“Talk to me…all of it. What made you this way? Cause, baby. I am going to make you never feel alone again. You hear me?” His gaze on her was so intense, she wanted to look away. But she couldn’t. He’d always been honest with her about everything, now it was her turn to reciprocate.
She took a deep breath and began to talk.
“When I was little…I didn’t know who I was, where I came from. I have so little memory of my birth parents. My first memories were waking up in a bassinet on the steps of a Spanish Missionary in southern Texas. The sisters there took me in, gave me a name, raised me, taught me the things and skills I would need to survive in this world. I was named ‘Carmen’ after their patron saint. When I was older, they told me I would have to choose my own surname to make my way through life, told me about my powers and abilities, about my enemies and allies. Despite their religious beliefs, the sisters understood there were people and powers greater than their own faith in this world. One of the sisters had a daughter who had passed away at a young age named ‘Louisa Marquez’. So I chose those for my middle and surname to honor her.” she started. She had never told anyone so much of her history before. She looked to see if he was bored with her yet, but he seemed fascinated by what she was telling him.
“So I continued my studies, discovering I had a natural ability to suss out evil. It was why I joined the Police Academy. I met someone there, Marcus Kinderbury. Rich, gorgeous, smart…he could have had any girl there. And he chose me. I was flattered at first, I didn’t think I was that great looking to be honest. But he wouldn’t give up. He took me to fancy dinners, exotic trips, lavished me with gifts, made me feel like I was the only woman in the world. So…one night…I…allowed him to be with me. Gave myself, my purity to him without hesitation. And it was wonderful.” She gave a small smile at the memory. But it was the events that followed that made her bitter and distrustful toward men. She turned her gaze toward the ceiling and continued speaking.
“The next day…it was like I didn’t even exist. He went out of his way to avoid me, ignoring my calls, ignoring my visits to his home, had his servants tell me almost daily he wasn’t available. I finally caught up to him one day, about a few weeks later. We’d had a brutal self-defense lesson so we were all pretty sweaty and grimy. There were seperate showers for the male and female officers. He was the last one to go in so I waited until I thought everyone had left before I went to see him. He…” and here she stopped to laugh, the bitter sting of tears making her eyes burn with remembered pain. “…he was in the shower…with another of one of the newer officers…doing to her, what he did to me. And I felt so…used.” her voice had trailed off to a whisper at that point, and she brushed her hands across her eyes in anger to wipe away her tears.
“It was difficult after that to trust a man again. Every time I would get into a relationship, I would start thinking about him and would let my insecurities rule my head and drive them off.” she admitted. “Then I’d see all these happy couples and start to feel lonely and then start dating….and the cycle would repeat itself. Until you.” she finished, staring at him once again.
But what really hit home, was the man that would sweep her off her feet, lavish her in all manners of trips and gifts, only to take her most prized possession, her virginity, then cast her aside, like yesterday’s newspaper.
It all started to make perfect sense now. Her behavior was attributed to the way she had been treated so badly when she first found love. Love and other bruises. Repeating the same vicious cycle over and over, while at the same time, creating this persona, of the Iron maiden, the dragon lady. It was all a front. The real woman in behind, was insecure, and scared of being abandoned again.
When she showed those angry tears, Shane didn’t kiss them away this time, he gave her the dignity to wipe them away. She hadn’t finished, but when she came to the conclusion, Shane felt that she had done more than answer his inquiries, she also would have heard herself, and come to accept, this was how things had been up till they met.
“Then I’d see all these happy couples and start to feel lonely and then start dating….and the cycle would repeat itself. Until you.”
Shane, had literally put her through the ringer. Most women would be in true fear of him, knowing just what he was capable of. He was an incredibly dangerous and charismatic man, but there was the side to him that none had been privileged to see, until now. For all the reasons in the world, he was so wrong for her….but then again, through his possessive and domineering ways….he was just what she needed. She needed to be loved. She’s got to be wanted, desired.
The look in his eyes as she finally closed with “until you”, he smirked, and said. “I took that cycle and smashed it, didn’t I? Hm? He then pushed back her hair behind her ear, and leaned down, and brushed his lips across hers, letting her taste his hot breath, as his smile grew.
“No matter what you do, no matter what you say….I’m never going away. You’re stuck with me, Lou.”
“I took that cycle and smashed it, didn’t I? Hm?”
She wanted to cry. She truly did. It was a near thing…until he spoke once again.
“No matter what you do, no matter what you say….I’m never going away. You’re stuck with me, Lou.”
And the tears came. It couldn’t be helped. She just simply broke down, pouring out centuries worth of anger, hurt and pain. The man she was becoming to love was witness to her fall.
Laughing through her tears, she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him to her, pressing her flushed and tearstained face to his neck, inhaling his scent and allowing it to anchor her.
“I don’t deserve you, Shane Williamson. But devil take me, I love you.” she sniffed.
“I don’t deserve you, Shane Williamson. But devil take me, I love you.”
