We sat on a raft in a crystal lake, the summer sun baking us to a marshmallow's golden brown. Trails of sweat trickled down the planes and curves of flesh to hide in the shadow of outstretched limbs.

"Sounds like a real shitheel." I can empathize. The fact that I want her more than Saddam wanted Kuwait means little. Anyone who's ever been hurt can empathize.

She rolls over on her stomach, cupping face in palms, and regards me with troubled eyes. "He wasn't, that's the problem."

I snort. "Gal, you walked in on him nailing another woman, on YOUR BED! How much more of an indicator do you need?"

She waves a hand, as though to dismiss a triviality. "That's not what I'm talking about." I snort again. "No, seriously, before that he was the sweetest guy I'd ever met. He visited me at work, he got along with my parents, he....."

I let her ramble on, mentally shaking my head at the refusal of some people to face facts. The man in question really never was a nice guy, and I wasn't the only one to try to point that out. But she's not the the type to listen when she decides what is. Even now, watching her speak without hearing the words, I can see a determination, a stubbornness I mirror, and adore.

Seeing her look deteriorate from stubborn to confused, I tune back in just in time to hear "...and now all I want to do is cut his balls off."

I laugh. "So charmingly heathen. Your skin is like a teardrop on a popsicle." My finger trails across her stomach, caressing the sweat-beaded flesh. "It glistens......" Her eyes meet mine, a look of uncertainty.

With a resigned mental sigh, not yet, I remove my hand and casually shove her into the water. A moment later she comes up, shivering and spluttering, her glare meeeting my grin. ".....and it's very, very cold."