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Lost Angels

Contributing Authors: jimmasters 

Some memories don’t stick. They’re not important or consequential enough to make a lasting impression. But I remember Aiden. Everything about Aiden. For the first time in my life, in my messed-up shunted around excuse of a life, I felt as though I’d found someone who came from the same place.

We were young. Young and angry and selfish and dangerous. I think we felt as though the world owed us something. It was easy to make that assumption, especially when we were wandering around Los Angeles, wide-eyed and hungry.

We were always hungry back then. I’m not sure what for. Success. Excitement, maybe. We’d slope down the streets of Bel Air, Brentwood and Beverly Hills, shirts and hair damp with sweat as we looked at everything we didn’t have.

There’s no harm in looking. We saw the wealth, the homes, the cars; everything jutting out, offensively on display like a porn-star with over-enhanced tits. There was something both sickening and extraordinary about it.

Summer had set in. The rich families had gone on vacation. The houses lay empty. Big, gated residences with pretty gardens. Palm trees. Balconies and pools. We’d see the maids go in, the pool cleaners, and once a week, the gardeners. They worked in a perfect routine.

We timed it. Picked the easiest house. Waited until the maid left. Ran around the back, pushed through the tall hedge and cut a hole in the wire fence. It tore a scratch in my leg, made the blood trickle down to my ankle.

Pristine white sun loungers were out by the pool. It was secluded, private. Aiden caught the hem of his t-shirt and pulled it off. He kicked his boots off, unzipped his jeans, stripped down out of his boxers and dived in one perfect arch into the pool.

“Fuck!” he gasped, surfacing. “Get in here, Lise!”

I didn’t need to be told twice. We swam up and down, raced each other, luxuriating in the clean, perfect water.

“Imagine if we actually lived here,” I breathed. “If we were like this rich couple with all this to ourselves.”

“But this isn’t us.”

I looked over my shoulder at him.

“What, you mean we wouldn’t flaunt our wealth?”

He scoffed. “No, I mean, I’d have a round swimming pool, not a rectangular one.”

I smiled, warming to the fantasy.

“We’d eat breakfast. Like croissants. And champagne. And strawberries.”

“Caviar?” Aiden suggested.


“I’d drive a Ferrari.” He jumped out of the water and sat on the edge of the pool, naked and dripping wet. “A blood red Ferrari. I’d drive it to work. Some useless job somewhere. The kind of office with free food. On the weekend, I’d play golf.”

I looked up at him, my chin balanced above the surface of the water.

“I’d play tennis.”

His smile lifted. “In all-white? Like the short skirt?”

“Exactly. At some exclusive club.”

He smirked and splashed water at me.

“Would you make sex noises every time you hit the ball?”

“Maybe,” I splashed him back. “If I played with you.”

“And at night we’d fuck in like a bed of money. Just money,” Aiden’s eyes closed, his face tilted up to the sun. “Everywhere. Flying all over the place. Drifting down. So much fucking money, Lise.”

“And everyone would know us and want to be us.”

“And we’d laugh behind their backs.”

“’Cause their houses would be smaller than ours.”

We laughed as though the whole idea was too ridiculous, as though we would never want to do that kind of thing and yet underneath, we ached because we always wanted everything. People who have nothing want everything. They want money and parties and country club passes and fancy dinners and expensive clothes and more than anything, they want other people to give a damn about them.

We fucked right there by the pool, my mouth finding his cock first. It never took long to turn him on. In fact, I privately believed he was always half-ready, sex just beneath the surface, ready and waiting patiently like an appliance on standby. His fingers wrapped into my damp hair as I sucked on him and like he always did, he waited a little while before taking over to guide my movements.

“You’re fucking incredible,” he hissed.

I felt incredible. I felt beautiful. I felt as though I could do anything, be anyone, but all I wanted to be in that moment was myself, doing exactly what I was doing. He pulled me up, dragged my mouth to his and kissed it hard.

