As It Seems Ch. 06

Ball Licking

The silence between them was strained even with the guitar and drums calling to them from the radio. Gauge kept his eyes on the road, except every so often they would wonder her way. He knew she was nervous, where Alexa was fidgety under strain Janabelle was freakishly calm and still. Instead of flying off the handle she would sit and think, un-nerving the fight out of whoever was angry.

The song ended and the silence stretched as he parked the car in the lot of his apartment. He raked his hands through his hair letting out a heavy sigh. What was wrong with her? With him? With them? How could he fix it? He couldn’t erase the night he turned her away. It was the same day he admitted to himself he loved her. It was self-preservation! He couldn’t keep seeing her hurt, it was chipping away at him so when he heard the familiar timid knock, he was afraid. He folded his ands across the span of his chest guarding himself against her bloody clothes and bruised face, her lips swollen to twice their fullness caked with drying blood. He couldn’t remember his exact words to her, but something along the lines of he couldn’t sit around watching her being hurt so he was done.

She gazed up at him confused her mouth opened to say something but nothing came out except a choppy croaking breath. They stared at each other and he wanted to take it back. He wanted to pull her close, he wanted rewind and delete those harsh words. More than anything he wanted to know what to do. He wanted to understand the anger he felt towards her, she was a good daughter to her father and a great friend to him. They both hurt her abandoning her in different ways.

He reached out to her but she stepped back shaking her head, glaring at him like stranger. She stumbled as she walked backwards trying to decipher what had just happened, before turning to walk away. She didn’t look back, as she hung her head low; wondering what was wrong with her. Why was it so easy for people dismiss her? She had no one, no she sighed that wasn’t completely true, she could have stayed with Alexa, or Wanda and Jerome. That just screamed trouble, Alexa would call the cops or worse call her dad in Austin and Janabelle would have to look into watchful eyes and lie. Jerome and Wanda were no better, no actually they were worse they’d call “cousins” to handle her dad. She couldn’t afford that. She couldn’t afford the bail if she went to Alexa and she couldn’t afford the hospital bill if she went to Wanda.

Janabelle walked the streets for a few hours that night, until she figured old Man Monroe, her dad passed out. She crept through the door hissing sharply at any creak her weight caused on the floor. The old man was sprawled on the floor snoring. She tip toed to her room, finally collapsing on her bed letting quiet sobs convulse in her chest.

Gauge knew he was a dick not 5 minutes passed before he went after her; he spent the whole night looking for her. He since has spent every waking moment making up for his selfishness. Every moment trying to get his Bella back. She pulled deep into herself anytime he saw a glimmer of their old friendship. She would close off and move away. Did he blame her?

“So you want to tell me what that was about?” Gauge asked as though he didn’t know the answer.

Janabelle shrugged turning her face to the passenger window. There was a hard coldness radiating from the window making her shiver as she stared in the gaze of her ethereal reflection. She wished she had the ease of being an image instead of real person. She would only appear in the hard cold glass and disappear when the other image was finished and satisfied with itself. She touched the glass under her finger tips lightly brushing her ghost as though drawing courage and comfort, somehow if she could block the twisting and tightening in her chest. She didn’t want to feel this way, she didn’t want to feel the anger and bitterness eating inside her or the hurt she denied feeling when he turned her away. None of this mattered. It was obvious she didn’t deserve love and comfort. It was her fault her Dad was an addict, she should have been able to stop him. So whatever he did to her she deserved because she failed him. And she pulled Gauge into this cluster fuck she called a life, relieved to finally have someone to turn to. She strained their friendship, she was selfish. Then she had to fall in love with him. What was she thinking? She scoffed at herself as tears pushed their way up to the surface.

She wasn’t going to cry to him anymore. She wasn’t going to hold the hope that she could be loved, especially by him. Love was a fucking joke, love didn’t cure or heal it sucked you dry it made you a fraud. She pretended to be the chill chick, the one everyone loved to hang around; she wondered that no one saw the fire bubbling to her surface. She was barely holding on to herself. There had to be something wrong with her right? If her dad loved her enough wouldn’t he stop taking drugs, wouldn’t he hear her suadiye escort voice in the fog of his delirium when she’d cry curled into a ball no daddy it’s me! Daddy wake up it’s me!

