Doctor Coughlin interviews Argie.
The last thing I wanted was for him to know...
"Krysta..." His soulful brown eyes stared into mine.
"You missed a spot." He laughed a soft laugh, and dutifully I swept the last of the dirt into the little pile we'd made. "It's amazing, isn't it?"
"What is/" I leaned upon my broom, hands crossed over the handle.
"That we should be standing here now, together and alone. Alone in more ways than one. You and I, we're the same. You've got your divorce, I've got mine. Your heart breaks a little every day- I can hear it in your voice. Is it ever going to stop hurting?" Anger tinged his voice as the conversation took this turn, one which we both had avoided while there were others around. "Can a broken heart ever completely heal?"
I shook my head, and my hair floated around a bit before coming back to settle on my shoulders. "I don't think so. But it can beat again for someone anew."
"And then that person takes your heart and wrenches it, too. The pain of relationships sometimes seems... not worth the struggle." He laid his broom aside, and I followed suit. Quickly, he changed the subject.
"Let's go check the pit. I know they didn't clean that right. They never do." Leading me down the stairs, he continued talking. "One of these days, one of the guys is going to slip and fall and break something on these steps. Please be careful. I don't want anything else of yours broken." I could hear a smile in his voice.
"Nor do I, boss." Reaching the bottom of the stairs, I could see that he was right- only a rudimentary cleaning had been done. No attempt to hose the oil off the floors or the catwalks had been made. Dirt clung to everything. Mister caught my shock and dismay out of the tail of his eye.
"Disgusting, isn't it? I should write each and every one of them up for leaving this place like this..." As he spoke, I was venturing a little deeper into the pit. I'd never been down here and was fascinated by the equipment and the utter filth... and then I slipped. My feet went right out from under me, and I fell.
My head cracked hard on the concrete floor, enough to make spots dance in front of my eyes and tears of pain flow down my cheeks. In a flash, Mister was right beside me, cradling me in his arms, supporting my neck, and checking me over to see if anything was broken. "Oh, my god, Krysta, are you all right? Can you hear me?" I nodded. As I did so, he began to check me over for injuries. Then he did something unexpected- he leaned down and kissed me.
Taken aback, yet not willing to let this moment slip by, I leaned into his kiss. His arms went around my shoulders and brought me close, practically crushing me against his lean form. He was amazingly strong for such a small man, and I felt my own arms encircle him. My head stopped throbbing as our kiss deepened, but then I noticed that the throb had only relocated itself further down my body. I could feel his heart beat against his chest as he sank down beside me there on the floor, letting go of me.
"I didn't mean to do that..." He helped me sit up.
"It doesn't matter. No one will ever have to know. I certainly won't tell anyone." I drew my legs up and circled them with my arms.
"Your clothes are ruined." Apology was in his eyes and voice.
"They're just clothes. Easily replaceable." I turned towards him, smiling. "How long has it been for you?"
"Too long." He reached out for me again, cupping my shoulders in his hands. "But, we can't..."
"I said, no one will have to know."
"Then you're saying..."
"I'm answering an unspoken question. The one that's in your eyes whenever you look at me. The one that's in your voice whenever you speak to me. And the answer is yes." I leaned forward on that filthy floor and I kissed him full on the mouth, allowing him once again to crush me to him. Our fingers worked at the buttons on each other's shirts until we were free of restricting cloth, and they were being used to pillow my injured head against the hardness of the floor. My fingers dug at unyielding leather, his dug at resisting cotton.