The sun filtered through the palm trees and soaked into me, into Aiden’s broad back. I felt his shoulder blades, the way they jutted out, still waiting for the bulk of maturity to settle into. The edge of adulthood. He knew me. He’d been my first and I was certain he’d be my last as well as everything else in between.

He fucked like it nourished him; urgently and desperately, his hard cock driving into me over and over. His hands touched me in a way no-one could ever hope to match, grasping my tits, my neck, fingers gliding into my mouth as he watched, slack-jawed. His lean, warm body pressed against mine, his mouth hungry as ever, his fingers skilled and knowing. Sometimes I thought I could come from just having him look at me.

We lay there a while after we were done, gasping and sweaty until we found the energy to get back in the pool. When the shadows became longer, the sun receding, we dressed, wandered away from the pool to luxuriate in the huge park-like garden.

The grass had been cut and watered and we could smell it, that perfect, perfect scent. The gardener had left everything immaculate but to our amazement, he’d also left the basement door unlocked. We went inside like we owned the place. The basement was almost empty, lawnmower and garden tools to one side, bicycles and boxes of crap stacked against another wall. It would be too good, wouldn’t it, for the door into the house to be open? Surely, we couldn’t be that lucky? But we were. It was open.

We fell into this palace, this gold and cream furnished heaven, flat screen TV’s and wall lamps and soft fucking furnishings. We wandered around in a wealth-induced haze. The place smelt like money. It literally smelt like banknotes. The kitchen looked like it was from the future, marble, glass, stainless steel and polished granite. There were eight bedrooms, six bathrooms.

Chandeliers. Cinema room. Glass walls. Home gym. Signed sports memorabilia. A wall full of wine bottles. Movie props. A fucking bowling alley.

We didn’t trash the place, partly because it seemed a waste, but mainly because we didn’t want to get the maid in trouble. We ate small, sensible amounts of food from the kitchen. If we’d have known how to open champagne bottles, we’d have drunk some. We washed in a palatial bathroom and came up smelling of sweet lemons. In the master bedroom, I found a walk-in closet bursting with clothes, fancy names on the labels that I couldn’t even pronounce.

I put on a Caroline Herrera dress, and raided the rooms until I found a matching pair of heels in my size. I found MAC and Elizabeth Arden cosmetics and made-up my face ecstatically until I looked like I could possibly belong in Bel Air. I found Aiden wearing a tuxedo and trying on cufflinks.

“How’d I look?” I asked, leaning against a glossy white doorframe.

He glanced at me, eyes a little guarded like he didn’t quite recognise me.

“You look – like a magazine version of yourself.”

I pouted. “Is that bad?”

“No,” he shrugged, still frowning. “But I like you the regular way.”

The view from the huge window looked out onto the sky-scraping city, buildings and palm trees, a sweeping vista of wealth and fantasy.

“I almost feel like we belong here,” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I’d decided to say them.

Aiden glanced across at me, his eyes dancing.

“Wanna test that theory out?”

We hit the White Temple, a pretentiously overpriced fusion cuisine restaurant in Brentwood. The waiter gave us a quick onceover before his face melted into one big smile. He started working his tip the moment he opened his mouth. I could only imagine the way he’d have acted if we’d come in our regular clothes.

We ate charred rib eye and shrimp fried rice. Coconut ice cream. We’d eaten the exact same meal in Chinatown a few months back and the bill had been a modest forty bucks. At White Temple it came to two hundred and thirty. Needless to say we got the hell out of there as soon as we’d finished eating but not before Aiden had swiped a valet ticket from the neighbouring table.

“You get the car,” he said, handing it to me. “I’ll be out when you’re ready.”

I stood outside the restaurant nervously, waiting for the valet to bring out the car. A black BMW. It gleamed like treacle. I glanced into the restaurant; saw Aiden still lounging at our table making small talk with the waiter. I got into the car, kicked off my heels and put it into first. Half a minute later, Aiden yanked open the door and fell in.


