his trousers and threw them onto the armchair.

Amy rested her forehead against Kent’s, for a moment, and then he swung her up into his arms. It was only a dozen steps and when he laid her down she pulled him with her. She rolled him onto his back and straddled him.

Kent stoked her legs as she leaned forward, and closed his eyes as she kissed along his jawline. She felt his fingertips drifting along her arms as she moved down the bed.

Amy looked up at him as she kissed his thighs.

He was watching her. He stroked his fingers through her hair and then reached up to grip the headboard. She knew why.

Amy smiled at him as she took him into her mouth.

She heard him grunt. She hummed.

Kent squeezed his eyes closed and made a noise between a murmur and a moan.

Amy sat up. She shifted position, and lowered herself down onto his erection.

He reached for her, caressing her face even as she heard his breath beginning to catch. She saw the tension in his face as he tried to hold it back.

‘It’s okay,’ she promised. ‘It’s okay.’

‘But…’

‘Keep looking at me,’ Amy said.

He nodded. His hands dropped, sliding to her shoulders, along her arms, to her hands.

Amy entwined their fingers. She nudged herself forward, against him, nudging him towards it.

‘Sorry, sorry…’

‘It’s okay.’ Amy pushed her hair out of her eyes.

Kent shook his head.

‘Stay with me,’ Amy said, adjusting position. ‘Can you do that?’

He watched her trace her fingers down her chest and belly.

‘I can do that,’ he said breathlessly.

She slid her fingers into her wetness. ‘Won’t be long,’ she said honestly.

Kent was watching her. His eyes were almost black in the dimmed light.

‘Nearly,’ Amy muttered. ‘Near… Nearly…’

She closed her eyes as she came. Squeezed his fingers as she came.

Amy lay down next to him. He rolled over to face her.

She knew what he was going to say. It was stamped on his face.

‘I lo–’

‘No,’ she interrupted. ‘Don’t. We just screwed. It doesn’t count.’

He was quiet for a long moment. ‘Yes, it does.’

‘You just came,’ she said. ‘It’s hormones and… shit.’

Kent stroked her arm. ‘You know it’s not that. I know you do.’

Amy looked at him. ‘Yeah,’ she said quietly. ‘I know.’ She kissed him. ‘But don’t say it.’

‘Why?’                                             

Amy shrugged. ‘I want to say it first and I’m not ready yet.’ 

Kent was getting sleepy, but he nodded. ‘Okay.’

Amy gave a small sigh. ‘I’m not ready yet,’ she said again. ‘But I will be.’

The End