This week I'm prepping the blurb and title for the new book. All along I've had one sub-title in mind:
And so it begins...
On May 14th 1804 a Corps of Discoverers set out on an overwhelming expedition to chart and map the newly acquired western United States of America and see if there was a singular water route from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. We know this band of merry men primarily by the two main voyagers, Lewis & Clark.
These men, well, actually President Thomas Jefferson and explorer Meriwether Lewis, had their plan in place and assembled a crew of able bodied men to join and assist them. Along the way Lewis and Clark got up close and personal with, the flora, fauna, geography and the Natives of the land, they talked to foreigners who had found their way to hunt and live in the land. They used a volley of interpreters to communicate with the Natives and were diligent in mapping and identifying the land they explored. My exploration of sex and Jesus will intentionally parallel their epic journey. A mapping, a searching, an asking and discovering of what’s out there. I’ll observe and immerse myself into the lay of the land. I’ll take celestial calculations, I’ll collect specimens, I’ll measure the peaks and valleys, the length of the rivers and heights of the mountains and all the miles from here, my St. Louis, to there, the Pacific Ocean. Just as many spaces and places within the territory they traveled through are still largely unpeopled, undeveloped and unexplored, my trek will, of course not be exhaustive. I have no idea what lies before me, I imagine I’ll marvel and wonder and discover things that take my breath away. I’m sure I’ll brave dangerous rapids and shiver through snow and rain and probably have to unload my boats and maybe trudge because the way was quite unexpectedly impassable. And at the end of the journey, if I don’t have any answers, at least I’ll have a better map of how sexuality relates to Christian spirituality.
The journey, as all good journeys do, will start at the beginning. Lewis and Clark’s journey started years before the 1804 embarking. Jefferson and Lewis dreamed of the exploration for years as I have dreamed of and prepared for this one. Lewis invited Clark along well after the dreaming and planning was afoot. There was training and teaching and prepping and building and packing. I have planned and prepared for this journey. I’ve used the The One Year Chronological Bible in the New Living Translation, published by Tyndale as my jumping off point. I admit this is not my favorite translation of the Bible but I had a lofty idea of having the whole thing read through again in a year and its daily sections were a great motivator. This biblical translation has been generously supplemented with clarifying readings from my favorite translations; the old NIV, ESV and NKJ. I’ve sprinkled in translation clarification from studylight.org, and looked at the good King James version of the Bible itself because it has my respect even if its English is outdated. From this beginning point (the Bible in chronological order) I’ve done my best to document and note each sexual, sexualized, or intimate interaction so that they can be classified, explored and weighed against God’s biblical commands, the church’s historical and popular teachings and modern society. Like Lewis and Clark were focused on finding a water route from the Missouri to the Pacific, I’m fixed on sex and sexuality, but understand that gender, feminism, misogyny, birth and birth control and similar strands of exploration will likely surface along the way. I’m ok with that, I’m just going to see where the river and the exploration takes me.
Each chapter will be separated into three sections; His, mine, and ours. MINE, of course, will be my own unique take on the sexual subject at hand, shaped and formed from the early, untreated sexual abuse I experienced, my teen and young adult sexual explorations and the culture shock I stepped into when I got “saved,” and my current notions and ideas, largely influenced by my study on the subject. I will admit up front, this section may just be a cathartic exploration, good only for me, and possibly most of the books metaphorical analogies but hey… this is a journey of discovery, so it works for me, and if anyone doesn’t want my own opinions, it’ll be easy to identify and skip over.
Ours will be what “we” think, where “we” includes a presentation of thoughts, ideas and opinions of the Corps of discovers. This is where YOU come in, if you so choose! I will present topics and questions and will gladly welcome your feedback. I will also be consulting with the others I mentioned before: Natives, foreigners and fellow sojourners, or in real life: the experts in the field, those from different cultures and others who have written or spoken on the subject at hand, sex and sexuality. I will explore what “we” say and have said about sex. What is, if there is such a thing, as normal or acceptable sex. What is deviant and what is cultural? Are there common beliefs “we” all agree on? How do we react to the topics at hand.
