Jack & Mike Pt. 03bychocolatebunny77©
Hello, dear readers!
I'm glad to see some of you understand exactly where the main characters stand. I wasn't sure it would go through to you since I've chosen a construction that might be a bit confusing for some but your feedback reassured me.
Please enjoy third and last installment of Shanelle and Anne love story.
"Hey, Martha! How are you?"
Martha gave me a tight hug.
"Come in, come in, love, quickly! It's freezing!"
As usual, I joined my in-laws for lunch. A tradition I gave up after Nikki's passing but Claudius didn't give me any choice but to resume it. We found that it actually gave us balance. We simply couldn't get rid of each other. Over the years, I became their daughter and they became my parents. If Colleen wasn't available, they would be the definite second people I would go to for help or advice.
"How are you, honey?"
"I'm OK. What are we having today?"
"Salmon, your favorite."
"Thanks, Martha. You know how I love your cooking. How's Pops doing?"
"He's OK. Not too much stress so I'm glad."
"Me too. He scared me."
Since his heart attack, Martha had been nursing him back to shape. Within a couple of weeks he was back to his normal self but we were still vigilant about how he slept and ate. I hugged Claudius as we joined him in the kitchen. He was ready to attack. I tried to chit chat for a while but my appetite and usual good mood weren't quite there and Claudius noticed it.
"Why aren't you eating, pumpkin? Is there something wrong?"
"No, Pops, I'm alright," I answered.
"You don't look like yourself, Shanelle. Has something happened?" asked Martha.
After a moment of hesitation I declared, "Anne and I broke up."
"What? Why?" Martha asked.
"It just didn't work out."
"I'm surprised. For some reason, I was convinced she was good for you. You had that sparkle in your eyes lately," Claudius said.
"It's OK. It's best for everybody."
"You broke up with her or she broke up with you?"
"Pops, no offense but I really don't want to talk about it."
"That's OK," Martha intervened.
She gave him that look saying that's enough and we finished the lunch talking about everything but Anne. It had become, in a matter of seconds, the taboo number one. As we were enjoying a cup of tea to digest, my cell phone rang. I checked the screen and saw 'Mike' on the display. I diverted the call to my voice mail. I knew she was shocked, wanted to talk but I thought it was best for her to let the news sink in first. She called several times. Before I left, Claudius took me on the side.
"Don't ruin your life, pumpkin. Don't do this. She looks like a good woman and apparently she's not done with you."
I didn't comment on that. I just said my goodbyes and left. On my way home, I thought about what he said. He was right, she was good to me and that's why I preferred to end the relationship. I didn't want to hurt her and I knew it was bound to happen.
How could she walk away like that? She didn't even look back, not even once. Why? I knew she loved me. I was so stunned, I didn't even cry. It was a break up completely out of the blue. I tried to call her a dozen of times and left several messages but she never answered.
The rest of the day, I tried to keep my head out of the mud she threw me in. I cleaned my apartment from ceiling to floor in every room. I poured all that negative energy into the cleaning. Once I was done, I went to the twenty-four hour gym near my place and ran five kilometers. I needed that much to knock me out and prevent me from entering the overdrive mode in my head. When I got home, I was so tired, I didn't even eat. I took a shower and went straight to bed.
On Sunday, my mood hadn't improved. I was sad, disappointed but mostly mad at her. I needed to talk and decided to call Natalie.
"Hi, Natalie! It's Anne. How are you?"
"Hey, Anne. I'm good and you?"
"Could be better," I sighed.
"Oh-oh... What happened?"
"She... she broke up with me."
"What?!? When? How? That's impossible! I can't believe it! When I saw her she seemed really into you from the way she talked about you."
"What do you mean 'when I saw her'? You've met her?"
"Oh, I forgot. You probably don't know about it."
"Know about what?"
"Ok, Anne. I think we need to talk. Text me your address. I'll come as soon as possible."
Two hours later, my front door rang.
"Hello, Anne," said the lovely brunette.
She was wearing a cute winter dress under a white winter coat. I hugged her and let her in. As we sat down on my couch to talk over our cups of coffee, she started, "I have to be honest with you."
"Shanelle and I... had sex," she announced, biting her lower lip, apprehensive of my reaction.
"What??? Are you serious?" I asked, almost spitting out my coffee.
