Perion sat out by the duck pond, but there were no ducks to feed. It was just as well; she was in no real mood for it anyway. The whole area seemed to be depressed with her. It was chilly and cloudy, no birds sang, nor were there any squirrels doing their squirrel thing. There was only her, feeling sorry for herself and pining over a man not worth the effort.
A light mist of rain began to fall. She was almost tempted to stay out in the rain. Perhaps it would have helped clear her head. Despite the temptation, the mist was becoming heavier and heavier; she did not need a cold on top of her depression. She brought herself up to her feet, grabbed her jacket, and slipped into it. She turned toward the house, and was about to sprint away from the rain, but she stopped in her tracks. Lein was approaching slowly from the direction of the house. As he drew closer to her, she saw that he had a black eye, bruised cheek, and a small cut in the corner of his mouth. However, she wasn’t really worried about that at the moment. She was worried about the mixed set of emotions building in her head and heart. Her first impulse was to run to him. She was so damn glad to see him she nearly cried. But then she recalled why she had come home in the first place. She didn’t bother to wonder further why he was there, how he’d found her, or about his black eye and cut. She acted on her next impulse.
Perion shook her head. “No,” she said softly. “I’m done with you, Lein, I’ve had enough.” Despite the rain, she turned on her heel in the opposite direction and sprinted away from him.
Literally dumbfounded and unable to move, Lein stood in the rain for a brief moment. Perion had bolted away from him as if he were a hunter and she his game. After a moment’s hesitation, he began to pursue her. It didn’t take long to catch up, despite his smashed foot. He shot out an arm and took hold of the back of her jacket, but she struggled free of it and leaped off [Lein had momentarily forgotten at that point she was a dancer, and leaping was her specialty], putting more distance between them. Indifferently, Lein threw her jacket to the ground.
It was beyond him to know why in the hell she ran from him. He screamed out for her to stop, but she didn’t, of course. She put on more speed with her dancer’s legs, yet he was amazingly closing the distance. However, he knew if they kept running at such a crazy pace, he’d fall over from a coronary before he caught her. Then it wouldn’t matter that he had come to Arkansas to tell her he loved her.
When Lein inexpertly judged he was close enough to her, he went into a flying tackle, although he hadn’t played football since he was a kid. It proved very effective, despite his lack of experience. He slammed into Perion’s back, sending her flying and sending his own body to the wet, but hard ground. His face landed on the ground and his balls began to sing Ave Maria. He vaguely hoped he wasn’t sterile, but the way it felt, he almost surely might be. Lein rose up a little and noticed that Perion had brought herself up to a sitting position. She was carefully examining her left knee. It sported a nasty scrape where the denim material had torn away during her fall.
She looked at him, then, with wounded but pissed off eyes and roared viciously, “WHAT WERE YOU TRYING TO DO? FUCKING KILL ME!!”
Lein recoiled a little, but nevertheless broke into a hysterical gale of laughter he was unable to control. It was either laugh or die, and he chose the former. He wanted to speak, but the pain in his groin wouldn’t let him. He was already experiencing a dull ache in the pit of his stomach that had begun to make him feel a little nauseated. Besides that, he’d probably have a high, tenor voice from then on to sing with, and maybe even to speak with as well. He wanted to adjust to that fact of life before utilizing his new vocal technique. He laughed, and all the while, Perion stared at him reproachfully, wondering if he had, perhaps, gone insane.
As Lein brought his body up to a standing position, his laughter died down and he began to spit the wet grass and soggy sand out of his mouth. Doing that made him begin laughing again, although not as hard or as long. I’ll have to change my name to Lenora and start asking store clerks about make up tips, he thought crazily as he approached Perion where she sat. He extended his hand toward her, but she meanly slapped it away as if it were a mosquito.
“I don’t need your help, I can get up on my own,” she snapped.
“Is anything broken,” he asked.
She looked up at him, and he could see that her face was wet. Although the rain had begun to pour down on them, he was sure she was crying. It was also obvious that she wasn’t crying about her injured knee.
“You want to know what’s broken, Lein? My heart. I told you, I’m done with you. Leave me alone.”
Without another word, Perion stood up gracefully and unceremoniously sprinted away again, not looking back at all. Lein sighed and went after her, yet again. He was definitely getting damn tired of running. He felt like grabbing her and taking her over his knee and giving her a good old-fashioned spanking as if she were a spoiled little girl. Her sprint was somewhat disheartened that time, though. He didn’t know if her knee was slowing her down, or if she was simply tired, figuratively and literally, of running away from him.
Lein caught up quickly and grabbed her, spinning her around almost violently. She struggled and freed an arm. Her hand drew back and connected with his cheek, creating a loud smacking sound that absolutely didn’t belong in the quiet environment of the duck pond. After getting his foot smashed, then his balls, the slap barely felt like an insect bite. He, in turn, slapped her cheek just as hard.
Surprised and pissed to the extreme, she screamed, “Let me go, goddamn you, let me the fuck go!”
She continued to struggle and managed to slap him again. Exasperated, he tripped her and they collapsed to the wet grass. Lein straddled her waist and held her wrists down tightly with both of his hands. She kicked her legs furiously, but that didn’t bother him in the least. He simply tightened his grip on her wrists and settled himself even more firmly on her waist.
