Just a few words about Rolling Thunder

I just wanted to send a shout out to Juliet and Kimmy whose stories have recently been inspiring me and to my readers who, I hope, enjoy these stories

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chapter 21

When I cry, I close my eyes
And every tear falls down inside
And I pray with all my might
That I will find my heart in someone's arms
When I cry, cry
When I cry, when I am sad
I think of every awful thing I ever did
When I cry, there is no love
No, there is nothing that can comfort me enough
When I cry

(lyrics to “Hanging by a Thread” by Jann Arden)

Chapter 21

“Penny for your thoughts?” I’d woken up in the middle of the night to find the space in the bed next to me empty and cold. It hadn’t taken long to find her, sitting in one of the oversized leather chairs in my living room, one of my mother’s home made afghans wrapped around her, staring into the dark. She didn’t react to my presence, didn’t look up at me as I slid onto the arm of the chair, waiting for her to make room for me to slide down onto the cold leather with her. Instead, I reached over and brushed her hair away from her face and ran my thumb along the sharp line of her cheekbone. “Mon ange, it’s cold, come back to bed.” Summer was gone and the cool fall air chilled my skin. Even under that afghan, she was only wearing one of my t-shirts. She had to be cold.

She turned and looked up at me and even in the dark I could see the shimmer of tears in her eyes. It made me feel guilty and it made me feel selfish but mostly it made me feel inadequate. I couldn’t bring her mother back and I couldn’t turn back the clock and give her the time to say goodbye. I couldn’t take back that we’d been making love while her mother took her last breath. I wanted to make her feel less guilty but I didn’t even know how to do that. The only thing I could do was be here, to try and be man enough to be here for her now.

She leaned into my hand, the soft round of her cheek fitting perfectly into the palm of my hand, and closed her eyes. I tracked the silver trail of a tear down her cheek with my eyes and knew that I was at least partly responsible for it being there.

“Come to bed,” I plead again but she doesn’t make a move, even when I stand up and reach for her hand, intending to pull her up to her feet and make her come with me.

“There’s something…something you should know.” Her voice is strangled, small and hurt sounding. Her eyes are still closed and her hand is limp in mine. I feel my heart constrict hard in my chest. ‘She’s going to tell me she doesn’t love me’, I think as I take a knee in front of her, telling myself I can take it, that maybe she won’t really mean it, that it’s only the emotion of the moment, the deep dark hours of the morning that is going to make her say it.

“What is it?” I keep her hand in both of mine and wait, steeling myself like I do when I know that I’m about to pounded in the boards by some goon like Boogard, knowing it’s going to hurt but if I get close enough to the boards that they’ll take some of the blow. There are no boards now. There’s nothing to take the sting out of whatever words she’s about to speak.

She finally opens her eyes and looks at me and my chest get tight. She looks so sad and so afraid at the same time that she reminds me of a child, about to tell some truth that she knows is going to result in her getting a beating. One day I’ll ask her about her past, if anyone ever raised a hand to her. Not tonight though. Tonight I’ll just listen to whatever she has to say and then I’ll deal with it.

“I’m pregnant,” she says after a long pause and then she tries to pull her hand free from mine, but I won’t let her. Her eyes are too wide. She looks like a startled doe. She looks like she expects me to yell, maybe to hit her. I hate that she thinks I’d ever do either of those things.

She watches me like a dog in a cage, like a pound dog does from behind bars. Like maybe you’re just as bad as the last person who owned her. Like maybe you’ll hurt them but then maybe not. There’s hope in her eyes too. Hope that I’ll do and say the right thing and I want to fulfill that wish.

“It’s…is it Max’s?” I ask, a heavy feeling in my gut wanting it not to be true but knowing that even if it is, I will somehow deal with it. I don’t know how, not yet, but I will, at least that’s what I tell myself. I’ll figure out the rest later.

“No,” she replies simply, her gaze holding mine, still with that same guarded expression in her eyes. “It can’t be,” she adds more firmly. “It’s maybe…maybe six weeks and he’s been gone….”

“Eight,” I reply quietly, doing the math quickly in my head. “So…it’s…?” Shit! It’s impossible to say it out loud. My blood is rushing in my veins, my heart hammering so loud in my ears that I can’t think. I’m glad I’m on my knees or they’d have given out on me. She nods and bites down on her bottom lip, still watching me, still waiting for me to react. ‘Can’t she hear my heart beating?’ I think, but can’t make my mouth form the words. I press her hand to my chest instead and press my forehead to her thigh. “Thank you,” I mumble into her soft, cool skin. “Merci mon ange.”

