Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chapter 9

I love all the speculation...but I'll have to keep you waiting a while longer

Tabby looked down at the page in front of her and realized that she’d been doodling hearts and flowers on the pad beside the cash register for the last hour. With a derisive snort, she shook her head and put the pen down.

“It’s just a fling,” she told herself quietly, but firmly, rolling her eyes at the romantic ideas swimming around in her head. Turning, she picked up the book she’d been trying to read and opened it up, but she found she couldn’t quite focus on the words on the page. The bell over the door jangled and she looked up, almost relieved to have something to do, but instead her heart skipped a beat to find herself staring into Patrick’s gold flecked hazel eyes. “Damn it,” she hissed under her breath. He’d only been gone from her bed for a few hours and she had just realized that she’d actually been missing him. “What’s that?” she asked, tearing her gaze away from his long enough to notice that he was carrying what looked suspiciously like a toolbox. She watched him walk up the aisle towards her in a faded grey and black t-shirt that clung to his wide shoulders and his muscular arms and cargo shorts that stopped just above his knees, leaving his heavily muscled calves bare. At least he was wearing shoes this time and not flip flops, she thought as he lifted the aged metal box and placed it on the counter in front of her.

“This? This is a toolbox,” he grinned, snapping the lid open and revealing a number of hammers, wrenches and screw drivers inside. “Well don’t look so surprised,” he added as he leaned over the counter to collect a kiss, his soft lips brushing hers’ briefly, “you said the place is falling down and I thought, considering you insisted on being open today, I would see what I could fix while you’re working.”

“Is there anything you can’t do?” she asked, leaning in for another kiss, her lips lingering on his before she put her feet back on the floor and went back to regarding him with slightly amusement.

“What? You think I can’t swing a hammer?” he asked, flexing one of his biceps, which made Tabby lick her lips to be sure no drool had actually escaped before she laughed and shook her head.

“No,” she admitted, crossing her arms in front of herself, mostly as a means of stopping herself from ravaging him right then and there. “Quite the opposite in fact, I was just thinking that I was going to miss out on all the sweaty goodness,” she grinned, moving around to the front of the counter and sliding her hand up, underneath the hem of his t-shirt and running her fingertips over his stomach, making him shiver.

“You keep that up,” he said, pitching his voice low and leaning in so that his peppermint laced breath blew cool across her cheek, “and I’ll be bending you over that counter and every single fisherman on the lake will hear you screaming.” Now it was Tabby’s turn to shiver as he brushed a strand of hair back from her neck and dipped his head down to place a tormentingly soft kiss on her neck. Tabby closed her eyes and let out a ragged breath, at which he chuckled, his hand cupping her chin as his laughing eyes gazed affectionately down into hers’. “I’ll be working on that banister, if you decide to take a break,” he told her before pressing his lips tenderly on one eyelid and then the other before he took his tool box and went into the house.

Tabby watched him go and felt her body leaning after him, eager for more of his physical attention, to bask in the glow of his bright, boyish smile, but just as she was about give in to temptation, that damn bell over the door made that annoying sound and a group of slouch hat wearing fisherman tramped in. She let out a sigh, and with one, longing look towards the door he’d disappeared through, Tabby went back to work.

Sidney felt the wet cold of the glass on his back and smiled, letting go of the loose banister to turn around and envelop her in his arms.

“I thought it was about time for a lunch break,” she smiled up at him, the tall, cool glass of lemonade still in her hand but now pressed to his chest. She didn’t seem to mind that he was coated with a fine film of sweat and wood dust as he held her, looking down into her chocolate brown eyes. “I made some sandwiches,” she added, glancing over her shoulder, but he wasn’t quite ready to let her go. Not yet.

“What? No thank you for all this hard work? Did you know this railing was almost ready to fall? You could have been hurt,” he added, taking the glass from her hand and washing the sawdust from his mouth before leaning in for a kiss. Her lips were cool and wet and sweet. She must have taken a sip from the glass. “A couple of these stair boards are a bit loose too,” he added, reaching out with his toe to push on a weak seam in the stair to prove his point.

“So, do they teach carpentry in marketing class these days?” she asked, still apparently content to stay in the circle of his arm while he drank the ice cold lemonade.

“I wouldn’t know,” he replied, before realizing his mistake. ‘That’s a good one Crosby, can’t even keep your lies straight now’, he thought as he laughed at himself. “It’s more uh…business management and no, my dad taught me everything I know,” he added, thinking of all the times he’d sat right beside his father reading the direction from a ‘how to’ book about plumbing while his dad tried to fix a leak so they wouldn’t have to call out a plumber and spend the money that had been set aside to send him to some summer hockey camp or buy him yet another pair of skates because he’d grown out of the last ones.

“I didn’t think these hands felt like they knew hard work,” she pointed out, her hand slipping into the one that was holding her hip against his. She ran her fingers along the palm of his hand, causing a ticklish feeling that made him shudder. “They’re not exactly soft,” she continued, turning those dark eyes of hers’ up at him, one eyebrow raised, “but they’re not exactly the hands of a guy who uses tools all day.”

“Oh, you’d be surprised,” he grinned, pressing his lips to her forehead. “Now, about those sandwiches,” he suggested, moving the topic toward less dangerous ground. “I didn’t think you could cook, and I don’t remember seeing any cold cuts or anything in the fridge.”

“Hey, I can cook when I want to,” she pursed her lips at him as she led him down the staircase and towards the kitchen. “But I hope you like egg salad and cucumber because you’re right, there’s no meat in the fridge.” Sidney wrinkled his nose but his stomach had begun to think his throat had been cut and made a growling noise at the thought of bread and mayonnaise. “Buuuut,” she continued, giving his hand a squeeze before letting it go as they entered the kitchen, “I thought I’d run down to the store while you’re cleaning up later and get some steaks, maybe some potatoes for later. As a kind of thank you, for today,” she added taking down a plate from the cupboard and sliding it onto the small wooden table at the back of the kitchen. Sidney slid into the chair behind that plate and smiled up at her.

“Well I was kind of hoping you’d scrub my back,” he growled, reaching out to capture her wrist in his hand and pulling her back toward him and the table. “But that sounds good and then maybe, later, we’ll try that big bed in the master upstairs.” He watched her grin fade and she began to struggle not to cry. He’d crossed a line and he knew it right away but he’d thought about this while he’d been working on the stairs and as he pulled Tabby down onto his lap and put his arms around her, he chose his words carefully. “It’s not like they’d mind, don’t you think?” he began and when she only shrugged he continued from the mental list of points that he’d come up with. “I mean, if your grandma was anything like mine, she’d hate the thought of you sleeping in that little tiny room all alone, never mind making a guest sleep in that little bed too. Not that I mind being that close to you,” he added, squeezing his arms tighter around her and waiting until that comment made her smile. Tabby nodded, but he could see tears in her eyes all the same, which she quickly dashed away with the back of her hand.

“You know what’s so stupid about this,” she sniffed, blinking to keep the tears back and failing, “is that I didn’t know them…well no, that’s wrong. I just…I hadn’t seen them a lot, not lately and it’s more like…it’s like I feel guilty,” she explained and Sidney felt his chest swell as she let him see her in this vulnerable moment, as she shared her honest feelings with him. He’d been with so many women who were so pretentious and fake that this moment felt new and raw and he couldn’t help but feel protective of this woman.

“They must have loved you a lot,” he whispered to her as he cradled her against his body, “to leave this all to you.” He didn’t know if she was an only child or not, and maybe they hadn’t had anyone else to leave it to, but it felt like the right thing to say.

“Honestly…I always thought I was a real pain in their asses when I was here but…but yeah, I loved them a lot too.” She turned and buried her head in his shoulder and Sid held her, rubbing her back and whispering soft things that he hoped sounded comforting and he hoped she didn’t see his face right now, because he didn’t think that he could hide the enormous smile on his face.


Tabby looked up from lighting the candles at the sound of his bare feet on the deck and smiled at the sight that met her eyes. He was just wearing those cargo shorts, low on his hips, and nothing else. She let her greedy gaze roam from flat stomach, over the well defined six pack, up to his wide, round shoulders and further up, to that boyish, easy smile that made her heart do a little flip. He was simply beautiful, like Michelangelo’s David come to life she thought, except with a much, much bigger….

“You did all this while I was in the shower?” he surveyed her handiwork with a surprised grin, still toweling off that dark, wavy hair of his, before draping that towel over one of his round, muscular shoulders and reaching to put his arms around her waist. She turned into him then, allowing him to easily pull her into his embrace, even lifting her lips for his kiss. His mouth took hers’ softly, gently before he let her go, almost reluctantly, to admire the table she’d laid out.

She’d found a pale blue linen tablecloth and dark blue serviettes in one of the airing cupboards and bought matching navy blue candles to put in the centre of the table. The plain white china looked shiny and expensive against all of the blue, and Tabitha thought that even Martha Stewart would approve.

“I thought you could open the wine,” she said, reaching for the bottle of cabernet she’d bought to go with the red meat and he took it from her in one hand, his fingers brushing over hers’ sending a shock of electricity up her arm. “I think there’s a corkscrew in one of the drawers,” she pointed back into the kitchen, “and I’ll just go watch the meat.” She felt her cheeks get warm as his caramel coloured gaze held hers’ for what seemed like too long, like he was already picturing her naked and they hadn’t even eaten yet.

“You already put the meat on? Isn’t that supposed to be the man’s job?” he called out to her as she stepped out onto the deck where her grandfather’s hibachi was sending smoke signals into the sky as the fat from the edges of the t-bone steaks dripped into the hot coals.

“Really? Do people really stick to those conventions anymore?” she called back, her stomach knotting already at the thought of all those muscles under her fingertips again. He was staying, again. He’d made it very clear that he intended on staying and she couldn’t quite figure out why just thinking about it made her hands shake and her heart flutter in her chest. It was crazy to get this worked up about it, she told herself firmly. It was just sex after all. Good sex…no mind blowing sex, but that was all.

“It’s still that way in my house,” he chuckled as he stepped out onto the deck, a glass of wine in each hand. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a few old fashioned notions, every now and again,” he added, coming up behind her and pressing his lips to the nape of her neck, beneath where she’d tied up her hair, before putting her glass down on the table next to the hibachi and moving out to the railing on the edge of the deck and staring out at the lake.

Oh fuck I love that ass’, she thought as she stole a glance at the way that wide, muscular butt stretched the back of his shorts, especially as he leaned on the railing and bent at the waist. Tabitha licked her lips as she remembered grabbing a hold of all that hard, muscular flesh to pull him deeper….

“So what, you think the woman stays home, makes bread and has babies?” she asked, poking at the steaks to determine how cooked they were before putting down her fork and picking up her wine glass. The dark red liquid was rich and tasted faintly of cherries as she let it slide over her tongue.

“And gets her nails done and spends all the money I bring home…yeah, something like that,” he smirked as he turned to face her and she was, once again, faced with all that smooth, tanned flesh. Her gaze went to those small, pink buds on his chest and she bit down on her bottom lip as the memory came back to her of the way it had made him moan out load and writhe beneath her when she’d licked and sucked at them.

“Fuck, you are old fashioned. I always thought that if…if I had a baby, I’d leave my…significant other at home and go back to work,” she told him and watched him raise his eyebrows in what she was sure was mock surprise. “Of course that was back when I thought I was going to be a high powered criminal lawyer,” she added, grinning shyly at him as he tried not to laugh.
“So what happened to that?” he asked, suddenly serious as she stood near, but apart from him. All that skin was just too inviting, too tempting. She was half afraid to get too close to him, afraid she wouldn’t be able to control herself. It seemed undignified somehow to want something as much as she wanted to run her hands over the smooth hairless skin of his chest. So instead she gripped her wine glass with both hands and kept her distance.

