Chapter 13 – I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

It’s true that people can forget everything else, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. I mean, that’s what most of the stuff between me and Tina is about, how we feel. Somehow, despite everything I had become while we were together, she once told me that she always got this feeling from me, this feeling that I was so proud to be with her and how it made her feel very safe, and loved, and just…great. Tina may not know what love is anymore and may not even believe it exists, but she feels it. Like I said before, love is tangible.

Two weeks ago, we had dinner together, and for a fleetingly shining moment, it felt real. For the first time in over a year, I felt whole. I’ve been rediscovering myself at an alarmingly fast rate, but it’s still been lacking. A part of me knew it was Tina’s absence but I wasn’t entirely sure. That dinner showed me beyond the shadow of a doubt that I had been right. She utterly completes me. If she can’t come back to me fully, I’ll never be whole. I’ll survive, just as I am now, but even if I allow myself to love again, it’ll never be really, truly complete because it will never really compare.

Tina hasn’t really come out of her room since then. I’ve knocked, even texted her to try to spend time with her, but the door stays closed. She responds when asked a question but declines any invitation. Small talk doesn’t happen, although I swear I’ve heard her laugh at some of the things I’ve sent. Yesterday, I caught her doing laps in the pool at around five in the morning, and I’ve seen her walk in from the private access to the beach twice. Sandra has been delivering meals at her request. I know I’m not supposed to let her push me away; that’s not the plan. But it feels different somehow. It’s not the violent avoidance that it was before; it’s the deep sleep one enters into before truly waking up, I’m sure of it.

Alice, of course, doesn’t believe me. In fact, she’s pissed that I haven’t been forcing Tina. That’s why she and the gang are coming down this weekend to stay with us. I’ve been enjoying this quiet time of reflection and healing, but I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss them. Don’t tell Alice, but I’m glad they’re coming. It wouldn’t be half as much fun for her if she thought I was pleased about it though. She plans to intervene, and rescue me from failure. Let her have her fun. Besides, maybe Alice is just the irritant Tina needs to blow up and get it all out. She’s so close to grieving, really grieving, but it’s like she’s trying to center herself to prevent it.

So it’s Friday evening and I’m alone again. Tina’s holed up in her room and my family won’t be here until tomorrow. There are only so many lonely walks on the beach or simple dinners alone in the kitchen I can stomach. I used to rely on the loneliness, but since Shane found me, I’ve come to rely on family. I look up from my reading to see it’s five o’clock. I’ve been vigilant and I don’t plan to stop now. Picking up my phone, I text Tina. ”What would you say to a meal and a quiet nighttime drive along the coast? My treat.”

Her response is as quick and distantly polite as ever. ”Thank you for the offer, but I’m all set for the night.”

Come on T, work with me here. What can I possibly say to get her to come out, live a little? I wrack my brain trying to come up with something that doesn’t involve kidnapping when a brilliant idea strikes me. In my excitement, I throw my legs over the edge of the overstuffed chair and start to run for the stairs, banging my shin into the coffee table. ”Fuck!” I hop in place but focus away from the pain to the goal at hand. I stomp down the stairs and half run, half power-walk into the kitchen to find Sandra sipping tea and reading a magazine at the nook in the corner. I rush up to her so fast that she jumps and spills some tea in her lap.

With a repentant look, I quickly stride to the island and return with a dishtowel, squatting down next to her and handing it off. ”Sorry, I just needed to speak with you.”

She takes the towel and blots at her cardigan and slacks. She feels me watching her so she stops, looks to me, and says, ”Well, you’re obviously excited about something…,” before continuing to blot.

I take a deep calming breath and pull a chair close to her, sitting on the edge. She throws the cloth on the table and looks at me with a mischievously reprimanding glare. A long moment of silence passes before she says, ”Out with it!”

