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Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Taylor moved up and down on his erection and a low moan slipped out of Michael. His eyes clenched tightly. Resisting the urge to thrust upward, to just grab her buttocks and go at it hot and heavy he concentrated on not having an early climax.
“Your skin is so soft, Taylor. You taste delicious and you smell…Um…yummy. I love your scent. One day you’ll have to tell me what that tantalizing fragrance is.”
He trailed his hand along the ridge of her shoulder following with his lips, his tongue nipping her lightly, licking her skin in circular motions, sucking her tongue into his mouth, pulling her closer, holding her tighter but never ever taking control. “Ride me baby,” he offered, “ride me hard…or gently if you want."
He’d helped her to delay her climax with talk and look at the thanks he’d gotten for it. Taylor was toying with him now. She was deliberately killing him. With one hand Michael braced himself while with the other he attempted to lift Taylor from him.
"Stop it, she scolded. It's my turn to have control."
“Show mercy,” he whispered. “Taylor, you’re so not playing fair.”
“And you think the way you’re touching me is playing fair?”
“But I was attempting to be helpful darling.”
“How, by burning me up?”
He heard the delight in her and once again leaned into the hollow of her neck breathing in her essence, laving her repeatedly. His hands twisted in her hair and he held on as she slid down the length of him.
“This is my game,” Taylor reminded him. “I get to do what I want to you.”
With that she lowered herself all the way down over his erection, grinding her pelvis, not allowing him to break their connection. She wrapped her legs around his back and held on tilting her head downwards. Her pelvis tilted also giving just the angle she was looking for. Michael was touching her just where he knew she wanted it most and… yes, oh yes, she was coming.
Instead of answering her Michael quickly reversed positions. His flesh throbbed and jerked, delighted to be buried inside her creamy wetness. With a groan of satisfaction Michael pushed into Taylor while bringing her hips forward to meet his thrust. He couldn’t go deep enough into her body. She was circling him with her tightness making him want to come with each stroke. But that would be selfish. He was thrusting into her without mercy, faster and faster and… “Yes, yes, that it’s baby. Oh, that’s it,” he groaned as she ground her pelvis into his. It was time for him to give them both the relief they sought. Taylor was moaning. "I’m going to come. I’m…”
The insistent shrilling of the phone pulled Michael from his dream. Damn. Barely opening his eyes he glanced over at the clock and noted the time. 3 A.M. Who the heck could be calling him at this ghastly hour? He wasn't on call and could not think of a single patient who needed him. He thought to ignore the still ringing phone, but the idea that it might be urgent worked its way into his mind. What if Taylor needed him?
With that thought, he snatched the phone from its cradle not masking the gruffness of his voice. If it wasn’t Taylor, wasn’t an absolute emergency, he wanted the caller to be aware they’d awakened him.
“Michael,” Beth’s voice purred through the lines.
“Where the hell are you?” Michael asked, and then followed with: “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I thought maybe instead of continually telling you and Taylor to check the time before you pick up a phone to call me; I’d show you what I meant.”
If he weren’t feeling so annoyed, Beth’s voice would have brought him amusement. After all, she was one of his closest friends. And she had a point. As a model Beth traveled the world and complained often and loudly that he and Taylor were not respectful of even trying to account for time difference when calling her. With a resigned sigh, he finally chuckled. “Sorry, Beth. You’re right. The feeling is different being on the other end. What if I told you, I’d only gone to bed an hour ago and have to be at the hospital in less than three hours?”
“I’d say tough. You shouldn't have spent the night out partying.”
“Is this call important?”
“It is to me. We’ll have to see what you think. It’s about Taylor.”
Taylor. Now Michael was wide awake. “Beth, stop fucking around. Is something wrong with Taylor? What’s going on?”
“She’s not physically ill or anything. But she’s sounding really down. It’s been like that for a couple of months.”
“Shit, you called me for that?”
“This is different. You know how Taylor is. Usually, she comes out of a funk in a matter of days. This one has lasted for months.” Beth sighed in frustration. “Michael, this is on the up and up. I’m worried about her. I’m heading home as soon as my Milan shoot is over.”