“I couldn’t…that is, my family couldn’t afford law school. That was never really an option…,” her voice trailed away as she pushed back that old pain. That was no one’s fault she reminded herself.

“What about scholarships? Bursaries?” he asked, as if he knew something about it. He didn’t look old enough to know anything about college other than toga parties and keggers that seemed to make up most of first year, but Tabby told herself she was being unfair. He was only asking the question.

“Yeah, there were a couple of those, but they would have hardly covered tuition for the first year and you don’t just go straight into law school,” she explained with a shrug, and then turned towards the hissing and spitting meat, partly for fear of it burning and wasting the thirty dollars she’d spent on the steaks and partly to hide the tension she could feel in her face as that old disappointment reared its ugly head. “How do you like your meat?” she asked, poking at the smaller of the two steaks and deciding hers was just past moo’ing, just the way she liked it. She went to turn to him and found him already there, right behind her, his hand reaching for her shoulder.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get to go,” he said softly, his hand on the curve of her shoulder, pulling her into him, until his arms were wrapped around her and she was pressed against that wide expanse of bare, warm flesh. He smelled like lavender soap she had in the bath upstairs and just vaguely of something more primal and male. She closed her eyes and breathed that scent in, letting it fill her head and soothe her nerves.

“It is what it is,” she said at last, turning her face up to his so that he could see that she was properly grateful for his sympathy. “Now, about that meat, before it burns.”

“I kind of like it well done,” he admitted, shrugging and grinning as she wrinkled her nose up at the idea of letting expensive meat like this turn into a lump of charcoal.

“Alright, then you babysit that while I put everything else out on the table,” she sighed and, putting her steak on a plate, went back in, feeling the tug of that secretive sort of happy smile on her face.

They stood, side by side at the sink, washing the last of the dishes in the semi dark, the only light the one directly above their heads. As the drying rack filled and the sink emptied, their conversation began to die and the playful energy between them began to change. He could feel it in the way her body swayed into his as she passed him one of the salad bowls, and in the way that she glanced over to watch him stretch up to put it away in the cupboard. The clear admiration in her gaze made his pulse race but then he’d been looking at her like that all night.

She was wearing a simple black dress with spaghetti straps that fell in a sort of a line down just past her knees. She wasn’t wearing a bra, he’d become entirely too aware of that earlier when they’d been outside and a breeze had blown in off the lake. He’d found himself staring at her hardening nipples, aching to wrap his tongue around them and make her moan for him.

He also kept finding himself staring at the ink on her back, remembering how, while she’d slept, he’d traced its’ fine lines lightly with his fingertip, studying it, wondering what it could tell him about her. He wanted to do that with the rest of her, now that all of that initial passionate explosion was over. It actually took effort not to touch her now and that work was getting more and more difficult by the moment.

As she handed him the last glass and reached in to pull the plug and together they watched the water and suds go down the drain, he could see her breath rate increase, her ample chest rising and falling a little too quickly not to notice. It seemed strange, considering that he’d almost lost count of how many times they’d already had sex that they should be shy around one another now, but he could feel his own blood pressure rising knowing that all that there was left to do was to walk up the stairs before he could peel her out of that dress and lay her down on that big brass bed….

“I should check on the coals…I don’t want anything going up in smoke while…while….” She couldn’t even say it, or look at him, he realized as she turned to head out to the deck.

“I took the hibachi down to the grass and made sure it was out,” he told her, reaching to grab her arm with his hand, his fingers snapping easily around her small wrist. She stood there for a long moment, staring down at where his fingers were locked around her wrist and then she turned her big dark eyes up at him and he could see it then. She was afraid.

He hadn’t really thought about it that way, not until he could see his own feelings reflected in her doe in the headlights gaze, but he knew what she was feeling. ‘I could seriously fall for this woman’ he knew, or maybe it was even too late but that fear wasn’t enough to hold him back. So he stepped into her, his other hand cupping the small of her back and pulling her to him so that when he kissed her, their bodies were pressed together and there would be no mistaking that he wanted her, here, now if need be.

He was prepared to say that they didn’t have to do anything; that he’d be happy to just sleep with her, even if that was a fucking lie, but her body immediately melted to his and as her tongue swept along his bottom lip, he hoped he wouldn’t have to speak that lie aloud.

Reaching over to turn the light out above the sink, he took her hand in his and together they walked through the old house and up the stairs that he’d spent the day fixing. Sidney could feel that sort of pleasant ache left from a job well done and it made him think about those days that he and his teammates had spent at Army boot camp and how he’d felt the same after a day doing rigorous training. It was a good kind of burn and he felt less guilty for not hitting the gym.

As they reached the top of the stairs, he could feel her hesitate, her hand slightly pulling on his and he followed her gaze to the double doors at the top of the landing. They could discuss it again, he knew and he would probably be persuasive enough to win the argument, but he was also a little tired and a little full and more than a little impatient to have her naked and his arms. So instead of arguing, Sidney let go of her hand, took a step back and swept her up into his arms and carried her the rest of the way, kicking the door open and walking across the woven mats that covered the floor. He deposited her on the bed and she lay there, blinking at him like an owl.

Whether she hadn’t believed him or was just shocked, he wasn’t sure, but he also didn’t feel much like discussing it either. Instead, Sidney undid the snap on his shorts, unzipped them and let them fall around his ankles. Kicking them aside, he crawled onto the bed beside her and slid his hand up her thigh, taking the dress with him.

“I’m tired,” he said simply as she continued to stare at him with wide eyes, “and I intend on making you have at least three orgasms before I go to sleep so take this off,” he added slipping one hand beneath one of her spaghetti straps and causing it to slide off of her shoulder.

She sat up and pulled the dress over her head and handed it to him and he dropped it on the floor beside his shorts and then, reverently but eagerly, bent to his work, taking the weight of her breasts in his hands and wrapping his lips around one of her nipples, nipping and sucking on it until her hands dug into his hair and he heard her moan out loud.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chapter 8

finger and tummy much better thank you

There was that moment, as her brain left dreamland behind, as she began to realize that it was morning and that what she remembered was not part of the dream but had in fact been real that Tabby came to know that he had not done what a one night stand would usually do. He had not slipped away in the middle of the night. He was still there, his arm around her waist, cradling her against the full length of his body which was tucked tightly against the back of hers’. Smiling to herself as she blinked her eyes against the golden rays of the sunrise reaching their lazy hazy way through the thin curtains, Tabby realized his other hand was laced with hers’, just beneath her chin. The bed was tiny, but somehow they had made it work and she couldn’t honestly remember the last time she’d ever slept quite that soundly, that deeply, that restfully. Of course, as those deep aches in her joints reminded her, he had tired her out. He had incredible stamina.

Biting down on her bottom lip, she grinned as the memories, more visual clips of moments, of bodies moving in time with one another, him on top, her on top, filled her imagination. If she’d thought Damon had been good in bed, she had to put him into the 'only adequate' bin now.

“Good morning.” She felt his lips as he pressed them against the back of her shoulder and though she couldn’t think why, in the light of everything that had passed nearly wordlessly between them in the night, Tabby felt her face heat as his body snuggled impossibly closer to hers’. “It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day,” he added, digging his chin into her shoulder as he peered out between the curtains at where the huge golden orb of the sun peeked up over the trees.

“Mmm, which means I’ll have to open up soon,” she mumbled, regretting already that she’d thought of it at all when she was still floating on the fluffy pink cloud of afterglow.

“Don’t,” he whispered into her ear, his lips pressing against the shell of ear, her cheek as soon as he’d said it. “We could stay here, all day,” he suggested, pressing his now obviously happy to be awake and this close to her body against the small of her back, tempting her to say yes.

“Don’t you have a job to be at?” she asked, biting down on her bottom lip to stifle a sigh as the palm of his hand swept over the curve of her hip.

“I’m on vacation,” he explained in a voice that was both husky and breathless as his lips pressed against the round of her shoulder.

“Well I need that money to do some renos around here. If you hadn’t noticed, this place is kind of falling down,” she told him, trying to sound stern and failing as her voice turned up into a squeak at the end as his teeth dug into the curve of her neck.

“I’ll pay you to stay closed,” he offered, his body more insistent now as his now very hard and very thick erection pressed between her thighs.

“What are you…like…independently wealthy or something?” she asked, half giggling, half sighing as she rolled over so that she was lying beside him, so that she could take him in hand, curling her fingers around the width of him as his eyes closed and his full lips parted in a soundless sigh.

“How much could you make in a bait shop in a day?” he asked, once he’d recovered enough to speak, though he didn’t seem much interested in the answer as he reached for her lips with his and kissed her onto her back, pinning her body beneath his. “Four? Five hundred, maybe?” he asked, before kissing his way down her neck, making it almost impossible for her to think about sums, money, or anything other than the feel of the head of his cock sliding over her wet folds, seeking entrance.

“That might be pocket change to you,” she managed to whisper as she rotated her hips, meeting his first thrust, “but I need that money.”

“And it will be taken care of,” he murmured into her ear, nipping at her earlobe, “I promise.” He laced his fingers with hers’ then and pushed down, like a little push up, until he was looking down at her, his gaze holding hers’ as their bodies moved in that dance as old as time, her body answering his, meeting and retreating in slow, controlled movements until his eyes rolled back and his head fell back and he let out a roar of triumph as she felt his entire body go still as he emptied himself into her.

“So what do you do?” she asked from where she was sitting on the kitchen counter, watching him make a smoothie. He definitely needed something to keep his strength up if he was going to keep her in bed all day as he certainly planned to do.

“I work with Reebok, Gatorade…marketing and stuff…nothing very interesting,” he replied, keeping his gaze pinned on the banana he was peeling so that she wouldn’t see that tell tale tic beneath his eye that always gave him away when he lied. He wasn’t sure why he was still avoiding the truth with her. All he knew was last night, and this morning, had been perfect and the last thing he wanted was for her to think he was bragging about being some kind of big shot. That was also the reason he didn’t want her in the store today. Being seen leaving her place once might be ignored by the locals who generally respected his privacy but twice would set tongues wagging.

“Athletic shit huh?” she munched on the corner of a piece of well buttered toast as her long, bare legs swinging free, drumming against the cupboard doors. “I’ve always wanted to be good at something…baseball or something but I’ve always had two left feet and I throw like such a girl,” she explained with a grin.

“So you don’t even watch much sports?” he asked, turning to peer into the fridge which seemed to be stocked with mostly frozen dinners and little cups of yogurt, of which he took two to add to the smoothie.

“Not really,” she admitted, dropping down from the counter and walking towards the fridge. Sidney turned to watch her bend over and grab another one of the yogurt cups. She looked a hell of a lot better in his dress shirt than he did. “I’m more into the live music scene. Not that you’d know anything about that around here,” she added, wrinkling her cute button of a nose as she turned back toward him. “I think that they roll up and hide the streets here after nine,” she smirked.

“Here, yeah. But down in Halifax…there’s all kinds of places to go see bands. Do you like Celtic stuff?” he asked, turning the blender on and staring at its’ swirling contents to distract himself from the way she was licking the back of the foil covering with her pointed pink tongue.

