The Builder Ch. 02byCathleen©
"Damn it to hell!" she shouted as she burst in the door. Julie was so angry she didn't care she just broke the door with her slam.
Julie tried to get the door closed and made it worse. Now the damn thing wouldn't close at all and he was going to have to fix it she thought. Its all his fault anyway, if he hadn't said that then she wouldn't have been so mad and wouldn't have stormed away which made her slam the door! Damn men! Who needs them any way? They just cause trouble and heartache.
Julie was in love with Nick, her builder, although she had not said those words to him and or even to herself. They met when she hired him to build her house on the Cape Cod Canal. It was a beautiful house and worth all the effort and even he was worth the effort she knew, but right now she just wanted to scream at him. Kind of like old times she thought, but they were builder and client then, now they were lovers and this wasn't a fight about lighting fixtures or cabinetry. This was a fight about them, about her. And she was ripping mad at him. It was their first fight as a couple and she didn't like it, not one bit. She didn't care if she saw that man again, never would be too soon.
She heard his car pull into the driveway and got even madder. How dare he come here, how dare he. 'This is my house not his, mine!' she was muttering to herself now. 'The pain in the ass, now what does he want to fight about.' She stood in the hallway and watched him come to the door, the broken door. Nick noticed the hinge and the crack in the frame and smirked, which irritated her more.
"What?" She growled at him. "It's your fault you know. I wouldn't have broken it if you hadn't made me so damn angry!"
"How is it my fault you broke the door?" He was almost egging her on he knew. He knew her so well; probably better than she knew herself sometimes. And he knew he was right about what he said too. She just didn't want it to be true or him to be right.
"Oh, shut up and just fix it. Then you can go home, to your home. I've had enough of you." Julie turned to head for the kitchen she wanted a drink.
"I'm not going anywhere until we talk this over Julie. Its important and you know it." Nick was frustrated but he wasn't going to let her not deal with this, it meant so much to him, she meant so much to him.
"I told you I was done. No more, finished. I have nothing more to say and you already said too much." She turned on her heel, trying to gather her pride back and went to the kitchen.
Nick knew he had pushed her but damn it she needed pushing, she just didn't know it. He worked on the door and he heard her in the kitchen banging things and slamming cabinets. He had seen her angry before but not this angry and never at him. He wondered how much to push and if now was the time, damn she was stubborn; she certainly got under his skin in so many ways. He heard the sound of glass breaking and she cursed which meant she'd hurt herself; he quickly went to her and found her bleeding.
"Julie, don't move you'll cut yourself again. Here, let me help you, take my hands." Nick's arms were outstretched to Julie so he could get her away from the broken glasses.
"No, I can do it." Julie moved a step and felt another shard in her foot and then reached for him to help her. She hated needing help. Which was the crux of the fight tonight.
He carried her to the bathroom and got the first aid kit out. He wanted to clean out the cuts and bandage them for her, but stubborn Julie wouldn't let him. Damn she was infuriating him now. So he left her there to do it alone and mumbling under his breath went to the kitchen to clean up the glass.
He heard her come back and neither said a word to the other. She wanted to thank him but couldn't get the words out. He wanted to make sure she was ok but was tired of her yelling at him so he remained silent. When they both bent to pick up a piece of glass they bumped heads, she moaned, he smiled and rubbed her head gently.
"You okay?" He said very quietly.
"Yea, I'm okay, thanks. Are you okay?" He heard softness in her voice that he hadn't heard in the last few hours. She took his hand from her head and held it in hers. "Nick, I'm sorry. I don't want to fight. I just wish you..." Nick cut her off.
"Sweetheart, we have to talk about this. I don't want to fight either, but we have to figure it out. I want to figure it out with you." He brought her hand to his mouth and kissed it.
"But you're wrong Nick, I'm not pushing you out, I'm not!" Her voice was rising again and he knew she wasn't going to listen if she got upset.
"Let's have some tea and sit outside on the porch. Its such a nice night, we can relax and star gaze together." The romantic in him was his magic charm to her. "Go and change and I'll met you outside with the tea sweetheart."
Julie melted with his words and slowly hobbled off to her bedroom to change out of the dress she'd worn to dinner. It had been a nice dinner until... no she wasn't going to think of that now, she just wanted to relax and be quiet with him. She knew deep down he was right, she was pushing him away or maybe she was running away. She didn't want to run from him, she wanted to run to him. She loved him and wanted to be with him. Julie was scared; she'd never felt so much for someone. Never did she want to need someone, it wasn't her style, but since she'd met Nick, nothing had been the same in her life. Everything was new and wonderful with him.
