Authors: Kimberly Schwartzmiller
This is a mature young adult novel. It is recommended for 17+ due to sensitive subject material and sexual situations.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead; events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Copyright © 2014 by Kimberly Schwartzmiller.
Table of Contents
Kimberly Schwartzmiller is a wife, a mother of two, and a Labor and Delivery Nurse living in Northwest Montana with her family and a plethora of pets. An avid reader as well as a writer, she spends many late hours at the computer.
A quick note from the author:
As a labor nurse, I try to find compassion in every part of my job; whether I’m holding a hand, wiping a brow, cleaning up various bodily fluids or holding a new life in my arms; it’s all important and worthwhile. Although I’ve never written about any of my patient’s or co-workers and should my characters bear resemblance, it’s with no intent; but I do feel a certain kinship with the real and imaginary and find a world of inspiration in my job. I hope you find a certain kinship with my characters as well. Best of luck in all of your ventures!
Dinner was wonderful. I was stuffed full of seafood and he had a chocolate cake brought to the table and of course the entire staff sang Happy Birthday to me, making me turn three shades of red. Once dinner was done, Kellan took my hand and we strolled along the pier. He wrapped his jacket over my shoulders when he noticed me shivering and he won a stuffed dolphin for me from one of the game booths. It was a wonderful birthday…the best.
“Thank you, Kellan. That was the best night and the most wonderful birthday.”
“It’s not over, yet,” he smiled and took my hand.
He led me through the lobby of an elegant hotel. I assumed we were just cutting through to the parking lot across the way from where he parked, but I was confused as he led me into the elevator. “Where are we going?”
He leaned down and kissed me the second the elevator doors closed. My question was forgotten the second his lips touched mine.
He kissed me the entire length of the elevator ride and only stopped when the door finally opened. He put his arm around my waist and led me down the hall to one of the suites.
“Are we visiting someone?” I asked.
He didn’t say anything; he just pulled a key out of his pocket and opened the door. He ushered me in to the most beautiful room I had ever seen. It was elegant, but not over-done. The lights were soft, there was soft music playing in the background, and as I looked around, I noticed the king size bed in the adjoining room. It was folded down and the room flickered softly with candlelight, and there were roses and rose petals scattered throughout.
I looked up at him, “I don’t understand. What are we doing here?”
“I’m keeping my promise, Abby…”
I took a deep breath as a shiver ran through me.
“And, before you say anything, I want you to know that it’s a promise I want to keep. I love you, and it’s time I showed you.”
I looked around the room and said, “Kellan, I don’t know what to say. I wasn’t expecting this.” I reached up and put my arms around his neck. “You didn’t have to do all of this for me. I know you want this to be perfect, but don’t you know that as long as I’m with you, it couldn’t be anything less than perfect?”
“You don’t like the room?” he asked, missing my point.
“The room’s beautiful. That’s not what I meant.” I smiled up at him, “All I want is you. But, the room is beautiful…it is perfect.” I leaned up to kiss him and he pulled away.
He ran his hands through his hair and looked around the room. He started pacing.
“Kellan, what’s wrong?” I asked, worried.
“I can’t…oh, God, Abby, I can’t do this. Not here. I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“What? Why? I told you, everything’s perfect. You didn’t have to go to the expense…”
“Abby, Stop! Listen to me. I have to tell you something.” He was pacing again. I had known all along something had been really bothering him, but I hadn’t truly wanted to know, preferring instead to live in denial.
“What?” I asked, my voice shaking.
He looked around the room, “You’re right, everything is perfect. The room is perfect. The day was perfect. Dinner was perfect. We shared a perfect walk along the beach. Everything’s perfect, it is. I came up here an hour before I picked you up to make sure it was perfect. The lighting, the roses,
the candles, the music…the bed; it’s all perfect.”
“I don’t understand…”
“Do you know why it’s perfect?” he asked, visibly shaking.
