Light of Dusk Ch. 04byMused©
Thanks to Chargergirl for all her help.
Jeff stepped out of the bathroom and snapped his cell phone shut. His agent had called with exciting news. Miami, desperate to fill a void at quarterback, had enquired about flying Jeff in for an immediate workout.
Jeff's life had purpose once more. As he toweled his hair dry, he took mental inventory of the clothes back in his Calgary apartment. If the workout went well, he would have little need for wool sweaters and quilted goose-down coats. A first chance with the NFL, a second chance with Dawn, even cool, calm Jeff Kramer had trouble bottling his glee. Every aspect of his life was starting to fall into place; it was like playing Tetris with nothing but straight lines and square blocks.
A snort emanated from the lump of covers on the disheveled bed. A freckled arm stretched out from beneath the comforter.
"Sunshine." He whispered his pet name for Dawn, unwilling to wake her, if she was, indeed, asleep.
Dawn threw off the covers and rolled on her side, one arm resting on a shapely hip, the other rubbing sleep from her eyes. With their bodies entwined most of the night, rest had been elusive. A night without sleep seemed a fair exchange for the immeasurable pleasure he both gave and received.
"I have something to tell you." His announcement was chased by a yawn. Whether exhaustion or nerves caused the yawn, he couldn't tell. Jeff flopped on the bed, his large, clumsy body shifting the entire mattress.
Her balance disrupted, Dawn rolled off her hip and onto her back. Strands of long red hair blanketed her lovely face. Releasing an exaggerated exhalation, she blew a few of the strands aside. The rest she cleared with her fingers.
Jeff crawled on his belly, until the tip of his nose almost touched her freckled cheek.
She regarded him skeptically. "Are you going to tell me you love me? Because, it's kind of a foregone conclusion if you are. You proved it to me last night." As she giggled, her freckled cheeks glowed pink. "I think I lost count of how many times you proved it."
Jeff hadn't lost count. They had made love three times over the course of the night, each occasion culminating with a body-shuddering orgasm.
The blanket and comforter pooled in a twisted heap beside the bed. The dusty pink bed sheet, clenched beneath her arms, served to cover the swell of her breasts, the flare of her hips, and the tuft of fiery-orange hair between her beautifully shaped legs. Her coquettish smile forced his penis to swell beneath his body.
She giggled as he peeled the film of pink fabric from her body. "I swear, Jeff Kramer; do you ever get tired?"
His lips found her pink nipple, silencing her mock protest.
A sudden rap at the bedroom door separated the Kramer siblings.
"Sunshine, I'm heading to McDonalds for some breakfast. Do you want anything?"
Jeff returned to the nipple, quietly sucking while Dawn clumsily conversed with their father.
"I'll have, uh...I'll have a sausage biscuit, Daddy, with cheese." She looked down at Jeff, who nodded without relinquishing the nipple. "Get me more than one," she said. Jeff held up four fingers. "Get us---me---four."
"Four sausage and cheese biscuits?" Vince Kramer sounded confused, and for good reason, Dawn was a notoriously dainty eater. "Are you sure you can handle that much sausage?"
"Oh God, Yes," she hissed, stretching out the S.
"If you say so, Sunshine. I'll leave the sack on the kitchen counter."
Dawn cradled Jeff's head as he suckled. She permitted a moan to escape only after their father's van started up in the driveway.
McDonalds was a short trip down the street. Old Vinnie wouldn't be gone very long, eliminating any chance of foreplay.
Taking his place between her legs, Jeff started the excruciatingly slow process of inserting his penis into her warm, dewy tunnel. She opened up for him, spreading her legs as wide as she possibly could.
After bottoming out, Jeff pulled out, until all but the head of his penis remained within her quivering vagina. Her tunnel held the head, sucking, kissing. Advance and retreat, their bodies fell into a succession of almost-Circadian rhythms. Jeff stroked himself with her body, his erection aching for satisfaction. She must have felt the same wonderful ache because her face was a mask of agony. He would have thought her in pain had he not known her so well. She loved it, and she loved him, nothing else mattered.
Her breasts bobbed each time he thrust, the soft flesh rolling like the waves of the ocean. He longed to see the ocean, to feel the warm waves lapping at his feet. They would by a house near the beach--no, on the beach. When he napped on chartered flights to Buffalo, Chicago, New York City, he would dream about the house, the beach, and the woman he loved, who waited for him there.
