Chapter 11 – Love

I look up from Chance’s face to see Tina twirl with Angie in the pool, both of them laughing as they splash and play with each other. Rory kicks her feet from her baby lounger, her eyes fluttering in sleep. I can’t help but reach out and stroke her smooth leg before I gaze back down on my son with his lovably crazy hair, his eyes starting to close as he finishes his meal.

I lift him and put him over my shoulder, lightly patting his back as I consider this last week before the trial. I have hope, and I’m confident that I can beat this nonsense. But it’s next Monday and there’s a sense of urgency in me. I feel the need to absorb as much time with my family as I can. I’m not preparing to say goodbye; I refuse to believe or accept that, but I am building up my reserves of joy and happiness, the very things I know I’m going to need to hang onto while I’m fighting to be able to come home to them.

Tina picks up Angie, walking up out of the water in her green bikini and I watch in shameless fascination as her muscles move under her skin. It’s exceedingly unfortunate when she herself in a towel. She catches me staring and grins. I glare at her, such a sexy fucking tease, and she starts to make her way inside. “I’m going to get us rinsed off and put Pookie here down for nappies.”

She brings Angie over to me and leans her down so I can kiss her. “Have a good nap, babycakes.”

Angie rubs her eyes and Tina grins lasciviously as she says, “You want to take a nap too?”

I lean back a little bit, patting Chance’s back as I think hard about that question. Do I want to make love to my wife? I shake my head. “I don’t think so. I’m not very tired. How about you?”

She starts her trek inside, calling out, “No, I think I’m in the mood for something to eat,” over her shoulder before she disappears through the doors. The husky timbre of her voice and the suggestive words inspire delightful images of infinite possibility to flitter across my mind. As if somehow sensing that his parents weren’t thinking of him, Chance releases an insanely loud belch and I wipe at his mouth with the rag, setting him next to his sister on the pillow as I pull the black baby sling over my head.

I settle Chance in the sling before collecting Rory and carefully walking the three of us up the stairs. This sling has been a heaven send. Tina bought it for those two days I wasn’t here to help. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for her – home alone with three children, two of them infants, and worried sick about me. But she found a way through it. She is my wife. There is no one stronger.

As I approach the twins’ room, I hear the water turn off downstairs and smile. I check Rory’s diaper before placing her in her crib. Chance gets a quick change, only waking once for a little bit, before he’s sound asleep in his crib as well. I grab the baby monitor and head into our room just as Tina comes out of the bathroom gloriously naked, her honey-colored hair wet and falling haphazardly against her bare shoulders, her skin flushed from the warm water she’s just rinsed in.

She squeezes her hair in a towel to dry it some and smiles as she tosses it towards the hamper, missing it completely. She glides toward me like an angel, the sunlight filtering in through the balcony windows and dancing across her burnished skin and surrounding her in a radiant halo. Like a moth to a flame, I reach out to her. She doesn’t waste a moment shutting our door, removing the monitor from my hands to place it on the dresser, and slowly pulling up on my tank until I’m released from it. She kisses my collar bone as she pulls at the drawstrings on my pants, her lips lingering against my chest as she breathes out, “Angie knows we’re going to nap. She said she’ll knock first if she wakes up and needs us.”

I close my eyes as my pants are gently nudged downward to pool at my ankles and she moves across the expanse of my chest with her mouth, tracking the area with her velvet tongue and leaving a hot flush of goose flesh in its wake. My head falls back, my breathing ragged as her lips pull one of my nipples into her mouth. Her nails tease me lightly through the thin, black cotton of my lingerie, sending shocks of ticklish shudders racing through my sex and setting the hair on the back of my neck on end.

She releases one breast only to start on the other as I tangle my hands in her hair and force more of myself into her mouth. She slides both hands across my thighs, hooking them under the waistband of this final barrier, letting her nails drag against me as she pulls the material low on my hips, her mouth following the motion down my body.

When the fabric pulls away from my center, I feel the hot rush of passion trickle down my thighs as it’s released, only to cool and settle into a thick pool waiting and begging to be used. My heart pounds in my ears and I actually feel my pulse point banging in my temples. The first touch of her nose against the small thatch of curls was deliciously teasing enough, but the hot puffs of her breath pressing against the smooth skin of my over-sensitized flesh nearly sends me over the edge with a breathless groan.

Her small, warm hands guide my feet to free of clothes pooled at my feet, and she scrapes her nails up the tense expanse of my calves and thighs, her hands reaching in front to spread me open to the alternating cool and hot air of her deep breaths. Another well of arousal gathers up in my sex and I feel faint as heavy beads of sweat start to gather at my hairline. “T… I need you, please…”

She reaches a thick, flat, velvet tongue deep into the crux of my leg, whimpering as she gathers some of my offering on the fabulous muscle that just happened to miss the parts of me that need it most as it strokes it way back out. “Fuck, Bette… you taste so sweet…” She runs her tongue over the other crux and it’s everything I can do to stay quiet as my blood gathers in my throbbing clit, aching with need for her, demanding attention. “And there’s just so much of it…”

She pulls back from my swollen center and my hips jerk involuntarily as they try to follow her. I gaze down into her eyes, the animalistic savagery of all the things I wish to do to her in this moment plain on my face. Her grip on my hips grows tighter as she reads my face, and without preamble, she buries her tongue in me, sucking hard on my clit as I shudder and strain to stay standing. I feel the cresting wave of an orgasm peak to roll through me just as she pulls back, getting to her feet, and pulling me over to the bed.

