Ali's Art Ch. 13

byharding©

She wore a pale silk top with narrow straps that showed her perfect cleavage, the dark blue straps of her bra running up over her shoulders beside the thinner straps of the top. Her skirt was very short, thin and floating over black leggings painted onto her long legs. She wore sandals on her feet and sunglasses pushed up on top of her head and I knew I was hopelessly in love and if I failed to win her back I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

I caught the eye of my waitress and called her over.

"Signore?"

"Could you do something for me? Send a bottle of your best white wine to the lady on that table? The one over there?"

The waitress looked at me and smiled, "Of course, signore. And is there any message?"

"Uh, yes," I had no idea what I wanted to say. "Yes... could you say 'Sorry'?"

"Sorry?" She looked puzzled now.

"Yes. Just sorry."

"And shall I let her know who sends the wine?"

I nodded. "Yes."

She grinned. "La dolce vita," she murmured and moved away.

I waited, watching Ali study her menu. Then the waitress appeared with a bottle of wine in a cooler and took it across to her.

She lowered her head and spoke.

Ali looked puzzled.

The waitress turned and said something else, pointed across the terrace to me.

I saw Ali's eyes lift, find me and fail to recognize me at first. She looked again and her mouth opened. Opened wide. Her hand flew to her mouth.

I stared back, willing her to forgive me, to accept me back into her life.

Her face showed no emotion other than surprise, and as I continued watching her that too faded.

Ali spoke to the waitress and they both glanced back in my direction.

The waitress nodded and moved away, came to me and said, "The signora asks if you would like to join her?" She was desperately trying not to grin.

"It would be my pleasure," I said. I gathered my things, the envelope I had carried from New York, and stood. "Would you please put everything on my bill?"

"Of course, signore."

I felt self conscious walking across to Ali's table, but when I reached her she made it easy and stood.

She put her arms out and I stepped inside them and kissed her, feeling an electric surge fill my body from the touch.

I stared at her, and her at me, directly into each other's eyes.

"I've been a fool," I said.

She shook her head. "No. I have."

I smiled. "We have?"

She looked at me, nodded. "OK. We have. What the fuck are you doing here, Tom?"

She sat at the table and I sat across from her, reached and pulled her hand into mine and she let me and left it there, warm and small.

"I've come for you, Al," I said.

"You have?"

"Of course."

"Why?" She looked into my eyes, searching for some answer not connected to what I might say.

"I need to say something to you. Something important. Something I should have said a long time ago."

She nodded.

My heart was beating fast. I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but was afraid that she would reject my words. I hoped, I prayed, that would happen, but we don't always know what is going on inside other people's heads. We might think we know, but we don't. We can't.

"Al, I want to get this all out at once, so don't interrupt. I've known you since I was three years old. I only ever thought of you as my sister - a real sister, not just a pretend one. But then things got fucked up. You moved away, and when I saw you you'd grown into a beautiful teenager and I fell in love with you in a different way-"

Ali tried to say something but I held my hand up.

"Let me finish. I've got to get this all out at once, otherwise I'm not going to be able to say it. But loving you was OK, because even though we only saw each other once a year it was fine, because you were my secret soul mate. I never told you this. How the hell could I tell you? I was twelve. What the fuck did I know when I was twelve?"

"Tom..." Ali said.

"Shh... And it got worse. Every time I saw you it got worse. And then when I came to New York, I fell in love with you even more. And you teased me, and excited me, and frustrated me... oh fuck, yeah, you frustrated me... And then we started kind of fooling around... And that was good too..." I laughed. "That was very good... I wanted more, but I couldn't tell you, because you're not into men, and I just wanted to be around you, to be with you as much as I could, and it was enough. It has been enough

"But last week, when you left, I knew I couldn't lose you. So, here it is, Al. Whatever you want to do is OK with me, just so long as I can be around you. You can fuck who you like. You can tease me. You can swan around buck naked and frustrate the fuck out of me. It's all fine. Everything. But just let me be a part of your life and I'll cope with it in whatever way I can, because I need to be around you, need to be with you. I love you Al. And not in the, oh yeah, I love you, way. I love you!" I stared into her eyes, deep into her eyes. "I love you and want to be with you for ever."

She stared back at me.

"OK," I said, letting go of her hands. "Fucked it up now, but OK. Had to say that."