He longed to touch her, to kiss her. Given more time, he would have knelt between her legs, to taste her juices once more. As it was, Jeff and Dawn had just enough time for a quiet quickie. They had perfected the quickie during their previous romantic relationship. As sibling lovers living at home, they often had no other choice.
The situation would be different in Miami. The home would be their own; what happened within its walls would be no one's business but their own. They could make love in the saltwater, on the sandy beach, or in the warmth of their own bedroom, in their own bed. They would do it slow, maybe for hours, without locking doors, or curtaining windows.
The first spurt came without warning, a sticky stream jetting deep within her body; the second and third spurts were announced by a tickle in his belly but felt no less powerful. Jeff declined to pull out, a decision Dawn seemed to support by wrapping her legs around him.
He wanted to remain on top, to maintain their perfect union as his pleasure valleyed, but she was so small and delicate; surely, she would smother. Rolling to his back, Jeff rested his shoulder beside Dawn's warm body.
She turned on her side and draped an arm over his chest. If Dawn feared the volatile cocktail that mixed within her body, she didn't show it. She nuzzled his tan skin with her freckly nose and inhaled his scent. She looked up at him and frowned. "You really need a shower."
She was probably right. Between the long plane ride, wedding rehearsal, and hours of blistering sex, he had accumulated quite a musk.
Jeff put his wrist to his nostrils and inhaled.
"See," Dawn said. "You smell like sweat and pussy."
But it's your pussy, he wanted to argue. Instead, he swirled his finger in a spiral pattern across the creamy skin of her back. With a smirk, he announced, "I'll shower, but you're coming with me."
She nodded as he bounced off the bed and started for the bathroom. "Give me a little time," she said. Apparently, Dawn hadn't quite recovered from the latest round of lovemaking. "Save the interesting parts for me." She smiled suggestively as he stepped into the bathroom.
Jeff's cell phone rang at the foot of the bed, where he had dropped it. Dawn looked at the caller ID and noticed the call was from out of the area. Tentatively flipping open the tiny phone, she answered.
"This is Ted Michaels, calling for Jeff Kramer. Is he about?"
Dawn lowered the phone and walked to the door that connected the bathroom to her bedroom. She heard the water running and Jeff's atrocious attempt at singing.
"He's busy," she said. "Can I take a message?"
"Sure, I guess. Who am I speaking with?"
"This is Dawn." She wanted to smack herself. As if this stranger would have any idea who she was. "I'm Jeff's...I'm Jeff's girlfriend." It felt so strange to say it aloud.
"Hey, that's great." The man's voice had a cynical edge. Dawn had the distinct impression that she wasn't the first strange woman to answer Jeff's cell phone. "Anyway, if you would let Jeff know that I'm Fed-Exing the ticket to the motel, that'd be great. Tell him I couldn't get first class on such late notice. Believe me; I tried. Everyone and their brother must be headed down to Miami for the weekend."
"Miami?" she asked.
"Listen, Sweetie, I can't keep the line tied up. I'm expecting a call from another client. Just tell Jeff to relax. If he throws the ball the way he did on the videos I sent Coach Cameron, he'll be a Dolphin in time for training camp."
Dawn's jaw slacked. Jeff has a workout with the Dolphins. As in the Miami Dolphins? "I'll tell him," Dawn tried to say, but the man had already hung up.
She sat on the edge of the bed for several minutes, digesting what the man had said.
The faucet controls squeaked and the water in the shower dribbled to a halt. After a few moments, Jeff came out of the bathroom, his waist wrapped in a jumbo blue bath towel. Beads of moisture clung to his torso.
"I got all pruney waiting for you." Jeff removed the towel from his waist and rubbed at his wet hair. His penis drooped between his legs; like the rest of his body, it was purplish-red, discolored from the hot shower. He frowned and kicked at the pile of clothes he had worn to the wedding rehearsal. "I really wish I'd brought my suitcase."
She forced herself to forget about Miami for a moment and focus on Jeff's dilemma. He needed clothes. When Jeff had left for Calgary, Daddy packed all of his abandoned clothes in the basement. Since Jeff's nakedness would be a hindrance, she volunteered to retrieve them.
The basement was dark and cluttered. A stack of sheetrock and a roll of carpet were propped against one wall. Daddy had always meant to finish the basement but never found the time. Dawn searched for a moment, eventually finding the stack of cardboard boxes with Jeff's name scribbled in black marker.
For whatever reason, Daddy had chosen to stash Jeff's personal belongings down here, rather than truck them off to goodwill. She found a well-worn pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. Just last year the same clothes had looked comically baggy, hanging from his thin frame. His new physique would fill the shirt out pretty well, she guessed. Digging a little deeper she found a pair of white briefs and a pair of rolled up tube socks.