”Oh, right, sorry. I was trying to slow down…calm down.” I clear my throat. ”Ahem, I…uh…well, you know…you might think I’m crazy…”

”Oh just spit it out child! I’m an old woman and I’ll be dead before you’ve finished at this rate.”

I take another breath and meet her gaze, hoping that she won’t shoot me down. After all, there could be a pretty serious fine…

”Bette? Bette! BETTE?!” I jerk my head and look at her exasperated face.

”Right! Sorry, okay. Tina, Ms. Kennard, you’ve been delivering her meals?” She eyes me speculatively and nods her head. ”So then, you’ve noticed that she’s holed herself up in her room for nearly two weeks?” Her eyes twinkle and she nods again, encouraging me to continue. ”Well, I’ve tried everything I can think of to get her to come out of there, but she just won’t. I know she’s not mad at me, just avoiding anything…emotional. I sort of…bring out the fire in her, good and bad.”

She smiles brilliantly and again nods knowingly. ”I was in love with her…am in love with her. We were together for seven years, but I messed up…really messed up. I…”

Sandra puts her hand on the folded ones in my lap and interrupts. ”Bette, this isn’t confession. I don’t need to know what happened. I have a pretty good idea what’s going on. You want to help her and maybe even get her back together?”

I close my eyes and answer quickly with not even the tiniest bit of hesitation in my voice. ”Oh God yes!”

Sandra smiles and covers my hands with her own giving them a squeeze. I meet her gaze and she says, ”You have an idea how to draw her out?”

”Y…yes, I do, but…”

”Well?” She squeezes my hands again to reassure me that she’s here to help.

I sigh relieved. ”Well, short of breaking the door down and carrying her out, I thought we might…pull the…fire alarm.” I look in her eyes and wait for her to rebuke me, only to watch her eyes warm with the fire of the always present mischief. It’s so bright I consider for a moment that the fire alarm may be necessary. We smile brightly at each other and lean in conspiratorially before I continue. ”I thought that I’d go upstairs with a snack and you could put something in the oven and accidently over cook it. Once it starts to smoke, pull the fire alarm. I’ll wait for Tina to come out, grab her hand and pull her outside, right into my car, and be on down by the shoreline before the fire department even arrives. You can handle the firemen, explain it was an accident. If there’s a fine, I’ll pay it.”

She stands so abruptly I fall back against the chair. She looks at me, throws her hands in the air and says, ”Well what are we waiting for?” She looks around for something. ”Here…” She leans towards the table, grabs her tea, and stuffs it into my hands before pulling me under the arms to a standing position. Fuck she’s strong. I look at her warily but she turns me and pushes me towards the staircase. ”Go on! Go get your girl!”

I climb the stairs, trying to act as normal as possible just in case Tina happens to come out, but I can’t shake the huge smile on my face. I take a seat on the sofa nearest Tina’s room, set the tea in front of me, adopt an overtly casual pose, and stare at the clock on my phone, willing the time to pass. Of course, it’s taking forever so I do a mental checklist. The top of my car is already down and stocked with CD’s, some of them Tina’s; she forgot them when she left. It’s also closest to the front door. Good. I pat my jeans pocket. Keys, check. Shit! What if she just got out of the shower and has no clothes or shoes on…or even just needs a sweater?

I jump from the chair and rush into my room throwing some sandals, a sweater, a shirt, and some capris into a bag. They won’t fit her, but I won’t make her get out of the car if she’s uncomfortable. Just then, I hear the fire alarm sound throughout the house with a piercing wail. Bag in hand, I run from the room straight to Tina’s door just as she opens it. She’s fully clothed; that’s disappointing, I mean that’s great.

She looks up at me startled and says, ”What’s going…” but I grab her hand and start pulling her down the stairs before she can finish. She follows, too confused to protest. The alarm is much louder when we reach the bottom floor and smoke is spilling out of the oven. Sandra is putting on the show of a life, waving a broom at the smoke and cursing in…Spanish? Tina pulls her hand away and puts both over her ears, not even noticing Sandra. Taking the brunt of the noise and smoke to keep ahold of her, I grab her by the elbow and tug her out the front door to my car, where I open her door, force her into the seat, and strap her in. ”Bette, what’s going on?”

