Perion went directly to Lein’s, exactly where Blaine said she’d go. She needed to see Lein, to discover if there was anything between them other than sex.
Lein opened the door to Perion, not expecting her to return so suddenly, but pleased to see her all the same. However, his happiness quickly dissolved into concern as he realized that something was definitely wrong. She had obviously been crying, and he could see a suitcase at her feet.
She said nothing to him, not a single sound came out of her mouth. Instead, she wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him hungrily. Startled, Lein didn’t respond for a few seconds. However, soon enough, he took her into his arms and returned her kiss just as hungrily.
In relatively short order, Perion was inside and leading Lein up to his bedroom. She did not really think about what she was doing. She didn’t actually know what she had set out to accomplish. The only thing she did know was that she wanted Lein to take her to his bed and make love to her, even if it was for the last time.
It did feel like the last time. She thought that Lein might have sensed that as well. He was particularly gentle and gave more than he received. He was always a considerate lover, but that night, he was even more so. But he also knew she had had a very rough fight with Blaine, and he was trying to do what he could to make it better.
When Lein came deeply inside her, she began to cry. He slowly withdrew from her, and allowed his lips to kiss away her falling tears. He held her close to his body as she cried, but didn’t let go even after she had cried herself to sleep. He had again been tempted to tell her he loved her. He didn’t. The timing did not seem right. He didn’t realize it was what Perion needed to hear.
Toward dawn, Perion awoke. Lein’s arms were still about her. She could see that he was deeply asleep. For an undetermined amount of time, she gazed at his calmly sleeping face. She felt the greatest urge to run her finger over his lips. She resisted, but only because he might awake. Perion loved him so very much, but she knew her options were few. She had to end it, while she still had a little sanity left.
She carefully slipped out of her lover’s embrace and gathered up her clothing. Before locking herself in the bathroom, she grabbed Lein’s cordless phone. Once in the bathroom, she hastily dressed herself and phoned for a taxi. When she came out, Lein was awake and sitting up in bed.
At the sight of her, he ran his hand through his hair. He was confused. She was fully dressed and had nonchalantly pulled all her hair over one shoulder. It was as if she were sneaking out. There was no longer a need for her to do that.
“Perion, what are you doing,” he asked.
Perion averted his gaze. She couldn’t yet look at him. “Getting myself together once and for all,” she said cryptically. “I left Blaine.”
He nodded. “Yeah, I assumed that.” Then carefully he asked, “Babe, why won’t you look at me? What’s going on?”
“I can’t look at you because this is hard, and I’m hurting,” she said softly.
Lein didn’t quite understand. He thought she was talking about Blaine. “Of course you’re hurting. Come over here and we can talk about it.”
She still would not look at him. “You don’t understand. I’m not talking about Blaine, Lein. I’m talking about us.”
“You’re hurting because of us? You’re right, I don’t understand. What are you saying? Please look at me.”
She turned and looked at him. It killed her to feel so used by a man she loved so deeply. She wanted to hurt him back. “I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t think you would have any trouble finding a woman willing to fuck you. There are dozens of them out there, and they would probably kill for a chance to go to bed with you. I suppose I’m just convenient. Is that it?”
Lein, unprepared for attack, simply gaped at her. “Perion, I don’t know what just happened between you and Blaine, but I know I didn’t deserve that shot.” He made a move toward getting out of bed.
Perion retreated a bit. “Don’t get up or I’ll leave right now.”
He stopped and settled himself back on the bed. “Perion, would you talk to me? What’s going on? Help me understand.”
She ignored his comments. “What are we doing, Lein? Are we having a relationship,” she spat out mockingly. Without waiting for him to respond, she continued, “No, I don’t think we are at all. We’re simply screwing around, aren’t we? You fuck me, you use me, and I let it happen repeatedly.”
Lein was experiencing a stunned kind of shock. “Perion, that’s not true,” he said carefully. “You know that.”
“No Lein, I don’t know. How am I supposed to know?”
Because I fucking love you, he thought. He pushed the thought aside. She wasn’t thinking clearly, so he redirected his thoughts. “Does this have to do with Blaine? There’s no truth to anything he says about me or us.”
“This has very little to do with Blaine. I’m not simply his puppet, something of which he can plant ideas. All bullshit aside, Lein, we’re dedicated to screwing each other until you get tired of me. After that, you’ll move on, and I’ll stagnate. We’re just having sex, Lein. There is nothing else going on, not for you. I thought something was there, something more, but I suppose I was wrong. I can’t believe I actually thought I meant something to you. I must be a total daydreaming idiot.”
Lein was absolutely horrified. He had never suspected she felt so used. He loved her, but had literally broken her heart. He felt lower than scum. “Perion,” he said when he could finally speak, “you’re upset, rightfully so, and you really don’t know what you’re saying. You’re not just someone whom I fuck and drop. I never ever wanted that from you. You mean a lot to me, you don’t realize how much.”
She moved toward the bedroom door. She then turned to look at him. “I don’t believe you,” she said simply, tears streaking down her face. “I came here tonight because I needed you. You made love to me, but did it mean anything to you? It meant everything to me. Each time you’ve made love to me, it meant something.”
“Perion, please,” he began.
