Read My Once and Future Love Online

Authors: Carla Krae

Tags: #my once and future love, #contemporary romance, #jacob and beth

My Once and Future Love (57 page)

BOOK: My Once and Future Love
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“I don’t think I’ve written my best song,
yet. Bob and I can put somethin’ out that sells, but even I know
that don’t make it
good
. Had some inspiration recently,
though,” he hinted.

I blushed. “Oh.” I put the cap back on the
lens and slid the camera into my bag. “Good.” Though I hoped they
weren’t more songs like
Butterfly
.

We were wandering all over the main island
today, but in no rush. It was amazing how there were all these
resorts around Bora Bora, as well as the locals, yet you hardly saw
anyone unless you went looking for them. We were just Beth and
Jacob, the couple
not
on their honeymoon.

****

Matira had lots of little shops, a beautiful
beach, and an old WWII site with coastal defense guns ten minutes
up the hill.

While Beth was in the tiny market looking for
snacks, Jacob snuck off to a shop. He quickly purchased a few
things and asked for them to be delivered to the resort later, then
came back just as she was paying the cashier.

“Find the bathroom alright?” she asked.

“Yes. Are you ready?”

“All set.”

They still had four days in Bora Bora, but
Jacob wanted to slow time. He hid it well, but the pressure of the
coming tour weighed on his mind. He felt closer to Beth than ever,
but he still couldn’t predict how she’d react to him leaving for
two months. The last time they were long-distance, she assumed he
cheated on her and they crashed and burned.

He knew she was better for him than he for
her, of course. He had a tendency to be vain and self-absorbed.
Oblivious, at the best of times. Accountability had never been a
defining characteristic. Even so, he wanted to please her, be what
she wanted, impress her… He’d thought ahead and already bought her
Christmas gift.

After the dinner show, he led her to the
beach instead of back to their bungalow.

“Where are we going?”

“Walking in the moonlight. It’s still
early.”

She slipped her hand into his. “Something on
your mind?”

“Did you enjoy the show?”

“I did, but that didn’t answer my question,”
she teased.

“I…well…do you…It’s been almost four weeks
for us, and I wanted to…”

They stopped walking, and she tried to see
his expression in the darkness.

“I am so stupid,” she whispered.

She launched at him, kissing him with such
feeling. The momentum knocked him off balance in the thick sand and
they stumbled to their knees. He felt emotionally knocked off his
feet and his heart swelled with hope.

“I…” she breathed, her face an inch from
his.

“It’s alright.” He gently cradled her face in
his hands, his thumbs stroking her cheekbones. “You don’t have to
say anything.”

“I want to,” she whispered, then hesitated.
“I guess we should get back.”

“Yes.” He helped her to her feet. He could
wait.

They brushed the sand off their legs and
headed for their bungalow hand-in-hand.

Once inside, she asked him about what she
might have missed in his life since the accident and her
resignation. “Besides the obvious of moving to a different house
and stuff.”

“Well…” He sat on the sofa in the living
room. “Like you, I made some changes, like the house and what I did
outside of work. Stopped living like a spoiled brat. And…I found
someone to talk to.”

“Talk to?”

“Counseling. I kept falling into bad
patterns, you know, and I didn’t want to do that anymore.”

Beth searched for words. “Wow…uh…I never
would’ve put you in a shrink’s office--”

“Therapist.”

“In
therapy
. What was that like?
Spilling your guts to a stranger…” She shuddered.

“Terrifying the first day. But it’s been
good…she calls me on my shit when I need it. I can’t hide in that
office.”

“Are you still going?”

“Occasionally. I have to apologize--”

Her eyes widened. “For what?”

“The first album. I brought you on never
thinking about you hearing those songs and how you might feel.”

“Oh. Deep stuff. Well…yeah, hearing the
lyrics hurt the first time. You were free to say what you felt, of
course, and I really just hoped back then that your fans wouldn’t
find out it was me you blasted. At the time, I wondered if you
wanted me to hear them…funny in retrospect, since I deserved your
anger and didn’t know it. I’m sorry, too, for not being the
girlfriend I could have.”

He shook his head. “You aren’t a hundred
percent to blame. I wasn’t communicating well, either, and I
could’ve come out to talk. Mum offered to send me.” He chuckled.
“What a mess that time was, eh?”

