Chapter 10 ~ It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
Damn it all to hell.
My entire body is on fire and even as I look longingly out at the quietly falling snow, I know damn well that rolling naked in a snow drift isn’t going to put out the flames that are licking along my skin.
A cold shower would kill the heat, for a while, but I know the minute I see him…that he sees me…that it will all come back again. All the heat, the need, the passion and the sex. Because that is all it is, I tell myself as I pace the small bedroom with its boyish décor, dark colours and hockey memorabilia covering the walls and lining the bookshelves around me. It’s just sex. It isn’t anything else. It isn’t what Marc and I have.
I don’t feel anything for him, for Jordan. It’s just my body, just physical need, I insist as run my fingers along the lines of dress shirts and sweatshirts that hang like forgotten sentries in Marc’s closet. I bury my face in them, wanting to erase the feel of his brother on my skin, but there’s only the faintest trace of Marc on these clothes, there isn’t enough of his scent here to banish the musk that clings to my skin, the smell of arousal, of desire.
It’s just animal instinct, as if there’s some beast inside of me that recognizes the smell of a female in heat, except in this case, that female would be me and as much as I don’t want to admit it, I want to waggle my butt and do some kind of mating dance to make him come take me, right here, right now.
Squeezing my eyes shut against the imagined image of Jordan’s long lean body pressing down over mine, I take several deep breaths and wait for the feeling to pass. I’m not an animal and I’m not going to give in to these physical urges. I have more control than that, and besides, I wouldn’t do that to Marc. I…I care about him.
But I don’t love him, I sigh, sagging onto the edge of his double bed and staring down at my feet. I want to, I should, but I don’t.
He’s the sweetest, best man I’ve ever met and he loves me but as much as I like him, as much as I want to love him, I know that I don’t and if I actually needed proof of that, my hormonal, physical reaction to his brother is the kind of evidence I can’t ignore. Maybe it’s only lasted this long because he reminds me of that night, of Jordan.
Not that I’d ever realized it of course, but then again ever since I’d met Marc I’d been trying to shut out the memories that are now flooding my mind, making it hard to think clearly. Maybe their physical resemblance was the reason why I’d been attracted to Marc in the first place, subconsciously of course. It's also possible, I realize as I think about it, that it's why I’ve been feeling disappointed with our…physical connection, like my body is saying ‘close but no cigar’.
Now the question is what to do about it? It's Christmas fucking Eve. I can’t break up with him on Christmas Eve that would be, well, mean, not to mention suicidal. After all, it would be a long walk in the bitter sub zero weather back to the airport. Of course there is also the fact that if Marc asks for an explanation it might cause world war three in his house.
No, I can’t do that, so my only other choice is to play happy families until we got back to New York and then I can come up with some excuse, some kind of incurable but highly contagious disease that I’ve contracted to keep him away.
But that still leaves me with the question of Marc’s brother...of Jordan. Not that there is anything I can do, not now, and probably not in the future either. I mean, there has to be some kind of law against sleeping with two brothers. I was probably already going to burn in hell for what I’d unknowingly done, never mind if I actually continued to do it with full awareness of what I was doing.
Not that any of these thoughts are any help to me now.
My body is still tingling, still aching with unquenched desire. I can still feel his breath on the back of my neck, his hands on my breasts and I…oh god I hate to admit it, but I want him. It's like a drug. I know it's a bad idea, that it's going to cause me irreparable damage but I feel like I’d give just about anything for one more hit. Just one more and then I can give him up, for good, forever.
Except that I can’t and for that I feel glad. Frustrated but glad. Their entire family is in this house and Marc has promised that the house will be full to bursting with extended family, cousins, and friends in the morning. I just have to get through the night and then there will be too many people around for anything like happened tonight to repeat itself.
Even if I lie awake all night and stare up at the ceiling, I am not going to go back out there. I don’t trust him, Marc’s brother, Jordan.
Fuck that. I don’t trust myself I decide, lying down and gripping the edges of the bed, digging my fingers into the quilt while I listen to the sounds of the house settling down for a long winter’s nap around me. I listen to each creak of the floorboards as everyone heads to their rooms, knowing that I’m still going to have to face him, Marc, coming in to say goodnight.
Unless I pretend to be asleep I realize, shutting out the light and scrambling out of my clothes and curling up under the heavy down quilt, squeezing my eyes tight and willing my body to relax, taking long slow even breaths while I listen for the door to open, telling myself that Jordan wouldn’t dare come in.
