Jake entered Helena’s home it was beautiful and comfortable as he knew it would be she had photos and art all over the walls they told of her culture and travels. He was intrigued, she seemed very worldly to him and he liked that his wife Connie had also traveled the world. He found that it made her more interesting and Helena seemed to be that kind of woman.
“Jake would you like something to drink?” She asked as they entered the living room.
Helena looked at him curiously; he looked deep in thought as he perused her walls looking at the art and photos. He seemed not to be aware that she even asked him a question.
He looked up startled for a moment. She was standing there looking at him oddly.
“I was just asking if you’d like something to drink.”
“Oh I’m sorry, I was just really intrigued by your artwork and photos they’re really beautiful.”
“Thank you. I’ve traveled all over the world and collected art from many places. I love those photos, they remind me how wonderful my life has been and all the love I received from it.”
“Wow, that’s really special. You’re very lucky.”
“I don’t think I’m lucky, I know I’m blessed.”
He looked at her and smiled a bit but she noticed it didn’t seem happy there was something about him that was sad something in his eyes. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something terrible had happened to this man but she wasn’t sure he was ready to share it.
“Well Jake I’m headed to the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine. I’d be more than happy to pour you a glass while I’m there.”
He did smile then, a big genuine smile, “sure. I’d love a glass of wine.”
He walked behind her into the kitchen. There was light from the porch outside streaming through the windows, it gave the place a romantic glow. He liked her kitchen it seemed lived in and used. He’d only been in his house a week or so but he barely touched anything regarding the kitchen. He thought that may have been because his wife loved being in the kitchen, it was her domain when she was alive. It seemed so sacred to him now as if he had no right to touch it or make it his own. He’d been eating out of to-go boxes and the microwave for the last couple of days he just couldn’t seem to bring himself to use the stove and cook a meal.
Helena opened the fridge and took out a bottle of Pinot Grigio she had in there, she went into the cupboard and pulled out to wine glasses and filled them. She handed him a glass and he smiled and raised it to her in a toast.
“Here’s to our new friendship.”
She raised her own glass in acknowledgment and took a sip; it was cold and tasted delicious.
“Why don’t we go back into the living room and sit and chat for moment. I’d really like to get to know more about you Jake.”
He nodded in agreement and they walked back into the living room together. Her living room seemed to invite comfort the pillows on her couch were plump and soft, at least they looked that way. She fell into the couch and seemed to relax immediately. Jake sat on the other end and turned to look at her. She was really beautiful and he wasn’t really sure he should be there on her couch drinking wine. Maybe this was a dangerous place for him at this moment. She picked up a remote, pushed a button, and music begin to flow from speakers near them it was the soothing sound of jazz. She sighed and kicked off her shoes as she put her feet under her to get cozy in the downy softness of her sofa.
“Now I can ask you more questions,” she said to him with the sneaky grin on her face.
“I’m not sure I’ll answer them all if you do ask.”
“You mean if I ask questions you’ll dodge them?”
“I didn’t say that, I may answer and I may not. I get to make that choice.”
“Oh, are you telling me you’re enigmatic?”
“I’m just saying I may or may not answer the question. It doesn’t mean I’m mysterious just that I’m private about some things.”
“I can respect that but I’m not going to delve too deep this early.”
“I’m thankful for that, you seem like a nice lady and I think I’d like to get to know you better too but I don’t want to invade your space.”
“You’re not. I’m an open book for the most part, but I can understand that others are not like me. I mean your reception when I first came to your front door told me a lot about you. One of the things it told me was that you’d like your privacy.”
Jake had a look of deep regret on his face, he knew he’d been really rude to her when they first met and he wasn’t sure how he’d make that up to her.
“I’m still very sorry about that incident. You and your friend didn’t deserve my scorn.”
“I told you it was no big deal we lived; we’re not scarred from it. I don’t expect you to apologize again and again about it we’re supposed to be moving forward in this relationship. I only mentioned it because you said you were so private and that incident really let me know how private you were. So now that that’s over with tell me a little more about being the famous author, Earl Gall, I find it interesting that you’re a famous writer. Does it seem sublime to you that you walk around all day and no one knows you’re Earl Gall?”