I chuck my bag into the back seat and jump over my door, landing smoothly in the driver’s seat. Tina just stares at me in shock. She doesn’t speak again until we’re out of view of the gates. ”Bette, what the hell? It was just a fire alarm, probably a false one at that. We don’t need to…leave…”

I glance over at her and prepare for her to get angry. Her expression is incredulous and she crosses her arms over her chest. Then, she does something I never would have guessed; she laughs, a full on guffaw. I look at her like she’s lost her mind but then join her in it. Maybe she has. Hell, I know I have. We might as well be insane together.

Some time passes and we calm down a bit. I grab my sunglasses from the holder to my left and begin to situate them on my face, glancing her direction again; I stop mid action and reach them out to her in a gesture of supplication. She eyes me, then the glasses before smiling and accepting them. I breathe a deep sigh of relief.

Neither of us speaks. The air is warm but soothing; the sun’s dying rays mark the sky and ocean in a beautiful series of swirling pinks and purples and gold, all reflected off of the calmly turbulent surf. We drive along the coast, twisting and winding our way to nowhere, the wind in our hair. I look back to Tina, the last of the sun setting behind her beautiful profile, her head resting against her folded elbow on the door, a beatific smile firmly etched on her features; the sheer splendor of it, of her, brings tears to my eyes.

We drive until the sky turns gray with the last dying rays of daylight, and then I start to make my way to the boardwalk. I’m so thankful for this quiet time with her. The silence is comfortable and the salty breeze of the ocean familiarly safe. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to hole herself up to be alone with her thoughts, that she can find calm, safety, and quiet while still in the presence of another, that seclusion isn’t the only way to heal safely. We draw closer to the boardwalk and her smile broadens.

Of course she remembers. The boardwalk is where I took her on our first official date. She was so skittish and unsure of herself, of me, but the attraction between us was palpable. I took her to Laili Restaurant. I ordered an incredible pinot noir; the food was excellent, the atmosphere intimate, and the company impeccable. After the dinner and wine, I took her hand and we walked down to the shore.

Removing our shoes, we strolled leisurely along the surf, talking and dreaming, even planning. I had never been one to listen to someone rattle on about themself; but with Tina, I was thoroughly enthralled. We learned so much about each other that night, neither of us realizing just how deeply committed we’d become. She was so breathtakingly lovely and warm; I could have spent forever with her, I had even planned to. How did things get so far off course? How foolish I was.

Okay Bette, not tonight. Tina is open and trusting right now. Don’t let a dark mood spoil this time together. I park as close to the shore as I can before unbuckling my seatbelt and exiting the car. Walking around to her door, I open it and reach for her hand. She seems a bit nervous and her hand trembles a bit as she reaches to accept my own. Helping her out the car and shutting the door, I turn back to her to find her arms crossed over her chest, holding herself. ”Are you cold?”

She smiles shyly at me and says, ”A little…but I’ll be okay.”

I smile back at her and reach into the bag in the back of the Saab. Pulling out my smallest sweater, I hand it to her. Her grin is incredulous and she shakes her head at me but she accepts it all the same. Tugging it over her head she says, ”You thought of everything with this little coup didn’t you?”

It’s big on her, and it’s decidedly sexy to see her in my oversized clothing. Sometimes, after we’d make love, she’d put on one of my button-ups to move about the house. I can’t explain it; but it’s erotic. She meets my gaze and sees the emotions swirling across the surface. Fuck. I hasten to finally answer. ”Oh, right, yeah…I…I didn’t want you to get cold.” Flushing a little, she clears her throat and turns to walk out towards the shore a little faster than her shorter legs were meant to go.

