I don't remember how I made it through the day. Beatrice kept asking me whether I was ok and if I needed anything. I told her it was just the curse of Eve and no, I'm fine and thanks, but she kept on giving me that look. Well, I couldn't fool her, and at 5 pm she was finally fed up with me.
"Honestly, darling, you're looking awful - you're pale white as a Cullen. Get your little butt out of here, for God's sake, and go home! We'll be fine here. And don't you dare to come tomorrow, take a day off, you hear me? That's an order!"
At that point my will to resist had gone and I just nodded. "Maybe you're right. Thanks, Esme!" I smiled wryly. "Let me just sort this shit here for Rosalie, she might actually learn something, for a change. And then I'm out, ok?"
Beatrice patted my back, "Good girl!"
At 5:40 pm I had assigned tasks to each and every one for the following day and was running out of excuses to stay any longer. Time to go. For a moment, I was tempted to take an earlier train home in order to avoid another encounter with rhetoric whizz kid Edward. But doing something like that wasn't really me – we had an appointment of sorts, and I would stick to my part of it.
I stepped into the elevator, wondering briefly what to do with my unexpected spare hour. Then I pressed the top button.
The architect of our building must have had a single lucid moment when he had designed that roof-top garden. It was all Zen style and a beautiful place to relax, but no one ever came here. Most of our employees didn't even know it existed. Perfect...
Using my bag as a pillow, I stretched myself out on one of those low stone benches; hands folded over my stomach, and closed my eyes. The September evening sun was still warm on my face and flooded my eyelids with a soothing red glow. I took a deep breath...
Really, Portman, relax – he's just a boy.
...and another breath, slowly in and out.
That's right, calm down.
It worked. The breathing helped to ease the tension, as well the warmth of...
...his body, so close to mine in the narrow passage of the train compartment.
...the declining sun. A light breeze went through the leaves of the potted palms. I turned my head to one side and listened to...
...his velvet voice: "Annie... please."
His breath is hot on my closed lids, and he smells like honey and something I cannot name, but it reminds me of my early childhood days. It somehow escaped me what he just was begging for, but I'm willing to give it to him, whatever it might be.
"Yes... Kiddo." I feel his hands on my cheeks as he lifts my face to his. His lips are brushing mine and he whispers against them. "You owe me, Annie, right?"
"Yes, I do. Please let me show you how much…"
I slide both my hands under his shirt where they immediately start a mystery tour as if wanting to draw a map of his abs, and with a moan I open my mouth to let him in. He briefly licks my upper lip before his tongue finds mine, sending dizzying sparks of pleasure from my stomach straight down to my pussy in a hot spiral. Our lips hardly touch. I incline my head to deepen the kiss; I desperately want to press my mouth on his. But he suddenly backs off and I whimper as my hands grasp at nothing...
"This will be your expiation, Annie."
Yes, fuck, yes!
"Open your eyes."
I almost sob at the sight in front of me.
He is breathtaking. Every inch of his naked body (when... how? ...did he get rid of his clothes?) is absolutely perfect. His green eyes are slightly narrowed and hooded with desire. His tongue darts out and licks his bottom lip. One hand on his hard length, he's slowly stroking himself, his other hand reaches out for me...
"Look at me, Annie."
But I do, Kiddo, I do!
I'm soaking wet by now and so ready for him it almost hurts.
His voice is suddenly chesty and hoarse with lust, "Annie, open your..."
"...eyes, I have to lock up here now!"
Something... someone was shaking my shoulder. My eyelids fluttered open and I looked into the friendly and familiar face of 'Charlie' the doorman. "I'm sorry to wake you up, Annie, but it's time to get up. You're ok?"
"Ch... Humphrey! What... yeah – oh, shit. I must have dozed off, thanks. What time is it?"
"No prob, it's a quarter to seven; you'll make it just in time. Had a nice dream?" He waggled his eyebrows at me, smiling smugly. "You were, um... talking in your sleep."
Say it ain't so!
"Apart from the fact that this is absolutely none of your business – I can't remember," I answered, my cheeks exploding with heat. I knew my blush gave me away. When I turned to leave, I saw Humphrey's shoulders shake with suppressed laughter, and I had the strong feeling things were getting more and more out of control with me.
It took me a while to determine how I felt about the fact that he didn't show up. I had expected him to wait for me on the platform, but he was nowhere to be seen. So I got on the train, thinking he would probably check the compartments until he found me – if he was there at all. I didn't know whether I felt relieved because I might just get away with it, or upset because I was stood up. But as the minutes passed by, it all came down to one single emotion: disappointment.
I realized that I wanted to see him; that I had struggled through this fucking day in a weird kind of anticipation for this moment, and that I felt hurt. I just hadn't thought he was the kind of person who would break a date. Maybe I had finally scared him off with my harsh words? But he had seemed desperate in wanting to talk to me –or maybe he was on the train, waiting for me to show up?
