Igniting Blaze

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Chapter 17

The garden luncheon was a long affair. She was exhausted by the time it was over. Drew had been in a bad mood and had sent her weather warnings left, right, and centre as he sulked. It was exhausting and did little to prove to her that he was sincere in his proposal, not that she would have considered it even if he was. He was behaving like a morose teenager, but that wasn’t the reason why she wouldn’t marry him. As messed up as he was, that was just one part of him, and if she loved him, then she had to accept him as he was.

She did love him. She wasn’t experienced in this, but that didn’t make what she felt for him false. He was the sunshine, and she knew that without him her world would be dark.

However, love wasn’t a word she should have thrown around, especially with Drew. She would have preferred to leave that declaration to a more appropriate time. She wanted him to know that when she said it, it was from her heart. But, given what he was doing to her, she couldn’t stop herself from bleating it out. She’d been so desperate for an orgasm she’d have probably agreed to marry him if he’d asked.

They had made love and in doing that she’d pushed their relationship onto a new level. He now expected more from her and wasn’t hiding his devotion to her. All the insecurities she’d previously had meant little now. She knew that he was committed to her and wouldn’t leave her. Drew was hers and now he’d asked her to make that official with a ring. He was expecting her to take his proposal seriously. He was in love with her, she accepted that, just as she was coming to accept that there was only one thing that could destroy everything.

The issue, for her, wasn’t his temper tantrums. It had more to do with Kay. She cringed just thinking that name. She’d seen his face every time he’d mentioned her, and she knew that he wasn’t over her. He might not be still in love with Kay, but he hadn’t moved past her either. He was stuck on her, and everything since that time hadn’t shifted him forward. She was like an open wound.

She’d asked about his past girlfriends for that reason. She’d heard Mark referring to him ‘going-all-Drew’ over her. It didn’t take a degree in rocket science to work out what that meant. She was willing to bet that every woman, he’d been with since Kay, he’d fallen in love with and tried to recreate the same relationship as he’d had with Kay. He would have gone from one to the next desperately searching for the same feeling as he’d had with the only woman who he felt had genuinely loved him.

She didn’t doubt that he was in love with her, she just wasn’t sure it was true love. She was starting to think that Kay had corrupted his understanding of love and he’d never be able to experience it unless he found a way to let Kay go. She hated suspecting this. She wanted him to be in love with her. But she’d listened to his confession, observed him, and she’d seen nothing that had changed that impression.

Now she had to decide what to do about it. There was the temptation to ignore it. To love him and live with him in the hope that she was wrong. Maybe in time, if she loved him enough, the wound would heal, his love would prove genuine, and they would be happy. But that wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t her, either. She loved him too much, and it wasn’t fair on either of them to ignore her suspicions.

She had told him that she would do what she could to make this relationship to work. And she’d meant that. She had to find a way to help him get past the hurt that Kay had done to him. That was her definition of making-this-relationship-work. Once she’d cured him, he’d be free to love her, and then they could be together without anything holding them back. But first, she had to do what she’d promised and find a way to get him past this blockage.

She knew he was angry because she hadn’t jumped into his arms and declared herself to him. A marriage, under these circumstances, wouldn’t help. And yes, he was right, she’d have to make a decision about her job. She’d heard his reasoning, and it had made sense, she couldn’t abandon him, isolate herself in Trenton, and let him travel the country without her. They’d never survive that. But, before she resigned from her only source of income, she had to be sure of his motivations.

She needed to know he’d moved on, forgiven Kay and himself for everything that happened, and it was laid to rest. But how did she accomplish that? What gauge, indicator or meter did she have that would show her that he was over Kay? It wasn’t something she could easily measure. She wanted to say that time would tell, but she didn’t have that luxury. She needed to be sure that he could do that before she walked away from her job on Tuesday.

She watched him sitting next to her in the taxi. She could guess what was in store for her when they arrived back at the apartment. He’d already tried to lift her dress whenever he thought they weren’t being watched and her refusals had compounded his poor mood. She was guessing that he was feeling a little insecure and he’d want to reassert his caveman like dominance over her as soon as the apartment door was closed.

