Now please tell me you liked it XD Enjoy guys, I love you and well....keep reading if you still feel like it :)
Chapter 27 Part 3
Lisa heard the latch clapping.
No more steps. Not a soft whisper or a sigh.
Not even the deaf tumble of the door that got pulled shut.
She had her hands still tightly clung onto the doors of her wardrobe, she was keeping them burst open, staring inside.
She didn’t even know why she had gone to it. Her clothes weren’t even in there.
She strained her ears, keeping on staring ahead, blankly.
Several long moments passed.
And it was like something had been released within her at last. As if somewhere inside her something was now slowly giving up holding on.
She was wrecked and alone.
And so finally hot and tiny and apparently insignificant it glistened right down her cheek. She was shivering and she let they come, feeling terribly numb inside.
Numb as ever before.
“You’re crying…” he said, under his breath. There was a slightly hint of surprise in his voice; but most of all his expression was torn, pained.
Lisa startled, and quickly swept at her face, hiding from him. He was standing by the door, one of his hands still pushing it open, slowly.
“I’m not crying...” she said quickly. Her voice came out low and thin, though “I had…I had a long day…you know…”
She sniffed, silently, a little frown of pain carved on her face and walked up to the far end of the room, far away from him as much as possible.
Hugh remained by the door just watching her; watching her in silence, puckered.
Another bright drop rolled down her cheek.
But it got dried, just as quickly.
“I’m just…I’m just tired, I guess….” she added, as rubbing her hands on her jeans “We’ve be arguing all day and…you know…I didn’t even had my yoga this morning and…and all this tension…I just don’t…I don’t…” she frowned as forcing a little, unconvincing smile to her lips “I don’t even know about what anymore, really…”
She got closer to the bookshelf that climbed up on one side over her bed.
“I’m sorry....…” she sighed, turning.
Hugh felt something gnawing inside of him.
“You’re apologizing for crying…” his voice came out lovingly and pained and soft all at once this time.
She shook her head quickly “No I’m…”
She could hardly breathe. She needed a minute. Just a minute to be alone before tonight. Gather herself back together again. Just a minute to brush off the feeling of that acrid tang into her mouth; that dire taste that remembered her that she simply wasn’t…
Her chin trembled. She gulped, rubbing her neck, shaking “Why you’re still here? I thought you have left…I heard…”
“I locked the door…” he said keeping his eyes well set on her.
She tensed, just staring down.
He softened his tone reassuringly “I would like to have a moment with you without anyone to interrupt us, that’s all. No interruption whatsoever if that’s even possible in this universe…”
She licked her lips, nervously staring down “I don’t think that would change…”
He took some air “Shall I get closer please?”
Lisa pressed herself against the bookshelf. She opened her mouth to speak but no sound came out.
“I’d like to…” he catch his breath, unnoticeably “do something if you allow me…” he added sweetly.
He was surprised himself at how much calmly he was managing to speak.
He wasn’t fumbling this time. His voice wasn’t even shaking yet. And it totally sounded like he was perfectly in control now; like he suddenly, so magically out of the blue might know what to do, might know what to say, might know how to move…
But a fine pair of expert eyes would know the difference.
The thin line between this false quiet nonchalance he was forcing himself to display and desperation. Just pure desperation. Desperation and desire. Just a burning desire now.
And then yet, still a half paralyzing doubtfulness.
For in truth he was secretly struggling.
Just struggling so hard to keep his heart from changing the sound of his breath, leaping out of his chest as it felt it wanted.
And then so badly. Just so badly against the craving impulse to rush simply forward and put his arms around her. Squeezed her tight to shield her; just shield her from everything.
And then just kiss her.
Kiss her now. In that very moment.
Just clutched her to him and kiss her, granting himself to selfishly have her; brush it all off and away from her system; falling asleep at her side, all over again.
It all was his fault. All his fault: of his chronically lack of self-consciousness; of his own inabilities and stupid hesitation; and of that very soft whisper in his ear that made him doubtful, always doubtful. Even now.
On what to do, on what to say, on how to move around her…
But then he had always tried to respect her. He had, hadn’t he? Even if he didn’t know whether he had been good at it or whether he hadn’t been just wasting time instead, too afraid that whatever he did might be regarded as a bold move in the end, too afraid to put himself out there, too afraid to lose what he had, even if it hadn’t never feel enough. Too afraid to live and going all out with it.
And so it still felt like he owed that to her now.
Respect how she felt. Trying to respect her rhythms and do not force her into things she wasn’t ready for. Made her see, made her realized first, at least getting through her…
Tiptoeing cautiously around her, even if his breath felt like failing at the moment and he couldn’t prevent himself from starting edging slightly forward already.
