She left him in the morning, left him with a note, and walked out wearing his shirt. His tie was still left, draped over the bedpost, and that was the first thing that caught his eye in the morning.
He noticed she was gone, that the warmth of where she once was had bled away from the sheets and pillows, leaving only a cool scent that was a sharp reminder of her absence.
He could still taste whisky, smoke and the salt-sweet of her skin.
There began a pounding headache; it ripped up from the back of his neck and reached flaming, jagged fingers over the top of his head, curling past his temples and brow, and dug straight to the back of his eyesockets, blinding him.
The last of a bottle of scotch was offered up as a sacrifice to the god of pain, and his prayer for peace was answered within a few minutes. Nausea, however, was a jealous goddess, and reminded him that if he wouldn’t appease her without thinking of it himself, she would bring him to his knees before her porcelain altar, sooner or later.
He stood in a hot shower for about an hour, letting the water scour away from him the smell and taste of her. There were things to be done, today, and he couldn’t afford distractions. Not a single one.
The rest of his morning went well enough, if not particularly smoothly, or without a vicious headache.
The afternoon would be easier to deal with, because it involved work, and even if he didn’t care for it, it was something he could devote himself to, something he could take care of, that wouldn’t require emotion.
Hell, he didn’t know if she required emotion, but it was a safe bet she’d want more than work would.
Wondering about that sort of thing cost him precious seconds right when it mattered most.
Though he got his shot, they got one, too.
He was tempted, in order to keep himself from doing something stupid, to name this one after her.