It was inevitable, and she was prepared for it. She loved him, and if that was what he needed, then she would allow him that. He shouldn’t be here, with her, the others went straight to the theatre in preparation of the show tonight. But, highlighting his insecurities, Drew had bluntly declared that he’d take her home first. And she hadn’t disagreed.

She was relieved that he wasn’t expecting her to sit backstage during the final performance, as Belinda wasn’t planning on being there, and she’d feel uncomfortable and in the way. And she was looking forward to an evening by herself. She needed the time to think things through.

The taxi drew up outside the apartment block. She turned to him, about to suggest that he continue his journey without getting out, but his face told her that wasn’t going to be how this worked. She’d silently accepted her fate as he took her hand and almost dragged her to the lift.

“Drew,” she decided that she needed to try to placate him, “I know you’re angry with me. Can we please talk?”

“Why?” he turned on her, “Are you leaving me, Jen?”

“No,” she grimaced knowing what his next question would be.

“What about on Monday?” he shot back, “Is that the day you’ll leave me? Are you going back to Trenton? Because if you do that, you might as well be leaving me.”

“I don’t know,” she mumbled, “You’re asking me to give up my job, my flat and my independence. I can’t make that decision in five minutes.”

“How long do you need Jen,” his voice shook, “Because Monday’s coming up fast. Are you going to give me any notice before you walk out on me?”

“Don’t,” she started but stopped, she didn’t want to promise him anything, “Please Drew, don’t be angry.”

“I can’t help it,” he took her hand back in his as the lift opened, “You’re driving me crazy.”

The apartment door was barely closed when he spun himself onto her. He kissed her hard with unforgiving kisses. His hands yanked the dress upwards and ripped the underwear and pantyhose from her. He pushed her against the wall as he freed himself from his dress pants.

“Do you want me to stop?” he growled, “You’ve pushed me away ever since I proposed to you this morning, if you don’t want me then I’ll leave now and not expect to find you here when I come home.”

“Drew,” she bit her bruised lip, “I do love you.”

That seemed to enough for him as he sent himself upwards and into her, he closed his eyes as he stood there impaled on her. He just breathed. Then when he opened his eyes, they were glazed with moisture.

“I need you, Jen,” his voice pleaded, “Don’t go.”

She cupped his face in her hands and kissed him instead of replying. His arms tightened around her as he carried her to the bed, still encased within her. They fell to the mattress as he made love to her. The dress ended up on the floor as he pulled it off her without utilising the zip. It was floral, she didn’t care. The buttons on his shirt fired off in all directions as it joined the dress.

He kissed her, avoiding her bruised lips as he sucked on a spot just under her collarbone. His face on her chest, he sat bending his legs underneath him as he sat on his heels and bounced her on his lap in the middle of the bed. His teeth nipped at the spot he was kissing as she held onto him. Her knees weren’t on the bed as he bobbed himself while he dragged her up and down. She had no control. She was at his mercy as he set the pace and the direction of movement.

His mouth sucked hard on the same place he’d been working on, pulling the skin out as he drew his head away. Then he released her and smiled looking at her chest, but before she could look, his head was back and kissing her. This time he latched onto the soft skin at the top of her breast. She had no choice but to bend to him as he rocked on his knees bucking her up and down while he bit her.

She climaxed hard and fast. While she was still buzzing with pleasure, he pushed her backwards, and she landed on her back, her head on the pillows. He balanced himself over her as he pushed her legs up, spreading her out. Her knees were up at her elbows as he admired the view. He sat back and watched as his erection sank in and out of her splayed open private parts. She felt the cool air hitting her clitoris as he used his fingers to ensure that he had full access to all of her.

With each withdrawal he did something to her with his fingers and then when he dropped himself deep, he rotated himself so that he ground himself against all her exposed parts. It was almost instantly too much for her, and she found herself jolting with another climax.

