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Friday, October 31, 2014

Failings of the Fathers: 33 (adult)

He moved over her, kissing her as he went, and then rested beside her on the bed.  He turned her toward him.

She said, "I wish I could be with you, but it's too soon, Todd."


"Oh, I know.  Just want to look at you."  He ran his hand down her face to her chest, and rested it over her breastbone.  "And feel this."


"What?"


"Your heart.  I like how it acts when you're near me."


She blushed a little, and then said, "I'm blushing, and we're married, oh, how many times?"


"A lot.  Can't even keep track."


"That's okay.  It's really like one big long love story.  An epic one."


"Yeah, kind of.   I guess you could say that."


"So happy."  She said, running her fingers over his collar.  She started to undo the buttons on his shirt, and kiss his collarbone.  


He stroked her hair, and said, "Hey, what's all that about?"


She didn't answer.  Instead, she worked her mouth over his chest, and pulled his shirt out of his pants.  Then she looked up at him and said, "Take your shirt off."


He obliged her.  He was left in his a-shirt and pants, and closed his eyes.


She scooted down the bed and lying on her side across from his waist, undid his belt.  He was already excited by her, and still gently ran his fingers through her hair.  She whispered, "Take these off, too."


He did, fumbling a bit, and threw them onto the floor.  She reached inside his boxer shorts and touched him, and he slightly jumped.  She slid his boxers down and began to kiss and fondle him, before she wrapped her lips around him completely, determined to make him more than enjoy their time alone.  


It had been several weeks since they had made love to each other, and though she missed him deeply, she wanted nothing more than to hear him - the sounds she had come to love when his passion built, and the moans that thrilled her when he finally came.  Their lovemaking would have to wait, but his needs wouldn't, at least in her book.  She finally gently pushed him onto his back, and knelt between his legs, still working to bring him to his end with her tongue and lips.


He wanted her, so much, and closing his eyes, imagined her, what it would be like to be inside her again, joined the way they longed for.  No one and nothing had ever been like he and Blair, and he knew that every minute he was without her, as well as every second he was with her.  In his mind, he pictured her above him, beautiful in the firelight, moving and undulating over him, and felt a surge in his body, just before he came into her mouth.  The feelings were intense and familiar, and immediately following, he bought her to him and rubbed her back as she splayed herself across his chest.  He said, "How can I make you feel good?"


"You already are.  We have plenty of time for that.  But, you could just keep holding me."


He pulled up his boxers, and wrapped his arms around her.  He ran his hands up and down her body, massaging away any tension she may have felt from the past week.  She closed her eyes.  "I don't even know how to say it anymore."


"I know, it's like words are running out."


"Maybe.  But we never do, and neither does how I feel," she picked her head up off his chest, and looked at him.  


Her mascara was smudged under both eyes, and her lips were slightly puffy and redder than normal.  He said, "Always you and me.  That's all there is."


She nodded, and said, "I know," before he slid his arms tighter around her and rubbed over her back with his strong hands.


***


It was early morning, and Malcolm was alone in the cafeteria.  He liked the early times, where there were few patrons, so that he could enjoy the quiet and the alone time.  Of course, he was always willing to share his breakfast table with Miguel, Aiden, or even Calvin, as long as there weren't loads of people, clanging trays and talking.  He hated noise pollution more than most things.


For a moment, he imagined himself, back in London, tending the gardens outside his mother's house.  That was before he had become ill, but it was something he always wanted to go back to, at some point in his life.  He loved the feel of the soil in his hands, and watching things grow.  It was something a person could always count on:  if you care for it, it grows and brings you beauty.  He missed it, and had spent a long time trying not to become bitter about how.


He sipped his coffee.  In the doorway, he spotted Calvin, who seemed to notice him and go to get his tray.  The man was a puzzle; he never quite understood him, but in the last year or two, he had gotten to be able to communicate with him.  With others, it wasn't always possible for Calvin.  And, after all, they both did share some secrets and some things that not everyone should be privvy to.  Not everyone would understand, and it was best left as it stood.


Calvin finally sauntered over with his breakfast assortment and put his tray down.


Malcolm said, "Who said I forgave your attitude yesterday?"


"Who said I care?"


"Hmf.  Touche."  But he knew that somewhere in there, Calvin did care, or he wouldn't bother at all.  It was loneliness, and everyone could succumb to it, even if they were bitter like Calvin.  "What's with you today?  Anything?"


"No."  He started to eat.


"Yesterday, you were talking about a new plot.  Some kind of revenge thing?"


"Forget what I said yesterday."


"Why?  Change your mind?"


He chewed.  He swallowed.  Then he said, "No."


"Well, then.  How does this revenge plot go down?"


"For me to know, and you to butt out."


"Well, excuse me, then."


"Let it go."


"All right, if you want me to.  Sounds like you're pretty gutted, though."


"Speak English."


"You're upset.  You seemed angry."


"Whatever.  Angry.  Always my thing."


"You are a crabby one."


"Why not?"


"Hmf.  Always short on words."


"Why talk when you can be quiet?"


"Well, you talk when you want to."


He continued to eat.  He always seemed hungry, as if every meal might be his last.  Malcolm recognized it as desperation, in a larger sense. 


Malcolm finished his breakfast and began to look outside through the windows.  


