Beyond Death Do Us Partbystorm_wind©
Celia tried to go about her business like she didn't care, but it was hard. She had written a few cheery notes and sent them off to a couple close friends, wishing them a special day. The day before, she had ordered a box of chocolates to be delivered to her daughter who was living two states away. Earlier that morning, she had slipped a chocolate bar to each of her employees at the small café she ran. They had been up late with her, baking an endless supply of every kind of delicious confection imaginable. The little cafe had been crowded since they opened their doors, locals flocking to their favorite hang-out, knowing that Celia's desserts could not be beaten.
But now the day was done. Evening had come and she had locked up, then walked home slowly, alone. There was a dusting of snow over everything, making a beautiful, glittering fairyland of the deserted streets. It was 9:00 when she arrived home, but even though she hadn't got much sleep the night before, Celia made no attempt to get ready for bed. She knew she would only lay there, her eyes hopelessly unable to close, the room dark and empty, the bed too big and cold.
Instead, she cleaned. Bustling about her modest little house, she swept and dusted, organized and scrubbed. By 10:30, her home held the odd echo and slight scent of soap that accompanies a brand new house being shown for sale. At a bit of a loss now, Celia wandered through the rooms, at last stopping in front of the hall mirror.
She regarded herself sadly, meeting the dark, pool-like eyes, rich, but veiled with sorrow. Reaching up one hand, she pulled the pins from her disheveled bun, one by one. Once, she had been beautiful. Her face was soft and finely featured, her cheekbones high, eyebrows arched. Even now, at 49, she looked regal. Tall and slim, her hips were curvy, her breasts giving and full. She had not lost her figure with the years—she was far too active, her muscles as toned as they had ever been.
Slowly, her long, raven black hair slipped down over her shoulders, thick and lustrous. It had many thick streaks of silver shot through it, but then, her hair had started slowly going white over twenty years ago. She let out a quick, harsh sigh. It was now twenty-one years to the day. It was hard to think that she had managed to continue for so long. Somehow, she had clawed her way through life, never forgetting, never able to escape the day her life had changed.
Celia absently unbuttoned her blouse, sliding the soft red silk from her shoulders. She unhooked the black, unadorned bra she wore underneath and let it drop to the floor. Regarding herself pensively in the mirror, she cupped her breasts tentatively. They were on the small side, but this had kept them from sagging with age. Her olive skin was smooth, rounded, still firm, her breasts still holding that youthful bounce. Running her thumbs over soft, caramel areolas, she slid her hands down over her torso to the waist of her skirt.
In the mirror, her face was frozen, expressionless and cold. Her skirt fell around her ankles and she peeled away the thick wool tights she had been wearing for warmth, her panties pulling away with them. Blank-faced, she studied her form in the full-length pane. Once, she had been a very sexual woman. But she had not so much as touched herself in all those twenty-one years. The pain it brought when she tried was too much to bear. She had stopped thinking of herself as beautiful long ago, stopped caring if she looked anything other than presentable.
Abruptly, she laughed—a grating, hysterical bark. The irony that she had lost the love of her life on the day for lovers, on Valentine's Day, had never left her. It had taken her a long time to come to terms with the celebration and gaiety around her on that day: the anniversary of the death of her heart. The day her Cam had died. It was too cruel a joke the fates had played on her, and she would have followed him to death that very day if it had not been for her daughter. Little Lila was only three at the time, and her mother could not leave her orphaned no matter what pain it cost.
Lila had a wonderful childhood. Celia had devoted herself to her baby with veiled desperation. She poured all her thought and feeling into raising her daughter—his daughter—in the best way possible. Eventually, Lila had grown up, a happy, healthy young woman, and ventured into the world on her own. Now she was married to a wonderful man who made her happy beyond belief and they had become the parents of a beautiful baby boy. Celia's work was done.
Gently, Celia ran her fingers over her skin, her body shuddering slightly at the contact. She had once had so many dreams, so many desires, but they were gone now, even her most primal desire and urge lay dormant, bound with grief. She felt a great weariness, right down to her scarred soul. Surely now she could join him? The thought crept into her head. Her daughter had her own life now, her own family. Celia had given her all she could. Now she was left only with an empty house, empty eyes, and an empty heart. She wondered briefly how many suicides there were on Valentine's Day. Probably more than one would think. It was hard to live without love, especially on a day when everyone else was flaunting it.
