Lost in the Strange, Cold Pleasures of the Night "Ah yes, I think I understand," said Jack leaning across the bed toward her. "What's your name, dear?" "Emily," she said. "Emily, would you like a kiss?" Jack was only inches away. His face was made of angles in the dim light. His smile reminded her of a shark. He smelled like wood smoke and old books. "Yes, kiss me, Jack." He leaned over and gently kissed Emily. Goosebumps poked up through every inch of the girl's skin. She did her best to mirror the movements of Jack's mouth; grade school was the last time she'd kissed a boy. Jack didn't seem to notice or care. He kept kissing her with his cold, soft lips. Emily put her hand on the side of his head and was surprised by how cool to the touch he was. "Are you okay? You must be freezing," she looked at Jack with concern. "Hmm? I feel fine. This is my usual temperature. I'm afraid I don't get too much warmer than this," he said with a wry smile. "I hope that's not a problem." "No," Emily said, "I'm sure I'll get used to it. Would you like to try and warm yourself up a bit in my bed?" "Sure. Shall I take off my clothes?" "Um... yes, please." Jack grinned, shrugged, and got undressed. He climbed effortlessly into bed with Emily. She removed her T- shirt and underwear beneath the sheets, then clung to Jack. She shivered a little reflexively in response to his clammy flesh. He stroked her hair. Emily wasn't sure Jack was real or just a very specific wet dream, but in this moment she didn't care. She was lost in the strange, cold pleasure of the night. "Make love to me, Jack." "Of course," he said, using his hand to turn her face toward his. *** T he alarm buzzed. Emily's eyes snapped open. Her room was dimly lit by the dawn. She was naked under the sheets but alone in her bed. Jack was nowhere to be seen. Maybe the night before had just been some kind of fevered fantasy. Although, the slight ache between her thighs felt very real. She could hear her mom in the kitchen downstairs. Her dad's pickup truck turned over outside. It was the start of another day on the Stumpf family farm. Emily sat up and rubbed her eyes. Whatever happened, she'd already missed her chores. She still had time for breakfast and getting ready for school. She put on some pajama bottoms and a shirt, and went down to the kitchen.