I went. I didn’t even look in the rear-view mirror. Aiden twisted in his seat, laughing wildly at whatever scene was going on behind us. We drove all night, hitting Sunset Boulevard for the fun of it, driving along the whole road and back again, debating how long we had before the car started showing up as stolen. We joined the Pacific Coast Highway in the early hours, flying over mile after mile of smooth road.

“Faster!” Aiden yelled. “Burn this motherfucker up!”

The car’s purr became a growl. Bring it on, it seemed to be insisting, bring it the fuck on. You think I can’t handle you? Bring it fucking on.

I drove so fast that the road blurred and every part of me was sick with anxiety. I clutched the steering wheel with sweaty fingers, the exhilaration making me breathless. I eased off the gas as slowly as I could, and yet it still seemed to take forever for the world to come back. They say the greatest moment of danger comes directly after victory and maybe that was what happened. Maybe I was relieved enough to get complacent.

As I slowed, the car skidded, control spiralling away as it lurched into the next lane, as out of its mind as Aiden and I. It happened so fast that it only comes back in flashes of panic. The BMW smashed against the highway safety barrier and bounced off. For a minute we were frozen, too shocked to move. Bizarrely, the car ended up facing the right way, having done a complete 360. It’d felt like a 720. I wondered if we’d died.

Aiden heard the sirens first and he looked over at me, rolling out the muscles in his neck.

“Lise? You okay?”

The cop cars came closer, lights flashing, red, blue, red, blue. We sat there in our stolen clothes in a stolen car, high on stolen food and a smile passed between us. We staggered out of the car like a pair of drunks and ran as fast as our shaking legs would allow.

It was a week before we found the nerve to pick up another car. We sagely agreed that Aiden would be the designated driver.


“Let’s go somewhere else. I’m sick of the sun, Lise.”

We were wandering aimlessly around the STAPLES store on Sunset, killing time and soaking up the free AC.

“Where?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” He rattled a box of paperclips and set it down again. “Anywhere. Let’s just get the fuck outta here. I think we’ve taken as much as we can.”

We didn’t have much in the way of possessions. A bag of clothes between us. There really was nothing stopping us, nothing to stick around for.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s go.”

Aiden went out to find a car to start us on the road. I used the last of the small change we’d found in the BMW to buy food. Water. Potato chips. Peaches. I waited outside. I had become rather attached to my stolen high heels and wore them even with my white t-shirt. The traffic was loud and busy, the heat inescapable. I paced up and down, trying to be inconspicuous. Where the hell had Aiden gotten to?

I finally saw him coming towards me. In a goddamn Lamborghini. God knows where he’d got it but he could hardly drive it. It sputtered down the road like it was out of gas and people were looking, staring in fact, and I covered my face with my hands, unable to believe his how blinded he was by greed. What the fuck was wrong with a nondescript Ford? We only needed to get the hell out of town. We weren’t going to the fucking Oscars.

But at the same time, I couldn’t blame him. There was something so sleek and beautiful about that car, something that looked like money and comfort and carelessness. I could hardly wait for him to pick me up, could hardly wait to sit beside him in that ridiculous machine, to have him put his foot down until life and death were just words and all we knew was speed. Faultless engineering and sheer speed.

I waited impatiently, jiggling my weight from one foot to the other. I started towards him, too piqued to wait and such was my haste that the heel on my right shoe snapped, making me stumble and twist my ankle. I swore, snatched the left shoe and broke that heel too so they were even but by then it was too late. I was far too late.

I straightened up but a black and white LAPD patrol car had pulled up in front of the Lamborghini. God. I watched breathlessly, the sun beating sweat down on me. Aiden. For fuck’s sake. I willed him to run. But it was a goddamn Lamborghini. He couldn’t even get the door open. By the time he’d stepped out of the damn thing, another patrol car had pulled up. Four cops. I saw Aiden’s eyes dart to me, saw him scan for an escape even as he reached into the car to procure registration papers.

