Intimate Betrayal by @NeilSehmbhy (489 Words)

He knows death approaches, she can see it in his face, in his once piercing blue eyes now cloudy and dull, but she can't understand what he's saying, words are mumbled and fall like dying leaves from his mouth. 

She leans closer, as near as she can stand, the smell of death rife in the air, and trys to pick out the words, sounds, meanings, anything. 

Frail fingers reach up to touch her cheek, fingers clammy, fingernails long and sharp. 

She draws closer, he whispers in her ear,

" I'm being poisoned; they're poisoning me".

She lets him go and he slumps on the bed struggling to keep upright. 

She frowns as if unsure of what she'd heard. Juggling his words around in her mind like multi coloured small balls flashing from hand to hand.

He repeats himself, the words this time being pushed out and it's as if she's trying to catch butterflies, grabbing at them trying to catch them as they come, but they slip from her reach. 

She understands though as he grabs at her skirt, grips it tightly, dragging her downward. 

"They're poisoning me", he says, reumy eyes fixating, his fist twisting her skirt. 

"I'm dying, dying". He rasps.

Releasing her he lies back on the pillow and sighs spent. 

Closing his eyes he drifts off as the door behind her opens, and his wife Eveline enters the room. 

"Eveline ! He says he's being poisoned", she says softly. 

Eveline looks at him lying in the bed, eyes closed.

"He's always had fancies, Cath", Eveline says coldly. "He has cancer, he's dying and there's nothing they can do".

Cath looks from him to her and back to him again reaching out to touch his hand. 

"I didn't think I'd get this close to him". she says softly. "He's always been a barrier in the past".

She looks down at him lying there , helpless, his breathing shallow. 

Eveline sighs and touches Cath's hands  bringing both sets together. 

"He'll be gone soon", Eveline says, "Then we can make love and be together without having to watch the time or pretend we're only friends".

Cath remembers the last time they had spent the night, in the spare room. 
Warm kisses, passion flowing, words and cries stifled in the moment. Soft flesh, kisses and tenderness, so sweet then, now seemed so empty, so distasteful, like a betrayal, a stab in the back.

Cath looks at Eveline, withdrawing her hand, and backs away.

She breathes in the stale air, the scent of death, the words Eveline speaks fall away from her.

 As she looks towards the bed she sees him gazing at her, eyes suddenly brighter, his lips dry and thin slowly opening into a small brief smile, then its gone again, the smile and the eyes.

It's just her and Eveline with the dark approaching death swirling around in her head, and Derek's just lying there, his blue eyes closed, dead.

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