Her body wavered in the mirror. She had a bottle of sleeping pills upstairs. That was what she wanted: to endlessly sleep, and dream of him. All these many years, her love had not wavered. She was a twisted, living proof of true love. Sometimes, for her own sake, she wished that it could fade, that she could move on. But always, it felt as if not a day had passed since she lost him. She could not bring herself to wish that she had never met him. Even if life without him was a living Hell, life without ever meeting him would have been Purgatory.
For the first time, she let her mind wander to the morning on that last day without fighting it. Tears silently painted thin slashes over her face. Sinking to the floor, she rested her forehead against the cool, hard glass of the mirror, her eyes staring unseeing at the worn wood of the front door. Slowly, the memory engulfed her.
A wash of sunlight spilled through the windows, muffled slightly by yellow curtains. The whole room was lit with the soft freshness of morning, the balm of returning sun smoothing edges and hard lines into a rounded, dazzling haze. Celia peered around the room with still droopy eyes. She knew that there was a wonderful, one-foot-thick layer of new snow on the ground outside, but the bedroom was a warm, golden cocoon, a world away from any cold.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Celie."
Rolling onto her side, she met the sleepy smile of her husband. Barely out of dreamland, he had thought of her instantly. Yawning, he stretched luxuriously. Celie shivered with pleasure as she felt his hip graze over her thighs, his skin warm and soft as velvet. Cameron was hardly done yawning when Celie leaned over to smother him in kisses.
Softly, she ran her tongue along his lips just inside his mouth. His hands wandered up to cradle her breasts, kneading steadily like a happy cat. Drawing their bodies together, the pair rubbed skin against skin, legs entwining, feet teasing each other. Cameron nibbled lightly at Celie's ear, his hot breath sending a thrill through her body as he moved his lips down to the soft indent just beneath her earlobe, then to the slight rise of the veins in her neck.
Breath faltering, Celie ran her fingers up and down his back, then over his chest and belly. Unable to resist, she pinched at his nipples lightly, eliciting a small gasp of delight. Slithering further down under the blankets, Cameron buried his face in her breasts, cupping them to his mouth with his hands, licking in a slow swirling spiral to the pale brown center on first one, then the other. Only then did he clamp his mouth over her hardened nipples and suck in earnest.
Arching her back, Celie pressed into him, relishing his thick hardness pushing between her legs. She shrieked as he suddenly drove under the covers, flashing her a wicked grin. Giggling helplessly, she writhed as he kissed her toes, sucking each one into his mouth, the feeling both sensual and ticklish at the same time. Winding his way up her legs, caressing her skin with his mouth, he finally reached her moist folds. His tongue flicked over her outer lips, barely touching. With a lunge, he enveloped her clit in the warmth of his mouth, making her body jump as she moaned. Her hips lifted up off the bed as his tongue swirled quickly over her throbbing clit.
Celie's body was on fire. Her pussy was dripping warmth, opening slightly with desire. She wanted him to fill her with a burning, white-hot need—her pussy was pulsing open and closed, desperate to feel him enter her. Biting back screams, she bucked as she reached the point where she thought she could take no more. He kept going, and she trembled as she passed point after dizzying point, hardly believing that her body could feel such pleasure. Pulling at his shoulders, she tried to draw his body up between her legs.
At last, as she convulsed in throes of a powerful orgasm, Cameron spread her legs over his shoulders and sank completely into her with a single thrust. Crying out, she quickly approached another peak, her drenched, heated passage clenching around his cock like a vise, rippling along his length. Her hands grasped at his hips, pulling him deeper.
Thrusting rhythmically, he bent to drink in her lips, kissing hungrily, tongue exploring until he had to break away to draw a shuddering breath. His intense dark eyes met hers, causing her heart to pound even harder. She watched him move over her, his face intent as he watched her, listened to her sounds, reading her mind to give her what she wanted.
