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Sealed With a Kiss
"Oh Babygirl, can you possibly be any cuter?" I exclaimed, clapping my hands excitedly.
"Keidrie!" Kaylie raised both of her arms in triumph, squealed and then lowered her arms and plopped down on the floor. She picked up her plastic bowl and held it out to me. "Nana?"
"That's for you, Babygirl." I winked at her and watched as she got very happy about that fact, stuffing her face with another slice of banana. I laughed. "You love your banana?"
"Banana!" she screeched before flinging her arms back out, sending a wave of banana slices through the air. Before I could do anything, they landed on top of my mother who was laying on the couch watching TV. One even ended up on top of her head.
My mother raised an eyebrow, slowly picked up the banana slice on top of her head and then turned to look at Kaylie. She held it up for Kaylie to see, her eyebrow still raised.
"Oooooop." Kaylie giggled. She fumbled as she pushed herself back up off the ground and took a couple of wobbly steps toward my mom. She held out her hand, opening and closing it over and over again. "Nana?"
At that point, it was obvious my mom couldn't keep from grinning any longer as she handed the slice over to her. "There you go, Banana Pie."
Kaylie squealed once again as she took the banana slice and promptly ate it like it was the last thing to eat on earth. "Banana!" She wobbled a couple steps more to place her little hands on my mom's stomach and pick up each remaining slice, eating them one by one.
"I think it's safe to say she loves bananas," I remarked with a grin.
"You think?" My mom grinned at me and then continued to watch Kaylie, running a hand through her curly head of hair over and over again.
It was comforting to see her enjoying time with Kaylie. It made me grateful for just how far she had come over the past few weeks. I didn't worry about Kaylie anymore when I was gone; I knew she was in good hands. Hell, some days even I felt like I was in good hands. That alone said a lot and it made this feeling of joy soar within my chest.
I was jolted out of happily watching the two of them when the doorbell rang. I glanced at my mom with a curious expression. "Are you expecting anyone?"
My mom shook her head. "Not on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You?"
I shook my head as well. Now my curiosity was truly piqued. "Not me." Pulling myself up from my spot on the carpet, I hurried over to the door. I quickly opened it and felt my breath catch in my throat. "Hi," I breathed.
"Hi." Bree smiled shyly at me. Her hands were behind her back and I was fairly certain she was probably fiddling with them nervously. It reminded me of when we had said goodbye to each other the night before. In a lot of ways, it didn't feel right to have sex and then just pick up and go, but we both knew her family would be back at any moment. Bree had escorted me out of the house and when we kissed goodbye, her hands were behind her back and an incredibly shy expression was on her face when our lips parted. The Bree staring back at me was a Bree I was not used to seeing. Nonetheless, she was still incredibly beautiful and could easily take my breath away.
I took in a shaky breath. "I didn't think I'd see you until tomorrow."
"Well, that was the plan. But I realized after about an hour or two that it was a horrible plan and I should come see you." The twinkle that I'd come to know and love sparkled in Bree's eyes despite the fact that I could tell she was still feeling incredibly nervous and self-conscious.
I must admit, I didn't know how to act myself. I don't think one ever really knows how to act after having sex for the first time. We'd just seen each other's naked bodies and were intimate in a way that very few get to experience - in Bree's case, no one besides me. That alone was unnerving and overwhelming all at the same time.
I became acutely aware that my mother and Kaylie were in the room behind me and I suddenly wondered if my mother would be able to tell the difference - would she know we'd had sex? Did I look different? Would there be a kind of glow on our faces? Would it be obvious? I wasn't comfortable with my mom knowing and the thought made me instinctively bite my lip and begin to blush.
As if she had a sixth sense, my mother was suddenly behind my shoulder looking at who was at the door. I felt the blush grow wider as my whole body tensed up.
"Oh, hi. Bree, right?"
Bree's eyes widened a little bit at the sight of my mother and she stood up a little straighter. "Yes, Mrs. Lachen, that's right. It's nice to see you again."
My mom smiled casually. "Where's my daughter's manners? Invite the girl in." She nudged my shoulder with her own and turned to head back into the living room. She called over her shoulder. "Bree, do you want anything to drink?"
