“I could kill you!” I shouted.

“Yes, you could kill me, but I shall be dead soon enough anyway. I’m cold, Captain Jordan, Bruno Jordan – your name is like one of ours. I want you to hold me in my arms and warm me up. I shall never be warm again if you do not do that.”

And how could I refuse? It was not that I desired him. No, not that at all. I loathed him, his leathery, filthy skin, his shrunken face, but I held him next to me inside my sleeping bag, and after a while the same teasing warmth began to creep through us, through both of us. He whispered endearments in my ear, endearments framed for a score of lovers, no doubt. Once he told me to close my eyes, and then whispered in my ear, “Son’ il tuo Lorenzo.” At that my body tensed and spent, and I settled to sleep, shamed yet satisfied in the sticky remnants of my love.

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