The final say on each subject will be HIS. God gets the final say. This section will be my best effort at scouring the Bible, taking the measurements, mapping the territory and doing my best to see, hear, smell, taste, touch, feel and know God’s heart on any sexual matter. I am no fool, I know it’s impossible, but I will do my best to honor God and the Word and present the God’s honest truth about sex and sexuality with as much fear, respect, integrity and honor as I can. I will also endeavor to provide global church perspectives on the sexual topic addressed in each chapter and present the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the God’s honest truth according to the Bible and generally agreed upon sexual rules within the historical and modern “church” where the church is described as the body of believers who claim to be followers of Christ and subscribe to the Apostle’s Creed, irrespective of denomination or nationality.
The plan is to research, record, explore and dissect the Bible, to find out what questions arise from my personal Biblical study and to ask others what they want to know, or have always wondered about in order to to assemble a list of questions to investigate.
This is the journey I’m embarking on, a great expanse of known and unknown territory filled with story, legend, folklore and preconceived notions. I am excited to begin. I have built my boat, I have packed my bags, I have assembled my crew and venture on into a great adventure! Come with me if you will!
From this setting off point I'll be honest. I have NO idea what I'm doing. I've never written non-fiction like this and it's proving to be a challenge. I have so many cares, concerns and responsibilities in life that always seem to jump, push or sneak in line ahead of my writing. I ask for your patience with me as I trek along, but definitely welcome you to keep me accountable!
Like Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery Expedition in the early 1800s, Sex and Jesus is a journey of exploration. The territory, like the newly acquired western United States were, is vast and mysterious. I want to map, if I can, sexuality and spirituality and perceptions on both as they interconnect for typical American citizens of diverse ages, genders, weights, sizes and religious or non-religious affiliation. I’m asking a lot of questions about a lot of different things, some easy to talk about, some taboo and some, quite honestly, deplorable. I’m not necessarily seeking to answer questions as much as to explore different thoughts, preferences and rules (written and unwritten) about sexuality and God so that I can chart the land. Where are the fault lines we all ought to avoid building on? Where are the waters we gather around for life and gratification? What are the highest peaks of orgasmic pleasure and the lowest valleys of sexual depravity? What is the shape of sex on God’s canvas of humanity? I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but I’ve got my bags packed and now I’m out to assemble a crew… and I want YOU!
Of course, I’ll be the captain of this grand adventure. I will be as honest as I can possibly be in sharing what I find, but I’m far from objective. I’m admittedly and unashamedly a conservative Christian. I’m comfortable and confident in my faith in Jesus Christ. This is the cornerstone of my life and also, obviously, the catalyst for this expedition. Additionally, I’m a fitness fanatic, a small town woman with minimalist tendencies and a dark past. I’m an advocate for abused and neglected children because I’m an adult survivor of sexual abuse. All of these “hats” and so many more influence me and leave me less than neutral.
I want more than my own paradigm and voice. I would like to collaborate with some of my dearest companions as I make this journey, and do so hope a few will volunteer to join me. I respect and value their opinions more than anyone’s… that’s why they’re closest to me; but I also want to supplement their input with the opinions of others I might not be as familiar with. I need more than the perspectives of a handful of select individuals I know well. If I only ask and trust my friends for data I don’t think I’ll see the true topography with all the gritty bits that may be left out as they shape their answers because of the complexity of human interaction and our personal relationships. In order to fully explore the territory, I need the rest of my crew to be a trustworthy but diverse mix.
That’s why I’m coming to you!
I have a vague vision for this project that resembles the Lewis & Clark expedition. My core team will be small enough for me to listen to with focused intensity but large enough to provide a broad view of the landscape. I’ll be asking a sexual question of the day several times a week as well as a lot of survey questions. These will help me define the forum topics and questions I’ll ask others along the way. Ideally we’ll meet a number of times this year in one-on-one or forum type settings (either online or in person where time and distance permit). I hope to talk openly and candidly about sex and religion.