I collapse onto the edge and she attacks my mouth, the heady taste of my sex and musk on her lips making me desperate as I grope handfuls of her firm flesh, trying to absorb her into me, pull her in with my hands and tongue. I want to fill myself with her until there’s nothing left of me but her beautifully beating heart and pristine, forgiving soul sustaining me.

My muscles start to tremble with need and she releases me, gasping for breath as she pulls away, but I’m not ready for her to pull back yet. I need more of her. She holds onto my hand as she goes to the bottom drawer of the nightstand and opens it, pulling out the small pouch that contains the phallus I bought years ago. We haven’t used it since that night, but it’s been there waiting faithfully for a moment such as this.

She opens the small leather satchel and pulls it out, handing it to me. I have absolutely no objection as I take it from her hand, pulling her to me so I can run my tongue along the dips of her firm stomach and over the sharp protrusions of her hips. She tangles her hands in my hair and pulls back hard, gazing deeply into my eyes as she takes my hand, angling the phallus so that the short-end is facing her center, and spreading her legs for me. I can barely breathe as I swirl the tip of it against her, gathering the moisture on the tip until I see it drip down the smoothly coated surface. I meet her eyes again as I slide it into her, locking it against the tightly clenching walls inside of her.

Her skins burns bright with a flush of sensation and I watch the tremors of nerve receptors roll through the phallus, up across her skin, her abdomen, to settle in her shoulders, neck, and breasts. The heat of her flush as her nerves open up is like sitting close to an open flame, and I watch it ignite in her eyes as they darken around the point of lusty light behind the glassy lenses and consume me with their intensity.

Her voice is thick with my passion coating her tongue and husky with eroticism as demands, “Lie back,” punctuating her request by gently pushing me back up on the bed. She crawls up over me, lovingly putting a pillow under my head as she hovers above me. “Have you ever let a woman do this to you?”

I bring my legs up, pulling her hips down against me until I feel the phallus run down the length of my center, spreading the smooth lappets and opening me to her. I gaze back at her as the breathless words manage to escape me. “No, only you, T. Only you…” The words have barely passed my tongue before she’s sucking the muscle into her mouth, moving the phallus back and forth against the overanxious bundle of nerves that crave her so intensely.

She runs her hands through my hair, down my chest, and over my stomach to pull my thighs up, bending my knees until I’m coiled into a ball supported by the solid walls of her arms around me. I feel the phallus stroke down me once more before it pierces through me just a little bit. I open my mouth to gasp when she starts to roll it around just inside my opening, stroking in smooth circles.

She lets her head fall back enjoying the movement just as much as I do. The way her new muscle ripples with pleasure as they lock us together tightly, the perfect weight of her on top of me, surrounding me, her smooth, slender neck strained with perfectly feminine power, makes me crave more of her. I run my hand up her arms, feeling the swirling of her just inside me as I map the dips of her skin stretched tightly over the bones of her collar.

I take her face in my hands and bring her dazed eyes back to mine, entreating her to go deeper. She rests her forehead against mine as she rolls the phallus to a stop and starts to drop her hips forward at a tortuously slow speed, dragging the phallus through me and sending sparks through places I didn’t even know I had. It seems like this goes on forever, like she will go on forever as she pushes further and further into my wet, tight, and ready flesh. I finally feel the hot, engorged skin of her vulva seal us together.

She kisses me so sweetly I could weep as she starts to pull in and out of me, the incredible feeling of her being face-to-face, on top of me, holding me, protecting me as she loves me so fully, so very fully, both emotionally and physically. Again, I am overcome with a need to feel more of her.

She kisses me again as she moves her hips faster. The wonderful friction of her flesh against mine as she reaches into me deeper and deeper, the beacon of adoring love shining from her eyes, the sweet and salty taste of her mouth as she kisses me with reverence, as she worships me body and soul – it all becomes primal in pace as the ancient call possesses each of us with its demand to be answered.

Breathless whimpers rumple sweat soaked hair before they’re swallowed by trembling lips and trembling hearts, a connection that supersedes the physical even as it glories in it. We are different but the same soul, and I watch in elated amazement as the sun lights the sheen of sweat coating her frantically undulating body as it moves above me. I feel her everywhere; I know her everywhere, and tears fall from my eyes as we both fall over the edge of eternity, exploding into thousands of tiny atoms, the very pieces of life, where we are suspended for long moments of ecstasy. We linger here, clinging to each before we’re pulled back into the here and now, forever changed, purified in the fire of passion, devotion, and commitment, where life reigns and illuminates even the darkest parts with hope and joy.