I pulled the dripping bottle of wine from its bucket and poured two glasses, took a big swallow from mine. The wine tasted amazing.

Ali looked at me, and I could see her eyes glittering.

"You can tell me to fuck off in a minute, but before you do that there's something you need to do and then I'll go. If I can't be with you, Al, I'll go and you'll never see me. I can't be a small part of you. I have to be a big part of you."

I put the envelope down on the table and slipped the papers out of it. I knew I was deliberately changing the subject, trying to distract Ali from telling me of course she loved me, just not in the same way.

"Sandy gave me these. She says we've got to both sign them."

Ali looked down, confused at my sudden change of subject. "What are they?"

"We've had an offer for the business. Fifteen million dollars."

Ali's eyes widened.

"Are you willing to sell?" I asked.

I could see her trying to think, trying to make sense of everything that was going on.

"I need to..."

"Take you time, Al. Sandy needs them back by next Tuesday. But I can always fly back Monday. Even Tuesday I guess. Think about it. Here, take them, read them. Call me when you've decided."

I sat back and drained my wine. Then I moved my chair back, ready to leave. This hadn't gone the way I might have hoped. My fault. I'd laid my cards out, opened my heart and then willfully swerved the topic around to the business. I should have stopped and listened to Ali... but I had been scared of what she might say.

As I started to stand Ali reached across and covered my hand.

"Sit down, Tom. Stay." She shook her head. "Give me a minute, OK?"

"Long as you want, Al."

She looked around, saw the waitress who had been diplomatically avoiding our table. Ali gestured her over and ordered a seafood salad, looked at me. "You want something, Tom?"

"I've eaten," I said.

She nodded.

"Where are you staying?"

"Over there," I turned, pointing at the small hotel.

"How did you find me?"

Her voice was still neutral, as though she was holding herself in check.

"I have a confession to make. I hacked into your laptop and looked at your bank account. It's amazing what you can find out by looking at bank transactions."

"You hacked my computer?" she said.

I nodded.

"So you... guessed my password?"

I nodded again.

A brief flush flared pink under the tan in her face.

"You're a bastard," she said, but still without emotion.

"I know. But I had to find you."

"How is Sandy?" She asked, and my head spun. We needed to talk about more than this.

"She's fine. You know Sandy."

"Still as sexy as ever?"

"And some," I said.

"And Candy...?"

I shrugged. "OK, I guess. I didn't see her again after you left."

"No? Why not?"

I shrugged again. "Didn't feel right. And besides, she got what she wanted. Candy's very beautiful, but shallow. You know that."

Ali nodded.

"Did you leave because of Candy?" I asked.

She shook her head. "No... Yes and no... I don't know..." She stared down at the table, then lifted her glass and took a long swallow. "I don't know," she said again.

I reached over and took her hands again and she didn't pull away.

"How's your Mom? Did she enjoy the honeymoon?"

"I think so. She seemed real happy when she got back. And Jerry was grinning a lot too."

"I should think so. Your Mom is one hell of a catch."

"I know."

She stared at me, messages flowing backwards and forwards, unspoken, not understood.

The waitress brought her salad and Ali pulled her hands out of mine and started to eat. I sat back in my chair and watched, enchanted by every move she made, every nuance of her voice.

"I helped her... uh... prepare herself for the wedding night," Ali said.

"I know," I said.

"You do?"

"Sure." I didn't explain how I knew. Let her try and work that one out.

Ali glanced at the papers on the table. "When do I need to do something with these?"

"Soon," I said. "Tomorrow's Thursday. They have to be back next Wednesday at the latest. Sandy didn't say when, but I guess in the morning. I can fly them back Monday. Don't want to risk getting held up on the 4th. So you've got the weekend, if you want."

Ali ate more of her salad. It looked good.

"I'm staying in a nice villa along the coast," she said. "It's small, but nice."

"Mm-hm," I said.

"I was wondering... I know you've got your hotel room... but you're welcome to come back with me if you want."

"Mm-hm?"

She nodded. "If you want. No pressure, Tom."

"I'd like that."

She looked at me. "Me too," she said.

I emptied the bottle into our glasses. The cold wine beaded the sides and moisture ran down the thin stems. The wine was probably the best I had ever tasted. I don't know if Ali noticed or not.

She ate more salad then pushed her plate away.

