Chapter 29: Darkness
"Going over to your place on our first night back together," joked Tanya teasingly. "Adam Park, you really have become quite the forward little fella."
"Hey, you're the one who said you wanted to see my apartment," replied Adam, defending himself as he flipped on the light to his place. "Well, here it is."
"I like what you've done with the place," admired Tanya as she looked around the tiny studio. "And way to stick true to your ranger roots!"
"I try," grinned Adam sheepishly at Tanya's mention of his black and green color scheme for his living room furnishings.
"Although your place seems strangely familiar," mused Tanya out loud, noticing Adam shift uncomfortably at her last words. "It's almost like I've been here before…"
Tanya's voice trailed off in discomfort when she realized she had been there before: it was the apartment she and Adam were to have shared together. The place they were going to live in as a couple before she had run off to New York City to record her album. The significance that Adam has still decided to take their old apartment suddenly hit Tanya.
"Why did you still want to live here?" asked Tanya quietly whose questioning was met with only silence from Adam. "You never really did move on from things between us, did you?" she pressed.
"Let's watch a movie," suggested Adam quickly, clearly eager to change the subject. "That is unless you have to get back to your hotel."
"Vincent is at some record producer's party tonight," replied Tanya. "So..."
"So good, we have time to watch a movie then," confirmed Adam, although it was clear to both of them time in front of the TV was not what he was excited about.
"How about this one?" suggested Tanya as she knelt by Adam's movie cabinet and pulled a tape out from his collection.
"The Bride of Hackensack," read Adam, a slow grin spreading across his face. "That's the movie that was on TV that time I feel asleep overnight in Angel Grove High Study Center."
"And you dreamed that I was the Bride of Hackensack," added Tanya, screwing up her face in mock anger.
"To which you said, 'I don't think being married to you Adam Park would be the worst thing in the world at all'," teased Adam before rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably in nervousness out of what he'd just said.
"Yeah, I do remember saying that," murmured Tanya, crossing her arms in her awkwardness.
"Let's try and watch the movie, shall we?" joshed Adam again as he sat down beside her on the couch.
But Adam could not even follow his own advice, finding it impossible to focus on the film when Tanya was taking away his all attention. Even as jolts of electricity brought the Bride of Hackensack to life on the TV screen, Adam was too distracted to notice as he obsessed to himself what Tanya was thinking about him. It was obvious from all amiable interaction throughout the evening that Tanya still cared about him as a friend, but Adam didn't dare kid himself that in Tanya there remained any romantic interest toward him.
Yet when Tanya during one of the scarier sections of the movie subconsciously leaned close to him, it was almost easy for Adam to pretend like nothing had ever changed between them as a couple. In the dark of the night, here they were snuggled in each other's arms just like back in high school when they had been so happy and so in love together. With Tanya leaning against his shoulder and her arm across his chest, Adam began to hope that movie almost would never end.
When the film did finally finish, Adam made no effort to rouse Tanya who remained wrapped in his embrace as he slowly stroked her arm. Adam wanted so bad to tell Tanya how much he still cared about her, but this simple show of affection was all his shyness would allow him. Just like his love toward Tanya had never faded, neither had his chronic lack of confidence around her.
Thus Adam did not want to leave the darkness which engulfed them. He knew the moment the lights came back on that they would both be forced to return the reality where she was the recording star and he was the simple stuntman instead where they could just be old Adam and Tanya. Starring at the light of the TV screen, Adam reflected in bittersweet contemplation on what he knew would likely be his last time with Tanya for a long while to come. Feeling Tanya finally shift inside his embrace, Adam turned to find eyes meet her warm chocolate ones at the exact same second. Their heads were suddenly so close together that Adam's heart skipped an anguished beat.
"It's getting late," said Tanya as her eyes – full of fear and confusion – scanned across Adam's face. "Vincent is probably wondering where I am."
"You're hair's all messed up," smiled Adam shyly as he pushed a long, brown lock back behind her ear. "You can't go back to Vinny like that."
Too timid to do anything more, Adam continued to push back Tanya's hair when he was suddenly surprised by Tanya's cheek falling into his hand. Rubbing his thumb across her warm skin, fire flowed through Adam's veins as he starred intently his love's face whose gaze did not meet his own. Slowly bringing Tanya's face to look at his, Adam felt his heart stop when her eyes finally met his.
"Adam…" whispered Tanya in the most timid voice he had ever heard her use.
For the first time, Adam realized, Tanya seemed unable to vocalize her feelings. Then noticed that Tanya did not seem totally ready for the night to end either. Suddenly Adam found himself hoping as he hadn't dared allowed himself to. Yet at that moment, Tanya's cell phone rang with a jarring jingle that shattered the moment between them.
"It's Vincent," said Tanya flatly as she checked her caller I.D.
"Oh," was all Adam could manage to say in his overwhelming disappointment.
"I have to go," gasped Tanya in a voice choked with pained emotion.
Adam felt his heart lurch as he watched Tanya fling herself from his arms and began hastily grabbing her belongs all while talking rapidly to Vincent on the phone. As she headed for the door, Adam's spirits sunk as he started to recognize that clearly she didn't still feel the same way about him after all. But then he remembered how long she had laid in his arms and that last moment when she had looked so desperately into his eyes.
"No, she does feel the same way about me!" Adam thought to himself as he fought against his every insecurity. "She just has to! I lost Tanya once, and I am NOT going to loose her again!"
"Wait, Tanya," murmured Adam as he seized her in his arms and cut her off mid-sentence to Vincent with a kiss hard on her lips.
Snapping her cell phone shut and throwing it on the floor, Adam grasped Tanya's back as he drew her fiercely against him. Running his hands over her arms and up through her hair, Adam cradled Tanya's head while continuing to kiss deeply every inch of her full lips and mouth. Adam felt Tanya stand stunned for a second before she responded by throwing her arms around his neck and kissing him breathtakingly back.
Stumbling backwards blinded by passion through the living room, Tanya collapsed on to the couch as Adam fell on top of her all while never letting his lips leave hers. Lightly running his fingertips up her legs, Adam's hand, finally finding Tanya's, clasped with hers tightly as the shared together the intensity of their emotions. Tanya moaned softly when Adam's lips left hers and began to leave a trail of kisses all the way down her neck, stopping when he the base of her chest.
Sitting up slightly, Adam questioning eyes left no doubt as to his desires, but the raw uncertainty and nervousness he felt. He and Tanya weren't kids anymore. They could take things further.
Adam only wanted to if Tanya was ready as well, and for a moment he thought she was having doubts as she stared at him with her big, brown eyes more wide-eyed than he had ever seen her. But as he saw her slowly lift her yellow, silk tank top over her head, Adam suddenly realized that perhaps she was as scarred as he was. They had been through a lot together, but never this.
Yet they both found their path decided for them as Tanya took off Adam's shirt and kissed her way up his chest and neck until she met his laps. Grapping his shoulders and pulling him back on top of her, Adam let his love for her show through as he kissed Tanya with every once of who he was. Adam knew actions they took tonight would have consequences once dawn came, but in the darkness he wanted this to be the only moment that mattered.