"I am, I'm afraid... She came to the store. I swear I didn't know who she was. She told me only when she was about to leave. I actually told her I'd like to see her again and she said only if you'd agree to it. That's when I found out who she was. I swear I wouldn't have tried anything if I had known prior."
"I know... It's crazy to say but I actually believe you. I know how complicated she can be. I wish I could read her mind sometimes." I couldn't believe it. "Why did she do that?" I asked myself, still struggling to wrap my mind around what Natalie just told me.
"She said I gave you great advices for your lingerie and she wanted to thank me."
"She could have chosen something else!" I reacted, my jealousy piercing my heart.
"Well... I don't want to hurt you in anyway but... It was off the chain!" she yelled, excited. "Why didn't you tell me she was so hot? Is it like that with her every time?"
"Yes, I suppose," I blushed. "She's really... intense..."
Natalie laughed seeing my embarrassment and reassured me, "Don't worry. I won't talk about it anymore. Nothing more will happen between me and her if you don't want to. Although... I wouldn't mind if you'd decide to invite me once in a while..."
"What? Oh please, don't be shocked. She's hot, you're hot. We could have a lot of fun together."
"If you think so but I doubt it will happen anytime soon anyway since she broke up with me."
"I know love when I see it and this girl loves you. There's something in the way her eyes shine when she talks about you..."
"Apparently, she changed her mind," I said tears welling up in my eyes.
"I doubt so. When you love someone... Something must have happened, I'm sure of it. Did she tell you what?"
"No. She tells me for the first time that she loves me... Then, the next thing I know, she breaks up with me and leaves. I don't get it. It doesn't make any sense," I explained and busted into tears.
"Oh honey, come here!" Natalie said hugging me.
"One thing is sure, she loves you, so don't worry. We just have to come up with a plan to make her change her mind, OK?"
She lifted up my chin and dried my tears with her thumb. "Don't cry," she said, smiling warmly to me. She took me by surprised when she brushed her lips against mine. A pleasant surprise. As she put more pressure I parted my lips and let her in. Her kiss was soft, her lips inviting, but that's not what I wanted.
"Natalie, I'm sorry but I can't," I said as I pushed her away gently.
"That's OK. I totally understand. You love her."
"Yes, I do."
"Are you mad at me? I hope not because I'd love to remain friend with you."
"No, I'm not mad. It's just... I wasn't expecting that," I answered.
We hugged each other. I loved Natalie's company. She was a bubbly young woman full of passion and enthusiasm for life. She gave me all sorts of ideas to reconquer Shanelle and I was willing to try some of them on the first occasion.
On Monday morning, Anne called me to her office. I stopped a few seconds at her door, braced myself and walked in. She had a sad smile on her lips when she saw me.
"Have a seat."
I sat in front of her. I took a good look at her. She was pale and had bags under her eyes.
"How are you?" she asked.
"Better than you, apparently."
"You don't look like it."
"I'm sorry to do that to you but please, don't lose sleep and appetite over me. I'm really not worth it."
"Cut it, will you! I don't know where all this comes from but I know we're ain't done yet."
"Don't be mad. It's best for all of us."
"Shanelle, I don't care what you're trying to achieve. We belong together. Meet me after work, we'll have more time to discuss."
I had no intention of meeting her. I just wanted to do my job. We worked on the current project for about an hour then I left. I made sure to avoid her all day then went back home.
The next morning, I avoided her too. Colleen noticed the change in my routine and came to my desk.
"Hey, girl!" she smiled.
"Hey, happy you!"
"How are you?"
"Good and you?"
"Me, I'm good but I'm not so sure about you. What's going on?"
"What do you mean?"
"You know what I mean," she said, hinting at Anne's door.
"We... broke up," I sighed.
"What? Are you kidding me?"
"I'm serious. It couldn't go on. It's best for everyone," I said, trying to convince myself I made the right decision.
"Are you sure? Because what you two have is really special. I can see it."
"Believe me, it's best like that."
"I can't believe it."
Colleen tried to convince me to change my mind but I was determined. It couldn't go any other way, not after all that happened.
After lunch, I was riding the elevator back to my floor when the doors opened, I found myself face to face with Anne. She prevented me from exiting and pressed the top floor button. She probably had a meeting there. Once we were in between floors, she pressed the stop button.
"What are you doing?"