“Heh. Yeah. I try not to think about it,
because it tears me up, but if I’d taken a few minutes to yell at
you on the phone…it was awful watching Mom…” She sucked in a breath
and glanced away, and he shifted closer to pull her into his arms.
“I needed you and it’s my fault you weren’t there. How
self-destructive could I be, you know?”

“I’m here now, and this time if you push me
away, I won’t let you.”

“Let me? All those calls and e-mails were
letting me? Jacob, you did everything reasonable. I--”

“Maybe I should’ve done the unreasonable.
Beth, I was already planning to move to L.A. that summer to be with
you. If I loved you enough, nothing should have stood in the way of
getting you to talk to me. I got too caught up in bein’ the wounded
party and gave up. So what if the songs that came out of it made it
on the record?”

“Wait, you were going to do your senior year
in L.A.?” She groaned and pulled away, dropping her face in her
hands. “Anything else I fucked up?”

“Sweetheart, don’t…”

She stood, evading his attempt to comfort
her. “God, why is this worth a second try for you, Jacob? I’m not
any improvement on that scared eighteen-year-old, not really. I
hurt you, broke up my family, and tortured myself for years. I took
the moral high ground with you, but my self-destruction was so much
worse. And I knew. I knew I was making myself more miserable than I
needed to be, but…god, I don’t know. No wonder she showed me what
she did…”

“She?”

“The other me. In my head. In the hospital, I
saw everything I had wanted, things that could have been, and she
showed me because I run away when stuff gets hard. A mental
walkabout. She’s not as nice as me, though she dresses better. But
you were there and my mom and…doesn’t matter. That’s why I had to
go, to define myself as someone not wearing a shroud of pain.
Except I do…”

“Love you’re rambling.” And scaring him a
bit.

“Sorry. I’m so sorry, Jacob. I’m, um, going
to go bed and maybe make sense in the morning.”

“Beth--”

She held up her hand. “Jacob, it’s okay. Just
let me…” She pointed to her bedroom, went in, and shut the
door.

He sat back and exhaled, wondering how the
night went to this. This trip was supposed to be positive, fun,
relaxing, and now…well, he hoped she wasn’t crying herself to sleep
again. The past already soaked up enough tears.

No. He wouldn’t let Beth beat herself up
anymore. Getting up with purpose, he crossed the room to her door
and knocked.

She opened the door, her eyes rimmed with
red. “Yeah?”

“Stop,” he said, and kissed her, holding her
face in his hands like a delicate china bowl. “I love you.”

“Why?”

He smiled. “The sheer inability not to.”

“Oh.”

“Do you really want to be alone?”

She dropped her eyes. “No…”

“Then finish changing and come to my room. To
sleep.”

“You’ll hold me?”

“All night.”

Her shoulders dropped and she looked
relieved. “Okay.”

Jacob hurried to his room, changed into a
pair of shorts he could sleep in, and turned down the covers. She
came in shuffling her feet a couple minutes later with a clean face
and her hair free.

“You left the left side for me.” She climbed
into bed.

“Yep.” He turned off the light. She lay on
her left side facing away from him, so he scooted over to her back
and wrapped his arm around her middle. “Goodnight, love.”

 

Chapter Nineteen

I woke up with my hair in my face. Moving
that out of the way, I noticed my pillow was rising and
falling—Jacob’s chest. Sometime during the night, he rolled onto
his back. Last night came back to me as my mind cleared and I
groaned, embarrassed. Careful to not wake him, I crept out of his
room to use my own bathroom. It was too early yet to go to
breakfast or order in, so I grabbed a single-serving bottle of
orange juice from the mini-fridge and went out to the patio. Even
at this hour, Bora Bora was warm.

My first instinct was to call Celeste, but
I’d have to use the landline, since my cell had no reception down
here, so I’d have to e-mail her instead.

“And say what, Beth?” I muttered. It would
take me pages to describe the mess of my brain and she wouldn’t
read it. Probably tell me to stop obsessing and go get laid.

Sighing, I decided to get dressed and go for
a walk with my camera. Maybe I’d see some wildlife, and fresh air
would help clear my head. It was Sunday and we were flying home
Thursday. The remaining time would go fast and this was a
vacation
—no angst allowed.