“Because it’s my job to make sure that it’s perfect!”
“That’s what I do, I make it perfect.”
He was pacing again. I was watching him torture himself and I finally walked over to him and put my hand on his face. “Kellan, what are you talking about?”
He looked me in the eyes and said, “I can’t do this here…not with you.”
“We don’t have to stay here. Kellan...?”
“Abby, oh, God…That’s what I do…I make it perfect…for women. I’m, I’m a…male escort.”
He sat down on the couch and dropped his head into his hands. “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”
“Kellan, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What’s a male es…? Oh, I see.” Now
Neither of us said anything for a few minutes. Visions of the man I loved more than life itself was flooding my mind; images of him with other women, a lot of other women. I squeezed my eyes shut to ward off the images and tears escaped unknowingly.
“Do you hate me?” he whispered when he finally looked up.
I looked into his tortured eyes and ran to him. “How could you think that? I love you.”
“Well, I do…and there’s nothing you could do or say to change that.”
He started to get up, to get away from me, like he really believed he didn’t deserve to be with me. I pulled him to me and hugged him. He started to pull away, but I held him tight, and finally he gave in and let me comfort him.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Abby. I swear I haven’t touched a woman since before I came home last time. I swear it.”
“Shh, it’s okay. I believe you.” I pulled back and looked into his eyes. “Kellan, I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t change anything.” I leaned up to kiss him and he pulled away.
“I can’t…not here. I don’t know what I was thinking bringing you here. I wanted everything to be perfect for you. But this isn’t perfect, this is wrong. Oh, God, I’m sorry.” He was beside himself with guilt.
I reached out and grabbed his hand, “Kellan, come with me.” He followed along obediently as I led him to the hallway and back into the elevator.
He was silent as we stepped onto the elevator. He was obviously still berating himself and very upset.
“Look at me, Kellan,” I said as the elevator doors closed.
He looked toward me, but refused to look me in the eye. I didn’t know what to say to him. I didn’t know how to get through to him. All I could do was hold him…tight.
I led him through the lobby and walked up to the counter.
“Hi, um, we’re checking out of room…?”
“What was the name?” the clerk asked.
I glanced up at Kellan and asked, “Is it under Reynolds?”
He nodded and said, “
Suite 701,” he whispered.
“Oh, but you reserved the room for the weekend. Was it not to your liking?”
“No, it was fine. Um, there’s been an emergency. We have to leave,” I said.
“Well, I’m afraid there are no refunds…”
“It’s fine. Keep it,” Kellan managed to say and snapped out of his stupor long enough to lead me out of the hotel and into the car.
“Are you okay to drive?” I asked, knowing he was still really
“I’m fine. I’ll take you home, now.”
“I think we need to talk, and I don’t want to go home.”
“Take me to your house, please. I’ll drive, if you want.”
“I think I should just take you home,” he said, despondently.
“I told you, we need to talk. If you take me home, then I’m going to take a cab back to your house, anyway.”
He nodded and slowly pulled out of the parking lot without another word. It was a long, silent drive back to his apartment. I followed him inside and he made his way around the apartment, turning on all the lights on his way. When he ran out of light switches, he quietly asked, “Do you want something to drink?”
“No, I’m fine.”
“Are you?” he asked, finally turning to face me.
“Yeah, I’m okay. I’m worried about you, but I’m okay…with, everything.”
“You don’t know everything.”
“I guess you’ll have to enlighten me, then.”
He nodded and walked into the kitchen. He came back out a few minutes later with two drinks and a bottle of ibuprofen.
“Do you have a headache?” I asked.
“No, but you always get one when you cry,” he said and handed me the bottle.
“I’m not crying, Kellan. I’m fine.”
“It’s prophylactic. Trust
me; you’re going to need it.”
“Let’s go sit down.” I grabbed the bottle and one of the drinks and headed to the couch.
“Not there, over here,” he said, leading me to the dining room table.
