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The cars arrived around 2pm to take us back to the ranch. Everyone was completely zonked and had no energy to talk about much on the ride back. For some reason, I was getting a second wind, though. Everyone thought I was crazy, especially the wife, and chocked it up to me just being me. While everyone else either went to their rooms or the lounge, I decided to go horseback riding. It was something I had always been interested in, but never had the resources to actually do. This also gave me time to be alone with my thoughts for a bit- or so I thought.
“Hey! Wait up!” I heard someone call. As I approached the stables, I turned around to see the firefighter-Rick- walking towards me. “Do you mind if I join you?” He had a great smile and was a total bear stud- I could see why anyone would be interested in him.
“Um, sure. It might be nice to switch up the company a bit” I smiled back. We quickly got saddled up after giving the horses a brush and headed down to the creek.
“I think you and your wife are a great couple, you know.”
A bit stunned by his audacity, “Er, thanks?!”
“Coming from someone who has been with his partner for years, I know the itch.”
“Shaking my head, “I don’t know what you’re talking about?” I lied.
We slowed as we approached the creek. “Yes you do. Others may not notice, but I’m usually pretty good about these things- because I’ve been there. And it’s totally normal when you’re with someone for so long.”
I stopped my horse just at the creek’s edge to drink. “Let’s just put the cards on the table Rick. What exactly are you referring to?” My eyes narrowed at him.
“I’m talking about you and Jacob. I know you all are friends but I can see it’s more than that.”
“And if there were something more how exactly would that be any of your business?” I snapped.
Putting his hands up in the air, “Hey, we’re all adults and do what we want to do. But I just want you to be sure of what’s at stake for both of you and ask yourselves if it’s really worth it. He’s a good friend of mine and may not be thinking straight. Honestly, I see how that could happen with a woman like you around.
I tilted my head for further explanation while staring into the distance.
“You’re intelligent, adventurous, sexy, and down-to-earth. I can totally see it. But you have something too with your wife that even though Jacob seems to be filling some type of void right now, he could never- I’m sure- replace everything you and your wife have made. Or his, for that matter.”
He remained quiet for a few minutes and allowed his words sink in. I finally broke the silence, still looking into the distance.
“I know all of that and so does he. But what we have can’t be denied and if we choose to explore it then it’s up to us to face the consequences of our actions. If we ever did act on any feelings we might have more than platonic.” I made sure to keep everything in possibility and not admit to anything.
“Well, I’m just on the outside looking in. Hey, if you are just friends and nothing else is going on, then you might want to hide your attraction to one another a bit better. Just saying.”
“Well, even though I don’t know you well, thank you as a human being for giving kind advice. Truth is we are attracted to one another, but it’s not because our partners or relationships are lacking. It’s just human biology. The only thing we can do about it is be cool and try not to act on it.” I shrugged. I hoped I hadn’t said too much. “But it is hard.”
“That’s what he said!”
It was nice for him to try to break the intensity of our conversation with a joke. I laughed, “How long were you holding that web tasarım in?”
“Not very long”, he smirked. Our horses began to get restless, so we decided to head back. He continued, “I know it can be hard at times, but that’s when we should take a step back to take stock at our already full banquet before deciding to nosh on some fast food just because it’s well, hot and fast, right?”
I liked the analogy, but it was already too late. I had the fries first, then the drink, and now I’m onto the double bacon cheeseburger! “Yeah, thanks.” Wanting to change the subject, “This was a great ride, huh?”
“Oh yeah- it’s great to have some alone time- even if it is with someone else.”
I smiled as we neared the stables. We parted ways once we got closer to the house and for a brief moment, I wondered if he was going to say something about our conversation. I wondered if it was kind of obvious to anyone else. I wondered if I was going to make it through this weekend. My thoughts raced and my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. My breathing became more labored and shallow. I think I was having a panic attack! I felt dizzy and my chest hurt. I wanted to just lie down but my adrenaline was pumping at the same time. I grabbed my knees and hunched over. I heard hurried footsteps approaching me but I felt like I was in a haze.
