Just like the last chapter of Two Ships, this one's a "rerun" for those who've followed my blog for more than a couple of months, because I used it as a Theme Thursday entry! But it had to go here now as well, obviously. Besides, a lot of you liked it the first go-round...
Two Ships is winding down, folks, so I'm going to post a chapter every other day from today until it's done. And after that? I don't know. I'm suffering from Blogger burnout, frankly. The last few days I've been visiting most of my favorite blogs, but not all. And I haven't been leaving too many comments, even on my favorites.
What this means in the long run, I don't know. But right now I don't feel like writing. As it is, Two Ships was written over a year ago, so I haven't written anything new of substance for the last couple of weeks.
Anyway... We'll see.
Thanks for your time.
* * * * *
"You wrote that for me?" Eve said, eyes wide.
"No one ever wrote me a song, or a poem... Not even a real love letter."
"Not everyone can write. Not effectively, anyway. I can, that's all."
"Don't be so... so... dismissive of your talent. You can do these wonderful things, and you make them sound like nothing. Well, I think you're terrific!" She impulsively threw her arms around me and kissed me warmly but chastely before heading for the bathroom.
We hadn't even gotten our coats off yet.
Wow. Even as my own biggest fan, I was embarrassed. I'd wanted her to like the song -- more accurately, I was hoping she'd love it -- but she was over-reacting. She was suddenly talking about me like I was God's gift to the world.
Well, God's gift to her, anyway. I mean, hadn't she ever...
No. She hadn't. She was relatively inexperienced in romance. She'd told me that herself. In fact, when she'd said that their love life was "pretty satisfying... in terms of frequency as well as quality," I'd resisted the temptation to jokingly ask her "How do you know Russ is a good lover? You've no one to compare him to!"
So, in the so-called "ways of love," and in some other experiences in life, I figured, Eve was... not immature, certainly, but... impressionable. And unsettlingly so, in my mind.
I started wondering, what had Russ really done to "sweep her off her feet?" Maybe not much, by other people's standards. Maybe he'd merely shown Eve he was interested in her, and not very concerned with getting her in bed (as I assumed that many of her earlier boyfriends in high school and college had probably been), and that had been enough for her. Or at least it might have been enough, once he'd also told her that he loved her.
(Just as I had. Ouch.)
Yeah, I know, this was all supposition on my part, but you've probably already noticed that I have that tendency anyway. Sometimes I think too damned much, no getting around that. And all I'd done for the past two days was think about her anyway, so there was no reason to stop now, right?
This is all too quick, I thought. Yeah, I was saying that, the very same guy who'd fallen in love with her the moment he'd set eyes on her! But I, on the other hand, wasn't inexperienced in love... or any of the emotions which posed as love.
More questions arose. Was she in love with me now, or at least, was she telling herself that she was? I sure as hell couldn't ask her that!
Heh. What was it I'd said earlier? "Be careful what you ask for...?"
I'd removed my coat and was searching through its pockets, looking for the paper upon which I'd written the lyrics to my as-yet-untitled song. While I was thus distracted, Eve grabbed my miniature duffel bag -- though I didn't notice that just then -- and headed for the bathroom, saying she was going to take a shower. (I figured my own could wait until the next morning, as was my preference.) Immediately thereafter, the bathroom door opened a crack and she called to me. "Dan? Would you be a dear and get my new bathrobe from the closet?"
"Sure thing, doll," I replied, suiting the action to the word. As I approached the bathroom, robe in hand, Eve opened the door a bit wider and leaned partway out. I could see that beautiful face of hers, as well as the alabaster skin of her left arm and left shoulder. Mmm, tempting, I thought. "Here you go," I said. She smiled and thanked me as she took the robe.
I'd already turned off the overhead light after having snapped on one of the two small reading lamps on the bed's headboard. Eve came out of the bathroom wearing just her robe. as she had last night. I had stripped down to just my underwear while she'd showered, adding my own bathrobe for modesty.
She and I didn't even discuss whether or not tonight would end with any TCM movies. We were too tired. Without exchanging a word, we'd apparently both decided to go right to sleep. Silently, we got into the bed on our respective sides. Once Eve was settled, I clicked off the lamp and snuggled up against her as the heavily-draped room was plunged into utter blackness.
