I see all those strange monitors around me, inhaling the odd smell of antiseptics and desinfectives.
„God, I had such a horrible nightmare!“
Martin jumps up from his chair and paces to the bed. Next Dave peeks around the corner.
„Geez, you must have a sixth sense, mate – she just woke up!“
Next I realize is Dave embracing me, starting to cry on my shoulder.
„God, I’m so glad you’re back, angel! I already started praying again in the chapel.“
I look at him puzzled, then at Martin.
„Can somebody tell me what’s going on here? What the frigg am I doing here?“
„You don’t remember?“
„No, I just think I had an awfull dream – gosh, that was a nasty one!“
I start to blush slightly.
„Was it about Andrew?“
„Mart! We better call for the doctor first!“
That name seems to ring a bell inside me and the next thing I remember is me retching over the blanket.
When the doctor and nurses left again I lay there on fresh sheets – still trembling slightly – yet the dose sedatives dragging me into kinda velvety cosy cocoon. My speech and thoughts are slowed down, but I still can think quite clearly.
„Is he around?“
„No, he can’t harm you. He’s back to London.“
I swallow. My throat is dry. David seems to know and hands me a plastic cup with water. I can’t hold it properly in my shaking hands, nearly spilling half of it.
„Open your mouth, I’ll do it for you.“
Martin moves to the other side of the bed and sits down, reaching for one of my hands. They both look pale and tired – Dave has a stubble.
„Me being away for some days and you start slacking down?“
He instinctively brushes over his chin and then smiles.
„Yeah, you telling me!“
„When can I leave this godforsaken place?“
„Doctor says tomorrow – if you feel like it.“
„Oh, I just want out off here!“
He grins at me now.
„I so much can rely to that, Siv!“
Then something else crosses my mind – though I feel more and more sleepy due to that dope.
„What about Jen and the kids?“
Dave faces Martin. The blonde curly head gently closes his fingers around mine.
„You come with me to Santa Barbara. A little pampering and some lazy time in the sun and at the beach will help to get you back on track, don’t you think?“
„Sounds tempting. Are you sure you want me nervous wreck around?“
„Hell, Siv! You know how much I like you. Just relax and stop worrying about me. It’s you you need to take care of now.“
„Mart is right. As much as I wish to be with you now – I really have no idea how to explain that to Jennifer.“
„I know that, Dave. Don’t feel bad about it. We already discussed that. It’s about time. And I like the idea staying in California for a while – though I can’t guarantee not driving poor Martin insane.“
Mart gives us one of his evil chuckles now.
„I don’t see that – but if you’re up for a competition – here I am! On the other hand – you could finally start writing on our project. John just annouced kinda time out those days.“
The DM project...I really put that far, far aside in my head.
I feel definitely some relief when the hospital doors close behind me. John ushers me to the dark limousine. When he picked me up in the private waiting zone I could see his eyes go glassy for a moment. The tight embrace needed no explanation.
„I’m so glad to have you back!“
No more questions or talk about the matter – and I’m thankful for it. I know it’s not healthy to push it all under the carpet – and I don’t want to do that – but it helps a lot not always hearing the ‚sorries’ and apologies of all the ones around.
Dave already packed my stuff. Rosie awaits me in the door when I step with John out off the lift.
„Siiiiv! I missed you soooooo much!“
She throws herself into my arms. We walk inside the apartment. David’s already on the way to greet us as well.
„Rosie, let me breathe!“
She lets go and looks at me with her big shiny eyes.
„Daddy talked with me.“
I fix Dave and he nods.
„What did he tell you, tiny star?“
„That mum comes back tomorrow and that you will leave to Uncle Mart for some time.“
She looks serious now.
„And that you will not come back to stay here with us – but that I can see you any time I want to!“
„Well, when dad visits you – or when we are in England at Jack’s. You can fly over – it’s just a little more than an hour from Hamburg.“
She winks at me and I remember her investigative qualities at the PC.
