tagRomanceThe Perfect Pieces Ch. 07

The Perfect Pieces Ch. 07


Author's note: Chapter 7 of 13. Thank you Tim413413 for selfless editing.

The Perfect Pieces - Chapter 07

"I'm not a good person," I admitted, "I have...there are things I have done that I can't undo. Things I am not proud of. I hide here," my hand gesturing around the house, "more in shame than anything else." Amber was staring at me in shock. It was the beginning of fear. Everyone should fear me. "Bottom line: I know how to handle the likes of Pablo Castillo. For you, I'll bury him." I could tell I had lost her. It was probably for the best to do it now. I didn't deserve her anyway.

"Who are you?" Amber asked.

"Today, an artist," I tried to laugh, but it came out all slanted and wrong, "yesterday, a metal salesman, a lifetime ago..." I took another breath, "I was in a military unit that specialized in out-of-country drug interdiction." I could see she was having trouble putting it together, "I killed people who the government couldn't get too legally." It was the first time I had said it out loud. It was strangely refreshing. It was completely illegal to say it. I had signed papers that guaranteed my silence under the penalty of many years behind bars. Amber stared at me for a moment before speaking.

"Amber is my middle name," she said slowly, like she was getting used to speaking. "I never lied to you. I just didn't tell you everything." I smiled at that. For some reason, I found it important.

"Will you stay?" I pleaded again.

"I want to," Amber replied. I nodded, trying not to move too quickly.

"Should I call you Samantha?" I asked. Her smile returned. It looked a bit funny mixed with the tears.

"I like Amber," she replied, "it allows me to forget things Samantha did." That I could understand. Skeletons that needed to stay in the closet. I stood up and held out my hand. Amber took it and rose.

"I left some bags in the car, would you like to help, Amber?" I asked, my smile belying the conversation we just had.

"I would love to, Mark," Amber replied. Her other hand quickly wiped the tears off her cheeks. I led her out to the car.

I opened the back door and handed Amber one of the bags. She took it as I went back in for the other two. I really didn't need any help, but thought it was a good idea that we did something menial together to try to reset. Amber sensed it herself.

"Are we okay?" Amber asked.

"I hope so," I said, "I really couldn't handle you despising me." My mouth said it before my brain could rephrase it. It should have been more subtle and never included the word despise. Amber stopped and looked at me. I watched her eyes go from surprise to confusion to pity to passion in the blink of an eye. She dropped her bag on the ground and pinned me against the car with my arms tied up with bags. Her lips didn't despise me at all. Neither did her tongue. It took me a few seconds before I dropped my bags and healed with her.

I was trying not to love her. She was making it so hard. I wasn't right for a mother and child. I was a much better hermit. I was losing myself in her again. Her lips matched so perfectly with mine, sending sensations through me that didn't belong. I knew it couldn't last so I tried to end it before I said something stupid.

"We should get these inside," I said, trying to make it sound unforced. Amber's hand ran along the side of my face, her eyes drilling into my heart.

"Let it go," she said, "I don't care about your past." Her eyes told me she wasn't lying.

"I... I'm not good for you," I said, meaning the future. Her smile nearly assassinated the sun.

"I'm not good for you," she used my own words against me. It was unforgivable. I forgave her instantly. My mouth took over. Always the trailblazer.

"I'm falling in love," my mouth warned. Her lips stole my breath away. She turned my warning into an admission. She stopped kissing me suddenly and took a step away. Her smile still stealing the sun's thunder.

"I stopped falling last night," Amber stated as she picked up her bag, "let me know when you catch up." She turned and hurried inside, her cute butt leaving a wonderful image. I stood there like an idiot for a few seconds, wondering when I lost control of the situation. She just told me she loved me without saying it directly. I tried to pull the corners of my mouth down, but they weren't cooperating. I couldn't think straight. I shook my head to try to return to the present. I picked up the two bags and headed inside.

"Ribbed for my pleasure," Amber said, reading the box of condoms. I must have blushed fifty shades of red. "Did you get these for me?" she asked with a hint of southern belle. I wanted to take her right there on the kitchen counter.

"Figured you might like to know I was thinking about you," I answered, trying to get my blood back to my heart and out of my face.

"And wine," Amber's face went to humor, "planning on getting me drunk and then pleasuring me with your ribbing?"