Pushing herself up into a sitting position, Celie wrapped her arms around him, kissing across his collarbones and along his throat. They sat locked together, caressing, undulating their bodies in time. She could feel the throb of his cock in time with his wildly beating heart as the head rubbed ever so slightly back and forth deep within her.
Cameron moved to lie on his back, guiding Celie on top of him. Crouching, she slowly lowered herself onto his shaft, the smooth, taut skin of his cock gliding through her opening bit by bit. Both shuddered as she ground her hips down, every inch of him buried inside her welcoming pussy. She began to rock back and forth, her movements gradually increasing until she was bouncing up and down on his cock like a wild woman.
Moaning as her tight passage gripped his cock, muscles spasming in an elated massage around him, Cameron felt his body tensing in waves. Celie was whimpering desperately as she plunged up and down over her husband, hyperventilating as her muscles convulsed.
"I love you, I love you, Celie," Cameron gasped. Thrusting his hips up to meet her, he held himself inside her, pressing as deep as he could go as she ground her clit against him. Quivering violently, Celie let out a low, crying groan as she felt the warmth of his cum spreading inside her. Cameron held his breath involuntarily as he pumped within her, her inner walls becoming even slicker with the thick mix of their juices.
"I love you, Cam," she whispered as she collapsed on top of him. "Happy Valentine's Day."
Celia lay in a crumpled heap at the foot of the mirror, her body wracked with sobs. Slowly, she began to drag herself towards the stairs.
"Cam, " she whispered hoarsely, "I can't wait anymore. I can't do this without you. I need you." At the bottom of the steps, she curled into a ball, shaking as the tears fell. "I need you."
Celia almost screamed as the sound of the doorbell broke the oppressive silence of her house, echoing through the rooms. She froze, unsure of what to do. The bell chimed again, then someone began knocking on the door insistently. Scrambling, Celia kicked her underclothes into a corner and quickly yanked on her skirt and blouse, fingers fumbling with the buttons through a haze of tears. Scrubbing at her face, she approached the door, wondering who on earth it could be at this hour. She was embarrassed to have someone see her when she had been clearly crying, but what if it was someone who needed help?
The knocking had stopped by the time she opened the door.
Ben cursed himself silently for not taking better care of his car. He had let the tires get too bald, and look at him now: sitting in the driver's seat staring at a tree trunk growing out of the middle of the car hood. His knuckles were white as he clutched the steering wheel in a death grip. The damn airbags hadn't even deployed.
Just out of college, Ben was in the middle of a cross-country trip. He had taken a year to trek across the U.S. and get his thoughts together. He had gotten through college as fast as he could, yearning to escape the knowing feeling of discontent that haunted him. He was out to do some soul-searching, trying to ease his itchy feet.
Ben had always been a bit strange. He was a quiet, solemn child, introspective practically since the day he was born. As an adolescent, he kept to himself, preferring to hang out with his college-age cousins rather than boys his age. Despite his bright, wheaten shock of hair and striking blue eyes, he had always been a bit dark, constantly brooding as a teenager. Since he was little, his sleep had been fraught with nightmares so severe that his doctor diagnosed them as what were called "night terrors." His parents had always been somewhat bewildered by him—the black sheep of the family.
Ben smiled to himself as he sat in the car. When he had set out on his road trip, the last thing his mother had said before he left was that she hoped he found what he was searching for. Right now it looked like he was about as far from that as possible.
Swearing, Ben climbed out of the car. Making his way back onto the road, he looked accusingly at the patch of ice he'd lost traction on. He had been taking back roads through small towns, to see the hidden treasures of the country. Now he didn't even know where he was. He had no insurance, his car was totaled, his was on the outskirts of an unknown town at about midnight on Valentine's Day, and it was starting to snow. What a mess.
"Happy birthday to me," he muttered darkly.
With no other option, he started walking, meandering into a neighborhood of sprawling lawns and compact, old-fashioned houses. He headed for the first house he saw with a light on. Trudging miserably up the driveway, feeling like a jerk for disturbing someone's Valentine's night.
When he climbed on the stoop and rang the doorbell, no one seemed to stir in the house. He started knocking, but it started to seem that whoever was inside wasn't answering the door. Crestfallen, he let his hand drop and stood forlornly in front of the closed door. He was about to turn and head back out to the road when the door finally opened.
