tagRomanceKaren's Tale Ch. 05

Karen's Tale Ch. 05


It was full morning before we were done at the police station. I was dressed in sweat pants and a t-shirt of James'. We had both been buck naked while all of this went on. I grabbed the sheet and covered myself the minute they disarmed me. When we were allowed to leave the police station, I immediately called Heidi, my mother and the McDowells. I didn't want them to hear it on the news.

We went to Heidi's house. I don't know why, it just seemed like the right place to go. Heidi folded me up in a blanket, forced me onto the sofa in the den and made me drink sugared tea. She tried to do the same with James, but Bruce extracted James from her grasp and succeeded in making him sit down. James put his arm around me and, bundled in my blanket, I leaned into him the best I could, while I tried to untangle myself.

Then James' brothers arrived. Not long after, his parents showed up. Heidi had coffee and tea for everyone to hold. No one drank it, but they looked glad to have something in their hands. Bruce unlocked the bar and the whiskey was more readily accepted. Even Mrs. McDowell had a tot in her tea.

Once everyone had assured themselves everyone else was ok, people started to trickle out. I had been quite worried about Mrs. McDowell who looked grayish until she got her whiskey down, then her color returned. Heidi and James both smothered me with care. The brothers were the first to depart, seeing everything was well in hand. Eventually I was alone with James.

I started shivering as it dawned on me: I had almost shot a man, the trigger had moved. It didn't matter it was low-life Justin, a woman beater and scum. He didn't deserve to be shot and I had almost done it. James pulled the blanket over us and held me tight.

"James, I almost shot him." I was sick inside.

"Honey, situations like that go through you, yanking every single switch in your head. You were feeling survival instincts."

I clutched him closer. "The trigger moved. I was so close."

"But you didn't."

"Oh Jesus, I would have, if you hadn't stopped me."

"You don't know that. And you didn't do it. You knew you shouldn't. Some people would figure 'He hurt me, he deserves to hurt too,' and would have shot him without thought; you didn't, even though all those hormones were pumping through you and he had really hurt you in the past. A dislocated shoulder... It's a good thing you had the gun, not me."

"Really? You would have shot him?"

"Maybe. It would have been awfully hard to back down, like you did." James hugged me tighter. "The important thing is no one got hurt."

I giggled unsteadily. "Justin is going to be hurting once those painkillers wear off. How hard did you hit him?"

"As hard as I fucking could. He had a goddamn gun."

This made me laugh harder. Then my laughter turned into crying.


James went home to take care of the broken glass and clean up after the police, and I went back to my place. After a long hot shower, I sat in the living room with some tea. I was startled by a knock on my door. James didn't bother to knock, he had his own keys, who could be here?

I answered the door and to my surprise I found Doug standing there.

I stepped back and invited him in, gestured him to the sofa. I offered him something to drink, then sat down opposite him when he politely declined. He seemed to be struggling with something. I waited.

When he looked up, I was surprised to see tears in his eyes.

"You saved my brother's life. James told me everything that happened. That man would have killed him one way or another." I looked on with compassion.

"Sarah told me about what happened at the party last night. I want to--- No, I need to apologize. I feel protective of James and he has no sense of things to do with money and status and all that rot. I am a bit jaded as I am a divorce lawyer."

He paused. "But Sarah was right. I apologize." He was looking me straight in the eye. He had the same blue eyes as James. His face was older and harder, but he had laugh lines in the corners of his eyes.

"No need to apologize, Doug. You thought you were taking care of James." I laughed. "He really is hopeless, isn't he?"

Doug's gravity retreated and he had a fond smile on his face. "He is. But I feel good knowing you're here for him."

Then he stood up. "I have to go sit with my mother. Her heart isn't good and all this excitement stirred her up."

I walked him to the door. He turned to give me his hand, but I hugged him.

"Thank you for saving his life." Then he was gone.

After Doug left, I looked out at the tree tops across the street, thinking, for a long while. Then I heard James on the stairs. He came in, threw his keys in the bowl by the door as usual, and his smile lit up. I had been seeing that smile for so long, how could I have not understood it?

"You look marvelous." I was wearing cargo pants and a slouchy t-shirt, with my hair up in a messy braid and no make up. It was as if my eyes had been opened to the obvious after hearing him say, "I love you," last night. Everything he did and said shouted love. He must have been in love with me right from the beginning but I had chosen not to see.

But it was out of the bag now. He had said what he said, and I had responded the way I had responded. Apparently I returned his affection. I had said I did, last night. It hadn't felt like all the other times I had said it to Justin. It seemed, before, I had said it in the hopes that saying it might make it true. Last night when I said "You, too," it felt natural and true.

I consulted my inner self, the deepest part I always avoided. I saw James picked out in golden light, I saw what he meant to me, how I felt, and the hugeness of it all. The primal Karen loved him without reservation. The rest of me fought it, tried to push it away, tried to reason myself out of it. But I couldn't lie, it was there.

James bent down to kiss my cheek as he always did. I grabbed his hand and pulled him down for a real kiss. I put all my thoughts and feelings into it.

"Wow! Where did that come from?" James wanted to know.

