Here’s the first 900-some words of the crack piece I’m working on now. Seriously, this is the easiest thing in the world to write for me.
The knock on the door woke me – I’m easily startled. It took me the best part of two years to even sleep through the night with Gena in bed next to me. That I was awake certainly didn’t mean I planned to get out of bed, but I half-sat up and rolled Gena carefully away from me. Illuminating my watch, I affirmed what my brain was so happily telling me – that it was still the middle of the fucking night and I wasn’t getting up.
The knocking continued. I allowed myself for a moment to hope that it was a particularly persistent drunk who’d staggered up five flights of stairs, then down a long hallway, and happened to choose an irritable assassin’s door to knock on. But I knew who it had to be, and there would be no ignoring him. If I didn’t answer the door, he’d just break in and then I’d feel obligated to replace the lock. Not out of any real damage he’d cause, or the fact that he’d not hesitate to do it again, but on the principle of the thing.
The first wash of cold air from out of the blankets set my teeth on edge. I groped around in the dark for my pants, and didn’t forget to throw on an old t-shirt as I passed through the bedroom; Vasily has always had a problem with male nudity, one that he’s never failed to vocalize if I happen to break his taboo. I flipped on the hall light and stood there blind for a moment before I opened the door. I rubbed at my eyes, hoping to complete the illusion.
Not that he would care that he’d woken me in the middle of the night. If he was in particularly good form tonight, he wouldn’t even realize that he’d inconvenienced me in the first place.
It was easy to hate him, standing there in his ill-fitting suit, with his five o’clock shadow and tired eyes, easier to hate him when he walked in without bothering to be invited. Yet this was the one man I’d happily and willingly entrust my life and soul over to, without question, as soon as he asked for it. More than I would do for my own boyfriend who, while probably a hundred times more than I deserve, has plenty of flaws of his own coupled with a naïveté which would put shame to a newborn. Vasily inspired that sort of faith in mankind that I’d never seen before and could turn an assassin-turned-junkie into something worthwhile again. How could I not forever owe him for it?
“What do you want?” I asked. My voice was hoarse with sleep, and I walked to the kitchen to get myself a glass of water. Our apartment was not large – most of the money I had made in my previous life as a contract assassin had been blown on five years of heavy drug abuse and related sins – and with someone like Gena in my life, it would have felt out of place. The whole thing was only four rooms, including the bathroom, well under eight hundred square feet. But it was home, as much as any home had been since I’d abandoned my wife and children. “And do you know what time it is?”
He glanced down at his watch, as though he was genuinely unaware. And, from what I know of Vasily, there was a good chance that he’d known it was late, but not that it was past three in the morning. He’s one of those types who easily loses track of time when he’s in the middle of something. “Did I wake you?”
I blinked. Unlike him, unless I’m working a night job – which I prefer not to do unless the circumstances entirely dictate it – I prefer to be in bed before midnight, and wake up at around eight. It’s a habit that’s worked well for me, and one I had no intention of breaking. “Well,” I said, in the mood to provoke, “at this hour, I was either asleep or having sex.”
He blushed. Not a lot, but enough. He’s never been happy with my relationship, or the fact that he thinks I’m gay. I’m not, actually. He doesn’t know that I was married – more or less happily – for over a decade before we ever met. He doesn’t know that I have two sons, who I haven’t seen in more years than I care to think about. I don’t know what he thinks about the ring I wear on my left hand; he’s never brought it up, I don’t plan to take it off, no matter how much Gena begs. I fall in love with the person, not the genitalia; I have had long-term relationships with both sexes, and one-night stands with countless of either. But Vasily is not the sort of person one discusses that with; although I knew he had a wife and two sons, he is one of the most sexless men that I’ve ever known. Which isn’t helped by the fact that I’m half in love with the man. Not that I could imagine myself involved with him – he’s too cold, too distant, for that – and it’s not as though he’s blindingly attractive – aside from his depthless blue eyes, there’s absolutely nothing exceptional about his looks – but there is something about him that is so powerfully magnetic that I have wanted to sleep with him almost since I met him, since before I even knew his name.