Saving One Another
Copyright© 2013 by Ultranumb74
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 10 - Love can blossom when least expected. Just ask Gary and Shiloh. Both of their lives are at low and dark points. Gary, a retired and divorced pilot, has love as the last thing on his mind when he moves into a new house. That's where he meets Shiloh, a soon-to-be 17 year old. She helps him move in and, later, deal with the darkness in his life. He helps her deal with her abusive step-father. They both, in their own ways, save each other and come to terms with their feelings for each other.
Ah, the Friday after Thanksgiving — the official start of Christmas season. The official start of legalized insanity. I'm of the opinion that a good percentage of our citizenry either lack common sense or are a good measure more courageous than I am to brave the Black Friday specials that corporate America flings upon the masses each year. Me? Well, I have courage. I have courage in spades. But I'd almost rather do another tour in the Sand Box than deal with the crazies out and about on Black Friday. Almost.
I had to question Shiloh's sanity this fine morning because she was bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and eager-beavery to head out to catch as many of those 50 and 75% off specials with the other insane females of my family. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving money when possible, but not at the distinct possibility of getting trampled for a two dollar toaster. No way, Jose.
So, as she got ready at oh-dark-thirty, I got up and made myself a cup of coffee. I was sitting at the kitchen counter slowly sipping my coffee, seriously questioning my choice to actually roll out of bed when Shiloh came out of the bathroom. She was dressed in a long-sleeved T-shirt, faded black jeans and tennis shoes. She'd pulled her hair up into a simple ponytail and a pair of sunglasses perched on her head.
"Not exactly the attire I expected for doing battle with the masses, babe," I observed.
Shiloh had started fixing herself a cup of coffee and replied, "Whatcha mean, handsome?"
"Well, I'd have thought you'd be heading out with a Kevlar helmet, body armor, steel-toed boots and round it all off with a metal baseball bat for dealing with those deal-stealing psychos," I chuckled.
I was rewarded with a tongue sticking out at me. I just grinned sleepily at her.
"Well, I'd considered stepping out in high heels and a black lacy teddy, replete with matching garter belt and stockings," she giggled.
"You do that and I just might be tempted to join you on this demented excursion of y'all's," I said with a wink.
"Might?" she replied.
"Maybe," I said, grinning again. "I think I'd have to be out dressed in battle rattle and a baseball bat, though. No doubt I'd have to beat back the jealous women and the horny guys just so you can get that fifty-cent bath towel set."
"Awwwwww ... you're so sweet, guy," she quipped sarcastically before giving me a heated kiss accompanied with a girly giggle. She wrapped her arms around my waist and pulled me close for another kiss. She grabbed my ass and pressed against me.
"Ahem," we heard.
We turned and Elizabeth, Karen and Michelle were standing there. Shiloh blushed, bit her lip and giggled before letting me go.
"Glad we came in when we did and not a few minutes later," Michelle laughed.
"Yeah, we might've gotten a retelling of the birds and the bees," Karen chimed in.
"Ugh! Gross, guys! Gary's my brother-in-law! I think I'm scarred for life now!" Elizabeth laughed in mock disgust. "Ready to go Shiloh?"
Shiloh nodded and gave me a quick kiss. I gave her my credit card, told her to have fun and gave her a swat on the butt as they headed out the door to go and pick up Joy before heading into town. I grabbed my cup of coffee and went into the living room. I deflated the air mattress, rolled it up and flipped on the television to watch some news.
I wasn't prepared for what I saw on CNN. They had a "Breaking News" bulletin airing. I turned up the volume and listened as the news anchor was describing an incident in Afghanistan about an F-15 getting shot down shortly after take-off. Details were slim, the anchor said, but there would be updates as they were received from the Pentagon.
My stomach dropped as I was watching this and I said a quick, silent prayer for the pilot. With details being scarce, the anchor relayed that the incident was eerily similar to an incident almost eight years prior. I felt a cold vise grip my heart as my old service photo was broadcast and my own shoot-down was replayed before my own eyes. My mouth went pasty and suddenly I felt like I couldn't get enough air. I clenched my eyes shut and all those nightmares came flooding back like an unstoppable tsunami.
I frantically grabbed for the remote, almost dropped it and finally shut the television off. My hands were shaking uncontrollably and I'd broken out in a cold sweat. Suddenly my stomach lurched and I bolted for the bathroom. I puked until I had the dry heaves and my stomach hurt.
Something snapped in my head and I don't remember much after that other than being out in the garage pacing back and forth. I don't know how long I paced out there, pacing like a caged animal, but it had to have been hours. I was still pacing when the girls got home. Shiloh came out to the garage and stood just inside the doorway with a frightened look on her face. When she called my name I just looked at her with a wild look in my eyes, not really registering that it was her or that she'd called my name.
