I woke up to hands gently rubbing my hip and arm. There were two bodies pressed on either side of mine. I felt amazingly relaxed. I actually slept really well.
I cracked my eyes open to stare into Gabe’s eyes. “Hey, how are you feeling? We didn’t want to wake you up, but we didn’t want to get to the beach after dark. We would like to spend some time with you in the sun as well as under the stars.” Gabe’s words whispered to my barely conscious ears.
“How long are we staying there? We will have to stop at my place to grab clothes for me. I don’t really want to wear sweats into the water. They’ll get really heavy.” I would if I had to because I need the water. I need it’s waves to help me control the emotional roller coaster I have been on. I needed it’s help. I needed it’s soothing comfort.
I seemed very composed. I still felt like a tornado hit a hurricane and decided to hide inside of my emotions. It took years to be this composed on the outside all of the time, no matter what I was feeling on the inside. I know these men cracked the shell by causing me to actually feel for a while. I am bound and determined to seal it again.
“We have clothes for you and everything is packed up ready to go. All you have to do is get up and change. We’ll leave when you’re ready.” Ryder informed me. I wonder who got my clothes. Would they even fit?
I was gently lifted from the bed and clothes shoved in my hands. They gently pushed me to the bathroom so I could change. Once inside one of them quietly closed the door behind me. I couldn’t figure out several things in that moment. They seemed to always want to dress me and take care of me. So why push me into the bathroom to care for myself?
Maybe I should just let this play out. It seemed they were getting tired of me already. In my eyes this was a plus. They started out heavy, got what they waned, and now they’re gently dismissing me. I simply have to wait them out and then I can close up the crack they have made. With them out of the picture it would be too easy. I could last that long. An added plus would be the pleasure they brought along the way. Knowing it was a first and only for me, I would hold onto the memory for a long time. With those thoughts in mind I quickly finished dressing and exited the bathroom.
The clothes fit perfectly. A simple red halter top shirt and black soft cotton shorts completed a simple beach look. I liked the simplicity of it. It could have been lighter colors but I could live with these ones.
There was no one in the bedroom so I wandered down to the living room where I heard muffled voices. As soon as I entered their hushed conversation came to an abrupt end. They were probably already discussing how to get rid of me without me going all psycho girl crazy on them. They probably think if they do it now I’ll screw up their book release or get Cammy to cancel their deal. I wouldn’t do any of those things. I would simply do my job and then walk away. They really didn’t need to worry nor did I need them to prolong this any longer than necessary.
“Are you ready to go? Everything is in the car already.” Ryder asked as I simply stared at them. I was trying to figure out how to let them know I wouldn’t do anything in retribution if they wanted to part ways. I know I seemed crazy passing out all the time and crying all over the place. I simply nodded.
I noted the tension between the brothers. Perhaps only one wanted out. I hope that wasn’t the case. I needed them both gone. I can’t close the crack if they remain near. I thought about all of this as we climbed into the car. The boys quickly took the front while I was left to sit in the back with my rampaging thoughts. We were silent the entire way there except for the grinding of Gabe’s teeth as he stared ahead thinking about something.
As soon as the car stopped in the parking lot I jumped out and ran towards my waves leaving the boys to unpack the car. My mind was only on one thing. Burying myself in the ocean. Its soft waves started at my feet, slowly traveling up my body like a welcoming hug. I went in until I was buried to my waist before I flung myself into the beauty of the ocean, completely at the mercy of those all consuming waves. Using strong sure strokes I took myself deeper than I probably should have.
As I flipped over to float on the surface and stare up at the clear blue sky, I felt bodies on either side of me. “You’re so beautiful. With the sun beating down on you, surrounded by the waves, you look like a goddess of the water. It’s amazing how you never look bad no matter the circumstances. I want to make love to you in the ocean someday. I want to run my hands down that glorious, wet, naked body.” Ryder said huskily in my ear.
“Ryder I said we are not doing it like this!” Gabe cut him off harshly before turning his attention to me. “Are you alright love?” He seemed honestly concerned. I, on the other hand, couldn’t decide if I wanted to pant like a dog or analyze where I was emotionally. They always gave me whip lash. So I did the only rational thing I could think of. I flipped over and swam away from them both. I needed peace, not more conflict. Whatever they were arguing about would wait.
I needed to simply swim. I needed my waves to take away the conflict and confusion I already feel without adding to it. Both boys seemed to get the idea and left me to it. I spent hours alternating between floating, thinking, and swimming before the boys came back to get me. I felt calmer, less confused and way more peaceful. I felt stronger. I could get through this. Gabe was already tiring of me , if I was reading the situation correctly. Ryder was holding on for a while it seems. I only had to wait Ryder out. Gabe would talk him out of it soon enough.