„So that’s OK with you, precious?“
„Well, as long all of you are happy with it – why shouldn’t I be? I just hate if you fight and cry over each other.“
And after a little pause she adds: „And I miss mum. I’m happy she’s coming back.“
The final farewell is short. David drags me into the kitchen, closing the door. Then I feel his strong arms around me and cuddle close to him.
„I’m going to miss you like no good, baby.“
„Me, too, David! But it’s for the best – and we will meet again sooner or later.“
„Yes – let’s keep to this little flame.“
Then we stand just there, breathing in the others scent, listening to our heart beats.
„You got to be strong, baby!“
„Same goes for you, my fisherman!“
Another deep, wet kiss – and the sensation of his hardness against my thigh. Then he let’s me go and I turn for the door – recognizing a tiny tear glistening on his left cheek bone – still granting me his dazzling smile that always rips away the ground under my feet.
I’m turning around under the sheets for the next time these last fifteen minutes. Tired to the bone – yet sleep does not want to come. Like the last nights. The sound of the near ocean should calm me down – yet the waves do not really reach my conscience. Finally I doze off.
„Nooooo! Let go!!“
With a terrible yell I open my eyes – sweat all over – and stare into Martin’s concerned face.
„Siv, you’re having a nightmare – wake up! Everything is OK!“
I still shake and tremble – looking irritated around. The impressions were so vivid!
„Here, take some water.“
He hands me the bottle and then dries my face gently with a small towel.
„I’m sorry, Mart! I didn’t want to wake you up again.“
„No problem – I know it’ll take time.“
„Gosh, this must be the 6th night in a row!“
„Don’t worry. I promised I would be there and It’s really no biggie, baby!“
I still feel uncomfortable, brushing some wet hair out off my face. He seems to sense that and gingerly follows the contours of my cheek bones.
„You feel like having another shower, right? Why don’t you come with me down to the beach for a late midnight swim? It’s such a beautiful moon and the air is still warm.“
„God, that’s a brilliant idea, Curly!“
I slip out off the the blankets.
„Nah, you won’t need your bathing suit.“
I have to chuckle.
„Mart, you are really naughty!“
„Well, I always dip in the nude – at night that is.“
We walk down the little sandy path behind his house, large towels over our shoulders. The moonlight glistens mystically on all the tiny waves licking at the shore line. If I weren’t in this nervous condtion I really would have enjoyed it like a real holiday.
„Woah, a little colder than I expected!“
Water splashes and Martin’s blonde curls disappear under the surface. Then he jumps up again, moving his arms frantically.
„Anyway – it’s lovely! Get in!“
I follow him into the salty, whirling water. He’s right – a little cold but so refreshing! I let myself sink in completely and swim ahead with some swift strokes.
„Stop chasing me! That’s not fair!“
„Who said it would be fair?“
He gets me and dips me under. I use my legs to shower him – wriggling me off his grip. After some minutes I have enough and swim back. Getting back onto my feet I walk to our towels and let myself fall onto one – watching him slowly approaching me. He still has a well trained body for his age. A little short for my height – yet he’s got the certain something that still let’s me shiver.
„Like what you see?“
He has a broad smirk on his face.
„I always did, Martin.“
„So, where’s your camera?“
Now it’s me who snickers.
„In the bag – where it belongs at the moment.“
We stare silently onto the water for a while. Apart from the waves it’s absolutely quiet. Not even a hint of breeze.
„Feeling better now?“
„Yes, a lot. Thanks, this was just what I needed.“
„You still shiver, baby.“
He moves closer onto my towel and then slips his bathing sheet over my shoulders, pulling me tighter to him.
„Let me warm you a little.“
I follow the movements of his arms and cuddle closer to him.
„Trauma therapy, huh?“
Then his eyes turn darker and he bends his head over, searching for my lips. The kiss is very soft yet intense. His hands wander slowly up and down my back. It feels good, it feels right.
„I want you to forget all those negative memories, Siv. Please, let me help you with it.“
His smooth lips wander down my neck. Then he gingerly pushes me to the ground. It seems as if his mouth now is everywhere. His hands gently part my legs. I already feel a tingling in my groin. The busy tongue makes it’s way up my inner thighs – till the tip reaches my most sensitive area. Can’t suppress a moan.
