|Taeja Kim ☠ Jörmungandr (jormungandr) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2011-11-02 20:30:00
|Entry tags:||jormungandr, urdr|
evil can’t help but
Who: Alex & Adam.
What: Phobos and Eris cause problems even when they aren’t trying. That is to say, Alex and Adam are affected by them and have no idea. Hooray!
When: 27 October, 9:48 p.m.
Warnings: Skirting NSFW?
Notes: Completed log.
It was early yet, but already Adam was preparing for bed. His weeks had been stressful of late, too full of new people to meet and new situations to be thrust into headlong for him to feel any kind of comfort or ease. He was tired to the marrow of his very bones, and burdened all the more by a sense of impending doom. Precisely what manner of doom he could not begin to guess; it was a nebulous sort of fear, a feeling of something looming over his head, jaws agape, teeth bared, ready to drag him down into the depths. In short, he was afraid. And so hours before his typical winding-down-time he found himself sliding into thin flannel-patterned pyjama bottoms, stripping off the black tee shirt ever present beneath his work jumpsuit, and turning down the cold sheets of his bed. In the living room the television droned on, some prime time programming marching across its screen utterly beneath his notice. It made for good background noise, something he ordinarily had little use for. But it reminded him more of the presence of other people, of their incessant, idle chatter, than the radio, and in his sudden flighty fear he found this more a comfort than his typically ever present music.
It had been a strange day for Alex. She’d spent the day in LA, and instead of spending all the time before and after class holed up in the library, she’d gone to Venice Beach, then Manhattan Beach; had bought a prescription for medicinal marijuana and bought the most amazing hydroponics she’d ever tasted; had taken a long walk and smoked a joint in the water. Then, after her class, which had been extraordinary, she’d had a drink or two with some colleagues then driven home faster than anyone had any right to. She’d just gotten in when liquid courage on top of the heady boldness she’d been feeling over the past week combined to lead her to her apartment where she showered, dried her hair, put on a little make-up, then dressed in her very prettiest, smallest red bra and panties and uncommonly high heels, then wrapped herself in a short trench.
The walk across the hall was quick and easy, and marked by nervousness, but more eagerness and excitement. Tonight would be the night; it made as much sense as any, and at the moment, none of the reasons she’d been reticent before seemed to make any sense.
She knocked on Adam’s door.
He heard the knock at once, but at first failed to recognize its correlation to him. It sounded almost a part of the monotonous television noise; there was no-one he expected at this hour, at least no-one who would not be peddling religion or some other unwanted good or service. When belatedly he realized from whence the knock had come, he started, as if freshly frightened by this unanticipated interruption. The moment that sensation had passed, a sense of burning foolishness took its place. He nipped at his tongue, chastising himself for his own stupidity.
“Coming,” he said, to no-one in particular.
A glance through the peep hole showed him nothing he might have expected. He had not seen Alexandria since the ill-fated night at her house, when James had proved the harbinger of so many unforeseen ills. She looked freshly made up, and not at all tired, though the hour was too late for her typical social calls and too early for her too-frequent nightmares. Somehow this seemed to give him cause for renewed concern. He wasted no time opening the door, drawing it wide to let her in.
“Alex,” he breathed, more relieved that she had reappeared in his life than he had words to speak. “Is everything alright?”
“Yes,” she said, moving into the apartment. There was no trepidation, no fear. Only wanting, so many years of wanting, and excuses and reasons that no longer made any sense. “I just wanted to see you.”
She turned to face him and took a breath.
“I don’t like not talking to you,” she said. “I don’t like you and Jamie fighting, but I don’t like talking to you more. I’ve missed you, and being across the hall and knowing you’re in here every day and night is driving me a little insane.”
Then, she unbelted her coat.
“I’m tired of being worried and afraid of doing the wrong thing. So I’m going to do this.”
She let the garment drop to the floor, standing in front of him in underwear she’d never been brave enough to show another person until now.