I let her walk ahead of me for a while. She’s hugging herself but it’s not from a chill. Her head is down and I can tell that she needs this time to think, clear it out. I wish I could make this easier for her, but only she has the power to do that. It’s always easier to know what you need to do than it is to actually do it.

I look up to see that her posture is more relaxed so I quicken my stride to catch up to her. Falling in beside her, I bravely slip her hand into mine. There’s a moment of hesitation from her, but she eventually links our fingers. We continue on in silence, just enjoying each other’s presence and the crashing splash of the shore.

It’s so chaotically calm that I almost don’t hear her ask, ”So you did all of this to be with me, or get me out of the house?”

I furrow my brows. Where is this going? Looking ahead and continuing with our relaxed stride, I stick to honestly. ”Well, I guess it’s…a little of both. I wanted to see you but ultimately, I knew you needed to get out. Two weeks of solitude, no one and nothing but your thoughts, guilt, and pain to keep you company…that’s miserable. I know this first hand. I did it for a solid year.”

She thinks about this for a moment before continuing. ”I thought you said you don’t expect anything from me.”

I turn to her and smile sadly. ”I really don’t expect anything from you T. I do expect you to get better and feel better. I know it takes time, some of that alone, but I don’t want you to spend another minute being miserable, so I’m trying to help quicken the process. It’s not for me, it’s for you. All of it’s for you, regardless of where we stand afterwards. I know it’s a little presumptuous of me, but I can’t believe that you were happy the way you were.”

The lets out a deep breath and we walk a while longer in silence before she finally replies. ”No, I wasn’t…I’m still not.”

”I know, but you’ve made amazing progress.”

She stops and gazes at me. I can tell she’s angry, but it’s frustrated anger. ”How have I made progress? I was miserable before and I’m still miserable now.”

I smile at her and start walking again, her hand still in mine. She runs her other hand through her hair and I consider how to reach her. What could anyone have said to help me? Nothing, I’m a visual person. I had to see Tina for anything to matter. What the hell? I can try anyway. Tina’s always been more reasonable. ”Well, you may still be miserable, but you’re handling those emotions now. Before, you were just punishing any and everyone who got in your path. Hell, you sought out people to punish.” She looks at me with an expression filled with remorse and I hasten to reassure her. ”But now, your compassion and warmth and humor have come through. Sure, they share the same space with misery, but that’s undoubtedly progress. Just because you’re not done yet, doesn’t mean you’ve failed.” I snort out a laugh. ”Hell, I don’t think anyone is ever really done learning or improving. That’s what life is: you learn as you go. That’s the whole point.”

She smiles at this. Yep, always the more reasonable one. I can’t help but smile back at her. She faces forward and her face falls as another thought occurs to her. ”While I was alone, I tried to grieve…like you said. I just…couldn’t. How do you force yourself to feel when you just…don’t?”

I furrow my brow. How did I force it? Oh, right, I had a screaming match and spanked my inner moppet. She’ll think I’m crazy, but, here goes nothing. ”After I saw you, I went back to the house. I was pretty much in a coma. I didn’t feel a thing. I think I stood in the living room for more than an hour before I started to realize that I was so empty that I was stagnant. That kind of woke me up, and when I saw where I was, my barren devoid house, nowhere near the home you made it, it pissed me off. When I tried to subdue that emotion, I screamed at myself to stop it.” Her confused gaze meets mine and I chuckle. ”I’m serious. I literally started screaming at myself to stop suppressing everything. It worked. I started tearing the house apart and eventually that anger came out in grief. After that, I spent a month nearly in tears at everything. I’m sure Shane wondered if I was pregnant or had just completely lost my mind. I was a hot mess.”

I start chuckling. She smiles at this and jokes, ”So, the moral of the story is that I should start yelling at myself until I’m an emotional wreck?”

We both laugh and it feels amazing. ”I guess so. If you want, I could piss you off, or get Alice to. She’s really talented in that department…so am I.”

