Out Of The Shadows Ch. 08byingarlm©
I finally got to the end! I'm submitting this only a few hours after chapter 7, so if you haven't read what happened to Rob while he was with the bad guys you might want to look for that first.
As always, thanks for the support I get through votes, comments, and mails, it makes it all worthwhile. I've finally written something for my biog tab, and I'll try and keep it updated with what and when there will be a new story, but I hope it won't be too long.
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I was going through the motions for weeks, trying to see past my lost love and failing dismally. I went back to work, and everyone looked at me with pity. It didn't help that I would start crying at the tiniest thing, just a stray thought or something I saw or heard that reminded me of Rob. Some people were great, but no-one understood and I was signed off again, given tablets and therapy and told repeatedly that I could get through this.
I still wasn't entirely sure I wanted to, but those thoughts did become less and less frequent. It was just too hard to contemplate the rest of my life without him, so I tried not to think beyond each day. I hated the night times most, because that was when I missed his body against me and his gentle words in my ear before we made love. I lost interest in sex, even with myself, because it was nothing compared to what I had known.
The police were still around for the first couple of weeks, but I suggested they leave me alone. I knew the Chief wasn't that keen, but I could see no reason to keep them from real work. I didn't really believe I was in danger, and if there still was someone after me, well, I could go to Rob free from guilt. I didn't tell him that thought but I had the feeling he knew.
My life seemed to be so full of secrets, not just what I couldn't tell those around me about the police operation, but my own ways of coping as well. I talked to Rob all the time, far more than was probably healthy, but just in case he could hear me somehow I wanted him to know how much I missed him and still loved him.
His note to me was framed by my bed so I could look at it all the time without damaging the paper. The number of times I read it over the first few days, particularly after his body was found, it had already started to curl and tear, and it was the one thing I couldn't lose. Just to make sure I never did, and to remind me who my heart belonged to, I had his signature tattooed on my chest. I kept that one very quiet after my therapist looked at me disapprovingly. To me it meant I would never forget him, to them it was a sign I would never move on, I was marking myself as his forever. I couldn't see how that was wrong.
I tried to keep some of my promise to him, not that I could manage very much of it. He wanted me to go dance, but I couldn't do that when I was so unhappy. I made it to the club though, right inside, and I spent every Friday night sat on the stool where he'd sat that first night, looking like the walking wounded and drinking myself into a stupor even though it was never enough to forget.
Once or twice men took a second look at me, but there was practically a neon sign above my head telling them I was emotionally screwed and they should leave me alone. Only the bartender usually spoke to me, and after one attempt to cheer me up he gave up as well, just serving me drink after drink until I staggered home when I could no longer cope with the sight of the couples around me, whether they were long-term lovers or just getting together for the night.
When I got home I would tell Rob how sorry I was I couldn't dance for him, and how much I wanted him to be there with me like he'd offered that one time. We should have been able to dance together, just once would have been wonderful, but I would have wanted more. I was always going to wish for more than we had had, more time, more sex, more of his love.
* * * * * *
Three months after my world had fallen apart it was yet another Friday night. I chatted to Rob as I got ready to go out, saying how I wanted him to be there with me so we could go and dance together, knowing that I was going to get drunk and come home alone missing him terribly, just like I did every other day. I cried less about that now, but always aware that my life felt empty without him.
I sat on what I thought of as his stool at the bar, wishing that I had more reminders of him than I did. It was still just that letter, none of his stuff had come to me and I hadn't liked to ask. We only had a few weeks, it wasn't like I was family. Hell, I didn't even really know anything about his family. Glancing around the room I saw the usual mix of people, a lot of by now familiar faces, but no matter how hard I looked, and I always did, the one I wanted to see wasn't there.
I sighed and let my eyes drift back to my drink, swilling it around the glass and taking a sip. I deliberately drank neat spirits now, finding the burn as the first few sips went down was strangely comforting, and knowing it would get me drunk far quicker than beer. It was just a good thing that so far only my Fridays were spent this way and I hadn't developed a taste for drinking every day.
