A/N - Here's an update. Longer chapter this time and there's angst. I don't own Reba and any mistakes are mine. I struggled a bit with this chapter but I hope you'll enjoy!
Today I begin to understand what love must be, if it exists. . . . When we are parted, we each feel the lack of the other half of ourselves. We are incomplete like a book in two volumes of which the first has been lost. That is what I imagine love to be: incompleteness in absence.
- Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt, The Goncourt Journals
She didn't go down and join the rest for breakfast the following morning.
The morning sun was beautiful, still climbing the horizons and painting streaks of gold and orange across the sky. Reba was content to just lie comfortable under the sheets and watch the what morning view presented her with.
Not to mention, she wasn't very inclined to face Brock, and Barbra Jean - not after what happened last night. Although, nothing really did happen last night. Reba shivered slightly as she remembered Brock's fingertips caressing her cheek, his closeness doing nothing to repel the memory stirring within her as she swam in the sea.
She had been remembering…
The water had been warm, soothing and she felt light again.
And he came and she wasn't remembering anymore. Instead, it had become a desire to live it again, to feel the moment again instead of the usual dull aches the crystal clear memories brought along.
He held her tight, so tight against himself, strong arms encircling her back… Feeling lips grazing her neck, Reba could also feel knots forming in her stomach. Words failed her and all she could do was breathe, to try and perhaps regain some momentum lost.
The ripples of water surrounded them and the splashing sounds became music to their ears. Eyes closed, Reba tilted her head back and her long mane of red hair swirled in the water as Brock pulled her even closer to him, as though trying to meld their bodies into one. Legs tangled with each other's, the slow dance happened, body straining and twisting to the choreography or nature, hands grasping, feeling, trying to commit every detail of the moment into memory because this was so wrong and unlikely to ever happen again.
This was so, so wrong.
Because the only person she had a right to do this with is Terry.
But Terry wasn't on her mind now, Terry was still at the party with his friends.
Without realizing, tears slipped down her cheeks and disappeared into the vast sea around them. Her heart soared and sank at the same time, though impossible it might seem, as the tension built right at the bottom of her belly. He was making it harder for her to breathe, to think and to see anything around them but him.
She was aware of his whispered cries of her name, and when the release came, she held onto him for dear life as she floated, soared as high as the sky would allow her to. Shuddering against him, Reba was thankful for the arms around her for she was sure if he wasn't holding onto her, she would shatter into a million little pieces.
She knew that she never wanted to let him go.
She could never.
"I love you, Brock," she whispered, her forehead resting against his, feverish and breathing heavily. "I love you. I love you," she repeated, like she was saying a prayer.
"Oh God, I love you too, Reba. So much."
The silence between them was suddenly heavy with implications as their bodies calmed. Reba rested her head on his shoulders and bit her lower lip. "What to we do now?" It was the only rational thought that came to her mind.
His answer, so simple and so convicted, plucked her from the abyss of uncertainty and soothed her fears. "We tell Terry," he said, stroking her soaked hair and kissing the crown of her head. "We tell Terry."
Last night had brought all these back. Swimming in the sea had brought all these back. And Brock's appearance - Reba still couldn't be sure if he had followed her down - brought those memories back in full force, mocking and taunting her.
Brock had said he missed the water too. So much.
And then promptly turned from her, got out from the water and told her to come out before she caught a cold. The heat drained away and his sudden shift in demeanour bewildered Reba, in addition to hurting her. Though, she understood why he did it. It was always the same reason. The very same reason they couldn't just simply remain best of friends. Brock just simply didn't belong to her anymore. Perhaps he never did belong to her - which was why she could lose him so easily in the first place. That thought hurt, more deeply than him turning his back on her.
She had slipped back into her room quietly later on, clothes slightly damp. The dull ache in her chest remained until she had fallen asleep later on.
When lunch came around, Reba settled for room service and spent the whole afternoon reading a novel she had packed along. She was grateful for the hindsight, especially now that she was planning to avoid Brock the rest of their trip. Barbra Jean had not bothered her once, to her immense surprise and Reba prayed that it would remain that way throughout the whole trip.
Maybe if she was lucky enough, she might even meet a gorgeous - hunky - doctor and fall head over heels in love with him. Maybe she would have a torrid affair with him.
As long as said torrid affair was not with her ex-husband.
Despite the fact that Reba had stayed in all day, Molokai was lively - it got even livelier at night - and it beckoned her to go out. She heard the rest of her family return from wherever they had been to, and doors clicking into place.
They were finally back.
And when Reba was fairly certain that night life was indeed happening, she showered and slipped into the light summer dress she had packed for this trip only to have Kyra come in at the last minute and the smirking at her when realized that her mother was going out.
"Going somewhere Mom?"
"Going to find me some fun now that you guys have already had your fun," Reba replied, smiling widely and running the hairbrush through her hair a few more times before admiring her work in the mirror. "It's been a while since I've done something fun."