"Nice job, Sunshine." Jeff's sudden appearance startled her. She scraped the tender skin of her arm on the rough edge of the cardboard.
After dropping the towel, he hastily dressed, allowing her only a glimpse of his glorious body. He saved the black tee for last. It was dark as jet, with a quintet of angry skulls printed across the chest. The shirt looked like something a Goth teen might wear, totally out of place on the body of a clean-cut, twenty-something jock, yet he managed to look indescribably hot.
"There wouldn't happen to be any sneakers in that box?" he asked.
Dawn dug through the contents of the clothes box, as well as the box of coats and sweaters beneath. It appeared that Daddy had gotten rid of the shoes.
"Don't worry about it. I can wear my Hushpuppies."
Dawn nodded and folded the first box shut. "Who is Ted Michaels?" she asked.
Jeff flexed his toes within the dull-white socks. "Ted's a guy I know; he's my agent, actually. Oh God, did he call?"
Dawn nodded. "He Fed-exed you a plane ticket to Miami."
Jeff grinned dumbly. "I was trying to figure out a way to tell you. Ted got me a workout with the Dolphins, tomorrow afternoon. Isn't that crazy?" His big hands found her shoulders then wrapped around to her back. He pulled her close. She could smell the sharpness of his soap. "I guess this is kind of sudden, isn't it?"
She nodded. It was very sudden.
"Florida is so great, the weather, the beaches. We're going to love it."
She couldn't halt the cold chills, not even while wrapped in the warmth of his arms. "We?"
"My workout is on Saturday, at Four P.M.; then I'm supposed to talk with a couple of radio shows and a guy from the Miami Herald, Dan something."
Was he already contacting the media? "Do you have to talk to reporters?" she asked.
He smirked and snickered. "Yeah, Miami needs a quarterback like nobody's business, and in case you haven't been watching the CFL, I'm kind of a big deal." He moved her out to arm's length. "Relax, Sunshine. As soon as the rush settles down, we can be together. I'll fly you out. We can look for a place to live, somewhere secluded, with a beach. I want to see you in a bikini every chance I get."
He had everything perfectly plotted out. It was college all over again. He would be the superstar quarterback everyone worshipped; she would be the anonymous redhead, waiting for him in the shadows. Danger would be anywhere a photographer had a camera or a reporter had a pad and pen. They could hide; they were good at hiding, but they could never escape the truth. They were brother and sister. No amount of hoping would ever change that.
Dawn harkened back to Jenny's words, "What if just one person finds out? Just one. It would be over, Dawn, his career, his life. No one would ever trust him to do anything again. Do what's best for him."
One person, Jase Riley, had almost ended Jeff's career in college, had almost ended his life.
And Daddy? Oh God, if Daddy ever found out Dawn would never forgive herself. How could she keep up the lie? It was impossible. If Dawn suddenly cancelled the wedding and uprooted her life to Miami to be close to Jeff, Daddy wouldn't take long figuring out why. Then there was no telling what Daddy would do.
"I can't go with you." Again, Dawn likened her only recourse to ripping off a band-aid. No matter how much it hurt, she needed the breakup to be as swift as possible. A tear drifted down her cheek when she saw how swiftly his expression soured.
"You're not doing this to me again," he said. "I'm not leaving without you. I checked with Ted; he can get you on the nine P.M. flight, maybe earlier, if there's a cancellation."
"Tomorrow is the wedding." More tears came; she couldn't halt them.
"No--you're not..." He grabbed her by the arms and squeezed hard. When he realized he was hurting her, he released his grip. "I won't leave without you."
"You have to go, Jeff."
"If you do this to me... I swear, Dawn, if you let me walk away you will never see me again." He backed up a few steps. "Is that what you want?" Opening his arms, he backed up another step. His heels rested against the stairs. "Alright, you win."
He stomped up the stairs and collided with Daddy in the front doorway.
She heard Daddy's surprised greeting of "Good morning." Jeff muttered a response she couldn't understand. Making it to the top of the basement stairs, Dawn arrived just in time to watch Daddy invite Jeff to breakfast. Jeff shoved Daddy down to the hard floor, scattering the sack of biscuits, and spilling the cup of scalding hot coffee.
Daddy cursed; the coffee had burned his wrist and hand.
