I wake still wrapped in his arms, feeling sticky from our early morning romp. I wiggle from his hold; his arms search the bed for me and settle with the bunched up blanket I leave behind. I gently rise from the bed and slip through the lace curtain; turning back to peek through at his muscular body, stretched along the bed with his sexy bare ass shining in the sun – tanner than I imagined it would be.
I tip-toe in to the bathroom and peek behind a large curtain I thought was a wall the night before. Behind it is a wall sized, sliding glass door which opens to a path of stones, surrounded by beds of river rock, that lead out to an outdoor shower. The autumn breeze is cool but the midday sun is warm on my bare skin and I decide to chance the cool of the wind.
The water rains down from the large spout of a watering can turned shower head. The large shower head keeps my body well covered in its downpour, making no problem of the cool breeze that drifts through. The sky is a blue so light it almost appears white – except for the birds that speckle the sky, happily chirping their song as they fly over.
I wait for the water to run cold but the hot seems to never run out and when my head begins to spin and my belly rumbles with hunger, I decide its best to head in. The walk from the shower back inside is a bit chilly and I quickly wish I had brought a towel out with me. I burst through the door at full speed and grab a towel hanging near by, wrapping it around my now, goose-bump covered body.
I tip-toe back into the room and over to the closet; pausing when the floor board squeaks beneath my feet, causing him to stir under what sheet still managed to cover him. Once he seems settled again, I creep the rest of the way to the closet door and run my hand over the engraved wood E-m-i-l-I-a, Emilia. My insides twist a bit as I open the door, feeling odd that i’m looking through another woman’s things. I have no idea where she is or what the story is but I can’t help but feel like I’m disrespecting her in some way.
The door sticks and I have to give a good tug; the hinges creak as if the door hasn’t been opened in quite some time. I walk into the closet, surprised by its size and flip the switch on the wall; the light flickers a few times before illuminating the small room. There are two long racks of clothes, a small vanity and shoes line the floor – mostly various styles of boots.
As I search through the clothes, I come to find that whoever Emilia is, she didn’t have one set taste. Her wardrobe ranges far and wide, from biker gear to one nun’s outfit, a few fancy gowns and everything in between. I pull a dress from the rack and search for a tag but there’s none to be found. I repeat this several time with the same results. Each article of clothing seems to be missing its size and I finally just grab the softest sweater I can find and a pair of jeans from the shelf beside the vanity, determining they’d likely fit after holding them up to me.
I pull the soft, sunny colored sweater on and slide into the jeans – each fitting as if it were meant for me. Which snaps my mind back to the night before, “you look to be her size.” Is what he had said and looking in to the full length mirror, beside the door, I could easily agree. Suddenly, I felt ill, as if I were wearing her skin. I shake the thought off, switch off the light and creep back through the room – avoiding the squeaky floor board as I head for the door.
I ease the door open and slip through a crack just big enough to fit me before quietly pulling it shut, taking care not to let it click as it closes. I walk back into the living area, then turn and cut through the dining room to the kitchen. My stomach growls and with good reason as the last meal I can remember eating was well over twenty-four hours ago.
The fridge is fairly bare but I scrap together half a pack of bacon, a few eggs and some pancake batter. The salty, pungent smell of bacon begins to fill the house, as does my voice as I find myself lost in a song of my devise; caught up in my tune, I leap in the air when I hear him clear his throat from behind me, causing me to fling the golden flap-jack I was in the process of flipping, while I let out an earth shattering scream.
I turn, wide-eyed and jaw dropped, panting as I try to catch my breath and turning a bright red that makes my face feel like I’m standing next to a roaring fire. “You should wear a bell or something.” I jokingly mumble, in the direction of the fallen flap-jack, too embarrassed by my reaction to face him. Plus I still wasn’t sure how he’d respond to such a remark and I still found myself treading on eggshells as I had learned to do at home.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you, love. Though it appears I’m very good at it. Perhaps you’re right, maybe I should get a bell.” He says jokingly as he walks closer and bends down to grab the flap-jack, bringing him into my view. He peaks beneath the hair that hangs in my face, as I now shift my eyes to my feet, but he takes no offense and gives me a sexy little grin as he straightens back up and tosses the flap-jack. It lands in a large blue dish with letters that read Bruiser, a bowl that I had some how failed to notice earlier.
