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*Liking someone is easy, loving them is hard, yet it is love we seek*
I wake up feeling woozy and distant. My eyes come into focus and I realize someone is standing next to me and it is not who I would expect.
“Sadri,” I rasp. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m on my way home from work you big dummy,” she teases me. “Next time try ducking.”
“How long have I been out?” I ask. I feel like I must have been out for weeks I’m so sore. I’ve been shot after all.
“Eddie, it is Friday evening. You’ve been out less than twenty-four hours,” she smiles. I must look totally gob smacked because she laughs at me.
“It felt like so much longer,” I groan. “Does anyone know what happened to me?”
“Nothing really,” she answers, “but some detectives came by and asked a few questions.”
“What do you know?” I inquire weakly.
“Well, someone shot you in the shoulder in a room at the Regis and a woman was involved,” Sadri tells me. “Was it your dominatrix girlfriend?”
“Long story, but she wasn’t my girlfriend,” I respond.
“Since you aren’t going to tell me anything I can use for office gossip I’m going to go,” Sadri smiles. I give her a nod and she leaves with a look over her shoulder before the door shuts.
A little while later, I’m eating my first meal when a couple walks into the room and gives me the distinct impression I’ve done something wrong. I’ve lived a dubious enough existence to know the police when I see them.
“Mr. Duarte, we have a few questions for you, if you feel up to it,” the younger man questions me.
He’s maybe thirty but looks a little worn around the edges; maybe a drinking problem. His older compatriot seems bored with the whole affair.
“I wonder if you can relate to us what happened Thursday night?” he asks.
“It is not very clear. I was talking to Ms. Cook and the gun accidently went off,” I lie. I’m not even sure why. I should send her to prison for a long, long time.
The guy stares at me.
“How do you know the gun accidently went off if your recollections aren’t clear?” he points out.
“Nothing in our conversation leading up to that would make me believe that she meant to hurt me,” I rehearse the lines I vaguely remember piecing together before I passed out.
“Why did she have her gun out?” he persists.
“I think she was rummaging in her purse,” I evade. I know that is terribly lame, but as I said it was the plan I came up with while fending off shock.
“What is Ms. Cook to you?” he changes tact.
“We have engaged in a personal but non-sexual relationship,” I answer.
“Is that why she was dressed the way she was when we first interviewed her?” He questions.
“Do you seriously ask to ask a grown man why he was in a room with a grown woman in lingerie?” I sigh. “We weren’t sexual, but we were appreciative.”
“Listen you,” the second man finally speaks, “if you continue to hinder prosecution on this case we’ll drag you in right now. Now answer the damn questions.”
“I stand by my statements. The gun went off by accident; end of story,” I state.
“Next time she’ll put you in a pine box,” the second man sneers. He’s probably right.
The first detective hands me his card; Detective Linus Dirac. The second cop doesn’t even bother. I lie back and try to get some more sleep but the doctors stop by and examine me. On the plus side all my vitals are good and I’m scheduled to be released Sunday. Crap, how often do people get shot around her that they have to toss you out on the street after only three days?
I’m eating like a champ and I’ve even have a nice female intern come by and give me some attention; apparently getting shot is manly. It seems my supervisor; Mr. Chu went by my place (brave man) and got me a new set of clothes. My old shirt and undershirt are a total loss, my pants and shoes have blood on them, but my tie made it through unscathed.
There is a knock on the door and there stands Joyce Cook. I can’t help myself.
“Please tell me you don’t have a gun,” I gulp. That earns me a pained smile.
“No, they don’t’ allow guns in hospitals,” she replies.
“Come in, take a seat, and tell me what the hell happened after I passed out,” I request.
“The man next door was a doctor and took care of you until the EMTs arrived. I spent the night with the police. I’m sorry about what happened. I’m surprised you aren’t sending me away,” Joyce whispers. “You could have ruined my career … my entire life.”
“Think nothing of it. You didn’t deserve to go out that way,” I wince at my own joke. “Of course had you killed me I’d have been really cross.” Joyce gives a dry chuckle.
“What am I going to do with you?” she says as she strokes my hand.
“I think we have established we aren’t doing anything with one another,” I grin, “or do I have to be shot again?”
“That’s not funny Eddie. I could have killed you,” she cautions.
“Fine Joyce; no more joking; I was trying to help you and Gloria not be at one another’s throats and I pressed you too hard and I’m antalya escort sorry. I only want Gloria and I hope you can understand that,” I reason with her. I have to believe I can fix this thing; I have my reasons.