There is a long silence, and then I feel her hand, her fingers cool against my skin as she raises my face and stares down into my eyes, surprised yes and confused.

“You’re not…you don’t think I’m trying to capture you? Control you?” she asks, blinking rapidly and it’s my turn to fit my cheek into her hand but I smile up at her, a stupid, far too happy grin.

“Tie me down, mon ange, s’il vous plait. I want to be captured by you, forever.” 

Telling Kris had turned out to be easy, far easier than I’d suspected after I’d made up my mind in the middle of the night that, if he wanted it, I wanted to keep the baby. He does. He wants it and he wants me and as he holds me in his arms, he tells me what our future will hold. More babies, a big family. Summers in Montreal, with his family, his friends, a big welcoming family that he promises will not only accept me, but love me as much, maybe more, than he does.

He has names picked out; Geneviève for a girl and Antoine if it’s a boy.

We’ll marry, as soon as possible, maybe in Mario’s back yard. Or just at the town hall if that’s all I want. We can always have another ceremony, later, during the summer, with everyone, with the baby too.

“You make it sound so easy,” I whisper, my cheek pressed to his chest, listening to the steady beating of his heart, feeling it beat under the palm of my hand.

“It is, il est facile parce que je t’aime.” His fingers lace with mine and I watch our fingers fit together and they look like they should, like his hand is meant to hold mine.

“It seems too easy,” I sigh, closing my eyes again, reveling in the warmth of his skin and of the nearness of him.

“It won’t be,” he says more seriously, his arm that’s been resting around my back presses me close to the solid lengths of his body. “Passion is easy. Love takes years to pull off.” I turn to look up at him and he smiles at the ceiling. “I don’t remember where I heard that but I think it must be true, ne penses pas?” I nod and then dig my chin into his chest, looking up him, at his full bottom lip, his dark eyes, the hair that’s always falling onto his forehead. “We’ll make it work though,” he promises quietly, his hand travelling up my back until his fingers brush the nape of my neck, making me shiver. “Je vais tu faire plaisir, je tu promets.” His voice brushes against my skin, soft like velvet and smooth like melted chocolate and his serious gaze draws me to him like a magnet. I slide my body up and he slides his down and our mouths meet somewhere in the middle.

I feel his hand on my cheek, sliding up into my hair as he his tongue caresses mine, rolling over it, brushing against it. His other hand slides down my back and onto my ass, pulling me up over him until I’m straddling him and our bodies are pressed tightly together and there’s nowhere for his rock hard erection to go as my stomach presses against it.

He holds my mouth to his, his lips soft but forceful, his fingers splayed across the back of my head as if I might want to be doing anything but this, kissing him, touching him. His other hand works its’ way down over my ass and works his cock free until he can angle it up into me, and I press my body down over it, sheathing him inside of me.

“Mon dieu!” he groans against my collarbone as I arch my back, pressing him down into the mattress, using his shoulders to push myself up and press myself down all at the same time. I don’t want to move. I want to stay, like this, with him filling me, his lips and tongue on my neck, his arms locked around my shoulders and our bodies pressed tightly together. “Mon dieu, tu me défaire,” he hisses into my jaw, his teeth digging into the thin skin just below my ear.

I’m not good at the sweet words like he is. I don’t know if it’s a French thing or if it’s just Kristopher, but I wish I had the poetic words to say back to him about the way this makes me feel; safe and wanted and needed. Max wanted me, but I don’t think he needed me.

I need Kris. I know that much.

“Never let me go,” I plead as he pushes himself up into me, our bodies barely moving and yet I can feel myself falling already, and now I know the difference. This is what it’s like when you love someone, when your body fits so perfectly and the emotions overwhelm everything else. This is making love.

“Je tu promets que je ne te quitterai jammais,” he promises, his tongue sweeping around my ear as he presses my ass down and pushes up into me at the same time.

At this angle, the head of his cock hit the spot inside of me every time, ripping the air from my lungs, making it impossible to breathe and I don’t want to breathe. I don’t want to think. I don’t want to do anything but this. I want him inside of me and I want to be in his arms, forever.

