Road To Eden
chapter twelve

It was a Sunday morning, so I had taken to lounging around on the couch. DeLorean was busy until later that night, and Natalie was around the house somewhere. She was getting ready for her baby shower; my Mom was having it her house and all the men were kicked out. So, that meant that my Father, Zac, and Mackenzie were coming here to hang out, and Isaac would probably turn up later as well. The fight between Natalie and I had been silently forbidden to be spoken about. Nobody brought it up, at least not around me, and I never said anything about it. I was content to just pretend like it had never happened.

“Tay, have you seen my long, wool coat?” Natalie asked me. I know I had seen it somewhere…

“Uh,” I started stupidly. “Check the closet in the back hall. I think that’s where I saw it last.”

“Okay.” She turned and started toward the back hall. “Thanks,” she called.

“Welcome,” I called back. It was quarter to twelve, and the shower started at one. My mother was supposed to be here to pick Nat up by noon, which I knew she’d be here exactly on time. My mother is a very punctual woman. I do not take after her in that sense – I’m always late, for everything. I wasn’t even surprised when I heard car doors at ten of. The doorbell rang, and I called for all of them to come in. Mackenzie came in first.

“Hey Mac,” I said, not moving from where I lay on my back on the couch, TV remote lying on my stomach. “Hey Dad; Zac.” I got ‘hey’s’ and ‘hi’s’ right back. My mother came in last, and of course asked where my wife was.

“She’s looking for a coat that will fit around her,” I said grinning. I was greeted with a flying pillow from the recliner right in the face.

“Hey,” she said from somewhere behind me. “I resent that.” I could hear her smiling.

“Aren’t you leaving yet?” I grinned.

“You wait, Mister Hanson.”

“Don’t ever call me that again, please.” I whined. “I am not as old as my father for one, and two… well, never mind what two is, there’re little ears in here.” My Dad hit me with the pillow this time; I just laughed. Ever since DeLorean and I had talked a few nights ago in her room she’d been a little bit weird. Ha, yeah, no pun intended – seriously. I guess I felt like she was hiding something from me; maybe it was just because I had told her things I never actually intended on telling her.

It was becoming an absolute need for me to be with her. And no, I don’t mean just sex; don’t get me wrong, the sex is good, okay, it’s great, but that’s beside the point. I love her, I really, really do. I’m so completely in love with her that when I’m not with her I physically and emotionally ache for her. I had been seriously thinking of how to approach a lawyer after the baby was born, and file for divorce. I’m sure most people would see as just what they expected, but I don’t care because my life isn’t about living up to anyone’s expectations. I know what some people might think about that, but I do have a mind and a will of my own.

I had lost interest in the conversations going on around me; I was to busy thinking about the woman I needed to see right that second. There was this… feeling, I guess you could say, that I had – I knew she was home. I picked up the cordless phone and took the steps two at a time up to my bedroom. I’m sure I had five pairs of eyes on my back the whole time until I couldn’t be seen anymore. I closed the bedroom door and dialed her number; she picked up.

“I thought you weren’t going to be home?” Was there anger in my voice?

“Please don’t be mad, Tay. I’m sorry I lied to you; I just needed some time alone to think about some stuff.” She said apologetically.

“Are you done thinking?”

“Huh?” I had caught her off guard.

“I need to see you, right now.” I told her. God, just the thought of her was a turn on to every feeling in me.

“Yeah,” she said, after a silence that I found to linger just a bit longer than was comfortable. “I need to talk to you anyway.”

“Okay. Give me a few minutes. It might even take me an hour, is that okay?”

“Yeah, that’s fine.”

“Okay, I’ll see you then. I love you.”

“Love you, too,” she said, and hung up the phone.

When I came back downstairs everyone was looking at me expectantly. Zac had this quirky grin and I knew there was a smartass comment on the way.

“The last time I saw you run that fast, you had to take a shit.” He burst into laughter, as did Mac.

“Zachary!” My Mother scolded. No one was ever old enough to swear in front of her children, or her, really. Natalie and my Father were laughing.

“Shut up, Zac.” I said, and threw the phone at him.

“Hey! That’s child abuse!”

“You’re not my child,” I said. “Thank God.”

“I resent that.” Zac said, fake pouting.

“Good,” I laughed this time. “You should.”

