Hot, bright sun pierced through a crack in the blind, creating a strip of golden light in the darkness. If nothing else, I knew it was morning. For now that was all I could manage. I couldn’t yet reach where I was or how I got here, I couldn’t know what had happened between then and now. It was quiet and still, the mattress firm beneath me. Nothing stirred but a small breeze, lapping the edge of the fabric that kept the light at bay. I was wrapped in a thin, white blanket, cool but not cold. A loud offensive clang, proudly pronounced the arrival of a waste lorry outside. The rancid tang of rubbish and a lick of stale cigarette smoke, hit me like a football to the face. It churned my guts. It must be early. The crashing of glass and monotonous beeping awaken the early part of what will surely be a smacking hangover. I risk opening my eyes a little more, craning slowly to the left. A large, frosted glass door stands where my window should be. Not my home then. A bedside table houses a black alarm clock, its sharp white numbers glaring 603 AM.
How did I get here?
I pushed back my long red hair and shut my eyes, massaging my temples with weak fingers. I foraged through the fog in my mind, the all too familiar game of memory; hide and seek. What do I last remember?
The Bow. Its purple and golden sign, hanging merrily from its frame, chipped and splintered from years of endurance. Curved dark wooden shelves and large mirrored panels, red leather banquettes framed the inside. The outside housed a large beer garden, colourful flowers, pine tables and heaters to keep drinkers warm through the night. The garish landlord, snogging into the microphone. Karaoke Thursday. It’s Friday then, 6.03am.
It had been unusually hot all week inside the sprawling Scottish city and I’d been roped into one last round. Adams stag night. His last night as a single man.
Adams stag night.
Okay, I was getting somewhere.
The smell of paint stripper or whiskey no! Someone spilled vodka on me. I tentatively lifted up the cover. I am naked underneath it. Bold freckles and tan lines are now visible on my pale white skin. A result of yesterday’s baking sun, drinking outside for hours without protection.
Where are my pants?
I clenched my knuckles, pressed down into the mattress and pulled my weak frame upright. A sudden movement freezes my motion, my head and heart pounded like church bells. I hoisted up the white sheet, covering my exposed breasts.
There is a man lying next to me.
His big, dark eyes are as transfixed as mine. I hold his urgent gaze. Neither of us moved. Something is very wrong with this picture.
I looked back to the door. I know this room.
It’s Friday. Oh fuck.
I turned back to him as quickly as my throbbing skull could. My skin flashed scarlet as the memory of his torso whipped into focus. His firm, strong arms holding my wrists, his body sliding over me. His blood thick, lunging inside, both of us groaning with delight. I held my head in my hands “We fucked up.” The words were barely a whisper. This time my voice was a little stronger. “Adam. We’ve fucked it up haven’t we?”
Sometimes I think I could still love him. But in this moment all I felt was fear. “What happened?”
We had never known love before we knew each other. Our beings were united by a turbulent, passionate history and without him I was not complete. But once she arrived into his life, Adam and I had drawn a line under our past. For the last two years I’d observed her moving closer to him, trying to fit into the curves of his arm and kissing his lips with desperate longing. I had watched them laugh and cajole, smile at me with incessant falseness. I had swallowed it all down like nettles. I didn’t want to possess him like I had when we were a couple, but I didn’t want her to either.
I smack him harder. “Don’t ignore me arsehole - what happened?” His muffled voice found its way out of the screwed up sheets “You know what happened. You kept spouting your bullshit about one more night, one more night and you will remember why she doesn’t deserve you.” That sounded legitimate. He did deserve more than his bride to be. Adrienne. My stomach roils at the thought of her.
Since splitting up and becoming just friends, he had similarly provoked me. Mocking my new lovers, running his finger along the back of my arm as he sipped red wine - They are not enough for you, Skye. He was right. I had spent the last few years burning through men like wildfires in drought.
“Then you basically straddled my lap in front of everyone and kissed me. I had to carry you to the car for Harvey to drive you home.” he emerged, pathetically throwing down his arms in lukewarm protest. “Well that’s funny, I’m sure I don’t live in your bed.”
He pinched his lips to stop any laughter, covering his moody midnight blue eyes from the daylight. His soft black hair had recently been cut short but his stubble was a little overgrown, disappearing into his deep dimples. Even with this shameful lack of sleep, his hazelnut brown skin glowed flawlessly, making him seem younger than his thirty years. He was still the most beautiful man I’d ever known. His eyes drifted off to something I couldn’t see
“I can’t do this Skye.”
Nausea and frustration crept upon me like a giant spider.
“Then don’t.” I threw back the covers and stood a little too quickly, a wave of sickness hitting me. Without looking back, I walked out of the door with as much poise as I could muster. He can’t do what? Marry her? Leave her? I tried not to care about his violently vague statement, when all I am, is desperate to pry further.
I tread the familiar path to the bathroom. The soft white, wool carpet hugged my feet as I marched through the hallway. There was no one else here but us. I knew she was already at the venue two hundred miles away, he was not that careless. Six months ago, Adrienne had insisted I join them for a stay at their potential wedding venue. It was ten hours of torture, sandwiched between the “happy” couple and her best friend, Elliot, who at least provided some distraction. He seemed to have a bigger taste for booze and narcotics than me. Supplying the best wine and various stimulants his large trust fund could buy. Adrienne also came from wealth, another reason why I couldn’t stand her. Adam was supposed to marry her in twenty four hours.
