ONE SUMMER - Early November :-)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Buy Links for NIGHTTIDES here:
After a crazy, awful week I figured we all could use a
BWAHAHA! Get it? Yeah, I'm overly tired and my nerd humor sucks, forgive me? :-) So... I think this book boyfriend needs no further introduction...  (This is UNEDITIED and all mistakes are mine. O.o)




I answer the phone with apprehension and dad jumps right into it. “Abigail, its Leah, she’s sick.” Dad isn’t one to mince words and the way he says things leads me to believe this is pretty serious. Roman nods to me with a reassuring smile and walks out on to the deck shutting the door behind him. I watch him go and suddenly feeling coldness settle over me.

            “What do you mean sick, Dad? She was fine weeks ago tearing me a new one for leaving LA.” I don’t know what else to say. She did purposefully steal my boyfriend… well, Lucas left me for her on his own, but still… Leah and I have never been close and this just floors me. I don’t know why she isn’t calling me, does she actually need me? My older, overbearing, bitchy sister needing anyone just sounds crazy to me.

            “You saw her in June, its September. The doctors did a biopsy and its cancer.” The dreaded C word makes my mind buzz into numbness. I listen to my dad say a bunch of other things that don’t register. The only word I’ve heard so far is cancer and it scares the shit out of me.

“D-dad… are you sure its cancer?” The word feels thick, unused and tainted. Immense regret fills me and tears pool, blinding my vision as I sink to the floor prostrate. All I can think about are the phone calls I didn’t take the past week or so, ignoring life outside our happy little bubble and as fate would intervene, our bubble is now obliterated.

“Of course I’m sure, I’ve been the only one here to handle things.” Angrily, he lashes out at me and I take it because part of me feels like I deserve it. I did run away. Dad goes on about doctor appointments, treatment options, my sister’s work schedule reduced, her obvious stubbornness, and Lucas moving in with her much to his dismay. I can barely process it all. My sister, my older, wiser, more perfect sister, has cancer.




            I hang up the phone and fleeting memories of our childhood surface. I want to fold in on myself and lock out the bad. I remember our last trip to the aquarium for one, just the three of us girls. Leah and I fighting constantly over something and mom gently intervening and making both of us somehow feel validated and apologetic at the same time. Leah’s bullying ways. I love my sister but have barely been able to understand the increasing distance in our relationship as we got older. I think about all the boyfriends she stole from me and I half laugh and cry because really I wonder if that was her way of protecting me?  They were pretty terrible as boyfriends and she would always dump them as soon as I got over them. Except for maybe Lucas… he seems pretty firmly entrenched in our lives and dad’s firm. I’m overwhelmed and the thought of losing someone who was just as close to our mother as I was is devastating to even consider. The cries that rack my body are surprising and terrifying. Roman runs into the bedroom scooping me up. He’s asking me all sorts of questions and I don’t know how to answer him except to clutch his safe arms and blubber out words.

            “Roman, it’s my sister. Leah has cancer and it’s just like my mom all over again.” I’m huffing air to catch my breath and Roman just holds me closer in the only way I guess he can. His grip is tight and unrelenting and the pain of his hold is the only thing giving me purchase to feel alive.

            “Then let’s get you home, sweetheart.” I know I love this man unexpectedly and wholly in this moment. He is rocking me gently and kissing my hair as he brushes the wild mess from my teary face. I have no idea how we make this work, can we make this work? “Let me make the arrangements and take care of you.” Roman hushes any protests I might have and instead tucks me into the bed under the covers. “I’ll be right back.” He kisses me again and leaves the bedroom. The silence hurts, but I have to trust we’ll get through this. I allow myself to block out the pain and drift into exhaustion.


            “Yes, I want a first class ticket on the next flight out of Seattle, direct to LA. Yeah, I know what it costs and I’m not limited by a budget here Gary, just get me the ticket. Round trip? No, but leave the option open. Car service? I’m not sure, but yes just in case. I don’t want her to have to worry about anything.” I feel the mattress dip and Roman is sitting on the bed next to me when I open my eyes. He threads his fingers through my hair relaxing me. His palm cradles my cheek tenderly and his callused thumb brush away another tear drop. His own eyes are looking into mine and I realize he just booked me a flight ticket home… as in singular.