She falls forward and I marvel at the pink rims of her delicate ears through the thick haze of my euphoria-soaked brain. I hold her to me, both of us crying tears of a release that further heightens our connection as our bodies shudder with the power of the emotions we just shared; some are made brighter in their beauty and others destroyed in the face of righteous light.

We stay this way long moments, before she rolls me with her to our sides. She pulls out of me but we still cleave to each other as we stroke and soothe and reaffirm with hands and lips and hearts. I reach down and pull the phallus from her gently and close my eyes as she tucks my head under her chin, stroking my hair, her frantic heartbeat lulling me into a deep and satisfied sleep.

I open my eyes and shut them immediately, the last dying rays of sunlight glancing off the pool through the patio doors and piercing through my pounding, hung-over brain with painful stabs of blinding light. Fuck… what happened? I reach over for Tina to find the bed empty. I forget the pain and open my eyes, searching the room for her. She’s not here and I sit up in shock, scrubbing at my eyes as I take in the setting around me.

It’s like I’ve stepped into a time warp. Everything’s just as it used to be, four years ago. “Tina?!” There’s no response and I start to panic, jumping up out of the bed and heading to Angie’s room across the hall. It’s set up as a spare room, just like it used to be. My heart is pounding in my chest as I run into the living room and look around, my world spinning as I take in this severe regression. There are no stairs, no touches of Tina. All of the family photos she’s taken over the years are gone. “TINA… ANGIE!”

I start to hyperventilate before I run out the patio doors. I raise a hand to shield my eyes from the harsh sun and look to my left. No stairs, no second level…

I stagger over to one of the lounge chairs and collapse onto it, scrubbing at my face and pulling at my hair as I continue to look up and confirm that I’m not hallucinating. This… something’s terribly fucking wrong. Shane steps in through the back gate hesitantly. She stops as she looks at me for a moment. “Hey, I um… I heard screaming. You okay?”

I gaze at her in anguished confusion, trying to put everything into words. “No, I’m not.” I gesture to the house incredulously. “It’s… it’s shrunk, Shane! And Tina, the kids… where are they?”

She furrows her brows and I can tell that she’s exceedingly worried as she cautiously steps closer to me. “Bette, what are you talking about? You and Tina broke up a year ago. You… you didn’t have any kids.”

I stare at her in shock and start to shake. All of it, everything, it was all just a dream. We never reconciled; we never married; we never had a family… I stand abruptly, pulling down the front of my pajama pants and gazing where the scar should be. I stroke over the smooth surface of skin and tears well in my eyes. None of it happened. Tina, my life, my wife… I close my eyes as the tears start to fall, again collapsing down on the lounge chair. I never had a family. I’m still alone, in my past, the life that owned me even when I forged ahead and made a future worth living. At least… at least I never killed Candace… what small comfort that is.

I clutch at my temples as I start to rock back and forth. I don’t care if I killed Candace. I had something worth fighting for, worth living for. I can’t go back to this. I can’t live here, not now. Not when I know what it could be, what it should be. I can’t do it, not alone. I need Tina, so badly. I start to sob uncontrollably, hysterically as I hold my arms against my stomach, trying to keep myself together. Fuck, how do I do this? God, please. I’d do anything… anything to have them. I was so foolish, so blind. I killed for them and I’d do it again if it meant they were here right now.

I feel Shane’s hand settle on my shoulder. “Bette, it’s okay…”

I sob harder, my words choked and stammering as I say, “No, no it’s not. You don’t understand.”

She shakes me a little bit. “Bette, look at me…” I can’t. I can’t pull myself up from my wretched position or I’ll fall the fuck apart. “Bette, please, look at me. Please…” Shane kneels in front of me, dipping down to look into my face, but I can’t even open my eyes yet. I can’t face this new world, old world, the fucked up world I thought I’d put behind me. “Bette, it’s okay…”

I snap my eyes open and gaze into the warm hazel eyes in front of me. Tina’s small warm hand strokes my hair, her eyes kind as she says, “It’s okay, babe. You’re awake now. This is real; I promise.”

Fuck… me… It takes long moments for me to gather myself before I realize that was it. That was the last piece of this puzzle. I’d do anything for this family. I’d go through hell; I’d kill; I’d die for this family. And even if I don’t like the options, I’d still do it and know it’s the right choice. My wife and my kids, my family, they’re worth anything I have in me to give. I understand that now, more than ever. Tina raises an incredulous eyebrow at me, having witnessed the cavalcade of emotions that flashed across my face. I smile as I lean in and kiss her with mad passion. It’s true; I’m crazy, crazy, stupidly in love with her, with our children. And it’s in this love, the sacrifice that this love inspires that I am finally free of my guilt. My past is dying. I have one more step, but soon, this Monday, I will finally lay it all at the feet of forgiveness and hope… my wife… and watch with infinite satisfaction as it’s utterly destroyed.

Continued in But Only Love Lasts Forever.

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