"That was the plan," I said as I set the other two bags on the counter. It actually was. I figured wine then love. I seemed plausible when I was at the store, now a little presumptuous.

"And you thought you would seal the deal with a frozen pizza?" Amber said, pulling out the pepperoni pizza.

"No, " I joked, "I figured the cheese and crackers would break you down and the fresh veggies would make me look sincere. It's a devious plan, and I spent a lot of time developing it." Amber smiled, loving the banter as much as I did. Her face went serious.

"Long term," she said, "how do you see us?" Her question was brutal. I saw the necessity in it. She had a daughter and children came first. I knew now that my answer didn't have any ramifications on me donning a ribbed condom. We would be making love tonight. I figured it was truth time. Anything else would be insulating.

"Lizzy will need strong role models," I answered as best as I could, "I'll let you go for her sake." There, I gave Amber the out she needed. I couldn't figure out her expression. I expected relief and got something unrecognizable.

"You've thought of Lizzy?" she asked.

"You're a mother," I responded, "of course." Her expression continued to befuddle me. "I'm not exactly father material."

"You don't like children?"

"No," I floundered, "I mean, sure I like kids. It's just that they need guidance." Her expression had me completely confused, "I would be the worst father figure in the world." The words shocked me, my mouth's rambling was hurting me again. "Not that I would be the father, it's just that I thought you would want someone... I don't know...someone who knew what he was doing." Fuck I was screwing it all up. "Not that you need a man." I was making it worse. "I don't want to be the cause of Lizzy needing therapy." Fuck me. Amber started laughing. I was lost.

"So you think a Pablo would do a better job?" Amber asked. Her smile was eating into me. I felt like a fool. If I didn't love her, I would have resented it.

"No, if you put it that way," I responded, "I just figured you would want something more...suburban."

"What do you want?" Amber asked, her smile not retreating.

"You and Lizzy right here," I said. I answered quickly and with certainty. It was only a dream and not one that seemed feasible. I didn't even know where the schools were.

"So, you'll let me go for Lizzy's sake." Amber continued. I thought I had made that clear.


"And what makes you think you wouldn't be a good parent?" Amber asked. I thought it was obvious.

"I've done things no child should know about," I stated. What's been done can't be undone.

"Who hasn't?" Amber returned.

"I'm confused," I said, and I was, "I thought you were hiding here. I am just your oasis." Amber looked at me in a very intense way.

"Is that what you think?" she asked. I was completely out of my league. I didn't understand women at all and mothers were even farther out there. I folded into myself, trying to devise an answer that made sense. I gave up and told her what I knew.

"I love you," I replied, "I'm just not worthy of you." That was as close as I could get. There was no way to explain the obvious to someone who didn't understand. Amber was silent as she looked at me. I saw her eyes travel between my eyes. She held up her hand, palm facing at me between our faces. Her head dropped down, her eyes examining the floor. She was processing the knowledge. I was confident she would understand.

"Can we start again?" Amber asked. I looked at her, my confusion growing again.

"Sure," I replied.

"My name is Samantha Amber Donaldson," she stated slowly, "I am in love with Mark Winslow and I don't give a shit about his past." It took a moment for it to register. "Lizzy would be better off for knowing him." She might as well have hit me over the head with a sledge hammer. My mouth opened, but nothing came out. "Does that scare you?" Amber added.

"Your faith scares me," I admitted. I didn't want to screw up a kid.

"Pablo doesn't scare you?" Amber asked.

"No," I answered with confidence. Pablo was just another megalomaniac who didn't know when his time was up.

"Does any of my past scare you?"

"No," I replied, adding a smile. Strangely, I understood her better because of it. There was a weird tie between her past and mine. "I don't give a shit about it either." Amber held out her hand over the counter. I took it in mine.

"I find you most worthy," Amber said with a sweetness that slipped easily past my doubts. She obviously had a few screws loose. Who else would want me as is? I pulled her hand to my lips and kissed the back of it.

"You're insane," I said, with a large smile, "I guess that meshes well with me."

"A couple of crazies," Amber agreed.

"Do lunatics like pizza?" I asked, trying to put end to my self-doubt.

"Only if it's frozen crap," Amber responded with the smile I loved so much. I set the oven to preheat.

