Love Comes Twice – Chapter five
Leaving her was the hardest thing I had ever done. I didn’t want to go. I had stayed with her for a few days, helping her get settled while being careful not to intrude. I went with her to Tom’s funeral, too, but stayed in the background, as invisible as I could be. That first day, when I got up to go back to the hotel, she’d asked me to stay.
“Please don’t leave me?” she pleaded, and her eyes were so big and beautiful that I stayed. I stayed up that night until I was sure she was asleep before I blacked out on the couch. Her sobs woke me up in the middle of the night and my heart hurt for her. Half asleep, I dragged myself off the couch and pushed her door open. She was tossing and turning, so I gently woke her up. She didn’t open her eyes, but grabbed my arm and pulled me into bed with her. Surprised, I tried my best to keep my distance but she rolled onto her side and put her head on my shoulder. I caved and held her gently while staring at the ceiling. My mind and her presence made it impossible for me to sleep. I only dozed off a few times during the night before finally crashing completely around 6:00 a.m. My sleep was not as calm and quiet as I would have liked. Having Emma in my arms sent me into an erotic dream, one where she let me explore her body and mind. When I woke up, I was hard as a rock and we were glued together, her back to my stomach, my arms around her, our legs entwined. My cock had nestled itself in the cleft between her buttocks and every little breath she took resonated through it and sent shivers down my spine. I cherished the moment and closed my eyes to memorize the way our bodies fit each other. Her gasp alerted me and told me she was awake and had realized how entangled we were. I loosened my grip on her and she slid out of my arms. She turned to look at me and even gave me a hint of a smile. I had expected worse.
“I’m sorry I woke you,” she said as she pulled an oversized sweater over her head. Her eyes followed the edge of the covers. They were barely covering my stomach now and her interest was obvious.
“It’s okay. You hungry?”
She nodded, so I got up to fix her some food. Rummaging through her cabinets I found a can of beans. Her fridge kept eggs, bread and even a few slices of bacon. I threw a couple of slices of bread in the toaster and got cooking. We found a quiet pace, one where I was more or less silently helping her. She’d set her mind to it. Most of the clothes Tom had were being packed away. It was like some kind of therapy for her, to check each and every piece of his clothing. She’d fold them neatly and then put her nose in each item, getting one last whiff of him. So, by the time I decided I had to leave, almost all of his stuff was gone, packed up and delivered either to his parents or to charity. I don’t know if she wanted me to stay longer or if she was happy having me out of her hair. I could’ve stayed there forever to take care of her, but I had obligations, such that I couldn’t hold them off any longer. The band needed me. Jack had stayed at the hotel while I was with Emma, and he told me he’d spent some time with Sophia. He was cool as always, but the rest of the band was getting pretty restless. I didn’t want to ruin anything for them, I just couldn’t stay. Jack met me outside Emma’s place, checked out of the hotel and ready to go. The cab was picking us up to take us to the airport and Jack was busy putting his and my bags in the trunk. I turned and looked up. Emma was in the window of her apartment, arms crossed, but looking peaceful. She had found her center these last few days. I knew she would be okay in time. I gave her a smile and a nod. She lifted her hand as if to say goodbye. I didn’t really do goodbyes, so I got in the cab and it drove away.
Parker leaving made me feel lonely. He’d stayed for the funeral, helped me get through that day and been a rock through a week that felt like an eternity. He’d helped me get my bearings and find my footing in this new life of mine. I still felt miserable most of the time, but I knew how to cope, how to get up in the morning and start a day I didn’t welcome. He walked me through those first rough days like he’d always been there. He’d been kind, caring, understanding, never stepping over my boundaries and never pushing me into anything I didn’t want to do. He’d held my hand through packing away most of Tom’s stuff. He’d made sure I ate, showered and got dressed. He walked me to my first day of work after all this mess, and he picked me up when that day was over. I had gotten used to relying and leaning on him and I knew I would miss him. I also knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would see him again. I would be able to call him if I needed to. I was determined, though, to stand on my own feet. Resting my head on his shoulder had been good, but I now had to face a new way of living, and I had to figure that out by myself. So, when the cab left and drove down the street, I just went to get ready for work, not feeling anything. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t sad. I was just numb and I welcomed the feeling.