But he stood truth to this promise – at least to this one – and so asked again, prompting her as much respectfully as he knew “I’m not…I’m not going to get close to you, Liz…”
Lisa felt his eyes on her. But not like she had so far. The way they lay on her, insistently, it was different now. It felt different to her at least. How the scrutinized her…it felt like they were caressing her face; it just made her breath away.
Or maybe it was just her and her own inability to stop feeling him, under her skin.
All in all, anyway, his stare so intently fixed on her now was making her unease, plain and simple. More than ever.
“I won’t…if you don’t want me to…” Hugh added.
She kept staying with her torso slightly turn from him, her eyes curved downwards, without knowing what to do.
He took another step “But you….you’ll have to stop me yourself…”
She breathed in deeply, silently, getting fluster a bit.
He searched for her gaze, lowering his head “You’ll have to…you’ll have to tell me you’d rather me not…if you really want me not to…” he smiled.
She didn’t. But he was almost there.
And she shook her head at that point, rather frantically, sliding along the wall, making herself tinier against it. Tears pushed to come back. She shut her eyes close, softly “Hugh, you don’t have to…you don’t have to be here… please…just…just leave… I…”
“Please…” he said softening his voice “I’m not here to give you a hug, to pity you or anything….just…”
“Hugh I don’t….”
“Please” he said simply.
His legs felt like wobbling.
He bit his lip “It’s not what you think it his…”
She found herself raising her eyes to him to those words. Even if she didn’t want to Even if she wished she could keep them down just avoiding his, for good. And then a whole life felt like passing behind them as she stared into his.
Hugh, on the other hand, felt that, hadn’t he promised - if he wasn’t trying to get her to see, to win her over and back her trust little by little, patiently trying to buy himself some extra time to make her see, let her just the right time to adjust and feel that he was there, for her, because of her - he was feeling that, hadn’t any of this been truth, he would probably have simply found himself indulging to it, bending down and over her, right in that very moment. ‘Cause with that fairy pair of huge, pale, grey eyes which would make everyman talked gibberish now pointed at him, he just felt dazed, and then they might have made him lose track of himself altogether, before he should let them.
But she dropped them eventually, just as quickly as she had pointed them at him, going back staring down to the ground, breathing in with her mouth, her lips barely parted, but saying nothing once more.
And so he took another wary step closer and when he was enough, he simply outstretched his hand forcing it to not shake too much and went to pry the phone free from her fingers, delicately opening them one by one.
It was torture leaving them.
Lisa opened her eyes wide “What are you doing?”
“Just what I said…” he told her, pursing his lips. He was back staring into her eyes and allowing himself to plunge in them as much as desperately trying not to.
“…turning off your phone” he said matter-of-factly. And then he simply tossed it away nonchalantly But then as he went back moving clumsily around the room, his eyes were less confident and his voice much softer and shaking than the rest of him pretended to be, “…just so no one will interrupt us anymore…”
Lisa watched him dumbfounded for a moment, but then she could only end up pressing herself against the wall, incapable of arguing further, just asking feebly to herself why was she enabling this, what for….
She found no answer. None she was willing to believe.
Or maybe she was just failing to ask herself the right questions.
Hugh had moved aside a bit. He glanced at her sidelong, stalling.
There was still a bright spot on her face; one bright little spot still glistening against some red, sharp-edged cheekbones he noticed.
He felt as reaching out to dry it….
He turned instead and breathed in going back standing safely away, by the window now, one arm bent against it, his forehead simply resting on it, waiting.
Waiting for himself to be able to find the words.
It was one of the hardest things he had ever done; staying away for so long having already found out she wanted the very same thing he did. As much as he did.
However this time…this time the hardest part sill had to come. They weren’t a blank page. Not anymore. He didn’t even know if they had ever been.
But he knew for sure that, if he didn’t say or do something – everything, in that very moment, right then and there - he would just regret it.
He would regret it a great deal for the rest of his life.
He pushed himself upright, clearing his throat, “I….” he began.
He licked his lips “Do you…do you remember….”
He stopped, his heart buckling, and started to wander aimlessly round the room.
He realized he had no idea how to do this. A bungler and fledgling teenager would have surely been better at it for God’s sake.
Lisa stood always curled up in her corner; leaned against the wall, head down, fingers fiddling with one another, quietly.
He got his breath, trying to get a grip. He ought just to get started.
“You know, I still remember the first time I saw you …” he said, in one single swallow, starting over again.
Lisa felt something going back coiling at the pit of her stomach.