The pizza tasted like cardboard with an almost flavorless meat overtone. It was one of the better meals I had ever eaten. Amber was there and I knew she meant to stay. The joy in my mind overrode my taste buds. The future looked insanely bright as we sat on the couch and happily ate the rounded sheet of blah.

"Pablo is Lizzy's father," Amber said out of the blue. I could hear how difficult it was for her to tell me that. I also knew she wanted me to know everything. Love was a risk and we needed everything out on the table.

"I know," I said, pulling out my phone. I brought up the email that Frank sent me and handed it to her. I figured it would save time and embarrassment if she knew what I knew. She took my phone and read for a few seconds.

"Where did you get this?" she asked, flicking her finger across the screen to see the next page.

"Friends," I answered, "they are going to help us." The word 'us' sounded so right. I saw the corners of Amber's lip rise. She heard it too."That's just the preliminary information. There will be more latter."

"I'm not innocent in this," Amber said,"I enjoyed the money and let it go on."

"What changed?" I asked.

"The news," Amber said, handing me my phone, "I was watching it about a four months ago and they did a story on two high school kids who overdosed and died. I kept imagining it was Lizzy." Amber chuckled to herself. "Pablo went postal when I told him I wanted him to get out of drugs. Hell, we already had more money than we could spend in a lifetime. He wasn't in the career changing mood."

"So you ran?" I added. Amber shook her head.

"I brought the subject up a few more times. He tired of it and hit me," Amber didn't seem like it was the physical pain that bothered her. It bothered me. "I was furious and did something really stupid. Then I ran."

"You? Angry?" I said with an incredulous expression. She saw right through my facetious facade. She smacked my shoulder playfully. I pulled her legs into my lap and began removing her shoes. She smiled and moved her back toward the arm of the couch to get more comfortable. I added her socks to the shoes on the floor and began massaging her feet.

"A girl can get used to that." Amber cooed.

"Can't let you get angry," I quipped. I loved it when I could make her laugh. It was so soft, but could blanket the world. "Are you going to tell me what was really stupid?"

"I hijacked a shipment," she said, her eyes closing as my fingers did their work. She sighed, "He never gave me any credit for having a mind. He discussed things in the house that he assumed I wouldn't understand, or maybe he thought I was uninterested. Whatever," Amber waved her hand as if it shoved that part of her life away, "I knew when a transfer was to take place, a mule- to-mule transfer." I nodded as her eyes sought my understanding, "I showed up early and pretended to be the mule. Just like that, I had a suitcase with a million dollars worth of heroin." Amber chuckled again, "Bet he doesn't think I'm so dense anymore."

I let her words sit for a while. I needed to think. I lifted her cute little foot to my lips and gave it a kiss. She curled her toes and smiled at me. Her other foot found my crotch and started searching. I lowered her foot and caught the other one and pulled it away from between my legs. She gave me a pouty expression.

"Thinking," I said, continuing with the massage, "I can't do that if you get me all excited." She smiled knowingly and let me go on with her feet. Pablo, if he was like the rest of them, wouldn't take betrayal well. Anything that screwed with the business was a killing offense. Then again, he would want his drugs back. I wasn't really in the business of giving drug dealers their drugs back. "Where is the suitcase now?"

"YMCA locker," Amber replied, "I almost threw it in the river, but decided at the last moment that it would be better if I didn't burn all my bridges." She saw it as a bargaining chip as well. "I don't want to give it back to him, but I don't want to die either."

"I doubt Pablo plans on letting you live," I said, my mouth moving ahead of my brain again. I felt her legs stiffen. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been so blunt. It's not just the drugs. It was the fact that you knew enough to short circuit the delivery. That means you know more than he thought you did. Right now he is panicking, thinking the feds will find you first."

"He won't let Lizzy and me go then?" Amber asked. I could tell she wanted the truth. I gave hope instead.

"Not without some incentive," I said, with a devious smiled. I just had to convince him it was in his best interest. I continued to rub her feet as my brain worked. I had set up a few situations to group the right people in the right place, but had never set up negotiations. By the time my team was called in, negotiations were over. I could just take out Pablo, but then an unknown underling would most likely take over with the same agenda and no blood ties to Lizzy. I didn't want to start a war. We would all end up dead or in jail.

"Maybe I should just stay hidden," Amber said.

"Can't do that forever," I said, "Tom, at Hamond's, recognized you."

"What? I've never seen him before in my life," Amber insisted.