“Yeah, it’s alright I guess. I like heavy stuff…Nickelback, Hinder, Spinnertte, Finger Eleven….”

“You like Finger Eleven?” He grinned at her, “me too.” She smiled warmly back at him and Sidney felt his chest tighten. Damn, this woman had him so wrapped around her little finger that even the smallest things she did and said made him giddy like a fucking school kid. The words were right there, right on the tip of his tongue, but he bit down on them and forced his attention back to the blender and its’ contents. He opened the nearest cupboard and pulled out two tall glasses and began to pour the thick liquid into it.

Sid turned to hand one to her but she was just suddenly there, her tongue swirling around a spoon and his hands began to shake as he held the glasses just a little too tight. He almost dropped them when she pressed her chest to his back to reach around him to drop the spoon and the now empty cup into the sink. He was wearing another one of her grandfather’s shirts and she slid her arms up beneath the shirt and ran her fingertips over his stomach.

“I bet you don’t work at a desk,” she purred as pressed her cheek to his back. “I’ve never, ever seen abs like yours before,” she added before letting him go, though it was too late, far too late, to stop what she’d started. He’d gotten hard as soon as he’d felt the soft mounds of her breasts pressed against his back. Was there any end to wanting her?

He put the glasses down and turned, cupping her face in his hands and capturing her mouth with his. He drank from her mouth, tasting the strawberry yogurt she’d just been eating on her tongue. He kissed her until he felt her body melt against his, until her hands slid up under the shirt he was wearing to pull her closer. He kissed her until she wrapped one of her legs around the back of his thigh and she whimpered into his mouth and then he picked her up and put her back onto the counter and stepped into the space between her thighs. He kissed his way down her neck as he undid the buttons of his dress shirt until he could suckle on her breasts.

He was more tender with them now than he had been, hearing in her ragged intake of breath that they were more than a little tender from his attentions the night before. He ran his tongue over and around her nipples while she gripped the edge of the counter and he dropped his borrowed shorts to the floor and slid into her warm, slick pussy. That too was tender, he could tell as she gasped and suddenly went still.

“I’m sorry,” he breathed, telling himself he could stop, though god only knew he didn’t want to.

“Just…just wait,” she whispered, leaning her forehead to the top of his head. “Just…give me a minute,” she added, crossing her ankles behind the small of his back. “God…I almost came,” she snorted a moment later, looking down at him with those sexy dark eyes of hers’, that cat that got the cream smile on her face that made him want to do things to her that would make her scream. “I can’t let you get me going that easily, you’ll start to think you don’t have to work at it,” she added, her fingers trailing through his hair, and then down his cheek, stopping to caress the new, pink, scar that bisected his chin before she pressed her lips to his and dug her heels encouragingly into his ass.

“What’s this one from?” she asked, her fingertip tracing a small, white scar that crisscrossed the knuckles on the back of his hand, leaving droplets of water where her fingers touched. They were lounging deep in steaming water in the antique claw foot tub in the main bathroom, Tabby leaning back against his broad, solid chest, her hair tied up at the nape of her neck.

“A fight, I think,” he replied, as if he couldn’t quite remember.

“A fight?” she repeated, turning to squint up at him. He smiled down at her, all dimples and boyish handsomeness that was so cute she wanted to reach up and grab his cheeks and squeeze them. “You don’t look like much of a fighter.”

“Oh yeah?” he grinned, reaching up to brush the back of his hand affectionately down her cheek. “And what does a fighter look like?”

“Well, in my experience,” she grinned, turning completely over so that she was straddling him, “they’ve got tats and biker boots and…well, yeah, you’ve definitely got the muscles,” she added, running her hands over his wide shoulders. The water was nearly scalding but everywhere she touched him, chicken skin appeared.

“Where have you been hanging out?” he laughed, his big hands settling around her waist, “dive bars?”

“Bars anyway,” she replied brightly before leaning forward press her lips lightly against his. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I don’t like to sleep much at night,” she added wantonly, lowering herself over him as his cock began to harden.

“I had ummm, noticed,” he managed to croak out before his eyes rolled back and a long, low moan slid from his soft, full lips. She watched as his face transformed, his playful expression melting into something almost primitive as he opened his eyes again and regarded her with something more akin to raw desire.

“Complaining?” she asked, the pointed tip of her tongue flicking at his ear as she held herself just so the only the tip of his cock was inside of her. Patrick shook his head and swallowed audibly. “Good because I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who could keep up with me before,” she added, settling down over him and letting out a long, contented sigh.

He filled her completely, almost to the point of pain, but not quite. It was just…right, she thought as she felt his big hands slide down to cup her ass, helping her to move as she slid up, almost to the point of having him slip out before sliding back down.

Christ’ she thought, ‘he is so fucking sexy’. It was the way he looked up at her, all determined, like it was some kind of battle they were in, and it was, for him, she knew. He was determined that she would orgasm at least twice before he would let himself go. She’d never had a man like this. Even Damon, who, with his mischievous, devious sort of nature could make bedroom antics fun, still cared more about looking good during the act than whether she’d felt good. Patrick was determined that she would feel….

Oh and she did, she knew, as she cried out, past the point of caring that gallons of water was sloshing over the side of the old tub onto the equally old linoleum floor. She howled his name as he thrust up into her, his arms now holding her, supporting her, his hand cradling the back of her head as the strength of the orgasm bowed her back as if she were no more than a string, pulled taught, on a bow.

She felt tears stinging in her eyes as he cradled her now boneless body against his strong one, whispering soft words that she couldn’t really hear, not past the rushing and pounding of blood in her veins. ‘This is new’, she thought as she fought for breath and for control over her emotions. To his credit, Patrick didn’t seem to mind, but still….

“I’m sorry,” she whispered, trying to pull back from him but his huge, muscular arms held her like a vise. “I don’t know where that came from, I guess it’s just…it’s just….”

“It’s just that you’ve just had the best sex of your life?” he asked quietly as he allowed her enough movement so that she was looking down into his face, her hair somehow having coming free at some point falling around them like an ebony waterfall. She felt her cheeks heat up, felt the tips of her ears burn but he wouldn’t let her break the hold his gaze had on hers’. He reached up, his one arm still strong enough to hold her exactly where she was, and he cupped her chin to keep her looking at him. “I know, because that’s what I’ve been having since I got here.”

“So what was with the suit?” she asked as she pulled the sheet up to her chin.

“Have you ever seen that movie…the one with Vince Vaughn, Swingers?” he asked, and she nodded. “So when we go there, me and the boys, we get dressed up and do all the high roller, VIP stuff, you know? Straight to the front of the line, buy entire bottles instead of one drink,” he explained, and she, nodding seemed to understand.

“So you came…straight from the airport?” she asked and he nodded, and then, realizing she couldn’t see him the way their bodies were aligned, he whispered ‘yes’ into her ear and then nipped at her earlobe. She giggled and then fell silent. It wasn’t the kind of silence that was uncomfortable, though. It was the kind of silence that just said she was thinking and Sidney couldn’t help but think he preferred this to that inane chatter so many women did when they were around him, like his silence was deafening or something.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done anything this…decadent,” she sighed as he drew her warm, soft body back against his. He would have preferred the bigger bed in the room down the hall, but she’d insisted, again, on the cramped, lumpy bed in the tiny room with the big window. Not that he really did mind, considering it meant they had no choice but to be very, very close.

“What’s that?” he asked, twirling her hair around the finger of one hand while the other one, the one she was using as a pillow, went slowly to sleep.

“Spent the entire day doing…well I was going to say nothing, but….” He could hear the grin in her voice and felt his expression mirror the sentiment. He wasn’t sure when he’d had as good a work out as she’d provided him today, but it did feel like a day spent doing…next to nothing. “I hope I didn’t piss off too many of Gramp’s regulars,” she added, reaching up to disentangle his hand from her hair and, lacing her fingers with his, brought his hand down to lean her chin on. Thusly captured, Sidney allowed himself to lay his head down on the shared pillow and bury his face in her hair. She smelled like citrus and fruit and cake and it made his stomach grumble.
“I’m sure they’ll live. Me, on the other hand, I’m starving,” he added a bite to her shoulder to underline his point. “Do you have anything around here that isn’t fruit, yogurt or a frozen dinner?” he asked hopefully as visions of grilled steak and loaded baked potatoes filled his head.

“Oh you mean meat, don’t you?” she asked in that tone she seemed to get right before she did something to him that would make him squirm. He was almost afraid to agree. “See,” she neatly rolled over so that she was facing him and slid her leg over his and placed a kiss in the centre of his chest, “I’ve always found that the more meat a man eats, the quicker her runs out of…steam and goes to sleep on me and…I’m not sleepy,” she added, looking up at him through her eyelashes with that ‘you know what I mean’ look on her face.

Part of him wanted to ask if she ever got tired, but he thought better of it. After all, he could hardly declare himself tired of her as his body reacted to just that come hither look in her eyes. Having let go of him, his hands were free to fist themselves in her abundant, dark hair as he kissed her and kept on kissing her until she was moaning into his mouth and her body was making urgent little movements against his.

This time, as he took her, he did so slowly and methodically. He held her face cradled in his hands so he could watch the torrent of emotions pass through her eyes. He studied her like he did a playbook, memorizing the expressions, the twinges and the other subtle and not so subtle changes in body language that meant he was doing something that pleased her. He memorized the way her breathing hitched as the head of his cock stroked over her g-spot. He noticed the way she would draw in her bottom lip between her teeth and her eyes would flutter closed just before her breathing became shallow, which was a sure precursor to the orgasm spilling over her like a tidal wave. He stored these little tidbits of information away, planning to use them again and again in days to come.

When her head tipped back, he kissed her throat, the underside of her chin and waited and watched until she gave him her mouth again. When she arched her back off of the bed, he withdrew entirely and turned his attention to her breasts, licking and suckling at them until she made those little noises in her throat and reached for his cock with her hands and only then did he take her hips in his hands and slid himself balls deep in her sweet, warm, wet little pussy and started it all again until she was shuddering and crying in his arms, made weak by the strength of her own orgasm before he allowed himself to, at last, take his own pleasure.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chapter 7

okay, I got into a little disagreement over a cookie with our new dog and long story short, my middle finger got gnawed on a little more excitedly than either of us anticipated and then my mother in law tried to poison me by feeding me pasta cooked in 2 things I am violently allergic to - wine and clam sauce neither of which I could taste but both of them had me up all night and half of today doing thing unspeakable but finally I got my finger moving enough to finish this so I hope the wait was worth it! & please excuse me if there are more than the usual number of spelling errors!

Max had a dark haired, long legged beauty sitting on his lap blowing on his dice and Tanger had two curvaceous goddesses, one blonde, one dark haired, one to blow on each of his dice as they sat at the craps table in the casino of the Trump Marina. Sid sat alone between them, sipping on a JD on the rocks, his mind…elsewhere. He knew the guys were enjoying the lights, the glitz, the ladies…obviously, but this was far from his idea of relaxing. He’d hoped that once they were here, once they’d gone to the ‘freak show’ on the Boardwalk, had some thick cut steaks and sat down at the Black Jack table that he would begin to forget but….

“Mon Dieu! Will you look at him?” Tanger hooked his thumb in Sid’s direction and though he knew it was already too late, Sid had the urge to climb under the table and disappear. Instead he watched Max’s head swivel towards him and study him, head tilted to one side, a frown appearing on his face for the first time in hours.