“Janabelle,” the deep timbre of his voice pulled her out of her thoughts and tugged on the heart she tried to shut off. Gauge never called her Janabelle. It was always some variation Belles, Bella, Bella Bear, lil’bit, and his personal favorite munchkin, but never Janabelle. It was strange and foreign as she twisted the sound of his voice saying her name over and over in her head.

“Jana,” he said again in a long sigh. She tensed as she heard the clink and cloth zip of him releasing his seatbelt. She closed her eyes as she felt the push of his energy nearing her own. “Talk to me…Please,” his hand wrapped around the one she kept idle in her lap. His hand was big and warm totally engulfing hers. The silver thumb ring put out the most heat, scorching a trail over her thumb as he stroked it.

Her eyes focused on his shadowy reflection behind her own. His usually cool grey eyes bright and warm with concern. She met his gaze in the window; it would be easier like this, if she didn’t really have to face him. She could pretend that what they were feeling they really weren’t.

“What do you want to talk about?” her voice trembled lightly in its softness.

“Us,” Gauge said tugging her hand to get her to face him. His simple confession surprised her enough to make her turn.

“Us? What about us?” her voice was harsh and raw. Janabelle couldn’t and wouldn’t talk about them. She didn’t want to talk about anything. She just didn’t want to exist at all. She didn’t want to be sitting there looking into Gauge’s beautiful clear eyes wondering when he was going to turn his back on her again. She didn’t blame him but that didn’t stop it from hurting.

Gauge opened his mouth then closed it. He didn’t know what to say to her. What could he say? Her eyes burned into him, he studied the hurt radiating from her. He was about to reach out and touch her face. Her cheeks still had traces of baby fat, adding to her prettiness. Before he could reach her, she was out of the car slamming the door.

She was about to take off somewhere, anywhere to think, to cry, to be away from guaranteed heart break. The cold air surprised her, stopping her in her tracks giving Gauge the chance to catch up. She gasped into the night and huddled close to herself. Gauge trapped her between his car and himself. He looked down at her for the first time he could see, he understood the weight of what she carried.

“I-I don’t w-want to t-talk,” she whispered through trembling lips. It had to be from the cold and not because Gauge was so close, she lied to herself. The air was so crisp and cool it hurt to breathe but she did, letting out a fog that blurred their vision.

Gauge gave a short nod, “We don’t have to.” He promised pulling her close, closing his eyes as he wrapped protective arms around her. She tensed then relaxed leaning her head on his chest. He thought of their trip to New Orleans earlier in the week.

He went for a cooking class and asked her to come with him. The class was two days at six hours each but they made it a vacation week. She hung out with some of his friends and the nights were theirs after he showed off his cooking skills. One night while they were there he took her on one of those haunted tours, she always wanted to take. It was cool that night and she shivered even through her jacket.

He pulled her close to him almost like now wrapping her in his arms with his jacket around her, feeling her heat immerse around him. Her arms swaddled around his waist as they walked. He whispered jokes in her ear. Making her laugh so hard and so loud it earned them glares form people taking the tour way too seriously.

She was shivering now, and he found himself just wanting to keep her like this. He wanted to keep her close; he wanted her body stealing his body’s heat, he wanted to hear her laugh and hold her when she cried. He wanted her and he fucked up.

“Let’s go inside, I made some marshmallows before work.” He whispered kissing the top of her head.

Janabelle relaxed slightly. They spoke in strange short hand, when he made marshmallows he made hot chocolate. He planned for her to come tonight. She was the only one he made marshmallows and hot chocolate for. She looked up at him she couldn’t push the overwhelming since of rightness. She belonged in his arms, why did it have to be Gauge? Why couldn’t any other boyfriend or lover make her feel this way? The way he searched her eyes now a mix of worry, hope and something else she was afraid to place. Her tongue peaked out moistening her lips.

Gauge dipped his head down slightly ready to catch her lips, but he pulled back. He needed to re-earn her trust before he tried to be more. He proved himself a bad friend and he knew if he pushed a relationship now she would yakacık escort always wonder when it was going to turn sour.

“Come on munchkin,” he pulled her by the waist to his apartment. “I have a surprise.” He pinched her sides trying to lighten the mood.

