My entire body ached up and down right now because of the fact that I had just lied to Belle. It was the first time that I had ever lied to her about anything this major. Telling her that I was alright when I was the farthest thing from it. I could even see the way that she had been looking right through me, as though she could read into the very depths of my soul. Perhaps she could see that I had tainted myself. I deserved whatever wrath that came down on me because of what I had done with Anna. But I felt relief when she had said she wanted to rest. It gave me a bit of an escape from thinking about it. I wanted time to bury the reasoning behind sleeping with Anna.
I had to admit she was attractive like my Belle, but I would never choose to be with her. Not just because she was my sister’s best friend, but because I loved Belle. Belle had etched her name into my heart, and she was who I belonged to. She belonged to me, as I did to her, and no matter how much trauma my brain had endured the piece of me that loved my sister still remained. The asylum had buried that side of me, but she had unveiled it once again.
It was why I am completely unable to get over what I did last night. I couldn’t tell her, but I also couldn’t shake the burning sensation in the pit of my stomach that reminded me how fucked up it was that I had touched Anna.
Taking Belle’s seat at the table, I stared down at my hands, trying my hardest not to think about it, but I couldn’t get it off my mind. Flashes from the night before were swarming through my brain. Kisses, and touches between Anna and myself. All things I could never take back; never erase. And I knew how the knowledge of last night would break Belle’s heart if she ever were to find out. I don’t know if she ever would, but I prayed that she didn’t. The scent of Anna’s skin had remained lingering on me, and I could still feel the intense scrubbing I had forced upon my skin in an attempt to erase any and all trace of Anna.
I was continuing to think about it all when I heard a small voice from beside me on the kitchen chair.
“Daddy?” Peaking up at me with rounded orbs, was Anya, so beautifully dressed in her yellow-flowered dress, and I forced a smile on my lips.
“Yes, my Anya?” I mused.
“I want to stay in here with you.” She stretched her arms up towards me, and I leaned down, and scooped her into my arms, planting her on my hip with ease.
“Now why would you want to do that, when there is a perfectly good day outside, waiting for you?” I questioned forcing my tone to be light.
“It’s cold out, Daddy. And I want to be inside with you.” She buried her face in the side of my neck, whilst I held her close. Being a father was so much different than I dreamed it would be. Having little kids that relied on both myself, and Belle felt so strange. I always felt as though I would make a misstep, and they would see me as the damaged, and broken fool that I was.
What would they think if they ever found out what I did with Anna? What would my Belle? Stroking my little girl’s hair, I finally gave in, and moved to sit down on the couch, propping her on my lap. She wasn’t wrong about the cold, it was spreading throughout the house, and the thermostat was coming on constantly to counter it. The snow would be upon us very soon, and her siblings were all bundled up in thick coats, and pants. She had been too, but had pulled off her jacket, and left it by the door.
Leaning down I gave her cheek a gentle kiss, and she giggled. “Alright then, Princess. You can stay inside with me. It is kind of cold.” I agreed with her, and she beamed at me.
It was decided after a few minutes that we would watch a bit of television, and she curled up on my lap whilst I turned on the Disney Channel. It had been years since I used to watch this channel with Belle, and I remember that she used to curl up on me in the same exact manner. She would curl her little feet up, and dig them into my pants for warmth, and tuck her head against my chest. Little Anya seemed to do the same out of natural instinct. The hours went by, and soon my other children were joining us, coming inside, and out of the cold, whilst Belle slept upstairs.
I had the entire day to think about my guilt, and to wallow in it. There was severe pain whenever I thought about the various things that I had done throughout the years to hurt Belle. I finally decided that I would never tell her about Anna. What we did was disgusting, and wrong. No better than the fact that I already slept with my sister. I had never cheated before, and I had this awful foreboding feeling about the entire thing.
As the hours ticked on I fed the children lunch, and then dinner. Realizing that Belle still wasn’t out of bed yet. I finished cleaning up the dishes, and put them in the dishwasher before I put each of the children to bed. Tucking them in, and reading to them. Each wanted a hug, and kiss, before finally settling in to sleep.
I realized that she wasn’t getting any better, or able to heal from the death of her beloved Cooper. So it was up to me, to finally get her out of herself. Just as I had returned her from the brink of insanity the night he passed, I would have to bring her back to me, again. Only this time I needed her to forgive me. Forgive me for ruining the peaceful funeral that was meant to honor our dead son. And most of all I needed her to be mine again. To come back fully, and I couldn’t let her remain this shell of a being she currently was now.
Stepping into the bedroom we shared, I moved to sit alongside her sleeping frame on the bed, noticing the intake, and outtake of every shallow breath. Listening to it soundlessly for a few moments in the dark. Then I reached up to trace a few locks of her hair behind her ear, and my eyes settled tenderly on her frame. How would I ever forgive myself if she found out about my transgressions? Would she even forgive me for the weaknesses I have shown?
Leaning down I pressed my lips to hers, delicately. She stirred for a moment, before her eyes peaked open. Confusion seemed to settle in her hues, before realization. “Eli…” She mumbled, and I nodded with a heavy smile.
“I want you to come with me.” I whispered, witnessing her confusion with my own eyes.