Of course ‘along the way’ I’ll interview the natives, foreigners and fellow sojourners on their own adventures. From this group of people I’ll explore different cultures, traditions, beliefs, perceptions and mindsets than what may be the accepted norm within the corp. As different as these perspectives are, they have a right to be heard and I want to listen.
So today I’m asking for brave volunteers to join my Corp of Explorers or honestly represent the natives and fellow sojourners. There will be lots of sex and Jesus talking and definitely some exploration along the way. I promise, all data and feedback will be treated with the utmost respect, and information within the book will be presented anonymously. If you want to participate completely anonymously you can, I’ll respect your privacy, but I need you to be honest no matter what! If you are intrigued and want to actively participate in this adventure with me, will you please email me at: LucyHDelaney@gmail.com
Some but not all of the topics I plan to cover are:
Climax and multiple orgasm
Biblical history of sex
Libido, sexual appetite and dysfunction
Monogamy and multiple partners
Church traditions, rules and taboos
Purity and depravity
Breast and penis envy and size
Pornography and artistic nudity
Biblical laws regarding sexual practices
Kissing strangers on planes...
Apparently the kissing strangers scene in Finding Jordan has inspired my baby brother to find a stranger of his own to kiss when he ventures out on his trek across America. Since I'm still musing about what to write this week, I thought I'd share a little of Jordan's kiss with a blue eyed stranger with the rest of you. The back story is that Jordan is interviewing for a job as an Intervener (a person who works with someone who is deaf-blind) for a world famous adventure seeker, Hank Moore. Hank has challenged her to find a stranger on the plane to kiss. She found her guy but lost her courage and then returned to sit by Hank on the plane...
“Well that didn't work.” I said as I refastened my seat belt.
“This is hard.”
“I didn't say it was going to be easy, I said it would make you understand what life is like for me. Everything is a risk, new and unknown and takes incredible effort, even something as simple as a kiss isn't so simple if there are barriers to overcome.” As we were talking someone came walking up the aisle, and stopped beside me. Jean jacket, faux wool, blonde hair. It was my blue eyes! What was he doing up in first-class?
“Hang on Hank,” I said stopping him in mid-sentence, with a hand on his forearm, as my eyes reconnected with my handsome stranger. I had to remind myself of my interview because as soon as I realized it was him, I forgot all about everything. I saw his blue eyes dart to Hank, saw the surprise. It was a common look I was used to for those in the sensory-impaired community. He saw Hank, then saw Hank's blindness, and he was no longer a man sitting beside me, he was a blind man, and Blue Eyes didn't know what to do, or what to say. I wondered what his initial plan had been in the first place. I was about to introduce him, whoever he was, to Hank but he moved on, quickly, like I had up the aisle and into a vacant bathroom. I smiled. I knew he was interested. There was a bathroom back there way closer to him. He followed me.
I explained to Hank what had just happened, from the beginning. He knew better than I did about peoples' reactions to him.
“He's your mark.”
“He's the one. Kiss him.”
“What? I thought I got to pick.”
“Fine then, but I recommend you pick him.”
“OK then.” I was going to do it. He was going to come out of the bathroom and I was going to stand and grab him and kiss him like my life, or at least my career depended on it. I was. I was! And then he came out and I froze again. He looked at me and made me forget everything I had just planned to do. My legs wouldn't move, nothing...all I could do was stare, like a deer in the headlights and watch as he and he kept walking... then, as he passed, I finally reacted and grabbed his ringless-left hand in desperation and said, “Wait!”
He stopped and looked at my hand on his, then smirked but said nothing and stood still. He was cute, definitely, my age and my ticket to pass this phase of the interview. My heart beat like hummingbird's. He was looking at me, I stood, never taking my eyes from his. He was much taller than me, over six feet, easy.
