Due to blogger being down part 58 will be posted her now and on blogger later. Author’s Note at the end:
by Sommer Marsden
Johnny had curled around me and covered me with his giant flannel shirt. We both slept on top of the coverlet and he was still out like a light when I roused.
I could smell the turkey. Not rancid, or anything, just the smoky slightly greasy smell of cooked meat in a small room. I pulled his big arm off me as gently as possible and moved away from him.
Okay, so he freaked out. Raise your hand if you’ve never done that…
I stuck my hands in my pockets.
That’s what I thought…
“Shut up,” I said to my own prattling mind. I found a plastic bag to scoop up the meat and then another to dump that bag in. I took it out to the hallway where a maid happened to be pushing her cart.
“Where can I throw this out?” I whispered.
She put her hand out. “I can take it.”
“Leftovers never work if you don’t have a fridge,” I said, smiling. Trying to explain.
She shrugged. “They have suites, only a few, that have kitchenettes if you’re staying,” she said, giving me another shy smile.
“No thanks. We are out of here as soon as humanly possible.”
This made her laugh. “I hear ya. Not much longer and you’ll be in Nevada. Then you can party.”
She turned from me and pushed her cart on to the next room.
“Thank you!” I stage-whispered and popped back in my room.
Nevada. Then you can party…
I studied Johnny who had since sprawled on his back like a bear sleeping in the sun. “I can’t love you,” he said without opening his eyes.
I jumped a little. I’d thought he was still asleep.
I sighed. “I know.”
“It’s why I ran. I just felt like I was going to burst into flames. Or break something. I was going for the state line. Was going to just go. Then I pulled over and tried to just chill out, maybe doze a bit. I was wired and tired and freaked out. And all I could think…”
He put a big hand over his eyes though he’d yet to open them. I waited. Silent.
“All I could think is God how I wished you were there. By my side. How I wished you were with me.”
“So you found a bar?”
“And did my best to drink ‘em dry.”
I nodded. Stupid, really, how he’d come back. With a turkey, no less. I shuddered to think what kind of road Russian roulette he’d just played. Not just for himself but others. And when he really grasped it, more self-directed anger would be on the way. I was sure of it.
“I can’t love you,” he said again.
I frowned at him, determined not to cry. “So you’ve said.”
He opened his eyes and craned his neck to look at me. “But I do, Really. I do love you.”
Stupid but true, my knees unhinged and dumped me on my ass. One minute I was standing, the next relief and shock and surprise so swift and brutal rushed through me my knees bent and I was sitting.
He sat up. “You okay?”
“I am,” I said from the floor.
“Do you hate me?”
“Yes. But I’ll get over it.”
I shook my head. Yes, I loved him, but I wasn’t happy with him right now. I was angry and hurt and enraged and all that bullshit that comes with big emotions and big mistakes. “Don’t,” I said. “I can’t make it my job right now to make you feel better, Johnny.”
“Will you at least come here? Will you come here to me?” He held his hand out and I found some strength in my watery legs to get me there. And then it was a matter of falling against him and letting him hold me.
I wanted to be angry and withhold affection and make him suffer and all that. But that is how I used to be. That was what I used to do. If I had any shot at real love. Human-person-who-is-willing-to-put-their-neck-on-the-chopping-block kind of love…it couldn’t all be about manipulation and childish games.
“Jesus God,” I said. It was a sob not a statement. “I was so—scared.”
“And angry and lonely and incapable of fucking breathing,” I went on.
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“You should be.”
I pulled back and looked at him. Funny, I didn’t really notice I was crying until he was wiping my cheeks dry with his hand. “Johnny, you have to—“ I shook my head and sucked in a shuddering breath.
“You have to stay now. You cannot run again. You have to promise me.”
“We’ll figure out all this shit. We’ll examine it and dissect it and poke it with a stick…or just let it be. Whatever. But you cannot bolt on me again.”
Not now that I’ve found you. Not now that I’ve had a taste of what I can feel for a man. Even being able to forgive a man…what a mind-fuck…that was the part I did not say aloud.
“Because that’s it. No matter how much I—“
He looked expectant and hopeful, but I wasn’t there yet. I couldn’t give him that yet. Not yet. “No matter how much I might be hooked on you. That will be that. I never wanted anyone in my life—not really in it. where it’s all dirty and messy and embarrassing and stupid. But I let you in. Please…don’t leave me again,” I said. Thinking of my mother and how I felt when she died. I was trying hard to breathe.
“I’m right here. Lesson learned. I’m an asshole.”
I thought of Fallon. I thought of him leaving me. “You are an asshole.”
He looked stricken but accepting. His face a hard mask of self-control.
“But you are a good man who just happens to have asshole moments. And I—“
I failed again. Couldn’t say it.
“And I’m okay with that,” I finished weakly.
He kissed me then. Putting his hands in my hair and holding me tight. His mouth apologetic, demanding and needy all at once. He kissed me harder and rolled me in one swift motion, peeling off the gray leggings I’d pulled on.
His body was warm and hard and he smelled like soap from the night before. It wasn’t rough sex, or hurried sex, or power play sex.
It was honest sex.
He buried his face at the juncture of my neck and shoulder and I guided his cock into my willing body. I was wet and ready. I was hungry for it. I parted my legs, arched my hips, took him in and made a sound low in my throat that sounded both docile and aggressive.
We moved together, no talking. No dirty words or chit chat. And when I got so fucking close to coming I thought I would cry, I spoke.
“Tell me you love me again,” I demanded.
His hands trapped mine above my head. Holding me tight but not hurting me. His teeth traveled my jaw, my throat, biting a line of heat all the way down. He had gone still and he pulled back to look at me.
There was fear in my throat then. A great choking wad of it. His eyes met mine, he studied me, still filling me, not moving as my body beat like one big pulse. Ready to come or laugh or cry. Maybe all of it. I waited for him to retract his confession. To change his mind.
He said, “I love you, Really.”
I was the one to move up under him, to force him into motion. But still I didn’t return his profession of love. Not yet. Not even when my orgasm and his orgasm met head-on and we were both falling back into it—surrendering. To each other.
Laugh if you must but this is the song playing in my head as I wrote this two days ago. You can take the girl out of the 80s but you can NEVER take the 80s out of the girl…