“Eddie, I will never know how you care so deeply for her yet not see her for who she really is,” Joyce assures me.
“No Joyce …” I stop her.
She is smart enough to know this isn’t an argument she is going to win today. Instead she squeezes my hand and turns and leaves. Part of me hopes that she’s shot me and this is the end of it. Part of me fears that she thinks I’ve saved her life and she’d got to return the favor.
I’m with the male nurse helping me dress and my bag ready to go when I notice someone standing at the doorway drinking me in. It is Gloria and she looks decidedly unhappy. The nurse leaves and it is only she and I.
“I need to get home,” I tell her gingerly.
“I am your ride home,” she tells me.
“Oh … okay. I promise I’ll run up the stairs, lock the door and I’ll be back to work on Tuesday; Wednesday at the latest.”
“You are moving in with me,” she declares with cold iron efficiency.
“I think we should talk about this,” I begin to say.
“No, we shouldn’t,” she fixes me with her stare. “I’ve bought you some clothes and fixed up the guest room.”
“No Gloria, I think we need to talk about this,” I metaphorically stand up to her. Gloria walks physically into my space, standing up to me physically and I can tell she’s trembling with pent up emotional energy.
“Damn you Eddie, you could have died!” she screams at me. Tears are starting to stream down her face. “I only started caring about you and you did this stupid stunt. How dare you?”
“You are the most beautiful woman in my life,” I respond to her softly as I try to put my good hand on her shoulder.
“Don’t you dare,” she snaps. “You don’t get to be nice to me. I am so angry with you right now I could scream,” she screams. The fact that she is screaming is something I don’t need to share with her.
“Do you know how I felt when Chu gave me the news? Do you know how empty I felt as I had to wait for the hospital to get back to me on how you were doing? Do you know how much restraint it took to not go down and strangle Joyce Cook? Do you?” she continues to snarl.
“No I don’t,” I whisper to her. She bats my hand away as I try to run it through her hair.
“You don’t get to touch me,” she responds angrily. “If you weren’t already hurt I’d kill you. I can’t begin to tell you how furious I am with you.” There is really only one truth for this.
“I love you Gloria.” Her face pales then flushes with rage once more.
“How dare you?” she sobs. She drives her head into my breastbone. “Don’t you dare tell me you love me.”
“I apologize but I won’t take it back,” I respond.
“What were we going to do without you?” she moans. By that I figure she means herself and our unborn child.
“You were right; I was wrong; I beg your forgiveness Gloria. I’m sorry,” I express to her.
“Shut up!” She grumbles. “I’ve been building up to this for two days and you aren’t going to get out of it this easily.” I remain quiet for some time. “Why aren’t you saying anything?” she says.
“I don’t want to lose you, so I’m keeping my mouth shut,” I reply.
“Rrrrr … were your last thoughts of me?” she states with intensity.
“No,” I reply honestly, “my last thoughts were that this couldn’t be happening to me.” She sobs, then sniffles, then laughs softly into my chest.
“You are such an idiot,” she tells me.
“But …” I prod.
“But I love you too,” she whispers. “Now would you please come home with me?”
“I’d be happy to,” I answer. This time she lets me hug her with my good arm. My left shoulder still feels like crap, but I’ll manage.
When she leads me into her place it feels different then I realize what it is; she’s been burning food. I’m not sure what to say. I doubt asking her ‘what is to eat’ will earn me much good will. She can’t cook so I have to imagine what anguish drove her to try again and again to win some sort of victory in the kitchen.
“What can I do for you?” I find myself asking.
“Go up and get situated and I’ll order us some dinner,” she says dejectedly. I’ve never want to see her this upset again.
“I’ll cook dinner for us,” I tell her.
“Sit down,” she orders me.
“Gloria no; I need to do something,” I say as I stand up and make my way to the kitchen. Gloria gets in my way. When I attempt to push pass her she holds me back violently which cause me to grimace.
“Are you going to push me around all night or are you going to let me do something for us,” I relay with some heat. Reluctantly she nods and lets me go around her. I take my time because I’m down to one arm but I feel her eyes upon me as I prepare our meal. As we sit down to eat I start our ritual.
“Don’t even say ‘kiss the cook’,” she states firmly. “Say it and I’ll hurt you.”
“Kiss the cook,” I grin and she hits me in my good kemer escort shoulder. It still hurts but not as much as the furious look in her eyes. God, I’ve hurt her and I’m not sure how to make it better because sex isn’t going to do it any more than begging forgiveness.
