Story: Return ~refrain~ (chapter 2)

Authors: bleeding.blade

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Chapter 2

Title: Epilogue (Madlax Speaks of Everyday Life with Vanessa)

On remembering...

It's hard for me to remember what life was like before she arrived. Or maybe it's more accurate to say that there wasn't much to remember before she came. I was born out of sadness - was created out of the denial of pain. She tells me that I rescued her, but really she rescued me: Vanessa, my black-haired, green-eyed protector - my seducer, my lover, my reason for living. Margaret brought her back from the dead; then she came to me and brought me back to life.


On going to bed...

She looks perfect in everything she wears, but I love it best when she has nothing on but a man's shirt. I love the anticipation that comes with removing each button; love how it exposes her skin in delicious little increments. It's become a game for us to see how long I can make unbuttoning her last. She teases me when I do it - arching her breasts against my hands, whispering dirty little things in my ear. Sometimes, just to get even, I tease her back, refusing to remove the fabric, sucking her nipples through the cloth, until finally she tears the shirt off herself, and we forget to read the time on her stopwatch, losing ourselves, making time itself stop. We've ruined a lot of her shirts this way.


On waking up...

I'm a light sleeper, which makes it difficult for her to surprise me. She never stops trying though, and I never want her to. She only tries it when she knows that I'm tired and have no assignment lined up the next day. She waits until she thinks I'm asleep, and starts by unfastening my clothes. She'll start kissing my neck, working her way between my breasts, then trailing her tongue around them, before fastening on my (by then erect) nipples. I start stirring when she does this, though I try to stay still. Then thinking that I'm still asleep, she'll start kissing her way down my belly, past my navel. By this time, she knows from the arching of my hips that I'm awake, and takes advantage of the movement to remove my underwear. She'll start probing me with her tongue, start exploring me with her fingers (though it's terrain she's covered infinitely). Vanessa, I'll say, in sleepy exasperation. By the time she's done, I'll have screamed her name twice or thrice. She likes waking me up like this too. We've never needed an alarm clock.


On bathing...

Showers are tricky, baths even trickier. She loves it when I come in when she's bathing. I'll lean against the other side of the shower curtain, watching her silhouette as it moves. She pretends that she doesn't know I'm there, and starts provoking me by running her hands over her thighs, arching her back, thrusting her breasts. I'll stand there mesmerized, feeling the steam from the shower, the steam from my pores, until finally, I'll rip the shower curtain aside and she'll be standing there smiling, knowing that I can't resist (can never resist). I'll hold her against the wall, while she wraps her legs around my waist, her hands in my hair, her nipples in my mouth. My fingers know her intimately. I know from her gasps that they always enter at the right angle, always hit the right spot, until she's bucking against me, her screams echoing across the tiles.  When we're done, my clothes are drenched with water, with suds, with her. I should just do my laundry this way, I tell her with a sigh. She smiles and tells me: That's my third bath for the day.


On working...

There are times when I'm rough with her, after I've had a particularly grim assignment. I'll come home and throw her onto the bed, tear her clothes off, pin her arms down, silence her moans with brutal kisses. I never do anything violent enough to actually hurt her, but I know it's different from our usual playful tenderness. She never complains, always gives herself to me fully, even when I'm fucking her mercilessly. During these times, she says my name like an incantation, a spell, a word of blessing. When I've calmed down, and she's holding me against her breast, I'll look at her nearly crying and say, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry...You don't have to put up with it. She shushes me with a finger on my lips. Idiot, she tells me tenderly, there's nothing to put up with. Besides, she smiles wickedly, revenge is sweet - and just the slightest bit salty. It's the only reason I accept the tougher assignments.


On cooking...

I'm the better cook between the both of us. She always finds the fact exasperating. How you learned with your profession I'll never know, she tells me. But I know her exasperation is superficial; I can feel her grinning behind me in the kitchen. She never tries anything when I'm at the stove or at the chopping board. But when I'm doing salads I'm fair game. She starts when I have my hands full and can't touch her. She always opens with the same excuse. You have a bit of lettuce on your neck. It amuses her to invent such outrageous excuses. You have a splash of vinegar on your shoulder. Because it's food and shouldn't be wasted, she doesn't wipe but licks. You have a drop of dressing on your ear. If it's my ear she'll also take a little nibble. If you keep this up, I warn her, you're not going to get any dinner. She smiles. Then I'll just have to eat you. So far, I've never managed to toss a single salad.


On eating...

Sometimes, I'm amazed by the power she has over me: how simply hearing the sound of her voice brings to mind our endless nights; how just having her look at me arouses me. She knows this and takes advantage accordingly. How many times have we had our meals interrupted by her scorching gaze? I asked her once if she ended up being hungry. She told me that I was her favorite meal of the day. Sometimes, I'm amazed by the power I have over her. How the sound of my voice, the touch of my skin, the very sight of me reduces her to helplessness. It thrills me to know that only I can do this to her. It humbles me. 


On falling asleep...

She enjoys lying out by the balcony and holding me in her arms. She'll curl up around me, my head tucked underneath her chin. I'll turn around and look at her silently, not saying anything, knowing she can hear it, knowing she can see it in my eyes, in the way I look at her and hold her, my heart so full it hurts. She smiles at me when this happens. Say it again, she teases me, though nothing has been said. I smile at her, knowing what she means. No way, I say, and she laughs and curls her leg over mine. It's always the perfect end to our day.

[End notes:

I've actually begun writing a much longer version of this story, if only because I am extremely fond of Madlax and Vanessa. Someday, I'll get to finish it and post it. I hope :0)


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