You Can Always Say No Ch. 05


Faye and I clasped hands and exchanged air kisses.

"Are we ready?" Faye questioned, her eyes dancing.

"As ready as we can be," I responded, winking and smiling coyly.

Angie looked at me, then at Faye. She stared straight ahead, obviously pouting, arching her left hand, palm down, over the top of her head – indicating the path of our conversation. I slipped my arms around her shoulders and held her close to me.

"Relax, Sweetie," I expressed. "Don't take it that way. I couldn't give away the surprise until your mom was here to share it with us. This involves her, too. Now, what is the one thing you want more than any other?"

"You mean, other than world peace, universal happiness, Net Neutrality, and a Democrat in the White House?"

"Smart Ass!" I chided derisively. "Yes, other than those things."

She didn't hesitate a moment.

"To be happily married and devoted to you for the rest of my life."

Okayyyyyy, way to make my heart take a flying leap into my throat!

"S-sweetheart," I stammered, misty-eyed, "you managed to say the one thing that was guaranteed to leave me speechless – as you always do. That is just one of the countless reasons I love you to pieces and always will. This one time, I was actually looking for something a little more… selfish."

"I – well…."

She turned her head away from me to stare out the window into the twilight. Faye smiled, placed her index finger under Angie's chin, lifting her face until their eyes met.

"Tell her," she commanded. "I know you are thinking it. I see it in your eyes every night, just as Donna did. Admit it; if not to us, to yourself."

Faye pushed gently with her hand, pivoting Angie's face towards mine. She met my gaze for a moment, then looked down.

"I want… more," she murmured softly.

"Déjà vu," Faye purred, winking at me.

I placed my hands on her cheeks and lifted her face to look me in the eye once again.

"What do you mean, Baby?" I crooned. "What more do you want? You can tell me. Haven't we been able to tell each other anything?"

She was struggling with it. I could actually see the words in her eyes, trying to come out, yet she seemed incapable of putting voice to them. I knew why, too. It was as Faye had just alluded to; she was having trouble admitting it – to us and herself.

Epiphany. Inspiration. Perfect Moment. My entire life had been leading to this person, this place, this instant in time. My husband – smart, self-reliant, strong, proud, defiant – had joined me in a voyage of discovery, beginning that magic night before our wedding. In the course of that journey, we had fought, maneuvered, negotiated, reasoned, cried, ranted and loved. In the process, we had re-defined our perceptions and expectations of each other and ourselves. Little by little, Alan's tough, defiant façade had eroded, exposing the soft, compliant, accommodating soul within.

It was nothing I had robbed him of or ripped from him. We had sparred, as two wolves might vie for hegemony over the pack. In the course of that struggle, he had recognized me as the Alpha and he, the Omega. The overstated, yet ethereally-attractive result of that realization sat next to me now; expectant, hopeful, needy. Angie knew full well what she wanted; so did I. She didn't, couldn't voice her desires because she understood it was not her place to do so; it was mine, as leader of the pack.

Confessing she 'wanted more' was a flirtation, an opening gambit; she was lowering the last of her defenses and offering her throat, as I had once envisioned. It had been too soon then. I hadn't realized – Alan probably hadn't, either – such intense intimacy required a period of courtship, just as any good, lasting relationship did. That time of adjustment and accommodation was now over. I had only to step up and take her proffered flesh in my mouth. I couldn't believe this incredible timing; tonight of all nights. It was enough to make me believe in Synchronicity.

"It's difficult for you, isn't it Baby?" I cooed, gazing deeply, knowingly into her eyes. "You want so much, so very much, yet you are afraid to express the words. You feel so small, inadequate, to make such a request of me, but without it, you feel so incomplete, unfulfilled. It's all right, Sweetie. I know; I have always known.

"Let me be the one, Baby. Let me be strong for you, for both of us, as I have always been. I will say the words for you and as I do, I will purge you of your doubt, shame, and fear. You want… release, once and for all, from the burden of constraints and unreasonable expectations a cruel, uncaring society has heaped upon you since birth. You yearn to be free to express yourself, visually, physically and emotionally, in the manner that makes you feel good about you. That role they assigned you to, that person they demanded you become doesn't exist, never did, and never will. It clung to you awkwardly, draped clumsily over your essance like one more ill-fitting suit.

"Slough it off, Sweetheart. Shed that uncomfortable, unsightly skin and reveal the young, vibrant, alive soul it sought to suppress. This is the 'you' you were born to be. This is the skin the whole, wide world should see, and appreciate, and know in their heart of hearts; this is where you belong. I can see it in your eyes, Baby; can you see it in mine? I have known forever you and I were destined to be here, now, this way. I would not have missed this for the world because you are my world.

"The past is the past; we will neither dwell in it nor mourn its passing. We will move forward, you and I, and never look back. In so doing, you will leave behind that burden, becoming that which you covet most, for all to see. You have my blessing, my unequivocal support, and my undying love. I want this for you. I know you want it, too – don't you?"

She didn't say yes. She didn't say no. She sighed; deeply, emphatically, gently resting her head on my left shoulder and her left hand on my right. I put my arm around her possessively, smiling at Faye in triumph. She acknowledged my smile with her own, willing me with her eyes to understand how proud she was to take part in this moment. Angie gazed up at me, adoringly. I had never before in my life beheld such… unconditional love as I did at that moment. It felt great to be alive, in love, and in the company of such fabulous soul mates.

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