You have been thoroughly warned.
If you are squeamish about colorful language, don't like sex scenes, and honest dialogue makes your hair curl, walk away now. Do not read this.
I'll be posting installments every day until the end. I don't know how many days that will be because I am still writing this story. You can read it or not, share it or not, like it or not. It's up to you. Unlike me, you have a choice. I can't not write it.
As You Were
Copyright © 2013 by Melissa Lummis
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Continued from Installment 11...
Continued in Installment 13...
“When you wouldn’t respond to Gena, I actually got worried. For the first time in my life I admitted that I’d really fucked things up. Yeah, I’d messed around with a lot of girls, didn’t call them back, didn’t give a shit. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but at the same time, I didn’t really care. But you and Gena…” he dropped his head into his hands. “You both mean something to me. And I hurt you both.”
I licked my dry lips, unsure how to respond to this Erik that I’d only glimpsed once or twice over the years. He’d been Mr. Ice Cycle emotionally most of the time. Except for those stolen moments, when the party was over and we laid on the pool deck at 3 am staring up at the stars. When he was dating Gena and I was dating Dan. The four of us quiet. Dan on one side of me, Erik on the other. We’d all hold hands.
Clearing my throat, I said, “Erik, I…don’t know what to say.” And I didn’t. I was in shock, unsure of what this all meant. And suddenly very aware of my nakedness. I shifted around, looking for something to cover up with.
Erik reached over for my T-shirt and handed it to me. As I shrugged it over my head, I wondered at myself. How had I gotten here? I glanced around, biting my lip. Was this all about the years of repressed attraction? Or about Erik shipping out to war? God. That. I wasn’t regretting what I’d almost done. What we’d almost done, not at all. I was just wondering how it had happened.
Erik rubbed his face and looked around with a confused expression. Then his gaze snapped to mine.
“I don’t expect you to say anything.” He cleared his throat. “I don’t want to make any more mistakes.”
He heaved himself off the bed, putting his shorts back to rights, and then held out his hand. “Come on.”
I stared up at him. “Where are we going?” I took his hand and he squeezed.
“Those deck chairs looked comfy.” He smiled then, a real, heart-full expression that made my chest heave.
“Erik, I…I’m sorry.” I stood up, very aware of the cool hardwood floor on the soles of my bare feet.
“You have nothing to be sorry for.” He tugged me into him, resting his chin on my head as he held me.
I swallowed back the surge of lust with his body so close to mine. I needed to get myself together. “I must. Why did you stop?” Had I done something wrong? What had I done to inspire his painful confession?
“You didn’t do anything wrong. You are, without a fucking doubt, the most beautiful woman I know.” He stepped away, his hands lingering on my waist. “Inside and out. And you deserve more.”
He bent down to retrieve my shorts, then held them open with both hands. I stepped gingerly into them one foot at a time, then he slid them up over my shaking legs as he stood. I met his hands to take them but he held on. After buttoning me up, he slid the zipper back in place. I swear it was more erotic putting them back on then when he took them off.
Before I could say anything about maybe getting back in the bed Erik took my hand, kissed my knuckles, and led me out of the bedroom. “You got something non-alcoholic to drink?”
I blinked, then shook myself out of a dazed state. Erik didn’t want a beer? What was going on? “Ginger ale. Is that good?”
“Perfect. My stomach’s off.” Erik’s hand slid out of mine as he turned to the sliding glass doors.
I headed for the mini fridge under the bar. I squatted down as I opened the door and with two cold soda cans in each hand, bumped the door shut with a hip as I stood. I paused, looking down at my fresh pink manicure wrapped around the cans. I was taken back to a night at his dad’s house, in the basement with the big pool table and bar. Erik had put on a Doors CD and racked up. It was fall. Cool, crisp air fluttered the cotton curtains Erik’s mom had hung. The one’s with the embroidered green leaves and tiny pink flours around the edges. Jim Morrison sang about people being strange.
“Why did your dad leave those curtains up?” I heard myself whisper.