A drop of old rain slid from the swaying branches and hit Caralee in the eye. She batted it out, but it still burned a bit. Mark leaned concernedly, but Caralee motioned that she was fine.
"It's just water," she smiled weakly, "I'll live. Are you sure you're okay here? It's pretty wet tonight." She was trying her best to politely encourage him to leave, but she had no such luck.
"No, I'm fine." Mark said quietly with his eyes fixed on his hands. He was running his fingers together nervously, gently rubbing the lines on his knuckles. They looked pretty beat-up, like he'd been fighting. Caralee ran the side of her palm under her eyes to remove any lingering tears then leaned closer to him.
"What happened to your hands?" She asked, her voice still slightly unstable from crying. "Were you fighting before you came here?" She ran her fingers along the cuts gently consciously aware she was being suggestive but entirely unable to act otherwise. Mark breathed a shallow chuckle and sighed.
"I wouldn't really call it a fight." His hand slid out from under Caralee's fingers and rose to his glasses. He lifted them gently of the bridge of his nose, wincing with his mouth. Beneath the glasses he had hidden the beginning stages of a black eye, various bandaged cuts and a long bruise which seemed to spread across his entire face. "Honestly, I'd call it blunt force trauma." He looked sadly at Caralee but attempted to mask it with a quick self-deprecating smile. "But you should see the other guy..."
Caralee stared at his bloody and contorted face and leaned in towards him, ignoring his attempt at nonchalance. "Oh God, Mark." She could feel more tears welling up behind her eyes, but she batted them back. She had cried enough for one night. She may have been stupid and desperate but she tried to draw the line at melodramatic. "Who did this you you?" Mark just sighed again, but Caralee didn't back off. "Oh, Mark..." She wanted to say she was sorry, but she hadn't done anything. She wanted to hug him and remind him that there is something good in the world, but she knew that would be inappropriate. Despite the fact that she hardly knew Mark, she wanted nothing more in that moment than for him to feel okay.
"Don't worry about it," Mark said, putting his glasses back on. "it happens." He stuffed his hands back into his pockets and started to get up. Quickly, Caralee slid towards him and wrapped her fingers into his coat sleeve. She didn't know how to ask him to stay, so she just pulled close to him and kissed him firmly on his split lips.
A lot of people say that time stops during that special kiss, but for Caralee it didn't. It was barely a second after contact that Mark shoved her. His hands hit her hard and she fell backwards onto the bench, landing with her legs spread and her elbows propping her up on the cold wood. He stood up and looked down at her and she could see it in his eyes. Mark had just realized that the rumors about Caralee were true, she really was that easy. Her short hair hung over her face like a veil and she let out a stupid and awkward sob. It was unbearable. Mark just stood there over her, the back of his hand pressed against his lower lip. For a second Caralee thought he was going to throw up, but he just wiped his lips with the back of his hand. The dark red smear Caralee had left on them came off easily but left a line along his knuckles. Caralee began to apologize but he cut her off.
"I'm sorry, Caralee. I'll be down there." He muttered and then walked rapidly down towards the carnival, leaving Caralee feeling wet and cheap for the second time that night. She was getting used to it though, it seemed like being 'easy' and being sad went hand in hand. To be honest, she didn't even really enjoy or like sex most of the time. Nine out of ten times she'd find herself just staring at the ceiling, counting the thrusts. She'd developed a system where on every third she'd moan and on fifth she'd gasp. Multiples of both three and five were a toss-up but Caralee found she rarely needed to worry about them.