His hands trace over the white lines and harsh jagged lines on my hip. Hovering ever so slightly, the sunlight catching under his hands to shower my naked skin in a golden yellow hue. He traces upwards, to my malformed belly button -if it could even be called as such- and upwards to where the lines end and smooth skin fans over my breasts. My breathing is irregular, half expecting a rougher touch, half wishing his hand gone. The sex had been nice enough. I was never one for cuddling afterwards but I let this one do it. I couldn't even remember his name. I remembered his laugh from a few hours ago though, in the dingy bar, surrounded by deafening bass tones. I could hear it over all the noise though. Light and happy.

'I didn't even know you had these.'

'I don't go telling around about my scars to just anyone.'

That much was true, although I told people about my physical scars much sooner than I did about my mental scars. The jagged lines and scarred skin hardly bothered me anymore. All else of me had formed around it, molded around it till it was just another piece of my body. Another piece of the flesh and bones that made up my physical self.

'Can I ask?'

'What?'

'How you got them.'

'You can, but I don't think I can answer.'

His hand smoothed over my side, lightly clasping over the scars and the soft skin around it. He hummed in agreement, closing his eyes and turning his face towards the sunlight. This had been easier than nearly all the other men that had asked me the exact same question -give or take a few words-. Most had argued, said they could be trusted, had been too curious for their own good. Not this one. Not the one with the laughter that cheered up the whole room.

'Thank you for letting it go.'

'No problem.'

His smile was radiant and I couldn't help my lips from curling upwards either. The sun felt warm, so did his touch and the moment was one for the books. For the romance novels that made the reader feel so deeply their hearts clenched just like those of the characters did. And I did something I'd never done with any of the guys like this, I hugged him. Buried my face in his shoulder and ran my fingers through the soft hairs on the back of his neck. He hugged me back. After a while he spoke up.

'This is so embarrassing, but I totally forgot your name. You told me but I just forgot.'

'Well. I kind of forgot your name as well.'

'Kind of?'

'I just forgot it.'

Both of us giggled, the rumble of his laughter shaking my head on his shoulder just a tiny bit. It felt good to hear it now that I wasn't intoxicated by all kinds of fancy drinks. It sounded even better now. His hand left my side and nestled on the curve of my neck, kneading ever so slightly to rub out imaginary knots. It felt good.

'James. My name is James.'

'Mine's Charlotte.'

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