nightmare

A tiny man sat perched on my forehead tapping at my skull with a minute hammer and chisel. It did not hurt as much as it was the most annoying sensation I had felt in a long time. He worked tirelessly, until I swatted at him to make him stop. As my hand flew at him I smacked myself in the face hard forcing consciousness. I was now coherent and could see that there had never been a tiny man trying to gain entrance into my head, but the tapping still persisted.



The taps came in bursts of three … taptaptap … silence … taptaptap … silence then, after his last series of taps at my window frame a blue jay let out a boisterous scream, taptaptap … jayjayjay! I thought the bird was attempting to get my attention that he may introduce himself, but upon closer inspection of the window and its frame I saw hundreds of caterpillars doing their best to squirm away from the hungry bird.



“What cha looking at Love?”



Half naked, Malachi lay stretched out on a pallet on my bedroom floor. Looking at him there reminded me of a Stuart Townsend on set dressed in his vampire garb. Sunlight cascaded across his fair hairless chest seeming to cause his pale skin to glisten. He looked so comfortable lying there, like when we were young, happy, when we were together.



“Um, I think we are being invaded by caterpillars.”



My voice slid from my mouth lazy and soft, still tired from my restless sleep. Malichai rose and came over to the window, he stood inches from me, I could feel his heat searing into my back. Suddenly, I could not hear the blue jay’s raucous war cries, and the plight of the caterpillars no longer mattered to me. All that mattered was Malichai’s skin, and its proximity to my own. Since we had reconciled our relationship had been platonic, but there was always that smidgen of sexual tension lying just under the surface.



“Hungry? I can make b-break-f …” I stuttered unable to finish my sentence.



He could hear the angst in my voice at how close he was to me … yet instead of backing up he stepped closer still, pressing his body into my back. It was quite obvious he was in fact hungry, but pancakes and eggs were the furthest things from his mind.



“No, Justine … I am not hungry …” he purred.



His voice slipped around my head like quick silver as his hands stroked up my arms forcing goose flesh all over my body. I wanted him so bad I could taste it. I allowed my head to loll back against his chest as we both stood there silently fighting an inevitable battle. He wanted to break my resolve; I needed to keep it in tact. I knew the second Malichai and I made love for the first time in four years he would have me back in that place all lovers go. It seems like Eden on first glance. Lush foliage sets the scene, the sun shines bright, however the temperature is a comfortable eighty degrees no matter what time it is. But after a while, fierce storms roll in, the temperature drops fast, and that same Eden the two lovers have found turns to hell.



“Malichai, what are we doing?” I murmured while trying to separate myself from him, but he would not have it. His arm snaked around my waist pulling me back into his body. The strength in his hold had me on fire and when his supple lips found my earlobe I thought I would explode.



“I am going to make love to you Justine …” he growled slipping an exploring hand beneath my t-shirt.



“Malichai no. I-I don’t, I c-can’t.” The attentions he was raining on my ear and neck were getting the better of me and I was cracking.



“Yes, Justine you can … and you do want this, I know you do. We have been apart for too long.” He whispered breathlessly as his fingers gave my breast an impatient squeeze.



That was all I needed to grab a hold of my reason. The thought of a full reconciliation with Malichai was never an option for me. Regardless that I still loved him, romance was not an option for us together. He had hurt me too badly, and I was broken. I could not go back. I needed to make him stop.



“I said Stop Malichai!” I spat ripping myself away from him, but I could not go far as I was between him and the window. I could see by looking at him that he was taken aback by the venom in my voice and the force I exerted to get away from him.



“Why Justine, what’s stopping you? I mean you ask me to come here, yet you have not touched me in all the time I have been here with you. Hell you put me in a separate room! You don’t want me with anyone else, friend or otherwise, but I can’t touch you either? Justine, you have to help me out here … I’m at a loss.” He said trying to control his temper as well as his passion.



Every time he seemed to want to touch me I flinched and he balled his fist and pulled back.



“My Justine was never so frigid and angry …” He said through clenched teeth as he took a step back. I felt the sting on my hand before I knew what had just happened, but the scarlet hand print on Malichai’s cheek told the story. A few seconds went by. We were silent, but I heard his comment resonate over and over again in my head so I slapped him again, harder this time. I hit him a third time; I hit him repeatedly until I was pounding his chest in a futile attempt at silencing what he had just said to me. But I was getting tired, and my entire body was becoming rigid with tension. He wrapped his strong arms around me, staunching my assault with ease.



“Get away from me Malichai! Get out of my room now!”



“I am not going anywhere Justine … I am so sorry I said that Justine, I take it back.”



“Whatever I am right now Malichai … you are the reason … you made me frigid, it is your fault I am angry! You and every other man I thought ever loved me!” I mumbled into his chest as he stroked my hair whispering how sorry he was.



“Justine, I never wanted to hurt you. You have to believe me, I have always loved you, and right now I love you more than life …”



I pulled away far enough to look him in the eye, “And Edward? Where do I fit between him and you? I have been the third wheel before Malichai, it is not a position I fancy revisiting!”



I pushed him aside enough that I could squeeze past him. His head dropped as I moved for the door. I stopped wanting to say something, anything to lighten the mood. His eyes slid up my body to find my own staring back at him. He could see I wanted him, I knew he wanted me …



“So, blueberry or chocolate chip?” I asked.



“No one in New York City makes blueberry pancakes like you do Justine …” He said offering me a small smile as I ducked out of the room to get breakfast started. My nerves did not settle until I heard him start his shower, but envisioning him naked did absolutely nothing to cool my libido. Three piping hot pancakes later, and I still hungered only for Malichai.



We made small talk as we pushed bits of pancake and eggs around on our plates. I looked up at the window fixture he had created for me and put into the ceiling. It was stunning in the morning light. He had worked on the piece for two years after I left New York without my knowledge and had it shipped to me before he came to Dallas. The coffered dome had crystalline etchings cut into it causing sunlight to break through in a rainbow of prisms.



“It really is beautiful Malichai …” I said gazing up at the skylight.



“You sure are …”



“N-no, I was talking about …”



I stopped mid-sentence. He knew I meant the window. Nervous, I made to clear my plate, but he grabbed my wrist and gestured with his eyes to my seat. I sat back down silent and apprehensive as a school girl in the principal’s office.



“So, you’ve been a third wheel before? You never told me about that … oh, and just so you know, I do not intend on you being a third wheel between Edward and me. Like I said before, he is just a friend, and if it bothers you, after this visit, he and I will never speak again.”



“Malichai, you have no obligation to me, we are just friends too remember?”



“Justine, we have never been, and never would be able to be ‘just friends’ Love. You know that, I know you do. Now, tell me about your third wheel experience.”



He was right of course. I was a fool to think that I could invite him to my home as a friend who needed to get out of the city for a while. From the moment I laid eyes on Malichai, I knew he was a piece of my soul. No matter how angry he made me, no matter how detached I thought I was from him, there is no way we could ever be ‘just friends’. I had no idea what we were, but ‘just friends’ we were not.

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