read chapter 38 here with greenlydia
I roll over and groan, I feel horrible, like I have a bad hangover or something of the sort but I haven’t been drinking which leaves the dreaded flu creeping in as an explanation. Or perhaps it’s from all the crying last week and it’s catching up to me, that’s a possibility right? Can you get dehydrated from crying too much? There was a lot of crying last week. Many tears have been shed between the Mateo’s and myself as everything was laid bare and they recounted their story as well as the reason they had decided to keep it from me; they didn’t want me to feel like I was a second choice, that I was a replacement. My heart constricts as I think about how much they lost. How much Iris lost. Mama cried when she found out that Iris and I had become friends, not because she was upset but because she was glad that Iris had finally let someone into her walls, Mama says they’ve always worried for Iris because she has put so much blame on herself that her hurt was keeping her alone and that’s the last thing they ever wanted for her. But amongst the tears there was also much laughter as they regaled stories of things that the boys would get up to and how they so often tormented Iris with childish pranks. I feel like the bond that formed between them and myself is stronger now that I know the truth, I don’t think we’ll ever be or have what we did before the truth spilled out and filled the cracks but that’s just it, it filled cracks we didn’t even know were there and it’s fixed something we didn’t know was breaking.
I sit up and stretch like a cat, my stomach roiling some and I swallow down a bit of bile. I make a mental note to ask Mama for some of her homemade flu remedy when I see her later. I hate getting sick. I throw the blanket off me in an attempt to convince myself I need to get up but I’m so damn tired all I want to do is pull it up over my head and go to sleep. Maybe I should, there’s nothing for me to do until later and it’s so good being back in my own bed, not that I didn’t love staying with Michael; going to sleep and waking up next to him every day, I do miss that but my bed is just my bed and I missed it. I grab my blanket and throw it over my head, punch my pillow a bit and close my eyes.
I wake lazily to tickles on my back, I smile and stretch lightly then actually realize that I’m being tickled and sit up quickly, my heart beating so fast that I’m afraid it going to run away, Michael is sitting on the bed with a big grin on his face. “You’re a dick”. I’d forgotten I’d given him a spare key so that he could stop climbing in through the window. “Yeah, I have one. You know you like it” he winks and pins me down on the bed, holding my hands above my head so that I can’t cheek him back. He leans down and rubs his nose along my jaw-line, he kisses me in my neck and I shiver, I want him. Now. I wrap my legs around him and pull him closer, he moves us up higher up the bed and looks at me, I feel like he’s looking right in to my soul and it scares me a little. “I love you Winter.” I’m silent for a minute, trying to figure out if I read what I think I did. He lets go of my hands and sits up slightly. This time he signs it and I know I didn’t misread him. He loves me, he really loves me. I feel like a teenager having her crush ask her out. I pull him back down and kiss him deeply, my hands sliding into his hair, holding him close. I break us apart and for the first time in years I actually speak. “I love you”. I’m not sure what it sounds like or if he understood but the look on his face changes and I can tell it came out right. His smile looks like it might break his face and he bends down to kiss me again, feeling for the hem of my shirt and pulling it over my head leaving me in nothing but my panties, I need to feel him against me and reciprocate the movement, he lifts up slightly and lets me pull his shirt up and off. He kisses my collar bone and works his way down to my belly, kissing it lightly then moves down till he’s between my thighs, he slips his fingers into my panties and pulls them down gently and I lift my hips slightly as he relieves me off my underwear. He kisses the inside of my leg then takes them off completely then crawls back up to me, I can feel his need through his trousers and I undo his belt and button, unzipping him and pushing down his pants using my feet, he laughs a bit as he awkwardly shakes them off and nuzzles my neck again, he licks me from my collar bone up to my jaw and I swat him on his chest. He kisses me deeply as he slides into me and swallows my gasp of delightful pleasure; he’s so warm and filling as he moves. I roll him over, minding my cast and wink as I straddle him, I grab his hands and lace my fingers through his, putting them over his head and moving slowly, teasing him, I bite his lip then lick it before kissing him, he leans up into me and kisses me back.
