i'll know you're lying.
It's always someone else's moon. Not even deep down, she knows that. She knows that with every awkward step and hitch in her breath, in every pause for thought it's right there, big and brass and shiny. But she likes to believe that sometimes when the thoughts turn that she's not always just a shadow there waiting for the sun to pass over her. Maybe.

She misses the little things, the parts that make people stand up straighter and feel anxious in the strong parts of their meat and bones,she remembers and admittedly she romanticizes these things. Playing some things over and over on a loop when the afternoons are too cold. She doesn't miss the arguments. Or that's what she says - but it's a lie, like so many other little lies that she opts to say over and over and over again. But that in particular is a lie, even when she talked about it in passing, even in the middle of an argument, she felt the red right down to the quick center of herself. These little things might be someone else's home, but it would always be what she kept behind her eyes when she couldn't sleep.

The little parts, maybe probably, these were why everything decided to sting at the last minute - and there were more last minutes than most people would ever talk about. But that was how people worked. In particular, the second day. The second day while she was still shaking in heels and smelled like peonies and stage fright - still nervous and she'd forget her name and where she sat all over again for the third time in two hours. But she would hear the laugh from behind the half closed door that was ten measured steps from her desk. It sounded warm but cautious, big enough that there were leftovers hanging around in his chest for something later. He was bad at faking, but if there were dregs, it was fun to listen to him work. --That was why she started trying, actually. Everything else was a reason, of course. But when she was honest, really honest, it was the timber of the voice, the way that the laugh sounded like it could fill a person up despite being reserved, kind of quiet. That was enough - that was more than enough, really.

The Tuesday following her first weekend there, she knew and for a few minutes, maybe a full hour, Roman wanted to quit. Maybe go back to New York and stay, maybe do anything other than what she knew she would end up doing - this was an intelligent, sweet and altogether perfect kind of person, perfect as far as she could tell. (This would be denied later, never by her. She would say it plainly, without any kind of hope for anything other than saying as much, but that was later.) Knowing that, or deciding that, whichever was better, but that - then, that Tuesday on her lunch break, she knew in the black feeling that started to creep up her chest that she was going to wrap herself around every single part that she could - and well, being herself, she almost wanted to give him a running start. He deserved that much. More.

God, she felt all warm and broken and loved. She felt safe despite all the lingering questions that always seemed just a few seconds away from sparking up and into the next.. fight - it wasn't that, it was something that was always very close, though. (That wasn't how the paper weight in his office broke. That was something else altogether.) As close as it always got, they both were always even voiced, the tics and twitches were hard to wait for and watch if it was too cold, everything seemed to slow then, and while she was good at slow.. It was just hard. It was always hard, because these were fights she didn't want to have, these were things she didn't want to think about. These were issues that she wanted to burn and throw away. But it was so much bigger than her, it always was and it always, always would be. Or that's how she felt, anyway. It happened differently though, always differently almost always with varying but similar ends. Finally the yelling, finally, which could be yelling or it could be sharp whispers just over the edges of her favorite teeth. Then the catching, because honestly, it's always - always, not once would it ever not be about the chase. And he was so very good at the chase. The breathing and then her mouth crushed, smeared and bitten underneath his. The thick part of her thighs shook, tangled around where the red trails stopped on the varying shades of pale at his sides, then quietly like on cue there was the deep, warm laugh that she'd swear she heard years ago and would be the last thing she'd want to hear when she closed her eyes and -- always waiting to push her hair out of the way and ask her if she believed him, because she should. And she did, or she wanted to. She loved when he explained why she was wrong. At least about that. And God, that was terrifying.

He smelled like warm - all of him, everywhere. Roman was sure that she was right - he smelled like warm things and spice and the vanilla that hit your nose after you left a kitchen, like your belly knew it was hungry after the fact. He'd been gone for a week - and she was waiting there. She hadn't used her key before and it was the first time it had happened. She made him dinner, she was anxious - she'd started that afternoon. She went through her records, she went through her panties, she went through everything she thought would make a good night better, even if it had only been marginal. Half the day was over - she knew he wasn't getting back until late and she was pointless at airports unless she was leaving. She'd told him that much - but then, there. In the warm, it was so warm. Roman left her dress on the sofa in the living room, her bra in the hallway. She rolled around in his made and put together bed. Snuggling the pillows to her chest and laying in all manner with the sheets tangled up around her body. She went through his closet, she pulled out a tie, she pulled out one of his button downs and quickly went the other direction. A warn out flannel shirt that she buttoned just at the center of her chest. She went back to bed and sprawled out - playing with the tie like she'd been a cat in a past life, waiting for Mason to get home. Eventually she'd put the thing around her head, keeping her eyes shut so she couldn't look at the clock or the windows. The shirt nearly swallowing her up, she kept the collar turned up on one side, so she could pretend like he was back, like she was smelling the clean shirt on him. She missed him.

And that was too difficult, that was too much. So she left. And eventually, she was sorry that she did but she'd leave again. She would always leave.