Facebook Complications Ch. 02byCinT©
Melanie's eyes made their way back over to the clock... 15 more minutes to go. Would he be early? Late?
Hey! Maybe Robin wouldn't even show up. For all she knew, he might have forgotten entirely all about the arrangement made a week ago and she'd been agonizing for days for absolutely nothing.
This whole stupid, STUPID thing had started with that damned cookbook his wife wanted.
Apparently Jennifer had tried some banana bread at a party and became enraptured by the recipe. Their hostess mentioned it was from an out-of-print Paul Prudhomme cookbook, and Jen latched on to the idea of finding a copy for herself.
All it had taken was one idle post on her Facebook wall and golly gee, there was Mel to the rescue. Chirping out that sure, she happened to have the very one herself and would be happy to loan it out. A rapid fire exchange began and before she knew it, she was being told that Jen would send her hubby to come come by on his way after work. And now today was Saturday, D-Day. Disaster Day? Demented Day was more like it.
She had flipped the sign on the front door and closed the store up an hour early because...
20 years was long gone yet still somehow, sometimes, still there lurking below the surface. A connection she had never quite been able to shed, like a too tight skin that occasionally cropped up, threatening to choke her.
Melanie shook herself briefly. She hadn't realized she'd been idly toying with her nipple through her blouse. Lost deep in reverie, thick with erotic memories of their two brief months spent as lovers. Of course things would be completely different now, would have to be when they finally reunited. There was no remote chance that the electricity which bound them so powerfully could possibly still be present. Right?
Honestly, it was more than a little ridiculous for her to even be contemplating it! Marriages, children, work, aging bodies...everything that had been built up in their separate lives would have already taken care of that. She was just being a silly goose, caught up in an overwrought fantasy sprung from an excited libido. Nothing but a horny old lady was she.
If she was realistic in her thinking, she'd been little more been a college-years fling for Robin. Probably someone he never really thought of "in that way" since, except perhaps in a fleeting moment or two. And that was only if she was lucky.
They *were* lucky, now that she thought on it some more. Jennifer had never learned of them, and he'd managed to keep their affair a secret all of these years. Whatever else had transpired in those crazy days of stupid risk-taking and frantic couplings, they'd made sure to keep themselves apart whenever Jen was around. Melanie knew that such all-consuming lust could easily have driven them past the point of lunacy, the sexual equivalent of walking a tightrope across the mighty Niagara with no safety net in place. It was an unabated hunger she'd had for him, and she now realized belatedly that she'd had never experienced the like since.
The tentative knocking on glass startled her, and she whirled towards the sound. Oh shit. He's actually here.
A foolish giggle escaped her lips, heart beating madly in her chest. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.
She made her way to the door on shaky legs. Recognizing his form through the tempered glass, she swung the door open, stepping aside to let him in.
"Hey, stranger. Come on in!" she said, striving to turn her head aside naturally so as to not stare at him.
Melani felt rather than saw him move past, his lips suddenly brushing her cheek in greeting as he did. He made his way in to the store and she busied herself with locking the door up behind him, making sure the sign was still flipped in the "Closed" position.
"Wow! This is great, Mel. I love it!"
Turning back, she tracked his voice and found him standing by one of the large bookshelves, gingerly touching the delicate glass paperweight before him. His head swung towards her and they made eye contact.
"He's the same," she thought in wonder, the nerve endings between her legs wildly responsive. Un-fucking-believable.
"Um, thanks. Thanks! Yes, look around, please tell me what you think," she babbled inanely.
She watched Robin as he prattled on, picking up and replacing objects as he meandered through the store. She knew she must be keeping up her end of the conversation, because they both tripped over the other's sentences with light laughter. She couldn't take her eyes off of him and felt compelled to watch every movement, her fascination quickly morphing into an uncomfortable hunger.
He seemed to have finally looked his fill and turned back towards her, causing Melanie to sidestep and move behind her sales desk. It felt safer somehow if she put some physical distance between them both. She leaned forward a bit, using the counter to support her weight and steady her trembling hands.
Robin moved in to the opposite side and just stood there, body silent and still as his eyes roved over her.
"You look amazing, Mel," he stated quietly. "Those pictures you've posted over the years don't do you any justice. Then again, photos never could quite capture all your qualities."
Melanie tittered at his words, a deep flush moving up her neck.
"Oh, shut up already. Don't be stupid!" she growled, rolling her eyes dramatically, a silly mock anger flashing through her words.
She had said it that way wanting to hear him laugh and break the tension, but instead he reached across and gathered her hands into his. Alarmed, she pulled her fingers back as from a hot stove and saw he was staring at her, a serious mien to his face.