With that new found strength, I allowed them to pull me to the beach picnic they had set up for us. They sat me down in the center of them facing the ocean. If I couldn’t be in the water, at least I could stare into it. Ryder handed me a plate with a sandwich and some potato salad while Gabe gave me a glass of iced sweet tea. They really did work well in harmony with each other. They both knew what I wanted and gave it to me. It’s a new experience. One I knew wouldn’t last.
I sat silently eating and watching the waves roll up onto the sand. No one disturbed our little paradise. When the food was gone, Gabe brought out a bowl of sliced fruit. He leaned over sliding a slice of orange between my lips. Ryder followed it up with a strawberry before they both leaned back to relax. “Are your mom and dad still around?” Ryder’s question took my breath away. This was what they planned for today? They wanted to bombard me with questions about the past? This was so not going to go well.
“No.” I gave simple answers. I was not going to give up anything voluntary. Hopefully they would give up their questions. If not then maybe they won’t delve to deeply.
“Do you have any siblings?” Again Ryder was the one full of questions. I looked to Gabe for help. He was the one who was done with me surely he would make this stop. Imagine my surprise when I saw the intense look of interest on his face.
“Yes.” It took me a moment to answer through my shock. As I did my gaze went back to the ocean with a glare. They both wanted the answers even if one was done with me physically. Fine then be that way.
“Do you have a big family?” This one was again Ryder. I guess they were normal get to know you questions but I didn’t want to answer them. A simple nod answered them.
“Do you talk to any of them now?” Gabe surprised me with a question of his own. I guess he was more interested than I originally thought. I answered this time with a shake of my head. I figured if I quit using words they would get the hint that I didn’t like this game and quit asking.
“Where are you from originally?” Leave it to Gabe to change tactics and ask a question that wasn’t a simple yes or no. Stupid persistent, tactic changing jerks. What was Gabe playing at anyways? Wasn’t he the one that yelled at Ryder earlier about being even slightly sexual with me? Wasn’t he the one that gave off all the signals that said he didn’t want anything to do with me anymore?
“Michigan.” I finally gave in and answered after the mini rant in my head. Why do they want to know about all of his anyhow?
“Why don’t you talk to your family any more? Did something happen that prevents you from contacting them?” Ryder hits on a question I will never answer. I don’t know them well enough for me to...No, you know what, this game is over. I swiftly stood up trying to go back to the water. Both men grabbed me quickly.
“You have to wait thirty minutes love. You could cramp and get hurt. You don’t have to answer that but you can’t get back in the water yet.” Gabe was right. Damn it. I sat back down with a scowl showing I was not happy being forced into this. They both moved closer to me. It was almost like they were trying to comfort me. They could stop asking these questions. That would be comfort enough for right now. The questions couldn’t get any worse could they? Why the need for more comfort now?
“Have you ever been married?”Why? Why did Ryder have to be the one to ask all of the hard questions? I froze solid. Nope, not gonna answer that either. My eyes glazed over as memories from the past came flooding through my mind. Too many for one person to cope with.
I remembered every hit, every cut, every bruise, every argument in one giant blur. I remembered all of the crying and so much worse. Going from one house of torture into another that eventually turned into torture. Hell on earth in the form of those who are supposed to love you the most. Your parents, your siblings, cousins. Your husband. Each one ended the same and I was left unable to breath at the mere thought of these people ever finding me.
I was suddenly being pressed firmly into both men as they soothingly rubbed my back. I tuned in just in time to hear Ryder mutter, “I’m glad you talked me out of my plan. I’m truly glad I didn’t try to seduce the answers out of her. She probably would have had a heart attack or run away from us permanently. At least this way we can comfort her and get a glimpse of what might cause all of that pain she carries.” So that was his plan.
Shit, that was what Gabe objected to? Not me, but seducing answers out of me. “But we can coax it out of her slowly and every step of the way give her some form of pleasure to help ease her after these kinds of conversations. There’s nothing wrong with taking her mind off of things afterwards. And it will show her we are not the same as they are. That we will be there for her.” As Gabe muttered this I leaned my head on his chest. I definitely liked his idea better if I had to go with one. I really didn’t like either plan.
Gabe’s hands were running through my hair as I thought of the here and now. Neither of them seemed to realize I had tuned in at all so I just sat there lost in my new thoughts trying desperately to not think about my past. What difference did me telling them make? I would relive the pain. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want anyone to know how dirty, how used, I really am.
I didn’t want anyone to know what my own family or the one man I had chosen in life had put me through. What everyone I had ever known has done. It would just give them ideas to improve on when it came time for them to hurt me. The fact that I allowed them to touch me, get anywhere near me, still amazed me. I couldn’t wrap my head around how stupid I am being by doing so.
