The pain in his heart
was almost more than he could bear. His stomach was in knots, and the
lump in his throat made it impossible for him to speak.
He nodded numbly at the faint sound of Rebecca trying to console him yet again. For once, she was actually being a decent human being.
Eve had said it was over. Over! How could it be over when he loved her so much? When he knew she loved him just as much? They had just found each other again; they had just discovered that their love had never died, that it still burned as passionate as it always had.
He pressed his lips tightly together, afraid that if he opened his mouth just a bit, he would cry out the agony he was feeling. Losing her again was a pain he had never experienced…like death had gripped his very soul and would not let go.
Rebecca ran her hand up his arm, trying to get his attention. A slight move of his head and she knew it was pointless; he was unreachable. He knew she was there of course, but there was nothing she could do to comfort him, or even make him return to reality. He had been this way for days; and frankly, it was beginning to scare her. She had never seen him in such a devastated state.
Damn her…damn Eve for doing this to him. When he was chasing Eve, at least he was functioning; always in la-la land, yes…but at least she was able to get him to sign most important papers once in awhile, whenever she needed to keep the Lo-Fitz clan in line. Now, she couldn’t get him to sign a piece of paper if she held a loaded gun to his head… something she wouldn’t dream of doing for fear that he would pull the trigger himself, putting an end to the misery he was in.
Growing weary of trying to be the good, caring wife, Rebecca stated that she was going to the Book Café for a coffee.
He barely blinked.
Nodding her understanding that nothing was going to change concerning him, she gave up and left him there on the pier.
At the Book Café,
Rebecca ordered a strong coffee - anything to get out of the depression that
being around Julian had caused. That voice! Rebecca’s ears perked up.
Eve! She was here. Well, she was going to get a piece of her
Rebecca paid for her coffee, and then marched over to where Eve and Ivy were deep in conversation about something. She was sure they were talking about her. Well, who cared what they thought? They weren’t important. In fact, anyone who wasn’t running in the Crane social circles…well, their opinion just didn’t count.
“Eve, I want a word with you…now!” Rebecca demanded.
Eve looked up in surprise.
“Rebecca!” Ivy exclaimed. “Who are you trying to railroad today? Hmm?”
Ignoring her, Rebecca set her sights on Eve once more. “Get up.”
Eve’s skin began to crawl. ‘Good lord, she isn’t going to blackmail me for something else, is she?’ she thought, dread setting in. “What is it, Rebecca? I don’t have time for your games,” she said, getting up.
“Oh, this won’t take but a minute,” Rebecca stated, and then reached out and slapped Eve hard across the face.
Eve’s hand flew to her cheek. “What was that for?!” she cried.
“That was for my Pookie. Thanks to you, he is a fraction of the man he used to be before you got your hooks into him. You have destroyed him. He won’t so much as blink when I speak to him, never mind performing his husbandly duties with me.” Her eyes flashed for a moment, and then she turned and left.
Eve sat down numbly, her hand still on her cheek, tears in her eyes.
“I do believe Rebecca is upset,” Ivy said, trying to make conversation.
“Not now, Ivy,” Eve whispered weakly. “I have to go.” She got up and rushed out of the Book Café.
Twilight had set in as
Eve stood on the far end of the pier, staring across the marina. Breaking
things off with Julian before they got any more involved was the hardest
thing she had ever had to do. It was the right thing to do, for everyone…everyone
except Julian…and herself, if she was just halfway honest about it.
She had to keep up appearances that everything was all right with her - that nothing was wrong, especially at home, with TC. If he so much as felt there was something not right with her, he would ask until she either told him or made up some lie about why she was so down…and there was no way she was going to tell him that she was missing Julian Crane - that she wanted to be with him - that her heart was torn to pieces because she missed the warmth of his embrace, the touch of his lips on hers, the whispers of love in her ear as he tenderly caressed her face.
‘Oh, Julian,’ she thought. The ache in her heart and soul was more painful than anything she had ever been through, even more than when Julian first left her. This was different; their love was different. It was deep and unselfish, passionate and tender…a love that no doubt would stand the test of time. Eve began to weep uncontrollably. It was too much; the pain was too great. She has kept it bottled up inside, and now it came rushing out like a dam that had just burst. She sank against the railing.
A hand gently touched her shoulder, startling her. She tried to compose herself, but to no avail. Her body shook with sobs. Arms wrapped around her waist and drew her close. She knew…she knew who it was and leaned back into his embrace as he pressed his face into the side of her neck, kissing her.
