Into the sitting room they crept, the room strewn with fine silk pillows and gold-gilt and colored glass. The fire was there and he wanted very badly to take her by the fire.
“Oh, we’re so awful,” she said, and slapped him. He was used to being slapped, so he grasped her by the arms and viciously kissed her cheek.
“Oh, but we mustn’t!” he cried, thinking of his mother and her collection of porcelain figurines all lined up on the mantel like dead children and suddenly he wanted to go back to his school and his clubs and never see the girl again, but he loved her so! He kissed her passionately on the lips as she brandished a pistol.
“Never kiss me again! Because I hate you and all men like you! Oh, but I need you!” She melted into his arms and fell asleep for several minutes. When she awoke he was reading aloud from a sonnet he had composed while she slept, and she looked into his eyes knowing that she would never play tennis again. And the fire crackled all around them, dancing across her cheeks and consuming their luggage as he dabbed her brow tenderly with his handkerchief.
“Tell me you’ll love me forever,” she said.
“Whoa,” he replied. “Whoa.”