"I've got some things I need to say to you as well, Tom. But not here. Back at my place. Are you ready to go?"

I nodded. "I'll just pay the tab."

"No - I'll do that."

I looked at her. "Al, that lovely waitress will consider me a bastard of the worst kind if I don't pay now."

Al laughed. For the first time since I sat down she showed emotion, and my stomach fluttered.

"OK then, treat me."

I turned around, caught the waitress's eye. I didn't look at the bill, just gave her my card and when she returned added a €100 note to the plate. She looked at it, at me, and said, "Grazie, signore."

"My pleasure."

I stood and pulled Ali's chair back and we walked out into the square.

Ali brushed against me as we made our way downhill toward the car park, and I reached and took her hand and she let me.

She opened the car with the remote and we slid inside.

For a moment she sat with her hands on the wheel, staring ahead, then turned to me and put her hand behind my head and pulled my lips down to hers and kissed me deeply.

When she drew apart she stared into my eyes, then nodded. "OK. My place." Her voice sounded a little hoarse.

She drove slowly, carefully, along the narrow island roads, bounced down the rough track and pulled up outside the villa.

"This is nice," I said.

"Not cheap," she replied.

"You're rich," I said.

"Not yet."

I shrugged. "Your choice, Al. Our choice. If we want it."

She unlocked the door and walked ahead of me. I stepped inside. The room was sparsely furnished, the floors tiled, the walls white and clean.

A large sofa covered with a cream throw sat in the center of the main room, facing out to the sea. The view looked north west, and the sun was starting to get low on the horizon, throwing fire up onto distant clouds.

"More wine?" Ali asked.

"I'm fine."

"I think I need something. Join me?"

"Sure," I said.

Ali walked across to a large kitchen area, took another bottle of white from the fridge and opened it, poured large glasses for us. She handed me one and dropped onto the sofa, leaning back against one arm, her legs stretched out. I looked around, then patted her legs and she lifted them, setting them back on my lap as I sat down

Ali lifted her glass and I touched it with mine. The wine was lighter than my expensive bottle, but good.

"My turn, Tom," she said.

I waited, stroking the tops of her feet where they rested on my legs. Ali had opened the patio doors and the scent and sound of the sea drifted into the room on a warm breeze.

"I need to ask you the same favor, Tom. No interruptions. I know exactly what I want to say to you... just not sure how to say it. I want this to come out right, and I don't want you to freak."

I watched her face in outline, her beautiful, unbelievable face. Watched the way her perfect breasts moved inside her top. Watched the way her long supple legs were displayed.

I smiled, recalling all the times I had fantasized about those breasts, studied them over the years as they budded, grew, became wondrous. I smiled at the memory of seeing them for the first time back in Ali's small apartment when Maggie loosened Ali's bra and they shook free. I smiled at the memory of the times I had seen them since, and the times I had now held them. I wanted to hold them again, wanted to touch all Ali's secret places.

She glanced across at me and I pulled myself back to the present and nodded. "OK."

"What you said, before... kind of scared me. Because..."

She stopped, took a deep breath and glanced at me again.

"Did you really mean what you said, Tom? Everything you said?"

I nodded again.

"You've felt like that since... God, since when?"

"Long time, Al. Long, long time."

"Fuck... OK. I don't know what's gonna happen now. I know what I want to happen. What I hope will happen. But I don't know. This is just so different."

She stopped again and I watched her.

"Go on," I said. "You can't leave me hanging like this, Al."

She nodded.

"I like girls, Tom. You know that. I really like girls...."

Out over the sea the sun touched the horizon and threw an orange pathway towards us.

"But... I've always liked you, too. When you told me how you felt about me, I felt sick. Because I've felt like that about you as well, Tom. I've tried not to let you know, because... Fuck, I don't know, because I didn't want to scare you away. Just a little bit of you felt so good, so I took what I could and tried not to scare you off by being intense and needy. But I always have been needy about you... just didn't know how to express it."

"Al..."

This time it was her turn to hold up her hand. "Wait. Let me finish. All the girls were..." she laughed. "Yeah, all the girls were fun. I really get off fucking other women. Really get off." She glanced at me, trying to judge my reaction. "But when I think about you... like that... you know, like fucking you, Tom?"

She looked again and I nodded.