I blinked a few times, unsure of how the two of them could be having such a normal interaction. It took a moment before I realized I still hadn't stepped aside to let Bree in. "Oh my God, I'm so sorry. Come in. I'm being stupid." I stepped aside quickly and held the door open for her.
"Nah, you're just a fruitcake." Bree winked and quickly gave my hand a squeeze as she walked past.
"Bree, come in and have a chat!" my mom called from the couch.
As I closed the front door, I was relieved to see that she wasn't lying down and instead was sitting at one end, patting the seat next to her for Bree to come and sit down. I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about that idea but I remembered how my mother had asked to get to know her… and so with hesitation, I took Bree's hand and led her into the living room.
With more courage than I would have been able to muster if it were me, Bree boldly sat down in the middle seat on the couch between myself and my mom. When she sat down, her eyes landed on my sister and a warm smile spread across her face. "Hi Kaylie!"
"Choo choo!" Kaylie gave Bree a loopy smile as she held up her toy train for her to see.
"Oh, I love trains!" Bree exclaimed.
"Choo choo!" Kaylie nodded her head enthusiastically and hit the train against her toy sports car. "Booooooooffffss!"
I couldn't help but grin, glancing at Bree. "That's her way of saying 'boom.'"
"I'm pretty sure that's the way everyone should say it." Bree grinned while watching Kaylie play with her toys. "She's adorable."
"Thank you," my mother replied. One glance at her revealed that she was leaning back against the couch and watching us curiously. I couldn't tell if this was going to be a good thing or a bad thing.
Bree turned her attention to my mom and smiled gracefully. "You have a beautiful daughter. Actually, they both are beautiful." She turned her smile to me for a quick moment before returning to my mom. "And it is truly wonderful to see you again, Mrs. Lachen."
God, she's so smooth, I thought, unable to contain a small smirk.
"Thank you, Bree. It's nice to see you again too. Especially now that I know you and my daughter are dating. I didn't realize before, you see," my mother replied matter-of-factly. "But now that I do, I told Kendra, I need to know your… girlfriend!"
Bree's smile faltered a little at the hesitation in my mom saying the word 'girlfriend.' I could tell that she wasn't quite sure what to make of her either. "What would you like to know, Mrs. Lachen?"
My mom leaned over to pick up her glass of water and take a drink before responding. "Well… what do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies? Do you play sports?"
"No, ma'am, I don't play sports. I'm actually a musician. I play the guitar, sing and write my own songs."
"Kendra did not get blessed with the gift of singing, so I'm sure that's refreshing for her." She smirked at me.
I smiled hesitantly. "Well, that is true. I've always said that my foghorn is purely reserved for the shower." Shit, I shouldn't have mentioned a shower. That led to images of naked bodies. That led to an image of Bree and I having sex. Of Bree's naked body. And suddenly, I was blushing up a storm once again without any obvious reason to explain why.
Bree must have noticed and caught on because a small red tint entered her cheeks, but she managed to somehow control it from growing - on her, it simply looked like she was warm. She kept her calm and turned to my mother. "I've actually written a couple of songs for Kendra, too."
"Really?" She seemed surprised and touched all at the same time. "I'd love to hear those someday."
Bree smiled warmly. "I'm sure that can be arranged."
My mom's eyes slowly turned to look at me thoughtfully although she continued to talk with Bree. "So Bree, what is it that you like best about my daughter?"
Bree let out a joyful laugh. "I can only pick one thing?"
I smiled sheepishly. "Oh please, I'm sure there's only a couple you can think of."
"So self-deprecating," Bree teased with a nudge of my shoulder. She paused for a moment and her face grew thoughtful, her nose wrinkling a little as she contemplated her answer. "If I had to pick one thing, I would say… how much she loves her family. Not brown-nosing there one bit. It's just fact. I've never seen someone be so selfless when it comes to their family. She would do anything for you, for Kaylie, for Phillip. And her love for her father is beautiful and inspiring."
My eyes lingered on Bree for a moment. I'd never heard her say that before. It was absolutely captivating getting to see myself through her eyes. I'd never thought of myself that way. When my eyes turned to see my mother's reaction, I was surprised to see tears in her eyes.
She cleared her throat a little and wiped at her eyes. "Well, um, I won't keep you two any longer. Thanks for the chat, Bree." She smiled a little at Bree and then turned her eyes to Kaylie, watching her playing on the floor.