“Oui, il semble que cela est pire que nous le pensions,” Max sighed dramatically, giving Sid that ‘what are we going to do with you’ look that he was probably too familiar with. Sometimes he succeeded in enjoying the pursuits that his teammates called r&r but for the most part….

“You’re going to do it aren’t you?” Kris’s voice held that accusing tone that held in it both hurt and disappointment in it. Sid opened his mouth to say that he wouldn’t, but as soon as he did, he knew that he was going to do it. “Tabernak! Pourquoi ne pas vous venez de le dire avant que nous partions? Eh? Si vous aviez dit que vous étiez simplement en amour avec elle….”

“Hold on, I’m not…I don’t feel like that about her…not like that,” but even as he tried to deny it, Sid tasted the lie on his own tongue. She was all he could think about. He’d thought about her all the way here on the plane and all those girls at the freak show with their tattoos had only reminded him of that demi fey inked on her back and now here in the casino, all these women in their party dresses made him wonder what she’d look like in some little black number with a pair of strappy heels….

“Si c’est l’amour then you must go mon ami,” Max instructed him quietly, sharing with him that look that Sid knew Max would never let most people see. Max didn’t want to be alone for the rest of his life, it was just too hard for him to pick just one woman. “We can’t all be Casanovas mon ami. Some of us are cursed with having to please them all,” he added, reaching up to cradle the girl’s chin as she beamed down at him. “But you, mon très bon ami, you are not such a one. When you love, it will be just one and if she is such a one….”

“Ooh, are you a poet?” the girl on his lap purred, stroking his be-whiskered cheek with her long, black fingernails.

“Oui, ma petite renarde, je suis un amant et un combattent, mais surtout je suis beni des compétences sexuelles au-delà de la compréhension de votre imagination très petites.” Sid shook his head, unable not to laugh as the girl went all goggle eyed and blushed to the tips of her ears. They both knew she had no idea what he’d just said but she’d heard sex in it and one of Max’s hands had slid up her inner thigh as he’d spoken and Sid could guess exactly where it was and what it was doing, which meant that was his cue to leave.

“I’ll talk to you soon,” he promised as he slid off of the barstool and pushed his unused chips towards Max.

“Good luck mon ami,” Max grinned at him. “But if you can’t satisfy her, you know who to call, eh?” he added with a wolfish grin and a wink that made Sid laugh.

“Oui, he’ll call me because obviously I have mad skills, n’est-ce pas mes choux jolie petite?” Tanger shouted after him, giving both of his ladies a swift, hard smack on their asses, nearly lifting them off of their heels and making them shriek and giggle.

Sid left the two Francaphones behind him, still arguing about whose skills were greater, and headed for the front desk where he’d be able to order a town car to the airport and from there, the fastest plane back north.

Tabby lay awake in her single bed, staring up at the ceiling, listening to the sound of the rain on the roof. She’d cleaned, boxed things up, dusted away cobwebs and even finished Pride and Prejudice. Even in her present mood she hadn’t been able to hold back the tears at having Lizzie and Darcy realize their love at last.

Maybe that’s what had her staring up at the ceiling in the middle of the night, she thought as she rolled over and stared at the blank wall instead. Does every woman worry that she might never find her prince charming and whose fault was it if they did? Surely Jane Austen deserved as much blame as Walt Disney for making little girls dream about a strong, silent type on a white horse riding to their rescue….

Was that the wind?

Tabby sat bolt upright in bed, the hoody she’d worn to bed falling over her eyes as she threw the thread bare sheets aside and listened. Nothing, just silence, except for the sound of rain against the window and the roof and the side of the house and….

Shaking her head, she was about to slide back between the sheets when she heard the thumping noise again. It was coming from downstairs, and if it was the wind, picking up and tossing something against the side of the house, it was doing it in an awfully rhythmic way.

Tabby slid her feet into her bear claw slippers and, in her pigs with wings pj’s, padded out into the hallway, tilting her head as she came to the top of the stairs, listening to the sound. Now that she was closer, she was almost sure someone – or maybe something – was knocking on the door.

“Who the fuck is knocking on my door in the middle of the fucking night?” she hissed, gripping the old, wobbly and badly in need of a fresh coat of paint banister and gingerly making her way down the stairs, listening to each and every creak and groan of the boards beneath her feet, wondering which was more likely to kill her, the banister giving way or one of the floorboards? The heavy knock at the door came again and she shot the big, heavy door, now in sight, a dirty look. “I’m fucking coming. Hold your fucking horses.” Not that she was worried about the door. That was probably the biggest, heaviest door on the entire island. It had been made from ship planking and was probably four inches thick. No one was kicking that door down.

Taking the last, cautious step off of the stairs, Tabby walked towards the door, rubbing her eyes which had been wide open all night and were suddenly threatening to close on her.

“Oh so now you’re tired,” she said sarcastically to no one in particular as she reached to unlatch the door, her fingers sliding the chain loose and then reaching for the deadbolt before her mind caught up to what she was doing. “Yeah, that would be good, nobody to hear you scream for miles and you’re just going to open the door to an axe murderer? Smart girl Tabby,” she admonished herself, wishing that her grandfather had had the forethought to install one of those peek holes on the door. “Who is it?” she called instead, pressing her ear to the thick wooden door, knowing how unlikely it was that anything but the strongest voice would be heard over the storm and through the door.

“It’s…it’s Patrick!”

Her body stilled and she closed her eyes as she concentrated on taking deep, steady breaths before she allowed her fingers to move the dead bolt the rest of the way so that she could open the door. Her hand shook as she pulled the big door open, but he was shaking even more as he stood on the step, looking like a drowned man, water dripping from his hair into his eyes, from his long, dark eyelashes onto his pale cheeks and from everywhere off his dark grey and silver pinstriped suit. All of those questions that she should have asked, like ‘what are you doing here?’ and ‘don’t you know what time it is?’ never quite made it from the tip of her tongue as he closed the distance between them, and Tabby found herself pulled against his chilled, soaking wet body, her lips covered by his own, soft, cool wet ones.

Normally a girl in a grey hoodie, pajama bottoms with…(were those really flying pigs?) on them and giant, oversized bear claw slippers would have been at the very least amusing, but having had no other thought than seeing her naked as soon as possible in his head for hours now, Sidney thought that she looked like chocolate cheesecake with peanut buttercups, whip cream and chocolate shavings. She was like a tall, cold glass of water to a man dying of thirst. She was beautiful and sexy and warm and dry and….

And he stepped up from the stoop and into her home and pulled her to him and took her lips with his own and fed from her like she was breathing, as if he could do nothing else, as if kissing her was as necessary as drawing in oxygen. He cradled her face in his hands and he meant to do it gently but he knew that he was failing as she whimpered into his mouth but when he went to withdraw his hands hers grabbed a hold of his and pulled him hard against her body and then he couldn’t think at all.

She was clawing at his jacket and he helped her to shrug it off but was only willing to let go of her one hand at a time. Under normal circumstances he took better care of his suits than wadding it up and throwing it on the floor, but this was in no way a normal circumstance and he could buy another suit tomorrow, so he shrugged it off and left it lying on the floor behind him in a heap. She reached for his shirt next, her fingers fumbling with the wet, slippery buttons as her tongue swept over his, sending a shudder throughout his entire body, and he became impatient, pushing her hands away and dragging it over his head instead, tossing it too onto the floor.

When he turned back to her, intending to go back to kissing her, to tasting her sweet breath and exploring her mouth with his tongue, he froze, unable to do more than watch as she slowly unzipped the soft grey hoodie. The hood itself had already fallen back, revealing her hair plaited in two long braids that disappeared behind her back, but as she revealed her collarbones, the thin white skin of her chest, his heart stopped in his chest as he realized that she wasn’t wearing a bra.

He bent then, cupping her bare breasts, holding their ripe fullness in his hands as he suckled and licked his way around the hard nubs of her nipples. He felt her fingernails digging into this scalp and it should have been painful but the only thing that seemed painful now was dick, throbbing in the restraints of his pants, aching to be free. He ignored that pain and concentrated on making her sigh out loud, feeling her arching her back to press herself closer to his lips, his mouth, his teeth, all of which he used to explore the dark pink tips of her breasts.

He held them close together so he could move his mouth from one to the other without having to pause and he circled her nipples with his tongue before he tugged at those hard little nubs with his teeth until she moaned out loud and dug her fingers insistently into his hair, holding him there, obviously enjoying his ministrations as much as he was enjoying the feel and taste of her.

It wasn’t enough though, not after days of day dreaming and fantasizing about being with her. This was good, but he was impatient to taste all of her, have all of her and so he kissed his way up over her collarbones, pausing to bite the thin skin of her neck to make her squeal before he took her mouth again with his and kissed her hard. Still holding fast to one of her tits, he slid his other hand down, down over the soft swell of her belly and below the waistband of her pajama bottoms. She wasn’t wearing panties and so it was easy to slide his hand between her thighs, finding her cleft smoldering hot and soaking wet as he slid his fingers between her folds.

She groaned out loud then, settling her legs farther apart to give him better access, pressing her hot, smooth pussy lips down against his hand, grinding her body against his hand until he found that spot, that spot that made her pull her lips from his, throw her head back against the wall and let out a long, high pitched wail.

He slid his hand free from her breast then and captured her cheek and chin in his big hand and forced her gaze to meet his as his thumb began to stroke her clit in hard little circles that had her panting and shuddering, so close to an orgasm that she could barely breathe. When his other fingers slid up inside of her, teasing and probing her entrance while his thumb pressed against her clit like it was one of those damned ‘Easy’ buttons, her eyes fluttered shut but he growled and dug his teeth into the soft flesh of her ear.

“I want to see it. I want to see your eyes when I make you cum,” he growled into her ear like a threat but it was nothing of the kind. It was greed and passion and she seemed to like it as her gaze held his he pressed his body against hers’, grinding his throbbing hard dick into her thigh as he urgently stroked her clit until she felt all that pressure in her belly release in a tidal wave of pleasure so strong that it took every ounce of control she had to keep her eyes open and let him hold her gaze while she cried out and shook and then cried out again. “Bedroom…where?”

As if he was beyond making full sentences now, so close to his base instincts, he grunted his question and when she tipped her head towards the stairs she had just descended he grabbed her hand and pulled her behind him. He practically ran up the stairs and it was only out of sheer self preservation that Tabby managed to kick off her ridiculous bear paw slippers as she hit the first landing and jogged after him.

At the top of the stairs he paused but before she could give him direction, he was heading for her grandparents room. Tabby stopped, and pulled against his hand and he turned and gave her a curious look but followed her into the small, dark room with the rumpled bed sheets and the lumpy mattress. He had a look on his face that told her he was going to ask about a bigger bed or a bigger room but she silenced those questions by hooking her thumbs into the waistband of her pajama bottoms and wriggling out of them.

His gaze followed the pj bottoms to the ground and then slowly, very slowly, his gaze made its’ way upwards, but not before taking into the entire view. She felt like blushing, like turning away to hide her nakedness from his eager gaze, but the boyish sort of excitement that met her eyes when his gaze finally reached hers’ made her smile and gave her back her confidence.

Lying back on the bed, Tabby crooked her finger at him and then watched as he kicked off his shoes, struggled with his belt and finally, with some comical hopping from one foot to the other, struggled out of his soaked pants and even more sodden socks before leaping and joining her in the cramped, single bed.

