Disquieting. That was about the only word that Alex could think of reading her work. Referencing sex, sexuality. These were words better left for the dark, for the pin-up magazines. Quick thrills for the intellectual voyeur. What was she thinking? Had Paul’s death pushed her over the edge? Or was she talking of honest fantasies too brutal for blunt words?
A guilty death by his own hand. Did actually she wish Richard dead? Just what had he done to her? Perhaps Rory’s writings were true and Richard’s denials were false. That would be an interesting twist. He slipped the magazine into its plastic sleeve and added it to his collection. One more chance. Julie would want him to give her once more chance.
He’d sent her pink roses the morning after the scene at the club. It wasn’t like him to get so out of hand, nor was it like him to let a wrong go unaddressed. Yes, even though she didn’t acknowledge the apology, she still deserved one more chance. He fingered the bracelet, knowing he’d put it on her again. She deserved it.
His phone rang. Richard.
“Did you see it?”
“Isn’t this conversation getting a little old?” he asked, putting the bracelet back in its box. “Hello?”
Richard had hung up.
He doesn’t get it. Richard paced his studio, kicking at whatever might be in his way. He doesn’t get it. She’s free. She’s experimenting. She realizes that she isn’t a victim. But how could he expect Alex to understand? He still thought of her as something to own. To have.
Granted, he used to think she was writing about him. Maybe she still was. But she wasn’t a victim. The rape she was hinting at wasn’t what he’d done to her. The lovemaking she alluded to was what she wanted.
…to wrap themselves lustily around the man of my choosing…
Perhaps his favorite phrase in the whole piece. She was ready. She had healed. He was healing. He still needed to talk to her about Julie. Perhaps tonight. He’d drive over, knock on her door. How hard could it be?