The rain continued to pour down on them. Neither seemed to notice.
“Stop it, Perion, quit it,” he said calmly, although he had a hard time fighting his aggravation.
“Get off me, or I’ll start screaming bloody fucking murder, you bastard,” she said through clenched teeth.
A slanted grin framed his lips. “Go right ahead. The only person who’s going to hear you is your mother, and she sort of approves of me being here. She was the one who gave me the directions. She’s not going to think anything.”
She began to struggle underneath him. “LET ME UP,” she yelled.
“Stop it, stop fighting me right now. You’re a stubborn little chick, aren’t you? Stop for a minute and listen to me.” When she continued to struggle, he put more pressure on her wrists and waist. ”Listen to me,” he spat out emphatically. “I came here today, almost breaking my foot, getting the hell slapped out of my face, and likely getting sterilized by that fall to say something to you.”
“Let me up, Lein, let me the fuck up,” she yelled again, deaf to his words.
And again, he put more pressure on her, enough so, she cried out. “Are you going to listen to me?”
“Oh yeah, sure, I’ll listen to whatever you say, you brutal motherfucker. But nothing you have to say is going to change my mind. Blaine used me, but at least he was honest about it. You hid it behind a mask of comfort and caring. You fucking liar, I’m tired of being misled. I’m tired of Blaine, and especially fucking tired of you!”
It was Lein’s turn to be deaf to her words. He plunged ahead: “It’s time for you to stop running, Perion. I’m not the guy trying to take your bankbook away from you, nor am I the guy calling you names and threatening you. I’m not the one you’re really mad at right now. That’s not me, that’s somebody else.”
“Brilliant analysis,” she said sarcastically, “since when are you Sigmund fucking Freud? I don’t care, Lein, get off me or I’m going to spit in your egotistical face.”
“Yeah? And I’ll spit right back,” he said.
Suddenly and viciously, he brought her up to a sitting position. For a moment, she thought he was going to slap her again, or shake her. Instead, he mashed his mouth down onto hers, forcing her lips apart with his tongue. She fought the kiss with everything she had, that is, at first. But desire for him took over, as it seemed to do when she was near him. When she stopped struggling, he let go of her wrists and she tangled her hands into his hair. His own hands moved to her waist, then slid up to the soft side swell of her breasts.
She broke the kiss and whispered, “Why can’t you listen to me? I tell you I never want to see you again, but you chase me down anyway. What is it, Lein? Why did you come after me?”
“Perion, I had to. You jumped into that cab and rode out of my life. You ran away like you always do. I love you, Perion. I tried to tell you then, but you didn’t give me a chance.”
She looked at him as if he’d called her a vulgar name instead of telling her he loved her. “You what?”
“I love you, I’ve loved you from the beginning, but didn’t recognize it. Do you want me to say it again?” Still stunned, Perion was unable to speak. Lein then opened his mouth and poured out everything he had held back: “I love you, Perion. I know I’ve never said it before, and I’m sorry I didn’t, but I’m saying it now. Every time I made love to you, I felt it and wanted to shout it out. I never did, because I didn’t know how you felt until the night you left town. When you left, I literally died inside, and nothing mattered but finding you. It’s only been a few days, but it feels more like a few hundred days. It felt like somebody tore my heart out and spit on it. Does that sound like I want nothing more from you than what your body does with mine?”
“Lein...” she began.
“Shut up, Perion, before you talk yourself out of it,” he told her softly, then kissed her passionately.
Perion broke the kiss and allowed her lips to gently glide over his bruised cheek, as if her mouth could draw away the soreness and pain. Her lips eventually found his again, and she allowed him to slowly lower her body back down onto the wet grass. In relatively short order, they switched positions so that she was straddling his waist. Lein started to speak, but she placed a finger over his lips.
“I love you, Lein. Right now, right here in the rain, I want you to make love to me.”
Without another word, the two of them stood and began peeling off their soaked clothing. Once undressed, Lein kissed her again and their bodies sank back down. His body came to rest first, and hers hovered over his. By that time, the rain had begun to slack off a bit.
Lein’s hands moved over her body while his mouth found her throat. Perion was soaking wet from the rain, and had been shivering. But the instant Lein began touching and kissing her, the chill went away, and was replaced by an intense burning heat. She leaned up a bit as his lips moved lower. His lips delicately suckled each of her rock hard nipples as his hands slid down her back to cup her buttocks.
Perion reluctantly drew away and slid her own body downward. Her mouth and tongue traveled slowly from his chest and moved down his stomach. She turned her attention toward his sex. Her hand gripped him firmly as she began a maddeningly slow caress. Even though he had taken a bad fall, her touch had begun hardening him instantly. There was no pain, only growing warmth.
As her hand worked its magic, he tried to protest, to let her know he wanted to be inside her when he came. He couldn’t say a word. He actually didn’t have to. After a few painfully delicious moments, her hand released him, and she slid her body back up.
Slowly, he brought himself up to a sitting position, and Perion wrapped her legs around him. He kissed her again, wanting to stay with her forever in the falling rain. He broke the kiss after a few moments and brought his lips close to her ear.
“I love you,” he whispered, “I never want you to doubt that again.”
She wrapped her arms around him, to hold him as close to her body as possible. She could hear his heartbeat. “No doubts,” she said, “never. Come inside me, Lein, I want you.”