So I don’t want to write the first sex scene between Nick and Nita. I need to know if I’m just being lazy/a coward/prudish (the last is not likely), or if it’s really unnecessary. Plus this first scene is not very good even for a discovery draft.
Nita followed Nick into the apartment as he tossed the ledgers on the table. “I still think it was wrong to hit Tommy.”
“Tommy is fine.” Nick sat on the edge of the bed and took off his shoes. “I think I can get enough from the ledgers to straighten out all the blackmail. If not, I will go out and torture the Lemmon brothers.”
Nita sat down on the other side of the bed and kicked off her shoes. “I should be against that, but I’m too tired to argue. We’ll discuss it at breakfast.” She rubbed her feet– Keres’s shoes were real killers–and then swung her legs up on the bed. “Are you okay? You’ve been crabby since this afternoon.”
“I’m dead.” He stretched out beside her, looked at her, and rolled away from her.
Nita took off Keres’s tunic and shoved off Keres’s leggings and pulled her poodle pajamas out from under her pillow.
“Will you quit thrashing around?” Nick said, his back still to her.
“I’m not thrashing, I’m getting ready for bed. If you’re going to sleep there, you should get pajamas. It’s not good to sleep in your clothes.”
“I’m not sleeping,” Nick said. “I’m thinking.”
“About how I’m going to strangle you if you don’t quit talking.”
She got up, stripped off her underwear, and put on her pajamas. Then she pulled back the covers and got in bed, which was harder than usual because Nick was lying on top of them on the other side. She yanked at them a little bit and then gave up. “So what exactly did you mean by ‘torture’?” she said to his back. “Because I’m almost positive I’m against it.”
Stripe waddled over to the bed and looked pitiful.
“Stripe wants up,” she said.
“Or maybe he wants out.” She started to get out of bed.
“Rab probably took him out. You’re not allowed to go out alone. Go to sleep.”
Nita settled back into bed. “You know, we did good work tonight, except for hitting Tommy. That one’s on you.”
Nick didn’t say anything.
“Did you get the bank codes? Were they in the ledgers?” He didn’t say anything, so she poked him in the back. “Bank codes?”
“I got them. Go to sleep.”
“Because I don’t understand how we’re actually going to give the businesses back. I mean those were real transactions. It’s not like you can say ‘I’m the Devil so this deed is null and void.” He didn’t say anything so she poked him in the back again. “How–”
“Go to sleep or I’ll kill you.”
“No, you won’t. What happened this afternoon that upset you? You were perfectly fine at breakfast. Was it something with my grandmothers? Because you had to open a hellgate for Grandma Keres? Or was it Grandma Angelika? Because she’d make anybody crazy. I knew there was insanity in my family but I had no idea–”
“I just think if you’re that upset about something, I should know about it. There’s been entirely too much stuff that I don’t know about, and it always seems to come back to me, so I am against secrets. I know you’re the tall, dark, and silent type, but not with me, New Guy, we’re partners, so tell me what’s wrong.
Nick was silent.
“Come on,” she said and poked him in the back again. “I–”
“You poke me one more time, we’re going to have sex.”
He lay there, his back to her, while Nita sat stunned.
“Wait,” she said finally. “That’s an option?”
He ignored her, so she thought about it.
Something must have happened at Grandma Angelika’s and it wasn’t anything he’d found out about her because while that had been upsetting, it wasn’t about anything he had anything to deal with and it certainly wasn’t about sex, at least not with her. But she’d gone out into the hall and he’d been weird, and then in the car, he’d smacked his head into the steering wheel, but she hadn’t said anything to upset him, so how the hell did they get to “we’re going to have sex”?
And much more important, now that they were here, did she want to?
Okay, he was dead, that was a drawback, but he was more alive then most guys she knew who breathed. Angel and Spike were dead, that hadn’t stopped Buffy. Thousands of people read vampire romances and never said, “Ew.”
This is reality, Dodd, she told herself, but reality wasn’t what it used to be. And he’d been fighting for her for the two days she’d known him. Okay, that was a little fast to hit the sheets, but technically they’d already hit the sheets, he was right there, and warm and evidently willing and really gorgeous and she trusted him and god knew she’d had sex for worse reasons with worse men, even if they had been alive.
And she loved it when his arms were around her, it was her favorite place to stand now, so lying down would probably be good, too. Why was she even hesitating?
There wasn’t a lot of passion there, she decided. That “if you don’t stop poking me” was not a declaration of overwhelming lust. On the other hand, he wasn’t a passionate person. He’d been completely calm when he toasted Rich. He’d been stony cold with Sadie.
But then he yelled at me when he thought I’d kept Sadie from him. In fact, the only person he’d really yelled at in the two days she’d known him was her. So that was passion. Of a kind.
What it really came down it was, did she want him?
He was smart and beautiful and he backed her up every time they hit trouble and he was very effective at problem solving and he had a great body which wasn’t real—
Wait. She tried to parse out what not having a body meant for sex, especially since he had a tendency to overestimate his physical dimensions, and then decided the only way to find out was to have sex with him.
So did she want him?
Well, then the rest was just waffling.
She held up her finger, closed her eyes, and poked him again.
“What?” he snarled.
She poked him again.
He sat up. “What?”
She held up her finger, showed it to him, and then slowly brought it close to his chest and poked him again.