„Oh, yes – enjoy it, baby! Let go!“
He circles around my clit and then tastes my slick folds – parting them with his slender fingers. He’s so different in his ways compared to Dave. You could cover my eyes with a blindfold – I would be able to tell who’s who! Seems as if Martin has way more patience – he takes his time, opposed to David who’s restraint is not always top priority.
„Oh, god – Curly, I’m close!“
„I know – I can feel it. Come for me, Siv!“
He increases the suction of his lips and then I can’t hold back and the contractions make their way through my body. Heavily panting I lay there, staring into the night sky – facing the pale moon – and then a few tears find their way.
„Shush, it’s alright, angel!“
He pulls me closer to his chest and cradles me. After some minutes I calmed down again.
„Siv, I’m afraid to ask – I mean, in your state – but I want you so much!“
He cups my face and locks my view with his beautiful eyes.
„I really want you to forget – your body to erase all that pain.“
The only answer I can give him is a deep kiss and then I pull him up with me, take his left hand and drag him to the water again. We glide onto the wet sand, the waves licking at our legs and chests – forth and back – a steady rhythm. Our skin gets slippery and wet – the taste of salt on my lips turns me on massively. He moves over me and I can feel his hardness against my thigh.
„Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you!“
His lips seal mine again and the next wave clashes over our bodies. I open my legs a little more and then he enters me with his hard member, thrusting slowly in and out – trying to find the right pace. Every now and then he’s checking my expression – but there’s just pleasure, no pain at the moment.
His white teeth are kinda glowing in the twilight while his body moves up and down – him getting more and more short of breath. My hands grab his bottom, my fingers digging into the soft flesh. Now I want to feel him as deep as possible. Recognizing this it drives him really over the edge. With my walls clamping around his cock he plunges into me a last time and then releases his hot juices with a loud moan. Clinging around each other we lay still for countless minutes – just listening to our panting and heartbeats. I feel sort of relief – yet it’s not the sensation I might have experienced with David. And I better stop comparing those two – it’s just not fair! So I kiss the tip of his nose and smile at him.
„I know I’m not Dave, baby – but I hope you had as much fun as me.“
„Was it that obvious?! Hey, this is no competition!“
„It’s OK, Siv. We all are who we are – and that’s alright.“
„I really enjoyed it, Martin – seriously!“
He kisses me passionately and then gets onto his feet again. I follow him and in no hurry we make our way back up to his place.
When I wake up the next morning I’m in Mart’s huge king size bed. His curly head rests on his pillow next to me – face turned away. The blanket slid down a little and I can see all the freckles on his back. I feel tempted to kiss my way along but resist. We are no lovers – well, not really? I better do not give him the impression that I wanted more. Trauma therapy – hello? Sometimes I really wonder about myself and how my ethics went down the gutter. No, I still think I’m not a bad girl. My love life is just a little bit complicated! How can one ‚love’ two or three persons at the same time – not being a slut?
Well, it’s not just physical attraction – that would be much easier to handle. Like Dave said – just having sex wouldn’t hurt that much.
„Already in negative thoughts again, baby?“
I didn’t realize Martin turned around in the meantime, mustering me.
„I can see your brain clicking busily.“
He kisses me softly and then nudges my shoulder.
„Let’s get up for some breakfast! It’s already past ten.“
I switch off my powerbook and glance over to the window. Outside the first yellow leaves dance down to the ground. Basil curls around my feet under the desk. Every now and then he lifts his head and licks my hand or pulls slightly at the hem of my pullover.
„Time for a cuppa, baby?“
Andy’s ginger head in the doorframe.
„Oh, that would be wonderful!“
I stretch my arms and back and get up from the chair. Already too long in front of the screen again!
The table is already laid. I cuddle into the woolen plaid on the couch and close my fingers around the steaming mug of tea.
