La Chaleur De La Peau

The Heat Of The Skin

Chapter 21: Where we go from here

Jude's POV. I was so excited when I saw all the people who put Unwilling Union on their faves and alert, and the reviews! I haven't had that kind of response to a new story since Claire de Lune. Thanks all!

If I'm posting it means I survived the 15 degree weather. Stay away from the moutains. It's not even winter yet and its freezing!

Disclaimer is on my profile page.


I sighed and followed him to the couch. I really liked that kiss. He clasped my hand tightly and I was a little worried I'd lose it. Seriously, I thought I was going to lose my hand from lack of blood.

He sat down on the edge of the cushion and I took my place next him, leaning back. I might as well be comfortable, everyone is finally gone, I can relax. But then Tommy looked nervous and that's not him. I've only seen him get anxious around Darius. Why is everyone acting strange? Tommy's uneasy, Sadie's telling me she loves me and so happy for me, Kwest and his smiling like he knows something.

I'd ask if this was invasion of the body snatchers but they didn't have emotions. Why do a relate everything to a movie about aliens? Maybe because I wish my life was a movie minus the aliens. There'd be a lot less drama that way.

"Jude, I, uh, this is harder than I thought it would be." I watched as he nervously bounced his knee. He was rubbing my fingers as he tried to calm himself.

"Tommy, if you're keeping something from me, you know what will happen." I'm not playing with him if he thinks to hide something from me again. I'll go postal on him. I'm not a postal worker so what would the word be for me?

"It's nothing like that." His gaze traveled to the floor, then slowly met mine. "I've been thinking that maybe you should-" he dragged his free hand through his hair. I should what? Jump off a cliff? That's sounding pretty good right now. I'll know what's coming at the end with that situation. A big splat.

"Tommy." I got his attention back on me. "Just ask me what you need to ask me." I nodded encouragingly and gave him a slight smile. I can't smile fully with him freaking me out. "Any day now Tommy." I'm not being subtle, he should get the point.

He took another breath in before he started to speak again. "Jude, I wanted to ask you to..." this is killing me now. "M------ me." What?! Did you catch that? Because I didn't. He wants me to do something with him. That's all I can interpret from his lack of verbal coherency.

"Do you want to repeat that for me?" I moving towards neurotic over here. "You were mumbling." Is that a theme for the trip? Everyone mumbles and mutters and I can't even do it right.

"I want you to-" Stop doing that! Just spit it out already! He squeezed his eyes shut, what now he doesn't want to look at me? What the hell is going on? "Move in with me?" He looked at me with one eye. Huh? Did he really just say that?

Is this what all the nerves and emotions were about? And Sadie would not be happy about me moving in with Tommy. There has to be something else. "You want me to move in with you?" He nodded. "That's all? Why were you so nervous then?" I ran my fingertips down his cheek.

"No that's not all." Oh, shit. He's got that really strange look in his eyes. Like the first time he told me he loved me. "But can I have your answer first?" I was wary as he watched me.

"Tommy, you're scaring me." His eyebrows quirked as he looked at me. "You never act like this. I want my Tommy, not this nervous, skittish person who's sitting in front me. I want my arrogant, cocky, bastard when he needs to be boyfriend Tommy."

I don't think he liked to be called 'boyfriend'. Well that's what he is, what else am I supposed to call him? There are no other words. Lover? He is, but we're more than just sex. We better be! I'm not going to be used! We're not married, we're no where near that so I can't go anywhere with that. Um, what else is there?

"This isn't easy for me. I've never done this before." He told me as he moved his gaze away from mine.

"You've never asked a girl to live with you before?"

"I've never asked a woman I was actually in love with to marry me."

Okay, who turned the room on spin cycle? After a moment I collected myself enough to speak.

"Okay, where are the hidden cameras?"

"Jude, I'm not joking."

"Of course your not," I waved my hand dismissively and started to look around the room. "Spied! Come out now! Johnny?" He always liked to play pranks on me. "WalLY! KYLE!" Yes, I was hysterical at that point. I stood in the center of the room turning to see if I found anything suspicious. Stood? When did I stand up?

"Jude," his hands came up to hold my face, "I'm dead serious about this." I saw how vulnerable he was as he looked down at me.

"Did you just..." The words stopped flowing. "I heard you right, didn't I?" My hands shook as I placed them over his. He nodded slowly to make sure I got the point. "Tommy," one of my hands went to my hair, pushing it away from my face. "This is crazy, I'm 18. We've only been together a little over a week. Are you still a little out of it like you were yesterday?"

"I'm not still out of it from the smoke. I want to be with you."

"Most people don't even know we're together, then we're going to be engaged?"

"Look at it this way, you're dad is starting to get comfortable with us being together. Very slowly, but he'll be fine with it. Darius, he's going to kill me as it is. I wasn't supposed to start anything with you." He regained his easy smile. "Most importantly, I love you and I want all of you with me, forever."

"Please tell me there's no ring." I was trying to lighten the mood, it was just too intense for me.

"Sorry but," he pulled away from me and reached into his pocket.

"No, Tommy you didn't," My eyes grew round as I watched him pull out a small black velvet box. I wanted to fall on the floor and curl into a ball until I woke from this odd -odd? Insane is more like it- dream. The room is spinning again. Only its a lot worse that it was before. I don't think you can get this dizzy in dreams, so I must -have to- be awake.

I looked at the box as he opened it, "Jude Harrison, I've loved you longer than you realize." Really? "I don't want to waste the rest of my life waiting to find the right person anymore. I've wasted enough time hiding from what I felt for you when you were fifteen. Will you marry me?" He's so cute when he's a sweet and lovey. He quoted my song. Wait, I finished that song only a few weeks ago. I sung it to him before he took me out on that infamous night. I guess it makes it our song. Aw, he's making me sappy! Damn it!

I turned my attention back to the ring box. It was so pretty, so elegant, so... me. I'm not elegant, but simple equals elegant. It was a two carat emerald cut diamond in a white gold setting. Thank you Sadie for all those lessons in jewelry.

"Can I think about it?" This is too much for one person. He looked a little disappointed as he said yes. I bit my lip before I spoke again. "Can I still live with you?" He wasn't disappointed with that question. He was so close to kissing me like he did earlier. Earlier? It hasn't even been fifteen minutes. It feels like hours have past. He pulled away from the innocent kiss, his forehead resting against mine. Moving back he held my attention with his beautiful eyes.

"Will you at least wear this until you're ready to give me your answer?" I gave my response by holding out my hand for him to put the ring on. "I love you," he said as he put the ring on my left hand. Then I got what I was waiting for, he pulled me flush against his body and lowered his mouth to mine.


Please Review! Thanks everyone, you're awesome and I love you! I posted a new one shot, please take a look!

Yep, I had to do it, that's one of my fave lines of Tommy's. I still squeak when I hear him say it.

I'll be posting the sequel next year! Sooner if I can't wait. The title and summary will be released next week.

Thanks, Eternita14. I'm an awesome nerd. Keeping up the Tommy Torture since 6/10/07.