Danelle gasped, “Sarah!”
I turned to her to see what shocked her. She was noticing me. I put on the body suit quickly. I knew where she was going with this.
“Sarah, you’re really thin.”
I had it zipped to my belly button before Brian turned around to see what she was talking about. He looked me up and down, and then turned away smiling. It couldn’t be that bad. He seemed pleased with what he saw. I couldn’t help but grin and I felt better about the way I looked. I handed Danelle my phone, “Take a picture please, for James.”
“You are such a cheater.”
“Danelle, I haven’t been trying to lose weight, but it keeps falling off. Plus, I have been running a lot.”
“I’m not saying you look bad, it’s just that you are really thin.” She leaned into me, “The guys are going to drool.”
I laughed a little. “So, I’m not gross looking?”
“No, but you look really grown up, and the blonde, just… wow!”
“Brian, I can tell by the way you are acting. You were getting busy with someone.”
He closed his eyes in defeat, “Sarah, please.”
“Okay, but it’s okay, Brian. I am happy for you.”
He took my hand and started pulling me down into the bar area and next into the cooler, not closing the door. He put me in the corner, but kept his face down.
I tried to make him feel better about it, “Brian, I do want you to be happy. I want you to have someone. Is it Mykala?”
His eyes moved to mine. His thoughts were running across his face. It was like he couldn’t tell me, “Sarah, you don’t understand. I tried to behave, but sometimes I look at you and you’re just so… I couldn’t help myself; she was willing and I needed to…”
He reached down to my neck and pulled on the necklace, “Did James give you this?” as he pulled a little more the ring fell out. I took the ring in my hand and tucked it back in my shirt. I didn’t say anything, and he sat down on the stairs in front of me, but not facing me. “Isthat what I think it is?”
“You’re not wearing it where it should be?”
“Nope, I’m too young for this.”
“Then why do you have it?”
“I think he was afraid?”
“That I would think he wasn’t coming back. When he gets back I will give it back to him, so he can hold onto it for a couple of years.”
“So, you’re going to tell him no?”
“Jason, I already said yes.”
“Simple. Go to my mom’s house. Be there before 10:30 am. Wilson will be there between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. Wait by the pool. He will tell you what to do next.”
“Is this like a treasure hunt or something?”
“That is it exactly. It will take you all day, so don’t make plans.”
“Sarah, you took the day off and it’s your late work day. So, I did plan it to last all day.”
“I wish you were going to be with me for this. Is it going to depress me?”
“I promise it will be like I am with you all day.”
I laughed with a sigh, “Okay, because I don’t want to be depressed again. I feel so much better.”
“You will like it. It will definitely be fun.”
“It’s not going to be that fun if I am alone.” “You won’t feel alone, please tell me you will do this.”
“I will, but if it makes me sad you may have to come home. I don’t think I can handle getting sick anymore.”
“Did they say how much you lost?”
“Yeah, but I am not telling you.”
“You will think I’m not eating, but James I am. I eat good food more, but because I won’t eat a burger, or pizza everyone thinks I’m not eating. You saw me eat, so don’t believe them.”
“Sarah, how much?”
“I’m not telling you.”
“Yes, you are!”
“Sarah, please don’t make me worry. Just tell me.”
“You’ll worry more if I tell you. So no, I’m not saying.”
“You’ll make me angry if you don’t tell me.”
“Fine… 10 pounds.”
“You are so lying.”
“I am not!” I tried to sound offended.
I took a deep breath and opened the book to page 45.
My love is so deep so strong
My heart is so weak and alone
I have waited for so long
To be with you from now
until the end of time.
I smiled and traced my hand over it. I scooted all the way back and leaned against the back of the lounge and closed my eyes. I took another deep breath, and then I felt his breath trace my face.
“James, not like this. It won’t be the same.”
“How do you know?”
I slowly opened my eyes, and I could see him. Was this real? I touched his face slowly tracing his cheeks with my finger tip as I looked deep in his eyes. They were sweet, loving, and full of desire.
I heaved a breath, “Are you really…?”
A smiled grew on his face as he slowly leaned to me to kiss me so softly. The tears moved quickly to my eyes and a few were leaking out.
“You’re not supposed to cry.”
