I wanted so badly for the last three years to disappear, to be that same young girl who was still cute and adorable in the way she adored her 'uncle Creed'. But I was afraid those days were long gone, and what made it worst, was that he knew it too.
I’d been careful to keep from giving myself away, but lately, the more I thought about it the more I was convinced that something had let my secret out of the bag.
How else could I explain the long absence? Or the fact that he’d just disappeared from my life with just phone calls between us instead of the visits I had so looked forward to in the past.
I wasn’t about to whine and moan to him though; he’d done so much for me already. I knew it was the greatest folly to expect more. But how I wish…
"Come." That one word spoken in his sweet baritone, which still had the power to make me weak, was all that was needed to have the barriers come tumbling down and send me running towards him, as his arms opened to accept me.
I let myself enjoy, just suck in the enormity of the moment. It had been so long since he’d held me, since I’d inhaled his scent. Home, he felt like home and my poor young heart seized for what could never be.
"You're here." I whispered the words into his neck as I felt the floodgates about to open up and suck me under. I had promised myself that I wouldn't do this. Each time I thought of seeing him again I had sworn to myself that I wouldn't break down like this.
I’d told myself that the next time I saw him I would be all grown up. But just the sight of him had everything flooding my mind at once and I couldn't hold back. He held me closer, tighter, his arms offering comfort as I struggled with my emotions.
Just as his arms closed around me I heard movement behind me, and not long after her voice and I stiffened. Why must she spoil it? I felt the loss I knew was about to come and he hadn’t even put me down yet. I got in one last squeeze and inhaled his scent before the inevitable could happen.
"Stop that Jessie, you're too grown to be acting like that." I started to pull away at the censor and disapproval in that tone, but the arms around me tightened. "Stay where you are." I looked up at his face and my heart hurt. He's so beautiful that it was torture just to look at him.
I wanted so badly to run my fingers over the ink that covered his arms and part of his neck. Not to mention the markings on his chest that I’d gotten a glimpse of just once, so long ago.
It hurt because he could never be mine, not in the way my poor stupid girl heart had wanted for so long. And because I knew he’d never take me in his arms and love me the way I’ve always dreamed. Dreams that had become harder and harder to avoid here lately…
I felt the old familiar bitterness in my gut start climbing up my throat to strangle me. It wasn’t right to feel this way I knew, but why was my life always so unfair? I’ve never caught a break as far as I can remember; except for that fateful night he came into my life and saved me. That, I must admit, was the best day of my entire existence and probably always will be. Only he could top it, and…
I did my little internal monologue thing, where I told myself to be grateful. Things could’ve turned out so differently back then. There could’ve been someone else in that parking lot that night, someone less honorable. He’d done so much already, I shouldn’t want more, but I did.
I tuned out of the past and back into the here and now when I realized that no one was saying or doing anything. Not since he’d told me to stay put, which was a first, but one that gave me pure joy. He held my head against his chest with one hand at my nape, while the other covered the back of my head protectively.