Second Chance Ch. 03byS-Des©
This chapter does not work as a stand-alone story and there is limited sex, so please read the first two chapters if you are interested in the whole story. I submitted it in chapters because I know how daunting a 20 page story is to read in one sitting, and I hoped that the beginning would be intriguing enough to entice many to tackle this piece. It will not be entertaining for people looking for a short, erotic tale.
Thanks again to KevH, DawnJ, and Aruban who offered so much advice and support, plus Longhorn, Ohio, Hard Days Knight and others whose stories inspired me to try my hand at writing in the first place. They each brought a unique element to the LW category, making it really enjoyable to be a loyal Lit reader.
"I'm sorry, but you're wrong this time," Tim growled, clearly frustrated.
Trisha gave him a knowing smile, "Haven't you learned by now, I'm never wrong."
"I can vouch for that," Pete enthusiastically agreed. "It's been eleven years and I'm still waiting to win my first fight."
They shared a laugh as the couple tried to raise his spirits. In contrast to the previous week, the last three days had been anything but wonderful for Tim. Although he had seen Donna every day, the feeling of optimism and joy seemed to be gone. He had come to the conclusion that Saturday was as far as this thing between them was going. Trisha disagreed and, as usual, wasn't shy to share her opinion.
"If you ask me, you're both scared shitless." He gave her an annoyed look, which she promptly ignored. "You both know she's leaving, but neither of you wants to be the one to step up and do anything about it."
Tim could feel his level of irritation rising, but knew better than to let it show. "So what's with the looks she gave me or how secretive she's been about her errands? I'm sure she's hiding something."
They both looked at him sympathetically. Finally Pete spoke. "What if she isn't hiding something? Maybe she's just scared like Trisha said. If you knew that she did like you, what would you do about it?"
"What are you suggesting? Asking her out for what, three days? She's going back home Sunday, a thousand miles away."
Pete looked at Tim with a Cheshire grin. "You've never learned how to think out of the box, have you?"
Thursday night Tim had to work overtime to finish the diagnostics on a new piece of test gear that was supposed to be ready for production the following Monday. It was incredibly important and forced him to call Donna and cancel their plans. Pete and Trisha invited her to their house so that she wouldn't be sitting alone in her motel room.
Tim appreciated the gesture, plus hoped his friends would be able to get a little bit of a read on her mood. Although he asked them not to pry, if Donna volunteered something that he should know about before making a fool of himself, that seemed like fair game.
Friday night he took her out to a new restaurant that Pete had claimed was the most romantic in town. Considering how awkward things had been all week, Tim knew there would be a lot of work to do to get her in the right mood to at least consider his proposal. He knew it was too soon, but there seemed to be no other options.
When he arrived at the motel, Pete's advice began appearing more astute. Donna was dressed in a stunning red evening gown with a matching shawl. The dress reached just below her knees and the top showed enough cleavage that it eliminated any doubt that friendship was the only thing on her mind. He suddenly felt remarkably under dressed.
"Wow," was all Tim could manage to say.
She smiled at the sincere reaction and leaned forward to kiss his cheek. "I just wanted to dress up a little for you, I hope you don't mind."
Tim struggled to find the words to adequately express his admiration of her. Donna had always been a very attractive woman. Even tiny imperfections seemed to add a charming element to her appearance. She had a girl next door quality that, to him, made her incredibly beautiful. Tonight was different because she looked gorgeous by any standard.
They headed out to the restaurant without further delay. To Tim's delight, the conversation was much more relaxed and fun than it had been that week. He found himself forgetting about anything other than enjoying her. Donna seemed to be happy to do the same.
Afterward, he took her dancing. They had a great time and he began to feel more at ease with his decision. It actually appeared that she might be inclined to say yes, as his friends had insisted. He hoped so. For the first time in as long as he could remember, Tim could see himself in a real relationship. It still felt dangerous to him with their history and her sudden reappearance, but every instinct he had was screaming it was worth the risk.