The cops watched him lazily, smugly, arms folded across their chests, chewing gum and smirking at one another. I moved towards the scene numbly. Aiden shot me a look of warning. I felt the cops look at me in my shirt and broken heels, groceries clutched pathetically to my chest.

“Is there a problem, miss?”

They waited for me to say something. One of them muttered something. Three of them laughed loudly.

Aiden started forward, already losing it. He had a dirty mouth when provoked. The three officers stopped laughing and looked expectantly at the fourth who seemed to be their superior. Aiden was still running his stupid, beautiful mouth. He insulted them, their mothers, their daughters, as well as their family pets. They didn’t seem amused anymore.

The fourth cop reached for his handcuffs.


A kilo of cocaine, they claimed. In the pocket of a jacket Aiden hadn’t even been wearing. Something about the outrageous lie made my heart thump and echo like it was empty. Helplessness. I’d always thought there were some things that just couldn’t run. Lies. Lies. And there we were, caught in a system that hated the fuck out of us and for what? For the cars? The food? For playing house? Or just for our sheer arrogance?

One kilo meant more than simple possession. It meant intent to supply which meant jail time.

I knew Aiden. I knew the dust he came out of. I knew he’d learnt to walk in a place where the adults were too stoned to walk. He didn’t touch drugs. Not even goddamn weed. Not when he was raised in the low, clammy aftermath of a high.

I phoned seven criminal defence attorneys. They said one kilo in small bags was most certainly intent to supply. They didn’t believe it had been planted and even if they did, there was no evidence. They said the same senseless things. Were Aiden’s rights violated during the arrest? Was it entrapment? Did he even have any character witnesses? They weren’t interested. There wasn’t enough money to ever interest them.


He got off lightly, they said. No previous convictions. Eight years. It may as well have been eighty.

I visited him the Saturday after he got sent down. He wore an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs which were roughly removed once he sat down. His eyes were tired. One of them had become swollen with a purple bruise.

“It had to happen sooner or later,” he said. His smile fell to one side like it always did. He reached out as though to take my hand but his knuckles bumped against the glass screen separating us.

“You should – uh – do something,” he said vaguely. “Something real, y’know? Like get some decent work and have a place to sleep and all that.” He dropped his voice. “I holed up some cash. Buried it in the place we met. For a rainy day, y’know?”

I looked at him blankly. “It never rains here.”

“It will,” he said. “So you go get it and I don’t know. Play ‘em at their own game, huh? You can do that, can’t you?”

“I don’t know,” My voice sounded lost. “I don’t know anything.”

“You can. Shut up, Lise. You know you fucking can. You know the place. Listen to me, damn it!”

I couldn’t look at him. I felt suddenly drained of life. For the first time in so many aching years, I wanted to cry.

“It’s at the edge. You get in on Seventh Street at the corner. The gate. Five forward. Seven down. Inclusive. It’s on the left. You hear me?”

My eyes flicked up to meet his and something in his jaw tightened.

“Don’t you cry. Fuck everything else. Just don’t, Lise. Don’t cry. Please.”

I blinked, tried to reply. There were no words that didn’t come with tears.

I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Excuse me, miss.”

I turned. The cop’s face was lined, old, and grey like his hair. Just a guy doing a job.

“Lise Cooper?”

I nodded wordlessly.

“Lieutenant Johnson wants to speak with you back at the station. I can drive you down.”

I saw the frown on my face mirrored on Aiden’s. He shrugged, tried for a smile. I stood up, followed the cop out of the room and didn’t look back.


Lieutenant Bill Johnson was the same man who’d put the cuffs on Aiden. He smoked cigars. A heavy wooden box sat on the table in front of him; big, fat cigars with little gold bands around them. I watched him puff on one. He watched me watch him and shoved the box towards me.