She smiles at me and bumps me with her shoulder. ”You’re not so bad. I was with you seven years so…”

I look forward and murmur, ”Best years of my life…” She looks up at me questioningly and I meet her gaze. ”It’s true. Even with everything towards the end…” I lift her hand and kiss the back of it before pulling her to a stop. ”T, there’s something I should tell you.”

Her gaze is hesitant but open. Steeling myself, I start. ”Shane told me what you said the night you broke up with Helena.” Her face morphs into shocked anger and I hasten to make her understand. ”Hold on, let me finish. She only did that because she had to.” She takes her hand from mine and crosses her arms defensively. ”I told them…Shane, Dana, and Alice…I told them what happened the night of Provocations.”

Putting her head in her hands she lets out a pathetic, ”Why, Bette? Why would you do that? God, they must hate me…”

I lift her chin and take her hands in my own to make sure I have her complete attention. ”No, T, that’s not true. You see, that’s why Shane told me. I felt that I had…raped…you, and the guilt of it was eating me alive.”

Her face turns to shock. ”What?! No, if anything I…”

I put my finger to her lips and harden my gaze. ”You most certainly did not!” She shuts her mouth and pulls my hand away. ”They helped me to understand that we both messed up that night and that we’re both to blame for what we did…together. We were confused and hurting, and we lost it, truly lost it on each other. It was fucked up, completely fucked up, but we share the blame for that night T. We both have to own it. That’s the only way we can forgive ourselves and move on. I don’t blame you T, not at all. You shouldn’t either.”

She stares at me, and as the hollow silence continues, I begin to think this was a bad idea. Her face is contorting into so many emotions so quickly that I can’t keep up with her until finally, she hits grief and I see her start to swallow it, and go blank.

Fuck. I grab her shoulders and shake her yelling, ”NO! Fight it T! Don’t stop yourself from hurting!” My frightened and anxious voice turns pathetically pleading as I see her losing the struggle. ”No, please, T, come on, you can do this. Fight it!” I shake her again and her empty face meets mine. ”FIGHT IT DAMNIT! I mean, aren’t you pissed?!” I shake her again and laugh in her face. ”I mean, look at what I did to you! I used you up, CHEATED on you!” I shake her again. ”Don’t you care at all?! Or are you really this pathetic! We were together for SEVEN YEARS, and I fucked another woman…” I laugh again, harshly. ”A FUCKING CARPENTER NO LESS! Are you so weak that you have nothing to say to me after what I did?!” I push her roughly but she doesn’t budge. She’s looking at me with barely controlled fury. Good. ”That’s it, isn’t it? You’re just too weak…”

Tina snaps with a harsh bellow and pushes me so hard that I stumble. ”What?! Is the weakling pissed?! Come on, you can do better than that!” She bull rushes me, knocking us both to the sand. We tussle for position and she winds up on top. I push her off and she rolls up onto her knees, breathing heavily. Again she bellows, ”Fuck you! I’m not weak!” She lunges at me and we roll into the surf where she straddles me and grabs my wrists, beating them into the sand above my head. ”YOU FUCKED UP MY LIFE! I LOVED YOU, GAVE UP MY FAMILY FOR YOU; I POURED MY HEART AND SOUL INTO MAKING A LIFE WITH YOU, FOR YOU; I WANTED TO HAVE YOUR FUCKING CHILD, AND YOU TREATED ME LIKE TRASH, WORTHLESS FUCKING TRASH!”

I can tell she’s getting weaker but I don’t try to move. I just meet her gaze full on. I want her to know that I hear her, that I understand her, that I’m listening with everything I am. She deserves this, I deserve this. As the last of it is screamed in my face, she falls forward releasing my hands and crying piteously. I wrap my arms around her and close my eyes against the tears and the water rushing up around us. ”Shh…T, it’s okay. Get it out, just get it out.”