At around eleven, they left the club and shared a quiet drive. When they reached the hotel, she invited him in to her room. Tim followed her inside, then immediately wished he had gone to his house where he could soothe his nerves with a couple of stiff drinks.
"Donna, the last couple of weeks have been very unexpected for me," he started. "When you got here, I still was still really angry about what happened in college. Since then, I've started to feel differently."
She held up her hand. "Stop Tim, please don't say any more." Before he had a chance to react, she stood up. "Before you say anything else, I need to tell you something."
"What?" he groaned, wondering if Trisha really had been wrong after all.
She looked into his eyes, appearing incredibly conflicted. "I never believed you'd be so kind to me after everything that happened." She stopped and began rubbing her hands together furiously. "This is so complicated," she moaned.
"I didn't think you'd be able to treat me like a friend again and I don't want to do anything to ruin that. There's something that I have to tell you, and I'm afraid it might change things." Dropping her gaze to the floor again, she continued. "I didn't just show up at your house on a whim."
The discomfort in his gut quickly built as Tim began to imagine all kinds of unsettling scenarios. "Why did you show up then?"
"I was invited," she said quietly.
"By who?" he demanded, his anger flaring.
She answered quietly, her eyes returning to his, "Your mother."
It took a second for the comment to sink in, then Tim reached for the bed as knees gave out. "Why . . . how . . . what the hell is going on?" he finally sputtered.
"I can't tell you." She saw his intense reaction and quickly added, "I promised that I would let her talk to you about it. I'm sorry, but I won't break that promise for anything." Her voice was wavering and he could tell she was on the verge of tears.
Taking a long look at her to gauge her sincerity, Tim couldn't see anything but the woman he had begun to care about again in a lot of pain, caught between betraying a trust or risking his outrage. His initial instinct was anger, but the more he tried to focus on her revelation, the more the absurdity of the situation became clear.
Donna lowered her eyes, preparing herself for some kind of outburst. When it finally came, it was nothing like what she expected.
Her head snapped up at the unexpected sound of Tim trying to control his laughter, his breath slipping from between his lips in a half spitting, half hissing sound. He saw her eyes go wide before the tears in his made it impossible to see. That's when he gave up and erupted into a loud, full, gut-wrenching laugh that prevented him from thinking about anything except the fact that he was having trouble breathing.
"This isn't funny," she protested in vain. Donna stomped her foot and put her hands on her hips in an outraged pose, then repeated, "Tim, this is not funny!" A few seconds later, he wiped the tears from his eyes and saw her struggling to maintain her composure.
A grin began creeping across her face, then he heard her sniff, trying to clear her nose. Finally, the sound of her soft laughter joined his as he fell back on the bed, hands over his face, trying to find a way to stop.
After a minute, he managed to gain control of himself enough to start making sense of the situation. Donna was now sitting on the bed beside him, laughing openly and holding her sides. It seemed to be a release from the tension she had been feeling about her secret and what his reaction might be.
"This is my mother's doing, huh? So, how the hell did you convince her to talk to you? Last I heard, she wasn't exactly your biggest fan."
Donna dried her eyes with the back of her hand, his statement finally breaking the spell they seemed to be under. "I already said, I can't tell you. Please don't ask me, I feel badly enough about this." She made a sound like she was clearing her throat, then fell back into laughter, the irony of her statement causing them both to lose control again.
When they calmed down, Tim leaned over and kissed her on the cheek, trying to assure her that he wasn't angry. "So is this why you've been acting different for the last few days?"
She nodded, contritely. "Things were starting to move too fast and I didn't want to go any further with there being secrets between us. You've been so generous with the way you've treated me. I won't do anything to risk hurting you again. I didn't think you'd take it this way," she finished, a perplexed, but relieved look on her face.
"I'll talk to her tomorrow, then you and I are going to finish this discussion, do you understand me?" he demanded, trying to sound authoritative. It seemed pointless considering the talk that would be in store for him in the morning.
Tim rang the doorbell to the modest, three bedroom ranch house. It was unheard of for him to not just walk in, but he was determined to make a point. Somehow, he doubted it would succeed.
