But it was his eyes that captivated me the most. They were a medium grey, with dark rims and even darker flecks throughout them. At first they seemed flat, but as I stared into them they began to sparkle, making them look more like silver and luring me to get lost in their depths. I finally blinked. As beautiful as his irises were, I noticed purplish shadows beneath his dark lashes. My mind immediately started wondering what could have caused this beautiful man’s weariness – a bad workday? A lover’s rejection? A family tragedy? I couldn’t explain it since I didn’t even know him, but something inside me wanted to reach out and soothe away his stress.
However, whatever was going on with him had been temporarily cast aside, and his spectacular eyes were now glittering with a mixture of kindness, curiosity, and contained laughter, as if he knew I had been checking him out.
I took a breath to compose myself. “Thank you for catching me. That might have ended badly otherwise.” I began to push against him as leverage to stand up, but he grabbed hold of my wrist and stayed my hand.
“I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you not to push too hard there.” His deep voice was gentle, yet commanding at the same time.
I looked questioningly into those mesmerizing eyes and saw them gleaming back at me with something other than laughter as they glanced down at my hand. I wasn’t sure what he meant until I noticed where my other hand had landed when it had automatically reached out to steady myself. Unknown to me, but to the complete awareness of my savior, my hand had landed on his crotch, and what was soft was growing noticeably harder beneath the zipper of his jeans.
Oh! Immediately, I jerked my hand away in mortification and covered my mouth. “I..I’m so, so sorry!” I mumbled from behind my hand. Even in the dimness of the bar lighting, I’m sure my face glowed like a stoplight. “I should be going now. Thank you for saving me.” I carefully struggled off his lap without touching any more of him than necessary.
“Trust me, it was my pleasure,” he grinned mischievously.
“Alex,” I whispered through the thrills that were enveloping my entire body. “I need you!”
He pulled back from me and lifted his head. His eyes, shining like mercury, stared into mine. “I always need you, Mikayla,” he answered, his voice thick with passion. He fanned his hands across my stomach and slowly slid them around to my back. I closed my eyes as the movement of his warm hands against my flesh caused me to break out into more goose bumps.
Suddenly, his movement stopped. I felt his body tense underneath mine and his fingers flex slightly. I opened my eyes to witness him staring at the large greenish-black and yellow patches still visible on my side. I could see the vein in his neck pulse, and while I wanted to believe it was a reaction to the intense moments we had just shared, I knew it wasn’t. At least not anymore.
I gripped the sides of his head. “Alex, they’re just bruises.” I pushed on his chin slightly to get him to look at me. The anguish I saw in his eyes was almost my undoing. While my head celebrated that he loved me so much, my heart ached for his fears. “Bruises will fade, Alex, but what we have never will. It only grows stronger, even through times like this. We never know how much time we have together, and we can’t go around trying to put a timer or a security lock on it. All we can do is love each other completely with the time we’re given.”
He stared at me intently, his breathing growing more rapid as a tear rolled down his cheek. Moisture gathered in my own eyes. “I’m here, Alex,” I spoke urgently. “I will never willingly leave you. Even when I couldn’t physically answer you, I heard you. I heard you calling to me, and I focused on your voice as the lifeline to bring me back to you. I am. Here. With. You.” I punctuated each word with a kiss.
I could feel the moment he gave in, the moment he trusted I was truly here. His hands gripped my head and he slammed his mouth down on top of mine, taking more than giving, like a man deprived of air who was suddenly offered oxygen. It was consuming, demanding – life seeking. His tongue slipped into my mouth, touching, tasting — healing.
If I could smack myself with any real results, I would. What the hell had been wrong with me last night? Every guardrail, every rule I’d put into place to protect myself from just such an event had been tossed aside, betrayed by my stupid desires. I’d let him, begged him even, to make love to me. Make love? No, that was more my style. For him, I’m sure it was sex, plain and simple. Well, maybe not plain and simple, more like spectacular and mind-blowing, at least for me. Regardless, how could I have allowed such a thing to happen? Had I drunk that much? You wish you could use that as an excuse, but you knew exactly what you were doing. You’re a first class idiot, Jennifer Marie! Now you’re just one more notch on his bedpost.
Feeling suffocated by my thoughts, I shoved my feet into my canvas slip-ons. I turned to the nightstand and stretched out my hand to grab my cell phone. I stopped when I saw the bottle of pain reliever and two of its contents beside the glass of water he’d set out for me the night before. Why did he have to be so damn thoughtful? And who would have imagined the innocent quest for those little white tablets would bring about more havoc than what they were designed to cure? I tried to stifle the memories they conjured, picked up my phone and tip-toed out of the bedroom.
In the kitchen I found some paper and scribbled out an excuse, a lie actually, and left it where I hoped he might find it. I found my purse and quietly opened the door of the apartment. A next door neighbor with a newspaper tucked under one arm and a cup of coffee in his hand was just opening his door. He paused when he saw me, a knowing grin on his face. He winked at me, confirming that I hadn’t been able to completely muffle the cries of pleasure that had burst past my lips last night. Scowling at him, I hurried down the hall, anxious to put some distance between the man in bed and me so I could figure out how to fix this. Fix? The little hammers in my head ramped up their tapping to full blown pounding as if suggesting this would be no ordinary fix, but full-blown reconstruction time.
I knew I was taking the coward’s way out this morning, but I was doing both of us a favor. In the end, he’d be grateful I’d let him off the hook. Massaging my temples as I rode the elevator down to the lobby, I continued to convince myself it was better this way. Reaching the front door, I closed my eyes and shook my head in disgust. I had always promised myself I would never do the walk of shame, and yet here I was, stealing away in the early hours of the morning. And even then I couldn’t do it right. I mean, whoever heard of anyone sneaking out of their own home after a night of the most mind-blowing sex they had ever had?