Bree looked a little hesitant but nodded. "You're welcome, Mrs. Lachen. I hope we get to do it more often." She turned to look at me, both of her eyebrows lifting in confusion.
I simply nodded at her, took her hand and stood up. I led her toward the staircase and then up to my room. When I closed the door behind us, I smiled at her sheepishly. "Sorry. You just never know what you're doing to get with my mom. I think mentioning my dad may have gotten to her a little bit."
Bree held a hand against her mouth, looking slightly horrified. "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry - I didn't even think about how that might affect her."
I quickly closed the gap and gently brought her hand back down with my own, holding both of hers in mine. "It's okay, babe. She'll be alright." I paused and looked up at her shyly. "I didn't realize you saw that in me. That you know… that it even existed in me, so to speak."
Bree's eyes widened a little. "Are you kidding me? Oh darlin', you've got so much love for your family, it's inspiring. You make me want to be a better daughter and sister. You held this family together when no one else would. That takes an immense kind of love."
My eyes searched hers, wanting to believe her. "I hope so."
Bree smiled softly and leaned in to give me a tender kiss. When she pulled back, she rubbed her nose against mine and then sighed. "God, I've been wanting to do that since I saw you."
"Me too," I said quietly, pressing my forehead against hers. I took a deep breath in order to breathe in her scent.
"Is it weird for you too?" Bree asked quietly.
I pulled back slightly to look at her, still holding her hands in mine. "What do you mean?" I grinned a little. "The morning after?"
Bree chuckled. "I guess that is what you would call it."
I nodded. "Yeah, it is a little weird."
"I feel… kind of vulnerable?" Her breath exited quickly after saying the word, as if she were trying to purge it from her system.
I reached up to touch her cheek with my hand, rubbing my thumb along her jawline. "I do too," I said gently.
Bree smiled sheepishly and then forced a chuckle. "I mean, at least you had an orgasm. I feel so self-conscious about the fact that I just froze and basically couldn't do anything else the rest of the time."
That feeling in the pit of my stomach slowly settled back in. Shit. I shouldn't have faked it. Feeling like I'm lying is worse than not having an orgasm. I took in a shaky breath and took a step back, trying to keep myself from feeling nauseous. The wave of nausea came quickly and I hurried to sit on the bed, leaning over to put my head between my knees.
Bree hurried over and placed a hand on my back. "Kendra? Are you okay?"
I took a few more deep breaths with my head between my knees until the nausea calmed, then slowly raised it. When I looked up, I noticed how concerned she looked and immediately frowned. "No, I'm not. Fuck!" I felt angry at myself for feeling this way and for feeling like I couldn't hide something from her. Our relationship was purely based on honesty and if we didn't have that, what did we have?
A frown slowly formed on Bree's lips as she watched me. She removed her hand from my back and took a step back from me, wrapping her arms loosely around herself. She swallowed and then asked quietly. "Is it me? Did I- is it because I couldn't…?"
I shook my head, horrified. "No! God, no. It's not you." Now I really felt like I wanted to vomit. The last thing I wanted to do was to make her feel bad. The feeling that I needed to tell her grew in my chest and made my stomach churn even more.
Her frown grew deeper and she tightened her arms around herself. "Then what is it?"
I took another deep breath and looked at the floor, hoping to find some kind of guidance or comfort in its neutral, beige color. "Fuck," I mumbled under my breath. I felt like I was beginning to hyperventilate as I couldn't seem to take enough deep breaths to steady myself. "I- I lied to you."
Immediately, the air in the room changed. I could feel it. I didn't even have to look at her to feel it. It was as if any warmth had suddenly left the room and all there was was a heaviness. When I slowly raised my eyes from the floor to her face, the feeling in the pit of my stomach sunk even deeper. Her face seemed to be going through a gauntlet of emotion - shock, confusion, sadness and then finally anger.
"You lied to me?" Bree paused and her eyebrows narrowed. "What the fuck do you mean you lied to me? About what?" She held a hand up in front of herself, tears threatening to overwhelm her eyes. "If you tell me that you only fucked me to fuck me, not because you love me, I promise I will fucking scream."
