Sunday, March 27, 2011
Studio Time: Eight
South Beach: 109 Harbor Place - 11 PM
It was a cool evening, the scent of fresh rain that had come and gone still lingering with the salt air. Blade led Beth to the patio and wrapped strong arms around her as he lowered his mouth onto hers and kissed her, his mouth warm, his body warm. They sat on steps lurching a little crookedly down to the beach, leaning into each other until a gust of wind snatched at the firelight, tossing embers across the stone and sand. She moved one sandaled foot and stepped on the fire until it blinked itself to death.
"About Dani," he began.
Yes, about Dani. There had been another one after her. She had googled them all and looked at the photos and read the little Wiki entry about each one and how somebody thought they'd met and how somebody thought they'd split. She hadn't learned much and hadn't thought much about what she had learned until Danica Cole walked out of wiki and spoke to her. How important was it to know if the man she was dating was still involved with an ex? How important was the man? She didn't know, and his hand was down between her knees and hers was right there and this was not the time, if there was a time, to talk about yet another ex, but not now it wasn't. He was hot and close and hard and she didn't want to talk about Dani or Gemma or Julia.
"You don't need to explain anything to me about her, Blade. Trust me, I understand about women from a man's past. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and shredded it."
He framed Beth's face in his large hands and tenderly kissed her. "Tonight I'm not Blade. I'm just a man, just Alex, someone who wants to be here for you, and I want you to understand. I need to explain."
The harbor lights across the bay lit the side of his face, dim and distant but bright enough to show those freckles. Uneasy memory pricked at her. Why did he have to have freckles. She stepped back out of the embrace and shivered, a quick strange shudder, and looked up at him. She'd gone further with this than she ever intended to go and bringing the ex into it, explaining about the ex, she didn't want to care about anybody's ex. "Alex," she began, found an edge in her voice and stepped back from that, too, and tried again. "If you think I need to know, go ahead and explain but I don't. Need to know."
"It's okay," he murmured against her hair, brushing her mouth with his, tightening his grip, "it's not bad. I’ll make you a deal, sit down over there, get comfortable, if you're cold, and babe you're shivering, I'll throw another log on the fire. I can be a son of a bitch but I don't lie and I don't keep secrets from the woman I'm with. Whatever you want to know, you can ask me."
Kicking off her shoes, she curled up on the wide couch, recognizing it as more than a couch, watching him toss wood into the narrow firebox, set it aflame, and expecting him to join her. He didn't. He knelt down on the stone and said simply, "Truth or dare. I go first. It’s simple . Dani and I were pretty happy considering I was gone a lot but she wanted to start a family right away, while she was young enough to get back into modeling. You know how I feel about kids - I’m not going to be an absentee father - so I said no. That was the one thing we never could agree on, timing for her was perfect but for me not so much. It was a deal breaker. That’s it.”
Truth or dare? They could have waited. Beth didn’t remember how old Danica was, but a model’s shelf life was short, even a supermodel with the face and the legs and the long thin waist that was Danica's. He wanted truth or dare, give him some. "All right," she said flatly. "My turn. Alex, you’ve been telling me that my feelings for Coop are written on my face. You think I don’t see the same thing on yours? On Dani’s? I think there is more to it than you are letting on or even admitting to yourself. If you still love her...”
“I don’t.” Alex stood suddenly and took her in his arms. He kissed her passionately, his lips both soft and hard at the same time. His eyes lit with desire, Alex eased up while his hands moved along her back until he finally pulled her close to him. “Let’s not waste any more time talking about the past. I would much rather spend my time with you, here and now.”
“Alex...” As if time was something she was wasting and the past was just the present hiding behind the door, how do you spend time. Put a nickel in the slot pull the hammer and hope you get something always hoping for something hoping for the jackpot not Cooper no point hoping for that because it was done and she was left here with whatever was left, and it was more than she deserved. Maybe he was using her and maybe it didn't matter find the time wait until you hear it wait until you see it. Beth slid her hands down Alex’s back, fingers gently crossing his shoulders, reaching up to find his mouth again and breathing more damned time into that kiss. “Do you remember what you said, that you would help me to let go? Are you sure you’ve let her go?”
He chuckled, the laughter genuine and delighted and some of Alex goofy because he did that beguiling unexpected tilt. “Are you jealous, babe? You don’t need to be jealous. I’m sure, I’m damned sure.” Leaning over, he nipped at her neck, cupped one breast and ran his thumb across her nipple, all charm and all sex and his voice husky as he returned, “Are you?”
The gentle sister Jealousy, she had never spoken and she was still silent and it wasn’t for her that she whispered, “Make me forget.”
“It will be my pleasure.” Alex began to slowly undress her leaving a trail of kisses along her bare skin as it was revealed. The small click of his buckle as she loosened his belt, and then she glanced up at his face.
Something in her heart slammed. All the doors and windows flying shut, a storm draft of emotion and memory ripping off hinges banging them into walls and floor and bringing down the ceiling of her life. Into the labyrinth she descended. He took her body, and shaking with sex and desire and the heat of his mouth, she still turned her face away from him. You dropped the thread Ariadne...you're lost...