“Help yourself,”

I didn’t take one. The office was large with a big window. A fan whirred silently on the ceiling. I looked at the plaque on the big, mahogany desk. William S. Johnson. Gold letters. He was maybe twice my age. The face of a self-righteous bastard. Uniformed. A small silver bar had been pinned to each collar of his dark blue shirt. He saw me notice the pins.

“I’m a lieutenant,” he said. He chewed gum even as he smoked the cigar. “Homicide.”

I frowned.

“You were there when Aiden was arrested.”

He inclined his head in silent agreement.

My frown didn’t fade. “Why’d you wanna see me?”

He blew out a cloud of whirling smoke and eyed me.

“You know, a lotta people go missing in LA. Lost angels, y’know?”

I didn’t say anything. I waited.

“And I get these calls, all desperate for me to close a case,” He flicked ash off his cigar. It landed next to my broken shoe. “Now, a couple weeks ago a body was found on the beach. Early morning. Guy had been robbed and shot. I ain’t got a clue who done it. But y’know, sometimes there’s this pressure to just solve the damn case. Could’ve been anyone. Could’ve been me. Could’ve been you. Or could’ve been some young guy off his head on drugs.”

His eyes met mine. They were so blue, I felt as though I could see through them.

“I can make it happen. Nobody worth anything gives a damn about a small-time criminal. Maybe his DNA was found on the victim’s shirt. We’re talking – what – twenty five years minimum? Say he’s provoked into bad behaviour on the inside. Life, maybe?” He leaned forward, his forearms resting on the table. They were covered in dark, coarse-looking hair. The hair on Aiden’s arms had always been soft, sun-bleached.

Life, Lise,” Bill Johnson said my name purposefully as though to reiterate the fact he knew it. “You ever saved a life before?”

The room seemed very small. All I could smell was cigar smoke. It seeped into me, suffocating and blinding. I blinked, tried to look at him through the fog.

“What do you want?”

I knew the answer before he’d said it and even then it surprised me. What would a guy like him want with me? I thought of Aiden. I thought of myself. Childhood. Dark rooms and blinding sun. Always on the run. We didn’t give up. We could’ve given up years go. We didn’t. We endured. We survived. We played them at their own fucking game.

Bill told me his address, said I should get my things together. It didn’t seem helpful to tell him I didn’t have any things. I stepped outside, ready for the heat to hit me. It didn’t. The rain hit me instead, drops falling warm and hard. I thought of Aiden’s cash. I thought of the hair on Bill Johnson’s arms.

Life. What more do we have than our lives? I’d always worn selfishness as a mark of honour but as I made my way down the puddled street, it seemed to wash off, taking with it my identity.


I named the canary Blue. It sat sullenly on the perch in its large-but-not-large-enough cage in Bill’s living room. It would always try to bite his fingers. I fell in love with it and it with me. A week after I’d moved in, it ate out of my hand.

“Don’t ever let it outta the cage,” Bill instructed. “Or it won’t come back. It’s waiting, the little son of a bitch.”

I let it out of the cage every time he went to work. It flew joyously around the room and through into the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom. At six, a half hour before Bill came home, it’d fly back into the cage and cock it’s head expectantly, waiting for me to lock it in. It could’ve flown out the window, could’ve had its eternal freedom but it didn’t. I liked to think we were in cahoots. But perhaps it just stuck around for the free birdseed.

I cleaned the cage every day, lined it with newspaper, washed it with soap and water and refilled Blue’s food and water supplies. I cleaned everything. The place was a mess the first day. By the end of the week it gleamed. I knew how to keep house. I’d spent the first sixteen years of my life running around after an alcoholic grief-stricken father. But I never resented him. I loved my father. It hurts when you love someone who can’t even look at you. Maybe I reminded him of Her, whoever she’d been.

