Ratings: PG-13, sexual content
He always leaves his hat hanging on the door, like he is coming only in preparation to leave, and she tells him that she finds this habit of his quite adorable.
He frames her weeks like a tired bookend; he is always there only at the end and gone before the new beginning, and she can keep an easy count of time passing by the mark of his boots on her perpetually dusty floor. At times, he is more like a ghost than any tangible ephemera, as fleetingly dismissed as anything else at the turn of a hand, and she suspects this is more fitting than she'd like to admit, so she likes to leave it all a mess. (Sometimes she isn't sure if he comes at all, but what is the purpose of dust but to stir at a breath and hide what nobody wants to see?)
She adores the time he takes to visit her lonely, East-of-nowhere ranch and, once, tells him so - she gets a stammering grace and a small blush, as red as her hair, creeping across his adorable cheeks. As a reward, she kisses him on both - small and tart and chaste as apples against his skin, and the next time he visits, they fuck hard on the floor of her stable in an awkward muddle of limbs and murmurs and mouths. It turns out to be his first time - and hers too - and this is quite adorable in its own way, even if it said without words afterwards that it was all quite a mistake.
Nothing is better or more lovable than to adore and be adored, but this is just another mess he's made (he says, once) - and she slaps him for it, once on each cheek, because this not a mistake he was right to make (even though she wants to shake him and love him and fuck him and adore him again for everything he hasn't the strength to be, but god, oh god, she knows she can't).
She watches him leave, even as it tears at the parts of her left in the dust of the barn. She knows that this will be the last time she will find his hat on her door (or any place in her home) and vows to sweep away the ghosts she once adored from every nook and cranny and whatever else he's left behind. In the end, she supposes they will both be better for it, and maybe (maybe, maybe) what the scripture says is true -
- she will adore him only for the things he'll never say or do.