"Hope you rested enough this afternoon to last you the night," her daughter quipped, waggling her eyebrows suggestively and sitting cross-legged on the bed. "Bye, Mom."
Reba smiled as she closed the door behind her.
There was nothing to stop her from wondering if there was something about her love for the sea that drew her to the beach. Despite the fact that Reba had gone down to have a few drinks and maybe make a friend or two, the notion was quite forgotten when she heard the quiet sounds of waves against the shore.
The breeze against her skin was strangely cleansing and the salty smell or the sea hung heavily in the air. The dark sky was rather clear, and Reba could see the stars clearly from where she was sitting. She played with the cool sand, taking a handful in her fist and then letting them slip between her fingers. So she didn't really hear, or realize, that someone was coming up behind her.
"I didn't think I might find you here."
Reba froze ever so slightly, the owner of the voice being the one and only man she was avoiding.
"You didn't join us all day, I was about to check on you in case you had caught a cold." He moved into her line of view and she craned her neck to look up at him.
She had been tipsy, the flush on her cheeks had betrayed her state to Brock and he had suggested they take a walk down the beach so she could get some fresh air. And again, she had to remind herself, she had been tipsy. So when she had declared that she was going to go for a swim right then and there, she hadn't really cared about the fact that it was rather late, and quite inappropriate in these circumstances.
Leaving her dress as a pile of cloth of the shore, she had stepped into the water in her undergarments, leaving Brock still protesting on the shore. He had been saying something about Terry and how he wouldn't be happy about this. When he had realized that she wasn't listening, he had done the only thing which he thought a best friend should do.
He went after her in the water, clothes also left on the shore with hers except for his boxers. Watching out for his best friend who was also his other best friend's girl.
And she was also the girl he secretly had feelings for.
Reba giggled when she realized Brock was behind her and turned to him, mockery in her eyes. "I thought you said this wasn't a good idea."
"It isn't. But you're out here, so I thought I'd come in too. Besides, you're drunk."
Her eyes widened and she smirked. "I'm not," she denied, splashing water at him. It did seem like something one did - splashing water.
Brock wasn't sure who moved first, but one thing was for sure. She sobered up the moment his lips caught hers and the music - oh, the music was a symphony of joy - was the beginning of the dance. The air trembled around them as they became the only two people in the entire universe because nothing else mattered anymore.
"I'm fine," she replied nonchalantly, hoping that he wouldn't notice the goosebumps forming on her skin in the dim light of the moon.
From the corner of her eyes, she could see him settle down on the sand beside her. The silence was not a comfortable one, but it was as though the dampness wasn't the only thing making the air between them thick and stifling.
"I can see why you're so drawn to the sea at night especially. It's beautiful," Brock commented, chancing a glance at her. Reba's gaze was fixed outward to the sea and she smiled softly. Yes, it was beautiful. The moonlight sprinkled gold flecks onto the surface of the rippling water was a sight to behold.
"Yes it is," she agreed easily, pulling both legs to her chest and wrapping her arms around them.
Do you know why I love it Brock? It has nothing to do with the sea itself.
"Last night -"
Reba felt her heart beat faster and stomped on the flicker of hope she felt deep in her heart. She allowed the hurt to fester, and the bitterness overcame her need to just grab onto him and kiss him. "Shouldn't you be with Barbra Jean right now?" she snapped, still staring ahead, willing anger to the surface. She could protect herself with anger.
"I should," Brock said quietly, watching for the reaction of the woman beside him.
She opened her mouth to argue - to protest - but then fell silent again.
"But I'm not."
"No you're not," she acknowledged, rapidly failing at becoming angry. "What are you doing here Brock?" she asked, not unpleasantly.
He shrugged noncommittally. "Do you remember?"
"Remember what?" She knew what he was asking; how could she not?
The quiver in her voice lasted for just a fraction of a second but years of experience and the fact that he knew her just that well allowed him to catch it.
"Our first time." His voice was soft and it made her turn to him, just in time for him to cup her cheek, thumb grazing the sensitive skin below her eye. Her breath hitched, the way it hadn't hitched in such a long time, and she flushed, the heat from her body posting a strong contrast against the cool air.
They both leaned into each other in all painful slowness, hesitant, and the space between them, though close, was as wide as the valley between two mountain peaks before it disappeared completely as their lips finally met each other's. The music she had heard the night before became a constant hum in her ears and she welcomed it, not wanting to ever forget how its indescribable tune made her heart swell like it had never swelled before.
Tentative and somewhat shy in the beginning, they explored what seemed to be new territory when it was in all actuality, familiar and what was essentially home. She felt his tongue slip against her lips and she parted them, giving him access so he could dip inside and find hers. The flicker of hope she had extinguished earlier on caught life again, and it burned strongly in the pit of her stomach, spreading warmth throughout her body. Perhaps she had been so caught up in the moment that she didn't feel his arm snaking around her waist and she let out a soft gasp as he pulled her firmly against him.
