" ... Am I frigid, Nova?"

Nova flopped down next to him.

" The fuck do you mean? Why's this relevant? Did you forget how horny drunk you were last night already? You're lucky I have common sense."

" But I mean, it's strange... I feel weird... Like I've been pushing you away, or not letting you hold me... I... You want to sleep with me, don't you? I'm not disgusting to look at? I don't look like a little kid or anything?"

Nova sat up and stared at him.

" What's gotten into you? When have I ever said anything like that, Wille?" He felt that his voice wasn't properly betraying the amount of concern he held. " We've only been seeing each other for what, not even two months? We're not in some sort of speed relationship challenge."

" So you're not as serious about it as I am, since it hasn't been that long-? It feels like a really long time to me."

Nova gave him a reproachful look.

" ... I don't think it's good for us to talk about this right now. I still feel bad about hurting you."

" I don't care that you hurt me, I did something, so-"

" I shouldn't have. And I don't want to hurt you again any time soon-"

" I want you to hurt me, then!" William exclaimed, desperation evident. " I'm just afraid that I've shut myself off from you somehow, that I've made you not care, when I was trying so hard to get with you in the first place..."

" You haven't shut yourself off at all, Wille," Nova reassured. " I'm the one being reticent. It's not that I don't want to, it just... Feels too fast, and like you don't care about yourself as much as you should."

" ... Isn't this normal? We've been dating a long time, haven't we? This counts as a long time...?"

Nova was giving him the look, like he couldn't understand him, again. It made him feel lost, like he was fumbling around, unable to communicate himself.

" It's not really... A long time at all. I was afraid I was getting too close, too fast... William, haven't you ever..."

" ... I've never felt like this before."