“I’ll try harder Gloria,” I promise her. She doesn’t stop glaring at me.
“You had better,” she insists violently. Gloria looks at me, still furious but with a surprising softness sneaking in against her will.
“I don’t want you to be angry with me,” I tell her.
“Shut up,” she snaps. A moment later she adds, “You told me you would stay with me under my terms Eddie. You lied.”
“How is that? I didn’t plan to get shot and all I wanted to do is keep you safe from Joyce. I fucked up; I admit it. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen,” I counter with some anger of my own. She looks pissed then sighs.
“I know. I knew you were doing the wrong thing and I should have stopped you,” she admits while insinuating that I’m mentally challenged.
“Is the baby okay?” I sort of toss out there. The fire returns to her eyes. Now I’ve done it.
“Don’t you dare go there,” she seethes. “You can’t hide behind me being a fragile mother. I’ve fought for everything I’ve gotten and being pregnant doesn’t change that. You keep this up and I’ll … I’ll …”
“Slap me so hard you’ll make my mother cry?” I offer. Gloria trembles then slaps me so hard I swear I hear my mother in the Midwest saying ‘What the fuck?’ I also go rocking into the wall and cry out in pain. Gloria shows all the feminine instincts of a Mother Grizzly. She slaps me four more times before her palm starts to hurt.
We are both standing their panting when she grabs me by my shirt and kisses me savagely for over a minute.
“Eat,” she orders. I don’t have much of a choice. I’m hungry and don’t want to see her any more pissed.
When dinner finishes I clean up and join Gloria by the TV. She finishes up early, clearly unwilling to engage me in conversation. In case I was confused she cuts off the lights as she goes up so I tag along.
“You are sleeping in the guest room,” she declares.
I take my pills and lie down for a few hours but I can’t sleep. I think I know what I’m missing so I go over to Gloria’s room and quietly climb into bed with her but on the far side. I know she will be pissed but I hope she will know how much I miss her. I wake up close to dawn with Gloria looking down at me.
“You … I’ve missed you too,” she says softly.
“I disobeyed you; do you forgive me?” I stifle a yawn.
“I should be angry with you forever — wounded in a room with a scantily clad Joyce Cook — but I can’t. I’m furious with myself as well as you. I want you like I haven’t wanted anything in years,” she confesses.
“Do you forgive me?” I ask hopefully.
“Hardly,” she snorts. “Let’s see where I am on Friday.” I groan in frustration.
“How about a little morning sex?” I suggest.
“Don’t press your luck,” she glares. “You are on thin ice as it is for slipping in here.” With that she left me for a day on my own.
“Damn you are an idiot!” Sadri exclaims as she runs up and hugs me. “What are you doing here?”
“Don’t I still have a job? Isn’t this my tiny cell in Hell?” I taunt her back.
“Home life driving you nuts?” she counters playfully
“And how; have you missed me?” I ask.
“Of course; every part of the new program that I worked on is perfect but all of your work is crap that I’ve had to fix,” she grins.
“You are so full of shit,” I complain as she takes her work at her station.
Chu and several of my co-workers come by and congratulate me for being dumb enough to catch a bullet and a few go fishing as to who I was with and what I said to get shot. No one has any doubt that me getting shot is my fault. I struggle on for two hours until Leslie gives me a call. The Bitch needs to see me.
“How’s the shoulder slugger?” Leslie greets me.
“I was trying to catch it in my teeth but it turns out I have lousy aim,” I say in mock seriousness that earns me a guffaw from Leslie. She sends me into see Mrs. Hardison where I wait for her to acknowledge me.
“Mr. Duarte, you have allowed personal matters to impact your work efficiency,” she notes coldly.
“I’ve already submitted the paperwork to qualify my missed hours as sick leave,” I explain.
“Sick leave is for unexpected illnesses,” Mrs. Hardison says as she looks sharply at me. How is getting shot not sick leave?
“Mrs. Hardison, would you rather have me put in for unpaid leave?” I manage to say.
“Yes. I thought that was abundantly clear Mr. Duarte,” she states.
“Consider it done Mrs. Hardison,” I answer.
“Dismissed,” she tells me as she gets back to work. It is all about productivity numbers. You pay sick workers for no work; being unpaid speaks for itself.
When I get back I must look terribly pissed because Sadri keeps her mouth shut for the rest of the morning. She takes me out to lunch were she broaches konyaaltı escort the question.