“Love me forever,” I gasp, knowing that I’m about to lose the fight, feeling that clenching at the base of my spine, that tightening in my stomach that’s a warning sign for impending fireworks.

“Pour toujours,” he whispers back and then grunts and pushes up into me and I let go, sobbing his name as he jettisons himself inside of me, groaning my name in return.

“Saint-ciboire du saint sacrement!” I dip my head into the icy stream of water and let it pour over the back of my neck. Squeezing my eyes tight, I let out a couple more choice epithets before shutting the water off and shaking like a Lab puppy crawling out of a pond. “So was that what you two were doing in my bed? Celebrating?”

“It wasn’t like that and you know it,” Becky says quietly from where she’s leaning against the kitchen counter looking bored with my dramatics.

“No, tell me what it was like then,” I snap back at her, reaching for a tea towel and rubbing it across my head.

“I’ve apologized Max, and I’m sorry I hurt you…that we hurt you, but if you’re just going to be an ass then I’m going to go back next door and leave you in your shitty diaper.” The glance she affords me is full of disappointment mixed with a liberal dose of hostility at this point. Well, she did fuck my best friend in my bed, I’m not just going to roll over and let her think she’s gotten away with it am I?

“Well if you knew that you were pregnant, then why did you let me think it was going to work between us? Why did you stay here with me in my bed? Why didn’t you just go over there while I was gone?” At first she just shrugs and then she heaves a heavy sigh, uncrosses her arms from in front of the Birthday Massacre tour t-shirt that’s artfully torn at the neck so that it bares one of her ivory shoulders and the lipstick red bra strap that belongs to that black and red lace number that I bought her. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

“I wasn’t sure, about the pregnancy and I didn’t think I was going to keep it. I didn’t intend to have anything to do with him, that’s the honest truth,” she adds with a long look at me that ends in another one of those shrugs that makes the t-shirt fall further down until I have to go over and straighten it or end up looking at her tits and that really would be rubbing salt in the wound.

“Are you sure it’s his?” I ask quietly as my hands slide over her smooth flesh. She lets me straighten her shirt or at least doesn’t make a move to stop me.

“I am, yeah,” she says quietly, her dark eyes looking into mine and I feel my heart breaking all over again. I want to tell her I couldn’t sleep without her last night and that I tossed and turned and seriously thought about holding a pillow over my head and just letting the world go.  “I am sorry Max. I know that…well I know you want to be a dad.”

“Yeah well, I could be now, we don’t know right? I mean toutes les belles dames que j’ai eu dans mon lit.” Becky looks unimpressed and manages to look like she pities me, all at the same time. I still want to kiss her though, even with pity in her eyes. “There’s lots of fish in the sea right?” I add, not that it helps my cause and Becky sees right through it, like I knew she would. She smiles sadly and grabs my face in her hands and presses her full lips onto mine in a soft, too brief kiss.

“You will be fine, mon ami, because you’re a good man, and a sweet man and some woman will be very lucky to have you. It just turns out that it’s not me.” Giving up my boy wonder routine, I smile and open my arms to her and she walks into them and presses her cheek against my shoulder and hugs me hard. “Thank you for not being a total ass.”

“I’ll probably be an ass yet,” I promise into her hair and I feel her body tremble in my arms and I know she’s laughing even though she isn’t making a sound. We stay like that for a long minute, maybe more and part of me is memorizing the feel of her in my arms, knowing how much I’ve missed it already and how much I’ll miss it when she goes. “Congratulations,” I tell her finally, as she unravels herself from my arms and takes a step towards the hall, like she’s going to leave. “I know you’re probably shitting a brick but…you’ll be fine, especially with Kris. He’s kind of a vain fuck but…he’s a good guy.”
“I’m glad you think so,” she smiles, a genuine smile that, while it’s small and doesn’t really reach her eyes is still better than her leaving still thinking I’m a sad, pathetic fuck.

“I don’t have to like him and I may still kick his ass at the rink but…if it can’t be me…I guess he’s better than that ugly fucker TK,” I add with a smirk that makes her shake her head.

“This isn’t all his fault, Max. It’s not anyone’s fault. I’d like it if you two were friends again.” I must be making a face because she sighs and shrugs her shoulders and then she turns to go.

“That might take a while,” I say to her retreating form and she nods and turns back to give me another sad smile before I watch her walk out of my house, and out of my life.

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