Maybe

By Jules

This is part of the Cruelty, Thy Name is Lobster Challenge. There is a love scene between two consenting unmarried adults.

They walked the periphery of Grace's café, as if they were floating in a dream. It was her birthday, but she had hardly participated in any of the festivities once they joined the party.

She could see that people were laughing, talking, eating food and drinking punch, but she couldn't hear a thing. His pulse rolled around hers as he held her hand, not just held, but twined his fingers with hers like perfect, solid locks.

Their eyes didn't meet, but he watched her out of the corner of his, stealing her form like a poor thief. He had stolen a kiss as well, but to his surprise, she had given it to him freely. And she had stayed behind. Wanting more.

"It's getting late," she said suddenly.

"Yeah." He finally breathed, letting air come back into his being. "Can I… take you home?"

She smiled shyly and looked down at their hands. "I'd like that."

Slowly, they edged towards the center of town and away from the celebration. She looked down. He hadn't let go yet. She grinned foolishly. She wasn't leaving alone. Michaela stopped abruptly, suddenly remembering that she hadn't come alone.

"Oh Sully," she covered her mouth, "The children!"

Sully laughed at her horrified expression. "I'm sorry. I guess we just got a little distracted tonight."

She shook her head, blushing furiously. "It's alright. I should have been paying more attention."

He leaned in, and she caught her breath. Was he going to kiss her again? They both stopped abruptly and he turned away suddenly, averting his eyes. "I'll go back and get 'em. You go ahead and hop on the wagon."

"Did ya have a good birthday, ma?" Brian asked, as he sat in between Mike and Sully in the wagon.

Michaela grinned sincerely. "Yes I did."

"And were ya surprised?" He asked cheekily.

She looked down and rubbed her nose against his. "Very."

Colleen piped up and wrapped her arm around his neck. "I bet you were surprised to see Sully in fancies!"

Michaela lost her breath again as their eyes locked. "Indeed I was."

Michaela stood on the step above Sully, wringing her hands nervously. "Well, thank you for a lovely evening… and thank you for the present."

Sully leaned forward. He swallowed nervously. "You liked it?"

"I love it," She said instantly. His eyes sparkled, and her face grew warm.

Michaela laughed awkwardly, feeling caught by him and herself. They were talking about so much more than a saddle and they both knew it. Sully coughed and stumbled backwards a bit. "I'm glad. I better go now."

Michaela watched him walk away, and suddenly, she couldn't stop herself from calling out to him. "Sully!"

"What?" He turned back, nearly running back to her.

"I liked…" She tried to tell him, but her words drowned in the air.

"What?"

Michaela shook her head, embarrassed by her boldness. "Never mind."

She began to walk to the house and he walked backwards but suddenly stopped and turned around again. Just as he opened the door, she heard his voice, "Michaela."

"What?" She turned back.

"I liked it too," he whispered.

"You did?" She said it were another surprise.

"Yeah, I did. I did." And with that, he ran back the length of the yard until he closed the space between them, lifting her off the porch until she slid down the stairs into his arms. He claimed her lips hungrily this time, overwhelming Michaela to the point where all she could do was respond in kind to his primal need and desire.

Suddenly the side door slammed and she pushed back self-consciously, as though she were caught in a trap, and pressed her fingers against his lips, discovering their texture for the first time. "The… the children," she stammered, trying to find reality again.

"Ok… Ok…" Sully brushed his hands against his pants, trying to ground himself again.

"Maybe…" Michaela leapt, almost hoping, for what she didn't know.

"Maybe?" He looked in her eyes, seeing into their depths such undiscovered oceans and plains.

"I think…" Her eyes traveled, touching her lips like a memory.

He stepped closer. "Maybe I should stay close tonight?"

Their eyes locked. "Maybe."

Sully nodded and backed away before he couldn't. "I'll be close if you need me."

"Goodnight." Michaela called over her shoulder and flew into the homestead.

"Goodnight," Sully whispered, closing his eyes as he looked up to the sky, hoping for maybe.

Michaela stared at the ceiling of the homestead, her thoughts whirling through her head like a mind diseased. It was as if he had poisoned her, and now she couldn't stop thinking about him. He had invaded her mind by simply touching her lips. She could hear an owl calling in the distance. He was somewhere in the distance. She pressed up against the mattress of the bed, and listened to the soft snores of the children through the thin sheet that separated them. He was somewhere outside. Outside. What was it like out there, she wondered?

Slowly, she slipped out of the bed and found her slippers and robe. Looking back towards the children, she took a deep breath, and opened the door. She walked into the yard, up through the clearing. She didn't dare call his name. He would know too much then.

She could hear the fire before she reached it. She could see his face glowing in the amber, a lost expression transpiring over his brows. What was he thinking about?

She knew she should turn back. But she couldn't help but watch him in his quiet solitude. Suddenly, he stilled and looked directly at her.

"You came," he said, not knowing if he was hallucinating or not as he saw her eyes clear through the trees.

Michaela didn't dare speak. It would be too much. How could she have come here? Quickly, she got up, but his voice stopped her, "Don't go. Come. Sit with me."

Hesitantly, she turned around and walked through the trees until she stood before him. Maybe if she didn't speak, she would know what to do. She would know what she was feeling or how to behave.

He lifted his hand, and she took it. Locked. The same locked fit as before. She stared at him, and suddenly, her thoughts poured from her mouth.

"I don't know what I'm doing here."

"Me either. But I'm glad you're here."

Cautiously, she touched his lips again, and Sully lost his breath as she began to explore his face with such innocent curiosity, his heart pounded in unknown ways as her touch began to affect him. He closed his eyes and suppressed a deep moan as her fingers glided over his eyelashes. How could he tell her? How could he say it? This was more than like. This was more than fascination. This was his dream. She was his love.

Suddenly, he opened his eyes and looked straight into hers. She was shaking as though she had discovered her heart for the first time. She knew what he knew. She knew how dangerous it was to be out here with him.

"Maybe… Maybe I should go in," she suggested, her voice belying her desire.

"Maybe." He nodded. They waited. She didn't move. Suddenly, as if a force of nature was magnetizing them, they pulled together, and wrapped their arms around each other, locking. They didn't know where they were going, and they didn't know if they were right, but they knew they liked it, they knew they wanted to, and they knew they couldn't stop.

They tumbled backwards, his hands running down her face, running down her body, and running back up again as he grabbed the cotton of her nightgown. Michaela gasped and looked into his eyes, knowing but not knowing what was coming as she found his shirt and mimicked his movements, locking his skin against hers.

The fire crackled, and his mouth moved over hers, tasting, owning, loving, and their eyes opened, wide, knowing.

He pushed away from her and waited, questioning her eyes, and then, without a word, their hands moved together towards his buckskins. They knew.

When they laid together, skin on skin, the questions were gone, and Michaela knew that she was no longer alone in this world as he filled with his being, lifting her off the ground and rocking her sweetly, fiercely, gently, as maybe became yes.