"It must be killing you to go this slow." Her voice echoes in my ears. This is a dream. Or a memory. A dream of a memory. Definitely not the other way around.
I'm asleep, and I give myself to the dream.
I kiss and lightly bite her neck as she coos. Her arms are wrapped around me, holding me close. I smile and nuzzle my face in her neck.
She rakes her nails across my back. In response, I sink my teeth in her neck.
Reality starts breaking down the dream; sunlight edges in around the windows and a part of me screams "No! It was midnight! No sun! Go away!" A child's tantrum, no matter how determined, how fierce, cannot keep The Real at bay. The tighter I cling to the memory-dream, the faster it slips away.
I give in, and as the last vestiges fade, I skip the dream ahead, to the post-coital snuggling, to that ephemeral moment where nothing exists outside her arms and all is contentment.
I try to trick the dream in to staying, and it works for a moment. Or maybe it doesn't and I only manage to trick myself in to thinking I'm still dreaming of that night a year ago.
There's a knock at the door, and for a moment I'm uncertain whether it's my door in my apartment, or the door to the hotel room in the memory-dream. I ignore it and whisper "I love you."
The knock sounds again. Louder now. Decidedly not the hotel room door.
I open my eyes to see my bedroom, dispelling the dream. "What!" I shout at the door before it can knock again.
The door answers back, "Wake up sleepy-head. Got a package for ya."
A courier service? What time is it? My phone says 07:12. Great. If there's one thing I hate about the summer, it's how early the sun rises, and the world with it. "Alright. I'll be there in a minute." I throw on a t-shirt from the top of the "not-too-bad-yet" pile and a pair of shorts from the "mostly-clean" pile of clothes.
The distorted delivery-woman on the other side of the door seems to be on the up and up. I open the door and sign for the package; a small envelope containing a CD. She walks back to her van, a job well done.
I disconnect a laptop from my network and pop the disk in. A video, encrypted with my public key and my contact Beni's private key, starts playing. Beni, in the video, says he has a job for me: very lucrative and very hush, hush. If I want more info, I am supposed to signal him before nine AM by walking down to a Turkish coffee shop near my apartment, and ordering a specific set of drinks.
I figure the caffeine would be good whether I get a job out of it or not. After a quick shower and a fresh t-shirt from the "mostly-clean" pile, I find myself sitting at a table with two cups of Turkish Coffee and an americano in front of me. After I downed the second Turkish Coffee, I hear a voice behind me.
"The blue rabbit is in the cow barn."
I shake my head at Beni's overzealous security measures, and respond "Words to live by."
"Words to live by," he agrees, then tells me there's a letter for me in the park. Neither of us turn to face the other. I sigh and sip the americano. "Nine thirty," as he gets up and leaves.
The caffeine kicks in about the time I get to the park. I jog off the jitters until I collide with another jogger. We apologize and agree neither of us were paying attention. We go our separate ways and I notice a padded envelope on the ground. It has my name on it. A serendipitous accident, or Beni's messenger making it look like serendipity.
I walk back to my apartment, envelope in hand.