“OK,” I said standing to meet him. “This is going to sound like the worst come on line on the planet, but I have to kiss you, right here, right now. You don't have a girlfriend or anything like that do you? Crap! Wait... don't even answer that.” I said remembering Hank already told me this was the guy, “Just... let me kiss you first then I won't know.”
“Uhhh,” he smiled, “Why do you have to kiss me?”
I grinned and put my face in my hands and shook my head. “I can't believe this,” I said to my hands. I knew Hank couldn't hear that even if he could hear any other part of the conversation. As awkward as kissing a boy on a plane was, it was a means to the end. To the job of my future. Blue Eyes gave me the perfect way to include my weird interviewer into the moment. “This is Hank Moore, he does TV shows about adventure.”
“Yeah!” Blue Eyes said, “I thought that was him,” he said, all of a sudden way more interested in Hank than me, “but then I was like, no, no way. So you've been to the Congo?” He asked turning his attention to Hank, who nodded and sat up and forward toward us his right ear cocked noticeably toward us. I wondered how much he could hear from his distance down and three feet away with all the engine noise. Our own conversation side-by-side had been choppy and staggered as it was. Blue Eyes looked at him, then me, and the uncertainty flooded across his face. I did not know him, but I thought I knew the look. He wanted to know something but didn't know how or who to ask. And this would be the guts of my job, connecting Hank to the outside world, not only the places and activities but the people, the fans, that he couldn't see and they couldn't do without guidance.
I smiled lightly and said, “It's OK, he takes questions, you can ask more if you want.” And then it occurred to me that maybe Hank didn't take questions.
“It's OK if he asks you questions right?” I asked leaning into Hank's good ear.
Hank nodded his head up and down once, his ear still turned toward Blue Eyes.
“So, I heard there are stories about a dinosaur that lives there, is that real?”
Hank turned toward me, he couldn't hear, “He wants to know if a dinosaur lives in the Congo since you've been there to explore.” I asked a little louder.
“Dinosaur? Oh, Mkele um bembe? Yes, there are rumors, of a sauropod-like creature that lives in the waters. Huge, plant eating. Highly territorial. Most of the natives are afraid to say too much out loud. They think it will anger the beast.”
“That's crazy man. Did you... uhhh” he stopped, looked at me nervously, “see one?” he finished asking Hank then turned back to me.
“No, but we did have a close call with a hippo though. That was interesting.”
“Yeah, I remember that on the show,” Blue Eyes said with a smile, then turning to me, “So what does he have to do with you kissing me.”
“Oh,” for the slightest second I forgot about that. I was doing what I was supposed to do, what I dreamed of doing for a living, then he reminded me of the kiss. Apparently he hadn't forgotten. “He wants to know about the kiss,” I said loud enough that Hank could hear. I felt suddenly exposed, the two of us were standing in the front of first class and I was speaking loud enough for most of the others around to hear as well as Hank, “I'm, um, actually, trying to get a job working for him.” I knew he wouldn't know what an Intervener was and didn't want to say companion and job in the same sentence so I left it there, “It's my task for the plane ride.”
He pushed his lips together in contemplation, staring at me hard, nodding his head then said, “Well, if you have to kiss me, how about I make it easy for you?” and pulled me close to him in one quick, fluid move. The electricity running from him to me was palpable, I looked down, then up then leaned into him. Both of us refused to close our eyes. I don't know what his thing was, I kept mine open to be sure he wasn't going to change his mind at the last minute, and leave me standing there expectantly with my eyes closed, not that Hank would see it if he did, but I would be embarrassed. Everything proceeded in slow motion, until we were only inches away from each other, each watching the other for permission to move closer. Finally, in desperation, I begged him, “Would you just kiss me already?”
It was all the permission he needed. He smiled big, grabbed my face in his hands and covered my lips with his...
Hello friends, fans and family!
I wasn't sure if anyone would notice that Scandalous Affair didn't make it out today but I had a couple people ask. I am truly, completely flattered that people are eagerly awaiting it's release. Unfortunately there were some production errors so we weren't able to have it out today. I'm not sure when it's going to be out, but here's a fairly tame sneak peek to whet your appetites while you wait. As soon as it's up I'll let you know!
