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15. The F Word

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I sensed the change, the way she pulled back, the uncertainty and I racked my brain trying to understand what had caused it. We were good; and then we weren't.

I passed Mia another glass of wine and she smiled as she accepted it, but she kept her eyes diverted.  That wasn't good, if I couldn't see her eyes, I had nothing. 

"Are you okay?"  I asked quietly against her ear. 

"Of course, I'm fine Jay." 

In my experience, when girls said they were fine, they weren't. It was like their version of the F word.

I sipped on my beer and watched her from a distance, seeing her back stiffen as Sam sat beside her. I couldn't hear the conversation, but from the look on Mia's face I didn't think it was going well. Her eyes sought out mine and I raised my eyebrow in question and she gave me a slight nod.

"Hey Sam, hope you don't mind if I steal my girl for a bit?" It wasn't so much a question and I took Mia's hand and led her inside.

"You okay?" I asked as I searched her eyes.

"I'm fine."

"Cut the bullshit babe, tell me what's wrong."

She looked surprised but then looked down at her empty glass. I took it from her and refilled it before handing it back.

"Now are you going to tell me what's going on?"

She put her glass on the kitchen bench and took a step towards me, her hand reaching to hold the back of my neck as she pulled me close and brushed her lips against mine.

"I'm fine." She whispered, her warm breath carrying the scent of wine.

"As much as I'd like to believe that Mia, I think you're lying." I whispered back before pulling her in for a deeper kiss, my hands sliding under the back of her singlet and rubbing against her soft skin.

"Tell me." I encouraged as I kissed her throat and around to just below her ear where I gently nipped her before sucking on her skin. 

"I forgot what it was like."  She admitted breathily. 

"What what was like?"  I asked as I moved her straps to the side and kissed along her collarbone.

"To be with someone you know nothing about, to realise they have a past and a life that you're not familiar with." 

She paused and took in a shaky breath as I kissed her chest, her hand pulling me closer. 

"I was with the same person for 18 years Jay, I was comfortable.  Now, I feel like an outsider who is getting drip fed information, not all of it useful."

I pushed her singlet and bra a little lower and sucked on her fleshy breast. 

"Comfortable?  From what you told me he cheated on you.  Did you really know him any better than you know me?" 

The words left my mouth before I could stop them and I heard her gasp in shock and felt her pull back.

Holding her in place, I continued my assault on her skin.  "You can ask me anything Mia, anything you want to know and I'll tell you.  Don't let anyone cloud your judgement babe."

I looked back into her eyes before gently kissing her, a sense of relief washing over me when she responded by deepening the kiss and as I raised my hand to cup her breast, I swallowed her moans.

"Do you want to go back outside, or would you prefer to go upstairs and talk?"  I stared into her glassy eyes as I tweaked her nipple. 

"We can talk later?"  I don't think it was meant to be a question but I nodded in response.  I let go of her breast and pulled her straps up, handed her her wine and led her back outside.  Only this time I kept her with me.  It was obvious that Sam was up to her old tricks and I knew she wouldn't say anything while I was within earshot.

"You and Sam have a past?" She asked as she lay with her back to my chest. Looks like we're going to talk about it now.

I turned her so she was facing me, so she could see my face and I could see hers.

"Not exactly, we've hooked up a few times. I made it clear from the start that it wasn't going anywhere, it was only sex.  There wouldn't be a relationship, I don't believe in them."  I wanted to be truthful, but the look that crossed her face was painful to see.

"Recently?" She asked and I answered with a shrug.

"A few months ago."

"Not on Thursday?" 

"Fucks sake!" I drew in a deep breath and felt Mia stiffen. I tried to comfort her as I thought how to respond.

"Yeah, she was here." Mia started to pull away, but I held her tight. "Just listen okay?" She nodded, but I could feel how tense she was.


"She was here, she turned up uninvited.  She was drunk and asking me for things I wasn't willing to give. Not to her, not to anyone.  Eventually she fell asleep on the couch, I put a blanket over her and came to bed.  When I came down in the morning, she was gone.  That's it."

It was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

It had been so many years since I'd felt this vulnerable and I was as uncomfortable, as I was confused by it.

The last time I felt it was when I was 'with'....

"Tracy?" She said quietly and I hissed in a breath, releasing it slowly as I tried to compose myself. Mia, of course, noticed my reaction and looked up with an uncertain expression. "You don't have to...." She began but I cut her off by putting my index finger against her lips.

"Just give me a minute." I said so quietly that I surprised myself.

"The situation with Tracy was complex, if not completely fucked up." She was about to speak but stopped when I shook my head. If I was going to tell her the truth, which is something I hadn't fully revealed to anyone at this point, I needed to do it without interruption.

"I need a drink ."

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