Thursday, April 19, 2012
Chapter 6 - page 2
The low hum of the hot tub was barely heard as soft jazz filled the room. Candle light, scattered about set a romantic mood as the couple relaxed in the bubbling hot water. His arms were stretched over the edge, legs extended before him, head back and eyes closed. She opened her big brown eyes slowly and sighed contently. Leaning across him she took one of the two champagne flutes sitting along the side of the tub to bring it to her lips. She sipped at it and watched him with sudden curiosity. “If I asked you a question would you answer?”
“You just did, so… yes.” Peter’s lip twitched in a half grin.
“You’re impossible.” Evangeline sat back, champagne in hand. “How many do you really have?” She avoided his gaze by staring at the bubbles.
“How many what… exactly?” Peter smirked knowing her response before she could even speak the words.
“You’re such a brat.” Evangeline set the flute back down and curled up against him. “Women, men, lovers… how many?”
Peter kissed her forehead before answering her. “Currently, I have only one.”
“Really?” Evangeline sat up stunned. “I thought for sure there would be more. I mean your reputation…”
He snorted and glanced at her. “You of all people should know about rumors and reputations and how they differ from reality.”
“Hmmm, you have a point.” Evangeline sighed heavily. “Peter…”
“He wants a divorce.” Evangeline’s voice hitched, despite her outward apathetic appearance.
It was Peter’s turn to sit up. His eyes searched her face. “And?”
“And what?” She shrugged a shoulder to hide her pain. “Our marriage has been over for a while. I just kinda feel bad that he thinks I’m having an affair.” Evangeline curled up to Peter again, laying her head on his shoulder. His arm wrapped around her to console her.
“For all intents and purposes, you are.” Peter returned her shrug when she scoffed at him. “Eva, think about what it means to have an affair. It is a betrayal of ones vows. You betray him every time you come with me on one of these trips.”
“Just because all of Sunset Valley thinks we are some kind of fuck buddies doesn’t mean we are.” She pouted up at him causing him to chuckle.
“I’ll grant you that, but you know damn well he doesn’t want you running off for a weekend with another man. What husband would?” Peter closed his eyes and let out a soft sigh. “People have a hard time believing a man and a woman can be as close as we are and remain platonic.”
“Well, I deserve happiness, Peter. Heck you deserve happiness. I love our trips.” She slipped a finger along his bruised neck and he hissed. “He was pretty rough on you this time.”
Peter pulled her probing fingers away. “Stop that and I’ll buy you a car.”
Jenson slipped into the apartment closing the door with a soft click behind him. He stood in the dimly lit room allowing his eyes to adjust to the change. The silence of the room surrounded him while Jenson slowly looked around. He reached for the light switch, but her voice stopped him. “Leave it off.”
He dropped his hand and frowned at the darkness. “What’s going on, Elissa. What’s wrong?”
“You are what’s wrong.” There’s an odd sliding, scraping, hissing noise that approached him. Jenson squinted to see, but there were too many shadows.
Realization hit him and in his mind that sound he had heard could be only one thing. Jenson briefly closed his eyes, the finality of things closed around him. His hands clenched into fists before relaxing at his side again. He struggled to keep calm while playing Elissa's game. “What did I do?”
A click was the only warning he was given before the room was flooded with light. Jenson closed his eyes and turned his face away from the glare of white light. “Cheated repeatedly with Peter Hamilton.”
After the shock of brightness, Jenson looked at the floor near his feet. Just as he figured, sitting nearby is the engagement ring Jenson gave her was neatly displayed in the open black velvet box. The muscle in his jaw tightened, flexing a time or two as Jenson reined in his emotions. Jenson corrected her, “In all fairness, I cheated on him repeatedly with you.” He growled at his lack of self control. Lashing out to hurt her as much as he was hurting was a childish game that would surely get him no where.
“Is that supposed to make this better?” Elissa's voice drifted to him from a safe distance behind the bright light deep in the shadows.
Jenson refused to look towards the direction her voice was coming from, keeping his face a mask of calm. “No, simply clarifying things. Life is full of irony. I’m sure you won’t care one way or the other. You won’t see past your imagined infidelity.” Jenson’s lip twitched when he heard her scoff.
“There were no promises between us, Elissa. You made that clear from day one. You were always afraid to commit to us, to giving us a chance. You were so scared that you created rules and walls. The one betrayal between us is that ring. I broke your rules. I fell in love. I dared to have hope. Hope for a future with you.
“He understood and walked away to give me a chance at happiness and now he’s gone. I don’t have you and I don’t have Peter. That’s what is wrong with this world, Elissa. If you dare to love someone, you lose them.” Without another word, Jenson turned on his heel and opened the door leaving Elissa and the ring behind.