When people told me that everything will go back to normal, at first I got mad. Really mad. Tom was gone and nothing would ever be normal again. But, slowly, day by day, it did. I settled into a rhythm I could live with. Get up, go to work, go home, have dinner, watch TV, go to sleep. It didn’t leave much time for me to think, and it was perfect; for a while. Parker kept sending me these little, short texts. Like “How are you?” or “What’s up with you?” Nothing big, just enough that I would remember he was there. He was truly a great guy, but I couldn’t let my heart sway his way. Not now, not yet. I still loved Tom over everything and it made me feel guilty thinking about a different man. The thing is, though, when everything is perfect, it gets awfully old, and after a while I started feeling bored. It was one of those nights the phone rang. I looked at the screen and it said “Parker Hill.” I wrinkled my forehead wondering what was up, as he wouldn’t usually call.
“Hey,” I said as I picked up.
“Hey Emma,” he replied almost instantly.
I was silent long enough for him to start talking.
“Listen. We have a gig in London tomorrow night, seeing as the last one got cancelled. Do you wanna come out for a show?”
I thought about it for one long second and realized I really wanted to go.
“Um… yeah. I’d like that.” I said. “But, can Sophia come? I really don’t feel like going by myself.”
“No, for sure she can come,” Parker said.
“Listen, I’ll have a car pick you up at six. Be ready, okay?”
“Six sounds great. Thanks Parker.” I replied.
I smiled. This actually felt good. I got out my good top. Black, netting at the back, but fully covered in the front, short and tight. It looked damn good on me. Paired with jeans that hugged my ass and my best pair of black pumps, I felt good. Sophia wanted to do my hair, but I just said “Leave it down” and smiled.
“Yeah,” she said, “it looks better that way anyway.”
She had screamed when I called her with the news yesterday. She cancelled her appointment at the hairdresser and said “Fuck yes, I’m coming!” like she would have ever said no to that. I smiled thinking about it, so she asked me, “What are you smiling at?” I told her honestly, “I just feel happy I’m able to do this with you and I haven’t felt happy in a long time.”
It had been six weeks since Tom died and it still hurt pretty bad, but it was manageable. Doing this, going to a show again, would probably remind me of that day, but I was hopeful that the joy of seeing the band would override that. So, at 6:00 p.m. Sophia and I were downstairs getting into a limo. He sent us a freaking limo! We hopped in and I felt a surge of excitement. The driver showed us where to find glasses and urged us to have a drink. We found a bottle of champagne and looked at each other.
“Can we open this?” Sophia said.
“I think we should,” I smiled back at her and cracked it open.
We made a toast to friendship and sat back to enjoy the trip, the drinks, the feeling of companionship and letting the thought sink in that we were going to a Dangerous concert once again. We pulled up to the venue and there were already probably hundreds of people waiting in line. I knew some of the people crammed up to the door, way up front. I had been right there with them so many times. I felt a little nervous thinking I wouldn’t be able to see Dangerous from the front row this time. There was no way we’d be able to sneak up there, even with a bunch of “friendlies” already in place. I looked over at Sophia.
“You know, it’ll be great, wherever we end up.”
“How do you always know what I’m thinking?” she said.
We grinned at each other as we both knew that was our thing. We could take one look at the other and know exactly what she was feeling. I was waiting for the driver to stop and let us out, but the limo slowly passed the crowd and moved around the corner. People in line were eyeing the car, probably wondering if it was the band. I saw some of them pointing and some seemed to want to leave the line, but didn’t. My secret little fangirl did a twirl inside me; she was definitely enjoying this. We finally stopped at the back entrance and the driver opened the door. Climbing out, the only person I could see was Mac. I smiled. Now Mac, I knew!
“Hey handsome!” I yelled at him.
He grabbed and hugged us both and laughed. What a cool guy. Talking into his intercom he said; “They’re here.”
What? He opened the door behind him and motioned for us to go inside. I couldn’t believe it! Was he bringing us in early? Sophia took me by the elbow. Her face was one big grin and what a welcome sight it was. As the door closed behind us, Mac turned towards us and started talking.
