“I’m going to come.”
I was so close, but I wanted to say it before I exploded. I turned so my lips were close to his ear. “I’m yours. My pleasure is yours. My wet pu**y is yours. You own me, Jonathan. You are the master of my f**k.”
“Jesus, you are something else.”
He thrust his hips forward. I sat up and matched him thrust for thrust. He moved my hand between my legs, my palm rubbing his dick and my clit at the same time. It was beautiful, soaking, earthy, celestial, electric. I slammed myself on him, driving him deep as I groaned, grinding my orgasm against the base of his cock, bending my body forward, winding like a spring, and unwinding with a shout.
A few gentle rocks, and I felt his hands tighten on my hips, grabbing flesh and digging in. He’d done it. He’d found the place I wasn’t sore and bruised it, moving me up and down against him with decreasing gentleness.
He groaned, and with a final thrust forward, he yanked my hips down, coming inside me while whispering, “Monica, Monica, Monica.”
I had a sinking uneasiness. It wasn’t necessarily about leaving her for D.C. It was about how often I left and stayed gone. I trusted her intentions, but I didn’t trust her ability to make wise decisions. She’d basically admitted Kevin had vengeful thoughts about her, and dismissed them as part of his artistic process.
I wondered if she’d been bitten by a shithouse rat. If she expected Darren to protect her, she was sorely out of her league. He was a mother hen. He’d tuck her into bed and feed her soup if she got sick, but if that guy started doing the revolting shit I saw in those drawings, Darren was as good as useless.
I didn’t feel much more useful.
Mostly because as soon as I hit the 101 and got too far away from her to turn back, I started planning the next time I’d see her. Nothing between visits occupied my mind. I already wanted to taste her again, feel her legs wrapped around my waist, and hear her sighs. I wanted to take action. Do something. Make some gesture that would bring her closer. Some sort of act that would bind her to me, even when I was away.
I felt greedy thinking about how much I missed her. I wanted more. More time. More sex. More laughing. I wondered if each of my sisters would like her. How each would react. Five out of seven would love her, and that thought warmed me. The warmth, instead of providing comfort, grew to a painful burn. I’d let my mind wander. I’d let something happen since last night when I kissed her eyelids. She was mine to protect and care for, a responsibility I relished.
Jonathan had left only hours ago, and I’d gone right back to bed. A rumble in the driveway woke me at eight a.m. It sounded like a farting tuba being played in a closet. I peeked out the window. A Ford pickup as long as a bus pulled into my driveway, blocking my car.
I threw on last night’s clothes and ran out to the porch. He was obviously in the wrong driveway. He was right at my door when I opened it. Six four. A solid wall of muscle with a face to match and blonde hair that looked as if it had already done a full day’s work.
“Dr. Thorensen is next door,” I said.
“I’m here for the Faulkner residence?”
I looked at his polo. The logo on the breast said The Foundation Guys, and the name DAVE was embroidered above it. Jonathan said he had guys.
“I wasn’t expecting you so soon,” I said.
“Yeah, well, it’s been slow lately. Anyway, coming to check it out. Get kinda like a bead on the situation?”
“Yeah, well, I gotta get to work. Do you need me?”
“Nope, just your crawlspace. You got a dog or something? Gonna bite me?”
“No, but I’ll bite you if I’m late to work. I have to get the Honda out.”
He laughed and ran to the truck, and I shut myself behind closed doors to get ready. When I got out of the shower, I heard scuffling from Gabby’s room. Tiptoeing to the doorway, I found Darren stacking and restacking piles of Hollywood Reporters.
“Mon,” he said, indicating the towel wrapped around me, “I’m still a man, okay?”
“You could knock.”
“I could if I wanted to sit on your porch for half an hour.”
“Seriously. I have a boyfriend, and you could walk in on God-knows-what.”
“Ah, right. Stay kinky, Monica. Stay kinky,” he said, smiling. I whipped off the towel wrapped around my head and snapped it at him. “New trick?”
I whipped it again, and he grabbed it. I couldn’t get it back because I needed to keep the other towel on myself with my free hand.
“Can you get dressed, please?” Darren threw the towel back.
I ran into my room and heard him through the wall as I wiggled into jeans and a shirt. When I got back to Gabby’s room, he was sorting through manila envelopes absently, as if deciding what to do with the whole stack rather than whether or not to keep any individual file.
“What’s happening with the work crews?” he asked.
“My foundation’s slipping, or actually, has slipped.”
“No shit. How you paying to fix that?”
When I didn’t answer, he waved his hand, looking as if he was holding back a torrent of recriminations.
“Can we be done fighting?” I said.
“What fighting? Who’s fighting? The thing in the parking lot?”
“I thought that was foreplay.” Though his words were a joke, his voice took a serious timbre.
I felt a shudder that turned to heat on my cheeks. I didn’t want him to know. I didn’t want anyone to know. He must have imagined me tied up and gagged, like the girl suspended over the bar with wet underpants and come dripping out of her mouth. Would he avoid making eye contact with me? Would I always think he thought less of me?
I changed the subject, indicating the piles of papers and envelopes. “We should just throw it all out or keep it all. Going through it is just going to make you sad.”
“She spent so much time on this stuff. It feels wrong to just trash it.”
“It doesn’t feel wrong,” I said. “It feels too easy. And like a fast train to regret.”
“Cheap. Like everything would feel cheap.”
“It’s not the same as throwing her away.” I sorted through stacks, not really thinking. Some envelopes were thicker than others. Some had trees and webs of relationships penciled on them. Some were so thin they couldn’t have been more than an idea. “I miss her. I think about her all the time. I should have called her when the location changed. I shouldn’t have made that scratch cut without her. I’m sorry, Darren. I’m so sorry. I feel like I took your sister from you.” I couldn’t look at him, just the never-ending pile of envelopes left behind as her legacy.