Wednesday

Sunday, he finally got me on the jet skis and
Monday and Tuesday were spent learning to scuba dive and putting it
into practice. After three days of adventures, I looked forward to
the all-day spa treatment Jacob booked. Today was going to be
mellow
and I would accept nothing else. The spa nestled up
in the trees. The trees!

I was grateful we weren’t set up for a
couple’s
massage.
Way
too intimate for my comfort
today. It was the most peaceful day I’d experienced in, well…ever.
They pampered my skin, body, hair, and my feet. I even got a gift
bag of products to take home. They brought a fruit platter up for
me to nibble on through the day, but now it was late afternoon, I
was starving.

I stopped by my room to change into a
sundress, then went to lunch, hoping Jacob was having fun on his
own.

****

They were flying home tomorrow and that had
his stomach tied in knots. He hoped she was enjoying her spa time.
After getting the massage, which only relieved the tension in his
muscles, not his head, he left. Hours to kill before she’d be
looking for him, yet, he checked his voicemail, confirmed their
flight, searched unsuccessfully for a movie, and finally settled on
taking a swim.

If he wore himself out, he could take a nap
‘til dinner.

****

When I got back from lunch, he was asleep, so
I grabbed my camera and wandered the resort. It was easier if I
could take my time and look for things that caught my eye. He’d
been patient, but I still felt bad lingering too long taking macros
of flowers.

It might not be too bad if we were seen in
public at home. Four weeks in, we now had a foundation for our
relationship. I’d put my fears in his hands and he hadn’t let me
down once, yet. We didn’t have to call attention to ourselves in
L.A., but I no longer wanted to hide.

“Hey…” I said, opening his door. “Jacob?”

He was still asleep on the bed with a towel
wrapped around his waist, hair dried in waves from the shower. I
gently touched his shoulder, then lightly shook him.

****

He slowly opened his eyes. “What…?”

“Our reservation is in a half hour. You’ve
been asleep for a while.”

“Oh…” He sat up, feeling stiff. “You look
nice.” More than nice.

Her hair flowed in silky waves, one side
clipped behind her ear. She wore a light blue dress that fit and
flared in the right places, her skin glowing from the touch of sun
she couldn’t avoid after several days here.

She smiled at the compliment. “I’ll be in the
living room.”

Dinner was nice, the food excellent, as
always.

“I want to give you something. Will you close
your eyes? Please?” he asked.

Her brow furrowed in the middle, but she
obeyed his request. He got up and secured a chain around her
neck.

“Okay, you can look.” He chewed on his lip,
waiting for her reaction.

On the delicate gold chain was a small gold
ring with a little, round amethyst in the center.

“It’s so dainty…”

“My great-grandmother was a tiny woman. This
was her engagement ring. I’m not asking, so don’t wig out, but I
wanted you to know…I wanted you to have something that means
something while I’m gone.”

She smiled. “Okay.”

“Okay?”

She nodded. “Thank you.”

He leaned across the table and kissed
her.

A large group at the table next to theirs
invited everyone in the resort to celebrate a birthday by the pool.
He accepted the invitation, in the mood to celebrate now that Beth
accepted his gift.

They were handed drinks upon arriving to the
party, Jacob getting a beer and Beth receiving something fruity.
She sipped a little, deciding to keep it, and they soon got
separated in the throng of people. Someone brought out a portable
stereo.

Jacob ended up at the bar where someone
bought a round for the birthday boy. He downed the shot, then
turned around to lean against the counter and spotted Beth chatting
with a couple they often saw at breakfast. Finishing the beer, he
put the empty bottle on the bar. Another round of drinks had been
ordered, and a glass was slid in his direction…

****

I wasn’t really a party girl, but this one
was kinda fun. Most of the revelers were also in their twenties and
coupled-up. A waitress came by with another tray of pink slushy
drinks, so I grabbed one, feeling hot in the evening warmth. I
didn’t know where Jacob had gone to.

It was fully dark now and the Tiki torches
were lit. Everyone danced or played around in the pool. I searched
for Jacob, feeling lonely. A pair of arms wrapped around me from
behind; I rotated to see who it was.

BOOK: My Once and Future Love
5.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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