“The combination of your sweet voice filling the house and the smell of that bacon had me floating down the hall love.” He says with a chuckle as he pours two glasses of orange juice, holding one out to me when finished. “I hope you don’t mind. I’m just so hungry this morning.” I say, taking the glass and glancing up just enough to catch his eyes, before turning back to the stove top.
“Not at all, love! It’s nice to wake up to the scent of breakfast filling the house again. It’s been awhile since anyone but me, has cooked in this kitchen.” He says forcing a half-smile while his eyes drift off into the distance, as if he were watching the memory replay on the blank slate of the cabinet behind me, like a movie on the big screen. Again the urge arises to ask about her, Emilia, the mysterious woman who holds his heart so firmly, but the words catch in my throat – still afraid of upsetting or possibly angering him.
He snaps back, his cloudy grey eyes fall to meet mine as he extends his hands. “By the way love, my name is Abel. My apologizes for not making the introduction sooner and if I was short with you yesterday, I apologize for that too. We didn’t exactly meet in what one would call, normal circumstances and I have a real disgust for the weasels who feel it’s acceptable to lay their hands on a woman in any other way, than affectionately.” He says with a tone of aggression, as if the thought alone made his blood boil.
“I’m Annabelle.” I say, giving his hand a quick shake before turning back to the stove. “And you own me no apologizes or explanations, I’m just grateful for what you did and that you allowed me to stay the night. You really didn’t have too and I’m very sorry if I’m of any inconvenience to you. I promise, I’ll be out of here as soon as possible.” The words race out now as I turn to hand him a plate.
We sit in silence, eating our breakfast. My eyes scan the shelves and mantle for pictures but there are no frames or photos to be seen – only the lovely wood-carved scenes, cover the walls. One panel, across from me, catches my eye; a woman with long flowing hair that appears to be dancing in the wind, stands naked with her arms wrapped around a bulging belly and even though it’s only a craving, I can’t help but be taken by her.
My mind races as I lose myself in her carved image; was this nothing more than art? Was this her, his Emilia? Did he have children? Where were they? My eyes land on his hands and search for a ring or the discoloration of where one once sat, but there is no evidence that he is or ever has been married. I push the thoughts to the back of my mind before curiosity gets the better of me.
“You know love, for someone who claimed to be so hunger, you don’t seem to be eating much.” He points out, gesturing his fork towards my plate. “What’s on your mind love? I could almost swear you’re looking for an escape the way your eyes are bouncing around the room. I meant what I said yesterday, I’ll gladly take you anywhere you want to go.” He adds, now staring into his half empty plate.
“I’m not looking to escape, if I wanted to leave I’d have just left this morning while you slept but as you noted yesterday, I have no place to go. I was merely taking in my surrounds and exploring all the lovely carvings that fill your cabin, they’re amazing. Positively captivating. Did you buy it this way?” I ask, hoping to fish out any information I can, without taking a chance of pressing the invisible buttons I had yet to learn.
“Thank you love. I built it myself and the carvings are mine as well. I guess you could say its a hobby. Just something to pass the time.” He answers, as if his talent could just as easily be compared to model building or coin collecting. Not that I know much about art but even I can see that his skill with wood is easily comparable to that of Van Gogh with his canvas.
“Wow! I can’t imagine how long this must have taken. I would have never guessed you did all this, you don’t look old enough to have put so much work in.” I add, in amazement.
“All a product of many late nights, love. Sleep and I have been rivals for the past few years, so when I can’t sleep, I work.” He informs.
“What is it that you do? For work, I mean.” I ask, figuring he must be in construction of some sort.
“I suppose you could consider me a jack of all trades. I make custom bikes, do steel work statues, build houses and carve just about anything I can. How about you, love? What is it that you do or did? You must have a life to get back to, as far as work and friends are concerned.” He inquires.
“I don’t do much. Chase doesn’t or well, didn’t like for me to work. You know, a woman’s place is at home.” I say with a nervous chuckle. “I took care of the house and spent a lot of time waiting; waiting for him to come home, waiting on him hand and foot. Always at his beck and call.” My tone grows angrier as I continue. “I have no friends, Chase hated any friend I ever had or tried to make, he ran them off at every turn and I just gave up trying. Not that there was much time for making friends. He didn’t like me going out much without him, so the only time I was allowed to leave alone was to do the shopping and of course, he called to check in ever thirty minutes.” The anger now dissolves as my eyes fall back to my plate. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t complain. It wasn’t all bad and he only does it to keep me safe. I should be so grateful. He always says I’m never grateful enough.” I trail off, talking more to my breakfast than him.