I must have fallen asleep, I realize as I wake in the pitch black of an unfamiliar room bathed in sweat, my back arched as I teeter on the edge of a phantom orgasm brought on by familiar dreams of athletic, passionate sex. Familiar and now this time a name is on my lips as I wake.
Stuffing the edge of the quilt in my mouth I muffle the cry of anguish that escapes my lips at having my dream lover taken from me before I’m satisfied. Closing my eyes, I try and grasp onto the tail end of the dream but as much as I want to go back to sleep I can’t.
I can’t because he’s in this house, he’s so close, and I want him so badly it hurts.
Tossing the quilt aside I sit up, bracing myself against the wall and hugging my knees up to my chest, or almost. Looking down, I find myself staring at the pretty…well not pretty exactly, but exquisitely sexy bra and panty set that Ryan gave me, the one that was supposed to bring Marc over to the dark side. I’d put it on in the bathroom at the airport, hoping we’d be able to sneak off for a quickie and that he’d go all Viking raider over it.
It seems a shame to let such expensive stuff as this go to waste.
Biting on the inside of my cheek I shake my head as I try to swallow the semi hysterical laughter that threatens to escape. The entire idea is ludicrous. I can’t just creep into Jordan’s room, assuming I can even tell which one is his and not mistakenly walk in on Eric and his wife. Not with Marc sleeping innocently just above me.
Or can I?
Shaking my head I’m forced to cover my mouth with both hands to stifle the laughter and when that doesn’t work, I reach for a pillow and pull it over my face as I lay back down.
What am I doing? Am I really willing to throw away everything I have with Marc for one more roll in the hay with his brother? I’ve hardly given Marc a chance. I’m the one that hasn’t told him that he’s a little too vanilla pudding in the bedroom for my taste. Who knows what he’d do if he saw me in this outfit? Maybe he’d drag me out to the barn by my hair and….
Now I can’t stop the laughter and I nearly suffocate myself trying to keep from waking the entire house. The idea of my sweet, good natured, gentlemanly Marc acting like a cave man is simply insane. I’ve waited this long, hoping every night when he comes to bed that he’ll take charge and throw off his Clark Kent exterior in favor of some kind of darker, more base alter ego and every night he’s the same sweet boy that any woman would be lucky to have.
Which leaves me thinking about his brother. His younger brother. As if things couldn’t get any worse.
Is it that he gets me or is it just some kind of fluke that when our bodies meet they go up in flames? If I gave him the chance could he be…it? If we could make something that is more than physical, if we had time, could he also be all the other things that make Marc the perfect boyfriend? Could Jordan be thoughtful and sweet and generous and charming?
Groaning I toss the pillow aside and shut my eyes tight.
He lives in Pittsburgh and he’s twenty-one for crying out loud. Of course he’s not relationship material. I can hear the comments already, from cougar to cradle robber. It was bad enough that Marc was a few months younger but Jordan….
Curling my hands into fists I drum them against the mattress in pure frustration, clenching my teeth to stop from screaming and squeezing my eyes tight against the visions that keep popping back into my head. I can’t stop feeling his hands on me, my body reacting to his, wanting him, coming alive for him.
No matter how unfair I think it is, no matter how much I don’t want to hurt Marc, no matter how wrong I tell myself it will be, I want him. I want him so much that I ache, that my nipples are sore for the lack of his lips, that my lips feel dry for the want of his kiss and I know that every time I think about him I can feel the wetness between my legs, warm and slick, waiting to welcome him.
I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to sleep unless I have him and he has me, I realize as I lay there, my knees pulled up and my hand slowly sliding down between my legs. I know that even if I do manage to get myself off now that it will only make things worse, not better. I’ll still want him in the morning, maybe more. Maybe so much that I’ll end up fucking him right under the Christmas tree in front of everyone.
Merry Christmas to me.
Maybe a cold shower will help.
Cursing quietly I reach for my bag and realize the only thing I brought for wandering down the hall to the bathroom is a fluffy old robe and the idea of wrapping myself in its’ warm fuzziness leaves me shaking my head. The idea isn’t to get any warmer, it’s to cool off.
Padding barefoot across the cold floor I reach for one of Marc’s old dress shirts. Tugging it off the hanger, I slip it over my shoulders and can’t help but smile at the way it falls nearly to my knees, the arms draping over my wrists. He likes when I put on his shirt instead of a pj’s or a robe, it always makes him smile.
With a sigh, I turn for the door, wincing already at the idea of cold water rushing over my skin on an already cold night.