I need us undivided, I want this thing to stopThis song was running through my head as I woke up, tried to move and couldn't. He didn't loosen the velvet ties before falling asleep and so I spent the night facedown and sideways against his chest, knees pulled up, hands behind my back. Fuck. I say his name and he startles awake.
I've had the training to be overwhelmed but I'm not
Empty soul of hate but this isn't my war
Couldn't tell you how it started or where it is fought
You need to undo this.
Oh, Jesus Christ. I'm sorry. He scrambles to sit up and turns me away, pulling the bow, setting me free into a world of muscle pain. I cough and bring my hands up to my face, and my arms burn and ache from such a long time. I sit up and he rubs my arms gently but that hurts too. My eyes water and he presses his lips against my forehead.
I'm so sorry, he whispers. Let's get you into a hot shower.
I nod and he finally lets go, standing up. He bends back down and lifts me up to standing. I pull my arms in close and cringe, biting my tongue. My eyes threaten to spill over. Jesus, indeed. Even in our darkest moments he's never forgotten to let me go and I wonder fleetingly if he left me like that on purpose.
He gets right down in my face, reading my mind. I didn't do it deliberately. I knew you would stay.
I nod and he uses his thumbs to wipe the tears from my cheeks. We good? He asks and I nod again but say nothing. The pain is keeping me mute.
Once under the shower he cranks the heat and we stand there while he rubs my arms and shoulders with shower oil. It feels really good but now they just feel bruised and worn.
How are you feeling besides that? He's still right down in my face, eyes focused. It never takes Caleb an hour to construct a logical thought or get his eyes open all the way in the mornings. He's a machine. A machine who's in his mid-fifties now and managed to leave me tied up when he unexpectedly fell asleep.
But I did too, and I didn't think it was possible to fall asleep while in a precarious pose but apparently it is, because I did. We did.
I feel a little better today.
I watch as he takes the credit and files it away somewhere under the guise doing this for me. Then I blink and he's washing my hair for me.
He's slow and gentle and even uses conditioner after. Then he rinses me down, proclaims me ready for prime time and leads me into the bedroom for my clothes. He dresses me and then I'm steered into the kitchen to sit on a chair at the island while he makes coffee and cheese toast. I lift my arms and they weigh a hundred pounds each. I lean forward and rest my head on the counter.
He turns. Bridget. I think you need to go back to bed.
I will when I get home.
It'd be easier to stay here. If you go home now Lochlan's going to pressure-wash you, give you a conversational third degree burn, blame it all on you and then assure you it's not your fault. Then he'll give in and offer to take you for breakfast to make it up to you. It will be two this afternoon before you can escape for a nap. Eat a piece of toast and go back to bed. I'll see that you're awake by noon. You need this. Badly.
(Who needs what again?)
We stare at each other. He's right but I also know what happens if I stay. If I stay he gets more. He gets me under his skin. He gets attached and territorial and he gets to be in control. Give the Devil an inch and he takes everything as far as the eye can see. Give him a moment and he spins it into decades. Give him any hint of encouragement and all of the hard work of being independent of him vanish in one beat of my heart.