Chapter 1: The Disagreement
She sat on the balcony wrapped in a blanket, her face buried in her hands. The wind had blown her long brunette hair into a mass of confusion. Flipping it back, she wiped her tears, sniffled and walked to her room. With lethargic movement she pulled her silk lilac gown over head and reached for the matching robe. The fabric clung to her every curve, accentuating her breasts, waist, and hips. Then ended leaving four or so inches of bare leg just above the knees.
Grabbing a book off her nightstand she headed for the den where a fire had already been started but was now dying down from lack of attention. She stoked the fire, adding a log, then just stood there for a few moments staring into the flame. Reflections of events just an hour ago ran through her head, watching him over and over again walk out the door in her mind.
Tears once again began to well up inside her as she reached for the bottle of wine that had been intended for two. She poured a glass and in one swift swallow it was gone, followed by two more of the same. Then before she knew what she was doing she found herself standing on the curb in front of her apartment complex hailing a cab.
Taking into consideration that she had not taken the time to change her clothes, it was no wonder that she didn't have to wait long before a cab stopped. She instructed the driver to take her to 72 Maple Street. Jeff was the only person she had left in the world and she couldn't let him go that easily. She tried to remember what the argument was about and couldn't, but knew it was her fault just the same and she wouldn't sleep till he was in her arms again.
She was so far away in thought that she hadn't noticed the cab had stopped.
"Is this the house lady?" The driver grunted for the third time, obviously annoyed.
"Oh! Yes," she said as she snapped to reality. "How much do I owe you?"
She reached for her purse.
"Two dollars and fifty three cents," Replied the driver as he held out his hand.
"Here you go, and thank you very much," she said.
"Should I wait?" he had a smirk on his face.
"No thank you, with any luck I'll be staying the night."
She exited the cab and started for the door of old colonial home where Jeff resided. She seemed to be moving on autopilot, not really having any control or thought over what she was doing. Just a single purpose, to see Jeff and work things out.
Due to the late hour, Jeff had been in bed, so it was several rings of the doorbell before Jeff emerged. Her heart sped at the sight of him.
"Jeff, ah, can we talk please?"
She was shivering, partly from the cold and partly because of the nervous knot that had presented itself when he opened the door.
Jeff, who had also been unable to sleep, gave her the once over. When he realized she was barely clothed he grabbed her by the arm gently.
"Are you crazy Liz? It is freezing out there. Get in here before you freeze to death, not to mention the neighbors seeing you like that."
He led her into a large family room with plush sofas, a mahogany coffee table, and a faux bear skin rug in front of a raging fire. Liz went straight for the rug and sat down while Jeff retrieved a blanket from the hall closet and wrapped her in it. "I will be right back with a couple hot chocolates, you stay here and get warm."
Moment's later Jeff returned with two mugs of hot chocolate and sat down on the rug next to her.
She was in another trance staring into the fire. She felt so comfortable, so right as she always did when with him. She just sat there trying to organize her words so that they made sense. Although she felt at ease with Jeff, she also felt on edge when talking with him because of events from her past that Jeff was unaware of. In her mind the wrong words would end things forever.
"Liz?" he said in a soothing tone.
She looked up into his eyes and wanted to melt. Just the way he said her name was so caring and sweet. The sound of concern and compassion eased her tension and brought tears to her eyes at the same time. She couldn't bring herself to talk for fear of not being able to control the urge to cry.
"Liz, I know why you are here, I couldn't sleep either." He took her face in his hands, "I am so sorry, it is all my fault I shouldn't have tried to push you before you were ready. I am not excusing my actions because I was wrong, however you have to realize that I love you so much, and I want so desperately to show you just how much. I know you want to, and I wish you could tell me why you are so afraid of it. But until you can I will have to learn to be patient. Can you ever forgive me for walking out?" He pulled her in and gently kissed her lips, then rested his face on her shoulder.
"Of course I forgive you."
She pulled away a bit and turned her face to the floor.
"I never blamed you really, I took out my frustrations on you because you were there and for that I am sorry. I just need a little more time Jeff." She raised her face to his and kissed him while running her hands through his hair. Tears flowing freely she continued, "I don't know why I can't tell you what is going on in my head. Perhaps I am not ready to deal with it myself. All I can tell you is that I love you with everything I am. I want us to work, and I am afraid my inability to show you that love completely is going to drive you away. I hope you can be patient with me until I am able to work this out."
"Well I don't know," he said with a sarcastic tone. "It all depends on my left hand you see." He held his hand out in front of her, while struggling to hold the laughter in. "Eventually he is going to wear out and then," neither of them could contain the laughter anymore. Throwing arms around each other, they buried their faces into each other's necks. What had been tears of sadness were now tears of joy and happiness.
They remained there in each other's arms, staring into the fire and each others eyes for quite sometime before the sound from the old grandfather clock in the front hall rang out.
"Oh gosh, is it 3am already?" Jeff had to get up early for work in the morning. "You will stay here tonight, in the guest bedroom."
For a moment Liz took on a sad look again. She didn't want to leave Jeff and the feelings that were engulfing her at the moment, but she also knew that to stay in Jeff's bed would be torture for him. "Ok Jeff, but promise me it will be your baby blues I see when I open my eyes in the morning."
He smiled, nodded, then lifted her into his arms and carried her off to the spare bedroom. After getting her all tucked in, and making sure she had everything she needed, he hurried from the room to his own, knowing if he lingered much longer it would take more than a cold shower to cool him off.