I stand, watching him as he runs his fingers through his hair. He has a lopsided smile on his face and his eyes flash like lightning as he spots me from across the room. I give him a tantalizing tilt of my head, a sly smile playing on my lips. The invitation is clear. We both want fun tonight and we will get it. I turn to give my friends a triumphant smile as I step out onto the dance floor.
His hands are on my hips before I can blink and his lips are against my skin. Behind my ear. Against my throat. The back of my neck.. His breath is hot, heavy, and feverish. He's biting and sucking and gasping and nibbling and absolutely ravishing me. I can smell the alcohol on his breath, but I don't care. Usually takes alcohol to get guys on the dance floor anyway. His fingers bite into my hips, marking me as his own. I gasp.
I grab his wrists, not to stop him, but to encourage him. I tell him what I want with the slight arch of my back, my parted lips, my fevered pace. He gives in, brushing his lips across my ear.
"Come home with me," he rasps, tugging my earlobe. He drags his nose along my jawline and I can't help but give into him.
"Yes," I whimper, "oh, god yes."
He's late, but that's fine. He has his friends and I give him that permission to go out as he wishes without telling me where he is going. I'm not his mother. He can do what he likes. As long as I know he's safe. Hours pass without so much as a text and I worry. What if he was in accident? What if he got arrested? He wouldn't want me to know that. I was his girlfriend. Of course he is famous, but he did have a right to tell me what he was up to when he was out, didn't he?
The door clicks. I sit up, my senses on high alert. It's nearly four a.m. He steps through the door, eyes downcast on the floor. Something is wrong. He's refusing to look at me. Something is definitely wrong. He usually greets me with a smile and a kiss, but he won't even take a step towards me. I get up. My step is tentative and I flinch when he steps back.
"What happened?" I ask breathlessly.
"It was once. I didn't... I was drunk... I- hell, it didn't mean anything," he mutters and I recoil away from him, drawing my arms to my chest defensively.
"What are you saying?" The accusation is clear in the question and I see him cringe.
"I slept with another girl tonight," the words shatter the tension around us.
The hangover is heavy in my head. Her anger is something I know to expect, but the hatred in her eyes is like a dagger in the heart. It was just once, I think desperately, and then she fell to her knees before me and then I lost all train of thought. I throw my hands into my hair. I let things get out of hand. I shouldn't have gone to that club. I know it is foolish. I do dumb things when I'm drunk.
"How..." she starts, her voice cracking. I look up at her and I see her dark eyes harden as we lock eyes, "why?" she demands. Her face is like steel and I know I've lost her. At least for now. She never hates me for long.
"I was drunk, baby, honestly," I step towards her and she doesn't move away from me this time. I don't push another step. I know if I do too much at a time she'll only pull into herself, "she looked so much like you..." I trailed off and I saw her features soften slightly. She was going to give in. Forgive me this one time. It only needed to be once. I would never do it again. She knows this. She knows me. Her little sigh of acceptance is all I need to hear.
"I... If it was once, I can... I can forgive this. Just please, don't do it again," her voice shatters at the end. I catch it and I feel the ache in my chest grow. I was given this beautiful creature. I needed to cherish her. I take my final steps toward her and I capture her lips in a kiss. In my jean pocket, Calina's number burns against my thigh.
I gasp as I throw my head back against the wall. My left leg is thrown over his shoulder and my fingers sink into his hair. Sweat drips down my temple and I close my eyes in bliss. His mouth is hot against my inner thigh and I shudder as he places his skilled mouth over the most sensitive part of me. His fingers dig into my hips, marking me, claiming me as his as he holds me steady. He never lets me stumble. He is always there to catch me. His tongue reaches that spot deep inside me and I crumble above him, arching my back off the wall as I cry out his name into the night. His hands hold me as he greedily devours what is his. I have given all to him. But he doesn't know it. He holds me through the high.
"This isn't love," he murmurs against the inside of my thigh as he removes my leg from off his shoulder. He rises to his feet, trailing kisses as he ascends, "I love Sierra.." The words brand themselves across my heart as his lips stop there. He suckles sharply on my left breast, causing a gasp to slip past my lips. He continues his path upwards, "You know, I love her," his lips carve a path to my ear and he presses his body against mine, "this I will only tell you once." He lays me against the bed and slides into me, murmuring over and over that he'll say it only once.
I ignore the pain it brings into my heart. This isn't the first time he's said it and I know it won't be the last. Sierra is the light of his life. She is his solace from the cameras and the crowd. I know this is wrong. Because he hides in my arms as well.
I ask him why he falls into my bed when she's his solace. He tells me she doesn't blaze a path for him anymore, but merely sets it. He tells me this isn't love. And I know it isn't. This isn't love. He is harsh with me, pushing and pulling and taking and taking and taking and never giving. Love is giving and caressing and life. This is... This isn't love.
I know this isn't love, but I've desperately fallen for him.
He walks in late again. His eyes are full of life, but his shoulders sag in exhaustion. I stand from my chair, my gaze full of questions. He steps towards me, placing a hand on my arm.
"I'm sorry I'm late," his lips press briefly against my cheek but the action lacks affection. "It won't happen again."
I say those words often. They are a lie. She knows this. I can see it in the way her eyes flash in disbelief as she turns away. In the tense way her shoulders draw back as she walks down the hall. It was only supposed to be once. But her lips keep drawing me back to her. The way her body responds to my touch pulls me back into her depths. Calina responds as Sierra never would.
I ease my love against the sheets and take her more gently than I would Calina. Sierra deserves gentleness and love. But my mind keeps drifting traitorously to the girl who occupied my bed previously. Making love to Sierra is difficult when my mind is elsewhere. It's become a chore, but I finish because I can't deprive her.
