I strummed at the strings of my Fender acoustic, growing more and more pissed at my situation. Switching seamlessly from Cash to Waits—needing the comfort of dark and painful melodies—I took a pull of my smoke, dropping it in the ashtray, feet propped up on the table, when an old song spilled from my lips.

“Well, I hope that I don’t fall in love with you,

‘cause falling in love just makes me blue.”

I sang with my eyes closed, shutting out the world for a while, my fingers dancing on the strings. I zoned the f**k out, only to see Jane Doe smile shyly at me in my mind. Feeling a burn in my chest at the image, I opened my eyes and, f**k… She was there on the sofa to my right, knees bent, arms wrapped ’round her long, perfect stems, head resting on top, wolf eyes staring… like I’d f**kin’ conjured her to life.

I instantly stopped playing, hands freezing on the strings, unable to look away from her. She just stared, a slight blush to her sallow cheeks.

Shifting forward and lifting up my Fender, I turned away to put it down. But when I was halfway to putting the guitar back on its stand to my right, the sound of her deep breathing made me look her way. She slowly opened those full, pink lips, the tip of her wet tongue peeking out, and whispered, “Again.”

I swear my heart missed a f**kin’ beat.

She was talking.

Edging forward, I tipped my chin, urging her to repeat herself.

A deep blush crept up the entire length of her face and she swallowed, shifting slightly, long black lashes fluttering like f**kin’ butterfly wings.

“Again… please, play it again. I very much enjoyed hearing your voice.”

What the hell was that accent?

That button nose of hers scrunched and I knew what was coming. Fuck! And there it was, the tiny twitch betraying her nerves. I couldn’t look away. Christ, I never took my eyes off hers, holding her gaze while I grabbed my guitar, sitting back, taking a deep breath, thinking over the words, picking up where I left off.

“…And I hope that I don’t fall in love with you.

I can see that you are lonesome just like me, and it being late, you’d like some company…”

Tears glistened in her eyes as I sang each line, a pleased smile ghosting her lips. Fuck. To see that look on her face or hear her talk again, I’d sing “Over the f**kin’ Rainbow” soprano, if she wanted.

Clearing my throat, I sang out the last of the song.

“…And I think that I just fell in love with you…”

I let the last note hang in the air, our breathing the only other sound, the string humming until the vibrations faded to silence.

I stared at her.

She stared back.

Tension built.

Shifting to the side, I placed my guitar beside me, picking up my smoke and finishing it off, stubbing the cherry on the table. She watched, button nose twitching and her tongue licking those f**kin’ fat lips.


I moved slightly to try and hide my hard dick. You good, babe? I signed, but her forehead wrinkled with a frown and she shook her head.


Sitting forward, my head fell in my hands and I rubbed along the temples. I could do this. I could talk to her again. Shutting my eyes, I tried to focus on working my throat, loosening it up. I reminded myself that I’d talked to her before. I could f**kin’ do this again.

At least I thought I could. But the python wouldn’t let go, and I was close to murdering mad. All these damn years waiting to see the bitch again, and f**k me, I couldn’t speak for shit.

Suddenly, a soft hand landed on mine, and lifting my head, she smiled and said, “You use your hands to talk?”

Fidgeting, I nodded and watched her every move.

“Because you struggle to get the words out?” She stroked her hands down her neck, as if trying to understand why.

I nodded once more.

Her blue eyes flickered between the floor and me until she said, “You spoke to me once before, did you not? Try to again, please. I would very much like to hear your voice.”

I f**kin’ wanted that too.

As I looked into her wolf eyes, I worked my throat loose again, my leg bouncing in agitation, eyes twitching as I played out the words on the tip of my tongue, and with a deep breath, I managed to push out, “Y-y-you h-heard music b-b-before?”

Giving me a huge, relieved smile, she dropped her eyes to the floor, her expression almost shameful. “Yes… only once.”

My f**kin’ palms began to sweat and I ran them down my jeans. Her voice was as tiny as she was, but it was the sweetest damn thing I’d ever heard… and too long in coming. Fifteen f**kin’ years to hear that damn voice again, and apparently, she’d been waiting for mine too.

“Y-y-you g-got a n-name?”

She stilled, eyes shooting up, her breathing all over the f**kin’ place, and intense fear took over her features.

“N-n-not gonna hurt you, r-r-remember? T-t-tell me your n-n-name, b-babe.” I sighed in relief as my words began to come clearer. It was her—fuckin’ number three.

My goddamn miracle.

“Salome,” she said almost inaudibly.

I edged forward, convinced I was f**kin’ hearing things. “Wh-what?”

“Salome,” she hushed out again, swallowing loudly, staring at the exit, then back at me and to the exit again.

She was gonna bolt.

“Y-y-you kn-kn-know where that n-name comes from, b-babe?” I couldn’t disguise the anger in my tone, a red haze fogging up my mind.