Adam’s jaw seemed to drop in perfect synchronicity with her coat, a soft gust of breath falling from his lips the moment the thick cloth hit the ground. His first thought was that this was surely just another dream; his second, that he did not particularly care if it was. Flesh bared, her inhibitions cast aside, she was more beautiful than he had ever dared to hope. More beautiful - and far, far more intimidating. He swallowed hard, the rising lump in his throat sticking firmly in place. He chanced a single step closer and his heart raced in answer, pounding so hard in his chest he began to earnestly fear for his health. Her mention of James conjured his image but briefly in Adam’s mind. He knew well what James would say to this, what threatening gestures and explicit, thoroughly expressed threats he would level at Adam were he to get wind of it even in part. But these fears were easy to cast aside: Though they nipped at the corners of his thoughts they could not intrude too far, his mind being thoroughly preoccupied by the breathtaking picture she made.
“You look...” Words failed him, his voice - already rough from a night of disuse, now made more so by lust long repressed - scraping over even that small phrase. “You look amazing.”
He reached out to touch her, pale fingertips tracing the Ouroboros that edged her slim ribs. His heart beat all the harder for it, his throat seeming to close up until he thought he might choke. He wondered, distantly, why he felt so afraid now, when for years she had been the only one he truly desired. The more he tried to think on it, to understand it, the more paralyzing it became, until at last he had to pull his hand away. “God, Alex...”
It was a rush, it was thrilling, to be alone with him, to be nearly naked in front of him, to have him touch her bare skin. Color rose to her cheeks, but it didn’t matter. He said she looked amazing, and it only seemed to reinforce that there was no “perfect moment,” there was no sign she should wait for -- only this, only now, only them. She wasn’t too skinny, her breasts weren’t too small, skin too pale, too short, too anything. None of it stopped her, none of it mattered. It was them.
Without waiting another moment to see what he might say next, she took the next step, closing the distance between them.
“Adam,” she said, smiling. Then, she put her arms around him, pressing her body to his, and kissed him fervently, her tongue sliding across his lower lip, then into his mouth, her breasts crushed against his chest as she went too fast, too hard, but didn’t care in the least.
At once he felt a deep rift within himself, two drives directly counter to one another, vying for control. One made him lean into her, and slip his tongue beneath the demanding press of hers. The other made his heart beat faster for wholly different reasons; it raised the hair at the nape of his neck, roused a kind of guilt within him he could not rightly explain. Had he not known better, he might have said it felt like cheating on Alex, a sensation he distantly recognized as impossible and perhaps a bit unhinged. But it was enough to give him pause, to make him pull back, to study her face with a new, more piercing gaze. What he saw was discomfiting. She seemed herself, but not, her eyes a gleaming sort of mirror that hid nothing they normally might. She was herself with him, and he had never doubted that, but now there was a kind of recklessness within her, a sort of unstudied wildness he had never seen her exhibit. His hands moved, rising to circle her arms.
“Alex...” He trailed off, uncertain how to begin. It proved difficult with the taste of her on his lips, the warmth of her body calling to him through mockingly thin clothes. Why these things seemed to redouble his already substantial anxieties remained unclear; he forged ahead in spite of it. His brow furrowed, his eyes trained on hers. “Don’t take this the wrong way... but are you OK?” His heart beat harder for having asked; it caused him fresh terror, putting these thoughts to words, but greater was his fear of somehow taking advantage of her, of using her to his own long denied ends when she was not wholly herself. He swallowed hard, his throat painfully dry. “You’re not... drunk... are you?”
For a moment, she frowned as he held her at a distance, forcing her to listen, to think, when she was so very tired of listening and thinking. They were here, together, now, and she couldn’t see any reason for them not to just do what came naturally.
“No, I’m not drunk,” she said, leaning forward on her tiptoes to press kisses to his jaw, raising her hands to brace herself against his chest. “I’m good... I’m so good...”