I wrapped my arms around his neck and started to kiss him deeply. I continued to touch him, but moved my hand to his back, his arms, and his chest. I was making sure he was really here. He took my hands to stop them from touching him everywhere. I was breathing so hard from the confusion and excitement. I wanted to kiss him more, but his smile comforted me. He pulled my hands to his mouth and kissed my finger tips individually. I moved to replace my finger tips with my mouth. I kept my eyes open to make sure he wouldn’t disappear from me. I moved to my knees putting both hands on his face to cup it and hold it, so I could keep kissing him. He wrapped his arms around me pulling me closer.
I moved closer to him because I wanted what was coming next. The trembling was over coming me, and I nuzzled into him as I felt his desire push hard against me. I knew this was what I was waiting for, and then there was nothing.
I could see the regret on his face, “Sarah?”
“I know you’re still going.” My heart was breaking.
“Four more weeks my sweet little girl. Four more weeks and I will give you everything you want.”
I begged him with my eyes and said, “You?”
He leaned into kiss my cheek and whispered, “You were ready.” He turned me to kiss him deeply. He let go hurrying to the truck Wilson was in. I couldn’t move. What did he mean I was ready? Was I ready for him? Did that mean we could have if I didn’t fall asleep? Were we that close and I ruined it? Was he miserable? Would we try to be together as soon as he got home? I could not move an inch; he had taken my breath away. My phone buzzed, I fumbled around trying to take it out.
I opened it to find a message from James: >“Sarah, first 1- 2- 3- breath. Then go home. I love you more than you know.”
I felt his touch on my face.
“James, I’m okay right now, and if you do that the hurting and the desire will overwhelm me and I will be miserable.”
I felt his finger tips glide along my jaw line and then over my lips.
“Yep, the pain of you not being here is coming back.”
“Sarah, close your eyes. I need to do something.”
“James, it’s going to hurt.” But I closed my eyes anyway.
He laughed, “You closed your eyes?”
“I wasn’t asking; I feel you that much.”
I felt his kiss so soft on my lips, his hand moving slowly down to my neck just to feel the shape of it. “You are lying on your side, but you are hugging a pillow where your head is laying.”
“Oh, James, how are you going to concentrate if you feel me all the time?”
“I am actually stronger, and I can stop it, or block some of it.”
The kissing resumed. It felt like he was there in front of me, but his focus stayed on my face and my neck.
“James, I’m going to fall asleep like this.”
“Go ahead; I want to stay here for a while, if it’s okay with you.”
His touch was relaxing and soothing. I fell asleep with no pain in my heart.
“I miss your soft touch on the indentation of my back when you’re leading me. The tracing of your hand down my back to show me I’m special to you. The soft kiss of your lips on my hand and then turning it over to kiss my palm to show me you adore me. The way you move to me and talk in my ear making my heart race. And the…”
He interrupted me, “Wait!”
“I want you here next to me, so I can share this with you.”
“Share what with me?”
I felt this amazing rush through my whole body, as if he moved into my body and then out.
“Oh, James, what was that?”
“I wanted to touch you with my soul. What does it feel like for you?”
“It’s like I can feel every part of you move through me.”
He laughed, “It’s a little erotic, so I am by the shower.”
“How are you doing?”
“If I do it…”
“Oh, shit, James.”
“Yep, I have to call you back.” He was gone.
“Sarah, your thoughts are driving me crazy and I can’t live without you. What are you talking about?”
“But, that’s not it!”
“Sarah, I have felt cancer before. It’s not that.”
I gasped with relieve. I could not believe he was so confident on this. “So, I am over reacting?”
“Oh, my sweet Sarah. I should have told you that. I would have reacted the same way, but no, baby, it’s not cancer.”
“But I took a radiation pill.”
“You did what? I don’t like that.”
“Well neither do I and it was scary. They had on a radiation suit to give me the pill and now it’s in me.”
“Oh, Sarah, I really need to come home.”
“Well, now that I know it’s not cancer. I am fine. I haven’t gotten sick in 5 days and counting, James.”
“I think I will come home anyway. I just need to be around you.”
“I need that too, but I am not going to be the reason you quit. So, suck it up and finish.
I was getting frustrated waiting to find out nothing. They weren’t going to find anything. I should really walk out. This wasn’t going to do any good.
The nurse walked up to me, “It’s just going to be a little longer, but someone is here to entertain you while you wait.”
Matt came around the corner looking at me. I sighed with relief, “Matt, I told you I am fine.”
“I know but…if he can’t be here, and you said I was your best friend next to him, I felt it was my duty.”
