Heavy breathing. Large sigh. Tired eyes drooping
and sagging fingers weaving invisible patterns across foreign bed linens.
"Hey, it's me."
And obligation begins the tango of tolerance with excitement.
"I said I would."
"I know, I know...it's
just good to hear your voice."
"You too." And he hates how, only a month into the tour, he doesn't mean it.
is everything over there?"
Long. Monotonous. Deadening. "Good. Great. You know the drill. It's a blast while
it lasts, but it drains you pretty quickly."
"Yeah, you sound pretty tired."
"You should've gone
"Nah, it's cool. I hadn't talked to you yet today, and I wanted to make sure everything was okay." Mentally,
he's patting himself on the back, because this is the truth.
"Everything's good. I'm fine. We're fine, I mean. The
dogs are getting cabin fever again, so I took them for a walk this afternoon when it warmed up a bit. It's still far too chilly
down here to do very much."
He glances out at the feet of snow that line the sidewalk beneath his window. "Yeah, I
know what you mean. Winter sucks."
She nods, wondering how much he isn't saying. "That it does. I'm ready for summer
He laughs hollowly. "I think we all are. Hell, it's ridiculous up here. They've got mountains of powder lining
She sighs in relief as the rhythm of regular conversation returns to them. "Sounds annoyingly beautiful."
is. I don't know whether to throw a few snowballs and take a picture or burn it to liquid."
A smirk. "I'd stick with
the former. Burning the snow out of a hotel's vicinity qualifies as tabloid material, and you've got enough trouble keeping
the papers away as is."
A groan. "Shit, you're right. Did you see the latest?"
"Depends. Does it involve you
sleeping around with Hollywood's Dirrty girl?"
He grunts, and she laughs, and for a moment, everything between them
fades to black.
"Yes. Dammit. Why me? I don't even like blondes!"
She fingers her own russet locks. "You prefer
"Always. But especially my present company."
"You'd better only prefer your present
He smiles. "You know I'm kidding. I've got my girl. I've had her for quite some time. Long enough that
I have no interest in genies that toss their clothes into the corner of the ring for the benefit of the adolescent male MTV
"Oh, babe, the sweet things you say..."
A yawn distorts his smile, and his fit of sighs returns.
"You know me. Forever a romantic."
She settles into her own bed of pillows, reminiscent smile firmly in place.
"A sedated romantic, maybe."
He chuckles. "A romantic on crack?"
"That works too."
"As long as the papers
don't find out."
She smiles. "Babe?"
"Between you and me? I think they already know."
"Hard to miss."
"Maybe not. Maybe you're just that smart."
"Or maybe you're just that conspicuous."
"And you're not romantic. But I love you anyway."
A yawn, and his eyes begin to close, wiping away
the traces of a former obligation until he can remember what it feels like to want to talk to her forever.
"But you're tired." Disappointment. Understanding. All in one.
"Yeah. Exhausted, even."
you need your rest." Reluctance relenting.
"Yeah." Appreciation with a yawn.
"I'd better let you go so you can
sleep. Thanks for calling, though."
"Always." And he means it. For now. "I like hearing your voice before I go to sleep."
smiles, closing her eyes tightly until she can conjure the image of his face. "Same to you, babe. Same to you."