“All right,” my Mom interrupted. “We’re taking off. We’ll see all you guys later. Much later.” She grinned.

“Be careful.” I warned Natalie.

“I will,” she replied, and came over and kissed my lips. I pointed at my Mom.

“Behave, young lady.” She laughed at me.

“Shut up, Taylor. Go watch football.” I smiled back, and they left.

“So, what was so important you had to race up the stairs with the phone?” My Dad asked.

“Can I watch cartoons?” Mac asked right after, and I picked up the remote and tossed it in his lap. He grinned and thanked me.

“Well…” I had to stick to the lie I had come up with at their house. “I needed to check up on my friend that’s in trouble. I was supposed to earlier, but I kinda dozed off on the couch this morning…”

“Oh,” he said. I think he knew I was lying. “What’s your friend’s name?”

“Uh, sorry Dad, that’s confidential.” He gave me a look that I really couldn’t read all that well, and my eyes darted toward Zac.

“You’re so full of shit your eyes are brown,” he said, almost sounding angry.

“Listen, Zac, I don’t need your shit. The door is right there,” I said pointing to the front door. “If you don’t like the way I do things around here, then leave, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.”

“All right,” my Dad interrupted. “That’s enough.”

“I’m going to take a shower.” I turned toward the stairs, and had an afterthought. “If the phone rings, don’t answer it. The machine will pick it up.” I turned the volume off on the machine and then went up to take my shower. Thank God I was going to see her; I was about to go crazy. They probably weren’t going to be happy with me for leaving, but she was more important. I know: no one should be more important than your family. I was seeing things a little bit differently at that time. There comes a time in everyone’s life, I think, when you realize you’re making more sacrifices than someone else would for one thing or person. But I swear to God, DeLorean was worth so much more to me than I could explain. I was willing to give up everything for her – except music. My family would get over it eventually and Natalie and I could work out some kind of joint custody over the baby – I know it sounds really self-centered, but I was really thinking those things. I just wanted to love the right way before I lost the chance to love like that at all. I wasn’t sure Natalie was the real deal for me – I was positive DeLorean was. I would find out all on my own whether or not I was making a mistake; regardless if it was a mistake, it was mine to make. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it was.

I came back downstairs ready for a lot of questions as to where I was going; I didn’t expect my Dad would be too pleased I was ditching them. There were times when I just wished that I could disappear from space and time, and just not exist at all, not have to make decisions, or hurt people, but that wasn’t possible. I knew that much.

“Where ya going?” Mac asked me. God, I really didn’t want to lie to him. He is such a great kid; lying to him made me feel like such a shit.

“I’m going to check up on a friend of mine who got into some trouble the other night,” I answered, inwardly berating myself for lying to a nine-year-old. These kids looked up to me, and here I was lying my ass off at every turn.

“Will you be back before the girls?” My father asked me. I looked at him, a little surprised I wasn’t getting the third degree, and he was just waiting for an answer. Sitting silently, Zac was staring at the TV, seemingly pissed. I had been distant with him lately, as well as everyone else, and we’d always been close so me putting this distance between us was a sore topic for him. I understood that, but I wasn’t about to change my plans.

“Uhh, I don’t know. I’ll try.” I said, looking for my jacket and car keys. My jacket was hung up – the denim one – and my keys were right in the pocket. “If the phone rings you can answer it, if you don’t feel like it the machine will get it. If the doctor calls for Nat, could you give him the number to your house so he can talk to her?”

“Yeah,” he answered, turning his attention back to the cartoons playing on the large TV screen.

“I’m gonna get going,” I said. “Love you guys.” I said, opening the front door and walking out. It was cool outside, and kind of overcast. There were some clouds, and the sun peeked through every now and then, and it was breezy. Winter was on the way; there are a lot more meanings to that than some of you may realize.

I got into the car and pulled out of my driveway. That new song was on, the one from American Idol… Kelly Clarkson, “A Moment Like This”. I liked that song from the first time I heard it. Don’t know why really. Maybe because the lyrics of the song are something I’d always hoped to feel, to have happen, and it never really did. Not the way I had dreamed anyway. As much as I knew I loved DeLorean, but it wasn’t happening the way I’d wanted it to. The circumstances, honestly, were the worst. I was married, my wife was pregnant, she was divorced, and had way more experience in a lot of things than I did. But it just felt like we were right for each other. We had to be.