"I need to talk to you. Since you don't answer my calls anymore and keep avoiding me, that's the only way I found."
"Unblock it," I said.
"No," she answered coldly.
I tried to reach the panel but she took me by the shoulders, pressed me back to the opposite wall of the cabin and tried to kiss me.
"Anne, stop it," I said as I turned my head to avoid her lips and she ended up kissing my jaw.
"No. You said you love me. I didn't dream it, did I?"
"No, you didn't," I admitted.
"Then why?" she asked, with a hurt tone.
"It's best for the both of us. That's all I can say. You'll find someone better than me."
"I want you, only you."
I tried to talk but, as soon as I parted my lips, Anne forced a kiss on me and I couldn't resist her. It's been several days since her and I have been that intimate. I held her tight against me. I caressed her body hesitantly, rediscovering her curves, travelling down her thighs. She had on the stockings I asked her to buy. I slid my hands under her skirt. Her skin as soft as satin and she had no panties on. I moaned as I kneaded her naked butt, pressing her closer against me. She was so sexy but I had to keep my focus.
"Anne, I can't..." I said as I broke the kiss.
"Yes, you can," she whispered.
She took my wrist and forced my hand onto her shaved pussy. I closed my eyes, trying to resist but my love and desire for her were overwhelming. My mind wanted to flee but my body was so attracted to her. She rested her head on my shoulder, holding my neck, kissing and licking it. She sighed as I caressed her wet slit and slowly let my fingers penetrate. I pump gently her inner folds for a minute. They were so wet. My lips let escape a sound of appreciation as I relished the warmth and smoothness of her vagina. I held her back and took a nipple in my mouth as she pressed my head against her. I nibbled it through her blouse for her greatest pleasure.
"Oh yeah, baby... just like that... don't stop... make me cum..."
Her words were enough to make me fall into a trance. I pushed her against the wall and dropped on my knees, my hand still inside her. I missed her, her skin, her flesh, her smell, her taste. I made her spread her long legs and I lovingly kissed her slippery lips with mine then ate her furiously like the crazy girl I was. I was indeed crazy. Crazy about her. I loved her. More than anything. Tears went down my cheeks when I felt her juices gushing into my mouth. She was pressing my head so hard, I couldn't breathe any more. I remained there as long as she wanted, providing wave after wave of pleasure. When I stood up, she took me in her arms and kissed me passionately.
"Don't you dare tell me ever again that we're done. It's not over. Not by a long shot," she said, her eyes filled with anger and tears.
She didn't wait for me to get my composure back. She rearranged herself and unblocked the elevator. When she left, she simply said, "See you tomorrow."
After that episode, Anne took every opportunity she had to corner me. Most of the time, I was saved by someone passing by because, as much as she wanted to be with me, she didn't want to make a fuss about it, especially at work. Although, on a couple of occasions, it turned into a fight despite my will to smooth things out. I didn't know how long it'd take for her to let me go. I was seriously thinking about looking for another job. I wouldn't mind if for a good cause.
Colleen passed by my office on Friday before leaving for the weekend. I grew to appreciate her, her personality. She was really frank and honest about how she felt.
"What can I do for you, Colleen?"
"Rather, what you can do for me!"
"What is it?"
"She's miserable. I know it. She's not herself."
"And whose fault is that?"
"I know... but please understand she carries a lot of luggage."
"And I offered my help. She refused. What else can I do?" I said, resigned.
"Please don't give up on her. She's a little too... headstrong at times, especially when she thinks she's right, but she's a good person."
I looked at her suspiciously for a moment then popped the question.
"How well do you know her exactly? Honestly?"
"We're friends. Why?"
"I don't know. It's... little details I've noticed day after day. There's something in the way you talk about her. It sounds like you know her on a more... intimate level, if I can say so."
Colleen's cheeks turned red but she didn't deny it.
"If you wanna know, we were lovers once but that was a very long time ago and rather brief, before Nikki came into her life. You have nothing to fear from me."
"If you say so."
"I swear I'm not a threat in anyway."
"Well, I'll have to take your word for it."
"I'm here because I want what's best for her. And for all I know, right now, it's you."
"If only Shanelle could see things like you," I said, reassured.
"You need to work on her, seriously. Break her resistance."
"And how do I do that?"
