I pu my finger to her lips. "You have to hush a minute so that I can tell you something." "What?" she says, bites my finger. I look at her. "I love you." She gets quiet, the kind of quiet that sinks into her, softens her. "Well that works out," she finally says, her voice deeper and breathless, her eyes moist, "because I love you too." She turns, leans against my arm, and settles into me.
Cal," I whisper into her sleep, "if you go, you know what? You'll break my liver." I want to pretend that it's a joke, that she will wake up and laugh with me, throwing her head back the way she did last night, bit this time the words are true . . . she will break my liver, break my heart, kill everything inside alive inside me.