She lay on her back, and as had become our norm, I was on her right. I impulsively leaned over for a goodnight kiss. As our lips touched, Eve wrapped her arms around me tightly and returned the kiss with what I can only describe as enthusiasm. I nearly went mad with the sensations that immediately stirred within me. They were sensations of love, and of longing, and... did I already say love?
My self-control swayed dangerously toward extinction as Eve's lips parted welcomingly, even hungrily. She clutched me to her with an unexpected urgency. We tentatively yet passionately kissed again and again, our hands eagerly caressing each other's backs and shoulders. How -- and why! -- I summoned the strength to break our embrace, I'll never know... but break from it I finally did. I detached myself from her inviting warmth and rolled passively onto my back, breathing heavily.
I'd expected Eve to allow me (and herself) to relax somewhat after that, and drift off to what would doubtlessly have been an uneasy sleep for both of us. Instead, she threw her body over my own. I felt her robe bunched up against my midsection as she first knelt astride me, then lowered herself to sit upon my stomach. As she did so, I felt the top half of both blanket and bedspread slide from her back to land softly on my legs. Eve bent downward and deeply kissed me again, and again... four times, five times, six, seven... I lost count.
My arms reached up to encircle her waist, and at the contact of my hands against the smooth, soft skin of her sides, I realized that her robe had fallen open. Earlier, she had made a joke about "letting it all hang out," and I was thankful for both of us that the pitch black nature of the motel room presented me from seeing her intimate loveliness thus exposed. Eve did nothing to change this situation. Either the abrupt baring of most of her naked form hadn't occurred to her, or if it had, she too had realized that I could indeed see nothing.
I was thankful she hadn't sat back a little bit further upon me, or yes, I would have lost all restraint.
She suddenly sat straight up, and whispered, "I can't, I can't," and then a louder, more decisive "I can't!" She thought aloud in desperate whispers. "I'm not divorced, I'm not even separated... Russ and I just had one big fight. One!"
Yeah, that's right, doll, I thought soberly, please talk yourself out of this because I'm in no position to do it for you (you should pardon the expression).
A final, plaintive "I can't!" accompanied Eve's abrupt retreat to her side of the bed.
She began crying audibly, and I instinctively reached over to comfort her, but what started out as innocent consolation heated up yet again as my lips found Eve's in the darkness. I was partly beside her and partly atop her, my hands ever-so-slightly straying from so-called "safe" areas, and I knew there could be no doubt in her mind just how badly I ached for her as our eager bodies pressed against one another. But this time, luckily, she took my face in her soft and gentle hands and said, "Please, Dan, I'm sorry, but... We can't do this!"
It was as if cold water had been thrown upon me -- although only in a mental sense, rather than a physical one -- and I finally... finally... pulled away from her.
"Oh, Dan! I'm sorry. I'm so sorry..." she said.
"It's okay, doll," I said softly, meaning it.
She was still sobbing. "Don't be angry with me? Please?"
"It's okay, doll. Really!" I told her, trying to stress the truth of my words without raising my voice to the point of sounding angry... because I wasn't.
"But this is so unfair to you, I know..."
"Eve, please. Listen to me, darling. I understand. And no, I'm not angry, don't worry. I love you, okay? I love you, darling, and I really do understand. You're absolutely right. We can't... do this." She was still crying. "I love you, doll," I repeated.
"And I..." she began, before falling silent for a long moment. And you what? I thought, my heart pounding. "And I... would never intentionally hurt you."
I wasn't sure right then if I was happy or sad that she hadn't finished that sentence the way I'd thought she would have.
Wisely forgoing any additional goodnight kisses, Eve and I fell asleep soon after saying our whispered goodnights. Neither of us had the energy nor the presence of mind to cover ourselves with the bunched-up blankets at the foot of our bed.
A few hours later, as the very first rays of the morning sun began to illuminate the room with an eerie blue glow, I awoke briefly. Eve was sound asleep, her still-opened bathrobe covering naught but her shoulders and upper arms. At first, I thought of pulling it closed, but realized she might awaken and misinterpret my actions as I fumbled with her clothing. So instead, I reached down and pulled the blankets up to cover both of us before going back to sleep.
And just for the record... Yes, she was every bit as lovely, exciting, and flawless as I'd envisioned her to be. Maybe even more so.
My beautiful, beautiful doll...