I knew the minute I walked in her front door from the look on her face that something wasn’t right. She said she wanted to talk… I felt my heart beating so hard against my chest I thought the whole world could hear it. I could feel the blood pulsing in my temples. I was actually very nervous. I was more than nervous; I was scared.

“Hey,” I said, sounding as nervous as I felt.

“Relax, Taylor.” She said, hearing and sensing my apprehension. “I’m not going to tell you that I never want to see you again; I think I’d die first.” I smiled at that; I felt much better after that.

“Good. ‘Cause if you told me you never wanted to see me again you’d kill me.” I pulled her close and kissed her. God I’d missed her, and I’d only been away from her, what, twenty-four hours?

“I know a lot about you; whether you’ve told me or I’ve heard it somewhere, or looked it up on the internet.” I arched an eyebrow. She looked things up on me? “I still haven’t finished my journalism assignment, and… Would you let me do an interview?”

“You want to do an interview? On me?” She nodded. I smiled; it was a little strange, but flattering. “If you really want to. But it’ll cost you…”

“Oh, I think I’ll be able to pay up.” She smiled at me, taking my hand, and leading me toward the stairs.

“And if you get to find out a whole bunch of things about me, you have to tell me about you. How long have we been seeing each other? And I don’t know half the things about you as you do about me.” A cloud seemed to pass over her eyes, and her reply was soft.

“Okay,” she agreed, pulling me up the stairs behind her.

We were lying in bed; I was lying on my back, an arm behind my head, my head turned toward her; she was laying on her stomach, her long dark hair flowing over her back and shoulders keeping her upper body hidden, and the sheets covered her from the waist to her calves – she always had to have her feet hanging out.

“Umm, let me think,” she said, trying to find a good question for her article on me. She laughed. “What was your worst sexual experience?” I laughed out loud.

“You are so not putting anything about my sexual experiences in your article.” She laughed too.

“Well, then just tell me. For a good laugh.” She had a grin that spread widely across her lips. I just wanted to kiss her.

“Fine,” I grinned back. “But this is totally off the record.”

“Okay,” she laughed.

“Oh, fuck me…” It was a bad phrase to use while thinking, but it was a bad habit.

“I believe I already did.” She replied. After a moment we both just laughed; it was funny, I knew it.

“God, I think I was like… seventeen. I don’t really remember it that well. We were at a party, we being me and my brothers, and I was pretty drunk. I remember going into a room with this pretty girl, and my God,” I laughed. “She had no clue as to what she was doing. It was the worst sex I’ve ever had in my life.” She tossed her head back and laughed. “What about you?”

“Ah,” she laughed a little. “My entire four months of marriage?” I laughed. “The whole thing was a bad experience.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, cocking my head to the side. I could see she was a little reluctant to discuss it, but we had agreed to be open with each other.

“I really didn’t know what it meant to be in love. I should have left him the first time he laid his hands on me, but no, I was a stupid kid who thought love was sticking through a good beating. I was wrong.” Her eyes were so inexplicably sad.

“Del…” I said softly. I had no idea that her ex-husband had beaten her. I have never raised my hands to a woman; it’s just so wrong. I hurt when she said that; the thought of anyone hurting her tore me apart. I reached out and gently caressed her cheek; she smiled a little, leaning her face into my touch. “I’d never do that to you, you know.”

“Yeah, I know,” she replied softly. “It’s not who you are.”

“All right, let’s move on,” I said, knowing we needed a change of subject before it ruined the mood completely. “When was the best orgasm you ever had?” She laughed with incredible ease, her body bouncing slightly on the mattress; her laughter caused me to laugh as well, and when we were both through, she answered.

“Ummm,” she thought for a moment. “Definitely one of my experiences between the sheets with you.” I raised my eyebrows in surprise. Me? Had she just said that I gave the best orgasm? Talk about ego boosters.

“Are you serious?” I knew my eyebrows were still raised, and I knew the shock was evident in my voice. “Or are you just saying that so you won’t make me uncomfortable?”

“I’m serious as a heart attack.” She replied. That was the mother of all compliments. “I’ve never felt anything like when we make love.” The truth was right there in her green eyes; truth, love, and warmth could always be found there, along with laughter and the occasional sadness.

