There are a lot of scars on his body.
Dani knows they're going to be there--she's seen a couple, even, the way you half-notice graffiti on a building you pass every day--but she blinks at the violence beneath his undershirt, the marks on his torso and thighs. Sometimes Crews is such an affable weirdo she forgets the other thing inside him, the wild-card flash in his eyes; then he bargains his life to a Russian thug, kills a man with his bare hands, and fucks her so hard she sees stars all in the same afternoon, and Dani remembers.
Afterward he's quiet, like he's waiting on a verdict. They're lying in his bed in his big, empty house. Dani's not a girl who needs to be sweet-talked but she feels him receding like a physical thing and it makes her think of earlier, the taillights of the SUV disappearing in the dust, no touching. She thinks she's probably ruined this. She rubs her thumb over a pucker on the inside of his forearm, skin so pale you can see the veins relaying his blood from place to place.
"It was a compound fracture," he tells her.
"Oh," she says.
"A compound fracture is when the bone--"
"I know what a compound fracture is, Crews."
"Oh," he says. "Okay."
He's silent again, patient. She doesn't like to think about why. Out the window the sky is purpley-dark, an endless thing, past the orange grove and Pelican Bay. "Do you not believe in curtains?" she asks him, rolling over onto her stomach. She's naked, still; she isn't shy.
Charlie shrugs. "I like to see the moon."
Dani nods, considering. He smells like sweat and limes. Last fall he went through a phase with citrus, tangelos and clementines, everything a little bit sticky. Kumquats were Dani's favorite: she liked how small they were, how neatly they fit into pockets and palms. She never told him that. She thinks maybe she should have. "Crews," she says softly.
She opens her mouth, closes it again. He's braver than she is, but she doesn't like to think about that either. She kisses him instead, to call him back.