Taking another sip from my glass I sensed someone behind me and stiffened, hoping he was just passing by and wasn't going to try and talk to me. There was still the occasional person who ignored my attitude and attempted to chat me up. Please let it not be that, I prayed, but he didn't move away. I ignored it as best I could, unwilling to turn or look up in case it encouraged him to start chatting.
"You're not dancing," he said, leaning in towards me so there was no doubt who he was talking to.
I froze. That voice, it sounded just like...no it wasn't, just chance. I shook my head, not giving him any more acknowledgement than that, silently pleading with him to go away, still not turning around. If I didn't see the face that went with the familiar voice I wouldn't have the crushing disappointment that it wasn't him.
"Alex, I came to dance with you."
I shook my head harder, refusing to speak. I was cracking up, definitely. All those tablets and all that therapy, and now my dead boyfriend was talking back to me. What if I did turn round? Would I see him as well, or was it just a voice in my head?
"Please look at me baby, I need to see you."
What the hell. I might as well know how crazy I was. I still turned as slowly as I could though, spinning the stool beneath me and not daring to raise my eyes even when a body appeared in my vision. There was someone there. Terrified of what I would see I looked upwards even slower, not sure if I did want to see his face, but it was there.
He didn't look like he normally did in my dreams or my imagination, but it was Rob. He was thinner, still built but not as much as he had been, and his face was drawn with dark circles under his eyes. Even they seemed dimmed but perhaps it was the semi-light in the club. His hair too, it was gone, or at least most of it, and there were short blond curls framing his face rather than the curtains I was used to.
Hesitantly I reached out a hand, letting my fingertips drift towards the vision, not sure if I was expecting to meet flesh or for them to pass right through him. He looked solid, but it was only when I did meet his chest I believed that part. I just sat, staring at my hand and then his face, unable to form any words. He looked so sad as well, and I just couldn't process the idea that any of this was real.
Nothing made sense, and as I kept looking at him, expecting him to disappear any moment, he smiled at me. That was such a reminder of his usual expression I couldn't help smiling back. I still couldn't move or speak though, it really couldn't be happening.
I was shaken out of my thoughts by another man coming up beside Rob, smiling harder than either of us were managing right then.
"Everything okay Rob?" he asked.
"It'll be fine any moment," Rob replied. "Oh shit."
I heard the words, not reacting, and I felt strong arms catching me as I slid off the stool, and then there was nothing but black.
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When I came to I was outside, the cold night air filling my lungs and the dull thump of music from the club telling me I wasn't far away. I was being held too, one arm around my back under my shoulders and the other under my knees, all my weight supported and my body being cradled against warmth and strength. I raised my head just as slowly as before, and then my hand, touching Rob's face with my fingertips.
"Am I dead?" I asked.
"No baby, you fainted."
"Okay. I'm just going crazy then," I told him, not really caring if it was the truth.
I snuggled my head against him, hearing his heart beat and smelling his scent, comforted by this even if it was all in my imagination. I heard a soft chuckle from him, and felt the vibrations of it through my body.
"You're remarkably calm for someone who thinks they've gone crazy."
"I don't care, if it means I can be with you again. I've missed you so much."
He hugged me tighter to him, and I could hear his voice cracking when he spoke again.
"I'm so sorry Alex. I wish you hadn't been put through all of that. I came back to you as soon as I could, I've missed you too."
"S'okay," I murmured, relaxing into his embrace, trying to get closer. This was good, so much better than any time I'd dreamed about him before, so much more real.
"Are you sure he's okay? He didn't hit his head or anything?"
That was from another voice, the other man from inside the club, and I lifted my head a little to check him out. Why I was hallucinating him as well as Rob I had no idea, but on the other hand perhaps it was my fantasy life reaching out to me. He was almost as gorgeous as Rob was, darker haired but still fit, tall and broad the way I liked my men.
"Alex, this is Cliff."
"Hi Cliff. Nice to meet you."
Green eyes looked at me with obvious concern until I couldn't take it any longer and shut my own eyes, cautiously opening them after a moment to see he was still staring at me.