"We all know she loves you. Now all we have to do is make her change her mind. It's gonna be tough. She can be really, really stubborn. Keep the connection alive. Be in her face, call her, keep sending her messages even if she doesn't answer. Do you think you can do that?"
"I have no choice," I sighed. "To tell you the truth, if she doesn't say 'yes', I'll be completely broken. I love her so much," I admitted.
Colleen crossed the distance between us, put her hands on mine and with a strong resolved declared, "Anne, it won't come to this. I promise. I will work on her as well."
"Do you think it'll be enough?"
"We have to try. She's my best friend. It's killing me to see her like this. All I know is that we can't give up on her now. I hope we'll reach her."
"Let's hope so."
Colleen invited me for her son's birthday. I had completely forgotten about it and wasn't in the mood for it but she insisted so much that I couldn't let her down. Plus, I was little James' favorite aunt so I couldn't miss it. The party was already on when I arrived, with a dozen of kids running everywhere. Little James ran into my arms when he saw me. I was happy to make his day even better. I gave him his gift but Colleen told him to put it with the other presents before he could open it. Colleen hugged me tight and led me to the kitchen, a much quieter area of the house at the moment. We were chit chatting, having a good time when my phone rang. I didn't pick up and as Colleen saw the expression on my face change, she dove right in THE subject.
"How do you feel?"
"OK, I guess, considering the circumstances." I sighed. " She keeps calling me, texting me, every single day... She sends me the sweetest messages but I can't... I just can't..."
"Oh, Shan. You're making a mistake. I don't get it. Why do you want to end things with her?"
"Colleen, please... I don't want to talk about it," I begged her.
"Shanelle, it's true. I'm serious. She's perfect for you."
"Won't you tell me why you did this? I'm your best friend!" she insisted.
"Colleen, stop. I really can't talk about it," I said as I felt my anger welling up.
"It could make you feel better to empty your heart."
"Colleen, won't you fucking shut up!" I yelled and left the room.
She pushed my buttons and I didn't like that. I couldn't stand it anymore. I started to feel nauseous. I ran upstairs to the bathroom. I locked the door and took a deep breath. I didn't like it when I was like that, out of control. I looked at myself in the mirror and all the feelings I tried to keep at bay and all the memories I tried to forget resurfaced once again. The road, the car, the fight, the accident. My emotions overwhelmed me and I cried over the sink, watching my tears falling down the drain. Colleen heard my whimpers and banged on the door.
"Shan, open the door. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. Shanelle?" As, I opened the door, Colleen saw the state I was in and hugged me tight. "I'm so, so sorry, Shan. I'm sorry but I know you love her. What aren't you telling me? You need to talk. It's killing you."
"You don't... understand, Colleen..." the words were stuck in my throat, my heavy sobbing making it difficult to articulate. "I killed her... Colleen, I killed her," I confessed, crumbling down on my knees.
"What are you talking about?" she said, kneeling with me on the cold tiled floor.
"Nikki... She's dead... because of me... I killed her... I destroyed her... I destroy... everything... I don't want... to hurt her... She's... too good... for me..."
"Shanelle, Nikki is not dead because of you. The person responsible for it has been judged and condemned."
"No... you don't get it... It's me... We were fighting... We were fighting... over some stupid stuff... If I hadn't distracted her... she could have... done something... anything... she could have tried... to avoid the car..."
"Oh honey, you felt guilty all this time?" she hugged me tighter, finally realizing what was haunting me. "But her death has nothing to do with you. It has been established during the trial that the guy was driving way too fast. She couldn't have done anything. It's not your fault, Shanelle. You didn't kill her."
"Yes... Yes... if..."
"Shanelle, stop! I'm not gonna let you ruin your life based on a false assumption. You didn't kill her so stop blaming yourself!" She paused a few seconds. "Is that why you rejected Anne?" I didn't answer. She lifted my chin up and when she saw the look in my eyes, she sighed. "Shanelle... You need to snap out of it. Punishing yourself is one thing but in the process, you're hurting her."
"Nooo... That's the last thing... I wanna do... I stepped away to protect her... I don't wanna end up... hurting her... She's too precious for me," I retorted, still sobbing and sniffing.
Colleen sighed again, "Honey... You're full of good intentions but right now, the expected result is definitely not there. You're suffering. She's suffering. This is not OK. She loves you and you love her. I can tell that much but if you keep acting stupid, the both of you will never be happy."