There were no photos, no uncles, no aunts, no grandparents. Just me and him. And even if he’d been a worse father, I still would’ve loved him. It’s programmed, that kind of love. Desperate. Like a dog who’ll come crawling back even after being kicked away. You can’t turn it off. In a way, Dad drinking himself to death was a blessing. It freed me. They came out of their hiding places then, the uncles, the relations, the selfish, uncaring bastards, showed their faces at the damn cheap funeral and I didn’t say two words to them. I wondered if I would ever speak to anyone again.

I met Aiden at the graveyard. He was crouched over a plot, tearing out weeds, dirt under his fingernails and a bag of flower bulbs under his arm. He gave me half the flowers, told me I was too pretty to cry and kept saying it until I stopped.


To start with, I hated every minute of life with Bill. I wanted to kill him. I’d dig my nails hard into his back when he was on top of me, determined to cause him even the most minuscule pain. I bit his mouth, his fingers, his useless dick. He mistook it for passion.

“You fucking love it, don’t you?”

His fingers found my clit and rubbed it. Nothing he did could bring me even close to orgasm. I ended up faking it, just so he’d leave me the hell alone. Days stretched into weeks, months, years and life ground on, empty and desperate, sustained only by the hope of Aiden’s release.


I didn’t cry.

I never cried.

I cooked the most unappetising food I could imagine. Cauliflowers. Carrots. Bill ate it ravenously. He left money for groceries and housekeeping, a small budget by anyone’s standards. But he didn’t know me. He didn’t know how far I could make a dollar stretch. Potatoes filled out every meal. The cheapest steak from the butcher could taste like fucking filet mignon if you buried it in rock salt a couple hours before grilling.

I walked the extra six blocks to EVERY CENT COUNTS and got dented cartons of laundry detergent and washing-up liquid for half the regular price. I saved a third of everything he gave me, folded it up and hid it in the one place he’d never look; tampon boxes. They sat at the back of the bathroom cupboard mortifying and unassuming and he never had a goddamn clue.


Two years after I moved into his house, Bill got promoted to captain. The silver bar on his collar became two. He called them railroad tracks and hated them because he wanted to hit the big time and be a police commander with a fucking silver star. I told him he would be. I bitched with him about his superiors. He told me about all the lowlifes he’d put away, the evidence he’d planted, the goddamn strands of hair and clothing fibres. When he talked about it, his face lit up like goddamn Vegas.

I played the game. I laughed at his jokes, gasped at his intelligence, marvelled at his daring. I kissed him when he left in the morning. When he told me he loved me, I said it back. There was something very detached about it all, like I was scripting my own role in a surreal movie. I had one objective. I could not risk upsetting him. Aiden’s life was in his hands. Sometimes, he asked me about him. I told him things I thought were believable.

Summer fling. Teenage mistake.

He seemed to buy it.

“Would you ever want to see him again?” he asked one night. We were in the sitting room, him in his favourite chair, me on the windowsill next to him. The television played a lousy sitcom. Blue played in his cage, testing out the little swing I’d fashioned for him.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Maybe. But just to see how things have changed, you know? How much better life is now. I couldn’t really care less about him, Bill. The one thing I thank him for is bringing us together.”

He bought it in the same way he bought everything. I felt his hand on my leg and moved automatically towards him. Sex with him felt almost un-intimate. I could handle it. It was like putting on a pair of shoes you didn’t particularly like. Sure, they didn’t look good, and didn’t feel good but they were necessary for walking. I had to fuck him, keep him happy and pretend it meant the world to me.

He kissed me the way he always kissed me, wet and almost angrily. My hand slipped down over his shirt, tugged at his belt. He pulled back.

“Let’s go upstairs. Don’t wanna ruin the chair.”