"Are you okay Alex?" he asked softly.
I laughed then, pretty sure I wasn't but it was feeling good anyway. I wriggled a little in Rob's arms just to check he was still there.
"I'm great right now. It just won't be when I wake up."
I squeaked as my legs were suddenly dropped and I was swung around and pulled tight into a hard body. Rob stared right into my eyes as he wrapped his arms around me.
"What's it going to take to make you believe this isn't a dream?" he asked quietly.
He didn't seem to want an answer, he claimed my lips so I couldn't reply, and god it was good. He explored my lips and then slid his tongue into my mouth to tease mine, groaning as they met and tangled together. I didn't care if this was a dream, I was going to take every moment of it to treasure. My arms were clasped behind his neck, but I took one hand to entangle in his soft curls, moaning at the feel of him around and inside me.
He pulled back after a few moments and I tried to follow him, wanting more of those kisses even as I panted for breath. This was one of many things I had missed, and I needed him. He looked at me quizzically, and I realised he had asked me a question.
"They told me you died, they found your body in a burnt out warehouse. You can't be here, not after all this time."
"It wasn't me Alex. Cliff dragged me out of there barely alive -- he's a fireman -- I've been out of it for weeks, in a coma with smoke inhalation and head injuries, plus what Tony did to me before he set the fire. When I woke up they told me I couldn't contact you, they took the Chief off the case when he argued for us, they were going to send me away somewhere with a new name as soon as I left the hospital and expected me not to find you. They wouldn't even let me have a phone to call."
"But you've been allowed to come visit?" I asked, still disbelieving.
"No. I bust out with Cliff's help. I told him about you and he got me out of the hospital and drove me down. I thought you'd be at home but when you didn't answer your phone or the door I came here. Now they won't be able send me away without you knowing I'm alive."
Not all of his words filtered through to my brain, I was having a lot of trouble believing this was happening. It was so much like my dreams, where he came back. A few words made more of an impression than the rest.
"You're going to leave? You can't go, I can't live without you again. I can't say goodbye to you a second time, it broke my heart before."
"Then come with me."
That sounded so simple, and although I vaguely realised it wasn't just a case of packing a bag and heading out, it would be a new name, a new place and us looking over our shoulders for trouble for some time to come, I didn't care.
I was being swung around, my face showered with kisses, and finally it hit me. Rob wasn't dead, I was in his arms again, and the sheer emotion of it overwhelmed me. I started to cry, but for the first time in months they were happy tears. He stopped kissing me and stroked my face, wiping them away just like he had in the car during our horrible goodbye.
"It's okay Alex. I know this is a shock, but it shouldn't have been. They should have told you, let you come to visit me and maybe the sound of your voice would have woken me sooner. I never liked the rules, but using them to hurt you was the last straw and I ran to you just as soon as I could."
"You're going to get in trouble for this, aren't you?"
He smiled. "I don't care how much shit I'm in with my bosses Alex. I need you, I love you, and I couldn't live with the knowledge that you were hurting any longer. All I've ever wanted is for us to be together, even when I was being so damn stubborn and fighting my feelings with everything I had."
"I need you too. It's been so hard without you, thinking you weren't coming back."
"Do you want to go dance now?"
I thought about that for less than a second, and as much as I wanted to dance with him, right now I wanted other things a hell of a lot more. For the past few months I'd barely thought about sex, but there was almost nothing else on my mind now I had accepted he was really here. I leaned in to breathe into his ear, gently taking a handful of what was erect in his trousers from being close to me.
"I want this. I want you to fill me and fuck me with this."
I didn't know it was possible to moan in pleasure and laugh at the same time, but Rob managed it.
"What happened to the shy Alex I used to know?!"
"You happened," I replied, still holding and stroking him where it counted. "Being with you showed me how important it is to take the chances you get given in life, live for the moment. Now we have a lot more moments and right now I don't want to spend them talking, or dancing, I want to be reminding myself of the feel of every inch of your body. And I do mean every inch," I said, squeezing the inches I was most interested in.