“I’ve been told to take care of you ladies tonight, but I also have a ton of other things to do, so you have to be patient with me.”
I had no idea what to say, but Sophia took care of it for me, “That’s awesome!”
Mac continued, “I don’t know, do you maybe want to go to the Meet & Greet?”
Sophia and I were suddenly talking too fast, both trying to get the message through that we wanted to, both not believing our luck. Sophia even squealed. We were going to meet the band again! She continued babbling, “Can you believe this? We’re gonna go see the guys. How lucky is that? I guess the Gods finally heard my prayers.”
I laughed, feeling her completely. Mac walked us through the venue explaining that the M&G would take place in about 10 minutes, we would be able to sit through it, and also get the chance for some pictures with the band at their request. At their request? We looked at each other again. Did we hear him right? Had the band really requested our presence? I couldn’t quite believe it. I mean, Parker had been awesome to me, and he’d proven himself to be a real stand-up kind of guy. I expected nothing from him, though, and I was sure he knew that. We’d had that one week where I felt utterly dependent on him, but I felt as though we’d been in this bubble we would both forget about when it was over. Texts or no texts, I had no doubt in my mind he would give little to no thought about me when he left. He had been a great companion through what might have been my hardest time and I owed him my sanity. He owed me nothing. The guy was a rock star for crying out loud. Having him invite us to a show was nothing short of amazing, but I had initially thought that he’d just give us tickets and that would be that. That alone would have been magic. This treatment, however, was a massive surprise! Mac brought us up a couple of flights of stairs into a long hallway. The first room on the right, the one he brought us into, was empty aside from a box filled with t-shirts that was left on a table. There was a sofa in the far corner and a couple of chairs next to it.
“Okay,” Mac said, checking the watch on his arm.
“I’m going to leave you ladies here while I go get the rest of the people attending the Meet & Greet. We’ll be back in a few minutes and then I’ll go get the band. Is there anything I can get you before I go?”
I smiled, Mac was a total sweetheart.
“No, Mac, we’re good.” I said.
“I’ll have someone bring you some water.” he replied, and then walked out.
Sophia turned to look at me, grabbed my hands and we both started jumping up and down, laughing. I felt Free. Free and happy for the first time in six weeks. A little, tiny nudge in my stomach reminded me that I was supposed to be hurting, but I ignored it. I wanted this. A swift knock on the door startled us and we stopped jumping. Leaning on the door frame, Parker had folded his arms over his chest and was watching us with a smile on his face. I suddenly felt butterflies in my stomach. How long had he been there? “Look,” he said, as he walked over.
“I gotta get out of here before Mac brings all the crazies up here, but I wanted to come say ‘Hi’.”
I pulled my eyebrow up and gave him a look, “The crazies?” I asked with a hint of a smile. He chuckled and said, “Yeah, yeah. I wasn’t talking about you two.”
He took Sophia’s hand and pulled her a little closer, giving her a friendly peck on her cheek.
“How are you, sweetie?” he said to her.
Sophia grinned wide.
“I’m perfect, how about you?”
Parker turned to me and pulled me in for a hug that kind of took me by surprise, but it felt incredibly comforting as he replied over my head, “I’m feeling better by the minute.” We suddenly heard people talking on the staircase, so Parker let me go and hurried back to the door. He gave a courteous bow and laughed.
“Gotta run, see you in a few.”
And then he was gone. I let go a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding and tried to sort out my emotions. I had been drooling over this guy for so long, but having been so happy with Tom it had only ever been dreaming. I had never allowed myself to even think about a future with him; I mean, he was way out of my league, right? And it would have brought me nothing but misery. But now? Now I didn’t know what to think. Conflicting thoughts about being loyal to Tom, but still wanting this man so badly made me flinch. Fans of the band started to file into the room and I had to get a grip. I put my arms around my body to steady myself and at the same time Sophia came up to me to give me a hug. She whispered to me, “You know, honey, it’s not illegal for you to love someone again.” I was shocked that she would say that, but had no time to sort out how I felt about it as Mac was back and started talking. He quieted down the room and motioned for everyone to go to the rear of the room.