Rowena was waiting for him at the studio, and like a moth drawn to a flame he went to her. The Sophia Chavez Studio of Dance was the premiere dance studio in Hollywood. It boasted some of the biggest A-list actors amongst its regular clientele. Ornate crystal sconces around the perimeter walls lit the ballroom. The polished brass barres glimmered in the dim light, their reflection shining in the dark, glossy walnut floors. Wren had been meeting Rowena at the studio to dance on and off for quite some time.
Walking in that night felt a little like coming home and brought back a flood of memories he and Rowena shared. He stopped the thoughts quickly; he didn't want to think about how it started, how he had become a dance partner to his once-frumpy legal assistant. He didn't want to think of how she had transformed over the years from an old high-school memory of an awkward, ugly girl into a co-worker, confidant, and exotic beauty with curves in all the right places, who knew him better than anyone else on the planet. He wouldn't think about when he realized he was falling hopelessly in love with her and began to want her, need her in his life. He certainly wouldn't think about her tears and her innocent, sweetly innocent, big, brown doe eyes looking at him asking why; why couldn't he love her with all his heart? All he would think about was the dance, the closest she let him get to making love to her.
He saw her from the entrance of the dimly lit ballroom. He wanted her and let his mind wander. He imagined her breath catching as he ran a hand down her bare skin. He wanted to hear her moan as he found all her secret places that only a lover would know. He longed to feel himself deep inside her, taking her, showing her how much he loved her, but she wouldn't have it, not unless he could give her everything. She knew how badly he wanted her, but her body and her fortune were the only things she hadn't already given him, the only things she would not give him unless he was completely committed to her and her alone.
Wren, the strong, debonair man that he was, had a commitment phobia. He didn't want to be owned by any woman--not by Rowena, not by Chelsea. He wanted to be his own man, but he couldn't feel like a man without a partner, which led him back to the choice before him.
None of that tonight, he told himself. They would love on the dance floor. He would memorize and record everything he knew about her, everything she revealed, had ever revealed. He'd feel her hips swaying in unison with his, their steps matching one another, their bodies working like they were made for each other. He would capture her essence and take it with him to his place of decision for once and for all.
His steps echoed as he walked across the hardwood floor to her. She turned to acknowledge him, her jet-black hair catching the light as she did so.
“My love,” she said in her sweet honey accent. Wren wondered if her plump, glossy lips tasted as delicious as they looked. He wanted to wrap his hands up in her hair and savor her. She came towards him in a rush of smooth, fluid steps. “I promised you a dance. What'll it be?”
She was stunning, the definition of true, natural beauty, lovelier than he ever remembered Chelsea looking, even in all her made-up glory. He had never seen anyone change like Rowena had. She had been a gangly waif in high school, too thin and plain for him to pay attention to. The night of their dance, she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He couldn't figure it out. Hollywood was famous for cosmetic enhancements, but Rowena assured him she never changed; only his perception of beauty had.
Her dress, a cool autumn umber with sequins and rhinestones, sparkled radiantly under the lights . It was dangerously low-cut in the front and back. She watched him try to glimpse more than the dress would allow and grinned seductively. His dark, penetrating eyes trailed down the silken fabric covering her torso to the angled skirt sewn high on her right hip. The dim, ambient, intimate glow in the room accentuated and punctuated every sultry curve of her frame.
He was still fully dressed in his suit from work. Rowena reached up and loosened his tie, fixing her gaze on his piercing coffee-colored eyes. She slid it out of his collar in one smooth motion and then undid the top three buttons of his shirt, exposing tanned, muscled skin beneath. She circled behind him, trailing her hand across his chest as she did, reveling in his strength. She hooked the collar of his Armani jacket and eased it off his broad shoulders and down his toned arms, pressing herself ever so lightly into his muscled back, intoxicating him with her perfume.
