I couldn’t take my eyes off of Emma all evening. I gritted my teeth, watching her flirt and chat with other men…all I knew was I didn’t like it.
I didn’t like my teammates making moves on her or playing hero to her damsel in distress. I saw the way they lusted over her body, how she put them at ease, enough to think they had a chance with her.
I found myself not able to concentrate on anything, but her, and that’s one of the reasons I was sitting in the dark on the front porch.
I saw her come out, her pretty form moving through the night. I called out to her before I could restrain myself. She turned in the light, an artificial smile plastered on her face. That burned me. She was trying to brush me off.
I spoke again, determined to get a true reaction and now I stood here, not sure what had just happened, wishing I kept my mouth shut.
She certainly wasn’t responding to me like she used to. Something wasn’t right. Emma was saying something like she wanted to be done with me.
“I gotta go, Micah,” she said dejectedly, looking sad and distant. Where was the feisty and passionate Emma ? The Emma who wouldn’t give up on me?
She turned and started to walk away, but my hand shot out and grabbed hers before I even realized that I was unwilling to let her depart.
I intertwined my long fingers around hers and brought her back to me. We stood, inches apart, her face resolute.
“What, Micah, what?” she asked impatiently as her blue eyes dared me to say the right thing. I didn’t know what that was, so I stalled.
“Well, I thought we could just have a conversation,” I replied casually, hoping that I could buy some time and think of the right thing to say.
“Oh, you mean like the kind that friends have?” she countered, a hint of subtle mocking in her voice.
“Haven’t we always been friends, Emma?” I argued softly, knowing that she was only woman I had ever enjoyed hanging out with.
“When did this happen? Did I miss the meeting where we became friends?”
“I don’t know, did you?” I cajoled lightly and winked, hoping to charm her out of her funk. Her eyes didn’t light up, nor did she smile. Wow, tough customer. I was gonna have to find another way around her defenses.
“The last time I saw you, you were obviously not interested in having me in your life in any capacity. So, what gives?” she asked pointedly.
Ok, so she wasn’t willing to let her issues go. I still didn’t like where this was going, so I answered vaguely, “It’s complicated, Emma.” I shrugged my shoulders and avoided sharing anything truthful, like I woke up thinking about her every god-damn day.
“Explain it to me.” Her eyes were begging for answers I couldn’t give.
“All I know, Emma, is I don’t like seeing you with another guy,” I said evenly, as I tapped my cigar and watched the ash fall to the cement.
“Yes,” she said annoyed. “We’ve established the fact that you don’t want me to be with any other man. It doesn’t matter, though. You don’t get a say anymore.”
A say? Didn’t she realize that this was the closest I had ever come to caring about a woman? Why was she talking like this? Couldn’t we still get together and hang out?
“Well, what if I want a say?” I couldn’t help, but blurt out recklessly.
Her eyes flared with fire. “That would require something of you, Micah. A sacrifice. One you’re clearly not willing to make,” she said like she meant it.
I couldn’t believe she was writing me off. She didn’t think I had it in me to be with her. “Well, what kind of sacrifice?” I might have cringed a little.
“You really wanna know?” she questioned skeptically as she put her hands on her hips.
How bad could it be? This was kind, sweet Emma who didn’t have a mean bone in her body.
“Come on, tell me,” I pleaded, my curiosity piqued. She held my gaze, her eyes blazing with tenacity.
She held nothing back as her words rang in my ears, “The kind where you don’t get to leave every time you’re uncomfortable. The kind where you put our relationship above your own wants and needs,” she paused dramatically, “The kind where you fight for us when things get tough,” she finished fiercely, her eyes full of conviction.
Whoa, that was heavy. I wasn’t ready for that, but I wasn’t willing to let her go, either. I had one last thing to try. I threw down my cigar and made my move.
“Micah—” she started to say as I took 2 steps and curled my arms around her, crushing my lips to her surprised ones.
We’d had a long road trip and I was tired and cranky when I got back to my hotel. I’d been in a foul mood for several days now and everything was pissing me off. I was watching Sports Center when the maid came in, holding something in her hand.
“Mr. Turner.” She said in her thick Spanish accent.
“What is it, Maria?” I asked, annoyed at being disturbed. There was supposed to be a segment on the demise of Micah Turner. I wanted to see what those assholes had to say about me.
“This doesn’t look like one of your shirts.” She held it out for my inspection and brought it over to me.
“Where did you find this?” I asked suspiciously as I took it and examined it. The blouse was purple, frilly and silky. What was a woman’s shirt doing in my things?
“Really?” I asked in disbelief.
“Yes, it was in the front, in the secret pocket, Mr. Turner.” She said patiently.
“Thanks, Marie.” I said distractedly as I stared at the blouse. She nodded and left the room.
A whiff of perfume hit my nose…Emma. What was her shirt doing in my suitcase? Had I accidentally picked it up when I left?
I looked at it more closely. There was something hanging from the sleeve.
It was a little note that read:
A little something to keep me near, come back to me soon.
She must’ve put it in my suitcase before she realized that I was leaving. I tried to put the blouse down, but my hand wouldn’t release it. She’d always smelled so good- like summer wildflowers with a touch of vanilla-sweet and wild at the same time.
I couldn’t help myself. I brought the shirt to my nose and inhaled sharply. A deep craving overtook me as my senses were flooded with visions of her. I had never known a woman like her…..kind, nurturing, sexy as hell. She had brought me to my knees in every way. I had never talked so dirty to a woman or been so driven to give pleasure like that.
The scent lingered in the air, making me ache for her. My usual defenses crumbled, memories assaulted me, my heartbeat quickened. God…sweet Emma…
Once upon a time, there was a young woman who bought into everything that was said and preached to her…..that a woman should be modest, virtuous and holy…..she clung to her virtue, pure and true, fighting off the demons of temptation and pleasure. She believed that one day a magic switch would be turned on inside of her, giving her permission to be sexual and sensual.
She had denied this part of her existence for a long time, but she hoped when that special time came, those desires would behave and come in line with everything she believed. She prayed, fasted and loved God with all her heart.
But a new desire began to grow through the concrete of her heart, one that grew no matter what she did. It pushed through her set beliefs, her religion, her self-hate and began to bloom….this tendril of desire was one of longing for freedom and the need to be herself…these seeds grew deep roots within her rigid heart, taking hold of her until she cried out and begged for more…
A garden was waiting to push through the desert of her heart, to bloom in lush sensuality, where her true self would be discovered, if only she could hold on with a tenacity that she didn’t know she had.
Therein lies the crux of the story, would our heroine let a beautiful garden take over her life?…Would she trade in the rules and moral high ground to find her own path?
She found herself on many points of her trail, wishing she had never started. She ran into dragons, fear, stupid boys and the confines of an ivory tower. She fell many times, her soul covered in misery and sorrow, her body battered and bruised, but still, she persevered……
The garden had begun to take hold, spreading in wild fashion, gripping and transforming this woman into someone that scared and fascinated her….she learned to celebrate in a moment, surrender to her sensuality and embrace her depraved self.
Oh, our heroine did writhe, moan and surrender to the inevitable of the garden, the lushness of life and the odyssey of the Virgin Whore. Gasp, Gasp, sputter, sputter….oh, yes, my friends this is a confessional of how I became everything I was told to fear and embraced my rightful destiny