“I don’t know the whole story but I do know that what I saw in that car yesterday was wrong. Doesn’t matter what you did, what you said or even who you are, no one should be treated that way love. I haven’t known you long enough to make a call on your character but if you asked me, I’d say he was the ungrateful one. Plus, you’ve been nothing but apologetic and thankful since you got here. I have no doubt that the problem lays solely in that waste of human space, you refer to as Chase.” He rants and I can feel his eyes burning through me as he speaks but I can’t bear to look at him.
I wish I could stick my foot in my mouth or swallow the words back down but more come flying past my teeth and between my lips. “I play my part. I know everything about him. I could write the book but still I push his buttons sometimes. I know the dos and don’t’s and I bring it on myself. He really doesn’t ask for much; dinner ready when he walk in the door, sex when he fancies it and mind my manners…watch my tone. You know, the things any wife or well-behaved person should do.” The more the words pour out in defense of my husband, the clearer the image becomes but it doesn’t stop me from defending him or owning the blame as my own. No matter how twisted the picture begins to look.
His hands slam the table and sends a wave of shock through my body that freezes me in place. “I’ll never understand woman like you love! I can hear it in your voice! I can see it in your face, you know it’s wrong and yet you excuse it. Why? What good is it? If that’s really what you think, then maybe you should go back!” He growls more than speaks before slamming his fists once more as he rises from the table and storms from the cabin.
Tears roll down my cheeks, dripping into my eggs and making my toast soggy. I should have kept my mouth shut; things were always easier in my life if I just kept my trap closed. The worse part of it, isn’t that I had angered him or that he was so harsh, it was that he was right. If he thought he couldn’t understand it, he should really try stepping into my head – where I’ve tried to figure it out for years, with no answers.
It’s a subject I hate to think about, let alone talk about, because no one else seems to understand it either. I can hear it when I speak. I know the things I’m saying to defend him are wrong and okay, sometimes it makes me feel like one of those abused woman you see in the movies but then I laugh it off and keep defending because I never wanted to be that woman and admitting it, is owning it and that’s a label I refuse to own.
I’ve always been able to handle Chase; though I admit the years seem to only grow harder but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right? Except for the constant stress of walking on egg shells, the anxiety of getting in trouble and the panic attacks that were increasing in intensity, with every incident we had. Maybe Abel is right, if I’m going to keep defending him and acting as if all is well, then I may as well go back but I know that’s something I could never do. I’d rather die than go back to a life that’s worse than anything death can throw my way, hell and purgatory included. I stood with determination to never go back and to no longer be this woman I have come to hate so much.
I clear the table and clean up the kitchen while I wait for Abel to come back but as I finish up the dishes, he still hasn’t returned. I walk circles around the living room furniture before giving up and heading out the door in search of him. I can hear the faint music of a guitar and a deep soulful voice drifting from the woods. I follow the sound around the cabin and into the thick of trees. I walk aimlessly following the tune, until I come across a small foot path that I follow down the sloping land. The further I travel downwards, the louder the music grows and I soon reach the edge of the woods, where the path continues down to a weather worn dock.
I stop along the edge and listen as his voice fills the open air – full of sadness and longing for something lost, Emilia, I imagine. I follow his voice around a curve along the lake and stop as he comes in sight, sitting on a boulder placed before two wooden crosses. I think about turning back, not wanting to invade a place that is so clearly marked his own but something in me can’t turn away. It always feels impossible to turn my back on someone in pain, especially someone I care about. I might not have known him long but his impact has already been so great on my life that I can’t help but acknowledge the stirring of feelings that have rushed my mind and heart in the last twenty-four hours.
He appears to be unlike any man I’ve ever met and I feel this overwhelming need to know everything about him; the good, the bad and everything that lays in between. I walk through the leaves, they crunch beneath my feet as I approach his turned back. He’s lost in the strum of his guitar and the poetry of his broken heart, none too aware of my arrival. I slip around the boulder and stand to his side; his hair covers his scars and his eyes stay closed tight as he belts out another chorus and I watch as a lone tear escapes, rolling down his cheek.
His song fades and his eyes open; he looks surprised to see me. “Still here, love? I figured you’d be long gone by now, running back to that happily ever after of yours.” He scoffs, turning away to wipe his face as if that one tear could bring his manliness into question.
“That just goes to show how well you DON’T know me. I’m never going back there, I’d just as well jump in this lake and sink to the bottom!” I dramatically respond, stomping one foot.