Somewhat taken aback, he found himself looking at a disheveled, middle-aged woman. She stood staring at him wordlessly, her eyes red and swollen, cheeks lined with the tell-tale streaks of tears. She was barefoot and her wrinkled black skirt stopped at mid-shin, making her bare legs look like they must be cold as the February wind blew in the door. Her red blouse was buttoned unevenly, with the curve of her breasts showing enough for him to know she had no bra on. When he met her eyes, it was like a hard blow. The pain bubbling within them made him want to start crying himself.
"I-I wrecked m-my car," he stuttered, uncertain whether the unsteadiness in his voice was due to the cold, or the frightening eyes of the woman before him. He felt like he had seen her in his nightmares. "My name's Ben," he offered, when she made no response. "Do you know if there somewhere around here I can spend the night? My car..." he trailed off as she stared at him.
Slowly, Celia realized that she had been staring blankly at the young man on the doorstep. He was pausing uncertainly, waiting for her reply. She sized him up, guessing him to be around twenty. He had an open, kind face, and somehow felt much older than he looked. Vaguely, it crossed her mind that she should be careful of inviting strangers into her house at midnight, but she didn't really care. There was nothing he could do to hurt her. Besides, something about his mannerisms—she winced slightly at the thought—reminded her of Cameron.
"I'm sorry," she said softly. "Why don't you come in? It's freezing out there." Backing away from the door, she held it open, motioning him into the house. Hesitating just a moment, the young man followed her inside.
"Would you like some tea?" she offered. "You look like you need warming up."
"Yes, please," he answered, carefully pulling off his wet shoes and setting them by the door. "My name's Ben," he told her, not sure if she had heard him the first time.
"Oh, I'm sorry," she apologized again. "I'm Celie." She stopped for a moment, standing in the kitchen doorway, surprised that she had given him her old pet name. She had not been called that for a long time.
"I'm sorry to be imposing like this," Ben said, hovering uncomfortably as she put the kettle on. "I'm not from around here. I'm sorry for barging in so late, and on Valentine's Day night!"
Ben gulped as her back stiffened at his words. He realized that he had probably put his foot in his mouth. Anyone who had been crying as hard as she clearly had been on Valentine's Day night, did not want to be reminded what day it was.
Celia set two mugs on the table, fighting to keep her composure. She pulled out a chair and seated herself, motioning for him to do the same. With a great effort, she put her mind in the moment, pushing away other thoughts. Ben stared at her curiously, this odd woman with magnificent black hair tumbling wildly down her back, her broken countenance changing to something far more imposing. He thought she looked like one of the queens from Shakespeare's tragedies.
"You can stay here," she said suddenly, startling him. "There's not really anywhere else to stay. The couch in the living room is pretty comfortable. There's a good auto mechanic just down the road. You can call him in the morning."
"Unfortunately, my car doesn't need a mechanic; it needs a junk yard," Ben told her ruefully.
"Ah." She paused. "If you don't mind my asking, what brings you to this area? You said you weren't from around here."
"No. It's a bit of a long story," he began, smiling crookedly. The teapot began to whistle. Celia jumped up and turned it off, bringing it over to the table to pour. She liked his smile. It was very attractive and had just a touch of the bad-boy in it to make a girl thrill a little. She shook herself.
"How do you like your tea?" she queried, teaspoon hovering over the sugar.
"Yes, some sugar, thank you...And, do you mind if I have a bit of butter in it too?" He turned slightly red. "I'm strange that way." Celia looked at him sharply. "I don't have to," he said quickly, apologetic.
"No, no. It's not that. It's just unusual. And I knew someone who liked it the same way." Giving him just the right amount of butter, she stirred it in and set it before him. "Go on," she told him, sitting down again.
"Well, I'm in the middle of a cross-country road trip. In a nut shell."
Celia nodded. She wasn't sure why, but she wanted to learn more about this stranger. Something about him made her want to hear him talk.
"You must have some stories," she commented. He hesitated. "Come," she said kindly, "why don't you start at the beginning?"