In her apartment they sprawled across the couch, high and tight on whiskey, buttery smooth whiskey. “I, I, I,” Meredith said, and he leaned across and covered her mouth with his. It wasn’t a kiss, just a sloppy meeting of mouths, but she moaned and dug her fingers into his shoulders anyway.

“Now?” he said, while his hands were busy with the catch of her bra. Her sweater was wool, itchy and unpleasant, like cold dishwater, greasy and abrasive. She helped him take it off and they stumbled into the bedroom. When he climaxed he shuddered and said, “Now?” again. His voice was high and unreal.

She went out on the fire escape to smoke, still nude. What was the point? When she was done she flung the butt down into the alley and sat down on the grating, cold metal digging into her. Her bedroom window went up and he came out through it, hands and feet digging into the bricks of the wall. He crawled onto her shoulder and nuzzled against her ear. “Now?” he said.

“Yes,” she said. “Now.”