#55 The aftermath
It’s so quiet that I can hear my own heart beating. Abby hasn’t said a word since I told her every single detail about what happened in New York. I’ve never felt so anxious and guilty in my life. I went to New York a happy man. I had three kids, an amazing girlfriend, I was doing well professionally… Now, it feels like everything is slipping through my fingers.
“I know I fucked up,” I say when I can’t take her silence anymore. Those bright green eyes boring into mine, making me squirm. “I never should have held her hand or let her pull her fingers through my hair. I encouraged the kiss, I know that. I shouldn’t even have stayed. I should have come home right after the conference or at least after the surgery. I’m so sorry, Abby. If I could take it back-”
“Oh Chris…” She sighs, and much to my shock there’s a small smile on her face. “You’re such a moron sometimes.”
“W-what?” I ask uncertainly.
“Come here,” Abby says, motioning for me to get out of the loveseat and join her on the couch. Her arms are open, and she wraps them around me the moment I’m within reach. “Chris,” she whispers. “It’s okay.”
She smells like home, there’s no other word for it, and I bury my face in her hair, inhaling deeply. We hold each other tightly, and I feel her lips pressing against my neck for a kiss.
“I’m sorry,” I murmur for the hundredth time tonight. “I never should have-”
“Chris,” she interrupts me. “Stop saying sorry.”
When we break apart, our eyes meet, and I don’t see any anger in hers anymore. She’s been icing me out ever since the service for Edward’s father, and Edward warned me that I should tread carefully with Abby, because she was at her breaking point. We ate dinner with the boys and Celeste, and then Jagger drove all four of them to Edward’s to spend the night there. I feel bad about putting that on him, but Abby and I need this night to sort everything out, and he assured me many times this was his own idea.
“Why the fuck did you let me think you cheated on me?” Abby asks, her hands knotting in my hair. She pulls softly, smiling at me. “You’re so goddamn stupid. I’ve been trying my best to hate you since last night.”
“Trying to?” I ask, catching onto the meaning behind the words.
“It’s really hard to be truly angry with you,” she says, looking like she might cry. “Maybe I’m stupid for saying this, but I don’t think I’d be able to leave you even if you slept with Gianna.”
Oh wow. I wasn’t expecting that. At all.
“I’d never do that,” I assure her, rubbing her back in slow, soothing circles. “I swear.”
“I know.” She’s truly smiling now, even though a few tears spill over and drop onto her lap. “I’m a little upset that you lied to me, but other than that… we’re okay.”
“Really?” Surely it can’t be that easy to earn her forgiveness. “You’re not mad at me?”
“Okay, maybe a little.” She breathes a laugh. “It’s just so much easier to be okay with what truly happened than to deal with all the horrible scenarios my twisted mind came up with. At least this is something I can get past without feeling like a doormat.”
I don’t know what she means by that, but I’m not going to question her. Not when she’s moving past this like it’s no big deal. I still want to kick myself for my stupidity.
“Chris…” Abby’s face is serious now. She pulls her hands out of my hair and clasps them together in her lap. “I need to ask one last thing.”
“Anything,” I reply immediately.
“Do you wish Gianna would have realized that she was okay with adoption sixteen years go?” she asks, not meeting my eyes. “Do you wish… do you wish you were married for twenty-one years right now, with a house full of adopted kids?”
“No,” I say without even having to think about it. “No way.”
“But then you wouldn’t have had to wait until you were 45 before you could be a father,” Abby insists. “And you loved her. If she had realized that she could love a kid that wasn’t biologically hers while she was still with you, then you and I… I mean…” It’s obvious she’s struggling to remain coherent and to stop herself from crying.
“Abby, look at me,” I say softly, needing to make sure she knows that what I’m about to say is nothing but the truth.
Slowly, she lifts her head and meets my gaze. She even allows me to take her hands into mine.
“I love you.” Okay, that’s a good start. “You and I fit in a way that Gianna and I never did. And even if that wasn’t the case, I think Gianna proved last night that she doesn’t seem to care much about fidelity.” I remember how she looked at me when she said “you said you’re not married”. She wasn’t thinking about Dan in that moment. Or maybe she was, and she just didn’t care. “I think that in many ways, I dodged a bullet,” I say, trying not to show how much Gianna hurt me last night. I don’t want Abby to feel like I’m still hung up on her.
“I love you, Abby, not her. I want to marry you one day, not look back at what I had with her. I want to have kids with you, not Gianna.”
“Okay,” she says, squeezing my hand. “Good to know.”
We sit there staring at each other until she leans in and presses her lips to mine. Finally, I feel like I can erase the feeling of Gianna’s lips on mine. I didn’t lose Abby. Thank God. I knot my hands in her hair and she does the same to me, throwing her legs across mine to get closer. When I deepen the kiss, she moans in that cute throaty way of hers that never fails to get me hard.
“No no no,” she murmurs against my lips when I try to pull her into my lap. “We still need to talk.”
Breathing hard, I pull away from her. “What do you want to talk about?”
Abby needs a moment to regain her train of thought, but when she does, her jaw sets and there’s a fire in her eyes that’s both arousing and frightening. “You lied to me.”
“Yes,” I agree. “I did. I shouldn’t have.”
“No, you really shouldn’t have.” She fidgets with the hem of her shirt. “You still don’t trust me.”