Jeff's jaw trembled. He looked at her and then looked at Daddy. It was as if he wanted to apologize to both of them. Lowering his head, Jeff stormed out the front door without uttering a word.
Dawn gazed into the mirror, studying the way the pale-ivory wedding gown hugged the curves of an otherwise petite figure. The old cliché of a woman looking radiant on her wedding day seemed to hold no truth. Far from exuding radiance, Dawn felt haggard and hopeless.
The hairdresser had worked magic on Dawn's long red tresses, somehow taming the hair by piling and pinning it into an elegant bun. The makeup, aside from a few streaks of mascara, remained impeccable. Though she appeared presentable enough, Dawn's ugliness festered on the inside, fed by bitter feelings of hopelessness.
If only she could match the spirits of Jenny and Tara. Her two best friends, dressed in the peach gowns Dawn had selected for her bridesmaids, appeared the very picture of beauty. Button-cute Tara looked downright elegant, and Jenny's impossible curves looked even more impossible when teamed with her recently slimmed waist.
"Why can't I marry a doctor?" An infectious smile betrayed Tara's forlorn tone. She resumed her position at the chapel window, peeking through the stained glass and judging the arriving single male guests by the make and model of the vehicle in which they arrived. "Ooh, an Escalade." Tara's eyebrows rose as she turned toward Dawn and Jenny. "Quite literally the Cadillac of SUVs, anyone who can keep gas in one of those monsters has got to be rich." She tapped on the window. "A teeny, tiny little convertible, one of those Mitsu-Hondas, I think. The guy is really cute, too. Do you girls think the sports-car, small-penis theory is true?"
Jenny sat on the bench, beside Dawn. "Tara, would you get Dawn a glass of water."
Tara turned to Dawn. "Are you actually thirsty?" she asked. "Or is Jenny just trying to get rid of 'nosy little Tara,' so the two of you can talk in private?"
Dawn offered a weak smile, wordlessly confessing.
"Alright, I'll get your damn water, but if you hear a limo, let me know."
Once Tara had gone, Jenny tugged at a loose strand of Dawn's red hair, tucking it into the tight bun. "You don't need to have a crisis of conscience," she said. "You did the right thing." Jenny touched Dawn's back reassuringly.
"Did I?" As Dawn stared at herself in the mirror, she listened to the commotion outside the door. There were a hundred smiling, happy people, all waiting to see the smiling, happy bride.
"You picked a beautiful spot. I wish I had had my wedding here."
The Powell Botanical Gardens wedding chapel was beautiful, as well as expensive. Poor Roger, he had already spent so much time and money on the wedding; there was no way Dawn could ask him to postpone it, no matter how badly she wanted to.
She had tried to call Jeff at the motel that morning. To discuss what, she did not know. The man running the front desk had said that Jeff checked out the previous evening.
Regardless of where he had spent the night, he was on his way to Miami by now. She would never see him again.
"You can never be what Jeff needs. You know that?" Jenny arched an eyebrow.
"I'm not sure that you do."
"Stop preaching to me! I did it, okay? I had to tell him it was a mistake. Do you have any idea how hard it is to lie about something like that? How hard it is to marry someone you don't love, just to forget about the one you do?" She didn't love Roger, not in the way that a woman should love her husband, a fact she had never admitted to anyone before.
"When you told me Jeff was coming to the rehearsal dinner, I thought I was prepared; I thought, I'm with Mark now, all those old feelings are gone. I was wrong. When he smiled at me, I realized nothing had changed."
"Can we talk about something else?"
"You're my best friend. I care about you, and I care about Jeff because he's your brother. But it's wrong, the way you feel."
Dawn had heard enough. Her tiny body jumped up from the bench. Tears blurred her vision as she glared at Jenny. "I'm here, aren't I? I'm wearing this dress, and that man is wearing a tux, waiting for me."
She felt bad for referring to Roger so coldly. "Roger is a good, decent man, and he deserves someone better than me, but I'm going to go through with it, so don't you dare tell me the way I feel is wrong!"
Dawn sat back down. Unable to control her emotions, she slumped forward, covering her face with her palms as a flood of tears ruined her makeup.
Jeff was the most surprised guy in the world when he spotted his dad wandering the labyrinthine rose gardens that surrounded the fairy-tale chapel. He wasn't disappointed; it would be easier this way. Jeff wouldn't have to go inside to find his father. He wouldn't have to face Dawn or anyone else.
Vince Kramer was dressed stylishly in a black tuxedo. A lit cigarette dangled from his lips, an odd fact since Jeff never knew that his father smoked.