“Where?” She questioned, but I only stood from the bed, and extended my hand down to her.
She was curious, and I helped her to her feet. Her royal-blue nightgown flowing down her thighs, as I moved to help her into a robe. It would be cold outside, but I knew what I needed to do. How I could revive what we had prior to Cooper’s death, and the disastrous funeral. Sliding my hands up I cupped her cheeks, and peered into her beautiful hues.
“Shh. Just come.” I whispered, and kissed her lips, before guiding her towards the bedroom door, stepping softly from our bedroom, I helped her down the stairs, grabbing my coat from the closet, I slid it onto my shoulders, before sliding Belle’s into place on hers.
I helped her into her shoes, and put my own feet inside of my own. I steered her out of the door, down the sidewalk, and towards the woods. “Eli….” She knew where I was taking her.
“Come on.” I offered her my arm, and she coiled hers around it, as I walked all the way to our field in silence.
She stood in the center as I turned around, and cupped her cheek. “Why did you bring me here?” She asked me, with a hollowness to her tone, as though it was torture to merely be standing here with me, and perhaps it was. The memories that littered our special field would always be mixed with both the good, and the bad. We had brought our children here, watched as Cooper had laughed, and played here with his siblings, and Belle hadn’t returned with me since.
She was standing with tears streaming down her cheeks, and staring around in the darkness with a lost look upon her face. “Because this is where Cooper is.”
She stared at me her mouth agape, and clearly highly speechless. Her eyes were pained as she observed the area, and I noticed each of the tears that poured down her cheeks. “He isn’t….he can’t be…” She whispered, and I lifted one of my hands to stroke the soft skin upon her cheek, yearning for her to find comfort in my touch again. The way she used to. She leaned into the touch, and I wiped further tears that transpired.
“He is. And whenever you want to see him, this is where he will be. Eternally.” I belayed to her, stepping closer until my frame was firmly against hers, and there wasn’t a space between us.
I could hear the sound of her breathing, and it was heavy in the air, and her tears were all that remained of her grief, of the moments that could never be fully repaired, by anyone. I touched her softly, sliding my hands beneath the heavy coat, rubbing her sides, with my hands, as I gave her an encouraging expression.
“Eli….” Was all she could manage, and I leaned down to kiss her lips, wanting to take away any semblance of her pain. The traces that had seeped beneath her skin, and now lingered there for all to see. I wanted to make her better, and it was selfish, but I wanted to be with her in order to take away the toiling memories of Anna.
“Let me make it better…Like I used to. Like I should have…always done. I shouldn’t have ruined the funeral—“
“Eli you don’t have to—“
“I do though. It wasn’t right. Our son is gone…and I ruined your moment to say goodbye.” I admitted.
“You didn’t ruin anything…his death…it destroyed me, and would have either way. I know I have been awful to you. It wasn’t because of the funeral…I just…Eli—“
I didn’t wait to see what she would say, before I leaned in to kiss her lips. It wasn’t but a moment before we were falling into old patterns. I shed off my thick coat, and she did the same with hers. Before I could register what was happening she was unbuckling my jeans, and peeling them down my thighs. Pushing me back onto the grass, before she straddled me. Her lips meshed with mine again, and I whimpered for her as I felt my prick already stiffening against my boxers. All I could manage was to peel off her clothes in turn, leaving her naked in the moonlight.
Her skin was glistening, and in the cold air her nipples puckered, but neither of us seemed to notice the cold air. We were losing ourselves to the moment as we always did. My clothes were shed, and we were both left naked as the day we were born. Pulling me on top of her, she reached between our frames, and guided my manhood inside of her.
It felt like sheer bliss to finally know the inside of her walls after so many weeks of being denied her love, and warmth. I was moaning in an instant, and kissing her with fervor as she coaxed me to pick up the pace, and dragged her nails down my arms.
“Oh Belle…baby I have missed you.” I found myself whispering against her ear, before thrusting more heavily inside of her.
“I know, I have missed you too.” She moaned out for me, and I came for her, feeling my warm sticky seed spilling out of me, I clung to her. I swore that I had never came this hard prior to now. All I could do was lie against her, spent, and exhausted.
Several minutes passed, and I eventually pulled out of her, laying alongside her, listening to her steady breathing, and the beating of her heart. I could see her breath against the cold night air, and goose bumps were now rising on her skin, since she had finally calmed down enough to steady her heart rate.
Without even thinking about it, I draped one of our thick coats over her midriff, up to just above her breasts, and she cuddled into my skin, drinking in my scent. I smelled like her, and she like me. She was silent for a long moment, before tears started to stream down her cheeks. I froze.
Had it been too soon? Was forcing her to sleep with me…to fall back into bed with me…too soon? I lifted my hand to begin wiping her tears, and I spoke softly to her, beginning to panic a little bit. “I…did I do something? Belle? What is wrong?”
She only sobbed harder, and pushed her face into the line of my neck, before finally she pulled back, and wiped her eyes. I swallowed thickly, and stared at her. “Belle?” I pried softly, eyes wide with fright.
“I’m pregnant again, Eli…I am going to have your baby.”
One blink. A flinch, and then a gasp.
And time stopped.