“She what?” Sadri growls when I let her in on my conversation with the Bitch. “Eddie, you have debts; even with the overtime we’ve been pulling we need to meet our bills.”
By the end of business Sadri and I’ve caught up with most of the backlog and we can look forward to a normal night at home. Once more I get a call from Leslie with a half hour to go. I drag my sore ass back to the Head office and Leslie tosses me into the Lioness’ Den.
“Mr. Duarte,” the Bitch addresses me distractedly. “You have one strike against you.”
“One more!” I gasp. That’s it for me; I’m fired. Mrs. Hardison doesn’t look up.
“No Mr. Duarte, you have a total of one strike against you unless you think I’m mistaken,” she continues on. I don’t know what to make of that. “You may go now,” she dismisses me.
“Good night Mrs. Hardison,” is my stunned response. She doesn’t look up.
Dinner is freaking weird. By our rules work doesn’t transfer over to home life – the very concept of home life is slowly sinking in and scaring me — so I can’t talk about why in the hell the Bitch has been kind to me. As far as I know this is her first act of kindness in recorded history. I cook up some pork chops with onions and green peppers for dinner.
Gloria seems appreciative of the effort and cleans her plate. She doesn’t kiss me but she slips me a smile when she thinks I’m not looking. When we resume our routine around the sofa and TV I do attempt to touch her knee but she stops me. She’s still pissed and not willing to forgive me yet but at least I know there is a yet.
After my first day back at work I’m exhausted and sleep grabs hold of me and slams me into the pillow like a force of nature I willingly accept. I can’t quite remember what I’m dreaming about because Gloria’s voice invades my slumber urging me on to some unknown purpose.
“Wake up,” she urges me so I open my eyes and there she is hovering over my bed.
I reach out toward this dream and caress a breast covered by her sleeping gown. It is real alright and I bolt into wakefulness so suddenly that I forget to move my hand.
“I need you,” she tells me with a mingling of passion and anger. I scoot over and she pulls back the sheets, dispenses with her dressing gown, and settles into bed with me.
Gloria works off my boxers before running her hands over my body. She kisses my chest and neck intently before moving her leg over my hips and mounting me. I can’t say I’m not more than ready, her pendulous breasts hanging over me eclipses only by the beauty that is her face and the fire of determination in her eyes.
Gloria sighs as she slowly accepts my cock into her. I can only now think that she might have feared never feeling this way again. She leans forward until her hands are braced on either side of my head and her breasts drag along my nipples as she gyrates back and forth. I’m sore and hurt but I go on even when she starts rocking hard and my wounded shoulder screams.
“Eddie,” she gasps, “tell me you will never leave me again.”
“Never again,” I pant. She tries to suck the very life out of me with her mouth over mine. I feel her juices surround me then gush pass my penis. Her whole body trembles and tightens around me before she collapses on top of my body.
“That was fantastic,” I groan.
“Ssshhh,” Gloria whispers intensely. “I’m not done with you yet.”
“Oh crap,” I moan which earns me a wicked look and the knowledge that she really has missed me. After a little bit of a recovery she shifts us around so that I’m beside her (I can’t well be on top with only one good arm).
Our lovemaking is as much a matter of touch, kiss and tongue as breasts and penetrations. I do everything in my power to drive her insane with lust. I have her screaming and crying tears of rapture before I release her to climax and my climax within her. She’s feeble pushing up against my hips as I kiss her head and neck but I barely have the strength to roll to the side when I’m done.
When she finishes with me I am a broken man.
“If I can’t make it in tomorrow can I take a sick day?” I wheeze.
“How about a day of insolence,” she counters between her own ragged breaths. She does manage to sleep with me which you know is worth its weight in gold if you’ve ever been in love.
“What; did you have a run in with a vampire?” Sadri giggles. “When do I get to see this girlfriend of yours? She’s got to be quiet a hellcat in the bedroom.”
“Would it annoy you to know you’ve already met her?” I wink.
“Claudia from Accounting? know she’s go the hots for you and I hear she hits some seriously kinky sites. Maybe she could teach you something,” Sadri teases.
“Don’t expect to hear this often from me but I’m too tired to talk sex,” I croak out. Sadri starts searching around for the cloning equipment because I’m clearly not the real me. We are both struggling in our work for the morning and after my last sensitivity training I’m ready to go home. We sense the trouble coming the way a predator’s rumble permeates the forest as she stalks her pray. Sadri drops her stylus. The Bitch Queen has come down to our floor and focuses on our little bit of cubicle hell. She looks over the low wall that separates us from the outside world.
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