Matt Flannery had felt confused, even been bewildered and bemused before, but thinking about her couldn't be accurately described by any of those words. When he tried to figure out exactly what it was he felt for her, what it was he felt with her, he came up empty. No, it didn't mean that he felt nothing, quite the contrary. What he felt for her was…beyond words.
Everything he felt for her seemed contradictory, and that really didn't help clarify things for him. She made him feel caring, gentle, tender, like she was butterfly, and all he wanted to do was hold her in his hands just once. In the same breath, in the same moment, he felt primal, violent, as if he'd been suddenly dragged back to the stone age and was almost animalistic. Oh, not violent toward her, obviously, but because of her. He just couldn't fathom had she made him feel both. Holding his arms around her nude form, feeling her heart beating softly beneath her soft skin, it didn't become any clearer for him.
If you touch a butterfly's wings, some of their powder is transferred to your hands, and some of the oils of your hands are transferred to those delicate wings. It damages the wings, so the butterfly can't fly anymore. You don't try to grab a butterfly or you'll harm it, but you can let it come to you. It will flutter around for several minutes, caution not allowing it to land immediately. It may even fly away, but when it lands, if it lands, it's a thrill. It sits in your hand, delicate powdered wings moving gently; it feels like magic. Watching it, you almost stop breathing.
To Matt, Emily was so much like that butterfly. Their relationship went on her time table, because he knew pushing her would only scare her into leaving for good. He let her move closer as she pleased. Her trust had been broken so many times before, it was a slow dance toward him. It didn't matter, he didn't push it. Emily didn't like feeling trapped or controlled, she needed her space and freedom. That was only one of the things he loved so much about her.
By now she'd landed, but he still knew she could fly away quicker than a blink. It wasn't because she didn't love him or trust him, but part of her was still afraid of him, of what they had. Still, she'd landed, and it was magic. Matt had never felt that before, and knew without Emily, he never would again.
She intoxicated him. People say when you love someone, you can't stop thinking about them, but it's so much more than that. He couldn't stop being near her. The feel of her bare skin against his, the smell of it. It wasn't so much lust as it was…just a feeling of rightness. He belonged with her, his mind and body knew it. He belonged to her. Yes, that was it. Even as he lay wrapped around her now, skin against skin, he realized that was it.
They belonged to each other.
That…that was all the touchy-feely girl things that she made him feel. But there were much more masculine, testosterone-fueled feelings he attributed to her. Those weren't pretty, or delicate. Quite the opposite. Hallmark doesn't print them, and no man in his right mind would write them on the little card that goes with Valentine's flowers. These were the ones that kind of scared the hell out of him.
Matt wasn't a violent guy, and he certainly wasn't that variety of testosterone fueled idiot that was born several millennia too late. He carried a gun, but it was work related. He didn't like to hurt people, and certainly didn't like to kill people. But where Emily was concerned, he literally slid back to when man had just discovered the wheel. His thoughts turned primal, and human-made morals and laws didn't matter. Animal kingdom laws did.
It's easy to say you'd die for someone. There's a lot of people out there who would jump in front of a bus or a bullet to protect someone they love. Mothers do it for their children, men for their wives, friends for friends, family for family, and lovers who can't bear the thought of losing their mate. Matt would gladly take a bullet for her, though god knew, if he ever told Emily that, she'd throw a fit. A world war-sized fit. She wouldn't want him too. He couldn't really blame her, he wouldn't want her taking a bullet for him either.
That meant she probably wouldn't like the step further he took it. He wouldn't just die to protect her, he'd kill to protect her too. He wouldn't even need a gun. If someone was threatening her, hurting her, Matt would probably be able to tear them apart just with his bare hands. No, not probably. He could do it. And he wouldn't hesitate. He wouldn't regret it, and he wouldn't be sorry about it. God help the person who ever tries to hurt Emily, because there would be no stopping him.
It wasn't that Matt didn't trust her to take care of herself, to protect herself. It's just if he ever saw someone hurt her, really hurt her…he wouldn't think, he'd just react. And, that reaction would be violent and unforgiving. That's what made it primal. People, humans, have a capacity to think beyond just reacting, to consider consequences, to show mercy and forgiveness. But sometimes...sometimes something breaks the mechanism that allows people that luxury, and they revert to the animals they descended from.
If Matt ever caught someone hurting her, that mechanism in him would snap like a piece of uncooked spaghetti.
That's why those feelings scared him so much. He wouldn't have any control, and that crazed man that would come out wasn't him. He was actually more comfortable being the gentle guy with the butterfly, not that he'd ever admit to that. Matt ran his hand slowly along her stomach and hip, fingertips feather-light against her skin, before coming back to rest over her abdomen. Was that mix of emotions what people called love?
Emily chose that moment to roll over in his arms to face him. Her bare skin brushing his was like an electric jolt, a pleasant one, not the kind that made your hair stand on end. She was wide awake, and staring at him, small smile playing on her lips.
"What are you thinking about?" She had felt his mind working behind her.
"You, Butterfly." It just slipped out of his mouth, as if he'd called her that everyday. She looked surprised, eyebrows arched, smile wider in amusement.
"Butterfly? That's different." Matt smiled. He kind of liked the new pet name. He never would he have tried calling her cupcake or honeybuns, that just wasn't Emily. Butterfly fit her though.
"Yeah, I like it…Butterfly." He gently kissed the tip of her nose. Emily scrunched up and giggled.
"Whatever you say." She snuggled closer to him.
Matt smiled. She'd just okayed the pet name.
Thank you all for the reviews of 'Patience', I'll see what I can do about continuing. Just got started on the next Cleo story, so that's priority. And Keavy, I can't promise regular stories, but I'll do what I can. I'm so happy, I'm not the only one still attached to the show!
On that note, did anyone tape the eps? I'm finally conceding that Fox isn't releasing it, and desperate to get my hands them!
Thanks for reading!