Jemima was not pretty, the flatness and shortness of her face made her almost plain; yet most people looked twice at her expressive countenance, at the eyes which flamed or melted at every trifle, at the rich colour which came at every expressed emotion into her usually sallow face, at the faultless teeth which made her smile like a sunbeam.
He holds Willem so close that he can feel muscles from his back to his fingertips come alive, so close that he can feel Willem's heart beating against his, can feel his rib cage against his, and his stomach deflating and inflating with air. 'Harder,' Willem tells him, and he does until his arms grow first fatigued and then numb, until his body is sagging with tiredness, until he feels that he really is falling: first through the mattress, and then the bed frame, and then the floor itself, until he is sinking in slow motion through all the floors of the building, which yield and swallow him like jelly. Down he goes through the fifth floor, where Richard's family is now storing stacks of Moroccan tiles, down through the fourth floor, which is empty, down through Richard and India's apartment, and Richard's studio, and then to the ground floor, and into the pool, and then down and down, farther and farther, past the subway tunnels, past bedrock and silt, through underground lakes and oceans of oil, through layers of fossil and shale, until he is drifting into the fire at the earth's core. And the entire time, Willem is wrapped around him, and as they enter the fire, they aren't burned but melted into one being, their legs and chests and arms and heads fusing into one.