She stood there calling my name several times, tears flowing, before running over to hug me tightly and to get me to acknowledge her. But it wasn't her that I saw; in my mind's eye it was one of those Pashtun insurgents.
When I'd ejected from my crippled fighter and landed, I'd managed to make it to my feet even with a trashed knee. I'd been leaning against the wall of an undamaged building when I was tackled from behind, wrapped in a tight bear hug. We'd hit the ground hard and I'd tried to roll away from the insurgent. I only made it to my back when he started raining punches down on me. He managed to grab a fist-sized rock and hit me in the side of the head and knocked me unconscious.
This was the scene that was being replayed in my head as Shiloh wrapped her arms around me. Since I didn't have a busted up knee to hinder me, I fought back. I wasn't going to be taken, by God. It was me or him one way or the other. In my mind, the sound of the roaring fire caused by my crashed jet filled my ears. The dust of the Afghan village spiraled in the air as a light breeze fluttered over the dirt road that ran between the huts. To me this was the reality I was in, rather than Sam's garage. The nightmare of the psychosis I was going through felt and seemed far more real than the reality where I really was.
So when I felt those arms wrap around me, I reacted. God help me, but I shoved her. Hard. In my hallucination it was the insurgent I was shoving, but I didn't distinguish between Shiloh and the phantom insurgent in my head. She slammed up against the refrigerator and screamed.
I took a step with my fists clinched to beat the insurgent to death but it was that scream served to snap me out of my manic state. I looked at Shiloh, looked at my hands and then looked back at Shiloh. She had a terrified look on her face and was crying uncontrollably. I suddenly realized what I'd just done and was horrified. Disgusted with myself I backed away from her like I was trying to distance myself from my barbaric act.
I tried to apologize, to say that I didn't mean to shove her, to say something, anything. My mouth moved, but my voice didn't come out. I didn't see a shop stool behind me and I tripped over it and landed on my butt. I scrabbled away backwards on my hands and feet until I hit the far wall of the garage. I slipped sideways and curled up in the fetal position, sick to my stomach and bawling.
A minute or so later I heard the garage door open and some quiet talking. An unknown number of minutes passed before I heard the quiet approach of footsteps. I looked up and saw Shiloh tentatively approaching. Horrified of what I'd done, I tried to scramble away but had nowhere to go. She paused momentarily, a look of deep sympathy and worry on her face, before she continued towards me.
I couldn't look at her. How could I? I'd just shoved my wife. I was deeply ashamed and couldn't look her in her eyes. I pulled my knees up to my chest and covered my head with my hands, shaking like a heroin addict going through withdrawal. She quietly sat next to me, pulled me to her bosom and gently rocked me as. I croaked "I'm sorry" over and over in anguish.
We stayed like this for several hours before Shiloh coaxed me to my feet. She gently led me to the truck and then went into Sam's house to gather our belongings. A short time she returned and she drove us home. The drive was silent; me looking out the side window and her splitting her attention between me and the road. When we got home we undressed in silence before crawling into bed and dropping off to sleep. Just before I crossed the line to fitful sleep, I had a moment of clarity and realized that whatever doubt I'd ever had about Shiloh breaking my heart like my ex did was totally and utterly shredded.
I didn't deserve that kind of devotion, not after what I'd done. Why she stuck with me, I'll never know. She should've been scared of me; God knows I was scared of me. She knew, and I suppose I did as well, that I wasn't myself when I shoved her. But that just sounded like nothing more than a shitty excuse to me. If she chose to leave me, I wasn't going to try to stop her. She'd been through enough shit in her life already that she shouldn't have to go through more with me.
Shiloh must've read my mind because she spooned up to me from behind, wrapped an arm around me protectively and kissed my shoulder before whispering, "I love you, Gary. I'm not going to leave you."
I didn't say anything; I just hugged her arm to my chest tightly and fell off the precipice into sleep.
Saturday came and went without much change on my part. My beautiful redheaded angel, she was as persistent as a dog gnawing on a bone at trying to break down the wall I'd started to erect around myself. Folks, if anyone deserves sainthood, it's Shiloh. Whether it was telling me how much she loved me or simply cuddling with me, she slowly but surely wormed her way through my emotional defenses. I still wouldn't look her in her eyes; I was still very much ashamed of my reaction, even if I wasn't in my right mind at the time.
Most of Sunday passed in much the same manner until late in the evening. We were watching television, some reality show or another, with Shiloh laying on the couch and me sitting on the floor in front of her. I wasn't paying any attention to the show; I was lost in my thoughts. When Shiloh turned off the TV, it didn't immediately register with me. She was stroking my neck tenderly for a few minutes before I realized the T.V. wasn't on. I laid my head on her hand and sighed.
"Shiloh," I said remorsefully, "I'm so sorry that..." I couldn't complete the sentence and immediately felt more shame.
"Tell me, baby, tell me what happened," she softly said and kissed the top of my head.