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Chapter 28 - Stillness

“This is it,” Alessio says as we enter the master bedroom of the villa he’s rented for the time being. It’s situated on a slope of a small mountain near town fifteen minutes away.

It’s spacious, informing me that it has six bathrooms and five bedrooms. It’s unneeded space but then again if I ever wanted to get away, all I would need to do is step into the next room.

My eyes roam over the walls that are painted a soft orange, the color reflects the warmth of the sun and illuminates the room even brighter. There’s a comfort in the atmosphere. The room holds simplicity that’s appealing, even the open brick balcony looks inviting.

Walking along the room my feet carry my to the bed that’s neatly made. The comforters are white as well as the pillows. Next to it is a bedside table that holds a silver watch and a pair of sunglasses. To my left is a large dark-brown dresser that’s connected to an equally large mirror.

My hands run along the smooth wood, trailing carefully over the colognes and accessories that are unorganized and are randomly placed on the surface. There’s an open space at the end of the room that looks to be a hallway but most likely opens up into the bathroom area. Paintings that span over my height are evenly placed on the walls. There all landscapes, images that I missed out on while sulking in the car.

“Is this your room?” My voice doesn’t sound like own.

Alessio takes a few steps my way and when I feel his presence behind me, I turn around to where we are almost chest to chest. “This is our room.”

Dryly I swallow at our closeness.

Of course it is.

My head tilts back a little, he’s too tall for my eyes to meet his. “Ours?” I don’t know why I’m asking. I heard what he said but maybe it’s because I’m in a daze and need clarity regardless of understanding what’s being said.

Alessio is patient with me as he recites his words again. “Yes, ours.” His face is free of stress but it’s easy to tell he has been stressing over these last few days. I know because I've seen my father do the exact same thing. Worry leaves its mark whether we want it to or not.

I just hope it’s not because of me.

If I feel this way I can only imagine how he feels, how amplified it must be in comparison.

“I know it’s not ideal, but this is all temporary.” I’m not sure what he’s referring to, the room or our situation? Whatever it is, I don’t really care. Overall I’m grateful, just not particularly right now and for that I feel selfish. “We’ll be departing back to New York in a few days.” My mind is drifting as he talks, focusing on his facial features and how his lips move.

Even upset I still feel greatly attracted to him.

I hate that I can’t be angry with him or my family because what they’re doing is for my safety. Yet at the same time, I shouldn’t have to feel bad for feeling the way I do, these are my emotions. Am I not human? Uprooting my entire life for things that they never told me about yet knew in advance makes me want to bang my head against a wall. I’ve never felt so strongly about something until now, I feel like I don’t even know who I am.

Letting out a frustrated groan, I walk away first. There’s a white ottoman bench at the end of the bed that matches the design of the comforters of the bed. Turning I sit on the bench and place my elbows on my knees. My head bows low and the inside of my palms try to rub the tiredness away from my eyes. The skin around the area still feels sensitive from earlier — tears are so useless sometimes.

I need to get out of these clothes, freshen up a bit. All that traveling has my backside sore and jeans feeling like a second layer of skin. I feel so worn down from these past events, there’s no way I have enough energy to unpack. All I want to do it close the curtains, flop down on the bed and sleep.

Alessio’s shoes come into view and I stop rubbing my eyes. When he kneels before me I see his hand slip underneath the ottoman and pull out a shoe box. “I had these made for you,” he softly tells me. “I know it’s not exactly the same, but I hope it’s somewhat acceptable...and will help make you feel more at home.”

Alessio holds out the box and I carefully take it. When I lift the cardboard top off my bottom lip starts to wobble. My hand reaches for what’s inside and I pull out a pair of bunny slippers that are almost a replica to the ones I already have but left back home.

He remembered.

He remembered something as silly and little as this, but something that I love and means so much to me. A piece of home that’s new and different in its own way.

My eyes start to water again and I let out a quiet sob. Great, now I’m going to be emotional all over again. The back of my hand covers my mouth to stop more of the sobs from coming out.

“What?” Alessio asks worriedly. “Is it the color?”

The color?

I laugh at that and the sobs simultaneously come out following a hiccup. I must look like a mess — not just now but in general. Today has been too much already but him being concerned that it’s the color that’s making me cry is obliviously sweet.

Why does he have to be so kind?

“No,” I sigh with a smile. “Thank you,” I tell him whilst hugging the slippers to my chest. “I think I needed this.” I really did. I’m grateful for what this gift has brought me.

In the midst of all this drama, I needed a break.

But did I have to bring something for him? Should I have? I know he said he did this to help me feel at ease here but now I feel bad for not giving him a something as generous as this. He really does deserve bunny slippers like this. I want him to experience the fuzzy warmth and safety they bring.

My spirit has been uplifted a bit.

