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Fiction: Threads [Part 4 of 4] (752 words)

For a brief second, Rose shut her eyes and leaned her cheek flush against Henry’s hand.  In that instant, she was trying to memorize exactly what this moment felt like.  She didn’t believe that she would be lucky enough to not have this blow up in her face.  It had to end soon. She opened her eyes again as Henry spoke.

“Can you make me a promise, Rose?”

“I can try.”

“Can you promise me you’ll never try to get another man on the line again?”  Rose’s confusion must have shown on her face, because Henry continued, “If I am signing up for forever and for always, I want to know that it is just you and me forever and always.”

“Henry?”  She was confused. Was he actually saying…? Could she trust him to keep that promise? She couldn’t bring herself to ask him, so she just repeated his name, “Henry?”

“Yes, If you want me, yes.”

Rose tried to slow her heart. She couldn’t believe this was happening. Her answer was a small motion, but Rose knew that with his hands on her face, Henry would feel her nod.

“Okay then,” Henry said simply, before lowering his face and kissing Rose, very softly at first, before pressing himself against her.  Behind her eyelids, Rose saw fireworks.  She had counted once, a couple of years ago, just how many men she had kissed, and it was well into the hundreds.  None of them had even come close to the rush of pleasure, of happiness, or of complete and utter joy that this kiss gave her.  Rose suppressed a groan as Henry stepped away from her.

“Oh, wow.”  He said, his hands dropped away from her face before he interlocked his fingers over his own forehead. “That’s trippy.”

Rose knew what he meant.  She was feeling it right now, too.  The first time you got a thread from any given person.  That momentary thrill of power.  The rush of suddenly being very aware of the other person.  But this was more than that.  Mixed in with all of that was the feeling of actually being in love.  Rose looked at Henry for a moment, and he grinned back at her.  She felt herself willing him to kiss her again, but at the same time, she could feel his will pulling her towards him.  With a smile on both of their lips, they met in the middle, kissing even more passionately than the first time, egging each other on, both with pure physical contact and with the power of their wills on each other. Henry’s hands were caressing her face, tangled in her hair, and running down her back and sides.  Rose’s own hands were touching everything that they could, trying to memorize every inch of him so she could recall it at any time in the future.  Henry’s hands settled at Rose’s waist, helping to stabilize her as he walked her backward, around her suitcases, towards her bed, without breaking off the kiss. Her legs hit the bed, and she stumbled a little, laughing.  With a soft growl, Henry’s lips broke away from her own, kissing her cheek and down to her neck.

Rose opened her eyes briefly. “The Door.”  She said softly.  It was open, but she couldn’t make herself understand why that was an issue while Henry was kissing her neck the way that he was.  Henry growled against her neck, which sent shivers down her spine.  He seemed to consider for a moment, but then with a soft bite to her neck, he ripped himself away from her and made his way quickly to the door. It took every ounce of his willpower to not slam the door shut.  Rose sank onto the bed, sitting with her arms wrapped around herself.

Henry turned around and saw her sitting like that.  He asked, “Should we stop?”

“Oh, don’t you dare!”  Rose answered, almost desperately.  With an almost animalistic grin, Henry crossed the room in two quick strides, catching Rose with a fierce kiss and knocking her back onto the bed.  He laughed against her lips as she groaned and squirmed with the anticipation and frustration of having him so close, and yet so far away.  She had never wanted anyone as badly as she wanted Henry right now, and it was killing her to not get what she wanted.

But she knew—he had said forever and always. She had plenty of time to get used to him.

 

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Threads [Part 3 of 4] (582 words)

Rose felt the weight of the bed change and opened her eyes to find Henry on his feet now, pacing the length of the room.  When he spoke, he turned to Rose but paced while he waited for her answers.

“So, you have slept with how many men?”

“A lot.”

“But you haven’t found any of them attractive.”

“Physically, a little, not serious attraction. Nothing Romantic as it were. Some men were absolutely disgusting, but most are just neutral. Whatever. Blah.” Rose shrugged, “It was just a means to an end.”

“Then, how did you…forgive me if I’m being crass but if they were so blah then—“

“Well, at first I made up the kind of man I wished I was with, and recently, forgive me if I’m being crass now, but I pretended I was with you.”

Henry blushed, and Rose couldn’t help but be pleased. “So, you didn’t kiss me because…”

“Because if I kiss you I want to know that means you are in this forever and for always.  There is no way for me to fall out of love with you; it’s as simple as that.  You and I would be a forever deal, and I couldn’t be sure that you were in for that. I couldn’t be sure that you wouldn’t come to abuse that connection.  So, I didn’t kiss you.”