The door opened and a middle-aged woman's curious face appeared. "Tim, what in heaven's name are you doing?"
"Well," he said, maintain a serious tone, "since you decided it's your prerogative to run my life, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to walk in or wait to be ordered." He paused to see what her reaction would be.
She stared at him blankly for a moment, then casually held out her hand, palm upward, and slowly extended her middle finger. Tim opened his mouth in mock indignation as she broke into a wide grin. His attempt to salvage his dignity was forgotten as the familiar gesture diffused any seriousness from the situation.
It started Tim's Junior year of high school. He had always been close to his parents, especially his mom, rarely having the kind of blow-ups that friends routinely had with their folks. However, one day Tim had asked to go to a party that friends were having, but she refused. She found out that he had been asked to participate in obtaining the alcohol and was trying to buy their acceptance instead of earning their respect and while she understood all teens participate in these kinds of parties she didn't approve of the way he was involved.
In a rare moment of teenage rebellion, his anger flared. Words failed as he could feel his cheeks flush and hands tremble with rage. Without thinking, he held out his hand and flipped her the bird.
She stood there with a shocked expression. Suddenly reality intruded through Tim's angry haze. He realized what he had done; something that had never happened between them, and waited for the yelling or slapping that surely had to follow such a disrespectful act. The fact that he continued to stand there, frozen in the same pose was a testament to his shock at what he had done.
Her eyes crinkled and for a moment Tim was afraid she was going to burst into tears. She continued staring at the ridiculous sight of her son, a straight A student, never in trouble in school or away, always kind and loving, trying to appear defiant but failing miserably.
She brought her hands to her face and he flinched, hoping she'd strike him rather than cry, something he couldn't bear. Suddenly he saw her shudder and there was a barely audible giggle. His hand dropped to his side and Tim watched in shock as tears appeared in her eyes. Not from crying as he feared, but from the laughter that built into an uncontrollable fit.
After a moment of feeling a mixture of relief that she wasn't angry and indignation that she was so amused, Tim couldn't resist the urge to join her in laughing at his ill-conceived attempt at independence. He sat down next to her on the couch and they continued to laugh for several minutes. Every time one would begin to gain control, the other would break into a fit of giggling, starting the whole process over again. Finally, they both managed to recover and hugged each other.
"I'm sorry mom, I didn't mean that."
"That's all right sweetheart, I know," she answered with the kind of compassion only a mother can show.
"So does this mean I'm not in trouble?"
Looking at him with a straight face, she calmly returned his gesture with a matching one of her own, launching them both back into hysterics.
That was the exact moment that Tim felt their relationship change. She began giving him more freedom and allowing him to make his own decisions. In return, he made sure to extend every courtesy to her, never being late, calling to let them know where he was, and always doing his best to make her and his dad proud.
They never forgot that moment and the obscene gesture became a joke between them, always diffusing any tense situation. As Tim watched her do it now, he had to smile, knowing that anything she had said to Donna would undoubtedly be something he'd agree with in the long run. She was a brilliant woman, both in terms of the intelligence he had inherited from her and in the wisdom he was only beginning to learn from.
Tim spoke respectfully, all efforts to be annoyed now washed away. "So I'm guessing you're not going to deny any of it?"
Her expression became serious. "No, it's true, but please let me explain why." She gestured for him to come in and they sat down in the living room, where she continued.
"It started about two and a half years ago. She just showed up at the door, out of the blue. I wouldn't have talked to her, but her behavior convinced me that I needed to listen." Mom's face changed, she looked like she was reliving a painful memory.
"Donna told me that her father had just passed away. It deeply affected her. He was quite fond of you. She told me how disappointed he had been about you two breaking up and her dating Jake, even though she never told him how it happened. When he died, she felt very guilty for letting him down, then lying on top of it. She needed to do something, but didn't think she could face you. Instead she came to see me."
Tim couldn't hide his surprise. "I don't know why she thought that would be easier."