"Christ Alex, I get the idea. Please let go until we get somewhere a little more private, and then I promise you can do whatever you want. But you need to know, we aren't ever going to fuck again. No matter how fast or intense it gets, we will always be making love."
A delightful shiver went through my body at his softly spoken words, a feeling he had always been able to spark in me but one I'd never expected to feel again. I needed his touches badly and I was just as hard as he was despite him barely touching me. My hand on his cock probably wasn't helping me cool down any though.
"Uh, Rob, I think that's well past my cue to leave. I'll see you back at the hotel. Gonna see if I can pick up someone even half as frisky as your Alex."
I heard Rob laugh at Cliff's comment.
"Take my advice Cliff, check out the guys who barely dare to go inside and see if you can bring one out of the shadows. It may be the best thing you ever do."
Cliff's laughter faded as he disappeared back inside, but the intensity in Rob's eyes hadn't dimmed.
"Take me home Rob," I begged.
"I'll take you to the hotel. We can't go to yours, the police will be looking for me there, and I really don't want to be interrupted. I need to remind myself of every inch of you as well," he told me with a grin.
* * * * * *
How I kept my hands off him for the trip I had no idea, although I did have contact, holding his hand so he couldn't disappear. He didn't seem to want to let go of me either, but he couldn't possibly understand what I had been through without him. He had at least known I was safe and well, even if he knew I had been lied to. I kept looking at him too, reassuring myself that he was here and okay.
He did look different, not bad, I could never think that because he was the most gorgeous man I had ever seen, but he needed to put back a little muscle, and his hair maybe. I kind of liked the curls, they were cute, and perhaps I could still run my fingers through it even at that length. I was itching to find out.
I could feel him trembling, or perhaps it was both of us, there was tension and anticipation thick in the air and we both needed to reconnect badly. Our time apart had been too long and filled with fear and pain, and our time together had been filled with the unsaid and the certainty it would end.
The hotel was close, but it still seemed a long way when all I wanted to do was get naked with Rob and do some of the things racing around my head, and from the looks he was giving me he was having some similar thoughts. We rushed to the room he had booked, no time to lose, but when we were behind the closed door there was no movement towards each other. Rob just stood and stared at me for a moment.
"I didn't think I'd ever see you again."
"I thought you were dead."
"I very nearly was. Tony didn't want me to survive that fire."
"You should never have done it, handed yourself over like that. I didn't want you to."
"I know that, but I didn't have a choice. I love you, I couldn't let you get hurt for something I had done. Tony would have killed you and still come after me."
"I guess, but driving off and leaving you with them was the hardest thing I have ever done."
"You did what you had to, we both did. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that you were okay."
"It's not been okay though, it's been dreadful. I've missed you every moment. They kept telling me I would get through it, even your note tried to say that, but I couldn't see it and sometimes I didn't want to either."
There was a long silence after those confessions, and I guessed both of us were thinking about what had happened to us. We would need to talk, get those feelings out and work through them, but now, it was definitely not the time for sadness. I gave him a sexy smile, walking towards him.
"I think we should forget about all of that for a little while. Maybe tomorrow, or the next day, or even next year, we can talk it all through, but right now is not the time. I wasn't kidding earlier, I really need to feel you inside me again."
"That can be arranged, very easily" he replied, in a low growl.
"Good. We need to get rid of these clothes though."
I wanted to strip him, but I couldn't take it slowly. I practically ripped off his t-shirt and barely waited for the zip to undo before I pulled his jeans down. He was definitely thinner than he had been, and there were some strange marks on him that I didn't want to think about right now, but he was still amazing and the sight still made me want him badly. His boxers were under strain with his hard cock and I wanted that badly too.
Sinking down I took his boxers with me as I went to my knees. I already had my tongue on his cock before he had chance to step out of them, and I heard his moan but only vaguely, I was too lost in my own desire. The taste of him, the feel of him in my mouth, it was all so good and the memories I had were nowhere near the real thing.