She leans in close to me till her lips are just a breath from my cheek. It takes every ounce of self-control I have not to turn and kiss her. I pretend that I don’t want to. That I don’t want her. But Amie isn’t dumb. And if there’s anything she knows, its guys.
She reaches for my belt buckle.
This isn’t at all how I imagined it would happen. Everything we ever hear is about guys pressuring girls into acting before their ready and it ruins their lives forever. I’ve never wanted to be that guy, but it never occurred to me that I might run into that girl.
Her laugh is birdsong in my ear, her breath thick with cherry and mint. When she throws one leg over mine and rips my shirt off over my head, I can only stare at her red lips. Even after all this, there’s not a smudge on them. They’re as pristine as a picture. I don’t have to be a girl to know it’s the sort of thing to envy and I suspect I don’t even have to be a boy to know it’s the sort of thing to want against my mouth.
There’s a crash and I think it’s probably my heart exploding straight through my chest, but Amie looks up with a scowl, her hand already on her gun. She slides off my lap like I’m not even there.
“Thought I smelled something.” The voice is so like Amie’s I’m surprised it wasn’t her mouth moving.
Getting to my feet, I’m even more surprised to find that the girl standing in the doorway looks a hell of a lot like Amie, too. They’re the same height and same, unmistakable build, with the same pale skin and the same dark hair. The only difference I can see is in the lips. On this girl, her lips are nearly as pale as her skin, the barest hint of pink along the edges.
They stand in mirror images of each other; one leg bent and ready for action, the other stock straight and still, a gun raised and trained on the other.
Amie doesn’t seem surprised by any of it. “This ain’t your business, hon. Look elsewhere.”
“You’re wrong there,” the not Amie says, “you crossed a line and this is my territory.” She glances at me and I’m all over unsettled by the way her eyes fall down my chest. I wish I were more dressed.
“Shit, this is yours?” Amie says with a bright, false smile. Her fingers fidget on her gun in a way they didn’t at Ronnie’s. it makes me nervous to see her nervous. “Well, then, Chad and I’ll be on our way.”
“You can leave him. I’d consider it a donation. A tithe.” It’s all she says, but the look they share is full of meaning. In the silence that follows, an entire negotiation happens and I’m in on none of it, but the tension in the room is suddenly very loud.
“No, thanks.” Amie says. Her feet shift.
The not Amie doesn’t answer, she fires. The sound is a quiet pop, but Amie falls back and doesn’t get up.
“Chad, is it?” Amie’s voice. No. Not Amie’s voice. She shoves my shirt into my hands and tugs at my arm. “Time to go, Chad.”
It’s the convenience store all over again. I move where I’m told, do what I’m told. I pull my shirt over my head, tell this not Amie where my car is, grab the cash from Amie’s purse and all the while this girl is still holding her gun on Amie’s body.
“What the hell do you think she’ll do now?” I ask. I’m sweating bad, but if I’m ever going to stand up for anything, it might as well be the dead girl on the floor.
The girl smirks, the picture of Amie. “I expect she’ll do something else foolish, which is why it’s time for us to get going.” She steps back, giving me a path around the bed. “After you.”
Something about the body on the floor makes the threat of the gun both more and less real. “You just shot your sister. Why should I go anywhere with you?”
She frowns down at Amie’s body, looking more pensive than apologetic. “I suppose you could call her that.” She crouches, lifting Amie’s gun from the floor. “But you should go with me because she intends to eat you and I haven’t decided, yet.” She stands, tucks Amie’s gun into her belt. “She’ll be wicked hungry when she wakes.”
“What do you mean, haven't decided yet?" I feel crazy, but I'm pretty sure it’s her.
She studies me like she would gum on the bottom of her shoe. “Virgins aren't really my thing."
I stare. At her. At the gun. At the body on the floor. At the black as pitch hole in the hollow of her throat. And I suppose it could be shock or a trick of the light, but I watch all the color drain from Amie’s lips until they’re as pale as the rest of her.
“Won’t be long now,” the girl sings from above me. “Are you with me?”
The night has gone from surreal to flat out impossible. I open my mouth to argue or make any of this make any sense at all, but I see Amie’s fingers curl against the carpet.
All choices look like bad choices. Between the waking dead girl on the floor who may or may not want to eat me, and the twin girl with the gun, there’s really only one option. “What do I call you?” I ask, backing away from Amie’s twitching fingers.
“Tam.” She’s by the door, the gun still trained on Amie’s body. I don’t think it’s so strange anymore. It might be the only comforting thing that’s happened tonight.
“This way, Tam.” I step past and, for the second time tonight, take the girl with a gun to my car.
Valerie's up on Friday with Part 3!
Photo by The Justified Sinner via Flickr Creative Commons