Mom gave him a stern glare. "She didn't. It's just that she didn't want to do anything that could make things worse for you, so she did the next best thing she could think of; to give me the chance to punish her. She told me some of what happened, although she insisted that if she ever told the whole story, it would only be to you. We talked for a long time. By the time she left to see her friend Cindy the next day, the way I felt about her had changed; at least somewhat."
Shaking his head in confusion, Tim interrupted. "Two and a half years ago? Why didn't you say something?"
"Because I really didn't want to meddle, honey," she said sincerely. "It's your life and it wouldn't have been right to try to get involved. Besides, just because my feelings had changed didn't mean I would approve of her trying to contact you. After all, you were starting a whole new life after school and it seemed like you were finally over her.
"Anyway," she continued, "we talked on and off for the next couple of years, every few months on the phone. She came by to see me any time she was visiting her friend. Even though I could tell she wanted to see you, she never asked. It was difficult because I knew she was unhappy but she wasn't willing to risk involving you to make herself feel better.
"About two months ago, she was having so much trouble dealing with her personal problems, she called and told me what was going on. It was obvious that she just couldn't move on with her life without talking to you to set things right. I told her that I thought it was time for you two to talk."
I looked at her suspiciously. "Why?" I asked.
She gave him a pained look. "Because you weren't moving on with your life. You're my son, I know you better than anyone. You haven't been the same since that night. I was hoping that seeing her could help you finally get past it."
"Is that all?" he asked, already knowing the answer.
"No, mister smarty-pants," she conceded, annoyed that Tim had read her motivations. "After talking to her for so long, I thought that maybe something was there; something the two of you could find. You had been angry for so long, but I thought you might have reached a point where you could get past what happened and really listen to her. At least I hoped you could."
"Well, maybe you should have thought to warn me. I almost blew that the first time we sat down and talked. I was so mean to her it's a miracle that she ever talked to me again. We're lucky that anything got resolved."
She shrugged her shoulders. "That was up to you. It's your life; I just told her that I thought it was a good idea to see you."
"So last Sunday when she was busy, she was . . ."
"She was here. We talked and she let me know everything that had happened. She was excited that you seemed to really enjoy being with her again, but she didn't want to push it too far. She was afraid of getting hurt since it couldn't last more than the week." Mom arched her eyebrows in a questioning way.
Tim took the obvious hint. "Well, I have a plan to extend her visit, if she's interested."
She smiled, looking genuinely relieved. "That's wonderful. I really believe that would be good for both of you, no matter what you two eventually decide."
He glanced at his watch and saw that it was already four o'clock. Quickly, he ran through everything he was planning, vowing to make it as difficult as possible for Donna to say no. He then let her know that he needed to go so he could get everything ready.
She gave him a long hug at the door. "Good luck honey," she said, affectionately brushing his hair back. "I think you're doing the right thing."
"Of course you do," he said wryly. "It was your idea."
She smiled and kissed his cheek, giving him the look that she'd given hundreds of times in his life. It let him know that she was supremely confident in her plan. Tim shook his head as he walked to the car, wondering if he'd ever be as sure of himself as she was.
Tim was just finishing the table when the doorbell rang. After a quick check to make sure everything was in place, he walked slowly to the door, trying to appear calm and confident despite the anxiety coursing through his body. He took a deep breath and reached for the handle.
As the door swung open, his breath caught in his throat. Donna stood there, bathed in the light spilling out from the living room. She looked angelic, her face framed by the gentle glow from inside. Suddenly it occurred to him that the reason the light made her look so radiant, was that she was standing in the dark. In his haste to make everything perfect for dinner, he had forgotten to turn on the porch light.
"Gee," Donna said with a grin, "I was wondering if I got the wrong night."
"Oops," was all Tim could think to say.
"It's okay," she said cheerfully, stepping forward to kiss him on the cheek.
"Would you mind if we ate right away?" he asked, hoping to avoid any immediate questions about his visit to his mom and to get things off on the right foot. "Dinner is ready and I don't want it to get cold."