I walked until I was beginning to get tired, so I turned around and walked back. I didn't go in the house though. I sat down on the wet sand and watched the waves as the rising full moon glinted off of them in a mesmerizing beauty. The moon and the ocean; my two favorite aspects of nature. My peacefulness was soon interrupted by someone setting down next to me. I looked over and saw Ben. He said nothing at first. I remained silent as well.
"Would you care to explain why you slapped me across the face?" He asked after a while.
"Would you care to explain why you took it upon yourself to tell Tom we are in love with each other? He's decided that he's the odd man out so he is graciously giving me to you."
"Oh, is he? I told him that you refuse to choose between us because you love us both."
"Yes, but he decided that means he would have to make the choice for me, thus removing himself from the situation."
Ben said nothing. After a few minutes of silence, I got up to go back into the house. I wanted to say something nasty and hurtful to him before I left, but I decided not to say something permanently stupid just because I was temporarily upset. I opted to bite my tongue and walk off to the house. I saw Tom in none of the common rooms, so I went to his bedroom. The door was ajar so I pushed it open. He had his back to the door, but I saw a pile of neatly folded clothes on the bed. I could see a suitcase in front of him that he was placing the clothes in. I went up next to him and gingerly touched his left arm. He didn't even acknowledge my presence; he continued packing. Finally I said, "Are you leaving tonight?"
"Yes I am. I will go to a hotel and in my off time next week, I will pack up the rest of my stuff. It's not much so it should be done in two trips at the most."
"I thought this was supposed to be our last night together..."
"So did I, but apparently I'm a son-of-a-bitch and you don't want to spend the night with me."
I could see him clinch and relax his jaw a couple of times. I took my hand from his arm as he finished packing and zipped his suitcase closed. I sighed and shook my head. "Same ol' Tom. You won't get mad at me no matter what I do."
He had turned around and had his back to me. I saw him stiffen as he straightened up fully. He dropped the suitcase on the floor and turned quickly on his heel. I actually saw anger blazing in his eyes for the first time since we met. "You want me to show you my anger? Do you really think you can handle that? OK fine, yes I'm angry with you! I'm so bloody pissed off that I can't think straight! WHY DAMN IT?! FUCKING TELL ME WHY! I love you and I gave you everything I had for the last year. I thought I made you happy. You told me constantly that I made you happier than you've ever been in your life. Every single time we made love you said you loved me more than you ever thought was humanly possible. You told me you had given up on romantic love years ago and believed that it just wasn't possible. DO YOU KNOW HOW WONDERFUL THAT MADE ME FEEL?! To know that I did that for you? I loved you with my body, mind, heart and soul! Then you fucking have the nerve to tell me that Ben has more fiery passion than I do? WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!"
He was screaming at me so loud and hard at times, the veins in his neck were straining from the effort. This was a side of him I had never seen; I didn't even know he possessed it. I was scared and frankly, sexually aroused. I was not going to turn into a sniveling pile of snotty goo; I was determined not to cry. I was losing that battle. I had done it again. I always did it to everyone who loved me. I pushed them away. I couldn't drop that wall around my heart and really let someone in. He had chipped away at it so much in the last year that it was crumbling rapidly. I was terrified and I had a panic reaction. I do love Ben, but I know in the end, I would push him away from me too. I was so screwed up that it was beyond words.
"I'm scared to love you! I've been hurt and rejected so much in my life that I'm terrified to let anyone in. I pushed you away out of fear. Yes I have grown to love Ben, but I know I'll end up doing the same thing to him. I don't deserve either one of you. Tom, I'm broken and you can't fix me."
He seemed shocked by my answer. He just stood there gazing at me. I finally dared to look at him. The anger had left his eyes. He looked at me with pity. Oh god, anything but that! "Please Tom, don't look at me like that."
"Like what?" He asked softly.
"With eyes full of pity. I don't want your pity Tom!"
