I feel my hand fall away, and I start to drift into some kind of pleasure-filled coma. All the desire from the past weeks have finally caught up with me, and my body feels sated for the first time.
I try not to collapse on top of her, but I’m not sure if I make it off her as I’m out before my head hits the pillow.
Any dream I have of her will be nothing compared to what we just shared. No dream could touch the perfection of what I just experienced, and I hope when I wake up I remember to tell her exactly that.
I wake to a sweet ache between my legs and the previous night playing through my mind. A delicious smile spreads across my face. If not for the ache, I’d think it was a dream. One I’d had many times before. Absently, I reach for Calder but come up with nothing. His body is no longer wrapped around mine.
Slowly opening my eyes, the morning light shining in through the floor-to-ceiling window of my bedroom, I see him sitting on the edge of the bed. His elbows on his knees, his head down, one hand in his hair like he’s almost pulling it. His breathing is deep, each breath making the big muscles of his back flex, showing the lines of his defined body.
Reaching out, I run my fingers down his back, wanting to encourage him back to bed with me. His whole body freezes. No more deep breaths. Just completely still. I can feel the frustration rolling off of him in waves, and it makes me pull my hand back.
“What did I do?” I hear him mumble. “I should have listened to your father.”
Out of all the things I thought he might say, that isn’t one of them. Not even close. In fact, talking about my father while we are both naked after making love seems completely wrong.
“Did he tell you to stay away from me?” I wouldn’t be surprised by that. It’s the only thing I can really imagine my father would say. He’s never scared men off before, but I don’t normally engage in their affections either, so there has never been a need.
“No. Said you’re just like your mother.” The way he says it, with such distaste, makes me push myself farther away from him, almost falling off the other side of the bed. Grabbing the sheet, I wrap it around me to cover up my body. He makes no move to look at me as he hangs his head and looks down at the floor.
My father has said many times that I’m like my mother, that I seem to just draw attention to myself. But she sought hers, and I don’t. He’s often said that I just light up a room. I’d always believed it was just a father doting on his daughter. Of course he thought I lit up the room. But I don’t think that’s what Calder means. Not with his tone of voice, the bitter anger that seems to lace them. No, he’s talking about the other whispers I’ve heard about my mother. For some reason, I want to hear him say it. Maybe because no one has ever said it to me before. It’s always been danced around or avoided.
“And what does that mean?” I’m surprised by the firmness of my own words. I’m shocked that I don’t stumble over them. I meet him head on.
This time, he does turn to look at me. His bright eyes bore into mine. The look is cold, all that sweetness from last night long gone. So cold I almost wonder if I made it up to begin with. That it never could have been in those eyes.
“I think you know what I mean, Felicity. It’s no big secret about your mother. Hopping from one bed to another. Do you so easily fall into bed with men? Do you do this for all of your father’s clients? That why he seems to be so popular?”
I can feel the blood drain from my face. Yes, I’ve heard the rumors. On some level I’ve had a dislike for my mother, but another part of me, the child deep inside me, still craves something from her. When my father said I was like my mother, it made me smile because I filled it with a sweetness. That I had a little part of my mother in me was a cause for happiness for me. I know it’s silly, she abandoned me, after all, but I clung to it for some reason.
Is that what my father told him? Maybe that’s why he wants me so close. He can keep a better eye on me. Make sure I’m not too much like her.
“I believe it was you that climbed into my bed.”
“A bed you easily welcomed me into,” he throws back. I don’t get his anger. What the heck changed from last night to this morning?
“Well then, you better be on your way. I’m sure someone else will be filling the spot shortly.” I don’t know where that came from, but it felt good. More than good. I let the anger take control because if I let myself feel anything else, I’ll be crumbling into a babbling, crying-girl mess. I won’t give him that.