I started to tear up. I couldn’t believe he was here. I couldn’t help myself and I stared at him. He pulled up a chair and handed me a couple of magazines. I laughed a little.
“See, you do feel better.”
I was embarrassed, “Yeah.”
“May I?” as he reached for my hand. I took a hold of his and tightened my grip. We started to look at a magazine together. I disapproved of his selection, “Sports Illustrated, Swim Suit edition?”
“Well, you may want to see what would look good on you.”
“None of them, I don’t have boobs like that.”
Tony moved to the kitchen to take care of some things, and Jake was on a mission to irritate me. I tried to ignore him, but it wasn’t going to work.
“Well, Sarah the great, what wise wisdom do you have for me?”
“I swear everyone up here knows who you are and how great you can be. So, do something great.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about, and I am not great. In fact I am very average, so nothing great from me.” I resumed eating, avoiding his look, but it persisted, and he was making me really uncomfortable, “What is your problem with me? Did I do something that has pissed you off? You don’t even know me.”
“I know your type. The girls think you’re great, honest, and not up here to steal their guys away.
“James, the only lips I ever want to feel ever again is yours. So if you want to argue anymore it will have to wait until tomorrow because I am so tired and I need to lie down right now.”
I found a large rock and sat down on it. I wasn’t going to make it much longer. I needed to go back in, but how far did I walk? Shit, where am I?
“You are absolutely adorable.”
I was scared and so tired I didn’t know what to do, “James…?”
“Sarah, what’s wrong?”
“I was walking while I was talking to you, and now I am so tired.”
“Where are you?”
“Don’t know, I don’t think I can walk back. James, I am so tired.”
“Sarah, you are kidding me?”
“James, I need to lay down now.”
I moved to sit on the ground and rested my head on the rock. I need to close my eyes for 10 minutes. Can you stay on the phone with me ‘til I fall asleep???”
“Sarah, get up. Get up now!”
“Just a couple of minutes, I can’t go anymore.” I closed my eyes. I could hardly hold the phone.
“Sarah, don’t you dare do this to me. Get up now, Sarah. I need you to stay awake a little longer, baby. I know you can do this. I won’t be mad…about the kiss if you get up right now.”
I heard a deep voice, but it was a voice I really didn’t want to hear. “Why don’t you come out here and go through them; it might help.”
I opened my eyes, but I was guarded and it was that crabby Jake guy.
“Come on, I will go through them with you.”
I really didn’t know what to make of this, maybe a breakthrough that he wasn’t quite the jerk I thought he was.
“Come on; I won’t bite.”
I started the music over and went out. He started to do my moves. I couldn’t believe he knew them.
My surprise must have shown on my face because he commented, “Yesterday, I paid attention.”
I shook my head and ran back to the stage to start it over again. He went through all the dances with me. We both goofed up a couple of times, but he was helping me through my sadness. I started it over again and everything went smoother this time. In my relief from the sadness I said, “You’re not so bad when you’re not barking.”
I knew he was easing because he only laughed with my comment. I went up and started them again. I was actually laughing, giggling, and having a good time. We made it through three songs when Tony and Jason walked back in.
I heard Tony yell from the bar, “Jake, you’re working.”
He took off back to the bar but gave me a quick grin and said, “You will do fine tomorrow.”
I wanted to hug him and say thank you, but that would violate my rules for today, so I didn’t say anything.
He was explaining how precious this gift was because it was very powerful and after it’s used the connection between the two would be stronger. That made sense. James said feeling me was so much stronger after he left again. Carl also explained that sometimes the power is too much, so it was to be used carefully and we needed to learn how to use it properly. All I could think was, all it did for me was put me to sleep.
“Oh Sarah, you had me so worried.”
“I am fine now. I saw your mom and dad today.”
“How is my dad?”
“He looks amazing. He told me stories, but one has me concerned. I will ask you about that when I see you.”
“No tell me. I have nothing to hide from you.”
“Okay, but you won’t answer me.”
“Yes I will. Quit playing with me.”
“It was about the feather.”
“You’re right. It will wait till I get home.”
“James, did we over use it?”
“Maybe, but please let us discuss it when we are together again.”
“See! I told you and one other thing…”
“What is that?”
“You have to let Jason off the hook on looking after me.”
“Why? I am worried about you.”
I thought about touching his lips with my fingertips. I closed my eyes to enjoy the thought.
