Rob stands at Kristen's motel door for almost an entire minute before he knocks. It's nearly ten o'clock and they shot all day. Probably Kristen's in bed already. Maybe.
Rob knocks on the door.
"What's the password?" Kristen asks from inside.
Rob pauses, then says, "I've got whiskey."
There's a sound of shuffling inside. When Kristen opens the door, she's wearing a tank top and pajama pants. "How'd you know the password?" she asks, taking the bottle.
Rob searches for a clever answer. He comes up with, "Lucky guess."
"You know the way to my heart," Kristen says. "Diet Coke okay?"
"Sure," Rob says. The door swings shut behind him. He stands there. There's one chair at a cheap, fake wood table topped with the remains of a takeaway dinner, and there's the bed. Rob continues to stand there.
Kristen's at the bathroom counter making them drinks. Rob watches her shoulders move as she pours them and then drops a handful of half-melted ice cubes into their glasses. "You can sit," she says, looking at him in the mirror over the counter.
"I know," Rob mutters. Fine, if she wants him to sit, he'll sit. He'll sit right there on the bed. See how she likes it.
He sits on the chair.
"You can't see the TV from there," she points out, handing him his drink and sitting on the bed.
"Were you going to order porn or something?" he asks, just to be a dick.
"No, but that's not a bad idea." She raises an eyebrow at him. He meets her stare.
"We probably have different tastes anyway," he says, backing down.
The surrender, of course, only seems to amuse her. "Yeah, what's your taste then?"
"Nothing," Robert says, "let's watch cable or something." He moves to the bed, hoping to appease her. It works. She clinks their glasses together and takes a long drink. "You're eighteen, right?"
"Sure." Kristen grins at him.
"Sure," he parrots, but for all he can act, he's a bad mimic, and it comes out fonder than he intended anyway. He bites his lip, then feels self-conscious about it, obvious and nervous. Oh, for god's sake.
He looks over at Kristen and she's biting her lip too, which makes him feel a little better at least. But now he's just looking at her mouth for longer than is probably socially acceptable.
"Another?" Kristen asks, holding up her empty glass and breaking his gaze.
"Sure," he says again, and passes his over.
"You can get comfortable, you know," Kristen says over her shoulder.
Rob's perched on the edge of the bed. His jacket's still on. "Okay," he says, and shrugs out of his jacket, then after some consideration, his shoes. He gets comfortable. She returns with another glass; he didn't see the first poured but judging by the slight buzz he's feeling, she's a generous pour. "Where'd you get dinner?"
"The antique-mall-slash-deli on the corner," Kristen says wryly. "Quite a town they've put us up in."
"I went to the Burger Bar," Rob admits. "Then the liquor store."
Kristen raises her glass, then clinks it against his. "Good choice."
He stares at her. He never means to do that, but it keeps happening. She looks back at him, cracking a half-smile. Somehow their silences always feel less awkward than their actual conversations.
"Did you want to rehearse, or are you just giving me the creepy Edward stare out of habit?" she asks.
Okay, maybe the silences are awkward too. Well, this one is. "Uh," Rob says, after a beat too long. "Habit." He doesn't stop staring.
"I've got weed," Kristen says, finally.
"Alright," says Rob.
Somehow it's much easier to feel relaxed around Kristen when they've smoked a joint and a half and knocked back three drinks a piece. In fact, after all that Rob could probably be relaxed around pretty much anyone.
They're lying head to toe on the bed, sprawled out. Rob's looking for shapes on the ceiling, and pointing them out when he finds them. Kristen is a little chattier than usual, although not with any particular focus. She mentions books she's read that Rob hasn't and bands that Rob's never heard of. Her toenail polish is some sparkly beige color, and it's all chipped.
"I can't even feel my pulse," Kristen says. "Or it's like. All I can feel. Weird."
"I think that's a sun," Rob says, pointing upward at a particularly sunny-looking section of stucco. He lets his hand drop after a second, then gropes for hers. He touches her fingers first, then her knuckles, the top of her hand, and finally her wrist. He grasps it lightly, edging his fingertips around. "There's your pulse, I found it," he says gravely. "You're alive."
