Cry Little Sister Ch. 03byRushette©
I have to once again thank SoCalCynic for editing this thing. He puts up with my ramblings and my bad writing habits, so he deserves lots of free booze and cookies, should you guys ever run across him. Thanks again, Cynic, for making me feel like a better writer than I actually am.
Speaking of free booze and cookies, you readers deserve some too! Thanks for all of the comments, the kind emails and nice ratings. Every single one of them makes me squee. Really. And yes, I just used the term squee. So please, keep sending them so I can squee some more. I'm done with the word squee now, I promise.
OK, one more time. Squee!
"Oh God," Jill whined. "OhGodohGodohGodohGOD!" she screamed as the roller coaster reached the top of the first hill and started its ninety-foot free fall. Her entire body felt weightless for a moment and then her stomach was suddenly thrown in the other direction as the coaster started its dive down the back side of the hill. As she reached out and desperately clutched Rory's hand, she could hear his laugh distinctly over the other riders' screams. Gravity kicked in hard, pulling her entire body down and to the rear as the coaster reached the bottom of its plunge before launching up another hill.
How had he convinced her to do this?
They plunged into darkness for a few seconds as they went through a tunnel. Within seconds the rickety wooden roller coaster pulled them up and down again, crests endlessly alternating with dips. A minute later and the ride slowed, the coaster pulling into the station so the next group of unsuspecting riders could have their turn in hell.
Jill was shaking slightly as Rory helped her out of the car, still chuckling to himself. He wrapped his arm around her waist and helped her make her way safely down the stairs and to the wide avenue in front of the ride.
"That was hardly fair, you know," he laughed out once they had sat down on a wide concrete bench overlooking the coaster's entrance. Of course it was on the same stupid bench that they had been sitting on when he had talked her into trying out the stupid roller coaster in the first place. Stupid, her brain threw at her one more time for good measure.
"What in the hell are you talking about?" Jill stammered out. She was still shaking, her body having trouble processing all of the adrenaline that had flooded her system.
Rory tugged at her waist until she was leaning against him, then put his arms around her until the tremors stopped. Satisfied that she was calming, he leaned his head down to her neck to whisper in her ear. "You about gave me a hard-on before we went down that first hill, screaming like you were coming."
Jill couldn't help but laugh, warm relief flooding through her at finally being back on the ground. She turned her head and gave Rory a swift kiss on the cheek, despite her thoughts on public displays of affection. "I would say I'm sorry, but I'm not. That's what you get for dragging me on that thing in the first place!"
"Drag?" he chuckled back, skimming the back of his hand up and down her bare arm. "You went willingly, beautiful."
"Only because you lied to me! You should try it, the fear is half the fun!" she parroted his earlier words back to him. "It's not half the fun! Fear is just that, fear! It's your mind being completely and entirely logical about not walking on to a death trap! There's a reason why I had never been on a roller coaster before today!"
"Are you telling me you didn't enjoy yourself?" Rory prompted after her rant.
The question actually pulled Jill up short, making her pause to think for a moment. "I don't know; I was too busy being terrified."
His responding laugh seemed to echo around them. Jill couldn't help but smile a little. Maybe she would try it again sometime. But definitely not today.
Rory watched her while he continued to hold her close. After several seconds he sighed and planted a quick kiss on the top of her head, his own thoughts seemingly echoing hers. "Okay, no more roller coasters today. There's more to Elitch Gardens than that, you know." And at those words, he pulled her off the bench to follow him.
Now that she had survived the trial by roller coaster, Jill found that she could actually enjoy the rest of the amusement park. Before, it seemed that her vision would do nothing but zoom in on the torturous rides and the poor trapped passengers plummeting to what should have been their deaths. Now she could appreciate the arcades, the old-time fair games and the rides not requiring every drop of her adrenaline.
Rory stopped and bought her some cotton candy, insisting that sugar would be good for her system after the shock of the coaster. She failed to see the logic, but still took it gratefully.
The couple walked the park as they shared the sweet, talking and laughing as they went. The invisible conversation barrier between them had broken, probably because they knew how little time they had left together.