“Julian…” she cried, reaching up blindly, pressing his head to hers.
“Oh, Eve,” he whispered, turning her in his arms. “I can’t bear this. I can’t live without you.” He crushed his lips to hers, holding her tighter against him as she returned his kiss, straining against his mouth, eager to be closer to him…to feel his love.
After a few minutes, as their passion threatened to consume them, Julian pulled back, gasping for air. “Eve, we have to get out of here.” He took her hand, glancing around to see if the coast was clear.
Eve nodded, following him blindly, holding tightly to his hand for fear she would lose him, her heart pounding madly in her chest.
Inside the safety of his limo, he told the chauffeur to drive. “Just keep going.” After closing the panel between him and the driver, Julian sat on the seat along the length of the car and pulled Eve down onto his lap. Immediately, his lips settled on hers once more.
All the hurt and pain they had felt the past few weeks fled as they drowned themselves in each other. Passion and longing raged between them; overwhelming emotions flowed freely as they desperately clung to each other.
His hand traveled up her side and brushed lightly against her breast.
Eve gasped into his mouth at the new rush of passion that flooded her being. Being like this with him, losing herself with him, was incredible. But this, his touch in a more intimate place, caused the memories to come flooding back, memories of the nights she had spent years ago making love with him, experiencing with him the incredible gift God had created between a man and a woman. It all came back to her now, and she knew she couldn’t live without this man. She needed him like she needed the air she breathed. Her love for him was unchanging, and to keep herself from him was like ending her life, a life that was complete only with Julian Crane.
Encouraged by her response, Julian became bolder. They hadn’t talked about making love, and back at her office a few weeks ago, they had barely gotten started when TC interrupted them. He moved his hand over her breast lightly, and then, after a tense moment of wondering if he should continue, he settled his hand over it. His heart pounded madly at the sheer ecstasy of it. When she didn’t push him away, but instead placed kisses all over his face and throat, eager to touch every part of him, he swiftly unbuttoned her shirt.
Eve moaned as his need pressed against her. Her hands fumbled blindly for the buttons of his shirt. As her lips pressed against Julian’s, her tongue softly seducing his, her desire for him mounted to a feverish pitch.
The hum of the rubber tires hitting the pavement as the limousine cruised the back roads of the New England countryside added to the excitement building inside the car. Julian, in a heartbeat, had completely undressed Eve and himself and now gently laid her down on the seat, shifting so that she was beneath him and he could cover her exquisite body with his own.
As his mouth came down on one breast, Eve arched her back, straining to be nearer as his lips and tongue drove her wild with desire. Her fingers raked through his hair, pulling him up for another kiss.
With each kiss, as they battled each other’s tongue for control, giving and taking, the couple tumbled farther and farther from the pain that had been in their hearts, far away from that awful place called reality.
Julian reached down, caressing her thigh. Those legs, that had in the past driven him mad at the thought of burying himself in the intimate treasure hidden between them, were smooth as silk, sleek and delicate…enough to make a man give his very life at the chance of feeling them around him.
Eve waited in anticipation when he lifted one of her legs so that he could settle himself between them. She wondered what it would be like to be one with him again, to feel him inside her. Then, she felt him, pressing gently against her at first, and then plunging deep inside her. Eve cried his name against his mouth as his lips, swollen like hers from the fervent heat of their kisses, pressed firmly against hers.
The sweet ache in her belly grew as the tension mounted with each deliberate movement he made. Eve thought for sure she was going to lose her mind as he continued to caress her and drive his own need to the brink of letting go.
When she wrapped her legs around his waist and rocked her pelvis, he almost lost control, pulling out completely to keep from ruining the moment too soon. “Eve,” he rasped hoarsely. “I’m hanging on by a thread, my love. If you keep doing that, I am going to explode.” He smiled as he wiped the sweat from her brow with his thumb.
“Yes,” she said, licking her lips. “Take me, Julian. I am yours,” she whispered.
Needing no further encouragement, he pressed his lips to hers, capturing her tongue, and again thrust deep inside her. And together, wave after wave of sweet, earth-shattering ecstasy overtook them and sent them spiraling into orbit, lost to the world…but complete and found in each other.
Spent, Eve now lay on
top of him, her head resting next to his on the pillow he had retrieved from
the seat across from them. She breathed deeply, completely content,
his arms securely wrapped around her. “I love you, Julian. Now and
forever,” she whispered.
“And I love you.” He smiled and turned to kiss her lightly, echoing, “Now and forever.”