„You work too much recently, Siv.“
„I know, Andy – but Anton was right. After the Bowie shooting they seem to queue up at my door! Not that I complain.“
Fletch musters me and I wonder what’s going on behind his blue eyes.
„Well, apparently you try to work over your limits to bury the pain. And I especially should know.“
I let the mug sink down.
„Andy, you know I don’t want to drag you too deep into it. I’m so glad you offered me the chance to stay here for a while, after...and I know you really want to help me recovering – yet in the end I have to find my way on my own I’m afraid. It takes time, that’s all.“
„OK, but I won’t just watch if you manoeuver yourself into sort of burnout. Please, talk to me if you feel like it – I can take it, you know.“
He gets up and joins me on the couch, brushing my cheek.
He puts his arm around my shoulders and I move closer and rest my head in the crook of his neck.
„Have you spoken with David recently?“
„Yes, just yesterday. He’s a cold and was a little pestered about it. Rosie was getting on his nerves bringing him ginger tea on the trott.“
I follow the outlines of his chest with my finger.
„Returned to New York a day after I left. I was happy for Rosie cause she really missed her mum. No idea though how David and her get along. We do not really talk much about it.“
„She’s a strong woman. I’m more interested how YOU feel about it, baby. Since you got back from the States you haven’t really talked to me.“
He turns my face towards his and I can see the sadness in his look again.
„And you haven’t let me near you again as well. It’s like there’s an invisble wall between us that wasn’t there before. And I know what I did to you – there’s no real excuse for it.“
I sigh and feel a wellknown lump in my throat again.
„I just don’t want to give you the impression that you’re kinda consolation price. I’m really still not sure what to feel or think. And you know how hard it is for me to open up. About that situation...meanwhile I understand a little – yet it’s still a wound deep inside of me. It’s forgiven – not forgotten.“
„Siv, that’s bullshit! Consolation price, come on! I thought I was your friend you can trust in if in need. I never expected anything more – for now. Though about the trust – hell, I did well to destroy it!“
The way he adds the ‚for now’ wrenches my heart again. I’m way too much into my pain concerning Dave still – but I always had known that Andrew felt something more for me. I think I was sure when he called me by my full irish name. Yes, he deserves to know more – and I’m glad he was so patient with me so far – except that bloody incident.
„Do really want to hear it? It’s not really pleasant – and it might hurt you.“
He looks at me and his eyes are deep as the Atlantic now.
„I’m not afraid. Seeing you in this state – not letting me in – hurts more.“
I take another sip of tea and lean back again.
„I’m still torn. I know that David and I have a certain, deep link. No doubt about it. You should have seen him when he entered the room the day I arrived in New York – after plotting it with Rosie. He was just a shadow of himself – jumping on me like a drowning sailor. Well, I was no better to be honest.
You know the rest while you were there. After you left Mart simply took my baggage and booked two flights to Santa Barbara – to get me out off the line.“
„So you weren’t back to Hamburg as I thought.“
„No. And before you ask – yes, I had some sex with Martin, too – though I’m not sure if that was more of the charity kind. He really tried all to get my dark thoughts away from New York.“
Andy looks tired and sad.
„How could I complain? Siv – I still can’t express how sorry I am. You really have to believe me. If I could turn back time – I would.“
„I know, Andrew.“
The tea in my mug got cold and tastes awful now. I get up and pour it onto a plant on the window sill. Then I feel Andy’s arms closing around me from behind. He buries his head on my left shoulder.
„Come, you are strung out – get some rest on your bed.“
He gently drags me with him to the guestroom – then stops and walks on to his room, opening the door.
„I want you in my bed, Siv – and I swear I’m not going to touch you. Just be close to me – please!“
He moves away the duvet and I hesitantly crawl into the huge bed. He joins me after getting rid off his shoes as well. After a while just resting in his arms I hear him silently sobbing and open my eyes again.
„What is it, Andy?“
„Seeing the crawlies on your skin kills me! You’re still afraid of me!“
„My mind tells me different – yet my body seems to remember – or my subconscious.“