A/N: This is a bit disjointed, but here's the intro to Melissa, the girl whom Duke wakes to at the beginning of the story. She is based, if anyone wants to know, on a young Hollywood actress I had the opportunity to meet and befriend.

They have a sandwich shop, a particular booth across from the kitchen, where they can't be seen by anyone but the staff, who have long become accustomed. She has a particular way of ordering, of ignoring the menu, denying it a glance, of starting from the foundation of bread and meat. Roast beef on wheat. Ham on marbled rye. Turkey, white. Pastrami, sourdough. And then, she adds, item by item, pickle, onion, mayo, peppers, crushed oregano, until she finishes. More often than not, her version exactly matches that of a menu sandwich. But she has never seen the menu. He wonders if this is a trick, wonders if she's snuck in, taken a to-go leaflet, and memorized it.

She reserves her smiles. She is feline-eyed, thin-lipped and serious, her voice a husk, her hands veined and pale. She wears long cotton nightgowns.

In the morning she has a piece of buttered toast and coffee while she pulls a red plastic ashtray toward her. She plucks one from the pack, drawing it out with a finger, sticking it in a corner of her mouth, her lips bulged, then firing it with a match. A small blast of smoke and then her left hand takes it, holding it up and away while her elbow rests on the table. She may take her right hand to remove the bit; otherwise, she picks up the toast by the corner, trims it with small bites, alternated with fat, substantial drags, open-mouthed, angry blows, the ceiling swirling with exhale. Inevitably she notices him, but she doesn't feel watched; often, she sees him while she's in mid-drag, her "hey, guy" accompanied by curls and wisps of smoke. For him she does not wait to exhale. For him it all mixes together.