My lips fall to Sierra's forehead as she curls next to me in our bed. She fits perfectly in my arms. I love her. She is my everything. She is my solace from the cameras and the crowds. She sets a path for me. The fire may be gone, but the love carries on.
I know he sleeps with me only because it is a chore. It is something he has to do. The fire is gone. But I love him despite it. I feel, deep in my heart, he lies to me about why he is gone so much, but I can't stand to ask.
"Good night, baby," the words fall carelessly from my lips, "I love only you." The words are meant to reassure her and my heart is free of its heavy burden.
"Good night, Isaiah," I whisper and I crave to hear my name from his lips once more. His last words drive a dagger into my chest and I suck in a sharp breath. His words delivered the death blow. There is another. "I love you."
"Morning, baby." A kiss on my cheek. Impersonal. Distant.
"I'm going out, babe." A kiss on my forehead. Farther from the place I so desperately need him to kiss.
"I have a signing, sweetheart." Not even kiss this time. A hug. Then he just vanishes through the door.
"My friends want to hang out, love, I can't stay tonight." No contact. No touch. No breath on my face. He smiles and waves before stepping away.
"I'll be home late, babe." A phone call.
"Only you." It's a promise. My promise to her. She's my one and only love.
"Only you." The promise means nothing when it falls from my lips.
"What's my name?" A hesitation. A lift of a brow. Lips against my neck. My cheek. My forehead. Never my lips.
"Sierra," he whispers in my ear. "I love only you." He falls to his knees before me and proves to me that I am his only.
But is this relationship just an act? Am I just a front so that he can run around do what he wants on the side? Only you, he whispers against my skin. It is a lie I've come to believe. Only me.
He is supposed to be home early tonight. He promised me that tonight would be ours. It's nine. He was supposed to be home by seven.
I wait, dressed in nothing. My eyes never falter from the door as I lounge in the chair. Hours tick by. Anger and jealousy grow like a nasty beast in my chest. It curls around my heart, squeezing and pulsing. He's with her. He is inside her. Worshipping her like he never did you. You are a showpiece. A pretty piece to show the crowds. Show them he is grounded and smart and loving. You are nothing to him except a front. He claims to love only you but you know he is lying.
"Shut up," the words startle me as they fall from my lips. The beast smiles cruelly and my heart constricts.
The door unlocks and he steps through. He is alone. His exhaustion is evident. His eyes fall to me as he shuts the door. I see the hunger evident in his face, but his body doesn't respond as eagerly as he used to. A sharp breath escapes between my parted lips. I know. I know the truth.
She's sitting there, completely naked and spread for me, but her eyes are narrowed and she grabs the blanket and pulls it over herself. Confusion fills me.
"Babe, I'm... I... Why are you... Why did you cover yourself up?" I ask, stepping towards her. Her eyes are like fire.
"You said," her tone is quiet and I fear the way her eyes fall to the floor, "you said I was your only. But you haven't kissed me in months. You haven't said my name in longer than that. Your only, Isaiah? I would rather die than to continue to believe that lie." She laughs bitterly and stands. Her dark eyes come back to mine and I resist the urge to crumble under her withering stare. I know what she means to do. I know she's going to leave me. I can't lose her. She is my solace from the camera and the crowds. She is my only love.
"What are you talking about?" I ask desperately, reaching towards her but she stares me down, "I was just late. Traffic was bad and then Colton got sick-"
"Do not lie to me," her voice is ice and I feel the bite in my heart. "You were supposed to be home at seven and it is 12:30. So do not think you can get away with lying to me now." I know. I have lost her. And I won't get her back.
He didn't break. He is still standing there. His face is impassive, but I see the emotions in his eyes.
"She means nothing to me," he starts, but I raise a hand, rising from the chair. The blanket hangs loosely from my frame. The beast inside me snarls in triumph. I told you, the words hiss through my mind, there is another. He lies. Do not believe a word he says.
"Nothing? Isaiah," I bark out a laugh, "you can barely say my name without flinching. It has been months and I am not a fool. When you sleep with me, you're doing it because you feel like you have to. There is no feeling. I've tried everything. Even tonight," I gesture to the space between us wildly, "you react half-heartedly because you're tired from a night with another girl." He is silent. His eyes plead with me.
"I love only you," he whispers into the night, "only you."
"If you loved only me," I say, my voice cracks near the end, but I steel myself. I had put up with him for long enough, "you wouldn't run to her bed every evening. " He sighs in defeat, dropping to the chair.
"I have one question," the words are not mine but the beast's inside me, "how long?"
I hate myself. I do. I hate the feeling of joy that envelops my heart when I see him walk back up to my door. I urge my heart to calm its rapid beating. I pull open the door and his face is solemn. He never returns to my place after he leaves. Never.
"What's wrong?" I ask breathlessly. His hands are in my hair and his lips are on my mine. She's gone. He tells me with a pull of his lips, she knows. I want you. I want you. I want you. I need you. He lays me back against the couch and I hate myself.
I hate myself for finally having what I have been denied so long.
This isn't love.
But it is attention.
And I will take it.
Although, this isn't love.
It had been months. Every time he had been late. Every time he hadn't shown up until the morning. It had been her. She had a name. Calina. She was just a fling. Something to bury himself into when I wasn't home. But I had been home. Always. I would gladly have given everything to let him have his way with me. But he had found his home in another. Only you had been a lie. Only you was a shattered promise. At last I was free of him. At last it could finally be only me.
The beast is now a part of me. He controls me. His words fuel my life.
Only you. It hisses, never let anyone tell you that you need them. All you need is you.
"Only me," I murmur in agreement, "only me."