She stared up at the ceiling wondering what had brought them to this. And soon her emotions were too agitated for her to lie still. Cautiously, she slid away from the warmth of his embrace, unsure of what to do, even less sure of what words to say. But his breathing remained even, and she watched as he slept oblivious to the turmoil that roiled in her soul.
She’d never seen Michael this way before, his expression softened, vulnerable, open. He looked serene in a way he never did awake. And Liz couldn’t help feeling like she was being gifted something rare and precious. But it was something she wasn’t sure what to do with. It was as if she was being allowed to see Michael completely, without any of the shields and protective guises he had for the world.
Surprised and uncomfortable with the feelings for Michael that arose suddenly within her, she headed to the bathroom for a nice long shower. She’d be able to think about everything. Because somehow it seemed to her she’d created a mess.
She stood beneath the spray of warm water as it hit her skin and wondered what was it about this whole thing that bothered her most. That she’d made love with Michael? That she’d enjoyed sleeping with Michael and waking up in his arm? Or that not once during all of it had she thought of Kyle?
Had Michael thought of Isabel? Liz suddenly stopped rubbing shampoo into her hair. Would he wake up this morning in her bed and regret everything? Liz wasn’t sure. They would have to talk. But Liz was afraid to find out what was going on in Michael’s head.
Michael thought he’d been dreaming when he had awakened in the predawn hours, the purple silvery light bathing the room. He had watched the moonlight play across Liz’s skin for hours. He watched her sleep, a small smile on her face, her beauty lying unguardedly in his arms. He had relished being so close to her. It was only once he’d looked his fill that he’d been able to surrender to sleep.
He felt it when she left his arms, he’d struggled with the impulse to clasp her to him and keep his breathing even. He’d been surprised by her gaze. He’d thought for sure she’d waken him and kick him out. But she’d merely gone to take a shower.
He could hear the water running in the bathroom as he debated what to do. His idiotic plan regarding his seduction of Liz had succeeded. But now he realized how foolish he had been in thinking it would be simple. Liz had been in love with Kyle for twelve years. One night of amazing sex didn’t change that. It also didn’t help that she thought he was in love with Isabel.
He only wondered at his original ingenuity in thinking this might work, but never planning for what to do if it actually did. As he heard the shower stop, he then began to wonder if maybe he should leave the room to her, when she walked out of the bathroom in a buttercup yellow bathrobe and a matching towel wrapped around her hair.
She noticed he was awake immediately. They stared into each other’s eyes stunned by the jolt of electricity that rushed through their bodies.
Michael sat up as she came towards him, and holding her face between his hands as she knelt on the bed, he kissed her with every bit of love and passion he felt. The kiss went on forever, as they tasted each other, savored the feel of their lips and tongues meeting, meshing.
They broke apart.
Wide-eyed Liz spoke haltingly, “Michael I didn’t think…I never expected…um…I know last night wasn’t supposed to happen. And I just wanted you to know that I don’t regret it, but—“
“I don’t either Liz. In fact—“ Michael interrupted.
“Wait I wanted to say…something else first…um I think we should break up.”
“It’s just I don’t want to help you with Isabel right now. And I need to figure some things out first. Pretending to be your girlfriend will drive me crazy. You’ll have to find another way to get Isabel.”
“Yeah, well, you’ll have to find another way to get Kyle. Liz, come on, this is the best way.”
“I’m sorry Michael. I can’t do this. Michael I—“
“Yeah. Fine. Whatever. I think you’ve made yourself clear.”
Michael angrily pulled on his boxers and grabbed his clothing before leaving the room. How could he have been so stupid to think that it might have worked. All she wanted was Valenti. And no matter how good it was between them she’d never see it. Not as long as she had Kyle on the brain. As he headed towards his bedroom he ran into Kyle in the hall.
“Everything ok?” Kyle asked at the thunderous expression on Michael’s face.
“Um…we still on for the game? Or do you have girlfriend issues?”
“We’re still on. Whatever, it’s fucking over between Liz and me.”
“Michael. What happened?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Sure man, that’s cool. Um…just yell when you’re ready to go.”
“Right.” Michael slammed into his bedroom. His anger dissipating as he leaned against the door. Slowly he slid his back down against the cool wood, until he sat on the floor. He couldn’t help the hot tears or the hurt he felt. He loved her.
And it had just become obvious that she would never love him.
Liz flinched when she heard Michael slam his bedroom door. She wasn’t sure why he was so angry. He was the one in love with Isabel.
Her feelings were now a mess. She didn’t know how she felt about anyone, and she had been trying to explain to this. She needed the time away from Michael to figure out if she could just be his friend. She needed time to sort through the fact that what she had always felt for Kyle might not be real.
And most of all she needed time to sort through how the most incredible night of her life had just become so complicated.