“No!” she gasped; she was the most ticklish person he had ever met, anywhere you touched her you could make her laugh. She elbowed his side, “you’re such a jerk!” she tried not laugh as he retaliated poking her side then pulling her too close to move, to the point they could barely walk.

“Hop in the shower and I’ll start the hot chocolate.” He was standing behind her whispering in her ear, his arms were on either side of her as he unlocked the door. He pressed his body against hers.

“What about my surprise?” her voice was bright with excitement.

“Shower first,” he gave her gentle nudge indoors.

Janabelle huffed and rolled her eyes, “yes daddy.”

Gauge shivered despite the sarcasm in her voice, “ooh, love it when she calls me daddy.” Janabelle laughed despite herself. Somehow Gauge always knew how to drain out tension and replace it with a strange easy going aura.

The shower helped; maybe she was just over thinking what they were an d what they could be to each other. She sighed as she inhaled the steam mingled with the soap Gauge used. It was desperate but smelling like him helped her feel closer to him, it helped pretend that they were still the same or maybe closer.

She stepped out letting out a rush of air. She felt a lot better, and the smell of melting chocolate and cream filled the apartment. She wondered what kind of marshmallows Gauge made. He never made just regular vanilla, always some strange combination, her favorite were the gingerbread. She pulled on one of his t-shirts and a pair of his boxers.

“You ready munchkin?” He called from the kitchen dropping the marshmallows into the mugs of steaming chocolate. He stopped when he saw her. Her hair was down just passed her shoulders making her eyes even bigger. Making her even more tempting. Her lips full and soft were turned up into a shy smile. He let out a breath; she looked a lot more relaxed, a lot more open, even more like his old Bella. Maybe he could get her back; he was going to make sure he earned it.

She shrugged, “sure, so what’s my surprise?” her voice shook as his eyes took her in. Gauge handed her the mugs making her nose twitch as she tried to guess the flavor mixed with the chocolate. He smiled as he pulled out a booklet of DVDs.

“When did you get this?” It was volume two of DeathNote. She couldn’t find it anywhere and now he was holding it waving it in her face like a bribe. It was her favorite anime cartoon. He shrugged as he moved to put it in his DVD player.

“Come on, munchkin,” he put it then pulled her to sit next to him, “have you guessed what flavor yet?” She sniffed as the cartoon started. Her stomach rumbled.

“Gingerbread?” she could smell the ginger and spices but there was something she couldn’t place and a bit of…coconut?

He laughed, “No, but close, taste it.”

“Ummm,” she tried to sip the scorching liquid but it was so good she burned her mouth drinking it down. “I give, what is it?” she looked up into his eyes; they seemed so bright in the dark.

“Coconut chai,” he leaned back on the couch taking in her admiration.

“It’s so good, I think this is my new favorite.” She mumbled as her eyes got heavy she barely got passed the opening before her body relaxed against his. He pulled the half finished mug from her kissing her forehead. He cradled her in his arms.

“I’m going to get you to trust me again; I’ll never let you down like before.” He murmured brushing his lips against her forehead as he heard her steady sleeping breath. She sighed and moved closer tightening her hold.

—-

For the first time in her life Alexa took a cold shower, and still it didn’t squelch the over whelming urges possessing her core. It was deeper than her skin, deeper than anything in her, she was on fire somewhere deep inside and it was spreading out.

Connor’s words haunted her, echoing in her ears, “I only gave you what you wanted.” It wasn’t true! She couldn’t want him, but she did. So bad it hurt, he’s been soaking her panties for the past week without her so much as knowing anything but his name. She wasn’t that girl. She wasn’t some sex pot ready for a good time. She never wanted anyone like this before, she never wanted anyone period. She usually just had sex out of obligation and it was always awkward and painful, the last time being the most. She rubbed her wrist absently.

Marcus was only the second guy she had real sex with, so this wasn’t her! Tears burned her already soar eyes but she refused to let them fall. She cried enough tonight. Any pressure on her panties reminded her of Connor’s fingers accomplishing what not even hers could on the rare occasion she explored şerifali escort that area of her body.

