Title: Paradise Regained
Author: Elliott Silver (email@example.com)
Summary: Miss Parkerís view on paradise lost, and paradise regained.
"Ö where loneliness meets paradiseÖ"
I think they all had bets on how long it would take me to go crazy.
Knowing that, I was determined to hold onto the shreds of my sanity. Given, it wasnít much, but at least it was something. And for a girl who spends at least two hours of each day in cemeteries, I think thatís definitely something.
At least, I remember when it first hit me. I had fallen asleep on Tommyís grave and when I woke, my first though was, is it possible to have two soulmates?
I donít know why it was there. I think thatís what bothered me most. Why should I even be contemplating such a thing? I was supposed to play the part of a grieving widow. And I was doing a damn fine job of it. Not that I was acting out any of it. I truly hurt.
No one had noticed my absence. I didnít know whether to find that amusing or disturbing. I wondered if I should take that as the first true sign, that maybe I was really losing it. That soulmate business, it was really bothering me.
And I didnít know what to do about that. There wasnít exactly anyone I could talk to. There was no way in hell I could approach my father on a topic like this, especially with Brigitte clinging to him twenty-four hours a day. Broots, the master of cyber-dating, didnít offer any solutions. And Sydney? I was in no mood to lie on his couch and listen to psycho-babble pertaining to Freud.
And where did that leave me? Well, absolutely nowhere.
I had no where to go, and no one to turn to.
If I had thought about that, your call shouldnít have taken me by surprise. But I wasnít thinking, I was feeling.
Now that I think about it, they should market your voice and sell it as an over-the-counter natural soother. You could very possibly top Bill Gates.
"Do you think itís possible to have two soulmates?" I begin without preamble. Without thinking.
"What?" I hear the doubt in your voice.
"Thereís supposed to be one perfect person for all of us, right? But if that one person dies, or something happens, or you never meet, what happens then? Are you forced into a life of loneliness? Or will there be a second soulmate? Or what if thereís more than one perfect soulmate? What if you meet the second before you meet the first? Does that change things? Will you never meet that first soulmate? Or what if you were supposed to spend your life with the first, but met the second, and Ė"
Remarkably, I do.
I should have jumped. I should have reached for my gun. I should have Ė I should have done Ė something.
A hand kneads into my shoulder. And I relax into you. I know your touch.
I click off my phone - I donít think Iíll be needing it anymore Ė and toss it onto the table.
"How did you find me?" I ask. I am not in my stone mansion, nor Tommyís lovingly restored treasure, but here, in this rustic beach house off the coast.
"Iíve never lost you."
I havenít turned around yet, and you havenít removed your hand. "I loved him," I tell you defensively.
Silence stretches taut and tensile between us. In the distance, I can hear the waves crashing against the sand, marionettes controlled by the moon. I wonder which one of us will speak first, and what we will say.
"What do you want?" you ask.
If only I knew.
I still havenít turned around and you still havenít moved your hand. I loved him. But Iím Ė in love Ė with you.
You sigh, your hand kneading deep into my flesh. Did I just say that aloud?
Whoever predicted Iíd totally and irreversibly lose it exactly 23 days after Ė afterwards Ė wins the jackpot.
I turn around, compelled like the waves by some unseen puppeteer. Instantly, you take me into your embrace.
"About that soulmate thing," you whisper into my ear, your breath heavy and heated. "I think you were right."
"About which one?"
"That we have one."
Your lips are dry, and nearly chapped, but they taste heavenly all the same. I think I scared you, or if nothing else surprised the hell out of you, because youíre not responding.
For once, I really know what I want.
And Iím not leaving without it.
You push me backwards, pacing the steps perfectly, until we collide with one of the walls. Ricochet off it, more accurately. My mouth opens with the shock of it and your tongue invades my dark recesses. God, this is good. This is right.
Your hands are under my thin beach comber sweater already. They ply my stomach, slipping around my waist, nearly spanning it, and forcing me against your erection. Yeah, this is definitely the answer I was looking for. I just never thought it would be this easy to find.
My hands tangle in the thick stubble of your hair as you inhale nearly my entire ear, your teeth and tongue devouring its contours. I sink my teeth into the side of your neck, very close to your jugular, not hard but definitely enough to mark you.
