No Way Back – Chapter 14

I’m officially releasing Chapter 14.  My reasons for holding off on the display were simple: I’ve been shown an area that my work could benefit from some rethinking and it’s a new subject area for me.  I didn’t want to release sub-par work, even for my standards.  Anyway, you all be the judge.  In comparison to my previous work, how does it compare in readability?

Chapter 14

Our drive is sparsely dotted with a bit of small talk about where we wanted to go tonight. We hadn’t made any effective plans and still needed to choose where we wanted to eat. I suggested pizza. Who doesn’t like pizza, right? Apparently Allessa isn’t a huge pizza fan. She’d eat it, but only if that’s where I wanted to go. She suggested the new salad chain that opened up recently in the area. Neither of us had been, so I agree, and off we went. The rest of the ride was rather quiet, with her seeming deep in thought, and looking out the side window towards the stars.

We pull up to the salad shop and I park the car, yanking the parking brake up and killing the engine. I look over to Allessa and notice her still peering upward. “Is something the matter?”

Her head snaps around and I see what could have been a small tear in her eye. She quickly blinks any trace of it away and shows a smile. “No, Rob, I just am so happy about being here. I mean, this is what we wanted, right?”

I look into her eyes as I search for an indication of what’s on her mind. I catch a glimmer of something before she blinks and turns away: a slight drop of her eyes and a droop to her head. She turns to look at the store, a real smile hiding what was left. I decide to ask her about it later.

“Are you ready to go in?” Her voice was soft and flirty, very inviting, which almost makes me forget that I was looking for whatever was upsetting her. Almost.

I open the driver’s side door as I tell her to wait for a moment. I quickly make my way around and open Allessa’s door for her. She smiles up at me and lets her hand land on my shoulder as she stands, then lets is slide teasingly along my back as she stands and walks around. Her hand falls towards my side, collecting my right arm as her escort while I push the door shut. “Thank you, my sweet, handsome man,” she playfully purrs at me. The sound of her flirting voice makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end.

I turn to look back into her eyes with a smile splashed across my face. “You’re more than welcome, my fairest lady,” I announce in a deep, mock-English accent.

She laughs at my attempt at humor, even though I know it was poorly done.

We walk together into the shop. I’d never seen the inside before, but, it turns out, it’s a gourmet salad creation shop. We walk up to the line queue and wait for the obviously well-off couple to complete their order. She snickers, leans against me, letting her body press up tightly against mine.

“So, do you think they put that much on so that way they can just take it all back off,” she playfully whispers her question into my ear, her body lingering so I can feel her body warm.

I laugh quietly, shifting to whisper into hers, “Kinda defeats the purpose…”

We chuckle together and I feel her not slipping away from my body, staying close and resting her cheek against my shoulder. My heart starts to race and my mind pushes through the dreams of what I’d do if I had her this close to me…

“NEXT!”

I feel her slip away and watch as she steps up to the large glass display that makes the display window. She bends over slightly, both showing the guy behind the counter more than he’d anticipated while also looking over at me with a wink, her way of letting me know she sees my eyes following her shapely figure. I feel my cheeks suddenly warm, then start to move myself closer to the counter while I wait for Allessa to make her order.

“Well, hello!” she starts, standing and looking at the boy standing across the display case from her. “What would you suggest?” She looks at him with a playful, flirty, yet knowing smile, and he stutters his unintelligible response. “What was that?”

“I said, uh, that, uh, it depends on what you like.” Hearing his stuttering and broken language made me feel much less nervous about the night. I actually smiled even though I felt horrible for the kid.

She starts very matter-of-factly, “Well, I like vegetables and cheeses.” Her voice lowers to a playful purr as she continues. “So, what exactly do you have,” she pauses, licking her lips, “… for me?”

I start to chuckle as I notice his trembling arm pointing through the glass at one of the garden salads. She’s playing him hard, I think to myself. I wonder if that’s what this is with me. Just a game.

“Does it have mushrooms? I really don’t like mushrooms at all.”

“No, miss. If it did, I could just not put’em in, if that’s what you wanted.”

“Good. I’ll have that, then. Thank you!” She turns with a huge grin on her face and starts towards the register, walking with a playful gait and letting her body put on a show for both of the entranced males. Of course, I watch until she turns around, the smile still on her lips as she leans against the counter. My, can she put on a show.

I finally turn to look at the clerk, but he’s still hard staring at my date. I clear my throat loudly, and he snaps his head over to see me. “Hello? I have an order, too.”

“Uh… Sorry, sir, is this together?”

I smile wide, watching him try not to glance over to the gorgeous woman who was obviously making a scene. I look through the salad options and pick up a meat and cheese chef’s salad with ranch dressing, then head over to the register., standing next to Less as I watch her try to stifle her laughter.

“Miss, what dressing did you want?”

“None.”

I look at her with surprise. “None?”

She smiles and looks at me, This time, I catch the look of absent in her eyes again, I’m sure of it. “Of course not. Have you ever seen me use dressing on a salad?”