Jill talked about growing up a tomboy in Indianapolis and shared some of her more harmless Army tales, while Rory shared stories of his own childhood in British Columbia. The two seemed to avoid discussing anything current, like Jill's plans once she "left" or what Rory even did for a living. But they still found plenty of common ground, discussing favorite movies, music, and books, pet peeves and their surprisingly mutual dislike of Wilfred Brimley.
"It's diabetes, not diabetus!" Jill laughed out loud as they left the arcade.
"You'd think that if he has the disease, he'd at least know how to pronounce it," Rory agreed with a smile as he reached out and took her hand in his.
"And in the newer commercials, it's almost like he knows that he's saying wrong, so he tries to put even more emphasis on it!"
He nodded and smiled, suddenly quiet. Jill left him to it. She learned long ago from her brother that when men were ready to talk, they would. Prodding didn't do anything to help them along. So they walked on in silence, their fingers intertwined as twilight descended around them.
After a few minutes, Rory pulled her to a stop and looked her up and down with a smirk. "So how about it, stranger?" He looked up pointedly, and Jill's gaze followed to the top of the giant Ferris wheel, standing at least 100-feet high. "I know you're not wild about roller coasters ..."
"That's a fucking understatement," Jill cut in with an apologetic smile.
"But are you afraid of heights?"
"Not really," she answered with a shrug.
"Then come on." He tugged at her hand and they made their way to the end of the short line to board.
A short, quiet wait later and they were escorted into their own little carriage. Rory helped her in first before joining her. Jill gasped a little as the basket swayed with his weight, but she calmed fairly quickly as Rory pulled her into his arms.
The two didn't talk much as the ride moved up in intervals as other riders took their respective places. They finally reached the very top as the neon of the wheel blazed into life, taking her breath away. Between the glow of the lights and the bird's eye view of downtown Denver, Jill was speechless. The scene was indescribably beautiful.
"It's just stunning, isn't it?" Rory whispered, voicing her own thoughts again. "When I'm homesick and the park is open, I come here. Something about the view reminds me why I love Denver so much."
"Thank you, for bringing me here, for sharing this with me." He nodded, and Jill snuggled closer into him as a breeze picked up. Now full, the wheel started its slow rotation and they rode in comfortable silence. There was something so intimate about it; it was as if they were alone.
So she didn't mind much when Rory pulled her face to his for a long kiss. There was no urgency behind the touch, rather a tenderness. It was almost as if he were afraid to break her. His hands were warm against her neck and face, a stark contrast to the cool breeze that continued to swirl around them. The shiver that ran down her spine had nothing to do with the cold, and everything to do with him.
An abrupt stop broke the spell and reminded them of exactly where they were. Not alone, but surrounded by other park guests in the middle of downtown Denver.
Once back in the loading area, they made their way off the ride and headed towards the exit in silence. No more words were necessary.
Three a.m., again. Rory normally wasn't one to wake in the middle of the night, usually exhausted from the previous day. Since he had met Jill, that had changed.
It was as if his brain was so overloaded when they were together that it kept waking him to process it all. And as the days passed, it seemed that he needed more and more time to do it.
Rory was ashamed that he had jumped her as soon as he entered her room. But she looked so fucking beautiful in that white dress; it reinforced his opinion that she was an angel. He couldn't help himself.
As they walked through Elitch Gardens that night, he realized he had been right in his previous thinking; the more he got to know Jill, the more perfect she seemed. She was smart, brave, funny, and insightful. And as they were talking about Wilfred fucking Brimley of all people, he realized that he was falling head over heels in love with her. She hadn't pressed him to talk, like every other woman he had ever known would have. Instead they shared that beautiful ride on the Ferris wheel, where they barely spoke. They hadn't needed to.
And when they had finally made it back to the hotel, after what felt like the longest twenty minute drive of his life, they made love. He didn't question his use of the term anymore.
They undressed each other so slowly, so patiently, as if each was a present to the other. There was absolutely no rush. He took his time to kiss and stroke every bare inch of her, and she had reciprocated in the same maddeningly slow pace he had used.