You yank the sweater over my head and immediately your mouth surrounds my breast, suckling it through the mesh of my bra. Youíre impatient, almost as much as I am. I at least had some idea of what I wanted, but this was completely unexpected for you. Or was it? I slide my fingers under your leather jacket and tear it over your shoulders, in effect straitjacketing your arms. You stop, strip the jacket and your shirt, and then pick me into your arms. You set my down roughly on the table and my phone goes clattering away into the darkness.
God, weíve needed this for too long. Weíve waited Ė
I claim your mouth again, in nothing short of territoriality, my fingers shaking so badly with need that it takes precious seconds to unclasp my bra and fling it away so your mouth can settle there too. And the million other places of my bare skin. I want you to touch every inch of it.
The buttons of my jeans pop with excruciating slowness and my hands dig into the soft flesh of your arms. Youíre drawing this out when I want nothing of the sort.
This isnít the time for that. I grab the waistband of your pants and jerk you upwards. For the first time of the night your eyes rake over mine. The same insanity is clearly written there.
I want you inside me.
I want to be inside you.
We donít even bother with our shoes, hauling the clothes away from our bodies. Your erection is hot and branding against my stomach as you kiss me once more, greedily.
I run my fingers up and down your smooth length and feel your response.
I guide you to me, your arms the balance as we join and merge. At first I allow only your tip to feel what youíve done to me, how sinfully shamefully wet I am. Something between a groan and growl reverberates from deep inside your chest. I moan myself.
You heave into me in one deep strong stroke. Oh God. Oh Christ. Oh Ė
You begin to draw back out, and shove forward again. And again. You fill depths I hadnít even know were empty.
Your mouth claims mine, raw, wet, and rhythmic. I cling to you, sensation stimulating so many new reactions in my body. You are so close. I can feel that. This tempo, this passion, these passions, must reach Ė oh Christ. I want to come with you.
I must look into your eyes, once more.
Yes, you are my soulmate.
Yes, I am your soulmate.
Your hand reaches down and meets mine, together rubbing against my clit. I scream into your mouth as I come, levitating even in your hold. You pump twice, three times more, and then follow me.
Outside the waves still beat their age-old rhythm.
We begin to relax in each otherís hold, sinking off this fiery climax back onto the plateau of reality. Our bodies are slick with sweat as we grasp at one another, forcing this closeness.
Yes, I am your soulmate. I was always your soulmate. You were first, and had to wait your chance. There is a part of me that I lost when Tommy died, a part I can never recover. But you, you awaken parts of me I really never knew before. I will never be who I was before, who I was when I was with him. But I can grow; I can make my pain make me a stronger person. I can be the person I am when I am with you. I can live. I can survive.
Tommy made me ache. You make me burn.
Our breaths are still ragged, our bodies momentarily exhausted at this unexpected marathon.
This is my choice now. Mine and no other. I can either dwell in the past or live in the future.
Iíve spent too much time in cemeteries already. I want to live.
"Come to bed with me," I whisper, my voice carried only against your skin.
"Are you sure?"
I donít think you can help but ask.
"Youíre my soulmate," I answer simply.
"No. Youíre mine."
They tracked me to this place only to find the timeless echo of the waves against the sand. I watched from a distance. We left nothing I didnít want them to find.
Through the binoculars, I watch Sydney pick up the origami creation.
Oh Sydney, I think, I wish I could have talked to you. At least to let you know not to worry. But that is my old life. And this is my new one, I think, as you, Jarod, thread your arms around me, instinctively shielding me from the sea wind.
"What is it?" someone asks, with a bored and uncompromising tone.
"Origami? Didnít Jarod leave something like that when he left the Centre?"
"It was Dionysus," Sydney answers.
"Yes," another voice chimes in. "And so what? Heís just play Ė"
"This is not Dionysus," Sydney relays in a remarkably calm voice.
"How can you tell? They all look the same."
"This one, the wings are folded upright. Dionysus points downward."
Thank you, Sydney. Thank you for remembering.
"Then what is it?"
There is a hitch in his voice as he answers. "An angel."
"Yes," you repeat, holding me so tight. Your voice whispers into my ear, like the endless waves on the sand. "An angel."
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Disclaimer: The characters of "The Pretender" are not mine; they rightfully belong to NBC, MTM, and Pretender Productions, as well as the actors and actresses who give paper and ink a life and a voice. I am making no profit from these writings; imitation is the highest form of flattery.