“Dani! Dani are you okay?” It was Jacob’s voice. Of course it would be Jacob to the rescue. This was part of the problem. My eyes rolled back into my head and my breath began to slow. I could feel the grass on my face, in my ear. He scooped me into his arms and ran to the back porch where everyone was watching. He smacked my face a few times to snap me out of it, as I was obviously conscious. I could see my wife standing over me, worried and calling my name, holding my hand. He continued to shake me, as I slowly returned to the world with my eyes.
“Everyone stand back! Give her some room!” I could feel both of them holding my hands. It was surreal.
“I’m okay guys,” I muttered. My eyes flitted a bit as everything came into focus-everything. Here I was, laid out, and both my wife and my lover were here holding my hands, making me feel safe. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be such trouble.”
“You’re no trouble Dani- ever. It’s okay. We’re here. Do you know what happened? Was it the ride?”
“No, I just got really dizzy and couldn’t focus. I think I just needed to rest from all the excitement and liquor.”
“But you didn’t have any alcohol today,” said Jacob.
“Oh yeah, right.” I sniffed to myself. I just need to lie down for a bit in a cool room. I’ll be okay.”
I tried to stand up but my knees were too weak so Jacob carried me in his arms, once again, to the bedroom. Everyone stood back in amazement. He gently laid me down with Candace by my side. She pulled the covers over me and placed a wet towel on my forehead. He caressed my face, forgetting for a quick moment where we were.
“If she needs anything, just let me know, ok? I’ll check on y’all in a few, alright?” She noticed the extraordinary care and concern but welcomed it for the time being. She nodded in agreement.
With him being a former soldier and current badass, everyone was so proud to see him spring into action so quickly. “Aww, good job honey!” his wife patted him on the back. “I’m so glad you were out there at that moment!” She continued to bolster his efforts of bravery and strength as he slowly walked outside. “That’s my babe, y’all! A great man there…”
In all of this, he began to truly understand his feelings for me and how they really affected him. We both knew what had to be done. Jacob web tasarım ankara plucked a beer from the cooler and walked down the path towards the front gates- dazed. After about 20 minutes, he came back in to check on us.
“How is she?” he asked Candace.
“She is fine,” I responding, turning my head towards him.
“I didn’t know you were…”
I interrupted, “I’m okay-a little embarrassed, a lot of hungry, and ready to be up and about again.” I tried to sound happy.
“So did you faint or what? Because your eyes were still open and you were breathing heavily and…”
“I don’t know what happened. It was something I had never felt before. But it’s over-you know?” I batted my eyes at him, teary. “It’s over.”
Knowing full well how to read between the lines, he lowered his head, nodding, “Ok. I just want you to be ok.”
“I’ll be fine, Candace is here.”
And with that the coffin was sealed. I thought it may end differently than this- something bigger and out of our control. Maybe he’d move or get transferred. Maybe I’d move or we’d get found out- but no. This is the way it was. Tonight was pizza and wings night and I was definitely ready for a few slices and a stiff drink to help put my mind at ease. After a few more minutes and a long hug from Candace, we made our way to the living area with applause. It was so weird. I shrugged it off, laughed, let everyone know once again, that I was okay, and joined in the conversation. The topic? Me, of course! I began to field questions like ‘what happened?’ and ‘were you dehydrated?’ and ‘are you sure you’re okay?’ I answered them to the best of my ability, with my regular self creeping back in with each question. Within a few minutes, I was feeling normal again, and maybe even a little uplifted. It was as if a weight was being slowly lifted from my chest because what had to be done eventually was finally happening, for better or worse. My smile returned, and so did my appetite.
“I don’t know about you guys, but I am starving!”
“There’s the wife I know and love,” said Candace. “Let’s chow down!”
The next day was our last at the ranch. I played it cool and hung with wifey for most of the day, even though our somewhat unfinished business continued to gnaw at my thoughts. For our final night, we had a Cowboy Round-up complete with brisket, ribs, hot dogs, chicken, burgers, and all the normal BBQ fixins. I made my 1-2-Mac-n-Cheese while Candace tossed up an awesome coleslaw. We gathered beneath the stars with a bevy of folding picnic tables and chairs. The table was set unfussily, as it was all about the food, anyways. And finally, out came the champagne! Before eating, his wife made a lovely toast about friendship, love, and blah blah blah. Like I said, it was nice, but in the back of my head, all I could think about was how this was going to end. I was a little upset it had to be like this without having one more good romp, but I guess you can’t pick and choose everything.
