Title: The Greed That Burns My Fingertips
Author: Michelle K. (CageyGrl@yahoo.com)
Spoilers: "The Portland Trip" - "Women of Qumar"
Summary: The things that are never told.
Disclaimer: Characters are Aaron's. (Denial is mine!) Title is from 'Silent Partner' by Patricia Barber.
The Greed That Burns My Fingertips by Michelle K.
You show up at her apartment with cold legs and an empty stomach intending to tell her everything. Somehow, all you manage is, "I had the worst date of my life."
"Really?" she yawns. "No offense, but you came here to tell me that?"
You stare at the floor. "No." You kiss her instead of telling her you love her. You're still wearing your little red dress when she goes down on you.
The next time you don the crimson cloth, Josh smiles like the display is for him. You want to let him know the truth, but that would cause too many complications.
She knows. You know. That's enough.
You continue to date men. That's what you're supposed to do, after all. But you never go home with them. Some nights, CJ's waiting for you. Others, you have to shake her out of a deep sleep. But she always welcomes you, pulling you deeper and deeper inside her until your scent is covered by hers.
No one's ever done that before.
"You've been advertising your skills in bed?"
You run your tongue over her collarbone as you straddle her. "Not exactly?"
"I didn't take an ad out. I just...made a factual statement."
"Can't argue with that." You pout just enough to charm her. "But that doesn't mean I want everyone knowing. Might try to infringe on my territory."
"Didn't know you were the jealous type."
"Just a little," you lie, wishing you could tattoo your name on her body. You feel a rush of satisfaction when she comes against your finger.
You love her more than you did before. You still don't tell her.
Joey thinks you're pushing Josh toward her to cover your feelings for him.
It's kinda funny, but not really.
You wonder what people would think if they knew the truth.
You find yourself growing incredibly scared.
"The President's a liar."
You sit up, stare at her in confusion. "What are you talking about?"
"He has MS. We're going to announce in a few days. Say, 'Hey, America, he's a liar.'"
You want to ask questions, but you doubt she cares to talk. Her lips taste like wine and metal, and you don't stop kissing her until she falls asleep against you.
When Toby tells you, you pretend the words have never been heard before. Whenever you're with CJ, you pretend to be angrier than you are, sharing the righteous indignation as you share her bed.
She's making mistakes. Falling apart, but you can't hold her together. After a while, she doesn't let you try.
You still love her. You still don't let her know.
In Manchester, she kisses you. You try not to act like you've been waiting weeks for her return. When she pulls away, she says:
"I slept with Toby."
"I needed someone and you weren't there."
She's still fragile from almost losing the life she barely believes in, and your first instinct is to comfort her. But you know, deep down, that this solidifies the notion that you're nothing to her but a pair of hands intent on making her come. If she has to, she'll find someone else.
You wipe her lipstick from your mouth. "You didn't want me around. That's not my fault."
You walk away with your head held high. You're not sure if this strength exists because of the love or despite it.
You know that you want her to crawl back to you.
You're not surprised when she doesn't.
CJ slept with Toby, CJ slept with Toby, and she's not yours anymore. If she ever was. So, you say okay to meeting Ainsley's friend. Yes to Cliff as his hand slides up your thigh. Oh yes, and he's fucking you. You don't think of CJ when he's inside you; sex with a man is different enough from sex with a woman that not even the most vivid imagination can turn Cliff's erection into CJ's tongue. But, yes, oh yes, as you touch yourself in time with his thrusts. Fuck God yes when you come.
But: No, no, when he asks if you have a diary.
He knows differently.
You can't even have a rebound affair properly.
He hands you your diary with a look of knowledge on his face, the type of appraisal that you've been happy to avoid.
"This is nobody's business."
You're unsure if he really agrees.
"How could you be so stupid?"
"You exposed me. You--"
"I didn't plan it."
"You could've stopped it from happening."
You pretend that she's upset that you've slept with someone else. When her face stays etched with fury after you say, "He isn't subpoenaing it," you think you might be right.
She doesn't stick around to hear your apology.
You know you still love her.
"They're beating the women. And we're selling them weapons."
You try to think of something to say. Maybe she's asking for you back. Maybe you're just in the right place at the right time.
You pretend not to care, because she's asking you to take her home, and you've wanted to come back to this.
God, you really love her.
You've forgotten exactly what her bedroom looks like, but you remember the way she tastes. Still, you appreciate the reminder. You stroke her softly; she needs that, even if she doesn't need you.
To you, she's always been a necessity.
You tell her you love her with your mouth against her thigh. She doesn't hear you. You don't care.
You crawl into bed with her, moving back to the place you started from.
It's better than nothing.
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