He began to fiddle with the upper edge of her wardrobe tracing its contour “I…I….I had just landed in LA and well I had simply gone nuts into this city already…to find…to find that damn hotel we were….we were supposed to meet…to meet with the others for the casting I mean…”
His throat got dry.
He tapped over the edge with his fingers, walking slowly over the whole length “I…I supposed my usual terrific luck must have had something….something to it…”
Lisa couldn’t say anything. She felt empty at the moment.
He coughed a clumsy little laugh. “‘…cause, ‘cause I was the only Londoner amongst the one taking my flight who … who ended up with a Moroccan taxi-driver freshly-emigrated from New York who knew nothing of the city, let alone…”
But he glanced up at her out of her corner of his eyes and so his voice died.
She kept staring down, never smiling.
He frowned, and dropped his eyes, going back pacing “Anyway…I remember… I remember I met you both, you and Robert I mean….I met you both in the hall, do you remember that?”
Lisa felt like she was shivering within. Her lips parted and trembled, letting out a little whisper heavy with tears “Hugh why are you doing….”
“…but…but I…I had noticed you of course when I had first stepped in already…” he stammered.
He licked his lips and reached back the opposite end of the room. He passed one hand down the wooden doorframe, pensively, stopping under the threshold.
The lump in her throat tightened “Hugh if you think any of…”
He stared ahead, just not looking at her, his finger now tapping on the wood “…and you…I mean and I remember thinking…I remember, of course, I remember…that you just looked…you just looked sensational, just knockout gorgeous to me even back then…and well…well of course…come to think of it…” he frowned, swallowing “…come to think of it that’s the most clichéd thought ever in history….isn’t it?”
She lowered her gaze again.
Her eyes were back filling up….
He drummed his fingers some more, staring down at the ground “but…I…I mean, that’s not….that’s not what I remember the most about that time, not remotely….”
Something broke inside her to the memory at this point. She didn’t even know why. It didn’t even make it up to her top ten if she had ever had one.
But that something cracked all the same.
And she let them flow.
She didn’t care at this point.
She just couldn’t stop them forever…
Hugh could only hear the sound of his breath and the one of his heart pulsing through his veins at the moment. He lifted up his eyes to the ceiling, “…what I….what I remember the most instead is that…is when I…" he got his breath "that when I was walking up towards you two I….” he stalled, briefly, the glimmer of a smile coming to his lips “you…you…were talking to Robert and then…then he said something to you and you laughed, hard. But it was such a silvery, musical laugh…I mean I…I’ve never heard one like that, like...it was tingling and sweet and...” he paused and rolled his eyes to the ceiling, wincing “Oh God…I AM such cliché, aren't I?”
Lisa bit her lips, furrowing her forehead.
He scratched his temple, feeling awfully tensed "…anyway and…and by the time, I was standing by your side approaching the reception…”
The tears wet her face, making her hair got glued to it.
“And then you did…you did that….that thing you do…you….” he swallowed and resumed walking, moving round the bed again to the other side, slowly, almost dragging his feet, eyes down “…you leaned forward on the counter, over on it and folded your arms and rested you chin on the back of your hand still smiling, so engagingly, watching Robert and shaking your head a bit, until you must….you must have sensed me standing there, watching you and you…you turned your head to me and…you simply smiled…”
He could barely hear his own words anymore; the bumping and the echoing in his ears; they overpowered everything, “So, you….you pointed your grey eyes with that….with that streak of green you have at me….and your…your smile simply broadened…"
Tears flew down her face bitterly now, in silence.
“…’cause you had gotten it immediately, that I…” he stopped by the bedside table, lifting up a necklace, fiddling with it "I mean must have been...must have been the haircut probably or maybe my clothes I don't know" he lifted it up, holding it between his fingers, picturing it around her neck “…they say English people dress rather peculiarly" he pause hinting at a tiny smile "....ok, you stand miles away as style and glamour, alright..."
He gulped down.
"...but I....anyway....you got that I...that I must be the Londoner…and you didn't even know me but you were already pulling my leg for that….” he trailed off, sweetly.
He bit his lips, though. He was losing the thread. There were so many things he wished he had the time for. So many moments he had never told her about, so many tiny little things he knew about her, so many; just so many that kept bouncing about in his head, uselessly.
But he didn’t have time.
He just didn’t have enough.
He pulled down the little string of the lamp then, thoughtfully, and a warm light shined the room. He flicked his eyes to her, his mind spinning and racing, but her hair was hiding her face. They dropped faintly unruly at the sides of her ears, shining brightly though; waving and curling, falling onto her shoulders, against a white-cream complexion. She was wearing a round neck shirt, a little low cut at the front. Just a bit. It only unraveled her collarbones. Just those. But it was the first time he noticed tonight. The first time he allowed himself to be conscious of how his eyes can't help but sliding down her shoulders, her neck, her lips. But also the very first time he truly realized how much tired she had been looking all along; drained and warn out, her eyes spent and her face pained and tensed.