Her hand moves beneath his, and he lightens his grip enough for her fingers to edge down as well, feeling around for his own pulse. It speeds up. "You too," she says.
"That's good." She doesn't let go of his wrist, so he doesn't let go of hers either. Rob's throat hurts a little. He sits up just enough to grab his drink and finish it off. Kristen's started squeezing his wrist, not hard, but like it's something to do. She grips it tightly, then less tight, then tight again. She scrapes her short nails over the tendons there, then rubs over the bones with flat fingertips. It's casual, curious, and a bit strange. It's kind of like wrist foreplay, or something.
And, as things go with Kristen, Rob finds the strange things about her kind of hot.
"I like wrists," Kristen says, like it isn't obvious from the way she's molesting Rob's at the moment. She grips around the base of his hand, then strokes over the knobs of bone where his wrist starts, then moves further up.
"I have two," Rob says. He's stoned and buzzed and he forgives himself the stupidity of what he just said. There are worse things he could have done, like invite her to touch them.
Kristen sits up and looks down at him. He blinks back. After a second, as if through a haze, he offers his other wrist. (Now that is an invitation. There, he's done worse.) She sways slightly, and it occurs to Rob that she's matched him drink for drink and hit for hit, and she's littler than he is, she's actress-sized.
She releases his wrist, and his lips are parted for apologetic goodbyes when she takes his wrists in her hands, gets a tight grip on both of them, and leans down, pinning him to the bed.
Rob's mouth stays open. No words issue forth.
She's close enough to kiss him, but she doesn't. Her long hair brushes against his shirt. She tightens her grip on his wrists until it almost hurts, then until it does. He doesn't wince. He doesn't even move. Kristen has a boyfriend, as far as Rob knows, and he shouldn't even be here right now, but here he is. Here she is. Here they are. It feels like they've been here ever since they met at the audition and were on the bed kissing for Catherine within the hour. During rehearsals they've been here; during filming they've been here.
It's Kristen's move. Rob wonders if she's going to make it.
"Doesn't it hurt?" Kristen asks.
"Yes," Rob says quietly. She doesn't ease up her grip. His hands are starting to tingle.
She tilts her head. "Do you like it?"
Rob says, "Yes." He's not lying. He likes it the way he likes playing someone tortured. He likes it the way he likes falling for unattainable co-stars.
Kristen squeezes his wrists again, hard enough that it feels like he might be bruised there tomorrow. "You should probably go."
"Are you going to let me?" He stares straight up at her.
"Yeah," she says, her voice hoarse, lower even than usual. She lets him go just enough that he can lean up, but she doesn't move back, not really.
He stays where he is.
She pushes him back down.
Kristen kisses him.
She tastes like whiskey and smoke and kisses slow, like now that she's here she's going to take her time. Rob lifts up a bit and opens his mouth for her, letting her control the kiss. His hands go to her waist, skin warm and soft where her shirt's rucked up. She lays herself atop him, barely any weight to take. Even though he wants to roll them over, press down against her, he doesn't. He shouldn't. He won't.
He kisses her.
It feels like it goes on for awhile, but it can't have been more than ten seconds when she pulls back. "You should go," Kristen says again. She swallows, blinking down at him. "Yeah," she says, and moves back enough to let him up.
Rob sits up, cautiously. "Yeah?" he says, not quite meaning it to be a question, but it can't be helped.
"I shouldn't," Kristen says. "We shouldn't."
"Yeah," Rob says. "Yeah, because," he continues, but doesn't finish. Honestly, the list of Why Nots would be demoralizing.
"Yeah." Kristen stares at him. "So."
"I'll leave." Rob stands abruptly, at which point the whiskey and weed catches up to him in the form of an undignified sway.
"Okay," Kristen says, nodding. She reaches out and catches his wrist, steadying him.
Rob stares down at her.
She lets go.
He wears long sleeves to cover his bruised wrists, and lets her.