He didn’t last much longer. He rammed himself down into her and growled her name as he released himself. Her hips tilted forward she felt him filling her.

“Promise me again,” he groaned as he stayed deep within her, “Tell me you love me?”

“I love you, Drew,” she watched his face relax.

“Don’t leave me, Jen,” he whispered his plea again, “I don’t think I’d survive losing you.”

She nodded but didn’t answer him. She didn’t know how to reply without repeating everything she’d already said. And she felt the weight of his final declaration.

He fell back to the bed and turned to her, his hands and his eyes memorising her skin. He smiled as his fingers circling two places on her chest. She pushed her head up to looked down and found two red welts on her skin. They were roughly circular and, although the skin wasn’t broken, they were tender to the touch.

“What are those?” she looked up at him.

“I believe they’re called love-bites,” his eyes lifted to her, “They aren’t permanent, but they should bruise up nicely.”

“Is this your idea of branding me?” she touched one and grimaced.

“Yes,” he looked at her seriously, “You are mine, and I don’t want you to ever leave.”

“I’m not, but you should be,” she pushed herself up onto her elbows, “You’re running late Drew.”

To emphasise this fact his phone started ringing. It must have still been in his pants pocket which was somewhere over near the door. He looked in that direction, then turned back to her, then back at the phone.

“I will be here when you get home,” she smiled as his obvious dilemma, “I’ll be waiting here.”

“Once more?” he suggested hopefully, “One more for the road?”

“You need to shower and dress,” she laughed at his eagerness.

“I hate leaving you,” he sneered as he looked at the time, “I’ll shower when I get there. I won’t make it on time otherwise.”

“You aren’t leaving me,” she clarified, “We might be parting but you will be returning, and I will be here when you get back. I’m going to work out something Drew. I do want to be with you, I just have to find a way that makes us both happy.”

“I was serious about marrying you,” he got off the bed, ignored the phone, and found a new shirt, “We’re making love like husband and wife, why not make it official?”

“I said I’d think about it,” she watched his eyes centre on her, “Marriage isn’t something I want to rush into. I don’t think that I’m ready for that yet. I want to date you for longer, before we become married and boring.”

“Trust me, the sex we have could never be boring,” his eyes drifted down her naked figure.

“Yeah,” she laughed, “But that doesn’t mean I’m ready for that. I’m not a believer in divorce, so when I marry, I’m got to be sure that we’re going to be happy for forever.”

“What are we going to do about next week then?” he asked as he tried to do up his trousers without his erection getting caught in the zipper.

“I’ll find a way,” was all she could say, “You might have to compromise something. You can’t expect me to give up everything without making any sacrifices yourself.”

“As long as that sacrifice doesn’t involve forfeiting time spent with you,” he grumbled.

“Go,” she pointed at the door, as his phone started to ring again, “Have fun, and I’ll see you went you get home. You’ll find me waiting right here.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” he took a long look at her as he pulled on his coat, “And I expect you dressed as you are too.”

“You’d better go before Sam has a fit,” she laughed as the phone seemed to sound louder and angrier than before, “And you can’t dance with that, so think about something other than me waiting naked in bed.”

“Are you sure that I have to go?” he looked up from his tenting pants to her.

“Bye, Drew,” she laughed as she waved, “I love you, hurry home.”

She heard him answer the phone as the door closed. Sam’s voice yelling down the line. He was in trouble.

She poured a bath added bubbles and then submerged herself. She’d been in heels again today, not stilettos, but her feet still hurt. She longed for her work boots, thick socks, and some comfortable trousers. It then occurred to her that if she stayed with Drew, this would be what her life would become. She’d be traipsing to endless events, accompanying him to ceremonies, and she’d be part of the entourage at concerts. Being with him would mean that she’d have to wave goodbye to comfortable footwear.

She lay back and closed her eyes. She’d make that sacrifice for him. She just had to convince him to give up on Kay. When it came down to it, that was her stumbling block. If he was still in love with her, then this was doomed to fail. She had to think of a way for him to put that relationship to rest.

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