She puts her arms around my neck, lifting me up into a sitting position, and clings to me so tightly that I can barely breathe. I hold her for all I’m worth and weep with her. ”I’m so sorry, T…so very sorry.” I can barely get the words out of my tight throat and I swallow hard around the lump there. We sit like this for probably an hour before she calms and I can tell that her shudders are from the cold and not just the heaving cries.

Finally, she lifts her face to mine. She’s drained, utterly weary, and her lips are blue. I gaze into her eyes and smile before leaning in for a cold clammy kiss placed very gently on her trembling lips. I whisper, ”I’m so proud of you.”

Nothing more is said. I tilt her back and tuck my arm under her legs, lifting her and carrying her to the car.


As soon as we arrive back at the Broadbeach house, Tina is able to walk on her own volition. We’re exhausted, soggy, wet, and covered in sand. We haven’t spoken a word to each other and I can’t tell if she is angry at me for pushing her. I already know that whether she liked it or not, it was worth it. She had her moment; she embraced her grief; she’s hit rock bottom, and now there’s nowhere to go but up.

I unlock the door and reset the alarm. Tina walks over to the stairs but turns and sits on the bottom two instead of climbing them. I throw my keys in the bowl on a small table in the foyer, and walk over to her. Squatting down in front of her, I try to get a read on what she needs just now, other than a hot shower and a warm bed.

She looks into my eyes and smiles. It’s not the brightest smile I’ve seen light her gorgeous face, but it’s something markedly not anger. Her smile fades a bit and her voice is sad as she says, ”Bette, I’m sorry…”

I sit down next to her and put my hand on her middle back. ”Hey, you have nothing to be sorry for. I’m just relieved.”

She pulls her knees up and rests her folded arms there, topping them with her turned head. Meeting my gaze she says, ”Relieved? We said and did terrible things to each other…”

I smile again and raise my own knees to mirror her position. Bumping her shoulder, I say, ”Yeah, relieved. I know we said and did some terrible stuff, but you grieved. Don’t you feel lighter…even a little bit?”

She looks at the floor before saying, ”Yeah, I do actually. I almost feel…free.” As she says this she raises her head and looks at me. Her smile is light and full of everything that the real Tina used to be. I smile back and we both start to laugh which turns into happy tears.

Once we’ve regained control of ourselves, she sniffs and asks, ”Where do we go from here; where’s forward?”

I burst out laughing so hard that I lie back on the steps and gasp for air. Tina stares at me like I’ve lost my ever loving mind. I meet her gaze and through a fit of giggles say, ”I asked that exact same question just before the guys threw me in the pool to see if I’d catch fire! That was the night you showed up.”

She smiles at me and both of us laugh this time before she furrows her brow and says, ”Wait, catch fire?” I giggle harder and it’s infectious. ”I’m serious, I don’t get it.”

I rein in the giggles and shake my head remembering. ”It’s a long story T. I’ll let the guys tell you tomorrow.” She looks at me warily so I put my hand on her thigh. ”They’re coming for the weekend.”

At first she seems frightened by the idea of seeing them but it eventually that fear melts into warm excitement. I can’t help the fresh tears that fall just gazing at her face, her warm, beautiful, open face that can stop my heart and cause my blood to race in my veins. She sees me crying and tears of her own form. ”God, I see what you mean! I’m like a blubbering infant!” I squeeze her thigh and she teases, ”And you don’t help at all! I mean, you’re as bad or worse.”

I don’t have it in me to try and speak, so I just nod my head and smile at her through the happy tears. She brushes the tear tracks from my face with her thumbs before pulling my face forward and kissing my forehead. I hear a whispered, ”Thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me.”

The tears come harder and I hold her in my arms as we cry again. After some more time passes, I lean back, resting my forehead against hers and saying, ”You don’t owe me thanks. If anything I owe you.”