His eyebrows went up. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. I just did the pros and cons. Keres is never going to stop with the necrophiliac jokes.”
He leaned in and kissed her, almost like a question, a little cool, but then, dead guy, and who was she to quibble about a drop in temperature, even if it was just emotional? She kissed him back, definitely an answer, and he put his arms around her and pulled her down onto the bed, trapping the comforter and the sheet between them.
“Wait a minute, the sheet’s in between–”
“Would you let me do this?” he said, crabby again.
She kissed him again, and after a minute he said, ‘Okay, you’re right, this bedding has to go,” and she helped him pull it away, thinking, Please let this work. Everything else in her life had gone sideways that week, she should at least get this one thing . . .
He leaned his elbow down on her hair as he threw the comforter on the floor, and she said, “Ow,” and tried to jerk her head away and smacked her eye into his hand as he reached over her.
“Are you okay?” he said, and she nodded, one eye watering as she pulled her hair free, and thought, This is going to be a disaster.
He brushed her hair back from her eye. “This is not going to work.”
“Of course, it is,” she said, and kissed him again because the last thing she needed in her life was a frustrated Devil. Just lie back and think of Hell, she told herself, and moved his hand up to her breast as a hint.
The next morning, Nita woke up, still freaked by the night before, especially losing Stripe—such a good dog, damn it—and then the guy with a gun that she was pretty sure was a Lemmon–God, I hope Max can keep a secret–and then she looked at Nick and remembered they’d had sex the night before, and that had somehow been only the second freakiest thing—maybe the third considering Grandma Angelika– that happened to her on Wednesday.
Go to work, she told herself. Work was normal, even if in this case it was hunting down anti-demon psychos. She got up and got dressed, careful not to wake Nick because if there was one thing she did not want to do, it was discuss the night before. Any part of it. At any time.
Rab was behind the bar as she headed for the street and he stopped her. “I went up to see if Stripe needed to go out last night and heard . . . noises . . . so I didn’t go in the apartment.” He hesitated. “Did you sleep with him? And by ‘sleep with’ I mean ‘have sex.’”
“None of your business,” Nita said, and considered telling him that was Stripe was gone. I’ll cry, she thought, but Rab was talking.
“Yeah, it is my business,” Rab was saying. “That’s a big change for him. It means he’s regaining his humanity.”
“Well, that’s good right?” Nita pointed at the door. “I have to go now.”
“It’s not good,” Rab said. “Not if it means he’s going to be alive again because that changes everything. I just need to know if he’s acting like a normal human man.”
Nita hesitated. “What’s normal?”
Rab closed his eyes. “Did it work?”
Nita took a step back. “Yes. Everything worked. It was a little . . . .” He was all thumbs. “I don’t want to talk about this.”
“I don’t, either,” Rab said. “But if he just had normal sex, we’re in a lot more trouble than if things didn’t . . . go well.”
“Things went . . . fine.” Nita hesitated again. “It was kind of like he’d read a book about it once . . . .”
“Oh, god,” Rab said. “Go away now.”
“Is he going to be all right?”
“I don’t know,” Rab said. “Watch his back with Mammon and Max. They’re the big threats while he’s down here.”
Max. She trusted Max. Really she did. She had to. If he started blabbing . . .
Rab was still talking. “Once Nick goes back up to Hell, it’s all a threat. Maybe he can work through it before we go back.”
“But I’m not helping,” Nita said.
“Not your fault,” Rab said. “I think. There’s something hinky going on. What’s he doing now?”
“He’s asleep. I figured he needed the–”
“Yes,” Nita said patiently. “That often happens to human men after sex.”
“Not dead ones,” Rab said. “Oh . . . fuck.”
“Obscenity,” Nita said. “Not like you.”
“I gotta find Jeo,” Rab said and turned to the archway.
“Rab,” Nita said, hating it. “Stripe died last night.”
He turned back. “Aw, I’m sorry, Nita, but that was bound to happen, he was so very old. He’s back in Hell now, right?”
“Yes,” she said, trusting Max.
“He’ll be fine. The Devils will put him in the Elysian Fields and he’ll be–”
“Chasing rabbits forever,” Nita said.
“I was thinking more peeing on every tree in Paradise,” Rab said. “That dog really enjoyed peeing.”
Nita laughed, she couldn’t help herself, and her eyes filled with tears again. “Such a good dog,” she said, and then her cellphone buzzed, and she saw it was Button and answered it, as Rab went back to the stairs.
“We have a problem,” Button said.
“A normal problem, please,” Nita said, blinking tears away as she headed for the door to the street. “A normal, human problem that any police department on this planet would have.”
“Marvella Witherspoon just filed a complaint.”
“That’s normal. She complains a lot. She once tried to get Justin Ashton arrested for vandalizing a book. Justin is ten.” Nita opened the door to the street. “Have you had breakfast?”
“No, I haven’t had breakfast. Her complaint is that demons have blown up the historical society.”
Nita paused outside as the cold air hit her and made her colder. I need a bigger baph. “I did not hear an explosion. Also Marvella actually said ‘demons’ to the captain?”
“There was no explosion, somebody set fire to the Stitch N Bitch room and did some kind of graffiti over the white power symbol, and she told the captain hoodlums had blown it up. She told
“I’ll meet you at the Stitch N Bitch room,” Nita said and went toward the diner to get two takeout breakfasts.
Some things could not be handled on an empty stomach.