Meeting his eyes are easy at this level. I feel like an equal to him now. “Do you have anywhere to be?” I hope he doesn’t. I want him to stay here with me so I won’t feel the effects of today and being alone, I need this distraction of someone I care about and I don’t want to push him away any further.

Loneliness and sadness don’t mix well, it’s a toxic poison.

“No.” Alessio offers me a small smile. His hand reaches out for mine and pulls one of them away from the slippers.

I look at our hands and how he simply holds mine. The sun has golden his skin a little darker, he now holds a tan that emphasizes the scars on the back of his hand. And as he runs his thumb up across my knuckles my chest starts to feel something strange.

Alessio opens his mouth to say something but the sound of a piercing ringtone cuts through our moment of silence. His other hand reaches inside his jean pocket to pull out his phone. “But I do have to take this.” His brows scrunch at the caller ID before he lightly sighs.

Having no choice but to nod, he responds, “It'll be quick.” My hand slips out of his and I frown. He’s not able to catch it though because he quickly turns around and walks to the door, stepping out and shutting it behind him.

His footsteps distance and the cellphone ringing stops. Assuming he’s now on the phone I push myself off the ottoman and lazily make my way to my suitcases that he’s placed in the corner of the room near the bed.

I’m not sure if it’s even a good idea to unpack at all, he did say we’d be here temporarily. Deciding to worry about it later, I pull one of my suitcases out of the corner and lie it on the floor. Unzipping the zipper the top flips open and I take out whatever my hand lands on first. I’m not too concerned on looking my best right now. Causal will do.

Unfolding the item I notice that it’s a baby blue dress with thin straps that I’ve picked out. I usually wear this for summer but given the climate here it’ll work just as fine.

Walking to the door I lock it just in case. Though Alessio is my husband, I find myself extremely embarrassing to be changing and risk having him walk in.

I quickly change near the door just in case he comes knocking. Sliding off my shoes and socks, I pull down my jeans and slip off my top. It feels liberating to finally get out of those. Now I know what’s appropriate attire for the airport and what's not. The dress slides on easily, it’s loose and I’m able to feel the breeze that passes through.

Gathering up the clothes, I fold it neatly and place it back in my suitcase in a section by itself. I’ll need to wash those when I can.

My bare feet lightly tap against the wooden floor as I go to unlock the door. Suddenly my mood switches when I remember the slippers. Walking to the box I placed on the bench, I open it up and take out the footwear. Slipping them on I notice that the material is quite different from my mine. There’s no arguing that it’s higher quality. Alessio really thought of getting the best for me didn’t he?

Making my way to the bed I sit down where I’m able to look out onto the balcony. I can hear the birds, water, and the village not too far away. It’s calming. My skin soaks up the heat that’s shining down on my bronze skin.

It’s the ocean that moves that’s sedating me. Lying down I lay my hands on my stomach and take in a deep breath, when I blow out, I let all my worries go for just a moment and focus on the sounds of nature.

This is what it must feel like, to let everything go and just — exist.

It’s like this for a while, me going in and out of consciousness.

Tranquility is something my mother talks about frequently. It was a thing she craved in her youth and found in my father. I guess peace can be anything you want it to be.

When the bed dips I flutter my eyes open and turn my head in the direction I felt it in. Alessio is sitting beside me, looking down.

He too looks at ease.

“You can sleep,” he whispers.

Have I lost track of time again?

I’m afraid that if I sleep I’ll wake up to no one because of how quickly time keeps on passing me whenever I close my eyes.

My hand moves from my stomach as I slide it to his hand that’s anchored to the bed. “Stay with me.” My tone matches his.

He looks beautiful with the light against his skin.

There’s serenity around us, It’s blissful.

Alessio gives me a half smile, the smile that I find one to be his own in his unique way. “I’ll stay.”

Finding the little strength I have I push myself up and move in to hug him. My arms wrap around his neck as my head places itself on his chest. “Thank you... for taking care of me.”

It’s good not to feel alone.

Alessio doesn’t move at first, maybe because my hug was so sudden. But I wanted him to know that I’m not taking what he’s doing for me for granted.

As I pull back he stops me, wrapping his arms around my waist quickly. His irises are so prominent right now, the way the sun shows off every aspect. It’s hard not to get lost in them.

We stay like this, just closely holding each other. His lips are parted and his breath gently hits my lips.

It’s tempting to kiss him, like when we did in the garden. I want to, but does he want me to? Assumptions aren’t always good, but then again maybe I’m just overthinking this. What do I do?

I move my head just a little closer, in hopes that he understands what I want.

Alessio responds by mimicking my actions. Slowly our noses touch and he nudges mine as he tilts his head. Taking the lead, he kisses me and I find relief that he does. Instantly I press my lips against his with a bit more force than he is.

His hands around my waist tighten as he flips us over and pushes me higher on the bed. Our lips are still locked, synchronizing as our pace slowly fastens.