Jake looked at her and furrowed his brow, “no, not really, since I like my privacy it’s nice that people don’t know. That’s one of the reasons I made sure not to have my picture taken too frequently when I’m on book tours. Some people do know but surprisingly people aren’t that pushy. Particularly here in the Pacific Northwest they seem to love to give you your space. Although I sometimes notice that people are staring and they may recognize me but they won’t come up and say anything. Some people do ask if I’m Earl Gall and I always answer honestly but they’re very nice.”
“Do you enjoy writing?”
“That’s a funny question, of course I do. I’ve been writing all my life. I have lots of drafts of stories I wrote in my teens and 20s but I never thought I had the talent to do it full-time.”
She laughed. Jake enjoyed watching her laugh it gave him joy. He felt like he should be ashamed of his feelings toward her but he wasn’t, he was happy. It confused him he’d been depressed for so long about his wife and son’s death he didn’t understand this woman who was practically a stranger making him happy. He’d met people before and they didn’t do this to him. He’d spent time with family and that didn’t make him feel happy either at this point in his life. But sitting there with Helena was just such a delight she was contagious, her happiness was contagious.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked. Helena had noticed that he seemed more relaxed and the look he gave her was full on erotic.
“Helena, you’ve made me feel something I’d thought was lost.”
“I feel delight with you, it’s strange since we’ve known each other such a short time. But with you I feel at ease and I’m not really sure how to take this. I want to tell you all my secrets but I’m not sure if you can handle them. But sitting on this couch with you more than anything I want to touch you, I want to kiss you, I want to hold you.”
Helena just looked at him she was shocked he’d told her this he’d been a tad closed off the whole evening. Now here he was telling her she was bringing him delight and he wanted to kiss her. She thought, well she wanted him to kiss her too. There was something in him that she felt needed the human bond. Helena knew that she needed that bond also but in her mind she felt they were moving too quickly. But there was something about him sitting on her sofa now appearing so relaxed and so at ease it didn’t matter how quickly they moved.
Suddenly she felt herself move forward as she saw Jake moving toward her his eyes softening and filling with need. She wanted to kiss him and it looked like he was going to reciprocate that feeling. She felt herself being cradled suddenly in his strong arms as his mouth moved towards her, his lips were on hers before she could think about what was happening. It was soft at first then she felt the urgency in him his mouth crushing against hers, his tongue seeking out her own. It felt good as she wrapped her arms around him and held him tight and close. He was holding her against him as if his very body wanted to merge with her own. Their mouths separated for brief moment to catch a breath while in her ear, he whispered to her, “Helena I need you so badly. I don’t know what’s come over me but I need you.”
They looked into each other’s eyes as he moved in again to kiss her it was a heady feeling for both of them. Helena felt the stir of passion while she tried her best to keep her emotions under control. She smiled as his lips pressed against hers and felt a joyful giggle come to her lips this was the best kiss she’d ever had even better than kissing Scott. Then suddenly Jake’s body jerked away from her his arms went to his side and he had a look of complete horror on his face.
“Oh my God what have I done,” he said more to himself than to her, “I’ve betrayed you, I’ve betrayed you!” He was talking to someone but not her.
He rose from the couch swiftly and suddenly left Helena there sitting, wondering what the hell had just happened. She got up and moved to the door that he’d run out of and opened it and stared as he ran to his house. He looked back only briefly with the same look of anger and despair she’d seen the first night she met him. He opened his door slammed it hard and locked it.
She wasn’t really sure what had just happened they were sitting there enjoying a passionate kiss and suddenly he breaks away in horror. She picked up her cell phone and called him she wanted to know what happened. She was confused and angry. His phone rang and rang but she got the voicemail. She called again and got his voicemail again. She was tempted to go across the street and bang on his door like a maniac but she didn’t feel like she needed to chase him. She wasn’t sure what she’d done to make him so upset but she knew the things she’d felt from the first time she saw him were true, this man was hurting and maybe he just needed time. Maybe he just needed time.