There was barely enough room for the both of them, but her body seemed to fit neatly into his as he helped her pull the quilt up over them, capturing their body heat beneath it as she molded herself to his cool, damp skin. The maternal, or perhaps survival, instinct kicked in and she started to rub his arms to try and take away the chill and he let her, for a moment, before he pulled her beneath him and his hand slid from her cheek into her hair before his lips took hers’ again, more softly this time.

He kissed her then, nibbling at her bottom lip before taking her lip between his soft ones, over and over until she became impatient and snaked her tongue out over his lips, urging him to part them and when he did, their tongues dueled in the cool night air before his mouth once again covered hers’ and this time he moaned as her tongue wrapped itself around his. His other hand stroked the outside of her thigh as they kissed and Tabby fought the urge to wrap her legs around his and pull him entirely inside of her. Patience, she told herself as kissed his way down her neck, down over her collarbones and down, down to where he worshipped her breasts once more. He sucked and licked and bit until she whimpered and dug her fingers into his hair, trying in vain to pull him up and off of her so that she could make it clear that, while this was all well and good, she’d caught a glimpse of what she wanted and felt it was her turn to make him moan.

Sidney was not to be denied his goal, however, and his lips continued their journey south, until he had nibbled and kissed his way down between her thighs at which point she had decided to put up something of a fight. She wriggled and writhed and tried to keep her milky white thighs together but with teasing bites and a little persuasion he managed to find his way to the heated core of her femininity.

She lay very still as he gently peeled her nether lips apart, but when he swept his tongue from her entrance all the way up to that so very sensitive nub at the northernmost tip of her pussy, she writhed and sighed and from that he took encouragement. He dug his tongue as far into her entrance as he could, tasting her salty goodness on his tongue as he made it do those waves that had her once again digging her fingers into his hair and pressing him closer.

Licking his way upwards again, he sucked on that hard little button that made her cry out and raise her hips off of the bed. He pressed her thighs up and outward and flicked the tip of his tongue across her clit once, twice, three more times and listened to her whimper and felt her thighs quiver beneath the palms of his hands. Drawing back, he held her pink folds apart and admired the view, blowing his breath across her clit just to make her shudder.

Pushing first one finger in and then two, he searched with his fingertips for that spot, that spongy sensitive spot that, with a come-hither gesture, would make her rocket over the edge. He positioned his mouth around her clit and sucked, hard, pressing the flat of his tongue against that hard little nub as he worked his fingers in and out of her pussy. She pressed against his mouth, his fingers and whimpered and struggled beneath the sheet but when her hips suddenly shot off of the mattress and she let go a cry like she’d been shot, he knew. He felt her juices pour over his hand, felt her entire body shudder with the strength of the orgasm and he allowed himself a moment to smile proudly over her while he pulled her warm body against his.

She lay there for a while, boneless in his arms, her eyes shut, taking long, deep breaths as her body stopped shaking and then her dark eyes fluttered open and she looked up at him with a Mona Lisa smile.

“Hi,” she said quietly and they both smiled and laughed, just a little nervously.

“Hi,” he replied, stroking the back of his hand down her cheek before gently capturing her lips with his.

He kissed her gently, reaching back to run his fingers through her hair only to have his fingers stick in her braids. “May I?” he asked, tugging gently at the elastic holding the end of the braid together. She nodded and sat up, holding the sheet tight around her chest and sat there silently as he undid first one braid and then the other, running his fingers through her long dark tresses to free her silky mane which then fell in rippling waves down past her shoulders. He thought it looked like the water on the lake at night with just a light breeze blowing over its’ surface. He held it to his nose and inhaled the rich, fruity scent of it and then brushed it aside to press his lips to her neck where her skin smelled vaguely of white birthday cake with thick frosting and sprinkles.

He kissed his way along the sharp line of her jaw until her found her mouth again. Her lips parted beneath his as he gently eased her back down onto the bed and pulled the quilt back over their heads even though he’d long forgotten about being drenched or cold. It was only his hair that was still wet and that would dry, in time. At this moment in time he didn’t care much about living past this moment, this feeling of her body warm and tractable beneath his, her arms around his back as he eased his way between her thighs.

He took her soft sighs into his mouth as consent as his cock edged its way into her soft folds, as her hips rose to meet his and she held on even tighter, digging her nails into his shoulders. He caught his breath, his lips parting from hers’ from one, brief, blinding moment as his dick slid into her warm, wet entrance and he felt her squeeze tightly around him. He made a sound, deep in his throat, somewhere between a gasp and a cry as he held himself there, half afraid he wouldn’t last another moment, the sensation of being one with her too amazing, too good to be true.

But she wouldn’t let him savor the moment. With a single move of her hips she had him balls deep inside of her and her own strangled cry made him look down at her in wonder. Her eyes were shut tight and her full lips were parted now in the silent ending to that cry as her body stretched to accommodate his. She fit him perfectly, as if her body was made as a home for his, his being a key to her lock and suddenly Sidney was blinking back tears.

This was different than all of those nights before with girls whose faces he didn’t remember, nameless numbers of women who had come and gone from his bed and never made more than a passing impression. This felt real and it was more than her sweet pussy that had a strangle hold on him. He could feel something squeezing at his chest, threatening to stop him from ever breathing again and it almost hurt.

Fuck. He could hear Max laughing at him now and saying things like ‘you’re such a girl’ and ‘it’s not love mon ami, it’s just getting your dick wet’. But Sid knew differently. He knew now what Flower meant when he’d said that one day he would just know. He knew now, as their bodies finally began to move in that universal way of give and take, that ebb and flow of the universe. He was certain as her lips reached for his and their bodies were like a connected circuit, almost like they could glow like a bulb in a socket with the energy flooding over and through them. He knew…he just knew.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chapter 6

As if she’d jinxed herself, Tabby woke up to a find a thick fog blanketing the lake and a gloomy dark grey sky looming overhead. Pulling on one of the only sweaters she’d brought with her, she took a well worn and obviously well loved copy of Pride and Prejudice with her down to the store and opened up.

She was half way through Lizzie and Darcy’s turbulent relationship when she heard the rain began to pelt down upon the old roof. ‘Great,’ she sighed to herself, sticking her thumb in the book to hold her place. She knew there would be no customers now, even though her grandfather had always said that the fish were more likely to bite in the rain. People came to the lake to catch sun, drink some beer and waste some time. It wasn’t really about fishing, even if all of the store’s clients seemed to be serious about their pastime. They weren’t serious enough to catch their death in one of the East Coast’s famous downpours.

Tabby stared out the window as she turned the sign in the front door from ‘open’ to ‘closed’. The rain was coming down so hard that cats and dogs didn’t really describe it. It was like sheets of water falling from the sky.

Oh well,’ she thought, shrugging to herself as she turned to head back into the house. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have lots to do. Mentally adding things off her list, she headed up the rickety old stairs when she felt the first drop on her head.

“Oh mother fucking hell,” she growled, turning and heading back down the stairs. She’d forgotten that the old place leaked like a colander when it rained like this. A spring shower it could take. Even a heavy dump of snow, but sheets of rain and the place turned into a giant dripping faucet. Dropping Lizzie and Darcy on the couch as she jogged by, Tabby began pulling out pots and bowls, silently cursing her grandfather for not having the roof fixed and wondering how much worse it could be than when she’d been a teenager and just how many pots and bowls she was going to need.

Sidney stared out at the sheeting rain and let go a heavy sigh. He’d always hated rain days, even when he’d been a kid. He’d never been good at sitting still. He wasn’t the kind to curl up and read a good book. He couldn’t even sit through an entire movie without stopping it in the middle and doing something else. He thought about asking if the guys wanted to shoot some pucks in the basement where he had had a similar set up to his parents’ place except with a goal this time to shoot at and not his mom’s dryer, but Max and Kris seemed content to duel it out, UFC style, on X-box. In fact, from where he leaning, staring out the kitchen window, he could hear them cursing one another loudly en Français.

Half of him wanted to join them but it was always too complicated to play with three, unless they got into something like So-Com or Brothers in Arms, and the other half knew that he was too competitive for it to really be any fun. He just hated to lose too much.

“Why don’t we really go?” he called, still staring out at the sheeting rain. He heard the silence that followed and grinned to himself. It didn’t take too long before two heads appeared around the corner, expressions of hopeful disbelief clear on both of their faces.

“Really?” they said in unison. Damn, they’d all been hanging out together way too long.

“Once it gets socked in like this it could be a fucking week before it clears,” he explained which made the two look even more eagerly hopeful, their eyes round as saucers, just like little kids being teased with the promise of candy, sure it was going to be taken away if they said the wrong thing. “Well? What else are we going to do?” he asked and then took a step while his two friends began to jump and yell like a couple of oversexed cheerleaders.

It wasn’t just the rain he’d be getting away from, Sid thought to himself as Max and Tanger celebrated. He’d spent half the night fighting the urge to drive up to her house and…. Sid shook his head, trying to clear the x-rated visions from his mind. It was one thing to almost kiss a girl but even if she had teased him a little, no matter how far ahead his imagination raced, she hadn’t exactly invited him into her bed, although Sid knew, without a shadow of a doubt that was exactly where he wanted to be and the strength of his desire for her was starting to scare the shit out of him.

He didn’t obsess like this over women. Scores, games, set plays, sure. He could obsess over positioning in a power play for hours, given the opportunity. But women…normally he tried not to allow them to invade his thoughts too often and no wonder. It was so distracting. This was exactly the reason that his father had forbidden him to date until after the draft. Not that he’d done much of that since then. Women always seemed to want more than he had to give and he hadn’t found anyone yet that was worth taking the time for.

That and having been bitten a couple of times, Sid wasn’t sure that he trusted his judgment anymore when it came to pretty girls, hence his taking the first opportunity to escape from the temptation that Tabby represented.

“So we’re really doing this? You’re not going to pull out on us au dernier moment, est-ce pas, mon ami?” Tanger asked, grabbing Sid by the shoulders and daring him to back out already.

“Ne me faites pas regretter,” Sid sighs as he mumbles his reply, causing Kris to bounce up and down and when Sid won’t join in, Tanger turns and grabs Max and the two of them go back to acting like a couple of kangaroos while Sid brushes by them to search for his passport.

Tabby drummed her fingernails impatiently on the counter as she waited for the shop assistant to come back with a recommend someone to fix the roof. She’d begun using the bait pails to catch the drips and as an option, that was quickly losing its’ effectiveness.

“Snap your gum at me and tell me to use the yellow pages,” she snarled to herself impatiently as she stared at the door the girl had disappeared through. “If I had a yellow pages I know exactly where I’d be shoving it right about now,” she added colourfully, the ghost of a smile playing at the corners of her lips as she thought about the highly uncomfortable, even painful manner in which she would insert the brightly coloured book…

“Is Taylor here?” Tabby froze, that molten chocolate voice causing the small hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end. She closed her eyes and imagined herself invisible.

Great…just fucking great’, she mentally swore as her hand gripped the edge of the desk. She was wearing yoga pants, old ones that barely fit that she’d found in one of the closets, black hip skimming ones with ‘sexy’ written across the ass of them in bright red, in case you might otherwise miss the sentiment. Her already slim fitting t-shirt was drenched and clinging to her like a second skin, causing more than just her skin to be chilled as a Neanderthal type middle aged man in a red and black checked hunting cap had proved by staring straight at her chest as she walked in the door. Tabby dug the keys to the old pick up into the palm of her hand and prayed not to be seen with her hair plastered to her head, not an ounce of make up on and generally looking like a homeless person.