He loved that fucking armchair. Sometimes Blue would flutter over and sit arrogantly on it like he knew just how much it’d piss Bill off. We had our secrets. One time, the bird came with me when I went grocery shopping. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. Every time I went into a store, he’d wait on a lamppost outside and then fly along behind me. Blue was more than just a bird. He kept me sane.

I bought food, cleaning products, light bulbs, stopped outside the thrift store and considered telling them they were welcome to come over and take Bill’s chair. There was a shop next door called NIGHT LIGHT. It sold phones, televisions, cameras, all kinds of electronic equipment. I had twenty spare bucks in my sweaty palm. Blue waited expectantly on top of a mailbox. I glanced around surreptitiously before pushing open the door, my heart thumping as the tall Asian guy behind the counter looked up.


I waited.

I didn’t know I could wait so long.

I took each day as it came.

I played the game.

Eight long years.

Waiting, faking, baiting, taking.



They’d moved the pasta at FOOD STOCK. It sat on the top shelf, just out of reach. I stretched up, my fingers brushing the clear plastic packet.

“Hey, let me,”

A hand brushed against mine, picked up the packet and dropped it into my cart. That voice. It went into me, woke something almost dead, something on life support, something that even after all this time had refused to give-the-fuck-up and die. I steadied myself on the edge of the cart and turned around.

“Hey,” The word ached out of him. He smiled his one-sided rueful smile. “You can cry now, if you want.”

I cried. His arms went around me. I hugged him like I wanted to disappear into him. Sometimes memories become dreams, become fantasies, you wonder if what you remember ever even happened.

He smelled like sweat and warm sand, like himself. I didn’t want to let go of him. Tears of relief soaked into his shirt. People forget each other so easily, move on, find new friends, new partners and families and even though I’d always thought we were more than that, a nagging insecurity had planted the idea that perhaps prison would change him. Perhaps I’d never see him again. Perhaps I wasn’t biding my time but wasting it.

“You missed me, huh?” His breath warmed the back of my neck.

“So much.”


His body had filled out. Boy to man. Muscles. Shadowy stubble.

We hadn’t even got through Bill’s front door when he was on me, his mouth finding mine and claiming it desperately. The keys clattered to the floor. My arms went around him; his hands grasped my ass, tearing my dress up.

“I don’t know how I survived,” he gasped.

I felt him hard against my stomach, ready as he’d always been. His tongue searched my mouth, fingers already between my legs. I couldn’t speak and neither could he. He groaned, dragging off the brand new clothes he wore and pushing me up against the wall so he could kiss me some more. His mouth tasted like relief. Like an eventual oasis after years of staggering through a desert. His lips moved down to my neck, brushing across smooth skin, his tongue leaving a wet path. He pushed his face into my neck and breathed me in like I was a drug. It felt almost too precious.

“He’d visit sometimes,” he growled. “Telling me how he fucked you. Lise, it was all I could do not to beat the hell outta him.”

My fingers brushed through his soft hair.

“I was waiting,” I breathed. “It was nothing.”

“I know,” he said, but he held me even tighter.

“He doesn’t even know how to fuck.”

Aiden straightened up. His eyes met mine.

“I know.”

He knew. He looked at me like he’d always looked at me; like a person looks at a winning lottery ticket. It made me want to tie us together.

I reached up to kiss him again, felt his fingers searching for the zip on my dress. I freed my arms, let the material fall to the floor, my panties following suit. His hands were all over me, his eyes too, his breathing urgent and controlled.

“You look – feel – just the same,” he murmured. “Like I thought. Like every day I thought of you and I’d think ‘she’ll change. She’ll be different. God knows what’ll have happened.’” He let out a long breath. “But you’re here and you’re just the fucking same, Lise. You’re like a goddamn dream.”

His hands were on my tits, groping roughly, greedily, fingers twisting my nipples until I gasped and almost pulled away. But I didn’t. I could never pull away from him. His hands dragged down, one moving to grasp my ass, the other pushing against my snatch. I bit my lip, wetter than I could ever remember being. His fingers weren’t gentle. He eased them inside me, one by one, hand pressing against my ass to stop me shrinking back.