            The boat no longer feels as smooth sailing as it did previously. My stomach wants to revolt both from nerves and the pitch of the waves the boat cuts through. I can tell it’s moving at a clip, but my brain is still disoriented from my dad’s phone call and bawling my eyes out to Roman. To say I feel insecure is a bit of an understatement.

            Roman hangs up the phone and tosses it on the bed. “Come here, Hollywood.” He crawls over me and strips the bedding away, peeling me from between sheets and pillows tugging me in the direction of the bathroom. I give a little stumble into Roman’s backside and he turns placing his warm hands over my bare shoulders.

            “What?” My voice croaks from the tears earlier and Roman looks deep in thought. A breath escapes his lips but he doesn’t say anything and the sudden distance between us feels more than just a pending flight away. Why does this feel like fucking good bye?

            “Nothing. I just don’t ever want to be a reason you cry, Abigail.” He smiles softly and if I could have puddled on the floor I would have. Instead, I follow him mindlessly on unsteady legs into the bathroom. He sets me in the corner and gets the shower going. I watch him grab his t-shirt by the back of his neck and deftly pull it off, tossing it on the floor. Next he’s pulling me towards him and lifting my top up and off me gently to toss it on the floor next to our little pile. His eyes don’t leave mine for even a millisecond to look at my now naked body. I feel like he’s imprinting me in his mind for some reason. I pray this isn’t a goodbye of some kind, one last intimate sendoff, but I can’t be sure.

            “R-roman…” There is so much I need to say to him, but he puts his finger to my lips and kisses my temple instead. I let my brain yell I LOVE YOU SO DAMN MUCH, because I can’t get my mouth to say the words except to utter hoarse choking cries. I pray he hears me through all of this.

            “Shhh.” He tells me and then drops to his knees to kiss my belly and peel my panties from my hips. I reach a hand into his hair running my fingers into the soft strands looking up at the ceiling for hope or divine intervention to fix this. I can’t believe we are so close and now so far. He hugs my knees and spends time with his head against me kissing me. I tug a bit and he looks up, eyes sparkling with mischief as he stands and peels his own lounge pants off.

            We step into the shower and everything is slow and savored from the way he washes my hair to the way he trails his fingers over my skin, delicate, loving and tracing me as if he could draw me for eternity. I don’t want a moment of this to end, because now, I finally know what love feels like.



            I don’t want a moment of this to end… I never got a chance to ask my parents during their lifetime how you know when someone is The One. Death and a drunk driver cheated me of those things twice. I want to tell Abby, I love her so damn much, but I don’t want her to feel obligated to return to me out of guilt. You know that saying… if you love something set it free…

I fucking hate that saying. I have to let her go, because damn if our timing isn’t the worst possible thing right now. I need to be there for her no strings attached, because if she comes back to me… when she comes back to me… I don’t ever want to let her go.

            The shower is hot and steam covers the glass instantly cocooning us one last time. Abby stands with her back to me and I wash her hair slowly, massaging her temples and scalp, running my fingers through her golden hair until I hear her moan against the tiled walls. I step forward crowding her in, pressing her against the wall. I kiss every possible inch of skin on her neck and trace my hands over her body. God help me if I forget a single curve or soft spot of her body while we’re briefly separated, and it will be brief.

            “Roman…” I love how she says my name dragging out the first syllable like it will prolong the limited time we do have. I have my crew sailing us back to the marina as fast as they safely can. This wasn’t the getaway I had hoped to make it for us, but it’s not like my boat is going anywhere until she comes back. We’ll have just enough time for me to drive her to the airport, breaking a few speed limits, with what she has. I’ll get her car to her in a week or so, and we’ll worry about the rest later. I just need her to smile again and be alright.

            “Let me take care of you, Abby. Let me do all of the worrying until you get there.” I feel her nod and lean back into me as the water sluices over our bodies. I use the soap from the body wash to make her skin slick. She reaches back and puts her hands into my hair holding me close to her. The feel of her fingers touching me is both soothing and painful because I know putting her on a plane is the last thing I want to do...


            We stand together on the deck of the boat as she pulls up to the marina. Not many words have been spoken and really, what can be said? My hope is that she’ll work things out with her family and her sister will be okay, because if not then I don’t know what my girl will do with the guilt I know she’s been harboring since she picked up the phone. I hope she’ll come back to me as unscarred as possible, but there’s no guarantee and it’s nothing I can control.

            The ride to the airport is just as silent and I park the car. “Roman…” Glassy eyes look back at me and lips are puffy from biting them.