"Almost getting killed will do that to you." Why did I lie? Why couldn't I say how I felt? I was an abject coward. Fear. I had always picked superficial, shallow men because I knew they would not challenge me with real feelings. But what to do now?

I kept his hand in mine, pulled him onto the couch. I leaned in to kiss him again and he put his arms around me. When my hands were on his back, it was as if some new brand of desire insisted I touch his smooth skin. I slipped my hands under his t-shirt and sweater. My long slow kiss did not seem to be enough. This new feeling left me breathless, a frenzy of desire that moved in slow motion.

Tenderly, slowly, I moved my mouth to his earlobe. My hands continued their exploration, pushing his shirt and sweater up as they went. I dropped an open-mouthed kiss just below his ear, then another and another, in a trail that led down to where his shoulder joined his neck. This spot seemed new to me, as if I had never touched James before, as if this were the first time all over again.

I laid a kiss down, my softened tongue gently licking. My lips and tongue moved over him. I realized that this sense of fragile intensity was my love focused and concentrated, my movements transmitting a wordless message that could not be expressed any other way. I pulled his sweater up and off, the t-shirt followed, went back to slow kisses, my hands on his shoulders, devouring the sensation of warm skin and taut muscles.

James was responding in kind, hands moving in long sweeps over my back, gentle arcs. I stopped long enough to pull my shirt off, bra-less breasts bared; James cradled them. When his thumbs brushed my nipples my breath caught, slow fire spreading down in twin courses.

I put my mouth near James' ear and whispered, "Let's go to bed."

I took off my cargos and lay down on the bed. James shed his pants as well and crawled in beside me. He pressed himself against my side, one leg draped over mine. I kissed him as softly as I did on the porch, that first time. Gradually my heat rose. James caressed me in long, smooth motions, hip to flank, knee to waist, across my back.

As I heated up, his touch became more intimate, cupping a breast, squeezing my bottom, massaging my inner thigh. My own hands became more animated, pinching his nipples, dipping into his boxers to cradle his balls. I stopped there. I pulled his underwear down to further to expose them. I lightly licked them as he hardened in my hand. Being oh so careful, I took one of his balls into my mouth and just barely sucked, then rolled it around on my tongue. Meanwhile his cock had come to attention.

Still stroking James' cock, I returned to kissing him, expressing the inexpressible feeling I had for him. He seemed to hear and understand, touching me tenderly, neck, shoulders, breasts. I sank into the experience of the now, holding nothing back. I lost track of things, James was pushing my panties down, kissing my thighs as he went. He spread my legs wide, kissed his way up my inner thigh until he was licking the crevice between my leg and sex. The wet, warm touch of his tongue on this sensitive skin drew moans from me. His hand had joined, thumb caressing the opposite crevice. Then he used both thumbs to pull my lips apart and dipped in to taste me.

This time he teased me, tickling my inner lips with the tip of his tongue, lapping at my entrance but not entering, using his thumbs to massage the area around my clitoris, never touching it directly. I wiggled and thrust my hips, trying to rub my clit against his fingers or tongue, but he would not relent. I was on the edge of orgasm, I needed only one touch to push me over and finally, finally I received that touch as James began licking the base of my clitoris. That pulled a long cry from me as my orgasm raised tidal waves of pleasure that washed away all consciousness of time and place.

When I stopped shaking and my hips returned to the bed I scrabbled for James, brought him up to me and kissed him with every ounce of excitement in me. He pushed me back as he returned my kiss with matching passion. I helped him guide his cock into me; he inched in and groaned.

When he began to move, my wetness, his girth and the friction combined into one delicious sensation. I whispered "Yes," meaning: Yes, I want you inside me; Yes, I need to be this close to you; Yes, don't ever stop. I had never felt so melded with him as right that second, my knowledge of his love of me as well as my love of him. I cried out, but not just from physical pleasure; I had never felt anything so intense. So quickly and I was cumming, wrapped around all that mattered now: James. And he was with me, saying my name as if he could find no other expression of all he felt, reaching his own climax.

James came to rest atop me. I loved being pressed together, nothing between us, skin to skin, face to face. I kissed him with my whole self, every part of me affirming our union.

Then I started crying.

"Honey, what's wrong?" James looked into my eyes.

"I'm scared."

"Scared? Why?"

"All my life, I've been afraid of being hurt. I've dodged feeling anything deep for anyone because that means you can be disappointed, hurt, betrayed."

James smoothed my hair back.

I burrowed into his chest wanting to hide. I felt deformed, damaged, cowardly. I felt undeserving. James stroked my back and held me close. How could this man love me? But he did. I gave myself over to that, opened myself up to his comfort and care, allowed myself to be soothed. Allowed myself to be loved wholly. It felt like an amazing gift. We stayed that way for a long time.

When I lessened my fierce grip on him, I looked into his eyes. I felt loved and cared for, safe.

"It scares the shit out of me, James, but I love you too."


We were married on Christmas Eve. Seven years later, we're still together. We have added to the McDowell clan one girl and two boys. ("A girl at last!" James rejoiced.) James is a professor of Medieval History at the state university and I run Heidi's new online toy store. Life has been good to us.

I still tease James about adult toys and kites.

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