“Guess I don’t love, but I believe I’d enjoy the chance to get know you better. I am sorry for before, I was harsher than intended and meant no harm. I hope you will forgive my behavior but I want you to know that the blame is not yours to take. You never should have been treated that way and there is no excuse for it, not one. It’s important you understand that love.” He says, propping his guitar alongside the Boulder.
He stands and takes the couple of steps to reach me; his large masculine hand comes to my chin and lifts my face to meet his; his eyes demand an answer and burn brightly with the hope that I do understand. “I know, I honestly do. It’s just always been easier to take the blame but I do understand. I do know it’s wrong, that it should have never started, let alone been allowed to continue but it did and that is a truth I have to learn to live with. I’ve been weak but now I’ve had a lick of that familiar taste of freedom and I refuse to go back to choking down his twisted, self-serving rules.” I state firmly, locking my eyes on his to reassure him that I mean every word.
“Come love, dark falls and I didn’t bring a light down, those shoes won’t do you well back up the trail with no light.” He says, pulling away to grab his guitar before leading us back up to the cabin. We walked in silence and my mind tumbled with thoughts of the two wooden crosses and his haunting song of love long gone. I still had no facts but with each clue I felt I was getting the picture and it was anything but pretty.
We reached the warmth of the cabin just as the sky began to lose the last of its pink hue and with its decent went the temperature as well. As we walk in, I grab a throw from the back of the couch and pull it over my shoulders as he starts a fire. I grab the cushions from the couch and lay them against the coffee table as I settle on the floor, in front of the now, roaring fire.
“Your song, it was hauntingly beautiful. Whoever they are, you must have loved them dearly. They were very lucky to have someone who loves them so much.” My voice shakes as I speak, nervous to talk about something so personal.
“That’s sweet of you to say love but it turns out that I was far more of a burden for them to carry. A burden so heavy they’d come to be nothing more than two wooden crosses overlooking a lake and fading memories I grasp for daily.” He says, settling in beside me as he tosses a blanket over my lap.
“A burden? I can’t see that being possible, let alone even feasible.” I say puzzled.
“A burden, a plague, a disease on their skin. The definition is irrelevant and the feeling is nagging but some topics are best left unspoken love.” He answers with a far more puzzling response and firm tone that makes me question prying any further.
“Can it be so bad as that? Is it possible the feelings are merely worse than actuality? From my point of view, you look nothing but selfless. You pulled me from that car and simultaneously changed my world, for the better. You did something for me that I haven’t been able to do for years, no matter how much I planned or how many times I made it out the door. Every time I was just snatched back in and with one thoughtful action, you saved me. I finally have a chance to stand again and though I might not be on my feet yet, I feel it’s coming and finally within my reach – when before, it was nothing more than a dream, that had come to feel utterly hopeless. Those are not the actions of a man who can be classified as burdensome or a disease on ones skin. Those are the actions of a gentleman, those are the actions of a hero or of my hero, anyways.” I say with a sheepish grin as my cheeks warm with a blushing hue and I chuckle at my corny remark.
“A gentleman? A hero?” He laughs. “Love, I snatched you from a car in the middle of traffic, knocked your husband out and basically kidnapped you, or at least that’s what I imagine he’s told the police by now. I’m not the likes of your scum bag husband but I wouldn’t go as far to say I was a gentleman either. As for hero, well I prefer to leave that title for those far more deserving than myself. I was in the right place, at the right time and did what any decent person should do.” He speaks so humbly as if his act of kindness was nothing more than holding the door open for a fellow stranger.
I slide my hand beneath the blanket over to his leg and give his muscular thigh a squeeze. “You can dismiss it however you’d like but it won’t change my feelings. You rescued me and for that, I will be forever grateful and you sir, will remain my hero.” I say, leaning in to rest my head on his shoulder.
“Well love, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that nothing good comes from disagreeing with a stubborn woman.” He jokes before turning and bringing his lips to meet mine; his warm hand caresses my cool cheek, sending a radiating heat through my body. He leans into me, pushing me to the side while his hand slides around to the back of my neck and he eases me to the floor – his body falling between my open legs.