            “I am not going anywhere, Hollywood.” I assure her taking her small hand in mine.

            “But I am.” Her voice wavers.

            “But never far from here.” I take her palm and risk putting it over my heart trying to convey the very thing I am scared of saying. I’ve lost everyone else I ever loved, if she rejects me, I will be crushed.

            “I don’t know how long…” Trailing off her hand grasps my shirt over my heart painfully. At least we’ll both feel the loss.

            “Hush…” Soothing her I say. “And I will be waiting for you when you’re ready to come back.” Blonde curls escape from her braid and I go around the truck to help her out. I grab her bag of clothes and we walk into the airport holding hands. Checking the boards, I see her plane is on fucking time. Of course, it couldn’t be late or delayed now when I want a fraction more time to spend with her.

            The ticketing counter has her ticket ready and I know she still has to go through security and boarding. Even I couldn’t finagle priority passenger status for her and I did have Gary try.

            “So this is it.” Abby hasn’t told me much. I hug her and she clings to me as much as I cling to her. I know Leah is diagnosed with cancer and that could mean anything until she physically gets to see her for herself, and feels reassured. Douche canoe still has a job with her dad’s firm but he’s not my competition. I think the competition I have to fear most is Abby’s inability to tell her family no, especially her dad. It would be hard for me to make the move to LA right now, but not entirely impossible and not something feasible for at least a year with the projects I have ongoing, but Abby doesn’t know that. I guess not everyone can be rescued? 

            “Flight 437 to Los Angeles is now boarding.” I step back from her looking her over one last time, fucking interfering PA systems. Luckily there’s no line at security and the guy is waving us on. I can’t go because I don’t have a ticket. Why didn’t I get a fucking ticket?

            “I’ll make sure your car gets back to you and whatever you need from the cottage. Maddie has everything under control in Gold Beach.” I tell her tucking my bright blue scarf around her neck a little tighter.


            “And I want you to call me every day, not because I’m creepy, but because I want to know if you’re okay.” I keep my hands on her shoulders and I hear the PA system again grating on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard.

            “Roman… I.” I’m shaking my head no because I don’t want to hear how we’ll make it work, get through it, or call it a day. Her eyes tear and I take my finger tips to brush them out of her eyes.

            “This is the last boarding call for Flight 437 to Los Angeles, boarding now at Gate C.” The air buzzes around us.

            “Be safe, Hollywood, or I’m coming down there before you’re ready for me.” I kiss her wrinkled forehead, her tear stained cheek and her lips that taste salty before turning her around and giving her a gentle spank on her rear that has her looking at me blushing. I push towards the annoyed security guard whose been watching us like a hawk since I came down to the roped off gate floor.

            She turns briefly before giving the man her ticket and he takes her bag for the scanner. It all happens to damn efficiently and I watch her get through the gate and look over her shoulder at me before jogging to the boarding desk. She makes it just in time and I wish we’d been a moment later. Selfishly, I would have wanted her to miss the flight. Her braid of hair disappears through the door bouncing off her back as they shut the gate.

            I thought when I finally found love it would mean that you felt good inside, whole and not ripped to shreds. I walk over to the large glass windows and watch as her plane sits on the tarmac waiting to take off. I feel a buzzing in my pocket and slip out my phone. It’s a text from Abby.

            Abby:  I love you…

            I slam my hand against the glass… looking around, I check to see if the security guard is still there and he is, fucker. There’s no way I could have run past him to the gate to pull her off the plane and drive her myself to LA or wait out the next flight that wasn’t sold out. Fuck it! The security guard already looked like he wanted a piece of me so pulling any crazy shit would not have worked in my favor. I hold back from slamming my hand against the glass again. If she had just said before… if she had only fessed up to it… I would have never let her go. Damn it.

I look around but find myself largely ignored by the rest of the airport dwellers. “Yeah, I love you too, Hollywood, except I’m going to say it to you in person you little chicken shit and then I’m really going to spank you.” I mutter shaking my head. I don’t bother to text her back because I know she’s already turned off her phone. This is the woman who ignored her family for weeks. I know her well enough that she won’t be waiting for my response. Brat. Her plane taxis on the runway before speeding off and lifting into the air. I watch it bank gently on silver wings circling the air space before heading in the direction of California. I really am going to spank her the next time I get my hands on her.


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