He sat across from me and fidgeted with his glass.
“I’m just trying to figure out how to tell you…”
“Start from the beginning.”
He sighed and had that look of terror in his eyes again.
“Kellan, I already told you, I love you, and nothing you tell me is going to change that.”
“Okay, well, I won’t hold you to that, but here goes…”
He took another deep breath and finally started talking. “After all that stuff with Brianna, I needed a new place to live. I couldn’t afford my own place, so I moved in with a college friend of mine, Will. I was there for about two weeks.”
“He um, he had a girlfriend, Emily. She was really nice and was always cooking and cleaning for us but she always seemed to show up when Will wasn’t home. One night I was in my room sleeping. It must have been late, but something stirred me awake and when I opened my eyes, I saw a woman…in bed with me. She was naked, and she was…kissing me. I was confused at first, and I started kissing her back, thinking I must have been drinking or something earlier that night and I didn’t remember bringing her home.”
I closed my eyes, wondering how often he’d ended up in bed with a naked woman…I was soon to get my answer. I reached for the ibuprofen bottle, but didn’t actually open it.
“I didn’t realize she was Emily until Will came barging through my door looking for her. I couldn’t explain it to him, because until that moment, I had no idea I was even in bed with his girlfriend.”
He took a drink of his cola and started again. “He hasn’t spoken to me since. But, um,
“You should have told him. She’s obviously not right for him if she was in love with you.”
“She wasn’t in love with me, Abby. She only wanted sex, and I think she wanted to make him jealous. Besides, he caught her red-handed, I didn’t have to tell him, he knew.”
“She set you up, and she ruined your friendship. She doesn’t sound very nice to me.”
“It’s over, it doesn’t matter now. But, obviously I had to find somewhere else to live. I had no cash left. I had just paid the rent for the following month, and under the circumstances, I couldn’t ask Will for it back. I still had some of my scholarship money left for tuition, but I needed a job for rent. I ran into another friend of mine, and she said that one of her mother’s friends had a room that she rented out in an old Victorian house that needed a lot of TLC and that I could probably stay there if I was willing to do some painting and repairing around the house. So, Debbie introduced me to Lorena.”
“How good a friend was Debbie?” I whispered.
“We um, we dated a few times,” he said, looking down.
“I get the picture.”
“It was already over…with Debbie. We were just friends by then. She went back to her high school sweetheart. But, she introduced me to Lorena. Lorena was nice, and after we talked for a few minutes she told me the room was mine. It was quiet, and nice there…at first. She gave me free reign of the house. Abby, I swear, at first, all I did was odd jobs; I fixed a fence, painted a few doors. I helped her hang some pictures…stuff like that. She offered me really cheap rent, and I kept track of the hours that I worked and she took it off the rent. It was nice, and she was kind.”
He rolled his eyes and continued, “Then, one night I was studying for a huge exam and I had a headache from all the reading I had done. I decided to call it a night, but my head was pounding, so I ran downstairs to see if I could find some aspirin or something. I couldn’t find anything, so I headed back upstairs to find Lorena to see if she had some. I knocked on her bedroom door and when she opened it, she was wearing a nightgown…a clingy, see-thru nightgown. She was wearing a matching robe with it, but it was wide open. She’s older, but I have to say she still looked great. I’m sorry.”
I sighed, but waited for him to continue.
“Anyway, I asked her for some aspirin and she said she’d bring some in to me in a few minutes. I went back to my room and decided to finish one more chapter, even though my head was killing me.
She knocked on my door and had a bottle of Ibuprofen and a glass of water for me. I thanked her and downed the pills. I sat back down to finish the chapter and she walked up behind me and asked what I was reading. I told her it was a case study and she started rubbing my shoulders and neck.”
He closed his eyes for a minute and started again, “She was nice, Abby. I know it’s no excuse, but I was stressed and she was lonely. It just sort of happened.”
“You told me on the phone that you don’t love her. That’s true, right?”