“Sarah! You’re trying to distract me. Why? He hasn’t tried anything has he?”
“You know the answer to that. Can I have a taste?”
“Well, then, what are you telling me?”
“James, your dad said you did something to me that was helping my body to fight. Could it be from you sharing your soul with me, because if that is it, I could really use a dose of feeling better.”
I heard him whisper, “Sarah…are your eyes closed?”
My distraction was working, “Yes.”
“Then you need to sleep.”
“James, don’t tease me. Please, just once. I will sleep better.”
The heat was getting to me and the arguing wasn’t helping. I stopped and grabbed the counter.
Jason’s tone changed instantly, “Sarah?”
I was still angry, “Jason, don’t! I am fine. It’s just too hot in here for me.”
“Get out then. I can do this.”
I grabbed a tray of glasses to bring out to the bar.
I heard him scold me, “Don’t do that, Sarah.”
“Jason, I am fine.”
I walked out to the bar to stack the glasses.
Jake came over and grabbed the tray, “What do you think you’re doing?”
I looked at him sternly, “I am helping.” Then I weakened, “Let me do this.”
He took his hands off the tray, but I had to sit it down. I was getting weaker.
Tony noticed and walked up to me, “Sarah, you’re not okay?”
I didn’t want to feel this way. I didn’t want to be weak, “Tony, I am fine. Let me do this. Let me finish tonight before you start to worry about me. I am having fun.”
He didn’t know what to do, so he agreed, “Okay, but James will be angry with me.”
“I will deal with my James and his fury.”
Jake was distant and cold, “So, what is wrong with you?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you pass out all the time?”
“I didn’t pass out. I just get really tired. Wednesday it started.”
“From what Jason said, you have lost 30 pounds in the last month.”
“I knew he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut.”
“He was talking to Tony. I pay attention.”
“Hey, thanks for helping me earlier.” I curled up on the bed looking at him.
“So, you are not this great, strong, opinionated girl that everyone talks about.”
“I told you that the other day.”
“So, can you come tomorrow? Will you feel up to it?”
“I already promised Tony. He seems to do good when we put these on.”
“He must have. I made almost $300 in those three hours.”
“How much does Tony pay you?”
“I get a meal, and he lets me dance here.”
“He doesn’t pay you?”
“No, it’s more like I do a favor for him, and he feeds me and lets me dance. Almost… anytime I want.”
His look became distrustful, almost a glare, “So, are you running a fever?”
I didn’t know what to think of this, “A little now and then, maybe a couple of degrees.”
“All the time?”
Why was he asking me these questions? “Well, if you are asking if I run a temperature when I was throwing up? No, I didn’t feel sick at all.”
“You were throwing up?”
“Yeah, but only when I got upset.”
“Okay, there was more with the fever?”
“Yeah, if you are asking about the fever when I am really tired; I have no idea. I just get tired and I don’t seem to have any strength.” This was weird, but I felt like I could tell him anything. He wasn’t like after me or trying to flirt with me at all. I felt very safe.
“I think your mom told them everything about how sick I have been. James, I have been so good ‘til tonight.”
“Sarah, don’t think about it. It will be fine.”
I felt his face next to mine, “I am here. You can sleep now.”
“But you just called. I want to hear your voice.”
“I know, Sarah, but your body heals better while you sleep. I need you to make it ‘til I can get there.”
“I will stay until you are sleeping.”
“I love you.”
“And I love you more than you know.”
I could feel his hand trace over my face, and his warm sweet breath was at my ear. It was easier to fall asleep with him holding me.
I looked at Brian. How was I going to get him up with as much distance as I could? I went to the foot of the mattress and started jumping on it a little, “Brian, time to get up and play.”
He didn’t move. I jumped a little closer to him. There wasn’t much give in the mattress. He still didn’t move.
I nudged him with my foot, “Brian, let’s go water skiing. Get up.”
It came so swiftly, he knocked me off my feet and pulled me into him. I was almost underneath him.
“Brian!” I was trying to push myself free. “Brian, get off me. Let me up.”
He pulled me closer and nuzzled into my neck and started kissing me there.
“Brian, I’m Sarah. You need to stop now.”
He opened his eyes and pushed me away covering himself with the sheet. He was…shit…nude.
“Sarah, shit, I’m sorry. I mean…”
I got up and avoided his eyes, “I think I will wait outside.”