By the time he finally pushed into her, holding her as close as he could, his chest was aching with unspoken emotion. He wondered in that moment, as they gazed at each other, if she could possibly feel the same. But he couldn't find the answer in her eyes. It still took every ounce of self-control that he possessed not to tell her he loved her as they came together.
He let out a low sigh and rubbed his eyes with his free hand. One day left. Rory had wondered, when all of this started, what he had done to deserve her. And now he knew.
He was being punished for every heart he broke, every woman he ever used, every promised call he never made. The universe was giving him the perfect woman for only a few days, just long enough for him to love her and then lose her. And he deserved every agonizing minute of it.
For fuck's sake, how had this even happened? He hadn't felt this way about a woman since college, and even that was a pale comparison to how he felt for Jill. Rory hated to admit it, but he was afraid. And he wasn't sure what scared him more: being with Jill or being without her.
She shifted slightly in his arms and the scent of her shampoo wafted his way. Rory had to bite back a groan; she always smelled so damn good.
Maybe this is why he always avoided seeing women for more than one night. How had she pulled him in? Shit, how had he fallen in love in three fucking days?
Rory still didn't have a good answer, had no clue what was so different about her that he broke his usual pattern with women. But was there ever any logic when it came to matters of the heart? Something about Jill had just burrowed into him that first night, and he couldn't shake her since.
What was he going to do? Rory was suddenly struck with an urge to leave, to escape. It was all just too much to process in the quiet and dark of her hotel room, with her sleeping so peacefully in his arms.
Rory slowly extricated himself from Jill, freezing every so often when she stirred. After a few tense moments, he was finally free. He quietly located his clothes and left, taking care to let the door close quietly behind him.
"You seem distracted today," Jason commented casually, but Jill wasn't fooled. She could hear the concern behind the innocent statement. "Everything okay, Jilly Bean?"
Jill had been mentally absent for most of the day, about that much he was spot on. Jason basically had picked out her television and Blu-Ray player, not to mention an iPod. They were on their final gadget for the day, a computer.
She looked up from the laptop specs that she was studying and gave him a small smile. No, everything is pretty fucking far from okay. He was gone when I woke up. And there was no note this time. "I'm fine, Jase. Just nervous about school starting in a week," she lied smoothly.
"You've always been the smart one. You're going to do spectacularly well." Jason gave her a reassuring hug and a brotherly kiss on the cheek. "They'll have to find busy work for you to keep you challenged."
Sufficiently distracted from her thoughts, she snorted at Jason's ludicrous statement. "If only I had your confidence."
"That's always been your problem, little sis. You have never been able to see yourself clearly. I guess, like always, I'll have to be confident for you."
Jill shrugged, unsure of how to respond. Instead she pretended to deliberate between the two laptops to which they had narrowed her choices. The school had minimum requirements for student computers now; Jason and Jill's standards were far higher than theirs. "Which one?"
"The MacBook, I think. Great processor, gorgeous display, huge hard drive. And you know they don't make anti-virus software for Apple? So you can surf porn without worrying!"
Jill snorted at his final statement. She knew him far too well to think that he believed for a minute that she had even seen porn before, much less had sex. The thought pulled her up short again as images of last night with Rory flashed through her head. Not here. I cannot think about him here.
"You might as well get the AppleTV while we're here. Casey and I love ours," Jason suggested.
"What are you, a walking ad for Apple?"
"They are pretty damn awesome."
"Woah, you're Jason LeBlanc!" a voice piped up from behind them. Jason and Jill both turned to find a little boy around ten standing there with a look of awe on his face. His little sister was peeking out from behind him, blushing furiously. A woman, obviously their mother, kept an eye on her young from just behind the pair.
"That's me," Jason answered with a smile. "And who are you?"
"I'm Kyle and this is my little sister, Helen. She's shy," the little boy stated with an eye roll.
"Hi Kyle." Jason laughed and fell to one knee so that he was on eye-level with the little girl. "Hi Helen," he said with a grin. "I'm Jason."
"Hi," she nearly whispered and turned an even darker shade of red before hiding behind her brother again.