Rose sat quietly, feeling more drained and exposed than she had ever felt in her life before. Finally, Henry stopped pacing.  He turned to look Rose in the eye sternly, and Rose knew what was coming.  The heart-breaking words of ‘I can’t do this forever’, or the even more heartbreaking words of ‘I didn’t really think of you in that way,’ or even, ‘You aren’t a keep around forever kind of girl.’ All those things that her father said or implied to her mother. All those things Rose knew had to be true of a woman of her powers.

But still, this heartbreak would be easier to get over since she hadn’t kissed him.  She would be able to get over him eventually this way.  Rose tried her hardest to concentrate on that bright side.

Henry opened his mouth, then seemed to think it over and shut his mouth again.  He looked Rose over again for a moment, and then finally said, “Stand up.”

“Excuse me?” Rose asked.

“Please stand up.”  Less of a demand, more of a question this time.  Rose got to her feet and stepped around one of her open suitcases into the open part of the room near Henry.  “How many men do you have on the line right now?” Henry asked.

Helen had asked her that earlier. The answer was supposed to be none. She had told Helen none. “A handful,”  Rose answered honestly.

“Can you cut them loose?”

“Yes.”  Rose shut her eyes, and slowly let each handful of threads fade away.  It was a strange feeling for Rose to be all alone in her own head.  It had been years since she had nobody at all on the line.  When she finally opened her eyes again, Henry was much closer than before.  Very slowly, and very carefully, Henry raised his hand to touch Rose’s cheek.

“How many men do you have on the line right now?” Henry repeated.

“None,” Rose answered, her voice barely a whisper. “It’s just me in my head.”

“Good,” Henry smiled, and then raised his other hand, cupping Rose’s face between his hands.

 

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Threads [Part 2 of 4] (635 words)

After a moment of silence, Henry asked, “What does this have to do with you and me?”  Rose held up and hand that she hoped indicated that she was getting to it, and started talking again.

“We can release these threads, and send them back to their owners.  The men will lose any connection they have with us.  Our relationship with those men returns to the level it would be if we had never used our powers to influence them.  That’s what Helen made me do this morning in the meeting.  She’s afraid of me, rightly so, and wanted her team out of my control.”

“I still don’t see how this relates to us.” Henry ran an angry hand through his hair.

Rose let out a desperate little sound. She was never going to get through this if he kept interrupting. “Henry, please.”  Henry nodded and made a little go on gesture.

 “What my mother didn’t realize, when my father came around, was that the same thread passing can occur with us.  When we are attracted to someone, we fray at the edges too, and with a kiss or more, that man gets a hold of us, and they cannot let go, not matter what.  If you don’t understand the threads, if you don’t have that power, then you’re stuck holding on to that thread forever.

“My mother and father were together for exactly a month.  When my mother learned she was pregnant, Dad was gone.  Mom tried to forget all about him, but she never could.  We didn’t hear from him again until I was three years old. At the time, Mom was currently taking over a business, getting us a little spending money.  Dad called, and just like that, we were on the next flight back to his house.  Turns out he was going through a dry spell, and he just wanted to get some.  Mom gave him some.  A week later, when he was sick of us, we were unceremoniously thrown from his house in the middle of the night. We flew back home, and Mom continued her work on the businessmen.  It went on like that until the day Mom died.  Even though she had hundreds of men on the line at any given moment, one call from Dad, and she was off.  He used her and kicked her to the curb again and again and again.  He knew exactly what he was doing to her, and he used that power to his advantage.  Mom was powerless to resist him.  No matter what, she had to love him, and she had to go back, even though he never once actually loved her. He had her thread, and there was nothing she could do.”

While she talked, Rose sank onto the edge of her bed.  She was proud of herself, though. This was the first time she had managed to tell this story without bursting into tears.  Henry was still standing, his arms still crossed across his chest, but his face was softer.   After a long moment, he crossed the room and sank down on the edge of the bed next to her.

“Are you trying to say…” Henry trailed off.

Rose took a deep breath and closed her eyes. In for a penny, in for a pound. “I couldn’t kiss you, because even though you seem like a really great guy, I didn’t know what your intentions were, and I can’t spend the rest of my life running back to you to have my heart broken again and again.  That sent my mother to an early grave, and I will not follow in her footsteps.”

“So, you do like me?”  Henry asked, stupidly.

