33 | Love and Promises
Hi everyone, hope you all are well! Just a reminder that I am currently neck-deep in my third year of university and am busier than ever! On top of senior level English courses and essays (and having to read 13 novels by the end of November), I am also a student representative of the English department where I attend so I am, in fact, very busy. I was able to squeeze out a chapter before I became too flooded with work but I cannot guarantee that another chapter will be published until near the middle of December. So please bear with me. I understand how frustrating it is to wait weeks to months between updates but do know I take the opportunity to write whenever I am able to. Thank you for your patience and happy reading!
In addition, this chapter contains sexual content LOL love you guys <3.
We end up in the spare room, closing the door behind us quietly, still sneaking around in secret even in the absence of Terrence. We are both tired from our long nights, sleep a friend who we are not on the best of terms with. This room does not feel nearly as treacherous when Spencer fills it. Nothing awaits me in the corners or shadows. I can almost relax if it weren’t for trying to anticipate the return of Terrence and Lawrence. Spencer reassures me we have a few hours yet but I’m no longer fond of surprises.
It’s breezy outside, whispers of autumn slowly blowing in. The ambience of everything has changed, not entirely in lieu of last nights events. Autumn has always felt somber, somewhat shy in its sojourn. The air smells different, feels dry, encourages melancholy. It summons a visceral need for solitude in me like clockwork every year. This is the only year I don’t feel ready for its arrival. I will miss the green.
I open the window above the bed, letting in the cool air. I know Terrence will drive past this side of the house coming back. I’ll hear him. He won’t catch me off guard again.
Spencer and I crawl under the covers, leaving our clothes on. There is static between us but sex is in our periphery for now. We lay facing each other, not yet touching, just observing. Eyes grey like storm clouds become less appealing. I think of wet cement, pavement after rain, too much dust on a countertop. Leaves crackle outside, the wind tearing them from thin branches just to toss them carelessly to the ground. I feel a trickle across the bridge of my nose and when I touch a finger to it, it comes back glossy.
Spencer sets his hand on my cheek, thumbing the skin under my eye. I close them, blocking him out. I cannot look at him for some reason. My mind is playing games with me, trying to make him hideous, trying to sabotage our plans. I have doubts. Serious doubts. Running away and never turning back doesn’t seem as tempting now as it had moments ago. I feel just as scared of him as I feel safe with him. He will never hurt me the way he hurts others but that means nothing—not even if he never hurts anyone again.
“Penny for your thoughts?” he whispers playfully.
I muster a small smile.
“I’m sold out.”
“I know your contemplating face when I see it,” he prods. “what is it about my offer that bothers you?”
“Why do you assume its your offer I’m thinking about?” I dismiss.
“What else would you be contemplating?”
I sigh and open my eyes. They feel heavy without feeling tired. Spencer has come to know too much about me in the few weeks we have been around each other. You don’t have to contemplate things that are definite. Our underground plans are the only thing indefinite around here. I don’t like how he can read me so easily when I can’t read him at all.
“You’d be betraying Terrence,” I purse my lips. “Like how Beth did to me.”
“It’s different, Blythe. It’s entirely different. I don’t care about Terrence. I don’t, okay? You didn’t deserve what Beth did to you, and you don’t deserve to be under Terrence’s thumb because of her. Brother or not I can’t stand by and watch him benefit from Beth’s insufficiency at the cost of you.”
“That doesn’t mean we both have to run away,” I point out. “You can stay. You don’t have to get your hands dirty.”
“You make it seem like my hands are tied. Well, I’ll tell you something: they’re not. I don’t regret my offer nor do I have any desire to take it back. I want this, I want you. But if you don’t want me back then I need you to tell me so I can do what’s best for you. But that doesn’t change the fact that I want to help you.”
“Why do you even want to come with me?” I sit up. His hand falls from my face. “Why do you want to throw everything away?”
“You’re really going to make me say it, aren’t you?”
I furrow my brows.
“Make you say what?”
“Oh, Blythe,” he smiles, mirth in his eyes. Nickels, dimes, quarters—irises so bright, so shiny. “I can’t believe I have to spell it out for you.”
I feel heat gather in my cheeks.
“I love you, Blythe,” his expression softens. He’s candid, defenseless. “I really love you.”
My mouth opens to speak but no words come out. I start chewing my thumbnail, glancing anywhere but at Spencer. I believe he loves me in a version of his own otherwise he wouldn’t be willing to throw his life away. He sees something with me—or, at least, he’s blind to other fields. My heart spikes in beats, reaching a crescendo, and I throw the covers off of me in preparation of evading the situation. But Spencer, by nature, is quicker than I.
