"Run some more water then," I said. "Easy solution." I pulled the razor across my right cheek, leaving a trail through the soap.
"Can't," she said. "There isn't any hot water left." She splashed a bit behind the curtain. "I can't even work up a froth back here. It's like bathing in tepid tea."
"I don't know what you want me to do about it. You should have taken the bath before my shower." I swished the razor in the sink water, clearing the blades, and went to work on the other cheek.
"You could go down into the basement and turn the heat up on the water heater. That ought to speed things up a bit."
"Well, if you want to get a job to help pay for my hot water, you're fully welcome to do so."
"I have a job," she said. "I'm a muse."
"Doesn't exactly pay well, though."
She splashed again, doing God-knows-what behind the curtain. "I'm building up karma for the next life. You should build some up, too. Go turn up the heat."
"Since when do I do everything you tell me to do, Muse?"
"Since every time. You're good like that."
"Appealing to my pushover instincts won't always get you what you want."
"No?" she said. "How about your prurient ones?" She pulled the curtain back, sat up in the tub and shook hear bubbled-covered breasts at me.
I glanced at her in the mirror, then continued shaving along my neck. "Seen 'em before, Muse. As fabulous as they are, the heat's not coming up."
"Good Lord," she said, "somebody call the papers. A man who isn't swayed by the sight of wet breasts. Are you okay? Have you eaten something disagreeable?"
I shrugged. "Guess I just don't cave under boob pressure as much as you think I do."
She hummed. "You're just holding out for a full-frontal show, aren't you, you pig?"
I ran the razor through the sink again. "You could try it, but it's still not going to pay off for you. I'm a poor man, and you're a hot water hog." I turned to look at her. "Besides, why exactly are you taking a bath at my house, instead of over at your apartment?"
"Water's off," she said. "Front yard is torn up, pipes everywhere. Might even be some bones laying about. Could be an archeological dig going on." She leaned forward behind the curtain and I heard water pouring into the tub. "It's a little hotter now, at least. Not like I'm a Titanic victim or anything."
"What did I do to deserve the honor of your stealing my hot water?"
"Not much," she said. "You've already seen me naked. I don't have to go through the whole thing with somebody else that way. I'm shy, you know."
I snorted. "Yes, definitely. Shy." The Muse had once raised her shirt and sports bra and pressed her breasts against the glass storefront of one of the coffee shops downtown, in an attempt to get me to blow hot tea through my nose. It hadn't worked, but it had gotten her a round of applause from the other patrons. In her honor, the employees hadn't washed the mark she'd made off the window for days, and before it had faded completely had traced the breast prints with a felt-tipped pen. Not quite the Walk of Fame, but impressive nonetheless.
"Seriously," she said. "You might not believe this, but this muse gig doesn't automatically mean that everyone I inspire gets to see me in the birthday suit. Well, maybe a couple of them do, but that's different. Painters and photographers have good reason to see me naked." She leaned back into my view. "Doesn't mean that I want them to see me off-duty, though."
I set the razor aside and splashed my face clean. "How did I get so lucky?" I asked, and grabbed a hand towel to pat myself dry.
"You're my friend, dumb ass," she said, "and not my job. That's why."
"You need a boyfriend, Muse. Or a girlfriend. Whichever."
"Nah. Too much work. I get my social interaction with you, which takes care of that. As for the sex... well, you've got a nice shower head here." There was the sound of more splashing from behind the curtain.
I put the towel back on the rack. "That's my cue. Have fun in there, and I don't want to know what you're doing."
"Hey!" she shouted, as I slipped out and was pulling the door shut behind me. "Go turn up the water. My boyfriend's a little cold."
"You'd better clean the tub when you're done. As filthy as you are, the ring around the bottom will be solid black."
"I'm a filthy little pig," she said. "Oink oink!"
"Weirdo," I muttered, and headed for the water heater.