"I'm sorry. I didn't realize that I was. I'll try to stop. What are we going to do now Darling?"
"I don't know Tom. I...I had no idea that you really loved me so much. I really blew that one."
"It's not in the past. I LOVE you that much. That's why it hurts so damned bad," he said as he sat down on the end of the bed.
I just stood there and stared at the floor, trying hard not to cry. He reached out and took my hand, pulling me closer to him. I felt his other hand touch my chin and raise it to where I was looking into his eyes. "Did you hear me? I said I love you. Despite everything I still love you with all of my heart."
I was seriously losing the battle not to cry. I could feel tears beginning to spill over my lower eyelids no matter how hard I fought them. He moved his hands down to my waist and gently pulled me even closer to him. I moved with his tugging and allowed him to sit me on his lap and hold me close. I lost it then. I began to really bawl. It came flooding out of me like a dam had burst. I couldn't control it. I cried so hard that I struggled to breathe. I wrapped my arms around him and clung to him like I was drowning and he was my life raft. I could feel him rubbing my back and softly telling me to just let it all out until there was no more pain.
I cried for so long that my ribs ached and my face throbbed. I had to get it under control. My hysteria finally tapered off to snotty sniveling and soon even that subsided. I finally sat up. Through my reddened, swollen eyes, I saw that his eyes were red rimmed as if he'd been crying as well. I touched his left cheek and realized it was wet. He smiled and kissed my swollen lips gently. "You're a real mess, Darling. That was some terrible crying jag."
"You look like you shed a few tears too."
"I couldn't let you cry alone. What kind of a gentleman would I be if I did that?"
I chuckled softly while he kissed my forehead. I was actually exhausted from that severe crying spell. He realized I was tired so he sat me on the bed and gestured up toward the pillows. I moved up to them, pulling down the comforter first; I crawled under it and laid my head on the pillow. He striped to his underwear, turned off the lamp and laid down next to me. He pulled me close and held me while he kissed my face all over tenderly. "This is how I wanted to spend my night; holding and kissing you."
I kept quiet and enjoyed the feeling of his lips all over my face and neck. I soon felt him fumble with the snap on my shorts; he then unzipped them and tried to pull them off. I shifted myself so he could remove them. He then grabbed the hem of my tank top and lifted it to remove it. I sat up while he pulled it off and then unhooked my bra. I lay back down. Soon his lips were on my collarbone, then down onto my breasts. He kissed, licked and nibbled me everywhere. After quite some time spent fondling me, he paused to remove his underwear then mine. I spread my legs so he could slip between them. He no sooner settled between them than he was inside of me, slowly thrusting. He couldn't keep his lips off of me. He kept kissing my lips and face while he pushed in and out. After a few minutes, I wrapped my legs around his waist as his pace greatly increased. I began softly moaning as did he. His pace became so rapid, I knew his peak was imminent. We were both moaning louder. He began repeatedly telling me he loved me. At last his body trembled and I was brought to a sweet, gentle orgasm. He stopped moving, but still lay between my legs kissing my lips.
"Was it good Darling? Did you enjoy it?" He asked between kisses.
"Yes I did," I replied when his lips weren't on mine.
He finally stopped kissing me and moved to lie back beside me again. He pulled me close to where my head was against his chest, while his chin rested on top of my head. He stroked my back. At last he said, "I meant what I said about how much I love you. You take up so much space in my heart that there's no room for me to not love you."
"Please Tom, no more words. Just hold me until I fall asleep."
"I'll hold you longer than that Love. I'm never letting go, so you might as well learn to accept it. I want you, I love you, and I'm not letting you leave me."
I said nothing. He loved me and wanted to be with for the rest of our lives. I felt unsure that I wanted the same thing. I had this weird knot in my stomach like I'd just made a very bad decision. I felt overwhelmed and confused. I wasn't sure Tom was who I wanted. I still loved Ben.