How could he have not noticed early?
He heaved a long sigh, averting his eyes from her, his voice a little bit cracked now, “But I you know what I…what I also remember? I remember thinking…that I…that I promised myself that I would never….never again had such a thought on you…right then in that very moment …” he said glancing up at her again, stealthy “….’cause I already knew from the way I kept feeling …” he said under his breath, pausing, his face clouding a bit, wincing “…well I knew I couldn’t allow myself to feel like that, ‘cause…well ’cause I was married of course…”
Her chest felt like soaring even more. She dried her eyes, swiftly rubbing them both with the back of her hands, feeling torn and trying not to, just trying to prevent her voice from making it so much obvious. How she was feeling inside. Shattered.
But it came low again, and thinner, much weaker than it had so far all the same “I…I don’t know what you think you’re doing Hugh…’cause if you think I don’t…if you think….I mean…” she sighed biting her lips, trembling “…why are you repeating these things to me?!…it’s, if that supposed to work as a justification…I…I forgive you ok? I forgive you for not…” her voice cracked “for not…”
He wore a deep puckered expression "That was not what I meant….” he whispered.
She stood silent and he ended up looking up at her sad-eyed, feeling rocked.
He chewed his lips to one side and began to trace back his steps after a while, slowly. “What I meant was that…" he sighed, his eyes wandering uncertainly " what I meant was that ...that wasn’t the first time I had a thought like that about another woman…”
Lisa swallowed the tears. They remained stuck in her throat.
He went back pacing at the wardrobe side
"You know about Audrey…” he said after a while frowning regretfully. He tapped two fingers on it, pensively for a moment. "I'm not a saint...." he said.
She moved a little aside from the wall, turning away ever so slightly, keeping quiet, though, always quiet; just trying to hold them back.
He got his breath, sighing at last. His eyes stared up at her, bottom to top "But that was the first time…." he resumed serious "...the first time I felt…that I might end up ruining myself…” he made a little face at that, swinging his head a bit, condescendingly "....which is another convenient ready-made expression I must remember to kick out of my quotable book of verses once this night is over..." he trailer of gesturing vaguely.
She pursued her lips, feeling like they might have even curled up into a faint smile for a moment if she hadn't been so busy in trying to stop her eyes from swimming in tears so much.
He went back setting his eyes on her, "But, however I phrase it, I felt that if hadn't gotten a grip I might have ended up gambling my life out there for some eyes like yo.."
She closed her eyes, tightly “How’s that supposed to make any difference anyway?"
He moved his eyes up to her silencing.
She was right.
Somewhere inside him he had to find a way. Find a way to muster some more.
Laying it all bare.
He moved suddenly away from the wardrobe then starting to bang his fists together “No it doesn’t…” he sighed “You’re right. It doesn’t....” he repeated.
He put his tongue to one side into his mouth, nodding. He felt short of breath “I was just attracted to you...." he said "Just that and I knew nothing about you….”
Her chin shook some more, her face pulling.
He nodded, pursing his lips, biting them. His heart was racing “You were smart, you were funny…you were beautiful...." he paused. It bumped restlessly "an actress....." he added darting his eyes up "I would have been a fool if I hadn’t fallen for you right then and there, just like that, during that first month, like I’m sure, one thousands guys before me..." he muttered, gulping "....I made no exception… I was…I was just the rule…”
She gulped. Her heart thudded full of pain and she didn't know how to make it stop.
He started agitating his arms, going on pacing more and more edgily now, “But then….then, you know...” he panted not daring to look at her “it…it takes some more than just a pair of fair eyes and wavy scented hair to get me going, so…if you..." he nodded a bit frantically "....if you allow me, if you give me credit for that…” he said feeling short of breath like ever before in his life. He turned his head to face her, his voice quivering a bit “....If you allow me then, I think there’s more to it…”
Silence fell again. But it was one if those silence that as many times before nursed something electrical in it. One of those that they had already experienced, one of those that made his legs wobbling and her heart racing uncontrollably promising to nurse just something in it, which would have changed it all.
He started to get closer to her, cautiously then. And sometimes he would look at her, sometimes he would just drop his eyes, clumsily, his hands opening and closing, clapping together, his fingers stretching, his heart thudding so hard to hurt.