“Hey, look mon capitaine, n’est pas que le magasin d’âppats fille?” Tabby pushed the breath she’d been holding out between pursed lips and forced a smile on her face as she reached up to wipe her wet hair out of her eyes. When she turned, rather than finding Patrick standing behind her, she found one of his friends, the one with the darker hair, and, now that she could see them, equally dark and very puppy dog like eyes. At first glance she would have thought them just that, soft and chocolate brown like a lab’s but then his lips turned up in a mischievous grin and Tabby made a mental note, ‘that one’s trouble’.

“Doing some work on the house while it’s quiet?” Tabby turned toward the source of that liquid honey coated voice and tried to forget that she looked like death not so very warmed over, especially when he looked so damned handsome in a light blue t-shirt that seemed almost like a second skin the way it draped closely over his muscles, causing his shoulders to look even wider than she knew them to be. Even with a light colored baseball hat pulled down over his eyes there was no mistaking that he was looking at her with actual concern in his caramel flavored gaze.

“Yeah, something like that,” she replied, trying to sound more enthused about it. The last thing she needed was more of his knight in shining armor act. If he so much as asked if he could help she knew her knees would just give way.

“Nothing major, I hope,” he added, taking another step towards her until he too was leaning against the counter, his ankles crossed so that one of those damnable flip flops he seemed to wear everywhere bent under itself. She forced herself to shrug and smile and do that whole ‘golly gee, no problem-o boss’ look as she dragged her gaze away from his just so that she could breathe again, except that she found herself staring down at his hand, and those thick fingers that were holding a sizeable key ring that included a small red maple leaf and a key fob that looked like it might be for some expensive type of vehicle. It was on the tip of her tongue to ask him if he owned a roofing hammer but almost as soon as she thought it, she had a vision of him, shirtless and sweaty on her roof and so instead she just shook her head and bit down on her bottom lip, not trusting herself to speak with that vision still burning in her mind.

Fortunately she didn’t have to speak, as he was very suddenly being climbed by a pretty young girl with long blonde hair. Tabby told herself she had no right to be jealous but the urge to grab the girl by her hair and pull her off of him was nearly overwhelming. It was only the risk of making an even bigger spectacle out of herself that stopped her.

“Guess who?” the girl wrapped her hands across his face, blinding him, but Patrick didn’t look overly shocked or perturbed. In fact, he grinned wide, pulling his pink lips back over his big white teeth.

“Get down Taylor. What are you trying to do? Cripple me?” he laughed, reaching back with one arm to help her down. Tabby clenched her teeth even as her hands curled into fists. If he had a girlfriend literally blocks away from her house how could he have nearly kissed her and she was no not that kind of girl who shared well.

“Are you saying I’m fat?” the girl, Taylor, put her hands on her hips and stared him down, but with a grin on her face and a twinkle in her eye that said she didn’t mean anything by it. Tabby looked at her and then back at Patrick, who was rolling his eyes and shaking his head.

“You girls and your obsession with weight, fuck. Tell her Kris. Tell her that no guy likes a rack of bones.” Tabby turned to the one with the puppy dog eyes and found him suddenly very interested in a shelf of power tools.

“That’s okay Kristopher,” the girl purred, sidling up to him and wrapping her arms around what looked to be a very flat stomach, before laying her cheek against the middle of his back with a cherubic smile on her face. “You don’t have to do anything but breathe and look good."

“Si…mon capitaine, il s’agit de votre soeur,” the young Frenchman managed to look stoic and entirely uncomfortable all at once. It even made Tabby smile to see him stiffen in the girl’s embrace, especially now that he’d said that she was Patrick’s sister.

“I think what Tanger’s trying to say is stop manhandling the merchandise,” Patrick’s other friend, the one that had canon-balled them last night, appeared beside the cuddling duo. “Unless you want to manhandle my merchandise, ma petite fleur,” he added in a lascivious tone.

“Ewww, your merchandise has been way too handled,” Patrick’s younger sibling gave a shudder, but untwined herself from his friend. “You should be in the damaged goods section.”

“Ouch!” the one Patrick had called Max placed both of his hands over his heart and winced. “Je suis mortellement blessé,” he added while artfully stumbling backwards, raising one hand dramatically to his brow. “The light, la lumière…se fane,” he moaned, finally coming to rest against a pile of boxed air conditioners which he then proceeded to slide down until he was sitting on the floor with his legs stretched out in front of him, his arms limp at his sides, his eyes closed.

The entire store gave him a standing ovation and, after a long moment, he popped up to his feet and began giving deep bows to all four corners of the store.

“Seriously, he should be put on a leash,” Taylor sighed, turning her back to the show and facing her brother, her cherubic smile replaced by a tired half frown. “So, what do you need for your giant house that you need my store discount on?”

“Nothing,” Sidney tried not to laugh, knowing it would only upset his young sibling even more if he was even the least bit encouraging of his friend although it was hard not to laugh when Max pulled shit like this. “I just wanted to let you know that we’re heading to Atlantic City…probably into New York too, so I’ll be gone for a few days. Will you be okay to look after my place for a while?” he dangled the keys in front of Taylor who reached up to snatch them out of his hand but he was quicker. He closed his fingers around the keys and held them up and back, just out of her reach. “Without having a huge party and getting me in trouble with the neighbors…again,” he added, raising an eyebrow while he watched her bottom lip jut out.

“That was once, and I didn’t invite most of those people, they just sort of showed up,” she pouted but didn’t stop reaching for the keys, even giving a little jump as he held them just out of her reach.

“Atlantic City eh?” Sidney had almost forgotten she was there, but as soon as she spoke, he looked over to find her still leaning on the desk, except now she was wearing an expression of…was it disappointment? If it was, it was there and gone or at the very least hidden as she ducked her head and went back to digging into the counter with her red nails. Red, the same colour as that word across the ass of those hip hugging pants she was wearing.

“The guys thought it might be fun.” Suddenly it felt like he should be apologizing, as if he was doing something wrong. He didn’t even know this girl and already he felt like he was abandoning her.

“I’m sure it will be,” she agreed, flattening her hand on the counter and then using it to push off. “Well, have a good time,” she smiled but it didn’t warm her features at all. In fact, her eyes flashed like she was angry. Angry at him for leaving?

Sidney turned to watch her leave, half enjoying the view and half wanting to run after her, to grab her and spin her around, run his fingers through her wet hair and taste the rain on her lips. Except he didn’t. Instead he listened to the chime above the door sound as she pushed her way through it and he just stood there, wondering what if?

“So, are you going to give me the keys or what?” Taylor made another grab for his hand and this time Sidney didn’t pull away from her grasp. He let his sister snap her hand around his wrist and said nothing as she pried the key ring out of his hand. “And where should I tell mom and dad you’ve gone because they are so not going to be impressed with Atlantic City,” she added, tucking his keys away in the pouch at the front of her Rona pinny.

“I uh…Max’s…say we’ve gone to Max’s for a while,” he told her, absentmindedly, that part of him that wanted to go after Tabby felt like it had left with her. He suddenly felt light headed and sick to his stomach at the same time.

“As long as he’s not hanging around here,” Taylor grumbled, before putting on her bright and shiny face and going on tip toes to hug him. Sidney hugged her back but his mind was…elsewhere.

“Ma petite, you injure me with your hostility,” Max did that thing where he suddenly appeared behind someone and made them jump out of their skin. It never did work with Taylor. That’s why she was a goalie like his father had been. She didn’t rattle easily.

“I am not your petite, and I’ll be a lot more than hostile if you keep breathing down my neck Froggie,” Sid’s sister growled, putting her elbow deep into Max’s gut, making him double over and fight for breath.

“That’s no way to get mon ami Kristopher to like you, you know, calling me names like that,” Max hissed, still holding his stomach as he narrowed his eyes at her.

“Who says I like any of you?” Taylor snarled, and with that, turned on her heel and headed back into one of the aisles. They could hear her muttering something derogatory about men all the way to the back of the store.

“I like them feisty,” Max grinned suddenly and Sid shuddered.

“Don’t talk about my sister that way, pervert,” Sid grumbled, giving his friend a push towards the front door.

“She scares me,” Kris added, giving his own shudder.

“Both of you, stop talking about my sister, seriously,” Sid grumbled, hunching his shoulders as they stepped out into the beating rain. “Now what time is the flight? Is there anything we need before we go?”

“It’s Atlantic City mon ami,” Max grinned, putting his arm around his friend’s shoulders. “Whatever we need we can find there. Even a hooker for you,” he added, and for the second or maybe third time that day, Sid elbowed him in the ribs and left him behind holding his ribs and cursing en Français.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chapter 5

“Soooo Patrick,” Max began finally breaking the silence that had lasted long enough for the three men to get back to Sidney’s home, put away what was left of the food, grab a six pack and head out onto his deck. Max had his feet up on one of the other deck chairs while Kris seemed to be content to stare out over the dark lake. Sidney was picking at the label on his Moosehead and sulking.

“You know how hard it is for me to find someone normal, a girl that isn’t into the whole fame game,” Sidney explained quietly. Not that he thought he had to explain that to either of his friends. They had both fallen victim to gold diggers of their own and learned the lesson the hard way. For his part, Sidney had avoided relationships altogether, for years, refusing to get more serious than a few dates. The one or two times he had begun to trust someone, his life ended up on Photobucket or Tumblr for the entire world to see.

“D’accord, mon ami, nous le comprends, mais…if she doesn’t know who you are, why lie?” Sidney glanced over at Kris who he hadn’t thought was listening to the conversation and watched while his dark haired friend grabbed a chair, turned it backwards and straddled it, leaning on the back of it, his chin resting on the back of his arms while he waited for a reply.

“But I don’t know, not for sure,” Sidney pointed out, peeling away part of the label and reaching out to drop it into the citronella candle, watching as it sizzled and disappeared in a plume of multi-coloured smoke. “Sometimes, the good ones, they let you believe they don’t know,” he added thoughtfully, thinking of a certain blonde haired gymnast who hadn’t seemed to care about who he was until she’d bedded him and then she’d splashed it across facebook as if it were the news of the world.

“So when do you plan on telling her the truth?” Max asked, taking a long gulp of the amber liquid, tipping it so that even the very last drop in the bottle wouldn’t be wasted before holding it up to the light, just to be sure and then he reached for another from the cooler. “After you’ve slept with her? Before you ask her to marry you?” he added, finally turning his attention to Sid who stared back at him as if he’d just spoken in Swahili.

“I…I’m not saying I even want…well, yeah I want to sleep with her…yeah of course. I mean you saw her, right?” he looked at both of his friends in turn and they both nodded their agreement. She was definitely bangable. “But I don’t want to have a relationship,” he added, shuddering as if the entire idea of tying oneself down to another human being was repulsive in the extreme.

“Oui, because you are the king of the one night stands mon ami,” Tanger snorted, and he and Max clinked bottles and laughed at his expense while Sidney sat and simmered in silence because it wasn’t something he could argue over. He wasn’t that guy. He wasn’t like Max or Chris or Jordy, he couldn’t just do the whole wham bam skip out in the middle of the night thing. He had too much respect for women to be the guy that snuck out in the early hours of the morning leaving behind a bogus phone number. Maybe it had had something to do with growing up in a small town like this, knowing that every move you made was going to be seen and talked about. Or maybe it was just that everything he’d done since he was about ten had been talked about, discussed, analyzed to death and it had just been too much of a risk to include women in that mix. Either way, meaningless sex wasn’t in his repertoire.