“You better.” He said, laughing with her as she buried her face in his neck, almost like she was hiding away from him. This was indeed the closest they had ever been, especially on an emotional level. Sex was one thing, but her peace of mind in her knowledge of their love was far more important. He pulled away and reached for a box of tissues and then offered her the box. “Come on…blow for me. He said in a teasing voice, still looking at her with adoring eyes. When she took the tissues he then tossed the box over the bed and then rolled on top of her and pinned her down, with her face all flushed from crying. He cocked his head and said.
“Now time for…MAKE UP SEX!” At which point he started to tickle her furiously.
But he didn’t seem to care as he passed her a tissue. She blew her nose as he tossed the box to the floor. He gave her a devilish smirk before pinning her to the bed.
“Now time for…MAKE UP SEX!” he shouted, poking her in the sides.
She screamed with laughter as he began to tickle her. She tried to squirm out of his grip but he was relentless in his efforts.
“ACK! SHANE! STOP!” she laughed, pushing at his shoulders. But it was like he’d suddenly grew an extra set of hands.
Employing one of the first self-defense moves they were taught at the Academy, she wrapped her leg around his and twisted her body hoping to catch him off-guard long enough to pin him beneath her. At which point she would smile breathlessly at him and say: “I win!”
Seeing her laugh and hearing it, so very much relaxed and having told Shane of her troubled past, must have been a weight off her shoulders. Indeed it was what she needed to do. Part of their relationship should be about being honest and upfront with each other, if they ever had a chance of making it work in the long term.
Shane wanted her to be comfortable in herself, regardless of how she looked or felt. He loved her, for who she was, and the inner power she possessed, not the infamous IA, but the real Carmen. Her masks had well and truly ripped off, and he loved what he saw beneath.
“Guess we gotta shop for this dinner, hm? Good question. It was going to be interesting, their first meal with friends, well, her friends. How were they going to react? And would Shane be on his best behavior?
“Is this the part where you rip out the handcuffs and read me my rights?”
She stretched out to her full length on top of him, crossing her arms across his chest and resting her chin on her hands. “Well…who knew you were so kinky. And here I left my kit in the car.” she grinned, kissing his chin.
She hadn’t felt this good in quite some time, and it was a heady feeling.
“Guess we gotta shop for this dinner, hm?” he questioned. She rolled to the side and looked at him, resting her cheek on the pillow while rubbing his chest with her free hand.
“We could. Or we could do Chinese takeaway. Dyna and Booker are simple people. They’d be happy with throwing something on the grill outback and beers. I’ve tried to get them interested in fine cuisine. You should have seen the faces they made when I tried Chicken Cordon Bleu once. They looked at it like it was a foreign objects.” she snorted. “So…what do you think?”
Was this the same Shane Williamson? About to don a “Kiss the Cook” apron and become like…a typical domesticated bloke. Who would have ever thought?
The idea of Chinese sounded good too, but Shane preferred that they cooked their own. “I will get on the line to a friend that knows a great gourmet butcher, and we will order in everything else. Even the beers.” Shane decided, taking the reigns on this dinner. He kissed her forehead gently, then rolled out of bed.
“I’l go get a start on the preparations. Feel free to call Mary, and whoever.” He gave her a wink and then headed downstairs to his den.
“I will get on the line to a friend that knows a great gourmet butcher, and we will order in everything else. Even the beers.” He kissed her forehead and rolled off the bed.
“You are an amazing man. I don’t know why I didn’t see it sooner.” she mused, staring at him as he headed for the door.
“I’ll go get a start on the preparations. Feel free to call Mary, and whoever.” He winked at her before he disappeared down the hall.
“Hey! None of that gourmet beer, either! They’re strictly Heinekin or Foster’s kind of people!” she called after him, sitting up on her elbows. She lay back with a smile before pulling out her cellphone. She had a couple of calls to make.
Coming back downstairs, Shane wandered into his den feeling quite pleased with himself and relieved that he had managed to get Carmen to open up about her feelings. In a way it felt a bit odd, that they were now acting like a domesticated couple. A far cry from his former unlife. Her words that she sung out as he walked out of the room did leave him with a smile on his face.
“Hey! None of that gourmet beer, either! They’re strictly Heinekin or Foster’s kind of people!”
“Fosters?” He had to wonder just who the hell drank that stuff. He even shuddered at the thought. Reaching his desk, he flicked on his screen and went online to find the number of that gourmet butcher, when the phone rang.
“So…Hollywood. You pulled quite the number.” It was David.
“One minute, you wanna kill the bitch, the next…you get her a promotion, new office and…are you fucking her?”
Shane’s face turned to granite as he listened to David, who was calling from a bar in town. The sound of music and the constant wall of conversations in the background made it clear of where he was.
“So I changed my mind. There is a fine line between love and hate, David.” Shane’s hand gripped the phone tighter, as his eyes narrowed. “Cut to the chase, David. What do you want?”
In the bar, David was eyeing off some leggy blonde, then sneered as he heard Shane talk business on the other end. He slammed his boots up on the table and ran his fingers through his moosed white hair.
“The usual…you know the drill.” With that, he hung up the phone, leaving Shane looking furious. There was no way he was letting that punk spoil everything now. He needed a plan….and he needed it fast.