3.4

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The hot water beat down on him, the superfluous ink streaming from his chest and down the drain. The swallows had started to heal, and it was but the last tears of ink that ran down his body. They were still sore, the skin red and irritated, but a thin scab had formed upon them, encapsulating the ink that would forever stay liquid beneath his skin.  

When he closed his eyes he could still feel her hands against his skin as she wielded the heavy needle. He could feel the stinging pain and her breath fanning over his face as she worked. But strongest of all was the memory of her weight on top of him as she shifted to another angle. He had laughed a bit, asking her if she wasn't being a bit unprofessional. "I am the epitome of professional," she had said, and he smiled at the memory. But as he remembered how her hips had pressed against his, he broke the smile, his teeth digging into his lower lip.

His hand rested on his stomach, stroking lazy circles into his wet skin, but as the memories resurfaced, the flame of desire ignited in his chest once more, and his hand fell down, down, down.  As rough skin touched soft skin, he closed his eyes and felt her name at the tip of his tongue. His mind was filled with the sound of her breath and his limbs trembled as they remembered how she touched him, and as he gave in to one of the most primary of human needs, her name flew from his lips and echoed against the bathroom walls.

Her mother was downstairs, the sound of the radio teasing her ears as she walked out of her bedroom. But through the static hum of the galaxy, she could hear something else. Running water.

She smiled to herself and looked down at her nails. Black ink pooled beneath them, as if she had scratched his skin so thoroughly black blood had seeped from it. It was the only evidence she had been the one to mark him, and while the ink that covered her fingers would fade, the one under his skin wouldn't.

Soundless footprints were left on the floor as she walked towards the bathroom door, and invisible words fell from her lips as she looked inside. He got out of the shower, droplets of water were scattered across his skin, and his hair stuck to his forehead. The sun had kissed his once milky white skin, as if that too had fallen in love with him, leaving his limbs glowing with its affection.

Pink champagne bubbled in her blood and her eyes got drunk with the sight of his magnificent body; his long legs, his broad shoulders, his back, the muscles rippling underneath his skin like lazy waves on a hot summers day. He wrapped a towel around his waist and ran his fingers through his hair. The water had dulled its colour, the ringlets pooling at the base of his neck now looking black instead of brown, and Adelaide half expected his fingers to be covered in ink as he pulled them out of his hair. But it was her fingers that were stained in colour, not his.

The half-drowned music from downstairs must have reached his ears too, because as she stood there, Adelaide could hear sweet tones fall from his lips. He hummed along to the song, the words having been wiped out of his memory, only the melody remaining.

She smiled as she watched him, and as he shook his hips along with the music, she could not help but let a small giggle escape from her mouth. The sound floated across the room and into his mind. His head snapped up, and a deep dimple appeared in each of his cheeks as he smiled at her.

"Good morning," he said, leaning against the sink. Hints of sleep lingered in her eyes, and her hair was braided, the liquid gold streaming down her back in two soft rivers. She was wearing denim jeans and a black and white striped t-shirt, so big it fell off her shoulder, her tanned skin visible for all the world to see.

"Good morning to you too Harry," She said, once again leaving soundless footprints on the floor as she walked over to him. She placed her hand on his chest, her fingers tracing the patterns on his skin. "They're starting to heal," she remarked, finally looking up at him.

"Yeah they are," Harry breathed, feeling himself drown in her eyes. The flowers in his chest opened their petals beneath her touch, turning their heads towards her as if she was the sun.

"Do you think you'll regret them?" Adelaide asked, her fingers still tracing the ink on his skin.

"Never," he said, and the summer breeze of her lips met the snowstorm of his own. They swam together, hot and cold, summer and winter, male and female, and he felt the last glacier melt away, as winter turned to spring inside of him.

"ADELAIDE, WE ARE LATE!" Abigail's voice boomed from below them, and his early-spring lips were left alone as Adelaide whispered goodbye, her fingers dipping beneath the towel around his waist before she disappeared from his arms.

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