"I get so fucking wet. Thinking about fucking you I get so wet it feels like I'm melting. I'm confused, because I really don't like guys. I know I've joked with you, like you're not like a guy. You're Tom... my Tom... my Tom," she repeated it twice, staring down at the tiled floor.

"I've always know it," she said. "And I've tried to fight it because you're my cousin and wanting you is kind of incest. If we did what I want us to do we'd be breaking the law somewhere... but I don't care. That didn't seem to matter. I used to bring myself off, when I was thirteen, fourteen, thinking about you I finger fucked myself and it felt better than anything else ever."

I leaned over her legs and placed by empty glass on the floor, lifted her feet and began to work my fingers into her sole, knowing she always liked that. Occasionally I let my hands stray up to her calves, but no higher.

"And as I grew older I thought I might grow out of it," Ali said. "You know, schoolgirl crush. But I didn't. And then you called me up and said could you stay with me and I nearly fainted. After you hung up, that night, I thought about you coming to stay and I pulled my panties down and stuck my fingers inside myself and nearly passed out I came so strong."

She looked across at me now, looked into my eyes, searching for something.

"Am I scaring you, Tom?"

I shook my head.

"Good. Because I haven't finished yet."

"Go on," I said.

"When you moved in, it was tough. I wanted to rip your clothes off and fuck you. All the time. And I was scared because you're my cousin and what I wanted was against the law. But it didn't stop me wanting you. Wanting you so bad. All that teasing, all that messing about, I was trying to see how far I could go." She smiled, looked at me. "We nearly went too far more than once, didn't we, Tom?"

I laughed. "More than once."

"You could have fucked me any time you wanted. You could have fucked me years ago, before we were old enough to fuck. You could have fucked me the day you moved in with me. I wanted you to. All the time."

Now I did reach across and lifted her hand from her lap and held it. She allowed me to draw it across to rest on her thigh, turned her palm up into mine. I felt her leg trembling under my hand.

"And now... last week... I need to tell you about last week."

She took a long, deep breath and let all the air out of her lungs in a long whoosh.

"I thought it was going to be OK. Then your Mom booked us into that hotel. Your Mom..." she glanced at me. "I don't know... I want to tell you but I don't know if I can..."

"Tell me what, Al? You can tell me anything. Anything."

"I'm not sure I can tell you this, Tom."

"Anything," I said. I felt nervous, half guessing maybe what she was going to say, and said. "I want to tell you something too, Al."

"Are we fucked, Tom?" she asked.

"No," I said.

"Tell me, Tom."

"You're my cousin, Al. And you said you didn't want to draw me into incest, and I can understand that. But it's too late, Al. Too late. Last Christmas I... I fucked my Mom."

The trembling in her leg grew stronger and her grip on my hand almost painful.

"The night before the wedding, Tom... I fucked your Mom as well..."

She stared down at the floor, refusing to look at me.

"Good," I said. "You told me you had a crush on her, so good."

Now she risked a glance.

"Good?"

"Sure. Like you say, she's really sexy..."

Ali smiled, then laughed softly. "Wow... whew... fucked up, yeah?"

I shook my head. "Only if you're... worried about it. Felt good to me when I did it. You?"

She nodded. "Yeah, felt really good."

"So the fact we're... cousins is hardly relevant, is it?"

"OK," she said, suddenly decisive. "That's settled then. Now let me go on... That night in the hotel, in the bath... I really wanted you to fuck me that night... I wanted you to fuck me in my ass... You know I want that, Tom, don't you?"

She looked at me again, searching for my approval. My permission?

"It's not... not like I'm into other guys, just you. And it's not like being a lesbian I'm into anal sex... though I do like having my ass licked... I love having a tongue up my ass, Tom..." She shivered. "But you... I want your cock all the way up my ass, Tom. Of fuck, that night, I wanted it so bad I didn't know what to do. And you... you're always so sensible, so good, so controlled. Why the fuck couldn't you just give in and fuck me?"

"Because I wanted it too much." I said. "Because it would mean too much to me to do it casually. Other people, yeah. But you mean too much."

"And then... going back to your house, it was like we were moving in together," Ali said, "And I spent hours lying in your Mom's bed starting at the ceiling willing myself to stay there and not come through and rape you... I wanted to... I wanted to all the time... But I stopped myself. And then Crystal, watching you fuck Crystal, and then..." she stopped and began to sob.

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