“I didn’t say one night. I said I wanted to sleep with her…have fun, over the summer and then I’ll go my way and she’ll go hers’. No harm no foul.” It sounded like a solid plan when he said it to himself but the way both Kris and Max looked at each other and immediately began to snort derisively, he was willing to guess they didn’t think that possible either.

“You don’t do casual mon capitaine,” Tanger chuckled, grabbing each bottle off of the table and staring into them as if there was some chance they would have miraculously began to refill themselves.

“And that picnic didn’t look casual either,” Max pointed out, his eyebrow raised as if he was daring Sid to argue the point.

“Is there some rule that says you can’t enjoy the company of a woman, wine her and dine her before you have sex?” he asked and watched as Kris and Max turned to one another with amused looks on their faces. “What? What have I done wrong now?”

“Is the rule written down? Je ne sais pas, but I know if all I plan to do is take a girl to bed, I’m not spending more than a few drinks worth of money sur la fille, comprends?” Tanger gave Sid that look from beneath the brim of his hat that said he was right and Sid was wrong but life didn’t work that way.

“If it was only a one night stand, oui, c’est vrai, but that’s not what Sid’s after, is it, mon ami?” Max interjected, which wasn’t exactly coming to his defense. In fact, it made Sid squirm on his chair.

“It’s casual, whatever,” he mumbled, getting up from his chair, sending it tumbling behind him as he reached for the bottles on the table, grabbing them up in his hands. “I’m going to bed. Try not to piss off my neighbors.” With that he turned and went into the house, knowing full well that he was leaving them to talk about him behind his back. ‘Let them’ he thought to himself as he slammed the door shut behind him and stomped into the kitchen, dropping the beer bottles into the recycling bin before dragging off his sweater and balling it angrily in his hands. Their advice had never amounted to much anyway.

Reaching into the tub, Sid turned the water on full and let it run over the back of his hand. What he probably needed was a cold shower but that would keep him up and he already had a bad feeling that the events of this evening were going to haunt him. So instead, he made sure the water was scalding hot before he unbuckled his belt and dropped his jeans to the floor.

He wanted to wash off her touch. He wanted his skin to stop tingling where hers’ had brushed his, where she’d touched him either deliberately or inadvertently. He turned his face up into the hot spray and closed his eyes.

Was he being too eager? Doing too much? It seemed like she wanted him as much as he did, or had all the food sharing and all of the talk about skinny dipping been nothing more than an instrument meant to drive him crazy?

Sid’s fists hit the cold tile with enough force to break open the skin on his knuckles.

Maybe the boys were right. Maybe he was taking this too seriously. He would stay away from her for a few days and then he wouldn’t look so pathetic and needy. After all, he didn’t need her. If he wanted to get laid all he’d have to do is drive down to Halifax with the boys and go to a bar, any bar, and he could have his pick of girls. They’d know who he was of course but if all he wanted was sex, did that matter?

Sid turned off the water and reached blindly for a towel. As he dragged it over his head, rubbing his still short, dark hair dry, he told himself firmly that he didn’t need her or anyone else and that it wasn’t just about the boys teasing him. He had more control than that. He had come home to fish and relax so that was what he was going to do. Fish, relax and not think about the dark haired beauty at the other end of the lake.

Failing that, he knew it wouldn’t take much arm twisting to get Tanger and Max to join him on a flight to Atlantic City, or even all the way down to Barbados, if it came to that, which it wouldn’t, he promised himself as he ran the towel roughly over his now cooked and somewhat tender skin.

“Ahhh fuck,” he hissed as he imagined her hands running up his legs, softer, gentler than the towel and his body reacted accordingly. “Maybe a trip to Atlantic City isn’t such a bad fucking idea,” he growled, folding the towel and shoving it back onto the towel rack before scooping his clothes off of the floor and padding silently to his room where he knew he was going to spend the night tossing and turning.


Tabby sat on the bench by the bay window and stared across the dark lake, her knees pulled up to her chin, one of her grandmother’s old hand sewn quilts wrapped around her. Not because she was cold but because she felt like she needed holding onto. She’d known that she might feel the need for a hug or two while she was here, but she’d thought that would be because of all the memories in the walls surrounding her. As it turned out, the specters in the old house seemed to be friendlier than she had anticipated and she hadn’t really felt alone since she’d got here. Not until tonight. Tonight she felt lonelier than she’d felt in years.

She’d always had a knack for surrounding herself with people. Not that she needed to be with anyone, but it was somehow more comforting to know that her friends were either a text or a block away. She knew she could text her friends now, it wasn’t nearly as late on the other side of the country as it was here, but she also knew they’d be out at a pub or a club having a good time and didn’t need to hear her complaining about something that she told herself was trivial anyway. He wasn’t important. He was just some cute guy whose biceps and triceps and god help her, that god damn amazing gluteus maximus of his were, at most, a pleasant distraction. She’d just let him take up too much of her time. It’s not like there weren’t things he had to do around here.

There were her grandmother’s books to pack away, for instance, she told herself, glancing over at the bookshelves across the dark room filled with first editions and old, dusty copies of Wuthering Heights and Mansfield Park. She’d take some of them home, the rest she planned to put on e-bay.

And that was another thing she needed to do. Now that the phones were being hooked up in the morning, she needed to get online and get in touch with Harlequin and send them an email with the pictures she’d taken of the canvas. If they liked it they’d send a courier for it and she’d be putting a few hundred in her bank account, which she was going to need if she was going to get some clothes that wouldn’t make her stand out like a sore thumb around town and that she didn’t mind getting a little dirty. Now she understood why gramps had spent so much time in overalls.

See,’ she told herself with a secretive little smile, ‘you can think about something other than him’. She just needed to keep busy, and there was plenty to do.

You’re not here to chase boys’, she reminded herself firmly, ‘no matter how long his eyelashes are or how soft his lips look’. Tabbi’s fingertips pressed against her bottom lip. It was as if all she had to do was close her eyes and she could conjure him up, like a poltergeist that could actually press his lips to hers and leave her shivering in his wake.

She’d just have to keep herself busy and if he asked, she would just have to explain that she had things to do and it wasn’t as if it was a lie. Besides, she told herself as she got to her feet and crawled onto the small, single bed with the lumpy mattress, if she was really that lonely she could always get a cat. At least with a cat, his friends wouldn’t show up and ruin her night.

Maybe that had been a lucky escape though’, she told herself as she stared up at the ceiling. If his juvenile, annoying little friends hadn’t shown up maybe they would have gotten carried away and maybe she would have done something she’d regret in the morning. ‘Doubtful’, she mused, grinning to herself. There was something about the electricity that passed between them every time they so much as brushed against one another that told her that even if all that came of it was a one night stand, it would probably be a one night stand that would remain unsurpassed for the rest of her life.

A little shudder went through her entire body and Tabby bit down on her bottom lip to silence a whimper. ‘It doesn’t matter if it would be that good’, she told herself, screwing her eyes shut against the vision of his muscular shoulders and smooth chest moving above her. It would just complicate things. She had to clean up and fix up the house, put it up on the market and get the hell out of dodge before it turned cold and this and every other place on the Eastern Seaboard got lost in the fog and the rain.

No, no boys’, she told herself again and turned over on her side and reached for an old teddy bear she’d found in a box earlier that day.

“Just you and me teddy,” she sighed as she began, silently, to count sheep; sheep with gold and green eyes and soft, pink pouty lips.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chapter 4

thanks for your patience, this keeping up the tension is killing me!!

She heard the damned bell over the damn door dingling again and checked her watch. This day had been far too long and far too weird. If they hadn’t been giving her these knowing, strange little smiles, the customers had been giving her dirty looks all day. It was fucking weird and she’d had enough of it for one day. She’d just about mustered the courage to ask the last of the old guys to come back with his little tin pail, empty and cleaned out thank god, but it didn’t seem like he could beat a path out of the store fast enough. She’d been ready to turn the sign around there and then and go into the house to hide under a pile of pillows and a comforter or two, but that damned bell….

“Oh, it’s you.” Could you be happy and disappointed to see someone at the same time? Her body lit up like a candle to see those hazel eyes, those full, soft pink lips and those wickedly high cheekbones. At the same time, she wanted very much to hide behind the counter and pretend she’d never seen him. She’d had a cat once that did that. He would hide behind something that didn’t exactly hide him completely but as long as he couldn’t see you he’d been pretty sure he was invisible. Tabby longed for that same ability to wish him away but when she took a deep breath and forced herself to look up into those hazel eyes, her knees almost gave way beneath her.

“I’m sorry if I offended you earlier,” he began, much to her surprise. “I mean if I offended you’re artistic sensibilities,” he added, as if it was an afterthought, which also made her take a step back and force down the girly, bouncy, happy feelings that had begun to bubble toward the surface.

“It’s a job,” she reiterated in what she hoped was a cold and disinterested voice as she opened the till and took the money drawer and placed it beside the adding machine on the counter. He didn’t seem to take the hint though, even when she pulled out a handful of bills and started counting. “Fine,” she snapped, grabbing an elastic band and putting it around the pile of blue five dollar bills. “I’ll put a goatee or a mustache or something on it, is that what you’re fishing for?” She looked up to see if this promise would be good enough to make him disappear so that she could stop shaking as she tried to count through the pile of purple ten dollar bills in the tray but they kept sticking together. It really wasn’t fair, him standing there in what looked like it would be a soft grey cashmere sweater, looking boyishly handsome, as if butter wouldn’t melt, as innocent as a child.

“I don’t want you to change anything.” His hand was suddenly wrapped around her wrist and Tabby stared down at his hand and then at the muscular forearm that was forcing his fingers to clamp down on her arm like a vice. It should have made her angry, but her brain immediately went to a place where he had her pinned to a bed, his body pressing her down into the mattress and his lips…oh god, those lips….. “I’m flattered,” he said more quietly, his grip loosening until she looked up into his solemn gaze. He was wearing an expression that aged him at least ten years but it also made her believe him too. “Which is why I’m here, “ he added even more quietly as an older man with a beard and one of those tractor hats the locals seemed to favor came in the door, making that damn bell jingle.

Patrick quickly withdrew his hand and Tabby wasn’t sure but she thought he looked vaguely guilty as he stepped back from the counter. She narrowed her eyes at him but kept the question that immediately leapt to her lips to herself and instead craned her neck and beamed a friendly smile towards the would-be customer.

“I’m closed, sorry,” she called out and though the man gave them a suspicious once over, he tipped his hat graciously and headed out the door, sending the bell jingling again. She made a mental note to take that thing down. “Jumpy much?” she asked, keeping her voice low and even as she went back to counting the bills in front of her.

“It’s a small town,” he shrugged, as if that were explanation enough. Tabby thought about pointing out that he’d been seen leaving this very spot in the early hours of the day but decided not to bring it up. She reminded herself that she was supposed to still be angry at him about that. “Anyway,” he brightened, “I came bearing a peace offering.” Tabby looked up at the sound of something substantial hitting the counter. It was an old fashioned picnic basket, dark woven willow with a blue and white checkered cloth sticking out of the edges. It sounded full. Tabby raised her eyebrow at him and then went back to counting the takings.

He’d known the minute he’d phoned to make the reservation that it had been a mistake. The maitre d’ had known his voice immediately and had sounded just a little too happy to be of service and Sidney had developed a major case of cold feet as far as actually going public with Tabby was concerned. Not that he was ashamed to be seen with her, far from it. No, it was that niggling feeling in the pit of his stomach that he always had when it came to women – ‘does she really like me?’ And by me he meant the boy from Cole Harbor not young millionaire NHL superstar, Sidney Crosby and he knew if he took her to that restaurant, his cover would be blown and he might never have the chance to find that out.