I cringed, surprised to hear so many "f" bombs come out of her mouth at once - I was usually the curser between the two of us. I realized very quickly that anything she could imagine was probably worse than the truth and that I would be better off just telling her. I shook my head. "No Bree, I promise you, it's not that. I love you so much. I just-" I hesitated, still afraid of the truth. However, the tears that had fallen down my girlfriend's cheeks convinced me that I needed to continue, just so that she would believe I do love her and wanted to make love to her. "I lied to you last night. I- I pretended… I- shit... I faked my orgasm."
Bree's face fell, the tears stopped, and she just stared at me. There was absolutely no emotion on her face.
Unnerved by the lack of emotion, I continued even though a part of me wasn't sure if that was the best idea. "I just- trust me, Bree, everything you were doing, it felt so good. You felt so good. And I love you so fucking much. It- it was like I loved you so much that it was overwhelming. It scared me. I just- I couldn't get there, you know?"
A slight shake of the head. "No, I don't know."
I frowned. I was hesitant to continue further but did so against my better judgment. "Um, sometimes for one reason or another, it's hard to get there. And um, sometimes a person will fake an orgasm just to make the other person feel better." I shrugged hesitantly. "It can be disheartening sometimes to be on the other end of it, knowing that you couldn't get the other person to have one. It's easier to let them believe that you did."
Bree's eyes looked off at the carpet, her eyebrows once again creased in thought.
Like an idiot, I continued babbling. "I didn't want to hurt you, so ya know, I faked it. It was your first time and I didn't want you to think it was you, because it wasn't - it was me. I had too much going on in my heart and mind. I just couldn't get there. I wanted you to feel amazing - the way you made me feel amazing. You didn't have to get me to have an orgasm to feel that way." I frowned and cursed under my breath. Oh my God, why couldn't I stop this verbal vomit? "I'll shut up now."
I watched anxiously as Bree continued to stare at the carpet. A moment later, her voice came out very quiet. "You didn't want to hurt me." It wasn't a question. It was a statement. Almost matter-of-fact.
I shook my head a little and then realized she couldn't see me shaking my head. I cleared my throat a little. "No, I didn't want to hurt you. I love you."
A short chuckle escaped Bree's lips.
That can't be good, I thought as that feeling in the pit of my stomach started to churn all the more.
Bree finally raised her eyes to look into mine. They were still very watery, but there was an unsettling mix of emotion in her expression - sadness and a measure of bitterness. "It's ironic, don't you think? You didn't want to hurt me, but instead, you hurt me by lying to me."
"Bree-" I started.
"No." Bree held her hand up again to stop me with a firm shake of her head. "I listened to you - it's your turn to listen to me." When I didn't interrupt again, she lowered her hand and continued. "Kendra… that was my first time. With anyone. It may not have been perfect, but it was perfect because it was real dammit. Real. Honest. And now you tell me that what I thought was honest and real actually wasn't. That you faked something in an important moment between us. How am I supposed to feel about that?" She quickly held up her hand again, signaling that she didn't want me to answer. "It hurts. You just tainted my first time. And I never expected that from you of all people."
"Bree," I pleaded quietly, swallowing back the vomit threatening to come up my throat.
She took in a shaky breath and wrapped her arms back around herself. "Um, I'm gonna go."
"No." She shook her head quickly and her eyes pleaded with me. "I need to go. I promise we'll… talk more about this soon, I just can't right now. Do you understand?"
As I searched her eyes, an unnerving feeling settled into my heart as I realized that she needed me to understand - she needed me to let her walk away. That scared the shit out of me, but I knew I didn't really have any choice in this. I needed to let her walk away in order to show her I respected her and loved her.
With a slow nod of my head, Bree nodded in return and turned to place her hand on the doorknob. She hesitated before opening it, her head slightly looking back over her shoulder but not enough to see me. Her voice trembled when she spoke. "Don't let the demons in, Kendra. I still love you. I just need time."
I felt tears welling up in my eyes. They slid out the corners of my eyes and I held a hand up to my mouth to keep myself from letting out a sob. I forced myself to control my voice. "I love you, Bree. I'm so sorry." I placed my hand over my mouth again.
Without another word, Bree turned the doorknob, opened my bedroom door and headed down the stairs. I listened as she said goodbye to my mother and Kaylie and then felt the sob escape my chest when I heard the front door close downstairs.
A disheartening realization settled down into my chest. I had royally fucked that up… and I wasn't sure if I would be able to fix it.