As much as he didn’t want to admit it, Beth was right about Taylor. She didn’t stay depressed for an extended period of time. She was so damn controlling that she wouldn’t allow herself the right or weakness to be depressed. That was one of the many subjects they’d fought about a dozen times. He believed a person had a right to become emotional, while Taylor on the other hand thought it a weakness. It was one of the reasons he’d relocated to California after their last breakup. Considering their being apart appeared to have little effect on her, how was he going to tell her it was killing him without appearing weak?
“Michael, are you listening to me? I’m turning down a job to return home and check on her. That alone should tell you how serious I think this is.”
If it was making Beth return to the states it had to be big. If she was giving up a modeling job it had to be catastrophic. “Does she know you’re coming?”
“Yes. I told her I’d come home if she needed me. Instead of saying I was crazy, that she was fine, the way she normally would, Taylor said she’d love to see me.”
“Damn.” Michael whistled between his teeth. “What the hell’s wrong?”
“Something about not getting on a research team and receiving nothing but rejections. It’s hitting her hard. Hey, why don’t you know about this?” Beth accused.
“You know the reason. She asked me to leave her the hell alone, to stay out of her life. I’ve tried to obey her wishes.”
“You don’t even call to check on her?”
The guilt Beth was undoubtedly trying to make him feel was working. The remorse traveled clear through his body. “Not as much as I’d like. Not as often as I call you. But I do call her. I call her on special occasions and every once in awhile I'll call her just to check in, to make sure she's okay, so she'll know that I'm still breathing.” He attempted a laugh but Beth was giving her annoyed snort stopping him before the sound could come out. "Okay, so I don't call her every week or even every month. We're not together remember."
“Damn! That’s cold.”
“What? She does the same,” Michael defended. “Anything other than that and there has to be a damn good reason or she’d accuse me of stalking her, trying to control her simply by wanting to know everything’s well with her. I can’t win with Taylor,” Michael said softly. “It’s either all or nothing with us.”
“I can’t believe for three years you haven’t wanted to personally know how she was doing.”
Knowing the reason, Michael plunged ahead. “I have you for that. You always tell me what’s going on with her. I’ve no doubt you fill her in about my life.”
“Still, I never would have believed the two of you would carry things this far. You’ve been in love with her since you were fifteen.”
Michael laughed softly. “I merely had a crush on her at fifteen.”
“And you’ve been her friend since you were three.”
Annoyance was rapidly creeping back in. Didn’t Taylor have as much responsibility as he to keep their relationship alive? Why should he be the only one to try? She wanted things he wasn’t at liberty to give her. She wanted the truth about why he’d broken her heart over a decade ago.
How the hell did he tell her he’d sold their future to her parents for money to help his family with their farm? Better yet, how did he tell her he’d blackmailed them to finance his education? Sure, he’d initially done it out of anger at her parents. They thought Taylor deserved something better than a life of hard work on a farm married to him. He’d thought the same. She was brilliant, always had been. She’d always talked of becoming a doctor from the time they were kids.
There was no way Michael had had the money for dreams like those. He’d tried to convince himself after a bit of time passed that what he’d done was for the two of them, that he was making sure he’d have a better future to offer Taylor. What he’d thought of as investing in their future had backfired.
With a weary sigh he admitted to himself that the prime motivator had been anger. He’d wanted vengeance and had ended up hurting Taylor and hurting any chance they had of a future. Even so, they’d tried many times. But the lie was always there in the background.
“Michael,” Beth said softly, interrupting his thoughts. “If it were you, Taylor wouldn’t hesitate if she knew you needed her. Your agreement wouldn’t stand in the way of that.”
And that was the rub. Though it had been Taylor who’d broken things off and told him to stay out of her life Michael knew without a doubt if he called and told her he needed her, she would drop whatever she was doing and come to him. Another longer sigh escaped.
But Taylor hadn’t called him. Beth had.
“She doesn’t want me in her life, Beth. Don’t you understand? Taylor ordered me to stay out of her life.”
“Do you want her out of yours as well?”
Saying yes was the one lie Michael was unprepared to tell either to Beth or himself. Hell no, he didn’t want Taylor out of his life. He never had. Every single day his thoughts returned to her. It was by sheer force of will he didn’t call more often. Sometimes he’d go so far as to punch in her number on his phone. Then he’d hang up before a connection could be made.
“I’ll call her, Beth. That’s all I can promise.”