“I don’t know” he started, “I don’t how it all happened so fast…but…but it was…it was just one year. Just one single year of shooting and it was May already then and …and we were at your birthday…remember?” he gained another couple of steps “…and…I I knew, I knew…I should have been home…” he said shaking his head “I should have been home…I knew that…” he repeated “…but then I told myself….then a I told myself that I had to attend the…the Upfronts of course and everything was still....was still so new to me and somehow thrilling, and challenging, engaging for me and..." he got his breath "..and scary all at the same time. And then your birthday….you birthday was so close, and you had asked me…you had asked me to come and I…and I just thought…” His eyes slipped on the red numbers flashing at her back, making his heart leap “….and I just thought…" he continued "...that it could do no harm…it could do no harm whether I stay a couple of days more…or less after all…”
He kept on edging closer, his eyes well fixed on her now. But she just stared down hard to the ground and at her hands, turning them round, entwining her fingers to one another, crying.
Hugh tipped his head a bit to one side slightly, shaking it, taking another step.
“…it could do no harm…” he whispered in faint breathless voice “‘cause I still missed my family and I missed Jo somehow and well….things were just changing a bit; just a bit I told myself. But they would keep on being the same…”
She bowed her head some more to that, something suddenly awakening again, something suddenly writhing loudly; it cried “Then….why are you…if nothing had changed why…”
Why. It was the only question she kept having no answer to. Why. Why can’t she hate him.
Why can’t things just be simple. Why can’t she love him. Why she had. Why can’t he…
“Why?” she whimpered.
And it felt like his heart might have been ripped out of his chest in that moment. Her voice so thin and so cracked that the ache to touch her flared as strong as before.
He took another step, tipping his head painfully “All the difference of the world Liz....” he whispered “All the difference of the world ‘cause everything…everything had changed since then…’cause I was already there….I missed my family but I was feeling alive at the same time, so alive that it scared the hell out of me for how much I liked to be with you already, how much right it felt, how much it felt like you could get through me and I could…and I could….”
She shook her head, eyes so swollen they didn’t know where to look.
“…and then the years passed by and I always came up with a new excuse to stay a little longer, coming back a little earlier.….see you on the weekends, sitting with you at the parties…sincerely hating every guy you dated or loved ….” he said, sweetly getting close some more. He smiled “….always cordially wishing him to experience some excruciating insufferable moment of possibly everlasting paralyzing pain whenever he touched you….”
A smile. Not even that. A very small one. Barely noticeable. The very flickering glimpse of her lips curling up at the corners.
But it was enough.
Enough to keep him going.
She curled up her shoulders, shaking her head some more, though “I…I can’t…I…”
But he kept getting closer and her breath was getting shorter by seconds.
She closed her eyes, as some part of her just found itself giving in to it. Giving in to that tone, to that pleading eyes, to that very gentle firmness she didn’t know how to be about. How she wanted to be…
The tears were changing the sound of her voice “How am I…how am I supposed to believe you?” she managed. And she didn't even know why had she asked that and she couldn’t even stop crying “…you…you just kept…you kept…changing, just changing…”
She dropped her eyes.
“No, Liz…listen to me… " he bowed a bit, searching for her stare "I have never changed it…I’ve never changed my mind…I……I never change my mind, ‘cause I knew…I knew there was something…something...”
But the beating of his heart was getting insufferable, by now; just preventing his mind from thinking, just making his breath away, just making harder and harder for he to speak and focus and what he wanted to tell, what he wanted her to know....
But he simply wanted her.
He didn’t know how to make her see that anymore. He kept on struggling for the right words, just stumbling over those that continue to cram inside his head, uselessly. They couldn’t convey. He couldn’t do this. He felt just so selfconscious. Just so dumb and self-consciously hopeless as he tried to put it in plain words whereas truth was that words just felt like wasting it; when it would have been so much easier and maybe so more cowardly but then perhaps much more truthful and real just took her in his arms and…
Lisa took a long deep breath, pressing her lips tightly again, gulping back that suffocating lump in her throat, just staring away, stubbornly keeping her head down.
“Liz...please…” he said again. He took another wary step “please look at me…please. I’m begging you…”
But her lips simply parted, slightly and all she managed to let out was a little sigh.
A painful sigh wet with tears.
And in that moment it just felt like everything he felt was too much now.
Too much for his chest to hold it together.
Too much for him to keep it from himself any longer.
Too much for him to keep on keeping the distance, staying away....
His hand started to search hers, stretching forward “Liz, please….”
The question took form in his head, honestly then; for the very first time ever with no reservation, as if everything now could just revolve around one single thing, one single last piece. It was simple and yet it had been so difficult to voice for so long.