"You see that girl right there?" Jason asked as he turned his head and pointed to Jill. Helen cautiously peeked out at him. "That's my little sister. I wouldn't be a hockey player if it weren't for her, you know."
Jill watched as the little girl's eyes widened and she stepped out from behind her brother a little. That one piece of information seemed to relax her a little. "Really?"
"Yes, really. She was the one that yelled at me to practice every day. Do you play hockey too, Kyle?"
The little boy nodded enthusiastically, obviously happy to be back in the conversation again. "I play defense like you and I like it, but I like scoring goals too."
Jason laughed and nodded his head. "You can do both. But you have to practice real hard, every day." The mother came up from behind silently and passed Jason a piece of paper and a pen. He stood and signed it for the children and handed it to Helen. "So you make sure you keep your brother in line, okay?"
The little girl's responding smile was brilliant. "Okay." And then the mother shooed them away, mouthing a 'thank you' over her shoulder.
"You're going to be a great dad, you know," Jill muttered when they were out of sight, reaching over to squeeze her big brother's hand. "The way you pulled her out of her shell like that?"
"Thanks, Jilly. Can you believe Casey's due in three months?"
"I still can't believe you're married. I'll probably get over the idea of you being a father when the kid is seven," Jill joked as they made their way over to the tech desk with the tickets for their chosen items. As they waited, she asked the question that she was surprised she hadn't asked yet. "Have you guys picked out names yet?"
"John-Michael if it's a boy."
"John-Michael LeBlanc," Jill repeated back. "It has a nice ring to it. John for Dad?"
Jason nodded in assent. "And Michael for Casey's."
"What if it's a girl?"
Her brother pulled her into a hug and said the words that warmed Jill's heart for the first time since she woke up alone that morning. "Anna Jillian."
"That's a terrible name," she joked while wiping the unshed tears from her eyes. If she let them fall now, she wasn't sure that she would be able to stop them.
Jason rubbed his knuckles lightly against the top of her head as he laughed. "And you're a terrible sister," he countered, then immediately winced as Jill's punch landed flush on his arm.
"Oh shit," he spat out as his cell phone started to ring. He seemed to breathe a little easier after he looked at the caller ID. "Thank God it's only O'Brian, I'm always scared it's Casey calling, telling me she's going into early labor."
He pressed a button on his phone and went immediately into what Jill had always called 'scary big brother' mode.
"What do you want, O'Brian?" He rolled his eyes. "Big fucking surprise, of course it's about a girl," Jason muttered under his breath. "Because it's always about a girl! Look, I'm out with my sister. Yes, my sister, I told you a month ago she was moving here this week. And no, I am not dropping everything to come running to your aid for another one of your stalkers." Jill got his attention with a wave. "One sec," he said into the phone. "What?"
"I'll be fine if you need to go, Jason," she whispered. "We'll arrange delivery for the TV tomorrow since the furniture is coming then anyways, then you can just drop me off at the hotel and I'll see you later. Go be there for your boyfriend." She had to stifle the laugh that threatened to come out at the last comment. Jason rolled his eyes again, but she could see the acquiescence behind it.
"Fine, O'Brian. Fine. Meet me at the Wunderbar in an hour, OK? And there had better be a fucking pitcher of beer waiting for me too. The darker the better." And at that he hung up and sighed. He seemed to deliberate for a moment before coming to a decision. "You want to come?"
Jill couldn't help but laugh. Yesterday, he hadn't wanted her anywhere near his friend. And now he didn't mind him meeting her? "I thought you didn't want him 'sniffing around me'?" She struggled to hold back the snort that threatened to make its way out of her nose.
"Exactly. If he's having problems with a woman, then you're probably safe. Come on, you deserve a beer after all the shopping you've endured lately."
I've got my own problems to worry about right now, big brother. "No, I'm fine Jase. Go have some man time before the baby comes and you have no time left for your friends."
He nodded his consent. And at that they checked out and made their way back to the hotel.
From the look on his friends' faces, you'd have thought Rory just announced his plans to undergo a sex change and move to Vegas to be a show girl.