So, he’d had the restaurant make up the picnic basket instead. He hadn’t really been thinking of it as a more romantic alternative. Not until he’d walked in to see her in that strapless little black and white gingham summer dress, belted tight around her small waist, flaring gently over her hips. She didn’t belong in and amongst the lures and worms. She belonged in that restaurant, but he was happy to have her all to himself…that was if she was even going to talk to him.

“I thought maybe we could spread the blanket at the end of the dock?” he suggested and thought he could see the see the hint of a smile at the corners of her full mouth. It was a small sign of forgiveness and it gave him hope.

“Oh you did, did you?” she put a small handful of bills into an envelope and put the rest back in the tray, sliding it back into the register. “I suppose I have to eat sometime,” she continued, turning to head into the house through the back door before turning back to him with a raised eyebrow, her dark eyes dancing with amusement. “Well, are you going to lock that door and come with me or what?”

Sid found himself laughing as he strode to the front door, throwing the lock on it and turning the sign around to read closed. That feeling in his gut was gone, uncertainty replaced by a nervous sort of excitement. He even found himself wiping a sweaty palm down the thighs of his jeans as he made his way into the old house, the basket of wine and food in his other hand.

She was standing out on the deck with her back to him and Sid found himself staring at those legs of hers’ again, noticing the way she crossed one ankle over the other and the back foot bounced to the rhythm of some unheard beat as she leaned over the railing, her eyes scanning the horizon as the sun began to sink towards the top of the tree line. Sidney froze in the doorway as Tabby reached back to gather her long dark hair up into a ponytail, shoving one of those sckrunchy thing over the mass of silken darkness, revealing an elaborate tattoo that seemed to cover most of what he could see of her back.

“That must have hurt,” he mumbled, not really meaning to say it out loud, but knew he did when her hands paused in pulling her hair through the elastic and slowly turned to face him.

“Not after a while,” she admitted with a sly sort of smile. “I forget that it’s even there to tell the truth,” she admitted with a half a shrug.

“Can I…can I see it?” he asked ands she nodded, pulling her pony tail over her shoulder and turning to give him her back. Sid closed the distance between them in two strides and set the basket down at her feet before reaching out, with every intention to run his fingertips along the spidery lines of the wings that spread out over her shoulder blades, except that his hands began to shake and he couldn’t quite make himself lay his hands on her skin. He could feel the heat radiating from her skin as the last rays of the day’s sun poured over her shoulders and it was almost like holding his hands out to a campfire. “Wh...what is it?” he asked instead, taking a step back so that the sweet, almost sugary scent of her skin was not quite as overwhelming.

“It’s a Manitou,” she said simply as she let her hair drop back over the lines swimming in front of his eyes. “It’s a native thing…well, it’s sort of a Manitou and a Celtic fairy at the same time. You know, mixed together, kind of like a representation of my heritage,” she explained, heading towards the stairs that lead down to the dock. She turned when she stood on the first stair and his breathing stopped entirely as her gaze slid down his body, slowly, very slowly and then just as slowly her gaze made its’ way back up to meet his again. “You coming?” she asked, and then, without waiting for a reply, she turned and headed down the stairs and out of his sight.

You can’t handle her’, he told himself bluntly. He could hear Max in his head, laughing and telling him that she was ‘way too much woman’ for him and yet, he felt a goofy sort of grin spread across his face as he headed down the stairs after her. He didn’t live by believing that he couldn’t do things. Can’t wasn’t in his vocabulary.

Tabby licked her fingers before using a napkin. It seemed like a waste to lose even a single morsel of the scrumptious food from the basket. When he’d first opened the basket she’d expected, cheese and crackers, maybe a sandwich or two. What she hadn’t expected was an eighty dollar bottle of wine, brie and goat cheese, cold chicken, honeyed figs, grapes, strawberries and for desert, bite size chocolate dipped cheesecakes. She’d tried to eat like a bird, but the food had just been too damn good. But now, as she looked at him over the serviette she was embarrassed to find him watching her with some obvious amusement.

“I don’t remember if I even ate today,” she tried to explain, but he only smiled and reached forward to offer her another of those chocolate covered squares of fattening, creamy goodness. She told herself not to but it was far too tempting not to press her lips around his fingers and take it from him. Was it her imagination or did his eyes go a little wider? Did he stop breathing for just a moment as her lips withdrew from his fingers?

“I actually prefer it when girls don’t play that game, say they aren’t hungry, they’ll just have a side salad or something and then they eat half of my order,” he grinned, picking up his real, crystal glass and sipping at the chilled white wine that almost tasted of peaches she thought and that made her think of how his tongue might taste, what with the strawberries he’d just been eating and now that wine….

“At least you didn’t do that thing that most men do,” she replied, shaking her head when he went to pick up another treat from the plate, but smiled as he picked up a strawberry instead and inserted it carefully in between her teeth. She bit off half of the ripe, red fruit and left the other half for him. He popped it into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully.

“Burp…fart?” he asked after a moment’s thought.

“No,” she laughed and ducked her head to one side. Why was it so embarrassing to have him say that? “So many guys…they just fill their faces, scooping the food into their mouths like they’re never going to have another meal in their lives…. It’s disgusting.” She wrinkled her nose as she thought of some of the half starved musicians she’d dated. Of course it might have been that they really hadn’t eaten in a week.

“I know what you mean. Even some of the guys…the guys I work with…yeah, it’s like get a shovel already,” he agreed as he leaned back on his strong arms and stared up at the sky that had already turned that deep velvet navy colour of darkness, lit by what seemed like a million stars. “This is a good spot. You must enjoy it here,” he added suddenly and Tabby gazed up at the sky and had to admit, it was very, very pretty.

“I do…and I don’t. I can’t get used to the silence,” she practically whispered, as if she was half afraid some beehive wearing librarian was going to come out of nowhere with a meter stick to shush her. “I guess I’m just a city girl at heart,” she admitted, still staring up at the sky while she reached for another ripe, juicy strawberry, only to find his hand there. She froze, her heart ceasing to beat altogether until she heard his childlike laugh as he slid his hand from beneath hers’ and picked up the last strawberry.

“Share?” he asked and she nodded. He slide the red fruit between his full pink lips and bit into it with his straight white teeth and Tabby thought she was going to have a stroke. It was sinful how fucking sexy that was. She had to swallow hard just to open her mouth to take the rest of the fruit as he offered it to her. ‘You started it’ she told herself firmly, ‘you can’t be mad at him if he teases you right back’. “So, you’re not from here,” he continued, as if they hadn’t just been feigning sex faces at one another.

“No,” she furrowed her brow, trying to remember what, if anything she might have already told him. “I came here…I don’t remember, a few summers I guess,” she explained, suddenly self conscious about her teeth being stained red, looking like something off of True Blood.

“Yeah, I thought I would have remembered…,” he began and then turned to her, swinging his whole body around so that he was sitting cross legged on the edge of the blanket across the basket from her. “But you said you were here…I mean here,” he pointed at the very spot they were now sitting on, “during the summer?” Tabby nodded and then shrugged.

“Well…probably not during the day,” she admitted, glancing back at the big old house and the bay window from which she’d watched those endless summers go by. “I’d have been up there, most days,” she pointed at the bedroom window and then got down on her stomach to trail her fingertips through the cold, dark liquid below the dock. “I usually only came down here at night, by myself,” she recalled with a smile. “I like to swim,” she admitted, her voice low as she remembered walking out to this spot in the utter darkness, alone, barefoot. “I just wasn’t ever much of a believer in swim suits.” She glanced over at where he was now lying on his stomach next to her. She wasn’t sure how, or when he’d got there but she saw the vision of her, standing on this very spot, naked as a the day she was born and she couldn’t help but giggle, just a little, as his eyes widened. “I mean, pools, yeah but rivers, lakes? C’mon,” she added, giggling as he swallowed audibly.

“So last night…were you…when I got here were you…?” His voice trailed away and she knew he couldn’t clear the vision out of his head and she wondered if she wanted him to. His gaze fell on her mouth and for the second…maybe the third time since she’d met him, Tabby wondered if Patrick was going to kiss her. He reached for her hand, lacing his fingers with hers’ as he pulled her closer to him and suddenly she couldn’t feel the rough old timbers beneath them. She thought she could have been on a bed of pillows…pillows like his lips and…


Something large and dark flew over top of them and canon balled into the lake, sending a shower of freezing cold water cascading over them both and Tabby heard herself screeching at the top of her lungs.

Sidney felt as if he could have committed murder and there wouldn’t have been a court in the land that would have convicted him in that moment.

They’d been talking about getting naked. He’d been about to kiss her. Maybe they would have made love, right there in the dark on the dock. Maybe they’d have gone skinny dipping and got up on some mud bank and had amazing, mind altering, universe shifting sex. Now he’d never know, because his ‘friend’ Max was bobbing to the surface of the lake, a fountain of water erupting from between his lips before he grinned up at them.

“Your dad said we might find you here,” Max smiled broadly, as if he knew exactly what he’d done and thought it hilarious.

“Did he?” Sidney pursed his lips and added patricide to his to do list for the rest of the evening because he knew damn well, even if he told Max exactly what it was he was interrupting that the furry Frenchman wouldn’t care. “And who’s we?”

“Mon ami, you don’t think Max could find his way here tout seul?” Sid shut his eyes and let out a long, slow breath. The Francaphone funny boys, great, just great.

“I should’ve known,” he muttered, half under his breath before turning to look at where Tanger was standing, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his jeans, a ball cap holding back what he knew was long, unkempt dark hair. Still, he could see the impish grin of his friend even in the shadows.

“So, qu’avons-nous ici?” Max asked, dragging himself up, dripping, onto the dock where he then proceeded to shake on them like some kind of wet dog.

“I’m really sorry about this,” Sidney turned to Tabby who was standing, also dripping and looking very unimpressed, about as far away from him as she could get, her arms crossed across her chest. “These are…my friends. Tabby…Tabitha, this is Max,” he gestured towards his dripping, bewhiskered friend who was now eyeing his date rapaciously despite the silent threat that Sidney tried to send his way. “And this is Kris, who is somewhat better behaved,” he explained, though this show of restraint wasn’t going to win Tanger any favors the minute they were alone.

“Nice to meet you both,” she hissed between clenched teeth. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go inside, get dry and warm. Goodnight Patrick,” she snarled and brushed past him, nearly pushing him out of the way as she marched down the dock, forcing Kris to practically turn entirely sideways to avoid being shoved off of the dock. Kris stretched his arms out in supplication, as if to say ‘what did I do?’ but Sidney just shook his head and he knew his teammates knew him well enough to read the ‘don’t even fucking talk to me’ look he was wearing on his face.

Patrick?” Max asked, his thick eyebrows raised in query, obviously amused at the idea of subterfuge.

“Just…just help me clean this up and…and do me a favor and don`t fucking ask any more questions,” Sidney snarled, reaching for the basket and stuffing the remaining food inside. Max laughed as he reached for the bottle of wine, and Sid could tell he intended to upend it. Sid just stared at him and Max silently handed him the bottle instead and then even Tanger helped to empty the glasses into the lake and didn`t even reach for as much as a grape before they picked up the blanket and followed him up to his car.