She knew, after all the years of indecision, he was on the precipice. He would choose her; of that she had no doubt. It was his doubt he needed to be free of. It was time for him to decide. It was time for them to dance. She deposited his belongings on a chair, and he walked to the sound booth in the opposite corner of the room to prep the music.
His last night ever with either Rowena or Chelsea was about to begin. Wren had already chosen their dance. Not a tango or Cha Cha or Samba. They were all hot, sexy dances, yes, but they were also full of drama. He did not want drama; he wanted to answer his question. Which one, which woman, would he choose? Which would he leave? He wanted passion and partnership for this dance, sweet, pure, intimate passion and a partner he could trust and know.
He announced the dance to her in his deep, controlled voice. She looked at him, their eyes locking even at that distance, their hearts connecting and both quickening. She nodded, well pleased at his choice, as sure as ever that he had already chosen her. He just didn't know it. The music bounced off the walls of the room. The song, With You I'm Born Again, a 70's ballad, had a perfect beat for a waltz.
Rowena yearned with everything inside her to share her life with him. All of her life, there was so much more she wanted to tell him, but she couldn't. His heart was not yet fully hers, and if her father had taught her anything, it was to demand absolute love, fidelity and trust from a man before, not after, giving herself completely. She came from power and could demand anything she wanted, except love. She wanted true, absolute, pure love. The only way she could be sure Wren was truly in love with her was to demand everything from him. He was a man in the business of using his words to persuade people to believe him over others. His words wouldn't make her believe. Not his words but his deeds. She would know his love was real and not a ploy to satisfy his desire to have her when he left everything. It wasn't death; it wasn't torture. He would have so much more than he could imagine, but her price was high. If he loved her, really loved her, he would do it.
Their bodies merged and moved as one. She watched him, pleading silently and promising she was absolutely everything he could ever want or need. She would hold out for love, true love, until he finally committed or until her father called her away. Only when she knew with her body, mind and soul that he wanted her alone would she give him everything she was. With each step they made together in time to the music, she beckoned him to her, assuring him she would be worth the decision.
She knew she could make the decision for him in a second. She could tell him about everything. He knew about her family's wealth, their holdings, their influence. It was too obvious to hide, but there was even more he had no idea they were involved in. But if she told him first, he would choose her only because of the power that would be available to him. He was ambitious, and he would use her family name for his purpose. He didn't want to be owned, but she didn't want to be used. She wanted to be his one true love. She told herself over and over again that it wasn't a silly fantasy; she was more than worthy of love for love's sake. And she wanted to know love, for love's sake.
Unspoken thoughts and feelings hung thick in the air between them, swirling around and within. Rowena deeply, desperately wanted Wren; the tendrils of her feelings wrapped around him. He felt her desire. It invigorated him to know she wanted him so badly, and it confused him, even frustrated him. He asked her why, once. Why did she continue to dance with him? Why did she wait and pine for him day after day, week after week, month after month when he went back to Chelsea? Her answer was simple.
“I love you. I always have. I want you to love me back... Besides, it's no fun to dance alone, and you need to dance.” All she wanted was love, why couldn't he give it to her?
Then thoughts and feelings escaped them both, and the dance took over. It was a magical, sensual, raw mess of nothing but arms and legs, hips and hands moving in time, motion and unison with each other. His cologne, her perfume, the music, the shuffle of their box step on the floor. She knew his moves, his stride, and anticipated perfectly even the slightest change he made to the classic steps. She was right. He needed to dance, and there was no one like her to dance with. They were one... They could be one.
When the waltz was finished he took her into his arms and held her tight, afraid to let go because letting go tonight could mean saying good-bye forever. He searched her deep, dark eyes for any sign of malice. He couldn't believe, after all these years, there was a catch to her motivation, but it was just as hard to believe love was her only motivation. He saw no malice, no resentment looking back at him, only longing and a strength and fortitude he admired and raged against at the same time. He wouldn't let her go. She held his gaze. He wanted to convey the sincerity of his desire. He wanted to lean in to taste her full, shimmering lips, to feel his mouth on hers, and for once not have her pull away. She never allowed it, not even a kiss.