Julie was lost in her thoughts and didn't hear him come into the bedroom. She had just put on her nightgown when he came up behind her and embraced her tightly.
"You look lovely sweetheart." He whispered lightly into her ear and Julie pressed back into him and put her head in the crook of his neck with a purr.
"Oh, honey, I don't want to fight anymore. I just don't know how to do this, I don't want to need you." Julie was starting to cry. Nick turned her to face him and brushed the tears from her eyes.
"I know you don't Julie, I know it's hard for you but I need you. I want to need you." He pulled her in tight and felt the tears fall onto his chest.
"Its okay, sweetie, let it out. Cry if you want but I'm happy. I don't want to upset you but I'm so happy you're crying." He was holding in his laughter but only slightly.
"Gee thanks Nick, laughing at me now." She was smiling as she said it, she knew he was right and this was his way of letting her off the hook.
"Julie, I love..." She cut him off, with a kiss. No ordinary kiss either it was lustful and wanting, long and passionate. He had not spoken those words to her either and she didn't want to hear them, not yet, it would only complicate the matter more.
"Well that was some kiss sweetheart. How about I laugh some more?" Nick was teasing her; he wanted to lighten the mood more. "Come on, let's go have that tea on the deck."
The couple made their way outside and sat on one of the lounge chairs together, she sat in between his legs and he wrapped himself around her. They enjoyed the stars and the quiet of the night. Julie was so calm he thought he could broach the subject again, to get at the root of the problem.
"Honey, what is it that makes it so hard for you to want to need me?" His sincerity was so real she couldn't refuse to answer him.
"Nick, I don't know the whole reason, but maybe because I was raised to be very independent. My mother wanted her daughters to be able to do anything and everything for themselves. She made sure we knew how to take care of ourselves in everyway. Maybe that wasn't the right thing but it was how she raised us." There was just a bit more tension in Julie's voice.
"You are very independent Jules, the most capable woman I've ever know. But that doesn't mean you don't need someone. I want you to need me, I want to be there for you in everyway." His voice in return was quiet and steady hoping to keep her from getting upset again.
"I know I'm capable Nick, I do. But to need someone is entirely different and so hard for me to accept. I don't want to need someone, I want to want someone. I don't know how to explain it Nick and I don't want to talk about it either. Can we drop it?" Julie was feeling exasperated.
"Jules, if we don't talk about it how can we deal with it? This is important. There is a wall there and you keep me out. Do you know how much I want you to let me in? I feel shut out of your heart." Nick wasn't trying to fight, he just wanted to understand her and for her to understand how much he wanted to be in her life.
"Nick, I can't help your feelings, I let you in, I do. You are a big part of my life. What more can I offer you?" Julie had moved and was sitting on the edge of the lounge chair now.
"Jules don't you see, I am a part of your life, just a part. You are in every part of my life; you are my life. But you keep me out; you stay just out of reach – in here, in your heart. There is a place you don't let me know or see Julie. I want to see it, I want to know all of you." He was trying so hard to get through to her.
"Nick would you stop saying that please! You are in every part of my life. Why can't you see that? Why do you keep talking about this? What more can I do? Just because I can do things for myself doesn't mean I don't want you. I just don't know what to say so you will understand." Julie was really agitated now. "I can't take this any more tonight Nick. I just can't. I'm tired and I want to go to bed. So how about we see each other tomorrow? I have to go to my sisters in the morning but maybe we can have dinner tomorrow night if you are free." She rose to leave and then leaned over Nick and gave him a quick kiss.
"That's it? You're just leaving it like this? Julie, I think..." That was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back for Julie.
"Please Nick, just go, I am trying to be nice, but please just go. I can't take this anymore tonight. I will call you on my way home tomorrow. If you are free do you want to have dinner?" She really couldn't care less at this point but didn't want to cause another fight.
"Fine, yea, why don't you call me. Try me on my cell, I may just take off for the day." Now he was angry and hurt. He tried but he wasn't going to put up with her stubbornness any more tonight. "Good night Julie, maybe we will talk tomorrow." With that he gave her a little kiss on the cheek and headed for the door, the door he had fixed for her. He left without looking back. She felt him leave more than she saw him leave.
Julie crawled into bed, exhausted, physically as well as mentally. She was tired of thinking, she spent a lifetime thinking and examining, so whatever it was that Nick wanted from her she just didn't have. Even though she knew deep down he was right, it was just something she couldn't do, not anymore, she had been hurt too many times perhaps but there was a part of her that was closed off and she thought for good reason. Julie tossed and turned for what seemed like hours before finally falling off to a sleep that was hardly restful.