We had a 90’s playlist going with a little bit of 80’s thrown in the mix. We were eating, laughing, drinking, and enjoying our last night together. Some of us got up to dance a bit- of course I was one of them! I showed them how to bogle and wind for the 90’s dancehall and they showed me the achy breaky (although I already knew it but didn’t want to blow my cover!) and the macarena- who could forget that? We were getting down on the dance floor when Jacob grabbed me by the hand, gave me a twirl, when the most-poignant-for-the-time slow song came on- Shai’s “If I Ever Fall in Love”. I tried to break away but he wouldn’t let me. I guess this was going to happen right now. I inhaled and exhaled deeply as he looked into my eyes.
“I know why this has to end.”
A bit angrily, “oh yeah, why?”
Searching for my eyes, “because I love you and you love me.” We box-stepped silently before he gave me another twirl. “Isn’t that right?” I tried to avoid complete eye contact because I didn’t want to cry, but he wouldn’t let me. He lifted my chin with his hand. “Isn’t it?”
I could feel my eyes welling up, “It is” was all I could muster before collapsing into a close embrace as we continued to dance. At this point we didn’t care who saw what. It was just me and him for the moment and we’d deal with the rest later. As he held my hand with the other on my waist, I choked back tears. He began whispering in my ear.
“This was more than anything I ever imagined it would be, but we knew it had to end sometime. But not like this. I want to make love to you one last time. And yes, we’ll still be friends. We’ll just have a more complex history than anyone would ever know, is all. And I know we’ll both be able to handle it and get over the hump- together.”
He took a step back and looked into my reddened, teary eyes, and smiled. “You’ll always be my darling.”
I wanted him to kiss me and I wanted to kiss him so badly. I lowered my head, smiled, and looked into his flashing turquoise eyes. “Yes, yes I will.”
We danced, drank even more, and stayed up until the dawn laughing, playing games, and just being. It was damn near perfect. The next morning we got the place just clean enough to feel less bad about the night before. We all packed up and caravanned home. It was business as usual Thursday night on my way out of work when an SUV flashed its lights at me in the parking lot. I knew it was Jacob. He let the window down and flashed his beautiful smile.
“You’re calling out of work tomorrow. This is where we’re meeting-10am sharp.” He handed me a card. I smiled slyly. “What, no kiss hello?”
“I figured you wanted to break the habit.”
“Oh, I’ll do that in due time, but not now.”
I leaned in and kissed him passionately while sucking his bottom lip. “It’s too bad you can’t drive me home too. I’m so tired!”
“Yeah, but I’ll follow you.”
He shook his head, “what am I going to do without you?”
“I don’t know, die?”
“Not funny.” He stuck his neck out for another smooch which I happily granted. “Get on home darling.”
He followed me home as he said he would, beeped twice goodbye, and left. The next day I followed my orders and met him at the mystery address in the nearby hills. The setting was absolutely beautiful and perfect. We made love over and over again through the morning, until the afternoon and into the evening. Everything and anything we could think of, we did. For once we had no time constraints, and since we were in the country, I could scream as loud as I’d wanted. The sun was still so bright, but I knew we had to get going before it set to make it back in time. At the door, he pulled me close to him one last time, looked into my eyes, and kissed me tenderly.
“Have you ever brought anyone else here?”
He laughed, “No my darling. You are the first and last to get that honor,” tipping his imaginary hat in deference.
I snarled, “Better had!” We kissed again.
“I love you-always. Remember that.”
“I love you too.”
Jacob gave me a quick pat on the behind and off we traveled, beating the setting sun back to the city. The drive home wasn’t as sad as I had thought it would to be. I had finally experienced real closure from something- and it was great. Pulling into my driveway I got a text from wifey reading “We’re playing pool with Kim and Jacob next weekend so let’s get some practice in this weekend”. I smiled and chuckled to myself.
“And so it begins,” I thought, shaking my head.
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