Shade and Anne lay in Anne’s bed together. They’d kicked the sheets off, because it’s hot e-fucking-nough in Florida without being smothered by sheets. Shade smoked a cigarette, letting the ashes fall off her cigarette and onto the floor.
“You’re going to set the smoke alarm off.” Anne smiled, clinging tight to Shade.
“It’ll be fine.” Shade didn’t mention the fact that she’d disconnected Anne’s smoke alarm a couple weeks ago.
“Yeah, you and me, running out of the dorm naked because the fire alarm went off. I’m sure that’d be…”
“You’re sure it’d be what?” Shade asked.
“I was going to say bad.” Anne closed her eyes, resting her face on Shade’s naked side. “But it doesn’t sound so bad, actually.”
“We could probably get some clothes on before we ran out of your room, you know.”
“We could,” Anne said, hiding a smirk, “but what if it was a real fire?”
They both laughed — not so much because it was funny, but because they were so damn happy to be with each other.
Once their laughter died down, Shade said, “We’re just friends with benefits. You’re not getting attached, are you?”
“No,” Anne said. “Just enjoying the moment.”
They lay there, breathing, content.
Anne looked over at the spot where she’d killed The Exxterminator. She told herself to worry about it. Shade wouldn’t worry about it, would she?
Anne took another deep breath. Had to start talking, to say something to get her mind off it all. So she did: “If ‘friends with benefits’ means friends you’re having sex with, what about the friends you’re not having sex with? Are they just friends without benefits? A friend whose friendship isn’t beneficial?”
Shade laughed again. “Different benefits.”
“I like these better,” Anne said. “The whole friends with benefits thing works for me.”
“I figured it might,” Shade said.
Though they didn’t realize it, not so far away, David was cursing their names. As a Golden Man flew towards the stars, away from this terrible world, David knew that justice had to be found.