A/N: I finally updated. I thought that this would have been up earlier but college has been a pain for me. Moving on, thanks to UnderTheHood and DarkestInk for their reviews.
CHAPTER 34 – Setting Boundaries:
Naminé stared up at her bedroom ceiling. She had finally remembered what she had overlooked yesterday: Kimblee's suggestion that he hadn't killed Romberg.
It was bizarre. Kimblee had claimed responsibility in the sewers and even after that. However, two nights ago, he had asked if he hadn't killed Romberg, would she still hate him so much. And yesterday, he had told her that he didn't deserve all her hatred for something he hadn't done. So was he being honest? Or was this some ploy to mess with her mind even further? Why couldn't it be a ply?
She let out a groan at her own confusion. This shouldn't be happening. She had been so sure of herself for years.
Naminé looked at her clock and saw that she had been lying in bed for over an hour. This morning she didn't have to come into work. Normally she would be happy. However, the day off meant she would be spending every moment near Kimblee and when she wasn't, her mind would be on him. She closed her blue eyes and tried to clear her head but she couldn't?
I actually felt something for that man once, didn't I?
Rather reluctantly Naminé finally got out of bed and went to bathroom freshen up. Then she went to the kitchen in her pajamas. Kimblee was already in the kitchen making breakfast. From the look of things, he was only cooking for himself. She took a seat at her small kitchen table. "Good morning."
Kimblee paid her no mind. He grabbed a plate that had two slices of toast and started adding eggs on top one.
"I said 'good morning.'"
Kimblee walked out of the kitchen with his sandwich. He took a seat on the couch. Naminé stood up and followed him to the living room. It took a lot of strength to sit down next to him. She took a deep breath. "I want to talk."
He took a bite out of his sandwich. Naminé pressed her lips together in a firm line. "Kimblee? I-"
"Is this how it works?" He interrupted. "We talk when you want to talk? I'm nobody's fucking chew toy."
"I know that," she said. "And I'm sorry. About yesterday. I just want to talk to you. I actually want to listen to what you have to say."
Kimblee put his breakfast down on the coffee table. "What?" He asked, finally looking at her.
"Did you really dream about me?"
He stared at her before shaking his head. "That's what you want to talk so desperately about?" Why the hell am I humoring this woman? So far she has slapped him, kneed me in the groin, and reminded me constantly of how much she can't stand me.
"What are you thinking about?" Naminé suddenly asked.
Kimblee shook his head in reply. "About how I shouldn't even be having a conversation with you."
"Can you answer the question?" Kimblee didn't say a word. He looked away. How am I supposed to get his attention? She thought. There were only two options – keep trying or walk away. The latter would be admitting that she had lost. She watched him pick up his sandwich and take a big bite. "Kimblee," she pressed. He continued to ignore her. She did the only thing she could think of. She took his plate away and set it back on the table. His golden eyes were on her. They were smoldering but it probably wouldn't take much to set them ablaze.
Naminé suddenly reached over and plant on the other side of his thigh. Then she brought the top half of her body in front of his. Kimblee's body stiffened at the proximity. For some incredibly stupid reason, she thought it would distract him or at least calm him down. Kimblee had always been a physical man. Words he could easily ignore but body language not so much.
"Kimblee, can you answer my question?" She repeated softly, her blue eyes locked onto his golden ones.
Kimblee stared at her, trying to hide his thoughts. She was trying to seduce him into listening and being compliant. He wasn't a fool. Sonia had done it all the time. At least she tried to. He hadn't forgotten how to play this game.
"I'm can," he said in a husky voice. His hand slowly crept up the curve of her hip. He caught her gaze dropping for a split second. "It's just a matter of what you would like to hear."
"Everything," she said, trying to hold her ground. She barely managed to hide how uncomfortable she became when she felt a light pressure on her waist. Suddenly his other hand came and touched the back of her head, his fingers intertwine with her tresses.
"How's your head?"
"What?" She asked, hoping he didn't hear her nervousness.
He leaned a little closer to her face, moving his other hand a little higher on her body. "You had ice on it last night. Does it still hurt?"