Our legs are entwined and I have my head on Michael’s chest, tracing the lines of his tattoos, I love his ink, it’s beautiful, I remember when he got the first one but he’s added more to it over the years and now has a full sleeve, you’d never say it when you see him in his suits, one creeps up his neck though and I stretch up and lick it. I feel him chuckle and he hugs me closer to him. I suppose we should get out of bed at some point, I still need to head down to the Mateo’s and discuss having the book launch there, but I don’t want to leave this spot, the afternoon light filtering in through the window and Michael’s warmth has me frozen to the spot but he shifts a bit and I move so he can sit up. I prop myself up with my elbow so I can look at him, he really is a magnificent specimen of a man and I have no idea what I did to be lucky enough to call this man mine but whatever I did I’m grateful. “So, you love me do you?” I can feel a cheeky grin form on my face “I’m not sure why but yes I do”. He pokes me in the ribs then leans down to kiss me before pushing the blanket off himself and grabbing his underwear off the floor. He looks back at me and sighs, “I’d love to stay but I need to get back to work, have a meeting in an hour.” I pout just a little and he just shakes his head at me, “okay fine but come round tonight, I’m cooking.” “You’re cooking?” He looks out the window then turns back to me “Nope, not snowing”. I pick up a pillow and toss it at him as he buttons his shirt but it misses so I stick my tongue out at him instead. He buckles up his trousers and sits down on the edge of the bed to put his shoes on. He kisses me on the forehead before he gets up and walks to the door “I’ll be here at seven.” I nod my head and blow him a kiss which he catches and puts in his pocket.
I can’t wait to tell Iris that having the launch at Papa Mateo’s is a go! I’m still not sure why they haven’t contacted her though, I didn’t really want to bring it up but did hint at it a little bit, I hope they forgive her for writing a book about the boys, they forgave me and they’ve know me for less time than they do her. I wish I had all the answers or a magic wand to grant everyone happiness. I don’t like seeing people unhappy, particularly not the people close to me.
Coffee in hand, it’s a ritual, I flip open my laptop and formulate a response to Iris’s mail as I wait for it to start up. It feels like it takes forever and I finish the last sip of my coffee so I get up to make more but find that the coffee pot is empty, I sigh and dump the mug in the sink and head back to my laptop, I log in and open a blank email.
Re: It’s time.
Iris, my blossoming friend,
It has really been too long, I feared you were ignoring me there for a while. What you wrote in our book; it filled a hole in my heart that I hadn’t realized was there and I will forever be grateful that fate brought us together, or at least that Michael decided to meddle in other’s affairs and set us on the right path.
I’d love to hear all about Philip one day. That’s a big step there; meeting family that is… so I take it you and Mark are still going strong? I’m so glad you forgave him. You need that happiness in your life and when you talk about him there’s a sense of happiness in your writing that in turn makes me happy.
I don’t know what to say about the Mateo’s, I’m not sure why they haven’t contacted you but what I’ve learned recently is that they don’t do anything without reason, they aren’t people who would intentionally hurt anybody, you should know that better than I do. Just give them time; I think it might be as hard for them as it is for you.
I do have some really good news though, yeah you guessed it! We’re having the launch at Papa Mateo’s! See, they don’t hate you. I’ve started planning a whole lot, don’t worry about set up and so on, I’ll take that on, you just concentrate on the paperwork because that is in no way my forte and I’ll probably just muck it up if it was left up to me.
Don’t you think it’s amazing how intertwined our lives are and we never even realized it, I don’t know how we’ve gone through all these years without meeting. Passing ships in the night. I am grateful that life steered such an amazing soul into mine though, your friendship has truly become something I cherish and hold dear.
I close my laptop and put my elbows on the table, thoughtfully resting my chin in my hands. How someone can come into your life and fix everything that was broken without even knowing it still baffles me. I shake my head and get up. I have some art work that needs to be taken down to the printers then I need to phone pretty things for you to book her to set up for the launch, her work is amazing and at least having her sort out the food and photographer is one less thing I need to stress about, yes it’s cheating but she’s great at what she does so I think my choice is justified, and then I need to make dinner.