Alexa crawled in bed, groaning as her panties brushed her sensitive…ugh she couldn’t even think the word. That’s how much of a prude she was. So why had Connor of all people unleashed that part of her? That part that; if she were honest she would admit she worried she would never find. Marcus drained what little sexual desire she had, then she came cross a set of blue eyes and ridiculously hot body belonging to some two bit street thug.

She tried to push away the memory of how his finger twirled inside of her, working her into a frenzy. She lay on her stomach hoping the pressure would weigh down the butterflies fluttering in every part of her body, demanding Connor. She pressed her hand to her lips to prevent making another noise due to him.

Her hand still pulsed with the warm heavy feel of him. He was so smooth and soft and rigid. She pressed the tips of her fingers to her lips kissing the memory. What would it be like to kiss him there? Would he moan and hiss? Would he surge down her throat? Her face burned in shame with the direction her thoughts were taking her, but they wouldn’t stop, barreling down her with the weight and speed of an on coming train. It propelled her to the thought of going downstairs and letting Connor feed her hungry curiosity.

Would he still? After she slapped him? The palm of her hand instantly throbbed with awareness. She kissed her palm imagining she was kissing the print her palm made on his cheek. “I’m sorry,” she whispered shakily into the night. She was sorry, but too afraid of herself and of him to go down and say so. She knew what would happen if she did. She would

touch it and kiss it in an offering of peace and…No!!! I can’t think about that! I can’t think about him. I don’t think I can face him again, she conceded.

Her hands itched to trace down his body again. Alexa tapped her fingers on her pillow like she had done along Connor’s chest then traced further down like she had his stomach.

“No,” she murmured turning on her side and curling into a tight ball. She pulled tighter and tighter into herself until her stomach gave a spasm of protest. She stared into the night chewing her lip refusing to think about how Connor’s lips felt as he coaxed her into a kiss or how warm and beautiful his eyes were as his mouth brushed, sucked and bit her. She couldn’t stop the shudders taunting her.

“Connor,” she called quietly to the cause and only relief of this strange new torture.

—-

Okay so maybe he moved a little too fast, so what? That’s what he did, when he saw an opening he took it. Alexa was defiantly open. He went for it and he wasn’t about to feel bad about that. He wasn’t about to feel guilty and he wasn’t going to keep playing these fucking head games, with Alexa or his sister.

Alexa was lucky that he was too tired and drained to go upstairs and teach her a lesson about being a cock tease. He laughed at himself as he stretched out on the couch, he didn’t even believe him. Guilt pushed through his machismo. He let out a trembling breath pushing his hair back with both hands. His curls tickled his large palms.

Alexa was a hurt vulnerable girl trying to be a tough strong woman. Anyone could see the doubt and fear in her

eyes if they bothered to look passed their unusual color, or her bad temper. If she had been anyone else he wouldn’t have

taken advantage of her like that. Yeah she was right when she accused him. He turned a moment of genuine tenderness and friendship and turned it into something else. Something that was probably dark and scary for her. What if-a sudden thought occurred to him, draining the blood from his face, dowsing his body in chill. He closed his eyes, his Adam’s apple bobbing as it searched to moisten his dry throat. He couldn’t push out the frightening thought. What if that asshole raped her? The word was harsh and ugly ringing in his head. He didn’t want to think rape. It was always a hard word to hear let a lone say. He had to say it a lot in his work; he had to deal with it a lot. Most tried to soften the word by whispering it like taboo gossip, others avoided it completely using synonyms like assaulted, attacked, taken advantage of…he winced at the last. His stomach started to turn as he imagined images of bloody and bruised Alexa curling into that tight ball he witnessed earlier, crying for help. His limbs started shaking, his face warming, and his heart beat faster, if he found out that, that punk ass mother fucker-he couldn’t finish the thought. He knew if he did he would go up to her room and make her tell him what happened. This would probably scare her all over again. He closed his eyes and eased his breathing fighting the impulse to go to her, his whole body trembled with the effort.

She hated him and he deserved it. She was about to trust him, she was softening towards him. He just had to taste those soft pouty lips, he had to pull her into his arms and feel his arms around her. He shouldn’t have, he should have instead let that small seed of peace grow in to what could have been a friendship. A frail friendship, but friendship all the same.

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