A Fifth of Love

I eye her precariously as she saunters down the street, swaying her hips seductively. She tries to make me believe she doesn't care, with the way she talks to me in a dismissive manner, or attempts to put me in my place at any chance. But her body language betrays her and tells me she knows-she hopes-I'm watching. It's the same traitor that predicts her arrival at my apartment later that night. She shoves me back into the living room and our endless one-night stand continues.

It instantly takes me back to memories of her and I, revealing a pattern. Everyone else would see a strong woman, domineering in her relationships.

I know better.

The past was not kind. Struck by love before, she thought it would last forever; she thought it was true love. Seems he had different plans, however. He left abruptly, with insufficent words for her to ponder, and never returned. A heart, once strong and full of life, was broken into pieces and scattered in the wind. She tried to piece it back together, but she never found all the pieces.

Knowing she couldn't give such a mangled thing to anyone, she shut it away, never to expose it again. But she needed attention, and after devoting herself to someone who had never even glanced in her direction she threw caution to the wind and herself to anyone. Just how many times had she awoke in some strange man's apartment feeling empty and shameful, only to put herself in the same situation once more?

That was until she found me.

I was safe; she knew who I was and that I wouldn't try to make her vulnerable. She quickly let me know she had chosen me to be her little toy. It soon became apparent that I was to look and touch, but I could never truly have her. What makes it even worse is she knew how I felt, but she continued to play with my emotions, twisting and turning my heart until I became bitter and resentful.

But I never refused. Better me, then with some seedy, dirty stranger she met in some bar.

With a smirk, I realized our relationship had become something not unlike that of a drunk and his liquor. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knows he shouldn't even think about touching the bottle. Past experiences tell him, "no, you'll only end up praying to the porcelain god." However, despite his better judgement, he downs drink after drink until he's stumbling about and purging his system. He's no better for the experience, but it doesn't matter because he's addicted.

It's a sickening truth.

We stumbled onto my bed, fusing with the last straps of clothing. We wrestle against one another, her for some sort of dominance, me for the sake of a little passion.

And in the midsts of our lust, she slips. "I love you."

Suddenly, she stops and I wait. I try to look her in the eyes, but she avoids my stare. Now, she gets up and starts to collect her clothes and I follow, figuring it's not my place to push her into anything.

Even if I want to hold her more than ever and tell her those feelings are good and requited.

She heads out the door without saying goodnight, and I shut the door. That'll be the last of our encounters, and I find myself feeling depressed instead of relieved...until a rap upon my door breaks me from the darkness. I find her standing before me looking more vulnerable then ever. It's at that time that she places her hands lightly on my chest and rises to place a lingering kiss on my lips; the kiss is sweet and so much unlike our past. She leans away, and for the first time in years, there's a true smile lighting up her beautiful face.

There's still no goodnight, but it's inconsequential. It will be a while before we meet like this again, yet it will be under different circumstances. It seems her elation was contagious as I find myself grining like an idiot. She believed she had been uninvolved and satisfying her urges only. However, along the way she stumbled across those lost pieces, one by one until her heart was almost completely mended. Sometime soon, she would be ready to give it to someone, someone she knew wouldn't hand it back to her with a knife stuck deep in the center.

We both fell head long into the deep end, unknowingly, stumbling into one another like drunkards. Like drunkards, we continued to take shot after shot until it seemed there was no end, but it never numbed the painful emotions.

We are ready to be sober.

A/N: Another short one-shot! Huzzah! But seriously, this one is important to me. It just poured right out of me, and it's one of the first pieces I'm truly happy with. The entire piece was inspired by the title, and in case you don't know what I mean by "a fifth of love," I'm referring to those little bottles of liquor you can get on airplanes or in convenience stores. At least I think that's what they are. I know it has something to do with alcohol and that's all that matters. Ta-Ta for now.