The idea that he might be sitting in one of the other compartments, waiting, possibly thinking I was the one standing him up, while our time was running out, was suddenly unbearable. I didn't want him to think of me as that sort of bitch.
There was still half an hour left. I got on my feet and started walking through the wagons, methodically scanning the seats and benches for the familiar mess of blond hair. But he wasn't there. He obviously had changed his mind.
You are so fucked up, Portman. You should be glad to be rid of him!
But I wasn't glad. After I had humiliated myself searching the whole fucking train for him like I was the one who had wanted this... meeting, I felt scorned. I fought back the tears were threatening to well up and chastised myself for being such a dumbass. I didn't even bother to find me another free seat and spent the rest of the ride standing, clinging to one of the grab handles.
When I got off the train, I had finally reached a state of emotional fatigue and all I wanted was a hot bath, a cup of tea and my couch. Maybe I would watch Twilight once again. I was thankful now for the day off Beatrice had talked me into; plenty of time to pity myself and enjoy my spectacular shame without interruptions. I was sure I even had some chocolate left in the drawer.
I froze. I would have recognized this voice anywhere; even in the most impossible places. And as far as I'm concerned, this wasan impossible place.
I turned around and saw him at the opposite end of the platform. He was running straight at me as if he was going to crash into me. For two cents I would have opened my arms to catch him. My heart gave a little jump.
Stay out of this, you stupid throbbing traitor!
When he was almost there, he slowed down and took the last three steps at an easy trot.
"Annie...," he said, slightly breathless as he stopped in front of me. "There you are!"
"What are you doing here?" I blurtet, bewildered.
I should have been mad at him but I wasn't.
He stood there, smiling that fucking crooked smile at me which wasn't supposed to exist, except in a certain piece of literature, and my treacherous heart thumped to new life because it was just wonderful to see him.
"I was waiting for you."
"I suppose so, but this was not what we had agreed upon!"
I tried to sound reproachful because I wanted him to know what he had put me through; but I failed. After the emotional rollercoaster of this day... our unexpected encounter in the morning, my miserable attempts to dissemble my inner chaos during office hours, my wet dream on the roof including 'Charlie's' knowing smirk, and the way I had made a fool out of myself on the train... my words came out like a feeble meow.
"Well, we didn't exactly make an agreement about this," he objected. "You made a suggestion, but you didn't wait for my answer, and..."
A suggestion? That's what he had taken it for?
Seems I had lost my mojo way earlier this day than I thought.
"...I saw you didn't feel very comfortable talking to me on the train, so I figured we'd better find some other place, a little more quiet, maybe have a coffee somewhere." He paused a second, frowned briefly and then added: "If you'd like."
Port Angeles. In front of the restaurant. Perfect reenactment.
Thanks, Kiddo! As if I needed any more of this shit...
"I don't think so, Edward." Jesus, would I ever get that name off my tongue without wincing innerly? I continued, "It wasn't a suggestion when I said we could talk on the train tonight. I'm sorry if you got me wrong. I had a really fucking rough day, ok? All I want to do is go home. I'm just tired as hell... sorry, but... no."
He tilted his head and looked at me appraisingly, as if he was having trouble...
...reading my mind?
...understanding what I had just told him. Strangely, his eyes seemed to not focus on me but on something close behind me or... around me.
"You need to rest," he said, matter-of-factly.
"Exactly." Why wasn't I happy about his quick insight?
"Is it far from here? Your place?
"No. Just a few minutes. And I really need to go now."
And since I can't take you home and throw myself all over you,
we shouldn't drag out this conversation here more than necessary, ok?
Kiddo nodded as if he had heard my thoughts.
"I'll walk you home."
"Ha!" I gaped at him. "Anything else? God..."
He shrugged. "What?" The crooked smile was back. His bluntness was quite amusing and I couldn't help but laugh.
"If I wanted you to know where I live, I'd give you my number, ok?"
"Ok," he chuckled.
We stood there, grinning at each other, but neither of us made the next move. Suddenly it was as if a weight was lifted off me. I couldn't care less about right or wrong, young or old or whatever... his fingers had been inside me, he'd come in my hand already – really, I mean, it couldn't get much worse, right?
"Let's go," I said.
He turned around to step beside me, and we walked a while without talking. The silence didn't feel uncomfortable. Kiddo seemed much more light-hearted now than he was in the morning. At one point – we were almost there – I thought I heard him hum silently.
Wonderingly, I realized that I had assumed, that 'walking me home' didn't mean this would end at my front door, and furthermore: that he was assuming the same.
"I must warn you; I haven't cleaned up," I said, glancing sideways at him.
"Not much in the fridge either. You can choose between Diet Coke and Diet Coke."
"And could you please stop saying 'ok' all the time?"
He finally turned his head to look at me.
"Ok!" he said and snickered silently.
Jesus, he is such a baby...