I bring my hands to his face and pull him down to me – his hair falls down around my face, closing us in as his lips come to meet mine. The crackle of the burning logs, the roar of gusty winds and the rolling rumble of thunder in the distance fades into nothingness as we lose ourselves in lusty moans and feverish panting. I pull at his shirt and he slips from its hold before pulling the soft yellow sweater from my body. His eyes scan my torso, taking in every scar and bruise that lines me. I quickly cover the area with my arms, ashamed of the unsightly marks that had turned a body I once found beautiful into a discolored disaster that could surly turn any man away.
“Don’t do that love, there’s no reason to hide. You’re beautiful.” He says while pulling at my wrists. He leans down, bringing his lips just above my jeans and kisses the beaten path of my past, trailing back up to my lips. My nerves cause me to tremble beneath him – no one but my husband had seen the left over damages of years worth of harsh treatment. I spent years worrying about the judgments people would have if they saw or suspected. I became a master at hiding the marks but with one look into Abel’s caring eyes, the fears quickly melted away and the tears break free as I’m flooded with emotion.
“Don’t cry love. You’re safe now.” He whispers, his warm breath sending a sensual wave through my body that heats my flesh as he pulls me in and flips us over. He pulls me down to his chest, holding on tight as he runs his fingers through my hair and plants a long kiss on my forehead. I snuggle into his neck as my fingers trace his soft patch of chest hair. In this moment, I feel like I could stay here forever; easily falling in love and spending the rest of my life at his side – a thought that comforts and scares me all at once. He floods my thoughts and emotions with unfamiliar feeling, that leave me unsure of if I am coming or going, but it is an inner chaos that I can’t help but enjoy.
I run my knee up his side, rubbing his firm, bulging package through his jeans before sliding my hand down his chest and popping the button of his jeans. I slip beneath the fabric, carefully pushing the zipper along, the further I travel. His member fills every inch of spare space his jeans has to offer and my vaginal walls contract as my hand grasps his hard cock and memories of him filling me, rushes in.
I slide down his body, propping myself up over his pelvis as I play with his long hard cock. He throbs at the light, tingling touch of my teasing fingers on his head, coaxing his cock to dance and stand at attention like that of the snake charmer to the cobra. I play in his precum, using it as lube to slip my fingers smoothly around his shaft and over the sensitive areas of his crown.
His fingers fiddle at the button on my jeans and he begins to pull them off as I take him into my mouth. He pulls my leg, bringing me to sit straddling his face. He drives his tongue deep into my pussy as I ride his face, smothering him with my lush pink pussy, while he drives his hips up and fucks my mouth, gagging me with every slam to the throat.
My hips gyrate on his face as I fight the urge to cum just a little longer, causing an uncontrollable quake in my body that turns my arms into noodles. His hands dig into my hips, holding me in place as his tongue whips over my clit and through my canal, until I can not longer stand it and burst in his mouth like he had just taken a bite of the ripest fruit.
I had only been with one person before Chase and knew nothing of sex or love. I had given myself to Chase when he pleased but it was most often just to shut him up. He had never been one for foreplay or taking the time to see that I was pleased, he was always a selfish lover but Abel seemed to enjoy doing the pleasuring just as much as he enjoyed being pleasured.
He flips my still shaking body from him and climbs between my legs, pushing my knees back to meet my chest as he gently slips his head in and out of my pussy, loosening me up. He stops to run his cock between my legs, using his head to play with my clit then returns to sliding his head in and out. He repeats the process, teasing me until my pussy aches with anticipation to devour every inch of him.
Just as I come to expect the same move, he drives himself firmly into my depths, taking my breath with him. My pussy clings to his cock as he slowly pulls back and I moan out as he forcibly rams me again, sending waves through my nervous system. The world falls away and I now exist only on a plain of ecstasy, where my body ignites like fireworks and explodes in heated waves of uncontrollable pleasure that leave his cock soaked in my creamy cum.
He pulls out and pushes me back just a bit further, bringing my knees to my shoulders as he drives his tongue back into my depths. Moaning as he laps up my juices like a dog to water on a hot summers day. He moans heavy mm’s over my clit that send me into another uncontrolled fit of shakes and muscle spasms that leave him slurping at my tight hole. He sits back up and firmly slaps his cock over my pussy, making my body jerk on the floor before him.
Then he drives himself back into the depth of me, slamming his cock deep and hard until our pants and moans fall into sync. We climb to the heights of ecstasy together and explode in unison before crashing into one another as my legs fall around him and he lowers himself to meet my face. He stares into my eyes as if he were peering into my soul and imprinting his love on all the broken pieces, before embracing me in a kiss that feels like it could last an eternity or at least, I was beginning to hope it would.