The sun's coming up. There's a brightening through the slats of the plastic window blinds that Wield has never improved with curtains. It'll be morning all too bloody soon.
Beside him, Pete turns over again, batting roughly at the duvet. For the first couple of hours he didn't move at all, stunned with whisky and sex. Now his sleep's uncomfortable. It's the sleep of a man in the wrong bed.
I should've stayed sober, Wield thinks. Then I could've told him no. Could've made sure I never had to say no, put a stop to it before Pete understood what he was doing with his hand on my neck and that lost-dog look on his face.
Pete mumbles something that might be "Ellie" and moves again, his arm reaching out over the bed's edge. For the first time in hours, Wield touches him, strokes his bare shoulder and feels him sigh and relax. Wield gives in, then, and does what he wants: he cradles Pete to him, an arm round his waist, breathing the sweat-and-shampoo of Pete's hair. He lets Pete rest a little longer, and maybe it's a kindness or maybe it's the most selfish thing he's done tonight.
Damn Ellie Pascoe. And damn Pete, too, for being so sodding understanding, for saying "she's got her reasons" when her reasons are a dead miner and the fact that Pete's a copper and not Che fucking Guevara. Ellie Pascoe made the mess Wield's lying in, the mess he's never going to be able to clear up. And how will Pete cope come morning, when he remembers what he's lost and what he's done that he never really wanted?
I could love you, Wield thinks. I do love you. But that won't help you.
If only the sun would stop rising.