Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cut here...add there...

OT keeps evolving. I think tonight's work just cut out an entire sub-plot about Jake letting the wrong man be accused of his uncle's death because the guy deserves it. But now, since Jake's staying the weekend, the whole thing may be done and over with. Because events are heating up.

Here's some of what he gave me, this evening. He's talking with Antony after finding out more about Uncle Owen's life...and things were going very, very nicely. It's Friday night, late, and Jake's fresh from a shower and wrapped in nothing but a towel.


I put my nose to his. “What’s your take on Lemm?”

“He’s a heartbreaker.”


He took a while to answer. “He’s the first guy I’ve met who’s harder than me.”

“Bullshit, nobody’s as hard as you.”

“You only say that because you love me.”

“Nice of you to notice.”

“I’ve always known.” He handed me a short kiss, then added, “I always will know. That’s one of the few things I can trust in.”

That’s one of the few things he could trust in? Wait...why did that sound like he really didn’t?

He took my hand and led me to the stairs. “C’mon, you need some sleep. We can give Matt that little talk in the morning.”

I let him lead me upstairs and into the bedroom and lay me down, still wrapped in the towel. Then he lay beside me, fully clothed. And held me. And caressed my arms and neck and chin and the bandage around my chest. I let him, because the only thing my mind was able to lock onto was his comment.

He “trusted” that I loved him.

He didn’t know that I did. He fucking trusted me.

What’s even more – he didn’t say he loved me, this time. He had in the past, more than once. But he didn’t this time. All he’d done is acknowledge what I said and put me to bed, like a kid, and made sure nothing would happen between us. Why? Why would he say something like that to me? Sure he was back to being granite, but was this support just out of some stupid sense of gratitude? Obligation? Fondness? Repayment of a past debt? Or just his psychotic stubbornness kicking in?

Shit, for a second there I’d thought it was going to be okay. For a second I’d thought we’d made the connection, again. But now?

He didn’t know I loved; he only trusted that I did. And I knew he meant it that way, because he didn’t say he loved me. He didn’t say it.

He didn’t say it.

He didn’t say it because he didn’t, anymore.

If he ever really did.

I didn’t sleep much, that night. Mira’s voice kept ringing in my ears. “Why do you stay with Tone?” I could hear her asking me. Was this what she’d sensed? Was this why she asked me that? Suddenly I could see what she was aiming at. It wasn’t me being weak or my career or her disliking Tone that made her wonder why I stuck with him. She could tell he didn’t feel about me like I felt about him. She could see this was all a one-way street, going from me to him.

Shit, I could’ve stayed in Copenhagen and let him come to me, if he wanted to. That would’ve been the smart way to handle things. Better all the way around, for Uncle Ari, for Tone, for me. But like some stupid dog whose love for his master never stops, no matter how much he keeps getting hit, I’d gone happily trotting after a guy who barely understood me, or even really cared. After more two years together, he still just trusted me when I told him I loved him; he didn’t know it.

I was a fucking idiot.

I couldn’t stop my brain from whirling around that thought. So I lay there and stared at a blank, cold ceiling. And felt so completely alone and lost in this empty, endless nothingness.

Uncle Owen was gone. Gramma was dead. My parents hated me. And now I didn’t even have Tone. I’d mistaken his stubborn refusal to move when he didn’t want to as support for me. As my backup. As love. But over and over and over he’d pulled the rug right out from under me. Shit, I was worse than a dog; I was like that stupid coyote who’s run off a cliff chasing a road runner and suddenly realized he’s got nothing underneath him, anymore, and is about to fall hundreds of feet into a canyon. It’s a dumb analogy, but that’s exactly how I felt. The “Oh, shit,” that comes before the long, long journey to the crash.

I kept telling myself, he’d saved me. He’d given me my life back. Given me a future, again. And he’d driven out here to back me up the second he heard I needed him. But the more I looked at the reality of what he’d done, the more I could see it was just collateral protection. What happened in Texas – none of that was done for me. Not at first. It was started for Collie, the guy I replaced. Collier Winston-Royce. He was named like a dog. And like your first pet, he was the most loved one. Me? I just was his replacement. I’d mistaken a need for revenge and me being in the wrong place at the right time and Tone’s basic psychoses as meaning he wanted me. Needed me. Loved me.

But love means nothing without trust. I don’t think it even really exists unless you have that. It just becomes control. Or reliance. Or expectation. Or tolerance. Maybe even fondness. But not an ache in your soul when your partner hurts. Not anger when he or she is misused. Not joy when you see them for the first time that day. Not peace when they hold you. Not the certainty that they care for you as much as you care for them.

I’d felt all these things with Tone. But he didn’t with me.

He didn’t.

Because he didn’t believe me when I told him I loved him. He only trusted that I meant it when I told him he’s my mate forever.

He didn’t really believe me. He just plain didn’t. Not deep down. Probably never would.


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