She pressed closer to him, her lips moving to his neck, shifting in his grip to put her arms around him again, to press their bodies flush again. Against his lobe she whispered softly,
“I just want you, Adam.” Her lips brushed his ear just before she took his lobe delicately between her teeth. “I just want your hands on me, I want your mouth on me, I want you inside me.”
Her lips pressed to his jaw again, and she reached up to his hand, guiding it to her breast.
In so brief an instant whatever concerns Adam had harbored, whatever fears he had tried to push back, immediately and violently rushed to the fore. For reasons entirely unknown to him he believed she wasn’t drunk: The look in her eyes was too clear, too awake to be otherwise. But this brazen, unabashed creature was not the Alex he knew, and for all that he had wanted this, too much about this felt decidedly wrong. A faint flush dusted his cheeks as he pulled away, slipping his hand from beneath her forceful grip. His traitorous body was quick to note the feel of her nipple beneath his retreating touch, to remind him of the very real and evident response she stoked within him, which neither of them could pretend wasn’t there. He ignored this as he ignored her continued insistence that she was herself, that all was well.
His voice sounded unfamiliar to his own ears, ringing hollow and passionless through the living room. He stumbled over his words, unprepared as they were, catching in his throat like broken glass. “I don’t know what’s going on, but this... this isn’t right.” He backed away, his eyes on hers in spite of the increasingly violent urge to drop his gaze to the floor. “Alex, I love you, and I’ve wanted you so long. But I don’t think you’re thinking straight right now.” His heart felt close to hammering out of his chest, unwanted adrenaline coursing through him with every new pulse. “I can’t...”
Her pulse was rushing in her ears, her heart slamming against her ribs. Her skin was flushed, her body overwhelmed with sensation, and she couldn’t, for a moment, understand that he was pushing her away. For a moment, she blinked, listening to his words, taking them in, elated by what he was saying. She looked at him uncomprehending, then reached for him again.
“If you love me, what’s the problem? We’ve both wanted this, and we’ve waited forever. Why? What’s the point?” she asked.
“I promise,” she said, sliding her hands over his skin, “I’m of sound mind and body. I just want to be with you, Adam. I’ve wanted you, too -- probably longer than you’ve even known I’m a girl.” She pressed herself close to him again.
“Please,” she whispered. “Let’s do it. Let’s be together.”
As difficult as it had been to disengage before, it was all the more so now. Adam felt a tangible pain in his chest when he did, an icy coldness coiling tight around his heart as he slipped out from beneath her hands. He wanted desperately to believe she was present with him now, in mind and body alike, and making this choice as much out of reason as love. But no matter how convincing her argument to this point might be, Adam knew it could not be wholly true: He had by his own doing kept things from her, dangerous secrets which he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, were she to act on this desire now, not fully informed, would only come back to haunt them. There could only be honesty between them - about the dream, the threat, the violence, the looks on James’ face when he knew Alex could not see - or they would all of them suffer for their sins of omission. He shivered, then, a new terror gripping him as he thought of the conversation that would be, how stilted and uncomfortable - and worse, how irrevocably the truth might damage what chance they had. He could guess what James would do to him, but even that paled in comparison to the fear that Alex herself would turn her back on him, closing the door on their relationship before it had even rightly begun. Now, in this moment, there was no easy way to say what must be said; it was impossible to contemplate with her standing so close, her bare skin so near to his own. He felt paralyzed with indecision, terrified that any choice he might make would be the wrong one.
“Alex...” His lips parted, but no other sound came out. A breath fell from his lips to shatter at her feet. “There’s a lot we need to talk about first. We’ve waited this long... just a little longer, Alex. I promise. But...” He tried to swallow, but the lump in his throat would not move. “Not yet. Please, just trust me. Give me some time.”
Her brows furrowed deeply, and when he pulled away from her, for a moment she just stood there, flushed and flustered, watching him as frustration and a sense that something was really wrong was here.
It didn’t last long.