I lean further back and raise my hands to stroke her salt coursed hair and eventually her face, studying every marvelous detail, imprinting it on my brain, my heart, my very soul. I don’t ever want to forget this moment. She holds my gaze as she reaches up to stroke my hair in return. We giggle a little before she leans forward and gives me a sweetly chaste kiss, so tender and light that I hope I’m not just dreaming it.

Pulling back again, her hazel eyes look deeply into my own and I can see the flicker of mistakenly dead embers reignite into a small flame. She leans forward again and presses her lips to mine much more firmly but just as sweetly. I feel her tongue graze my bottom lip, requesting entrance, and I grant it with a small moan. We both inhale sharply at this initial intimate contact and the action locks our embrace tighter.

I feel her hands push me against the wall of the stairwell before she straddles my hips, locking her arms around my neck. The kisses grow hungrier, as well as our hands, as we take turns caressing and fondling firm supple flesh. She breaks the kiss with a resounding wet ’pop’ and lifts enough to quickly lift her sopping blouse and sweater over her head. Setting her hips further into mine, she throws the clothes onto the floor, rests her elbows on my shoulders, and catches my gaze as she grinds her hips in a slow circle.

It’s everything I can do to keep from closing my eyes but I don’t want to break our connection. Reaching up, I caress her full breasts through the lacy fabric of her black bra and she throws her head back, offering full access to her slender, pale throat and cleavage. I lean in and run my tongue up the furrow between her breasts, stopping at her collarbones and nipping lightly at her pulse point.

It quickens with her breathing and she grinds harder. I bite at the lace covering her breasts and pull it down with my teeth as I run my hands down her abdomen to unbutton her jeans. Taking a round choral nipple in my mouth, I suck greedily and graze my teeth lightly over the tip. Tina lets out a high pitched whimper and her body shudders. I feel a rush of warmth seep between my thighs and release her breast, only to lean us forward and say, ”Lock your legs around me.” She tangles her hands into my hair and locks her ankles behind my back.

Lifting her, I start a slow crawling walk up the stairs, our journey hindered by her ravenous attack of my lips and throat. Somehow she manages to undo my bra through my wool sweater and lift both objects to expose me to her mouth.

She flicks my nipple with her tongue so lightly that I almost fall to my knees and send us tumbling back down the stairs. With a keening moan so guttural that Tina stops her assault and meets my eyes, I squeeze her ass, pull her pelvis tight into my own, and power up the remaining steps.

Once we’re at the top, I slam her hard into the nearest wall and tear into her warm sweet mouth with abandon.  Pressing my thigh between her legs to pin her to the wall, I push my hand into the front of her open jeans, past the lacy panties and wet curls, over the top of her vulva, and run my fingers slowly down her drenched center.

Tina’s head bangs back hard against the wall with a resounding thud and her fingernails bite into my shoulders with the force of her grip, her groans breathy and erratic. I lean my forehead against her chin and close my eyes muttering, ”Oh my God…oh my fucking God…you’re so wet…”

I start to move my fingers slowly up and down as she grinds her vulva into my hand, straining for more contact. With my other hand, I reach around and release her bra, pulling it roughly from her shoulders. She tilts her head forward, her gaze dazed and lusty as she says, ”Inside…I need you inside…” in a breathy, pleading voice. A jolt of passion spills from my sex and I push my fingers down to her opening but I can’t get them in. In a frustrated groan, I pull my hand out. She whimpers at the loss and yelps a bit as I thrust my hands into the back of her pants, grip her firm ass, and crush her body to mine. Lifting her up, I quickly carry her to my room, all the while attacking her mouth and throat with my lips and teeth.

I drop us both sideways on the bed and pull her with me to the middle. I brace myself above her and meet her gaze. With the hand still wet from her passion, I run my fingers slowly over her eyes as she closes them, and across her full, parted mouth. Her tongue peaks out and licks them before she sucks them in fully, swirling her tongue around them. I close my eyes and feel the flush of goose flesh travel down my throat and tighten my nipples almost painfully. I continue the long caress across her breasts and stomach. Reaching her jeans, I sit up, curl the fingers of both hands into the underwear beneath, and yank hard. Tina lifts her hips and I tug them the rest of the way off.