"You made some TV show called 'Missing,' " I said, moving my hands from her feet to her ankles, "you're a celebrity now." I loved how soft her calves were. I loved that she let me fondle them. I loved how her eyes looked when I did.

"Now I can't think," Amber said as a small shiver ran up her leg. I pulled my hands back to her feet. "Did they mention Lizzy?" I nodded and Amber frowned. "So now everyone knows whose child she is." I could see the sadness in her eyes.

"Fame is fleeting," I offered, "in time, everyone forgets and moves on to the next hot story."

"I should have just left," Amber said, "I let my ego screw it up, and now Lizzy will suffer." She looked at me, "And now I'm endangering you."

"I am endangering myself, " I said, with a smile I hoped she found reassuring, "we are a we now. I have intentions of keeping it that way." Amber struggled to sit up, pulling her legs back to the floor. She kissed me as she pushed me on my back. Thinking about anything but her was an impossibility now. Lying on the couch, our lips actively expressing our love. She tasted a hell of a lot better than the frozen pizza.

"Let's see if those ribs work," Amber said with humor in her eyes. Sex with her had an element of fun. It was so different than what I was used to. So much trust that experimentation was simply playing. I helped her up and quickly followed. She ran to the kitchen counter, grabbing the condom box and laughed her way into the bedroom. I followed, my desire was way ahead of me.

I didn't see Amber when I first entered the room. She was hiding behind the door. She jumped me, laughing at the surprise. She had the heart of a child, and I fed on it. I let her legs wrap around my hips, her lips locking on mine as I walked as best I could, carrying her to our bed. She was mine now. It was insane to think it would work, but maybe two crazies could make one perfect relationship. I was intent on finding out. I half dropped, half placed her on the bed, laughing as she bounced. She was busy trying to tear the cellophane off the box of condoms.

"My God, you look good," I said slowly as I lifted my shirt off. She stopped fiddling with the box and looked up at me. Her eyes were alive and so intent on mine.

"I'm not even naked yet," Amber joked, her smile absorbing my compliment and giving back the humor I enjoyed so much.

"In my mind, you haven't worn a stitch of clothing all day," I bantered back, as I dropped my pants. My cock was straining at the thought of what was about to happen. It was happier than I was. Amber looked between my legs and almost growled as she bit into the plastic wrapper and finally tore part of the cellophane.

"I love that you're so ready," Amber cooed as she hastily ripped open the box. Individually wrapped condoms spilled everywhere as the box opened wider than she had expected. Her laughter bounced off the walls as I grabbed her shorts and tried to scoot them down her legs. She lifted her hips and, at the same time, started struggling to pull her t-shirt up. Somehow, I relieved her from her shorts; her panties left with less argument. I loved how her hips squirmed to allow me to easily remove her panties. I wasn't the only one excited. Her sex was glistening. Her smile told me she knew where my eyes had gone.

Amber sat up and turned around. "Bra," she ordered. I began to undo the clasp in the back as she tore open one of the condom packets with her teeth. She pulled out the condom and threw the wrapper on the nightstand. I pushed the bra straps over her shoulders and climbed on the bed. She was intently examining the condom, I assumed checking the ribbing.

"Does it meet with your approval?" I said playfully.

"We'll see." She laughed. She pushed me on my back. Without ceremony, she grabbed my erection and began to unroll the condom down my shaft. She studied the condom as it unfurled, running her finger down the ribs. I think ribbed condoms were as new to her as they were to me. I reached out and played with her breast as she played with me.

Amber tore her attention from my cock and straddled me, leaning down so our lips could dance together again. She rose slightly, her hand wrapping around my member, as she guided me into her with small starts and stops. I could tell she was enamored with testing the sensation the condom offered. Finally, she lowered herself fully, and I gasped from the warmth of it. She leaned down again.

"It's wonderful, isn't it?" Amber whispered.

"Yes," I agreed. She shifted her hips back and forth. I could feel myself shifting inside her as she began to grind into me. "We fit well together," I added. Her smile matched mine. She rose her hips and slowly lowered herself back down. I could feel little tremors run through her as she repeated the process. I was in heaven as she engulfed me once again. I loved the look on her face as she tried to decide if the ribbing was more or less pleasurable. For a moment, I was no more than a toy. Suddenly she stopped and brought her eyes directly in front of mine.

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