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The Moments After

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Adam lights the cigarette and hands it to Rachel. She accepts it and closes her eyes, leaning back against the headboard as she inhales.

It's cliched but also classy and Rachel likes the ritual of it. The post-sex cigarette. She likes the ritual of it with him.

It feels very old Hollywood. Like she's Marilyn and he's... one of her guys. Or better yet, he's Clark Gable and she's Carole Lombard. They even got a happy ending, Rachel thinks.

Though Adam doesn't really have a lot of Gable going for him. The mental image of Adam with a moustache makes her giggle.

"What's so funny?" Adam asks as he accepts the cigarette back from Rachel.

"You," Rachel rests her head on Adam's bare shoulder for a moment. Just long enough to re-establish the intimacy of their connection.

"I try," Adam's false modesty always makes Rachel laugh, because it's so not him.

"You suceed," Rachel assures him, plucking the shared cigarette from between his fingers andplacing it between her lips.

"Brat." Adam eyes the cigarette enviously, or maybe he's eyeing Rachel's lips. Either way, she grins.

Rachel loves this. She loves this quiet pointless time where it's just her and Adam. No posing, no posturing, just... real.

She loves that sometimes it's light and playful, like now, with Adam trying to take the cigarette out of her mouth.

Other times it's so intense.

Sometimes they are primitively protective. Days when she uses her body to protect Adam's sensitive ego, or he physically assures her that she is loved.

Sometimes she and Adam, their way of being, of being toether, is so frustratingly beautiful it makes Rachel ache. It makes Rachel's eyes well up with tears, and it makes her bite her tongue at the rightness of it all.

Being with Adam, Rachel and Adam, makes more sense to her than anything ever has. It should be complicated. It should be hard. There should be issues.

But there aren't.

Because what it all comes down to, really, is late afternoons, and beds, and cigarettes, and the moments after.