I sit back on my haunches and gaze at the beautiful creature spread out before me, undulating softly, her pale skin flushed with passion. I swiftly doff my own clothes and lean forward. Starting at her ankles, I slide my hands up each smooth leg until I reach the knee, where I push them further apart, continuing this track until I’m lying on my stomach, both arms curled up under her thighs and gripping the top.

I can see the glistening folds of her sex under the sticky pale curls and smell the musk of her essence, a tincture of salty, sweet, and erotic. I close my eyes and nuzzle my nose into her center with a feather light touch, breathing in deeply and awakening familiar memories. Running my face to one side, I place a wet, open-mouthed kiss in the crux of her leg, only to graze lightly across her to the other side and do the same. Tina rolls her hips and whimpers.

I allow myself a moment to revel in her, to glory in her, before placing another wet kiss directly into her center. Tina’s hips jerk violently but I tighten my hold as I begin to take slow, long swipes at her with my tongue, running from top to bottom and bottom to top in a torturously slow manner.

I feel fists tangle in my hair and try to direct me to her need, but I will not be deterred. I want to enjoy this, enjoy her, really taste her and feel her on my tongue, coating my mouth and jaw. She realizes this and tries to relax. Her calm frees my right hand from her hips and I pull it around beneath my chin and coat my fingers in her passion. She’s so ready that it flows from her freely and I’m able to easily push three fingers inside of her as I suck roughly on her engorged clit. She grips the bed covers in her hands and digs her heels into the bed raising her hips and giving me excellent leverage. I take advantage of this, grabbing a pillow with my other hand and sliding it under her to brace her.

Her breathing is erratic and, by the spasms undulating inside her silken walls and tremulous moans and whimpers, I know that she can’t take much more. She confirms my thoughts with a desperate plea. ”Please…please Bette…” and I am all too willing to oblige her.

I turn my hand and curl my fingers upward, stroking a deep and steady rhythm as I continue to drink from her. Her hips take up a decidedly rough and quick pace, and I meet her with each thrust of my fingers and tongue. Her whole body starts to shudder and with a satisfyingly loud and keening groan, she lifts her chest off the bed and I feel her walls clamp down hard, only to release and repeat as wave after wave of orgasm and ecstasy leak from her body. I reach up with my left hand and grip her breast hard, continuing to thrust and lap at her until I’ve squeezed every last drop of the wonderful nirvana from her body.

With a final tremor, she falls back against the bed and her legs tighten around my shoulders. I kiss the most intimate part of her several gentle times before crawling up over her body and straddling her hips. I lean down and start to kiss her passionately as I slide my center down between her still open legs and connect us together.

The heat of her against me somehow cools the passion in my loins as I start a slow grind. She leans up locking her arms behind her, and begins to feast on my breasts, licking wet trails across my collarbones from one ear to the other. She lingers at my lobe and whispers hotly in my ear, ”Cum for me Bette…cum with me…cum inside me…” before groaning and biting the thin cartilage between her teeth.

Her sex strokes against mine with each hectic thrust of my hips. I burry my face in her neck, gripping her shoulders. She throws her head back and starts a build-up of euphoric moans that I mirror with my own before we both go rigid. I feel her center flood hotly against mine as we both spill our ecstasy into one another and collapse to the bed in huffs of hot breath and tangles of sticky, sweat sheened limbs. I lay my head on her breast and listen to her frantic heart as she runs her fingers soothingly through my salt coursed tresses.

My shudders of afterglow turn to tears and she tightens her grip. I fall to the side and take her in my arms. She kisses my forehead sweetly and mutters the words I haven’t heard in ages, and never thought I’d hear again. I don’t deserve them but her voice is sincere as she whispers, ”I love you…”

Continued in Where Do We Go From Here.

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