Empty moved his hands to Sadly Jane's waist. He kissed her delicately on her cheek and he could feel her tremble beneath his touch.
"Jane," he whispered in her ear, "what's the pillow for?"
"To sleep on," she answered.
A cold breeze blew between Sadly Jane and Empty. Above them, an ink black sky ached to swallow them whole. Angels bent down toward them for a better look. Even the sun wanted to rise again. But Sadly Jane and Empty didn't see any of this. They did see, however, a red-breasted robin who watched them from above. They performed for her, their fluid bodies now a lighthouse for all that belonged to the night, and the rest of the world passed into the night like currents through a stream.
"Is this Heaven?" Empty asked, his mouth as close to Jane's ear without actually touching her. "Are you an angel?"
"If I were an angel," Sadly Jane asked, "would I do this?"
She turned toward him, and pressing herself tightly against him, fitted their bodies snugly together like a jigsaw puzzle. She pressed her lips against his and constricted her arms tightly around him like a snake. Her gloved fingers interlocked behind his back in an executioner's grip.
He squeezed her, too, so tightly that she'd almost forgotten to breathe.
She looked up into his eyes, broke the seal of his lips with her own, and asked, "Why did you never hold me this tightly before?"
"I was trying to," he said, "but my skin kept getting in the way. Now I might never let go of you."
"Then we'll simply freeze to death," she said, laughing, smiling so brightly that Empty could almost see himself in her teeth. "Not that I would mind."
"No," said Empty. "I won't let it happen. Not as long as warm blood courses through my veins."
To Useless Shard #3 ⇒
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