Before he could say another word, she held up her hand. ”No. Don’t speak to me; let me finish. You’ve never said you love me, never said you wanted any more than a good lay every now and then. You never said anything. I love you, Lein, but it’s obvious you don’t love me. I fell hard, but I’ve always ended up falling hard for shits. I guess it’s something in my fucking genes,” she said, laughing and crying at the same time.
Lein found his voice again, ”You love me? Perion, I didn’t know you felt that way. I…”
Sobbing, she shook her head. “No more, Lein, no more.” Below the bedroom, she heard the taxi honking. “It’s over, Lein. I never want to see you again.”
With that, she opened the bedroom door and fled down the stairs.
Lein took action. He jumped out of bed and struggled into a pair of jeans. He ran down the stairs and threw open the front door. He was too late. All he could see was the flickering of the taxi’s taillights.
He ran back toward the house to get dressed, he had to go after her. After he’d gone inside and up to his bedroom, someone rang the doorbell, literally leaning on it. His heart began beating hard, he hoped Perion had returned.
Lein ran downstairs toward the foyer. He threw the door open, which was his mistake. The moment he had the door open, a fist shot out and connected with his eye. The unexpected punch sent him flying backward against a table, where his body knocked over several unidentifiable objects. It was at that point he saw a tall, lanky man stalk angrily inside his home. It was Blaine, Blaine fucking Marion. He had no time to fuck around with him; he had to go after his love.
Blaine’s eyes blazed with a fury Lein had never seen. They conveyed how enraged he was about losing his meal ticket. That sight alone disgusted Lein so much that he went into his own flying rage. They punched, kicked, and brutalized one another until Lein had Blaine down on the floor slamming his head repeatedly against the hardwood.
In between the head raps, Blaine was speaking. Lein could not understand him. After awhile, Blaine began to shout his words: “Not gonna see her again. Gone, she’s gone!”
Lein stopped his relentless slamming and looked down into the bruised, bloodied face of the screaming punk. “What the fuck are you saying asshole?”
“You fucker, I said you’re not gonna see her again. She left, adios,” he laughed crazily.
“What did you do to her, you son of a bitch? What have you been telling her,” he demanded.
Again, Blaine laughed crazily. “She took her widdle suitcase and took off. Why the fuck do you care anyway? You don’t love her, but you sure as hell love fucking her, don’tcha? Well, I guess you ain’t gonna fuck her no more. She’s gone, outta here, goodbye, see ya,” he screamed gaily.
Lein slowly came up to his feet while Blaine continued to cackle until he began to choke on the blood rising in his mouth. She was gone...but where? And how would he find her? Lein went after Blaine again. Instead of slamming his head on the floor, he wrapped his hands around Blaine’s throat, making as if to choke him.
“You tell me where she planned to go, you little cocksucker, or I’ll choke the fucking life out of your pathetic body. Got that?”
“I don’t know,” he furiously spat out.
Incredibly, something about Blaine’s furious response made Lein believe him. He stood up again and bolted to his bedroom. He had to get dressed. While he dressed, Blaine picked himself up and staggered out the door. Once fully dressed, Lein left, not noticing Blaine had made his own exit.
A very bleary eyed Randi opened the front door to the small apartment. “Lein? Do you know what time it is? What the hell are you doing here?” She then noticed his black eye and the cut at the corner of his mouth. “What the hell happened to you?”
“Randi, I don’t have time to bullshit around. Perion has split and I have to find her,” Lein spat out, absently wiping away blood from his cut lip.
“What are you talking about? Blaine said she was in their room two hours ago.”
“He’s what happened to my face, Randi. Perion is not in her bedroom, she’s gone. I know she is, she just left me.”
Suddenly, a new light dawned on her. That light began to glow in her eyes, as if it had bestowed upon her some great wisdom. “Oh shit, Lein, you mean you and Perion? Oh shit, like a triangle,” she spat out.
Lein sighed as if he were dealing with an irate child not comprehending why she couldn’t play a game she particularly admired. “Randi, I repeat, Perion is not here. I have to find her. Please, can you tell me where she might have gone?”
Randi didn’t say a word; she walked away from the door and headed back into the apartment. Lein followed her inside. By that time, the other girls were awake and asking a billion questions. Neither Lein nor Randi said anything, they simply moved into the bedroom Blaine and Perion had shared. Absently, Randi went to each drawer of the dresser and chest of drawers and pulled them open. Finding nothing belonging to Perion there, she moved on to the closet. The only outfits hanging in the closet were Perion’s stage costumes.
“You weren’t kidding. All her stuff is gone,” Randi said quietly.
Lein stood with an expression that said what he felt: no shit.
“What’s going on,” Syndi asked.
Randi glanced at Syndi and Debi standing in the doorway. “Peri’s split and Lein’s looking for her. Blaine lied to us.”
The other two girls looked at Lein. They saw the damage done to his face and Syndi blurt, “Did Blaine do that?”
“No shit, Sherlock,” Debi said softly, conveying what Lein had thought a few short minutes earlier.
Lein felt literally destroyed. They weren’t helping him at all. They nowhere near understood the distress he felt due to Perion’s abrupt departure. A thousand things ran through his mind. One of which was the fact that he didn’t get the chance to tell her he loved her, too.
“She went home, Lein,” Debi said suddenly.
Lein looked at Debi sharply. “Home? You mean Arkansas?” Debi nodded, then Lein spat out, “how do you know?”
“I don’t know, I just have this feeling. She went home.”
Without another word, Lein left them standing. He had a trip to plan.