The dress I’m wearing scrunches up as he hover between my thighs, his hands on my waist, moving higher. His fingertips are gentle as they trail up underneath my chest, it tickles and I smile into our kiss. My hands cup his face, I don’t want him to go anywhere, thinking that maybe if he’s in my hold he won’t pull away anymore.

Alessio’s tongue swipes at my lips before he goes back to kissing me and my thighs clench around his waist.

Something between my legs pulses, reminding me of what I felt before the first night Alessio had snuck into my house. For some reason it feels better than before. It aches but it’s a longing ache that feels better with him near that area.

The fingers underneath my chest move up and over between the valley my breast. His hand keeps moving until they stop at my neck where he cups it; not hurting me but if he wanted to, all he would need to do is squeeze to choke me. For some reason my thighs squeeze again at this action and I lift my thighs higher so I can feel him more.

Our kiss turns more passionate. I feel his mouth open more as his tongue pushes into my mouth. He’s so smooth and as he feels around the place between my legs becomes wet.

Alessio places his weight down almost completely on my lower half and unconsciously I let out a loud breathy moan as the wet spot gets heavier.

My eyes fly open, I never knew I could be so loud. Alessio moves his hand from my neck to my hip. He’s holding me down. The pressure is a little painful, but I don’t even get the chance to ask what he’s doing because he’s moving again and this time he thrusts his hips so deep into me that I feel the bed move.

I let out another moan and he covers it with his mouth. It’s aching even more between my legs so I drop them wider and place my hands on his hips. I want him to do it again, and he complies immediately without me having to say so.

When he grinds into me again I feel his bulge right there at my entrance. My face is on fire to think that I’m the cause of that, I can feel how hard it is. It’s a lot to bear, but I still want more.

“Alessio please,” I breathlessly say as I pull away from the kiss. We look at each other in silence. Our chest heaving and our breaths come out harsh. His eyes roam over my face and when I let out a whine he smally laughs.

Why is he laughing at me?!

“What do you want, Cherry?” His forehead touches mine as he rests for a moment.

What do I want? More of what he was giving him!

I pout but tuck my lip back in as I think back to when I had try touching myself. I remember that it didn’t really work because I couldn’t get pass that it was me doing it and not him.

Would he do it for me now?

Could I handle him doing something as intense as that. Would it be too much that I’m asking for?

Shyly I whimper with as stutter, “t-touch me,” and draw my eyes elsewhere before they close. My cheeks are on fire from embarrassment but right now I need him more than ever.

Alessio takes the initiative to connect our lips together and I don’t know whether that means he won’t or will. His hips leave mine and the loss has me panicking that I’ll be left unsatisfied. That is until I feel his fingertips on the softness of my inner thighs. A gasp comes out as I feel them wandering and creeping up to the place that’s aching. My legs tremble, anticipating but nervous of how it’ll feel.

When I feel one of his fingers touch the cotton of my underwear, just on the outside of my hole, I flinch. My arms wrap around his neck as I bring our lips together even more so. It’s almost bruising and I think I’m doing it out of nervousness.

Alessio catches on and stops what he’s doing. Comforting me, he kisses my nose and moves to both my cheeks. When the tension starts to leave he goes back to my lips before moving the fabric to the side.

His fingers are there, feeling around. My chest presses against his, arching off the bed as he touches something that makes me sigh. It’s sensitive and when he slightly tugs it I squeal.

I try not to open my eyes, I think I’ll faint because of what I’ll see. Alessio’s hands between my legs is too much for my poor heart. Instead I just let him feel and keep to myself, but when his finger goes back to the hole that he was touching I rip away from our kiss and groan. It’s too sensitive there.

“Alessio!” I feel his hand rest on my forehead and my eyes open to his. Deeply I stare into his as his finger begins to circle around the hole. The sensation makes my mouth drop open and lift my hips off the bed. My bare feet dig into the bed as I raise higher. I want to squirm against his touch but it’s getting harder not to do so. “Alessio!” I recite his name.

My thighs shake as he continues to circle around the edge, not going in just yet. It’s driving me crazy that he’s just feeling and I can feel the warm fluids dripping down onto my backside.

Finally he stops, and when he edges a finger in my eyes go wide. Staring up at him, he leans down and kisses my lips once before pressing in.

I feel everything — his finger sliding inside me.

It’s like I’m too tight to take it in though, but I try to relax. I heard that it hurts more if you don’t. Whatever the answer may be, I try to spread myself more and wait for his whole finger to slide in. As it does my mouth remains slightly open, breathing hard. When his finger is all the way inside, he curls it upwards and I convulse, moaning then shutting my mouth, looking at him bewildered.

What was that?

A devious yet playful grin spreads across Alessio’s face. “Found it.”

Found what?!

What does he know that I don’t?!

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