Under normal circumstances, she’d have nodded her head and left, her dignity intact. But somehow it was obvious that these were not normal circumstances, even if she couldn’t say why. As a result, her hands balled into fists that hung uselessly at her sides before she said,
“I don’t understand. What do we need to talk about? Are you just making excuses? Why are you making declarations of love and desire out of one side of your mouth then holding me at arm’s length?”
She said it all without regard for her near-nakedness; she was far too focused on whatever answers he might give, whatever explanation he might have.
“Does this have something to do with Jamie?” she said, a sneaking suspicion forming that Jamie’s overprotectiveness might be scaring Adam off.
He flushed. Faint though it was he could feel it, incontrovertible evidence that she had come too close to the truth to be good for any of them. He could not tell her the details, but he could let her supply her own; were they too off the mark he could correct them, but he could not betray the shameful, unspoken trust he and her brother shared. It was a difficult prospect if he was to maintain some scrap of possibility for them to come to this point again, but in the interests of honesty it was a risk he had to take. His lips parted, a ragged breath slipping free.
“Yes,” he said, his shoulders visibly slumping. “But Alex, please don’t tell him that. It’s more than just him.” He shook his head, raking a hand through his hair. “You really...” His tongue toyed with the roof of his mouth, his labret shifting with the motion. “Something seems off. I just don’t feel right about this. Please understand.”
None of this made sense. Not one bit of it. The maelstrom of emotion that was overtaking her was almost unbearable: rejection, anger, and the sharpest sort of pain. Her cheeks flooded with color and she bent over to snatch up her coat.
“You’re... you’re full of shit, you know that?” she near-sputtered, the curse feeling strange on her tongue, but good. “You don’t love me, and you certainly can’t want me that badly if you’re going to give me some excuse about Jamie.” She felt sick and mortified and embarrassed, and she shoved her arms into the sleeves of her coat, yanking it around her.
“I don’t know what’s going on between the two of you, but the least you could have done was be honest about it instead of letting me do... this!”
It was entirely irrational, and later, she wouldn’t be able to believe she’d said it out loud. Alexandria had her share of irrational thoughts -- at least she imagined so -- but she rarely, if ever voiced them, choosing, instead, to analyze them, turning them over in her mind until she could see how much truth there was to them. But at this moment, she couldn’t have cared less about it.
Adam flinched, as hard and quick as if she’d hit him. It was impossible to answer her. Even he did not know what was going on between them, if indeed there was anything at all. He had no interest in the other man, and had no way of knowing if what he’d seen in James’ eyes had been recognition, memory, or blind, unfounded hope; regardless, the veracity of the dream stuck with him too firmly to be shaken, and between that unresolved strangeness, his crippling fear, and the certainty that Alexandria was behaving most unlike herself, Adam felt sure he had made the hard but proper choice. He bit his lip nearly to bleeding, uncertain of how to say any of this, how to make himself understood without causing her still more undeserved pain.
“I don’t know, Alex,” he groaned. That cold fear, far too familiar now, gripped him still, freezing his words in his throat. “I don’t know. Please, just give me some time...”
She shook off his protests as she tied the belt of the coat too tightly around her, flushed with shame and anger, her eyes already welling up with impotent tears.
“Take all the time you want,” she said, resenting even the catch in her voice as she spoke. “I’m leaving.”
With that, she yanked his door open and slammed it behind her, then crossed the hallway to her own apartment, slamming that one closed, too, once she was inside.
Adam’s mouth still hung dumbly open as he heard that second, damning crash. He breathed a shallow, tremulous sigh. His teeth sank into his tongue before he could whisper her name, quickly cutting off that useless gesture. Tomorrow he would piece together the ragged scraps of an explanation. Tomorrow he would apologize, would begin whatever penance would be required to set all this to rights. But tonight he had not the first idea where to begin, and the fear that had taken such hold of him now sank its claws in all the deeper. So he took himself to bed, praying for sleep, and the clarity he hoped would come with the morning.