“Well, no, but we’ve never had salad together.”

“Touché”

We wait for a few moments while the salesman makes the salads. He brings them over in their separate bowls and places them on a singular tray, then offers us drinks and rolls to go with our salads.  We both take him up on the offer and I pay for our order while joking about the extortionistic prices for some leafy greens. Receipt in hand, we make our way to a table across the room, far from the cashier. We laugh when notice how the poor boy’s made a bee-line for the back of the building.

Sitting across from her at the table, I watch as she inspects the individual pieces. She pulls a few strands that didn’t meet with her inspection off to the side and progresses to the next bits. Seeing her be so specific about her food makes puts me slightly on edge. If this is how she goes through her food, how will she be about her dates?

— —

Allessa looked up at Rob and notices that look he‘s had every other time she‘s made notice. The one that told her that she’d let off a sign that she wasn’t totally here in mind. She smiled, then popped a clean leaf of lettuce into her mouth. She decided to stop hunting for the least-fresh pieces of salad, noticing how his eyes were following her hands as she worked.

“Is something wrong, Rob?” At that moment, Allessa realized she wasn’t really giving him the attention he was expecting. How could she? Every time she looked his way she had to picture him with a light brown fur and appropriate ears. His expressions looked rather cute, and it was making her forget that this was, in fact, a job. Each time he smiled at her, the image in her head smiled, and she wanted to keep it that way.

“Well, you just seem rather distant tonight, Less. Is something on your mind? Do you really not want to be here?” Robert’s eyes were crystal clear in his honesty. It made her feel excited and nervous at the same time. She wasn’t used to a male actually caring how she felt. In her kind, they cared, but were always interested in gaining the Blessings of the Goddess. With Djarn, there were territorial displays, a feeling of control, and dominance of those around. With Robert…

Was this how human girls felt when they liked someone? Where they all treated so well?

She swallowed the over-chewed leaf and took a drag from the straw in her beverage. It was nothing more than a stalling tactic so she could formulate a diversion from her own confusion. “Rob, I was wondering. Why haven’t you stayed with the girls? I mean, I know it wasn’t for me. Was it?”

He looked taken aback, almost choking on the fork-full of salad he’d just bit down on. He chewed slowly, swallowing his salad, and she could feel her heart suddenly sink a little. Was he stalling like she had? She knew the honest answer about what had happened with the girls but wanted to hear his feelings about it.

“Well, I really don’t know why my dating never worked.” Allessa internally sighed in relief as the Eil’phen version of Rob began speaking. “It always seemed as if someone was working against me.” He took a smaller mouthful of salad in, swallowed it, and continued between even smaller bites. “I mean, yes, I really wanted to go out with you. So in that regard, yes, it was partly you. But I did it mostly to myself. I let your challenge be my every-day, and that’s just not acceptable to most women.” He sighed quietly. “Luckily, I was able to talk to Dannielle and explain everything. Turns out, I’m not such a bad guy, once I stopped worrying about…” He cut himself off and dropped his eyes to his half-eaten salad.

At that moment, it felt like every eye in the place was on her, and made her feel awkward. Chi’bi, hidden in Allessa’s skin, suddenly felt guilty. Not just a little guilty, but horrible He didn’t deserve this. He was gentle. Sweet. Kind. Everything that a mate should be. And she was only going to hurt him again. She let go of the Eil’ph mental image and saw Robert as himself again. “She’s a lucky girl, you know that,” she asks softly. Her hand lands on his, and she’s surprised when he doesn’t pull away. “I’m sorry that I made this a game. But, I needed to know that you could put your all into something. Even me.”

— —

I lift my eyes and see Allessa smiling sweetly. They seem to glow with that luminous blue that I know so well, and I feel a weight lift from my shoulders. I feel the warmth of her hand on my arm and smile again, loosing a soft sigh. I couldn’t have dreamed this moment up in a thousand years. Everything was perfect.

But it really wasn’t. The voice in the back of my head chose that moment to chime in. Remember, you are taken now. YOU can’t HAVE her. I glare inwardly at my other half. “Wanna bet?”

“Less, I would have given you everything and you know it. You were… No, you are everything to me. For as good as all these other girls may be or have been, they knew that I was hopelessly in love with you. And I still am.” I look down again at my salad, no longer hungry but trying to hide my embarrassment.

It lasts all but a few seconds. I feel her hand sliding under my chin, lifting me back to her gaze. What I see I’ll remember for the rest of my days. A tear seemed to form in the globes of her eyes, and she wipes it back with her free hand. “Is that how you really feel?”

“Yes.”

Allessa smiles, then drops her hand to eat more of the salad she’d been working through. Through the rest of the meal, we remain silent. It was strangely calming and lacked the strange sensation of awkward confusion I’d been expecting. As we finish, we stand together and make our way over to the garbage collection.

“What, you’re not going to finish those bits of salad?” I point at her tray to the short stack of veggies. To me, they look perfectly fine. For what ever reason Allessa had chosen not to eat them. What made it funny was that the rest of her bowl was empty! All but licked clean!