“Liz…” he repeated under his breath. His fingers touched hers, lightly “do you want to be with me?”
The contact caused a rush of heat flushing through her veins. She moved her hand away, feeling desperate “I don’t know…”
His heart skipped a beat “You don’t?” he asked her gently, though as he never stopped searching for her.
And then his voice was sweet, and persuading, and comforting just like in her dream, even if what she felt right now wasn’t anywhere remotely close to what she had that night.
But she didn’t know, she wasn’t sure.
She wasn’t sure which one was the truth, whether she was just fooling herself, whether deep down inside her, she just wanted to believe those words, desperately all over again.
Tears kept coming to her eyes, endlessly in the meanwhile.
And she hated that.
She did hate herself for that.
She did hate him for that.
His fingers stroke around her wrist, delicately.
And she found herself answering to that, moving her hand slightly, turning it round as if some part of her just couldn’t resist the aching desire to retain the feeling of that touch, of that feeling of intimacy, of that feeling in that moment.
Just one last moment. One last time. She always told herself that.
Until she shook her head, turning away a bit, confused.
"I don’t know, I…”
But then he started to slide his fingers down inside her hand and she simply lost the thread, her mind suddenly feeling numb and the tear keeping rolling quietly.
And then she found herself asking something she didn't know herself why was she.
“Who said we would work? she stammered, without looking at him "Who said we…”
Hugh smiled at her, his head spinning “We will…we will work, we…”
But he didn’t know himself what was happening anymore. He just felt the feeling of her hand inside his, the way their fingers moved around each other and he could think to anything else. And some part of him almost didn’t know how he was supposed to go further with it if something like this already made his breath away so much.
She closed her eyes after a moment, pulling away again “No. Karen was right. I shouldn’t…”
His eyes lit up, he couldn’t stop smiling, “You talked to Karen about me?!”
He was smiling and sudden rushes of heat kept running through his body now and he didn’t know how to help that.
She screwed up her eyes, wanting to bit her tongue in that very moment. Her heart leapt, “That’s not the point…the point is…”
He tightened the grip of his hand around hers, softly, squeezing it ever so slightly starting to pull her to him, panting “…we can work…of course we can, we are already working….”
He reached out his other hand then and brushed lightly on her cheek.
She shivered, some part of her wanting to let him tug her closer and nevertheless, resisting just keeping her head down, refusing to meet his eyes “Where are we working? I can’t see that…we just kept arguing…we…”
He lowered his head to her “No Liz, liz even…this arguing…. even this you see…this is…this is good…” he said hurriedly as reaching out to lift up her chin “This is good. I swear…”
She didn’t know what to do, how to feel.
His fingers just touching her again, under her face now…and then what he was telling her….
His voice trembled, his fingers so suddenly reluctant to stop brushing her skin “I’ve never had anything like that in my whole life…” he panted “…this need…this need to lay it all bare each time…this need we have to…I don’t know…” he coughed a laugh “…we might as well be two idiots just incapable of dealing forever with our convenient half-truths when it comes to one another…but...."
But he couldn’t talk himself into stop running his fingers around the sides of neck now, down the little hollow between her collarbones, brushing it lightly. And she couldn’t stay away; she just couldn’t prevent herself from feeling him. She didn’t even know whether she had a choice anymore.
His hands started moving up to her face “…this is good…this is…this…this feels refreshing, it feels…”
She closed her eyes, pulling away a bit "You don’t want to be with me…not enough…you don’t…I don’t…”
He panted a sight, shaking his head, stopping "Oh boy if I want you Liz…boy if I want you to be with me…”
And even as she kept on keeping her eyes away from him, she could feel his blue ones on her, the way they wanted her somehow and it made her feel alive, too much.
And then his hands slid up her arms, slowly, caressing her, causing tears to go back streaming down her face desperately, 'cause she didn’t know where the truth stand anymore, why she kept on holding herself back so much. She was still mad, so mad at him. So frightened and so mad. And Hugh was looking at her now, so close with his impossibly confusing blue eyes pointed at her, just as sweetly, just as usual. As he always had. Which had never been enough…
Pain grew back stronger “NO!!” she cried and she had a rush of anger then, “IF YOU WANTED ME, IF YOU REALLY…”
But he reacted to that instantly, sweetly though trying to calm her down, “No, no, no , Liz, Liz Liz, come here, come here, come here…”
He clutched her close to him, putting one hand behind her head, holding it, shoving his fingers thorough her hair, gently.
She kept on crying, “No!If you really truly had wanted me…”
“No, no Liz, Liz…I’m sorry, I’m sorry… he whispered “I do, I do, of course I do….”
