Shall I Eat You Nikita Mirzani 6

In bed Nikita Mirzani opened her legs as wide as she could, as if someone were forcing her open, and whispered urgently to Xander, “Stop moving! Stop!” She was starting to come, little waves of contractions passed through her, and if he kept moving, she would miss feeling them.

She kept rubbing herself through the contractions, which intensified them, and finally when they stopped, she put her arms around Xander’s back and kissed him deeply.

After a moment, she said “Now.” And he began to move gently, quietly, then forcefully in and out. And she tried very hard not to look pleased—she kept a frown on her face. She wanted to say, “Pull out if you feel you’re going to come,” but she was afraid to say anything.

She kept her eyes closed and he said, “Can I come now?”

“No!” she nearly hollered. He stopped moving, and they waited. Then he started again. “Tell me when I can come.”

“Not yet.”

Then his breathing got heavy, heavier. “I’m going to come,” he said desperately, and then he was breathing heavily into her ear and made a few quick thrusts and fell onto her.

She had wanted more, and she felt disappointed, a little empty. Still, she kissed his face and he came out of her, put tissues on his penis and between her legs, and she got out of bed and hobbled to the bathroom holding the tissues in place, then dropped them into the toilet and peed.

She washed her hands and breasts and washed between her legs and got back into bed. He was lying naked with tissues on his limp penis. She kissed him and spooned up against him. She thought to ask him, “Why couldn’t you have held on just a little bit longer?”

But he was already snoring, which was just as well. She’d complained to him a few times about his failure to last longer, but she never said why didn’t he last as long as Zack had or why didn’t he make even half the money Zack made.

She did ask why couldn’t he go with her to see an occasional avant-garde film, and wear a suit and tie on the rare occasions they went together to her arts club—she was chairperson of the film committee. And he’d yelled at her, “I give talks all over, and I’m treated with respect, like a valued person. Only at home am I sniped at.”

He had slept on the living room couch that time—it was not the first time—and in the middle of the night, she’d gone in and apologized, and dragged his offended hulking self back into bed with her. She tried to get him to make love to her, but he wouldn’t. “I’m not in a loving mood.”

“It’ll put you in a loving mood.”

But he wouldn’t.

Cleaning out their storage cages in the basement of the apartment building, she came upon boxes of documentation Zack had saved for income taxes.

Xander said they could all be thrown out, they were more than ten years old, but she couldn’t bear to throw away anything to do with her dead husband without at least looking over each item, including canceled checks (they reminded her of where they’d been and what they’d done).

So she laid a tarp over the Oriental rug in the foyer, and Xander helped drag up the dusty boxes, some of which had dried bits of plaster in them; she vacuumed the boxes.

There were income tax returns that showed her husband had made half a million dollars some years, a million others, and that was when money was worth more. There were airline tickets and stamped documents proving that he had attended surgical conventions, which made their family trips tax-deductible.

There were journals in which he’d published papers—he was an expert on repairing the labrum, a membrane in the hip joint, which often tore in athletes. In fact, he had invented the procedure.

Other surgeons simply removed the damaged labrum, but sewing it up seemed to make for less arthritis in later life—at least that was the case in animal studies. The data were only now, decades later, starting to come in on humans, and a colleague of his told her everything seemed to bear her husband out. Zack would have been thrilled.

There were receipts from different restaurants where they’d eaten in Venice: Locanda Cipriani, Crepizza, il Cenacolo, da Bepi. She remembered the family watching a glassblower in Murano.

From one of the thunderous red furnaces, the skinny, pockmarked fellow had pulled out a long pipe with reddish-yellow molten glass at the end of it. He’d blown into the pipe and the blob of glass expanded and elongated, and Billy, age seven, watched fiercely, swaying a little in the hot, noisy room, clasping and unclasping his hands.