Robin sighed audibly. "Christ, you never could take a compliment, could you? Still lovely, so vulnerable and open, and yet always incapable of seeing what the rest of us could see, plain as the nose on your face. You're such an idiot sometimes, Melanie."
Melanie goggled at him. Sometime during his mini diatribe he'd begun pacing a bit, nervous energy betrayed in his movement. What the hell was going on now?
"An idiot. Yes, I can see that. Well, how about some tea?" she chittered brightly before fleeing to the little nook of a kitchen in back.
Oh, crap. This wasn't at all how she'd foreseen this playing out. Two cool cucumbers, the exchange of a book and some well wishes... curtain falls, players exeunt stage left and right. The End. The proverbial whimper, not a bang.
She fumbled about filling the kettle, clattering cups and saucers together as she fought to hold her composure together. Her head was bent over the teapot, trying to decide between the brews she had to choose from, when she felt the lightness of his hands on her shoulders and jumped.
"Woah!" Robin exclaimed as she spun around to face him. "I wasn't trying to scare you, I thought you heard me. You're so...edgy. What's wrong?"
Melanie looked up into his eyes, dismayed to feel she had tears starting to leak of their own accord. Before she could brush them away, he tilted her head back gently and wiped at the salty wetness with his fingertips. Never looking away, he cradled her face in his hands, locking her in place as she reached up and gripped his forearms.
"What is it, Mel? What's upset you so? Can't you tell me?"
She shrugged herself out of his grip and turned back to the tea things.
"It's nothing. I was just being stupid, is all."
She could sense him moving away a bit, offering some of her personal space back. No, come back, she thought irrationally. Come closer, hold me.
Holding both cups gingerly to avoid sloshing, she slowly made her way over to the cozy reading area by the side bay window, beckoning him to follow with a nod. They sat silently for a few moments, each lost in the depths of their respective thoughts before Robin spoke again.
"You might find this kind of dumb, but I've been so nervous all week, knowing I'd be seeing you today."
Melanie was startled. "Really? I wouldn't have expected that of you."
"Oh yeah," he answered with a sheepish nod. "I even drove past the store Thursday night to make sure I knew where you were. I mean, I already sort of had an idea of the location, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be late. I remember how much you hate that."
She couldn't help but laugh out loud at that comment. God, she used to give him so much grief about his chronic tardiness back in the day. Such a stickler about time, and here she was now, feeling as though she'd wait another thousand years to see him again. Dumb-ass romantic.
"Yes, but I know it's different now when you have kids...your time is not your own, you run on their clock instead."
His face brightened at her words and they spent the next half-hour sharing funny and touching anecdotes about their children. This was so much easier, she thought. All this light-heartedness was easing away the unspoken tensions between the two and she felt she could just giggle and laugh with him forever.
It gave her a chance to look him over unobtrusively and notice the small changes that time had wrought. Sure, he had some grays mixed in with the black of his hair but on men it only ever looked distinguished - yet another way Mother Nature was kind to her sons and not her daughters. As far as Melanie was concerned, the crinkles around his eyes and extra weight around his belly were just proof of a life well-lived, and she felt oddly pleased to see that.
With a deep sigh, Robin pushed himself up from the comfy armchair opposite her.
"I guess I'd better get going. We're probably holding up dinner at home, right?"
Melanie walked him towards the front door, making a quick side trip to the table that held the cookbook he'd come for. She pressed it into his hands with a murmured "Don't forget this" before quickly bussing him on the cheek.
Before she had a chance to step back, his right hand snaked out to the nape of her neck and he pulled her in close. The lines of their bodies pressed together as he gently touched his lips to hers.
Immobile for a moment, they stayed joined with just the slightest pressure of mouths touching before Robin groaned aloud and tightened his arms around her.
The kiss deepened, their tongues frantically entwining as their hands roamed freely, renewing their acquaintance with a beloved form. Melanie shook, possessed with an unabated hunger for this man, this flesh she'd longed for, had dreamed of touching once more. This need blossomed like an atomic flower, all teeth and fingers and twisting desire deep in her womb.
She pushed herself free of his arms, chest heaving and her mouth swollen from his ravaging. With trembling hands, she bent forward and picked up the carelessly dropped book, handed it back to him and unlatched the door.
Robin turned towards her a final time before stepping out onto the threshold.
"This isn't over and you know it. It hasn't been over for 20 long fucking years and damned if I'm giving you up again as easy. I want this. You want this. We ARE going to have it."
With those final words and an almost angry glare, he was gone.