“That’s not why I lied!” I exclaim, not wanting her to think for even a second that trust had anything to do with it. “I was shellshocked. It felt like my entire marriage was a sham, my whole relationship with Gianna. I just… I don’t know. I guess I panicked.”
“I wish you’d want to talk to me when you get a shock like that,” she whispers, not meeting my gaze. “I know that I don’t have a leg to stand on since I’m not exactly an open book myself, but… I’m trying. I’ve shared more of myself with you than I ever have with anyone else. Even Brittany doesn’t know me the way you do. I don’t know what I did to make you feel like you can’t open up to me.” Before can reply, she rambles on. “Actually, I do. I planned to leave and left a note. I know I did that, and I get that I betrayed you. Do you think that you will ever trust me the way you did before that?”
“I already do,” I assure her, finally making her head snap up, her eyes meeting mine.
“You asked Edward to babysit me,” she reminds me sourly.
I can’t help but laugh at that, shaking my head at how stupid that was. “Yeah, and instead of him making sure you behaved and stuck around, you ended up taking care of him, Freddie, and so many others. I should have known better than to get a babysitter for my nanny.”
She grins. “Yeah, that didn’t work out quite the way you thought it would, now did it?”
“When I said over the phone that I think it’s been good for us to spend a week apart, I meant it. I never want to be gone for that long ever again, don’t worry, but it did show me that I can trust you. And I guess it also taught me that I can fuck up too, and that you’re just as capable of forgiveness as I am. Thank God.” I push her messy hair out of her face and smile at the softness in her gaze. She looks so young right now, so lovely, so… Abby. My Abby. My perfect, beautiful Abby.
“Never lie to me again,” she says, trying to sound stern but sounding a little breathless instead.
“Okay, good. Do you want to talk about New York some more or can I suggest an alternative?” A small smirk lights up her face and her hands sneak up my leg, skimming the seam of my jeans.
“What might that be?” I ask softly, already letting my eyes drop from her eyes to her lips.
“Make-up sex.” Her hand rubs my cock through my pants, her soft moan of contentment making me hard right away. “We never have the house to ourselves at night,” she whispers. “We can fuck in any room we want.”
“What about right here?” I grab her legs and pull so she flops down onto the couch, shrieking and laughing. As I lower my body onto hers, she immediately kisses me and grabs my ass, helping me to grind against her in just the right place as her legs go around my waist.
“I missed you,” she says while I press featherlight kisses to her neck.
“You have no idea,” I grunt, pulling back a little so I can take her shirt off. “I was so scared I might never get to do this again.”
“Oh, so you’re only in this for the sex?” she teases while she tugs on the zipper of my pants.
Even though it’s just a lighthearted joke, I take her face in my hands and look her straight in the eye. “I’m in this because I love you, Abby. Because you’re amazing, brave, caring, funny, feisty, and exactly what I was missing in my life.”
“Fucking hell,” she groans, digging her nails into my back. “Just when I think I can’t possibly want you more than I do, you say something like that. I think it’s time to get you naked, Chris.”
“Come on, let’s go to bed,” I propose, getting up and offering her a hand to pull her off the couch.
“I thought you said right here was fine?” she asks, running her hands up my chest underneath my shirt.
“I want to savor tonight,” I explain, pulling her with me to the hallway and up the stairs. “I want to make sweet love to you, and I think that even though I’m not exactly vanilla anymore… the bed is still the best place for making love, don’t you think?”
She only moans in response, giving me a hard push the moment we’re in the bedroom, causing me to tumble onto the bed. I may want to go slow and take my time with her, but Abby has other ideas. She undresses quickly, and then gets to work on me, making soft sounds of excitement with every item of clothing she removes from my body.
She straddles me and without any form of foreplay, she sinks down on me and lets out a loud moan. “Fuck, I missed this,” she breathes, starting to ride me hard and fast.
Okay, screw going slow. Abby has the right idea. No way am I going to last long when her breasts are bouncing like that, her face flushed, her wet pussy already clenching around my cock. I love how uninhibited Abby can be. She gives herself over to the pleasure we give each other – although, admittedly, this is all her doing – and doesn’t care how loud she is.
“Oh God yes,” she grunts when I grab her hips and slam her down on me even harder. “Oh Chris, I think I’m going to-” She doesn’t even finish her sentence and she doesn’t need to either. With a high-pitched shriek, she comes, her walls tightening around me and dragging me right over the edge with her.
When she’s milked me for all I’m worth, she collapses on top of me, nuzzling her face against the crook of my neck. “Ah,” she murmurs, “that was amazing.”
“Hmm,” is all I manage to get out.
We stay like that for a little while longer, but then she lifts herself off me and heads into the ensuite bathroom for a moment, and I hear her peeing. She didn’t bother closing the door all the way. I smile to myself, enjoying how comfortable we are with each other. She’s been living with me for six months now, and we’re still working out the kinks in our relationship, but at the same time it feels like I’ve known her forever.
She slips back in bed, still naked, turning her back to me so we can spoon. I sweep her hair over her shoulder so I won’t choke on it and snuggle against her, running my hands over her body to warm her back up. When I feel myself slipping away, she elbows me and laughs.
“No sleeping, old man,” she teases. “You didn’t think I was done with you yet, did you?” She wiggles her bare ass against my cock, causing it to stir. “I could definitely use a second round.”
I like the sound of that.