The moon shone brightly above my head. I glared at it.
It reminded me of fighting, of using moonlight to snipe. Shooting targets in the dark with Cassidy, popping rounds downrange and smelling the fresh scent of hot brass and cold dirt. Good practice and good times.
“Got any gum?” Cassidy asked.
“Yeah. But it’ll cost you,” I replied.
“Seriously? You can’t let go of capitalism for even one second?”
There was amusement in her voice. I held the piece of gum between my fingers for a moment. She made a move for it, and I backed away.
“Predictable,” I said.
“Then show me how to bring a man down,” she replied.
“You already know how to do that. You’ve got a rifle.”
“I want to know how to do it without a rifle. With my bare hands.”
“That’s optimistic of you.”
She was strong—agility and speed packed into a slender body, all lean, tough muscle. She would have been a good cop, I guess. Of course, they said the same thing about me, and look what happened.
“I’ll teach you,” I agreed. “But first, the price for gum.”
Gum. It was stupid. Even gum was a precious commodity now. I was down to my last pack.
“All right. Name it,” she huffed, rolling her eyes.
A kiss. That was what I wanted. To pull her to me and hold her body against mine and feel, even for a moment, that I deserved to be loved by someone like her.
I hesitated for too long. She blinked, slowly, and I knew she could read my mind.
She always could.
“You can keep it,” she said, brushing off my solemn stare. “Whatever.”
I tossed the gum to her. She caught it, neatly. No hesitation. Pure reflex.
She was relieved: I could see it in her face. She had been afraid I would try to kiss her. That wasn’t allowed. She knew it and I knew it, but the desire was there, and I wasn’t the only one who felt it. Not by a longshot. That was what scared her the most…and nobody knew her better than I did.
“Got your six,” I murmured.
Memories. They’re fatal. You can’t get away from them.