“No,” he croons, grabbing my hand. I halt. He releases my hand, sitting up just to wrap his arm around my shoulders and lower me back onto the pillow. My fingers rest on his chest with no urge to push him away. I am anxious. My eyes water and then I feel warm tendrils of rheum sidle down my temples. He kisses me as I blink. My eyes remain closed.
When he pulls away my breathing is labored. I am panicked. What he says scares me—terrifies me. To have feelings is one thing; care is a feeling and in that sense I have feelings for him too. But I do not feel love for him. What does it feel like to him? How had it felt when it arrived? How will it feel to him when it leaves? What he feels for me cannot last because it is unrequited. I cannot accept his help anymore.
“Y—you can’t,” I plead. The tears keep coming through my shut eyes. “You don’t know what you’re saying.”
“I don’t need you to love me back,” he says. He wipes my tears with his free hand. “For what I say to remain true. I promised to help you, whatever that looks like to you; whatever you need it to look like. I made a promise and I intend to keep it.”
“B—but running away together,” I blubber. I’m a mess. “That’s what you want and I don’t think we’re on the same page as to why. I don’t know why I agreed in the first place, I know what such a suggestion implied. I just—I just—"
He kisses me tenderly, silencing me, calming me. I want things to go back to where they were before we had sex, where we were confused but not complicated. The deterioration of everything is tangible. His confession only reminds me how bleak this situation is. Yet when he kisses me it puts a filter over everything that only lifts when he stops. I don’t love him and I don’t want to.
“It’s okay,” he whispers, caressing my cheek. I remember the first time I felt his calloused palm against my skin. How he kissed me soon thereafter. “We don’t have to run away together. I’ll take you as far as you’ll let me and no further if that’s what you want. I will not abandon you. I will not let you fight out of this alone any longer.”
“I don’t want you to love me,” I sob. I cover my face with my hands, blanketing his hand in the process. “I never meant to make you feel this way and—and I’m sorry. If I had known what I was doing I would have behaved differently around you. I’m so, so sorry. I’ve been so foolish. I—"
“Nothing you could have done would have stopped me from feeling what I do for you now,” his fingers brush the side of my neck through my hair. “It’s only been you and it will only ever be you. I’ve known for a while and I’m done trying to hide from it. Don’t feel guilty for something you had no control over, Blythe. I make no mistakes with how I feel for you.”
“Why did it happen?” I ask, shaking my head. “How did it happen?”
“The moment I realized I couldn’t wait for Terrence to leave so I could be alone with you was the moment I knew something was up—knew that something was happening. I fell in love with you so quickly I’m not even sure when it happened. But it happened because you are so effortlessly you. I love you because I love everything there is to you. And everything cannot be contained here any longer. It never should have been here in the first place.”
I remove my hands from my face.
“I may never love you back,” I whisper. I won’t ever love you back.
“I know, and I understand,” he nods with a small smile. I stare just above Spencer’s eyes at his eyebrows. “I knew the risk in falling in love with you. I don’t regret a second of it, but what I do regret is not treating you better. I wish I had offered to help you sooner. I wish I never would have agreed to keep you here.”
“Terrence is your brother at the end of the day,” I swallow even though my throat is dry.
“I just want,” he breathes, closing his eyes. I’m able to meet them when he opens them again. They’re glassy, somewhat pink. He’s emotional. “I just want you out of here. I want you to be happy. I want you to be free.”
He kisses me gingerly, desperately, breathing his life into my own. My fingers grab the collar of his shirt and his arm tightens around me. The butterflies have returned with a fury. My nose stings as I fight back emotions of my own. I don’t know what prompts my next actions but before I’m able to stop myself I’m lifting Spencer’s shirt over his head and he’s accommodating me. My hands roam his smooth, tanned skin, encouraged by the way his muscles coil against my touch.
He stops and gets up, telling me he will be a moment. I take off my clothes but leave my undergarments for him. He returns with a condom that he sets on the dresser. I expect him to pounce but instead he maunders. I undress him so he’s bare before me but he doesn’t tamper with my remnants of fabric right away. He takes me in first, staring down at me, tracing me with the tips of his fingers. Goosebumps emerge everywhere. There is more passion, more yearning. We want it all.
Spencer grabs the back of my neck with one hand and I arch my back as he reaches behind me to undo my bra. My breathing is heavy as he starts kissing me all over. My nipples are erect, sensitive as he presses them with his tongue. It doesn’t matter what Terrence has done or could have done. The wedge he had attempted to drive between us has failed.