Then again, why did they even care? They were a limited time thing. They would eventually get bored. They would leave, hopefully before they could hurt me too much, and I would never see them again. Right? No one has ever stuck by me before unless they could torture me in some way. They would be no different. But if that were the case, why did I care so much about sharing the smallest detail linked to them? Did I trust them to not tell anyone what they were told? No, but on the other hand who could they tell? I mean if they went to Cammy and spilled their guts I would be upset sure.
I could leave though. I cared for Cammy and liked spending time with her. Neither of those things would stop me from leaving if these two said anything to anyone. But do I want anyone to know anything about my past? What if I just told them little things? Things that didn’t hurt. I could do that right? It would satisfy their never ending curiosity that they seemed to have developed. Maybe it would get them to back off the harder questions that I could never open up to answer. A deep sigh came from both men.
“We just want to know you better. We won’t pry too much. If you can’t handle the answers we’ll move on to something else okay? And you can ask us questions as well. We simply want to know more about you. This strong pull between us intrigues us. You intrigue us. We’re captivated by your mere presence. Simple things will do for now. We would never share anything you tell us with anyone other than each other. And we’ll be here for comfort the entire time. Please love just open up a little and tell us something about what makes up this amazing woman between us.” Ryder’s pleas made me want to tell them.
Just a little wouldn’t be too bad if it took the plea and pain out of his voice. I can do that for them at least. They deserved that much from me. Small answers that shouldn’t touch too close to the pain. I can do that. I had the ocean for comfort. I gave a quick nod of my head to let them know this was okay and they could ask their questions.
They both continued to stroke me in some way. My hair, arm, neck. It was a good thing that I was going to open up even if it was only a little. These two men have given me so much comfort and pleasure. This was something that would bring them pleasure. I would do this for them no matter the stress it caused me. They deserved that much from me to repay them for everything.
“So are your mom and dad still together?” Of course Ryder would start the questions off. He seemed to be the more impatient of the two for answers about my past. About me.
“My mom and step dad are together. I’ve never known my biological dad. I met him once in a court house when I was younger and he was running away again.” I remained leaning on Gabe the entire time I spoke. I was still siding with his way of doing this and hoping he would keep things from getting to heavy.
“My turn. What is your favorite color?” Gabe’s question surprised me. It was so completely different from anything they had asked so far. It wasn’t about my past or my family, but about me. Who I am. The effect it had on my emotions was amazing.
“It’s green. It’s my birthstone, a part of my eyes, and the color of trees and grass. I don’t like all greens though just some of them. Mostly emerald green.” The question eased me a little and allowed me to give more detail because it wasn’t anything even remotely painful. Thinking of an oasis with several shades of green helped relax me a bit more. Water and trees. Grass and flowers surrounding me. No one to hurt me. It’s funny how at this very moment I could picture them there with me.
“What’s your favorite food?” Gabe again asked a neutral question. They both watched as I relaxed into the conversation. We all just sat around going over questions like this watching the sun go down. We never touched on subjects that were too deep, but we did cover many surface topics. Gabe asking the about me questions and Ryder asking about my family and my past.
I am surprised that I was able to relax as much as I did. Even more surprising was how much I actually ended up telling them. I gave them names of family members to how many there were to how many pets I had growing up. They made it easier to open up. I can honestly say no one knows as much about me as these two men right here do. The stars were reflecting off the water as the waves gently rolled onto the sand taking the abandoned sand castles back to the ocean with them. Everything seemed almost perfect.
“How late is it? Don’t you think we’ve covered enough information for one night? You guys haven’t even given me a chance to as about you.” They both seemed surprised. Sure they had shared little details about themselves along the way but I never asked them any questions. If it meant I could just lay back and listen to their stories for a while I would ask them something. I oddly found myself curious about the pair of them growing up. The beach had emptied long ago and it was so very quiet and peaceful. I was tired but I wasn’t ready to leave this yet.
We didn’t realize you wanted to ask questions. I’m sorry we didn’t think about that. We just got excited when you opened up and started letting us get to know you. What do you want to know?” Ryder got all of this out without even taking a breath. It was almost like he was scared I would get upset they had forgotten that part of the deal earlier.
“What trouble did you two get up to when you were younger?” I figured funny storied from their childhood would give me time to just lay back and relax more. They told me stories about scraped knees and sand box fights until I fell asleep.
I was in awe of much comfort and peace these two brought me. I wonder if they would have the same effect away from my waves. I’m not letting my guard down. This is just...well I don’t know exactly what this is. I simply know I feel comforted and safe. I felt as if ail of the emotions I had released that day were absorbed by not only my waves but these amazing men as well. They brought the same feelings to me as the waves before us.
As I thought about all of this I allowed their voices to lull me to sleep while they fought over who broke the sand box bucket when they were five. I can’t believe I fell asleep in public and felt completely safe and comfortable doing so.