On the bathroom door I’m greeted by a wooden sign that hangs grossly out of place in Adams’ meticulous, contemporary home. LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE. I let out a small, cruel laugh. If you insist. Everything in me felt hard and cold. I resisted the urge to throw it out of the window and into the rubbish truck.
I had slept with my ex and oldest friend the eve of his wedding. I stepped into the bathroom wanting to wash this feeling clean, but as I turned to close the door, I saw it. Hanging at the far end of the hallway. The large abstract painting of Adam. His face was overlapped with thick, bright blue brushstrokes, his chin tilting upwards, his eyes lowered and dark. It hung front and centre for all to see. Though the real meaning of that painting was only known to us. Ten years ago he told me his life had been a constant battle to tread water. That, before us, he had struggled to hold his head up without feeling like he was going to drown. That I was his oasis. So I painted it for him. I drew him between the tide, rising above the waves. He fucked me to the most explosive orgasm after he unwrapped it. It hung proudly here, a real middle finger to her worthless, wooden sign.
He steps into the hallway, the painting framing his magnificent body. The sight of him naked practically blinded me. Over so many years, I have run into those arms, wrapped my legs around that waist and held his face in my hands. There was no part of him I hadn’t devoured and yet, there he stood. Ripping out my heart, almost daring me to consume him. His tall stature was undeniably powerful, a testament to the strong, poised man he had become. He had always turned me on, offering the perfect blend of physical protection and domination.
I turned away, lifting up the large shower handle. The water burst forth as I stepped into the hard hot spray, the cool white tiles beading and dripping, the steam rising. I knew he was watching me but I wouldn’t let myself look. I took the white bottle of body wash and squeezed the thick creamy liquid into my palm. The fragrance of ginger, his scent cracked a deep thirst in my tired bones. I rubbed myself roughly in his smell, like an animal marking her tracks. I lathered my arms, my neck, scrubbing my various tattoos and removing the remaining stench of vodka. I lathered my scalp, red wavy hair touching the lowest part of my back. I felt powerful as he watched on. The air swirling thick, my carnation pink nipples standing firm and puckered, I release a small hum of pleasure.
What the fuck am I doing? Do I even want him? The despicable threat of dread rises from my chest. I always wanted him but I never want him to hurt me again. I knew I could not have one without the other.
No. I am the one who has the power now.
Is that what this is? Redemption? Revenge? Resentment masked as pleasure, torture painted on as love?
My mind ached, awash with guilt. The smell of the lather overwhelmed me. My therapist’s words found their way into my consciousness. When you hurt yourself to hurt others, you abandon yourself. I would rather abandon myself with him then anybody else.
His whispered words made my ear lobe tingle, my senses struck bright, like a quickly lit match. His forehead touched the back of my skull.
“Turn around Skye.”
I don’t want to give in. I don’t want to be this bad, deceitful person. My knees buckled and tears hovered like leaves in the autumn, waiting to hit the ground. He gently took my upper arms and turned me to him, I kept my eyes firmly on the ground. “We can’t do this Adam, you’re getting married tomorrow.” I lifted my head to his handsome, sculptural face and unreadable eyes. He stroked the back of my arms, just like he always had. “We can’t do this.” A mascara filled tear spills from my cornflower blue eyes. His firm grip held my waist and squeezed gently. As if in slow motion, he guided me toward him. He wiped away my tears and tucked my loose hair behind my ears. He knelt down before me.
“I don’t know how to stop when I am with you.” His voice is both comforting and destructive. “Tell me to stop.”
He waits. And I don’t say anything.
Slowly his mouth softly kissed my stomach. He moved lower, kissing the freckle at my hip bone, the spot he knew would send me wild. I threw back my head in vexatious delight. He waits for me to protest, giving me time to turn him away. I’m shaking, my breath heavy, confused and derailed, his scent overpowering.
This is the only way he wants me, the only way he ever did. When he can’t have me.
His lips tickled the patch of pale hair just above my opening. He glides his tongue tip along the inside, teasing me with what is ahead. He licked again, releasing my waist and opening me wider with his fingers. Hitting all my nerves with excruciating precision; slowly and firm with exact pressure. Water ran down my back and legs and I gripped the shelf for balance. He sucked at my exposed clitoris, the biggest bundle of sensation, swirling his menacing tongue. He sounded greedily, breathy with desire, continuing his deadly assault, twirling, tipping me deeper into pleasure. He pulled his mouth away and replaced the sensation with the flat of his thumb. Rubbing side to side, his pace quickening, the pulsing heat spreading over my sensitive flesh. The lustful poison that swamped my body forever, reared its snake-like head. I wanted to take what was mine.
So I sank to my knees.
I hold his firm, long dick, rubbing his silky flesh against my own. Lubricating us until I can plunge him deep inside my cunt. I am wet and warm and he is wide and slick. He gasped loudly, moaning headily. “Skye I’ll come.” I stopped, feeling his fullness inside me. I clenched my passage around him, releasing a delectable, full sensation. I teased him here, gripping and releasing, rocking painstakingly slowly, our intense heat deafening. He thickens, easing me wider apart. When we were together it felt mind-numbingly good. “Skye stop.” I paused my reign. The throbbing of pleasure inside and out was even more intense in halting. He looked at me with those eyes that felt like home, pleading with me to let him go, begging me to hold on. Neither of us can be the better person. Instead we kiss, tongues clashing, noses pressing to each other’s cheeks. He groaned in lust as I meld my tongue to his. He tasted like salt and honey. He squeezed my ass as I rocked into him, I fucked him with all I had. He came with a suddenness, sounding wildly, shocked at his pleasure and our actions.
My therapist said I’m the loneliest person she’s ever met.