And then he was talking into her hair, their scent flooding him, once more, his head tilted downwards searching for her, his hands working their way down, keeping their distance, but delicately almost stroking around her neckline, caringly and warily, as if they feared she might suddenly vanish under his touch.
And he didn’t know himself what he was doing anymore. He wanted to wait for her, let her the time, get her to see….but it was getting impossible to him.
She reached to his hands, pushing them down.
“No, you would have acted differently…you would have…”
He clutched her hands in turn, securing them into his chest, pulling at her “No Liz…I…you don’t get it…I just didn’t want you to be scared with me…I swear…I just didn’t know….”
But like in her dream it simply hurt her too much right now.
“NO! You’re too scared….” she cried “Too scared for both of us. Too scared to really give it a shot….too scared to jump this shark, too scared to…”
He shushed her, softly trying to keep her into his arms, his head tilting, moving aside, searching for her eyes, her face, her lips...
“No, Liz, you’ve no idea….Liz please you have to believe me…”
She turned her head away from him and everything started to get blurred.
“I don’t know…” she cried “I don’t what I want anymore…”
“You do. You do. You’re just…just scared yourself and mad, and it’s all my fault…and…”
She was about to leave him. It just felt like he was about to lose this battle. Like he couldn’t say or end up doing what she needed him to.
Instinctly, his hands reached to her face, holding it between them, softly “Liz, listen to me, listen to me...” his mind raced.
Lisa fought feebly to free herself. She couldn’t breathe.
“Remember...remember when...when last time we were talking about that time in Santa Monica…” he told her, lifting up her head to look up into his eyes.
Her blood raced, “Hugh stop, you’re doing that again, leave me....please…” she cried.
He regretted it immediately "Ok, no, no, no, ok, ok, no…just, just...." he released his grip on her face, letting go of her ever so gently this time “just let me finish…just let me finish….” And so his hands started to gravitate at the sides of her face, not daring to touch her again, even if his fingers kept on moving on their own close to her lips, brushing them lightly just trying to soothe her.
"…there was that time…” he panted keeping on frantic “…when we ended up stuck in that cheap hotel and I pretend to complain all the time…” His fingertips were tracing her features now, the line of her jaw, the side of her face, up to her eyes. She closed them, lightly. “…when in truth…when in truth, that was one…that one was one of the better time in my life....”
They lowered down to the level of her neckline, again caressing it.
The touch of his fingers.
The shivering tingling of his fingers…
She could think to nothing else.
And then he found himself darting his eyes up and down up and down up and down back and forth between her eyes, her lips, her neck, her hair, her lips…
And his breath was growing frantic and he didn’t know how he might keep himself from desiring her more.
“I was happy…” he told her “:..and I loved every bit of it. I can still hear you laughing and I felt safe and complete and I didn’t make you feel the same…”
Her lips trembled “I don’t know….how any of this changes everything….how do I know…”
But she was losing her arguments.
She didn’t know against what she was fighting anymore
He bent over to look in her eyes “No it doesn’t….it doesn’t…” but the lower he got, the more she bowed her head to avoid looking at him.
“Liz please…” he couldn’t talk like that any longer, just as much as he couldn’t stay away anymore. He closed the remaining space between them, talking urgently “It doesn’t have to change. It doesn’t have to. And you know it and I know it, it’s just…just a decision that makes itself….
“You can’t know that, you can’t know that….”
“Liz, I’m begging you…” she could feel his panting breath on her. One of his arms sneaked around her, sliding swiftly down her hip. She tried to move to one side but she was there, almost inside his arms once again and there was just one thing leaping out before the others now, only one feeling she couldn’t get off her.
Hugh prompted her “…you wouldn’t be so mad at me if you had already given up on us” he searched for her eyes, one of his hands always holding her face “you wouldn’t be so mad at me” he repeated. He shook his head, desperate “Not if you wouldn’t feel even just one shred of what I feel for you… we wouldn’t even be standing here having this conversation …”
She couldn’t think of anything else anymore.
Nothing aside the reassuring warm of his body, his hands against her skin, the faint touch of his fingers above his shirt, her heart thudding….
The way his words made her feel.
And so right on that something just broke inside her, bursting out for she couldn’t hold it up any longer.
She closed her eyes, pushing him away again, raising her voice, letting out a groan of anger and frustration “Aaaaaa I HATE YOU! Why does it have to be so damn complicated…”
His breath got shorter again, and it quickened and it pressed against his chest so bad to hurt; but he found himself tightening his grip around her waist, sliding it over her back, all the same, clutching her to him, not wanting to let her go, just wanting to feel her closer, without quite knowing what he was doing but just feeling…just feeling that was right thing. The right to do in that very moment, the only right thing to do….