The sound of waves and hints of nature now all drowned out by the beating of their hearts, she fitted perfectly against his chest, just as it had always been. Her hands trembled as she slipped them under his shirt, tracing a firm chest, and trembled even more when his lips left her mouth and he nibbled on the soft skin below her ear. Words failed to form sentences in her mind and all she could manage was sighs and soft moans.
"Do you remember?" he whispered, his breath caressing her skin and sending shivers down her spine. "Do you remember?"
He held her tight, so tight against himself, strong arms encircling her back…
She nodded, because speech seemed to be unavailable to her and she wanted him to know that she did. Her fingers busied themselves with the task of undoing the buttons on his shirt, the semi-darkness posing no barrier - the act itself being something she had done so often in the past. With the last button undone, she pushed the shirt off his shoulders impatiently and he in turn, recaptured her lips with his.
Brock pushed the strap of her dress off her shoulder and she felt the cool air whisper against her back. Somewhere along the line, he must have unzipped her - she couldn't tell - and his hands travelled her skin, pushing the dress off her torso so that it pulled around her waist. She shuddered as his fingers whispered against her skin, making her ache in all the places she wanted to be touched.
In a flurry of quick motions, clothes were suddenly no more in play, and his skin, hot against hers with their hearts beating in harmony. She could feel his hands tracing the skin on her back as she leaned into him, nipping at his shoulder, though not hard enough to bruise. He gently pressed down over her with his body, giving her no other option than to lie down and she tensed, waiting for her back to hit the glassy sand, but instead, her skin felt a smooth, slippery fabric which was his shirt and she relaxed. His shoulders pressed against hers, and she welcomed the weight to ground her before she floated away.
Her back arched, pressing her hips into his, and she wound her fingers in his hair as her tongue danced with his. Feeling his fingers ghosting along her skin, she sighed along with the wind, giggling as he traced her ribs over the curve of her breasts, and moaned when he gripped her hip, words spoken in silence.
His fingers slipped past her hips and she rose up, head falling back, as she felt his fingers touching her, so gentle it was - she thought was imagining it. Hesitant as first, he paused and the tension swelled, every second bringing her to acute attention. Then tenderly, he began to stroke her - finding her ready; so completely ready. Her breathing erratic, colours high on her cheeks and skin damp with sweat and he thought she was the most beautiful and sensual woman he had ever known.
He dipped a finger in, hitting a spot and she moaned, the contact causing everything around her except him to blur and become random colours. She grasped around blindly and buried her fingers in the sand beside her to anchor herself - he was sending tremors through her body and rational thoughts out the window. Tears sprang into her eyes in the absolute beauty of the moment, and she gasped when he pulled away all of a sudden, closed eyes flying open in surprise and dismay.
"Brock…" she started and trailed off when he lifted a hand to stroke her cheek.
I do. I love you.
She cried out when he slid into her and stilled for a moment, afraid to shatter the spell, the wonderful feeling of home she had almost forgotten, before hooking her legs around his waist and pulling him deeper. They settled into a familiar rhythm they both knew, one they had not allowed themselves to remember for the longest time. She pulled him to her with both her arms and their mouths met amidst the soft sighs of pleasure.
The pace increased and Reba felt the warmth inside her pooling, and drew him closer, trying to hold on to him tight before she came apart without someone to pick up the pieces.
The air stilled, silence expanded and she held her breath, hearing only their heartbeats in unison until her world imploded, vivid colours clouding her vision, and only thing she could hear was Brock crying out her name urgently. The tears stinging her eyes earlier escaped, staining her cheeks as she came apart with an intensity so deep she thought she might die. "I love you," she whispered softly, not daring to hope that he might reciprocate and partially regretting them. He settled against her, sated and breathing heavily, and kissed her on the forehead.
When their bodies started to calm, the colours seeping out and returning them to the world they were in, she pressed her palm against his chest slightly and he shifted so that he wasn't resting his entire weight on her.
"It's getting cold," he finally said quietly, sitting up and sorting out the mess of clothes belonging to the both of them.
"Yeah." Reba followed suit and started to dress after making sure that she flicked the dress slightly to rid it of sand, trying to block out the fact that he hadn't said much apart from stating the obvious. A few moments passed by and her chest tightened. He didn't feel the same. Coldness stabbed at her heart mercilessly and she angrily brushed away the last evidence of tears from her cheeks. Of course he didn't. Why should he? It wouldn't hurt as much if not for the fact that she knew she didn't really have a right to want more.
"We shouldn't -"
"I have to go," she muttered and turned from him abruptly before he could say anything more and started walking - almost running - back from where they came from. She couldn't bear to hear him say it was a mistake. Reba knew it was, of course it was a mistake.
She didn't turn, but increased her pace instead. She didn't want to hear what he had to say.
It was a mistake to him.
It was only when she reached her hotel room that she allowed the tears to fall - though this time, not out of pure bliss nor beauty but from pain so deep she was sure her heart would never stop hurting.
To be continued…
A/N - Thanks for reading! Reviews are very much appreciated! I'd love to know what you think.