But it’s easy enough to start analysing other people when it’s your perception of the world that isn’t making much sense.
Daniel was still clinging onto me as if he’d fall off the world if he’d let go. It’s amazing need that intense. I could feel it pour into my skin, this want, this desire for complete self-obliteration. It was like he was searching through my body for new pieces for his soul.
It was difficult not to give him what he wanted. I like to take care of people after all. Here, Danny lie on my chest and suck out my soul from within.
I wondered idly if that’s how I had felt to Fingon when I’d been in his arms those times before Himring needing his warmth. Lover, give me anything to fill these holes where part of me used to be. I must have been very draining. Poor Findekano.
After a while the pull on my soul becomes invasive. I need to belong to myself. I’ve worked to hard to keep all this self together, I can’t go giving it away to hungry orphan vampires. Besides Danny, you really don’t want to make me part of yourself. I’m too old for you to comprehend. It wouldn’t be good for you.
So I distract him by drawing him back into his own body. It’s easy enough, the minute the blood starts flowing to his skin he can’t ignore himself. Besides, it’s fun to distract him. He’s such a receptive audience.
We do all that again, say all those dirty things to each other, touch each other, touch ourselves. It’s already become comfortingly familiar. We know what to do with each other when we’re hard. It’s surrogate intimacy; familiarity with the flesh shielding oneself from invasions of the mind.
Although it’s hard not to like someone who makes you feel this good. Once my flesh trusts his touch enough to relax beneath it it’s difficult to stop the mind from following suit. And even flesh tells stories. My body could be an epic.
Afterwards, and it’s a long afterwards, it must be well over two-thirds through the night, Daniel suggests we bathe and have supper. He leads me to his ornamental bathtub and we both sink exhaustedly into the warm water. He’s amused to see me with my eyes half open, blinking, snoozy. We soak ourselves but don’t do too much scrubbing. We’re too tired. Danny holds me loosely on his chest watching my braids float around us like watersnakes.
“What happened to your hand?” he asks.
“Hmm?” I say. I think if I were less tired I’d have been annoyed by the question. Why do people always think they have a right to know what happened to my arm? Why do they always want to own it? They always want a story to make the horror of the strange go away. Oh yes Maedhros, his hands missing but it’s all right you know. It was only an accident, it happened when he was very young; he hardly notices it’s gone. Done under anaesthetic you know, he didn’t feel a thing. And so the freakish gets absorbed into normality.
Not Maedhros, I think. Michael. Michael the civilised amputee.
“How did you loose your hand?”
“I didn’t loose it, someone cut it off.”
“Because it was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I say sleepily.
Daniel chuckles, or a least I think the noise he makes is a chuckle, and lets the subject drop. I’m glad. I don’t want to go giving parts of myself away. There are only two people in the world that my hand is any business of and I’m not going to invite a third to the party. Telling Daniel feels like taking something from Fingon.
We make a very halfhearted attempt at drying ourselves and crawl back into bed still damp. Someone has changed the sheets in our absence. Daniel doesn’t seem surprised by this.