“Just so damn complicated…” she repeated and then she darted her eyes up to him, briefly, in a flutter.
“I know….I know…” he whispered and he stared down at her lips, probing at them with his thumb.
They trembled, her eyes elsewhere staring ahead “No, you don’t…you can’t…”
He softened his tone, “I do…I do” he murmured to her “I swear that I do…I swear that I…I’m sorry…“
Tears soared back her eyes, overflowing again “No you know nothing!! If you just had told me….”
He nodded, just staring down at her “I know…”
“I mean if you have simply just come to me and told me, trusted me…”
He kept on stroking her face, “I know…I know…”
And he saw nothing but her lips
“If you had told me some, tell me how you felt….”
He kept on nodding, “I know…I know…”
Her lips. Just her lips. And that fall of dark, brown, wavy black hair and her pale skin…
He saw only that.
He began to lower onto her…
But she bent her arms against her chest on that very moment, beating at him “You are just an idiot…one plain idiot…” she cried, her voice slipping up a notch, cracking.
He reached out to her cheek this time, just stroking it, silently. And she could feel its warmness and it calmed her down for a second.
But then there was the electrical stroke it was giving her, just like anytime, like many times before…
The ache desire to be just hold and simply knowing he would be there for her.
And it set off again, the memory still burning.
She moved away “…and then about that time in Santa Monica…” she snapped, her lips pressing, trembling, the line of her eyes hard and straight much more than she was actually feeling “it was your fault yes…”
Hugh nodded again, sadly breathing in deeply still trying to hold himself back.
“I know…” he panted.
“You’re damn right you know it…”
But then her lips were so close; so close and they just looked so soft, smooth and soft and pink just as remembered them.
“’cause you were just too up yourself…too much afraid to let me get close to you…"
He couldn’t last out for so much longer…
“But I kept loving you and….”
He simply shushed her again then, putting his fingers before her lips, brushing them, once more lightly, just because he was dying for it; dying to remember the feeling he had tried to retain the last time he had touched them.
Dying to savor it back, entirely…
His other hand began to run up along her waist, her hip, her arm, her shoulder. Until it reached the base of her neck and it started tickling at its side, stroking it lightly back and forth, causing her to shiver lightly under that warm, soft touch, her breath failing her.
Tears had never stopped streaming down her face. Her voice cracked once more.
“I hate you….” she whimpered, in a low faint voice.
He nodded, quickly feeling frantic more than ever for it “I know….” he panted.
And then he leaned in to her and just said it
“I know….” he repeated softly under what was left of his breath “I love you too….”
And on that he bent down altogether, just leaning in and pressing his lips hard against hers, full mouth against them, squeezing his eyes shut, with his heart on the very verge to explode, just kissing her.
There was a moment of hesitation.
Just a moment. When their lips touched and the salty, burning taste they were still soaked with blended with the flavor of something they both had never forgotten; only it didn’t taste of desperation this time, it didn’t taste of defeat or bitterness or any other bad feeling. For once it just tasted of something which can’t be avoided any longer.
It was just a decision that made itself….
There was a moment of hesitation then.
Until Lisa let herself becoming aware of how blood now felt like boiling under her skin and her lips set into fire, and she gave in to it, entirely, just opening her mouth against his and sliding her tongue into his mouth, inhaling his scent. And he answered her, gently at first twining his tongue with hers, caressing it until he found himself utterly and irrevocably lost in that kiss, running his fingers up and down her back, slowly in the beginning, probing at her body once again, stroking the smoothly silken surface of her skin, tugging her closer a bit, just feeling that familiar shivering tingling running through his body as her fingers went to knot tightly in his hair, pulling him down closer to her, sweetly but very much urgently at the same time.
And then, all of sudden, it felt like everything had started to whirl as her arms wrapped around his neck and her lips got tucked into his mouth and his hands began to move swifter and swifter round her small; and then they were sliding a little bit down, scooping her from the ground ever so slightly, lifting her into his arms, as she answered with the very same urgency, winding herself round him, feeling him as he lifted up her shirt on the back, probing at her skin, as they never stopped kissing, not even for a second; and then she was desperately desiring him to tug her closer, pulling her into him some more and some more again, until his hands slid under her shirt, warily though, resting there, not daring to go whole hog with it; and she started to pull his own up his torso and he moved his arms up above him to let her peel it off, always kissing her, never wanting to come off the flavor of her lips…
Until someone knocked abruptly and loudly against the window glass right behind them causing them to startle and broke suddenly apart, panting away while staring to one another breathless…