“You – feel - so - good,” he hissed.

His thumb found my clit and he made me come like that first, gave me the first real orgasm I’d had in eight years, leaning against the wall of the living room, his fingers not slowing even as I clenched hard around them. It felt surreal. Hot, sticky, sweet. His thumb pushed against my clit, making me squirm. My hand went out, caught his arm. He didn’t stop fingering me.

“You can give me more than one, can’t you?”

My mouth opened but no words came out. He touched me deliberately, knowingly, like he had some kind of stored-up memory which detailed exactly how to make me fall apart.

“Aiden, please!”

I came again, half-sobbing and he moved his hand away then, grasped my ass and shoved me up against the wall so he could sink his throbbing cock inside me. My wet snatch clenched and quivered around him. His forehead pressed against mine, eyes watching as I sucked in breath after desperate breath. I had to close my eyes when he started moving. Each thrust was defining, purposeful. His cock stretched me deliciously, made me feel so entirely taken. I ground back against him but every time he slammed deep, I was thudded back against the wall.

You don’t know love until it feels like it could kill you.

His teeth went into my shoulder as he fucked me, his grunts hoarse and sporadic. We weren’t kids anymore but we were the same people. Older. Wiser. More grateful. He fucked me until I felt like there’d be an imprint of my bruised ass in the wall. Even then, I didn’t want it to stop. His mouth went from my shoulder to my neck and then up to my cheek, my forehead. Our lips met again. I could taste my sweat on him.

I shuddered through another orgasm and he felt it. His teeth bit hard into my lip, a groan catching in his throat.

“Fuck, Lise. Fuck!

He came violently, still pushing in and out of me as his cock jerked and released.

“Fuck!” His voice sounded like it came from somewhere deeper than his throat. “Fuck!”

As raging and urgent as it was, something about it all felt serenely natural. I kissed his gasping mouth until his weight leaned into me and his breathing slowed.

“That was – worth the wait,” he eventually breathed.

He released me reluctantly and watched me dress.

“How was prison?” I asked.

He shrugged, locating his clothes and pulling them on. “Free food.”

“D’you get beaten up?”

“Not much. Didn’t get ass fucked at least.” He looked at me. “How ‘bout you?”

“Free food,” I offered. “Didn’t get ass fucked either.”

He smiled, eyes drifting around the room, seeing it for the first time. He looked at the birdcage, the armchair, the television, the canary watching him from the windowsill.

“We should get outta here,” he said. “If that cop came in he’d put us away forever.”

I smiled.

“One minute.”

He watched as I stood haphazardly on a chair in the corner, digging out the small video camera secreted inside the alarm sensor.

“What the fuck?”

I jumped off the chair and pressed the camera into his hand.

“Don’t lose it. It’s all we have on him.”

He followed me wordlessly to the bathroom and watched as I gathered tampon boxes out of the cupboard.

“Uh, Lise? Tampons haven’t been discontinued, you know. If you wanna steal something, steal something valuable.”

“It’s not fucking tampons. It’s money.”

I showed him the contents of a box.

“Oh. Okay.”

“It’ll tide us over a while, right?”

“Right,” he said, very softly.

He found a small plastic bag and I dropped the boxes into it. He carefully pocketed the camera. Blue watched us prepare to leave. I looked at him. It was almost six. He fluttered over to the cage and then to the window, hesitating just a second before taking off.

“I never dug up that money you told me about,” I mused, heading for the door. “D’you wanna go get it?”

Aiden smiled.

“No. It’s not raining anymore, is it?”

Author's note: I would like to thank jimmasters for very kindly narrating this story. It is his wonderful voice on the audio and I can't thank him enough for doing such a great job. Even if you've read the story, I recommend you have a listen. Jim makes the piece feel so much more alive.




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