I’m floored again by what he’s telling me. “But I was so sure…”
“We’ve never talked about it, have we?” he asks.
“Then don’t assume,” he chides.
“So you want kids?” I ask, because I’m just not believing this.
His words are careful and measured. “I can’t say it’s at the top of my agenda, but I figured I’d have kids someday. It’s the circle of life, right?”
“But do you want kids with me?” I press him. “You can barely stomach having sex with me—”
“That’s not true,” he interrupts harshly and brings a hand up to hold my jaw so I don’t turn my gaze. “I said that to push you away. Things may have gotten a little dull in our bed, but don’t think it was just you. It was me, too. Baby… I thought the grass was greener, and yeah… I pushed you away to try it. And it’s not greener. It was awful without you, and I figure… sex should be a fucking easy problem to fix, right?”
God, the thought of having sex with Vince feels wrong to me in every way. Not because it couldn’t be good, but because my heart is with someone else. Even if I were to give my marriage a shot, I’m not sure I can give him that part of myself.
“Vince… when I tell you I’m in love with another man, it means not just soul, but body.”
Unmitigated pain fills Vince’s eyes, and that hurts me. I don’t like hurting anyone.
But he nods and with the patience of a saint, he says, “I’ll wait for you to give that to me then. Come home with me, and there will be no expectations on my part for anything. All you need to do is let me help you forget about this heartbreak. Let’s give our marriage a shot.”
My eyes slide over and look at my computer where I’ve been desperately trying to escape my pain by moving across the country. It’s not something I really wanted, but I figured running far away and starting fresh would help.
But maybe all I need to do is run to Los Angeles, where I could be back in comfortable surroundings with a man who seems to be willing to let me figure things out at my own pace. I’m so fucking tired and drained, I’m not sure how I can say no to his offer.
I look back to him and take in the genuine desire on his face to make things right with us. With a squeeze to his hand, I say, “I can’t promise you anything. I’m not even sure I have the strength to try. But as long as you know I’m all kinds of fucked up in the head and don’t know what I’m doing or what I even want anymore, then I’ll accept. Just know… if I can’t move past Walsh, I’ll be honest with you.”
“That’s all I can ask, Jorie,” Vince tells me, and then he leans forward and brushes a chaste kiss on my lips.
I’m not going to lie.
It feels good.
“Another?” the bartender asks me as I sit huddled over the glass I’d just drained.
I push it toward him with two fingers. “Sure.”
I stare at the bar and listen to the sounds of The Silo. Skin slapping, moans, and orgasmic cries. I feel nothing, and I’m not sure how pathetic it makes me by sitting here.
This is the third night in a row I’ve come to The Wicked Horse. All three nights I’ve sat at the bar in The Silo.
Not because I’m looking to get laid, but because I can’t sit in my apartment anymore. I can’t be alone with my misery, so I come here.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get my hard-on back and take advantage, but it’s not tonight.
A new drink gets slid toward me, and I push some money back to the bartender. “Keep the change.”
“Thanks, man,” he says. You would think I’d get more than that since I’ve given him a twenty for each drink so far and told him to keep the change, but whatever.
I’m sure Jerico thinks I’m equally pathetic because I renewed my membership but have done nothing but sit here and drink. I’m paying exorbitant money to have access to a bar in a sex club where I’m not having sex but rather castigating myself.
Jesus, I’m a mess.
Someone sits down beside me, and it only makes me huddle closer to my drink. I don’t want conversation. I don’t want to fuck.
I want to drink, think about Jorie, and be left alone.
“I’ll have a scotch,” the person says, and I turn in astonishment to see Micah sitting there.
I take a moment to study him. Bland expression, casual posture. Not here to kick my ass.
I turn away from him without a word. Picking up my drink, I take a small sip.