Rowena wanted the kiss as much as he did and more, but she was a woman of steel, absolutely her father's daughter, and would not be, could not be, persuaded to compromise. She knew it maddened him, but in a world of spins and compromises someone had to be a rock. She was that rock; she would not be broken. She lifted her hands to his strong, stubbled cheeks and stared. Her thumbs, warm and soft, outlined his lips gently as she searched his eyes for his decision. He pursed his lips to her thumbs, electrifying them both. He reached for her hands, drew them to his chest, and let his lips rest on her forehead. He closed his eyes and breathed her in. Roses, strong and subtle at the same time, a paradox like everything about her. He was suddenly aroused. He wanted to lay her down right there on the hard wood floor and ravage her, possess every inch of her, make her his own. He wouldn't, of course. If he did, he was sure he'd be dead by morning, but he wanted to. Rowena felt him tense and knew he had momentarily lost control of his passions. Then slowly, deliberately, he moved his lips to her ear and whispered the promise again; he would make his choice that weekend.
He pulled away to look at her once more. The tears in her eyes were for him. She could feel anticipation warming inside her. She wanted him just as badly but knew now was not the time. Almost. A little longer, and he would know. She saw the guilt he felt for making her wait but could also tell that wasn't the driving force behind this night's promise to finally decide.
Rowena knew they belonged together. She could see their forever in his eyes. She felt it in his moves on the floor and heard it in his beating heart. He was, and always would be, her man, but he had to figure it out for himself. She would wait for him again, like she always did. It was the hardest decision he would ever make. She knew she was asking a lot, so she would wait until he was absolutely sure he wanted her above all other women--body, mind and soul. She dreamed of their life together and longed to see him shine, not in the shadow of Chelsea's light but with a light all their own. She imagined the places they would go, the things they would do, their children, beautiful children, and raising them together. She wanted to be the one to go through old age with him instead of Chelsea, to be there in his prime and as his strength and power faded until it was time to pass from this life into the next. She wanted to be the one for him, with him, forever. If only he would let her.
He dipped his head toward hers. Their noses touched, their lips only centimeters apart. Would she let him? He warmed with fresh desire and hope. Maybe this time. Her heartbeat quickened to a flutter. Reluctantly, but with an inner strength that would not be shaken by the heat of the moment, she took his face in her hands again, leaned up on tiptoes to kiss his forehead, and let her fingers trace his chiseled jawline before releasing herself from his embrace.
"I love you Wren. Come back to me, please." And that was it. She walked away. Her back was to him, but he heard her sniffle as she turned the stereo off and pulled his phone from the jack. She walked back and handed it to him then exited out the door without even one backward glance. He would lock up. They both had keys for their discreet after-hours sessions.
She dismissed her driver for the night and hailed a cab instead. She cried silently, utterly heart-broken, all the way back to her cold and lonely mansion on the bluff. The cabbie looked in the mirror and thought that Rowena was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Like any good man, he instinctively wanted to help her feel better but didn't know what to do. She thanked him for the ride with a sad smile and sizable tip that would pay his bills for months to come and left the cab.
Wren came out in time to see her hail the cab. He watched her go and stood several minutes in silence. He was still a little breathless from the dance and from the kiss that almost happened. His mind was racing. He pondered her. She had the world at her fingertips and chose a cab over her own comfortable ride. She was a mystery; yet, she knew everything about him. He had bared his soul to her. He could have chosen then. He already knew she was the one he wanted. He could run after her, pull her into his arms and tell her the decision was made; he didn't need the weekend, but… but what? But his life, his son, Chelsea, the fame. He would have to leave. It was too much to let go of without a weekend to think.
He wouldn't chase her. He wasn't ready. He was going home to the reason the decision was so difficult. He was going home to his long-time lover, the woman every man in America wanted and half had pinned up in their garage or bedroom.
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