She giggles as she pushes the flotsam off of the tray and into the waste receptacle. “Those ones just weren’t fresh enough, I’m afraid.”

“I guess you’d know.” As we exit the building, I stop and turn to her, catching her hands so I can ask her a question without her turning away. “Allessa, if you really don’t want to be here…”

“Robert, stop… Please….”

“No, let me finish. Something just seems off tonight. Normally you’re the strong one. You’re usually the one who’s not distracted. Tonight, though, I see it. Something’s on your mind. If being here with me tonight is upsetting you, I’d rather just take you home.”

Allessa lets out a sharp gasp and suddenly seems as if she’d lost any answers. While it was refreshing to see her off-guard, I really needed to know what it was she kept thinking about. I held my breath and waited for her to tell me that the night was over.

She started slowly. “Robert… There are a lot of things in my past that you don’t know about. And there are many more that I want to be able to tell you. But that’s for another night. I’m here because I really do want to be with you, Robert. I do. And I know I seem distant, but it’s not your fault at all.” She smiles and gently brings her hand to my cheek. “Please, take me out tonight. Let me be the one girl in your heart, even if it’s just tonight.”

Her words lingered in the air for what seemed like an eternity. Was it really possible? Was she really telling me that she wanted to be with me? And just for one night? This girl had been the entirety of my heart for years, whether she knew it or not! I feel something inside snap, and the part of me that has wanted me to be aggressive about her comes loose. Within a moment, my hands are around her, my left hand finding her hip while my right comes to her hair. My fingers catch something as they work behind her head, but I completely ignore them as I pull her body tight to mine. In that last moment, I bring our lips together in a kiss that I’d long denied myself.

— —

The Eil’phae has no time to react as he envelopes her body in his arms. Her mind races along with her heart as she tries to think of what to say or do. Chi’bi had only said the words to make him want to stay, but now… She ordered her body to resist, to fight back against the savage’s advance. She tried willed away the powerful feeling that came as his body pressed against hers, but to no avail. Every fiber of her being felt as if she’d come to close to her Bot’s engine core and was taking the static charge off of its housing. Chi’bi’s eyes grew wide as she felt his long-awaited passion come to its first fruition, and at the last moment, she tried to envision her love, her wolf, her Djarn…

His kiss strikes off the built energy, and Chi’bi was Allessa only, her body melting into the arms of this human. The wonderful, caring, and respectful human. Her human. Her Robert. Her paws crept around his body as she pulled herself into his lips, and returned the affection just as eagerly. He started to pull back, and her body refused to let go. Chi’bi had been in dire need of affection. Her kind lived on it, thrived with it. And here he was, willing and wanting. She pressed up against the ground to force her kiss to stay with his lips. She felt him bring another, more passionate kiss to her, and she drank it in deeply. It felt good to be held and kissed, and she would deny herself of her Goddess-given pleasures no more. Even if she were to bless herself in the arms of this abomination, so be it.

Yet, in the back corner of her mind, the part of her being and conscience rebelled. Her heart and body, it belonged to another. She was betrothed, and was breaking that promise. The part that held her love for Djarn was quickly swallowed in instincts and desires long banished. So, it collected the true feelings she had for the Ru’therian and locked them away, to be released when this job was completed.

— —

She was wild! I never thought it would be like this!

I finally manage a break to breathe, and I look into her eyes. There was a sudden, noticeable change in what I saw. It was as if no one else was around. Whatever this past was that she spoke of, it was gone. Her smile became a much happier thing to see, and it felt entirely real. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing or feeling!

“Shall we.. Umm… Head to the theater now?” I realize how unusually calm I feel, and it only makes me feel happier.

“Please…”

I help Allessa into the car, then come around and let out an ecstatic WHOOP! This was turning out to be the best night EVER!

The rest of the night was a blur. I couldn’t even tell you what movie we watched. I can tell you that the seats were comfortable and had arm rests that folded up. I can tell you that the theater was all but empty. I can also tell you that, for almost an hour and a half straight, this woman of my dreams had her arms around me and her lips against me. And I can also tell you that she didn’t leave my side. Not once. The few other couples that were around as we left hadn’t noticed anything, but we both had a disheveled look to us towards the end of the movie. Then again, so did they. I remember the drive home, full of laughter, joke, and teases. I remember walking her to her door and feeling as if she was trying to pull me in for a moment.

As she closed the door after our good-nights, I looked up at the stars and walked slowly through the grass to my front door. The world was my desert cart, and I finally had the one thing that I wanted more than anything. As I opened my front door, a thought hit me: What was I going to say to Dannielle?

As I closed the door behind me, I voiced my thought. “She’ll understand.”

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2 Comments on “No Way Back – Chapter 14”

  1. mem80 Says:

    Bravo! Excellent writing partner!!!

    • The Lone Wulf Says:

      Thanks! This is after a few very specific suggestions to change out how I write. IT wasn’t a drastic change, but the updated version should be along soon enough.


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