“I’m happier to hear that than you know,” I replied with a grin. “And I suppose you’re reciprocating the question?” She nodded. “Let me think… I think it was with a hooker – “ I stopped and looked at her with a wide grin.

“You ass!” She shrieked, playfully throwing her pillow at me. “Let’s see the next time I have sex with you.”

“I’m just kidding,” I laughed. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was with you. I can’t even begin to explain what it feels like with you.” I really couldn’t explain; there was no place I’d rather be.

“My turn.” She stated, letting me know that my turn was over, she was asking questions now. “How old were you when you lost your virginity?” I thought for a moment; I really did know the answer to that. I hadn’t slept with thousands of girls contrary to some beliefs.

“I was seventeen.” I replied. “I suppose you want to know who with?” She nodded again. “Nat.”

“I kinda figured as much.” She replied. She wasn’t snotty about it, even though that’s what it seems like. “This guy called Ethan was mine. I was over in England for a while and… Well, I’m sure you get the point.”

“Yeah. Apparently you did too.” I know it was lame, but she laughed! She threw her other pillow at me, and settled back down again. “How old were you?”

“Nineteen,” she answered. “I just wasn’t ready until then. Now, Taylor, back to some interview questions. What’s it like not living at home with your parents anymore? I’m sure once you’ve grown accustomed to living around so many people all your life that it’s harder to move out than, say if you were an only child.” She had a little note pad in front of her and a pen in her hand as she still lay on her stomach, only propped up on her arms; her long hair kept her breasts hidden from view.

“Yeah, it’s hard. I grew so used to waking-up to my Mom singing something in the kitchen while she cooked this amazing breakfast – the amazing breakfast thing only happened when we were home for a while, on weekends. I was always around my siblings, and I was close to all of them.” I answered truthfully. “It was really hard to leave.” She was busy writing.

“Has moving out put a strain on your relationships with any of them?” The honest answer was no, until I met her. But I knew she wouldn’t take that the way I meant it, and it would sound wrong and insulting and that wasn’t what I was aiming for.

“Yeah, I guess so, a little. Isaac moved out first so we got a taste of what it was like to be separated from one another; I think my moving out was a little harder though.”

“Are you telling me your family plays favourites?” She grinned. It was my turn to toss a pillow.

“The fans might, but the family doesn’t. I was just a lot closer to everyone than, say Ike or Zac. I’ve always been very open with things with my family; I’ve been extremely close to my Mother – probably the closest to her out of all the kids – since I was little.”

“If that’s the case, how did she take the news when she found out Natalie was pregnant?” That was still a sensitive subject, and she saw it in my eyes and face. “This one’s off the record,” she said softly. I was thankful for that.

“She cried,” I answered quietly. “I hurt her. She didn’t bring us up to have premarital sex, and I did. Not only that, but I got my girlfriend pregnant in the process. So… I did what they told me to. I married her. But I know in my heart that my Mother is never going to forget that her first grandchild was conceived out of marriage. You have to understand my Mom – it’s just something she won’t forget, but she won’t dwell on it, or even bring it up really.”

“It sounds like she took it pretty hard.” She said quietly.

“She couldn’t even look at me for two days.” I looked at the ceiling and back at her again. “In all the ways that mattered, I lied to her. Like I said, I was closest with my Mom out of all the kids, and we were always open and honest with each other. She believed I wasn’t having sex, and I let her believe it, even though I was.” I knew she could hear the disappointment and sadness in my voice because I even heard it. I had turned my eyes back to the ceiling, and I felt the mattress shift. She slid on top of me, and just lay there, gently brushing my hair back with her fingers and looking down at me. She leaned down and softly pressed her lips to mine.

“Not a good idea to do that while you’re lying on top of me,” I said quietly, being humourous and serious at the same time. She slid her legs over my waist. “DeLorean, you’re seriously asking for trouble…” I was getting turned on fast.

“I want trouble,” she said softly and seriously. We searched each other’s eyes for a while, and she leaned down and kissed me again, longer this time, our tongues barely brushing against each other’s. “Make love to me,” she whispered. The interview was forgotten, her pen and little notepad pushed aside as I carefully rolled us over, claiming her lips once again, and her body.

chapter thirteen
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