She shook her head. He had her in trance when it was supposed to be the other way around. The small, remaining functional part of her mind reminded her what this conversation was about and it had nothing to do with her head. "I changed my mind," she said, keeping her voice steady. "I don't care about what you dreamed about me."
"You don't?" He asked, his fingers playing with her auburn hair still.
"No. I have something else to ask."
"What?" He moved closer to her face. The confidence she had earlier vanished in that instant. He supposed that he had won the game and that there was really no need to continue. He could do one move and it would probably send her scurrying. However, he didn't want it to end that way.
"It's-!" Naminé gasped at the unexpected gentle but firm grip on her breast. Her face heated up instantly. She tried to find whatever strength she had left at her disposable but then Kimblee brushed his lips against hers and her will dissolved. A warmth was filling her abdomen, a sign that her body would soon betray her mind.
Kimblee kept her head in place as he brushed his lips against hers a second time, this time asking, "What's your question? Unless you don't care about that one."
All Naminé could see in Kimblee's eyes was a hopelessly insatiable lust. It made her want him in every sinful way she could think of. She didn't care if Archer found out or Vi or anyone for that matter. It had been forever since she had been intimate with a man. Even though this was supposed to be about the truth, she'd be damned-!
Naminé's eyes widened as reality came knocking on her door.
"Naminé!" Someone yelled through the door.
That was Vi's voice.
Naminé quickly got away from Kimblee and hurried to the door. She opened it. "Hey," she said, slightly out of breath. She looked at Vi and then at Mel. "Why are you two here?"
"Shopping remember?" Vi said. "We talked about it before I came up. Unless Kimblee being here changes things."
"No it doesn't," she said.
"Does he have to come with us?" Mel asked.
Naminé shook her head and looked back at Kimblee. Here she was completely flustered and he had gone back to eating his sandwich. It was like he was unaffected by what had just transpired. But after more thought, she saw the problem. Kimblee had seduced dozens of women for all she knew. And how many men had she seduced? Maybe one. What made her think that seduction was a good idea? Sure, most men would have been embarrassed and not touch but Kimblee was not most men. He pushed boundaries. He attempted to bend the rules and often broke them. She should have known that touching was not out of the question for him.
"Let me take a shower and get dressed," Naminé said. "Come in and wait." Naminé disappeared down the hallway and into the bathroom.
Mel looked at Kimblee as she shut the apartment door. "What were you and Naminé just doing?"
"She's alive, isn't she?"
Mel sighed. If something did happen, Kimblee probably brag about it.
After the women left, Kimblee took a cold shower. This was the second time they had been interrupted. He had thought Archer's showing up had been terrible because it had been obvious that Naminé had been the victor of whatever scuffle they had. He now realized that it was worse when his libido was involved. Naminé had looked willing and with the way she normally acted toward him, he was sure that he would never have another opportunity to bed her.
He turned off the shower and dried himself off. Then he looked at himself the mirror. His golden eyes stared back at him. To himself, he looked normal. But to Naminé, she would probably say monster. "A monster that she actually wanted to fuck," he thought aloud, smirking a bit.
Maybe it was better this way. He didn't have to become pathetically consumed with his old feelings and if she was willing, it could be just a sexual thing between them. Satisfying their sexual. Clearly the woman had been deprived. However, looking at his reflection, he knew it could never be just sexual. The past was always in the way. He was almost certain that was what was on Naminé's mind this morning.
Naminé came back to her apartment late in the afternoon. Kimblee was in his usual spot in the living room. The two made eye contact. Naminé inhaled deeply. Here was round two. She put her shopping bags down and went over to the quaint living room. This time, she took a seat across from Kimblee. There was no way she was allowing a repeat of this morning.
Kimblee took notice of her body language. Her legs were shut tightly together, her hands were on her lap, and her back was straight. No doubt this was her way of putting on a chaste act, as if he didn't know what was on her mind. He sat up and leaned back into the couch. "How was your day?"
She raised an eyebrow at the casual question. "Good..." She glanced over him. "Yours?"
"Boring," he replied.
"The question that I wanted to ask," she said. "Before we were interrupted."
"Distracted is a better word, isn't it?" He said in a detached manner, watching her carefully.