Spencer removes my underwear, kissing me as he sets his finger against my ball of nerves. It feels so intimate this way, skin on skin and lips on lips. I wrap my arms around him, forcing him closer to me, elevating my knees. I feel his length against my thigh and I shudder with anticipation. It’s difficult to resist him when I’m enamored by everything save for his lifestyle. I try not to think too much of it until it begins distracting me.
He notices my absence, stopping to ask if I’m okay. The moment his voice resonates in my ears I’m brought back and I nod, motioning to the protection on the dresser. Wordlessly he opens the package and puts the condom on, about to resume, but I catch him off guard by flipping us around so I am on top. I stare down at him, hiding my winces as I lower myself onto his manhood. I take a deep breath as I hover over him, grabbing onto the headboard for support. He takes my breasts in his hands as I start moving.
I start slow, picking up only when I hear Spencer’s breath catch in his throat. My hair is everywhere—it’s getting too long. Spencer brushes it behind my back which I find myself grateful for. His pupils are wide, black, overtaking the grey in an inky flood. I can’t help but get lost in his depths, in his fervor. The more I wish things were different the faster my pace goes until I’m taking my anger out on him; my pain his reward.
Spencer rolls his head back, exposing his neck to me, the apple in his throat dancing to my rhythm. His fingers dig into my hips, certain to leave bruises, and I smile to myself. I close my eyes, content, navigating by feel in place of sight. It feels good for me and by Spencer’s moans it feels good for him too. Breathing, once easy, instead must be choked out in allotted spurts. His fingers start wandering—up, down, side to side. Chills erupt between my legs and I cry out.
His hands play music on my ribcage and I bite my lip, freedom behind my eyelids. I’m moving as fast as I can, swaying my hips, hardly able to control myself. I’ve lost myself in the moment. There’s electricity, heat, chills, galaxies everywhere. He loves me. He says he loves me. My knuckles turn white from how hard I grip the headboard. How can I make this room my own again?
Spencer’s hands are on my back, just below my shoulder blades. He takes me and throws me onto the mattress, finding his way back inside me quickly, and takes over. I gasp, eyes wide as he brings himself flush against me and cups the back of my head. I cling onto him for support, vision blurry as I stare at the ceiling. His breath is hot on my collarbone as he breathes heavily. He’s moving so fast. I can’t keep up. I moan, uninhibited.
“I love you,” he murmurs against me, kissing my protruding bone. I close my eyes as my chin wobbles. “I’m sorry. I love you.”
I wrap my legs around him as he finishes inside of me, continuing his pace until I am soon to follow. My nails dig into his soft flesh as we come down from our high. I try to be still but I begin sobbing with my whole body. I feel him throbbing inside me. The intimacy is too much. If Spencer never lived here we wouldn’t be in the proxy-war that we are.
“Do you want me to leave?” he asks.
I don’t answer for a few seconds. My initial answer would have been a hard yes but yet a yes refuses to pass my lips. I shake my head. Spencer pulls out, removing the protection and setting it on the wrapper on the dresser before laying down beside me. The tears won’t stop coming. I seek comfort from the very person who causes them. He can’t help what he feels. Neither can I.
I bury myself in Spencer’s chest. He hugs me to him in silence. I can’t stop crying. I don’t even know what has me so upset and watery anymore. I feel the comfort of the bedsheets, the tenderness in Spencer’s embrace, the coolness blowing in from the window. What will I even do without this place? Where will I go? I have fear that I’ve become dependent on the very place I want nothing to do with.
“The first time when we were alone and I asked you how you think all of this will end,” I ponder between hiccups. “Did you think it would end like this? With you wanting to help me?”
“No,” he says honestly. “I wanted to keep you here forever. I would have done anything to prevent you from leaving. Even two days ago it was different.”
“Love can’t allow me to be selfish anymore,” he rests his cheek atop my head. “I have loved you for a lot longer than I’ve realized. But now that I have realized it there’s no reason I should allow you to be kept here. I want to bring you back to the world. I want to give the world back to you.”
“I—I don’t know how to thank you,” I lift my face from his chest to look up at him. “I don’t know what to say.”
He presses a lingering kiss to my lips, cupping the back of my head, easing me the best way he knows how. My face naturally buries itself in his chest again. My eyes don’t stop leaking.
“Just let me hold you for a while,” he says.
And so I do. What else is there to do?
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