Babe pulls Constance's mouth down to her own in a kiss, not one of the nasty, blood-drawing kisses she associates with Babe but something searching, deep and gentle. Constance feels her patience wearing thin: she wants to be taken, now, immediately, but meanwhile she moans, helpless in the presence of Babe's tongue inside her mouth, hopelessly aroused by Babe's moaning as if inside her head. This girl, she thinks, is trying to drive me out of my mind. Babe prolongs the kiss for several years before breaking it off with a nostalgic nip. She smiles up at Constance:

"La bocca mi bacio tutto tremante."

"Shut up and drive, Babe."

It begins. Constance is wet to the point of total liquefaction: together they gasp as Babe's hand plunges from behind into the maelstrom surging between her thighs. Slowly, delightedly, rhythmically, Babe finds her again and again; Constance, kneeling, moving up and down, takes ragged breaths and strains against Babe's armored torso. She feels as if her desire is pressing in upon Babe from all sides, swaddling her in faintly-phosphorescent cheesecloth emanations. Babe continues to kiss her breasts, her face, her shoulders, her mouth--kisses indiscriminate and wild; Constance thinks, With her rapacious mouth and my capacious bosom, we make a fun couple. She is getting giddy.

Then, suddenly, as the oboe's call extracts itself from a billowing host of strings to soar above them, so now, in her pleasure's prelude, a singular strain of erotic satisfaction unfurls within Constance and starts to flower: she has gotten her period. Constance has always known this would happen someday; in truth, she was almost certain it would happen this evening. The regularity of her cycle should be measured on some Mayan calendar, it's so precise, and Babe has been getting ever-closer every time for years. Disregarding a feeble impulse to tell Babe she's bleeding, Constance throws back her head and shuts her eyes.

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