"You and the outdoors."  Calvin said.


"I do love it.  Would love to be back to it."


"And why don't you?"


"You know why."


"Oh.  What, you need the money for the medicine could make you well enough to get out there?  You want to be back outside."


"Yes, that covers it."


"Well, I ain't helping you."


"I didn't ask."


"Well, don't think it.  It's not happening.  Not now, not ever."


"I thought you had a lot stashed away?"


"Not that much, and it's not exactly as you think.  And why would I waste it on you?"


"I don't expect you to pay, or help me.  You should know that."  Malcolm said.


"Whatever, Mister."


"Well, I'm going to see Miguel.  You coming along?"


He gave Malcolm the side-eye.  "No."


"All right, I'll see you later then."


Calvin finished his breakfast, and pushed his tray forward.  Taking his phone from his pocket, he dialed.  "It's me.  Yeah, good morning, fine, you know I'm in no mood."  He looked around him, and very few people were in the cafeteria.  "Is everything ready?  What do you mean?  Well, get on it, then.  Don't call me until it's done."  He hung up, and put his phone in his pocket, before carrying his tray off.


***


"Hey, you all right?"  He said, sitting up in the dark.  Blair was sitting up as well.  She was against the pillows, and for a moment, he didn't notice the little bundle at her breast.  


"Yeah, I'm fine.  It's just feeding time for her."


"Oh, okay," he said, pushing himself to sitting next to her and moving closer.  He peeked over at his daughter, and said, "She is just a hungry one."


"She's just doing what they do," she said.


"God, you are so beautiful."


"I look a mess, I'm pretty sure."


"No.  You're gorgeous.  In the light of that fire . . . fire?  Where did that come from?"


"Jack.  He brought her up an hour ago, and left her, and made a fire for us."


"He's really something, that kid.  And to think, in a year or so, he might not be with us anymore."


"Don't Todd, looking at her little face, I can't think about that."


"All right.  Sorry, then."


"Did you ever bring the mail in?  We've been so out of touch with the world lately."


"I did, it's on my desk, want me to get it?"


"If you don't mind.  You can read it to me while she nurses."


He went off in the darkness, still in just his boxers, and returned with a small pile.  "Bills, mostly.  Oh, wait, what's this?  To the parents of Sam Manning?"


"It's probably not bad, if this were Jack, then maybe," she said.  "He was such a problem in school for a while there."


"Hmf.  Like his old man, only he never knew me."


"He knew you.  He knew you inside.  He knows you now.  He wasn't like this when you were gone.  I give you credit for the change in him."


"Don't.  It's likely maturity, and the fact that I don't beat or burn him."


She swallowed.


He caught sight of it, and said "That wasn't fair, I shouldn't have said that."


"Why?  It's true.  That's what Zeus did to him."


"Which was Zeus' decision.  Not yours."


"Well, what's in the letter," she said, brushing away a tear.


"Congratulations.  Your child, Sam Manning, has been selected as Rotary Club Student of the Year."


"Oh, that's so great!"


"The kid is super smart.  Wow.  Now the credit for everything he is going to his gorgeous Mommy."


"Thank you, but it's inside him.  He's just a sweet boy."


"Well, he won.  There's a luncheon in his honor, and the whole family is invited."


"Very cool."


"He'll ask about my mother, won't he?"


"I'm certain he will."


He got very quiet.  "I didn't go see her today."


"That's all right, Todd.  If she needed you, they would call.  She . . . isn't with us, right now."


"I know, I just . . . I said I'd go and see her every day . . ."


"You know you can't do that.  And, you know she won't be angry with you for not being able to.  There's always tomorrow, you can go then."


"Okay.  Will you go, too?"


"If you think I can bring Jewel and Ray with us.  The boys will have school."


"Oh, that might not work.  Unless we wait until after school gets out.  We can take Jewel.  Jack can handle Ray and Sam.  Shaun's here . . ."


"All right, we can do that.  I want to be with you through all this."


"You are."


"Todd?"


"Yep?"


"When you used to go inside yourself, and you saw me, at the wedding, with the gold balloons?"


"Yep.  That was my safe haven."


"Was that for the whole eight years?"


"Pretty much.  I never told you this, but it started in the tomb, next to my father's corpse."


She looked down at her baby, who had unlatched in her sleep, and put her on his chest.  He rested one of his hands on her, and it covered the majority of her back.  Blair said, "Maybe we shouldn't talk about that."


"It's okay.  It's over now.  You were my safe place.  My haven."


"I'm sorry you needed one.  But I'm glad it was me."


"It's always you.  Always."  She settled against him, and he put an arm around her, the other hand on the baby's back.  


She said, "Are you going to put her down?"


"No.  I want her right here.  I promise not to fall asleep with her out of her basket, or roll over on her."


"All right."


"I just want to watch her, Blair.  She's almost the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."


"She is very beautiful.  No question about that."


"I just want to watch her breathe.  This little piece of you."


"And you.  You can't forget that.  She's both of us, and that means both of us are beautiful.  What we made is."


He ran his hand through her hair, and the baby slept on his chest.  The fire dwindled but didn't go out, but Blair's energy did, as she closed her eyes and fell asleep against him.  Softly, he spoke, "Two of my girls.  I love you both, so much.  I guess I did something right, somewhere along the line."


*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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