“It’s a little bit more than nothing. But if that’s all you can do, and if she means so little to you, then what the hell. Call her if you get a spare moment, Michael. I’m sure she’ll appreciate your making time for her. I wouldn’t have called so late if I didn't believe she needed you. Just think about this conversation the next time you want to call me in the middle of the night.”
The slam of the phone reverberated in his ear. Putting the phone away Michael turned on the bedside lamp and sat on the side of the bed with his head in his hand. He wondered at the timing. For months now he'd dreamed repeatedly of making love to Taylor. He'd attempted to wash her from his mind with other women, but it hadn't worked. She was under his skin. Now he knew why. It had been a hell of a lot easier to be who he was without being near her. Before he’d even walked to the bathroom he knew it was time to go home. Taylor needed him.
Taking a long hard look at his image in the mirror he viewed his appearance through Taylor’s eyes. She no longer liked his country boy blonde hair and blue eyes. She preferred his hair black and his eyes green. With a snort he thought of the green contacts he’d not worn in three years. He’d have to get a new script.
The things he’d done to Taylor were awful, but the things he’d allowed her to do to him were almost as bad. Of course he could have said no when she’d come up with the idea for him to change his looks and join her in modeling. He didn’t need a shrink to know he’d gone along with it out of guilt. Hurting Taylor by telling her he didn’t love her, and never had, had been the death of a part of his soul for the telling. And hers, for the hearing.
When she’d decided they could remain friends it came after the change in his hair and eyes. Only then did it seem she could look at him without the constant pain that haunted her. To take that away for even a moment had been a fair trade. Or so he’d thought at the time.
Running his hands through his hair he knew he’d once again find a stylist who would turn his blonde locks inky black.
More urgent things were at hand. The thought that in order to return home to Taylor would put him in direct line of communication with his family, namely his father, made Michael swallow the regret. If he wasn’t home and didn’t go regularly to see what shape the farm was in, to see what other piece of equipment had broken down, he could take care of the basic needs of his parents: Loan to Taylor's parents, utilities, food, insurance and incidentals. And he could continue to help out his four siblings.
But the farm was another matter. For the last three years he’d stubbornly refused to buy any more farm equipment. He’d poured tens of thousand of dollars into a never ending sink hole. Now, he’d have no choice but to go and see his parents, and see the farm.
And he’d have no choice after seeing the farm but to allow the look in his father’s eyes to persuade him to buy whatever new gadget his father thought would make a go of the farm. Nothing would. His father wasn’t a farmer, never had been. He’d wasted years of his life and most of the money Michael earned, and still wouldn’t accept that fact.
With a disgusted grunt he decided to turn the light inward. The life he’d lived for the last three years was no better than what his father had done. He’d believed he could find a life without Taylor and be happy. Every failed relationship proved him wrong. No matter how hard he tried, his damanable heart wanted her and only her. The pretense worked to a degree when they weren’t in the same state. He had little doubt he’d eventually crumble in her presence. The way he saw it, he was left with little choice. As Beth had said, Taylor needed him. He had no option left but to go to her. Reason said it could be a visit, nothing permanent. But his heart said No. he missed being in the same state as Taylor, even when they were fighting it was better knowing she would be no more than a short drive away, that they could eat together, make love, fight and make up again. Running from her hadn't helped him and it probably hadn't helped her. It was time to go home.
He'd always known the move to California wasn't eternal. He'd hoped against hope that a call would come, that Taylor's soft voice would reach out to him pleading with him to return home. That hadn't happened and if he stayed away another twenty years it probably never would. The woman he loved was much too in control of her emotions to ever let him know she needed him. The excuse Beth had given him was as good as any. Besides, he was ready to return.
First he needed a plan. There had to be a way he could give Taylor what she wanted. He’d made numerous research contacts since moving into the field. If she wanted so badly to be on a research team that it had her depressed for months, he’d make damn sure he used all of his resources to make it happen.
Making a mental list of the things he had to do in order to return home and help her, the most obvious was to secure a position at home and give notice to his research team and the hospital. With a sigh he wondered if he were a bit insane. He was giving up a lot. But for Taylor he'd give up everything.
Returning to his room, he reached for the phone, smiling a little, wondering if she was in bed alone. “Hey, Ta,” he spoke softly when she answered. “How’s it going?”