"Gonna tell the story, morning glory,
all about the serpentine fire
Surely as life begun you will, as one,
battle with the serpentine fire."
--Earth, Wind, and Fire.
The door shuts, with a firm click, behind Isaak, and her pent-up breath explodes from her chest in a whoosh. She waits a few seconds, counting them off in her head, to see if her father will make another return. When he doesn't, she turns to her errant guest.
"Jesus," she mutters, shaking her head. "That was TOO close, Han."
His obsidian eyes aren't the least bit perturbed...in fact, they dance with that mischief she's reallly starting to find appealing. "So...now what you going to do with me?" he wonders, softly, cocking his head and waggling his eyebrows playfully.
She's been fed a lot of lines over the years...from lots of players...but this little Chinese sweetheart takes the cake. Total naivete. She never realized before what a *good* play it could be.
She snorts, crossing her arms over her chest. "I'm going to kick your little yellow butt out the door and follow you out it. We've got to get to Silk's. See what's up."
"The meeting is at eight. No rush," he reminds, moving out of the corner and around her. With a few light steps, he's at her collection of model horses and he picks up a Palomino, running his fingers across it's smooth plastic back. "You ride?"
"Yeah, like I rode around in the Barbie Dream Corvette." She shakes her head, wincing...remembering how badly Daddy had wanted to get into the Country Club when she was younger...so she'd have a place to ride and Colin could play tennis with the sons of rich, white bankers. By the time Isaak O'Day had made his way into that society, she hadn't wanted it anymore. She'd made her own way.
"What's 'Barbie Dream Corvette'?" Han's dark eyebrows furrow and the most adorable lines appear between them. They make him seem younger, more innocent. Just like the way he trips over some words and leaves others out entirely. He's a different man when he's like this...not the one who fights like Jackie Chan and looks for killers.
"Barbie dolls?" she tries, taking the horse from his hand and setting it back on the cheerful yellow shelf. "I *know* they're made in Taiwan or something...you've got to know what Barbie dolls are. Little skinny white girl dolls with big chests and fucked up feet?"
"I'm from Hong Kong," he reminds, cheekily, dropping down onto her bed. "Skinny white girls with big chests not interesting."
"Oh, really? Then what DO you find interesting?" She arches an eyebrow, putting both hands on her hips and striking her best intimidation pose.
He doesn't blink, doesn't flinch...says, simply, "You."
And while she's still reeling from that gentle admission, he grasps her wrists and tugs her towards him...till she's standing between his knees. He stares up at her...so intensely it steals the breath from her body, knocks the sense from her skin. "H-han?"
"There are no women like you where I come from."
She manages a smile with great difficulty, feeling her nerves buzzing and sparking. "Didn't figure HK would have much in the way of 'flava'."
"Not that," he assures, with a subtle shake of his head. And he traces small circles on the cocoa-dark skin of her arms with his pale gold fingertips as if he sees no difference between the shades. "I was a police officer...had no time. Wanted no time. You force me to *make* time. With your eyes and your smile and your...'flava'..." The slight grin flashes across his boyish features and then disappears again in favor of solemnity. "You make me want more...you make me *want*..."
She places her palm against his smooth cheek, wondering, suddenly, if he is twenty-five or thirty-five. She doesn't even know. She can't tell. He's forever young. He's beautiful. "You don't have to just want, Han...you can *have*," she urges. "You know that, don't you?"
*You can have me*.
And he moves swiftly again...pulling her down into his lap with the fluid reflexes of a trained warrior...or a trained lover. The kiss is tentative...almost chaste...like he's afraid she will push him away or shatter like glass. But it is soft and sweet and true and everything a first kiss should be. It is up to her to set the tone of the second.
So she does.
She tilts her head, nips his lower lip before soothing the tiny wound with her tongue...and from there it is easy. No glass breaking, no pushing away. Just Han's mouth opening beneath hers, his hands coming up to clutch her shoulders. Discovery. And meltdown.
From there, it doesn't matter that they are in her father's house. In her childhood room. That there are killers downstairs and killers all around. They have this moment...and the precious few following it. She won't let them go to waste. She can't.
There is something reverent in the way he makes love. Sacred. He touches her like she was made for him, undresses her as if she is for his eyes and hands only. Like they are bound to each other for every life after this one and nothing can break them apart. Nothing and no one. Not his family. Not hers. It feels like the first time...she feels new and clean and purified ...sanctified, as she rises above him, places her hands flat on his chest and slowly grinds against his lean hips.
If she'd known he would be there, stealing a yellow cab and changing her life, she would've waited. She would've waited for *this*.
They are tangled. They are tied. They are knotted up together in skin and bone and sinew and she tastes the salty sweat gathering in the hollow of his collarbone and whispers, teasingly, "Akhbar..."
He gasps, buries his hands in her hair. "Trish...Trisha..." She's sure he's never said her name before...and even if he says it a hundred times after this, it will never sound so honest, so gorgeous.
She thinks Maurice and his crew could walk up and discover them right now and she'd die happy. On the brink of something spectacular. Shimmering colors...brighter and hotter than two cool words from a classic rock song. She finally understands what the 'serpentine fire' really is. It is the way his body ripples beneath her hands, the way his muscles coil tight...the way his eyes burn so black, when he reaches a peak, that they're almost red-gold.
Afterwards, the silence is comfortable...spiked with blue lightning zipping between their satiated souls. She knows that they can't afford to laze around in the afterglow. She knows they have to separate, to get up, to go down to Silk's casino. But she'll take a few seconds. A few seconds to commit this all to memory...to feel the ashes from the banked serpentine fire sink deep into her bones.
"Are you...'okay'?" he asks, words muffled against her throat.
She turns her face into his chest, presses a kiss just above his heart. Then just below. Then to the right of it. Then to the left. "I'm okay."
*More than 'okay'*.
She's happy, blissfully happy for the first time in a long time. She has found a place where there is no crime, no pain, no death, no loss. Just Han. And he is everything.
"Come on," he murmurs, regretfully, tugging her to a sitting position and gesturing towards the downstairs and the echo of the doorbell "Let's go."
She simply nods and hands him his shirt. She'll go anywhere with him, be anyone, do anything. They've just walked through the fire. What's coming can't compare...can't touch her...won't burn.
They are One.
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