He nips my earlobe and I can feel him unzipping his pants.

“So you say,” he murmurs.


“So I know.” Throwing caution to the wind, I press onward, trying to unleash the pent-up energy in him he always bottles up until it explodes. “Only one of us is running. Only one of us is afraid of what I have yet to discover, Chris.”

The air crackles and his hand goes to my waist, ingers lexing into my lesh, and I revel in the certainty I’ve succeeded in taking him to the edge. “You think I’m running?” he demands.

“No. I think you’re trying to make me run, so you can blame me if we fail.”

His c**k presses between my legs. “Does that feel like I want you to run?” He enters me, driving hard inside me without any prelude. “Does that?” And then he is thrusting, reaching around me to meld his hand to my breast, holding on to it, and me. He thrusts again, burying himself, with a ieriness that out-reaches pure physical need.

Oh yes, I have made him angry and I’m glad. I want this side of him; I want all of him. And damn it, he keeps trying to deny me. He keeps trying to hold back and, yes, he keeps trying to make me run.

Pressing my hand to his, I meld it to my breast, holding him there, never planning to let him go. Pleasure splinters through me with each thrust of his cock, each moment he’s buried deep inside me. Sensation after sensation begins in my sex and rushes through nerve endings. I am lost in how he feels, how I feel, and I arch into him, my muscles clench around him, and then I can’t breathe. My orgasm takes me by surprise, enveloping me, consuming me. I rise to the top of it far too quickly and come down far too hard and fast, but just in time to feel Chris shudder, his body tensing with his release. He stills, burying his face in my neck, and his body slowly relaxes. For several moments he holds me there, and I’m not sure either of us breathes, let alone speaks or moves. I’m not sure what to say or do next.

Abruptly, he pulls out of me, and I don’t know why, but an unusual sense of complete, utter emptiness washes over me.

The “why” is answered when I start to turn to ind him already headed out of the elevator. I stare after him, knots balling in my stomach. Maybe I pushed the wrong buttons. Maybe I pushed him to far or too hard. Maybe I made a mistake.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I’m sitting on a plane, heading back to San Francisco, and I’m nervous and excited. I’m not completely sure why I’m nervous and I’m going to spend some time on the light thinking about that. It’s not logical. Especially since I know why I’m so excited.

And it’s not just about going back to “him,” either.

It’s home. Traveling isn’t what I crave. Maybe one day I will.

Maybe one day I will want to see the world beyond the eyes of the many famous artists I admire. Right now, though, I need stability. I need what I can count on. I need a sense of who I am. I hope he is a part of who I am, but I think our time apart was good. As much as I missed him while I was away, as eager as I am to return to San Francisco, this trip helped me inish the process of inding myself again. Of knowing what it means to be Rebecca Mason, not just “his.”

I hope he and I truly will ind each other again. If he means what he promised, that things will be diferent, then maybe they will. If we don’t, though, I believe in myself enough again to be willing to leave him behind. This brings me back to the nerves. I guess I know what they’re about after all. If he and I are going to be together, we have to deine what that means. I’m not sure he can be himself when I’m truly me, but I have to know. And, I think, so does he.

Eleven

Staring after Chris, it takes me all of sixty seconds to decide that being half na**d is not the best way to pursue him and demand a conversation. I need a bathroom to pull myself together irst.

I stuf my pants and boots in a shopping bag, gather the rest of my haul along with my purse, and go into the hallway. Rushing toward the bedroom, all too aware of my na**d backside I worry Chris will be there waiting for me and I’ll be at a disad-vantage. Pulse racing, I enter an empty room. The relief I expect to feel is no more in sight than Chris. What if he left the house through the front door? Where would he go? When would he return? And why am I worrying, when he might simply be somewhere else in the house?

By the time I’m dressed, I’m at the top of a curve on a roller-coaster ride of emotions that started the day I met Chris and has yet to end. The room is empty without him, and my mind is already going wild with the possibility of inding him gone. I tell myself it will mean nothing; he’ll be back. We’ll be okay. He thinks I betrayed him by going to the Script, which hurts, but I think he’s hurting, too. The idea of hurting him when he’s lived a lifetime of pain is too much to bear.

I dart for the hallway and all but run up the stairs leading to the upper level of the house—the location of Chris’s studio, which he’d planned to show me tonight. If he’s still home, my instincts tell me, he’ll be there. At the top of the landing I discover two halls leading left and right, but the towering, castle-like silver arched doorways are what hold me spellbound—but not just for the unique artistic statement they make. For the unique artist I just know is beyond them. A sharp twist tightens my belly. This is his castle and, like my new home, I’d wanted to explore it in a positive moment, not in the midst of emotional havoc.

Creaking open the door, I ind towering ceilings and darkness pierced only by the warm glow of natural moonlight radiating from a window or skylight. Awareness ills me instantly and I feel Chris before I see him, his presence pouring through me like warm sunshine on a cold, lonely day.

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