February 2014

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March 27th, 2012

[info]redthebooknerd in [info]ourtwilight

Touching Royce had been a mistake.

"Dammit, why did I do that?" Charlie asked herself several days later. "Why? Like some... perverted girlfriend that goes touching her boyfriends in places, private places, that they probably don't want to be touched!" Even though he didn't stop her. Even though he seemed like he enjoyed the contact, when he smiled down at her and in gentle words that he liked it. Maybe Royce was just okay with physical affection. He was like that with Rosemary, wasn't he? Maybe it just isn't a big deal to him.

Maybe it's just not a big deal when she touches him.

"Stop it! Stop it right now!" she growled at herself before her mind could jump away from her. Again.

It was why she barely slept the last few nights- her very consciousness was always captured by images of Royce, of the places she touched, and of the places still left unexplored. She tossed and turned all night, tortured and teased by the pictures she couldn't erase. The last thing she wanted was for Royce to find out exactly how much of a pervert his girlfriend was. She had to control herself. What had I been thinking anyway, touching him like that? That's not like me! I'm not some... voyueristic creep that sits there and man-handles people!

But what if you are? What if having a boyfriend is making you finally see a part of yourself you never knew existed?

No! she shrieked. No, I'm not like that! I'm not! I'm not like her, I'm nothing like...

Was that really what was bothering her? That her behavior was lining up rather closely to that of Madeline Spenser's? It would make sense, what with the panic she felt as soon as Royce left that night, and the reason why she let Noah go to sleep on the couch without saying goodnight. She had been ashamed of her behavior, alarmed that it seemed so natural to touch him, to explore, that she never questioned it until he was no longer there to muddle with her mind. She felt guilty for what, in her mind, felt like a seduction, one she should have known Royce would have been helpless to resist.

But he didn't mind, did he? He liked it. Liked you touching him. He told you so himself. Surely it can't be so bad if he's enjoying it with you?

But still... it felt... wrong, somehow. She felt guilt, so that implied wrong doing of some sort. It shouldn't be good. It was bad.

But you love him. There's no more falling, now. You're head over heels. This is just-

And if he finds out? If he realizes that she's been in love with him all this time? What if he doesn't want to be tied down so quickly, what if he doesn't want to be that serious?

What if I only know how to love the way my mother did?

There was a part of her that was sure she knew the answers to these questions. That Royce loved her, that he genuinely cared enough, that this wasn't just some fling. That she wasn't some replica of her mother. Or her father, for that matter.

But she couldn't know, wouldn't know. She was never sure. And the uncertainty left her terrified. She wanted to tell him, needed to tell him, but she was scared. Scared that he would come to the same conclusions she had. That she was the product of her parents, a person incapable of feeling or expressing any sort of real love. That she secretly didn't deserve it.

"Stop it. That's enough."

"What's enough?"

Charlie jumped up with a squeak, and spun around in her stool to find Doc standing in the doorway of the shed, staring at her as if she had grown a second head. Undoubtedly due to the fact that he caught her speaking to herself...

"Oh, sorry, thinking about this medication prescription," she replied, lying breezily. She lifted the prescription pad off the table to show him. "Twelve pounds means 100 milligrams of Myterol, right?"

"120 milligrams," he corrected, dropping another stack of notes for prescriptions on her desk. "Ten for each pound."

"Right, sorry."

"You can apologize when you get it right," Doc replied not unkindly. "Take care of this stack, clean up the shed, then head home. I'm making a few house calls. Lock up the shop when you're done."

"Will do." She waited until Doc disappeared from the doorway and, looking through the window, as he ambled back up to the back door before she dropped the pad and stretched. "Worrying about things like love and boyfriends is tiring business, Cap'n," she told the red-tailed hawk in the corner. His head was covered in a hood and he was clearly asleep, but she felt comforted having spoken to him anyway. "You stay here and guard the fort. I'm going to go grab a cup of water from the cooler in Doc's office."

With a single easy move, she jumped off the stool, rolled her shoulders, and yawned as she opened the door-

-and came face to face with Alexander Crowne.