Abnegation /ˌabnəˈɡāSH(ə)n/ noun.
The act of renouncing or rejecting something.
You know what damage that mouth can do.
You know what damage it's already done, running down the narrowed cobblestones in shining rivulets that wash down the storm drains in the night.
You can't help but think this whole city feels hollow anyways, a few less thrown into the mix of mellowed chaos that is poverty and ignorance.
Nobody understands you when you speak.They push you to get onto the streetcars and steal your wallet from your jacket, so why care about a city that lets it's trash pile up and gangs run its streets? Your infernal lover is not the worst of it. He's not the one thing that makes this city uninhabitable, far from it.
You like it when he smiles, and when he can lift you with ease, or lets you think he's weak when you playfight, even if you know he's just trying his best not to hurt you.
You don't like when he comes home and you can taste it on him.
You don't appreciate the way he leads you like a lost lamb. There's a subtlety to the force he puts on your shoulder whenever he wants to take you somewhere.
You hate seeing it.
You know he was only protecting you, just barely one outstretched arm away from a ruptured spleen, but you could never handle blood.
The sounds tinkering their way into your ears are reminiscent of sloppy fellatio, the enjoyment you used to get from watching cable movies on late-night television in no way comparable to the nausea that comes from watching him a few feet away, kneeling over flailing legs and limbs that throw futile punches, no more than useless thumps to his sweater-clad shoulders. They get weaker by the second and you turn away before he has a chance to pull back and toss the carcass away with one hand, smiling at you because he's proud to have someone to protect.
You know he gets antsy, almost anticipatory in his waiting. He says it's not his fault, it's to keep things going, like any hunger would, to seek out what you desire most.
He can't help it.
When you get him into bed he lets you take control, until he's little more than gentle touches pliant under your every command. You take your time with him, savouring every bit of unchanging skin, untarnished and perfect in beau ideal, and your immersion of a normal tryst is only broken in the absence of feeling him breathe. As long as he's eaten, he's always warm.
He's such a diligent love; mouthing nicely at all your usual spots until your heart must be clear to him, and you worry the smallest bit, a fleeting thought that wonders if he might get too engrossed, maybe forget you're to be treated gently, and snap one of your ribs only from pressing down too hard.
He kisses and sucks at your neck because he knows you like it, but you aren't sure how you feel when those teeth are so close to your neck, and the sound it makes for a split second as his lips pop free from your now bruised skin, you have to fight off the image it pulls through your head. The teeth haven't popped free, still safe snugly in his mouth when he smiles, and you can pretend like he's normal again.
He would never hurt you, ever.
But only the thought that it could happen so quickly, that even the tamest of lions will attack an easy victim if they feel like it.
It's in that valley of uncertainty, the utter lack of control, is what makes you so uneasy.
Whenever he rolls over in his state of sleep, you find yourself recoiling just a little at the position of his head tucked into your chest, mouth in the hollow dip of your neck where skin stretches taught over easily-broken bone.