“You will all be allowed one photo with the entire band. There will be no individual photos today as there is no time for it. You’ll be able to grab a complimentary t-shirt on the way out.”
He then continued to explain that the band would be standing close to the door and that after each person was done with their photo, they would be led back out of the room. Sophia and I were in the back and that meant that the room would be empty by the time it was our turn. I flashed my teeth at her, knowing she had followed my thoughts. We held hands and smiled. About 30 people had filled the room and I couldn’t see much, but I could hear from the commotion up front that the band must have arrived. I heard cameras flashing and Mac’s voice telling them to wait. The room was emptying out slowly and every now and then I got a glimpse of Parker. Whenever he was not looking in the camera he was looking at me. There was a smoldering warmth in his eyes that I wasn’t sure was for me or not and, also, I didn’t know if I would welcome. But, I still had to admit that I liked it. The man was fine! I would never not check him out, that was for sure, and I knew it would take a long time for me to get my fill. We were down to the last eight or nine people when I realized a couple of them were staring at me. I had seen these girls before, at a few different shows, maybe even more than that, but we had never spoken. They were the obnoxious kind that we would stay away from, the ones that would be rude and run after the band given the opportunity. We had always held ourselves to be too good for that.
“You two weren’t downstairs waiting for the M&G with us, were you?” one of them said.
I looked her straight in the eyes and lied.
“Yeah, we were.”
She shook her hair out and pursed her lips.
“No. I didn’t see you. How did you get up here?”
I really didn’t want to get into this. Girls like her would gossip and spread ugly rumors I didn’t need. I was desperately trying to think of something to say and looked over at Parker. He was talking quietly to Mac, motioning towards the girls. Mac promptly turned and walked over. He took one girl by the elbow.
“How about it, ladies, you wanna get your pictures?”
The two of them luckily forgot all about us and I saw Parker wink at me. I snorted! Saved by the rock star himself. I found it funny that he had paid enough attention to notice what was going on. In a moment of weakness I winked right back at him, clearly taking him by surprise and as a camera flashed, his mouth was wide open in shock. I laughed out loud and as I met Jack’s eyes, I noticed that he too knew exactly what was going on. He elbowed Parker and made some joke I couldn’t hear, but that made them burst out laughing. I heard chuckles from the rest of the band, too. It must have been something funny. I wasn’t going to ask, though, no way, but the room felt lighter somehow. Cheerier. I was actually enjoying myself. The last few people got their pictures and left in the room were only the band members, Mac, Sophia and me. It felt awkward for only a second as they all walked up to us to chat. Mac fiddled with a camera.
“Can we just get these pictures done before you start chatting up the ladies? I need to get some work done here!”
We all laughed, but lined up against the wall to get it done. Jack grabbed Sophia around her waist and pulled her in with him all the while she was laughing and kicking. When had they gotten so darn friendly, I wondered to myself. And how had I missed it? Lucas, Flame and Caden filled in behind them as Parker took my hand and pulled me in with him. He held me close to his body and I knew right then and there that this would be one of those pictures that would never make it online. Every decent picture ever taken with the band had gone straight to social media. This one, though, with Jack and Parker each holding a girl this tight? No, we needed to protect that. I felt Parker’s face in my hair as I heard the camera. Click. Click. Click. Feeling at ease this close to him, I turned towards him and put my arms around him. Click. Breathing slowly, I knew there was something surprisingly right about this. His hand, that had been resting on my shoulder, slowly moved down my back, down to my waist. Parker was caressing the small of my back, finding a gap in between the jeans and my top where there was naked skin. A short breath slipped out of me and he stopped for a second. Not wanting him to stop, I let my hand slide over his back. It started again, and we were there, in our own little bubble as the camera went off again.
“Great!” I heard Mac say.
“These look great. You guys have 15 minutes till stage.” he said.
“Do not be late!”
He had his finger in the air and I had to laugh. Parker looked down at me with humor in his eyes and whispered to me; “Are you ready for this?”
“Love Comes Twice” is set for release 04.30.17.
Available for preorder now, on iBooks and Barnes and Noble.