“More than any man I have ever met.”  Rose almost laughed with the release of the confession.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Threads [Part 1 of 4] (711 words)

Rose stood perfectly still.  There was no sound to give him away, but Rose knew that if she turned around, Henry would be leaning against her door frame.  She almost didn’t want to turn around.  Rose knew that if she turned around, Henry was going to ask her those questions that she really didn’t want to answer, questions about her and him.  But at the same time, it was those unanswered questions between the two of them that made Rose turn around.  She steeled herself, trying to pull up that confident persona that came so easily to her when speaking to other men.  She took a deep breath, placed the shirt she was holding into the open suitcase on her bed and turned around.

Yes. There he was, leaning his back against the frame of the door, arms crossed across his chest, his hair sticking up just so, just a little bit of scruff, and frown firmly on his face.  Rose managed to keep her knees from going to jelly, but just barely.  “Hey, Henry.  Come to help me pack?  Because, thanks and all, but I’ve got it pretty much under control.”  Rose turned away from Henry’s stern gaze and crossed over to her dresser.  She heard Henry come into the room, but she didn’t turn around again at first.  After a moment, she realized she had absolutely nothing left to do at the dresser. she was going to have to turn around again and face him.

While she was working up the courage to do so, Henry spoke.  “So, I’m story for imposing, but I just wanted to learn where I misinterpreted.”

“I’m sorry?”  Rose asked, still unable to turn and face him.

“While you’ve been here the last couple of months, I thought—well, I wrongly assumed that we had a flirtation, an attraction if you will. That this was going somewhere.  But in that meeting, in front of everyone, I had to find out that you are sleeping with every other man in this entire facility.  And while I appreciate not being a part of your brainwashed army of men, I’m just curious as to what makes me so revolting.  Helen says that she’s never known you to pass over a man for your army before, so what makes me so awful that I’m not even good enough to be brainwashed?” Rose cringed away from the pain in his voice.  He was trying to mask it with anger, but like Henry said, they had spent the last several months flirting and growing closer—and there was something to Henry that Rose had never found before. And he knew more about her than anyone had before.

But she couldn’t tell him flat out.  That would give him too much power, and she wasn’t ready to give that much away yet.  With another steeling breath, Rose put the mask back into place and turned around.  “Henry.  You know I inherited my abnormity from my mother, right?”

Henry looked confused, but said, “Uh, sure.”

“Our power pulls on levels of attraction, pheromones, and hormones in the blood or something.  I’m not sure of the exact science, you would have to ask Helen about that if you what to know the details, but the way my mother described it to me was it was like capturing threads.  When a man is attracted to someone, the edge of their mental fabrics becomes unraveled.  Threads are exposed, that when pulled on can change a man’s opinion on things. The average woman can use her so-called feminine wiles to tug on those threads to an extent.  My mother and I can take those threads, and keep them for ourselves.  We can use them at any time for any distance, and we can make these men do things that go against their very natures.  All we need is any kind of sexual contact, usually a first kiss, to grab those threads.  The more often and the more intense the contact, the more control we have over these men. That’s what makes us so dangerous.”

Rose was quiet for a moment, trying to figure out the way she was going to tell the next part of the story. This was going to be harder than she thought.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2017 in Stories

 

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A New Beginning

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This is not the first time I’ve tried to do a post-a-day.  In fact, the internet is chock full of eight or thirteen entry long blogs that were going be my attempt at post-a-day blogs. And by chock full, I mean there are at least eight or nine that I can think of off the top of my head, and who knows how many I’ve already forgotten about.  This time, I’m hoping this will be different. I’m hoping that this time I will succeed.  I mean, a post a day, how hard can that really be?  Well, eight or nine abandoned blogs would say pretty hard, but I’d like to think I’ve gotten more determined over the years.

Besides, this time it will be different.  This year, this blog, I’m going to try to write more and ramble less.  Hopefully, this blog will be filled with daily little snippets, stories about one thing or another, more fiction, less random insights to my brain. (Unless you argue that my fiction actually works as an insight to my brain, but that’s a more complex conversation for a different day, I think.) Now, I won’t promise that there won’t be the occasional “Ramble-y Thought-y Thing” (as coined by the lovely Gwendolyn over at apprenticenevermaster.wordpress.com) because three hundred and sixty-five days is too long to promise that I’ll never get tired or ramble-y, but the goal is fiction. The hope is fiction. And the hope is three hundred sixty-five posts, and most of those to be stories.

So, here goes nothing. A new year, a new goal, a new plan, and a new blog. Time to arm some friends with new weapons to ward me off giving up, and time to put the nose to the grindstone. I’ve got a lot of writing to do.

~Bekah Beth

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2014 in BekahBeth's Thoughts

 

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