"No. We were interrupted when I was going to ask my question." She was not boosting his ego this afternoon. Her expression hardened. "If you didn't kill Romberg, then how did he die?"
Kimblee stared at her. He had known this moment would come but he never realized how delicate a subject it would be. What would be okay to share? What should he keep to himself? The brunette wanted the truth but her delicate self could only handle so much. "He was shot."
"...Just like that? How come there was no body found?"
He looked away, trying to find a place to start. "We went into a building because Romberg wanted a sniping position. I just came along to make sure that the building was secure. Long story short, we were talking, stuff went south, and Romberg was sniped from a nearby building. Ishbalans came into the room. I was trapped... I don't think I need to finish the rest."
Naminé lowered her eyes. "I see." She bit her lip at the idea. Kimblee being trapped, facing certain death when just a few feet away were the ingredients for an alchemic bomb.
"I made sure he was dead." Kimblee looked back at the brunette and saw that she was resting her head on her arms. He thought that maybe she was crying but then she spoke in an unshaken voice.
"What were you two talking about?
He frowned. "Does it matter?"
"Of course it does," she said, looking up, her blue eyes tearless. "You're the only person who heard his last words."
Kimblee wasn't sure if he should make something up or tell her the truth. "We were talking about you," he admitted.
"What about me?" She asked.
"...He wanted to know if you'd been lying the whole time."
"Why would he..." Her voice trailed off as it finally dawned at her. Kimblee waited for her to ask if he said anything. However, she didn't. "Was that the last thing on his mind?"
"I guess it was... I didn't tell him, Naminé."
"I know that," she whispered. "I know you wouldn't." She suddenly stood up. "I'm going to my room for a bit... T-Thank you for telling me." She left the living room. She needed some time to herself.
The moment Naminé lay on her bed, she buried her face in her pillow. She didn't think she could feel worse about Romberg's death but she did. For the first time, she was shedding tears solely for Romberg. She had meant to tell Romberg about the cheating. She had wanted to tell him after the war so it wouldn't become a distraction. The truth would have hurt him but she had believed he needed to hear it from her.
If Romberg hadn't found out, things would have played out differently. She was sure of that much. But a certain jealous bitch couldn't keep her mouth shut.
She should have guessed when Isabelle had approached her at the memorial service. The woman was vindictive and their relationship had been as stretched out as it could get. She just never thought... I'm so sorry, Thad.
Her bedroom door opened and she looked up. Kimblee stood in the doorway before slowly making his way over. He sat down at the foot of the bed. The two remained silent for a minute. Then Kimblee spoke.
"You know, I wasn't actually sure I wanted to tell you everything. I'm sort of glad I did. I don't want anything between us."
"Us?" She repeated, clearly confused.
Kimblee's smirk appeared but it seemed more solemn than mocking. "I want to try again and there's no better time than now. Who knows how much time we have together?"
Naminé sighed and sat up, her blue eyes on Kimblee. "No."
"You can't expect that we'll just continue where we left when I knew the truth. I need to know things will be different, that you won't be screwing up again."
"Fine. I won't kill any soldiers this time."
"That's not enough, Kimblee."
"Then what do you want, Naminé?"
"I want you to prove it."
She ran her hand through her auburn hair, her eyebrows knitted together in thought. "I guess you can start by not touching me."
"No touching, especially like this morning. There are others way to express your twisted feelings." She knew that if she didn't restrict that aspect of their relationship, things would be too easy for the Crimson Alchemist. When it came to touch, he was an expert. He knew how to get those rises out of her, how to set her skin ablaze, and how to leave her wanting more. This morning was an indication of how easily she would succumb to it. "Can you do that?"
Kimblee gave her a funny look. "For how long?"
"Until I'm convinced."
"I'm a physical man, babe."
"If you can't do this, then 'us' is not happening."
Kimblee weighed out his options. One would make him into the pathetic man he didn't want to be. The other would toss out any chance of Naminé being his. "Fine. I'll prove it to you your way."
A/N: How was that? Please review. :) Hopefully, once things settle down in terms of college work, I can update at least once a week. I think there will 45 chapters in this story. I don't know. Anyway, till later.