April 6, 2013

Chapter 10: Love at First Sight

His breath was a gentle rush of hot air. Her expression of content tranquility, satisfied, yet her heart still racing from having made love. He was in his own haze of ecstasy that was far from receding into the waters of his own reserved, cool demeanor. He lazily kissed her peach colored lips, soft and gentle in their ways of welcome and celebration. With a less than graceful move, he flopped beside her. A long held sigh finally released, one that he wasn't even cognizant of holding, truthfully more focused seconds earlier on not crushing his girlfriend under his weight as he finally found his own eruption of blissful numbness.

She turned to him, stroking his jaw line, one of the many places that had been skin graphed. Her eyes were fixated as she continued, hypnotized by the advances that cosmetic surgery had made since it's contrived popularity by fake celebrities with faker parts. "Hey," she breathed, focused on him,his torrent brown eyes that had been witness to so much heartache, and now, so much love.

He slid his arm between the sheets and her pillow, and consumed her, suddenly drawing her closer to him. Shifting slightly in his embrace, she curled her arm close to her, some lingering trait of her shyness and modesty, and then rested the other hand on his muscled bicep. They laid like that until they each fell asleep.

-G.I. Joe-

He immediately noted it was morning, after forgoing shutting their blinds (not like it was a major concern seeing as they lived in one of the upper floors of a high rise building), the sun was intruding with vibrant, morning rays.

Scarlett during the night had shifted, her back pressed into him, her hands trapping his one arm that listlessly dangled over her waist. Having just returned from a month long recon mission over in Russia, he, too, missed the days of always having Shana there to be with.

His senses fully aware of his surroundings, realized he was not waken by the rising sun, but his girlfriend's intermittent tittering. He circled the back of her hands, riding the pad of his thumb over her knuckles to let her know he was up.

She automatically rolled over to face him like she had before, her eyes sorrowful. "I'm sorry, hun. I didn't mean to wake you." She quickly looked to his toned chest, hours of continuous training evident in the sculpted abs that flexed with each breath and movement. After some time, she retrained her eyes on his face, smiling like she did when the world's worries weren't crashing down on her shoulders. "I was just thinking of something Lady Jaye had asked me earlier." And without waiting for a response, she continued, "She asked if I had ever been a believer of 'love at first sight.' I told her that I had never given it much thought and on that premise alone it hadn't happened . . . or at least not yet." Snake Eyes furrowed his eyebrows and flared his nostrils quickly feeling ripples of vexation at Shana's poor attempt at humor and the far possibility what she was saying was true.

"Relax," she jested, cradling his face with her hands and kissing him longingly. And while his mind commanded him to stop her and demand an explanation, the ninja's body reacted by pulling her flesh against him causing her to hum the same note that usually closed his thoughts off from everything but them.

When she pressed her hands to him separating themselves, she gathered herself, allowing him time to ease the war that was in the process of being declared between his mind and body. Reassuringly, she spoke to him. "I was wrong. I have been blessed enough to experience 'love at first sight' three times."

If he had looked indignant at her joke before, it was nothing compared to the look he was giving her now. "It was you all those times." As the words left her mouth, he wasn't sure he heard her correctly. Still, as he tried with much fervor to understand the meaning behind her answer, he was more than sure that it wasn't on his end that prevented him from comprehending it, but female kind in general that made moments like this unnecessarily complicated and mysterious.

"Remember when you dedicated yourself to guard me, even beyond your orders." He thought for a minute, finding the memory that brought Shana to the first time she had fallen in love at first sight.

'Who the hell are you?' John asked, his voice quivering as he crab walked to his bed. Snake Eyes could have easily assessed that he wasn't a threat, just another deplorable human being, but something triggered a reflex he had never knew to exist within him. Upon learning that her ex-boyfriend – for lack of a better description – had slandered Shana's name in order to promote himself in some social group, Snake Eyes was determined by no rational means to have the young man feel the enlightenment of repentance that only raw justice could provide. Of course, stealing his clothes while he was showering after an intense workout at the college gym, thus, resulting in an embarrassing walk through the recreational facilities to the customer desk, that was a bonus.

"So, after falling in love with a ninja, whose name sounded like the unspoken chatter of tribal voodoo . . ." she stopped, chase kisses marking a heated trail down her neck. "Snake, I'm trying to . . ." she sucked in a deep breath as he nibbled on a rather sensitive spot that inched further down her neck line. "Snake," she whined, kicking her one leg, at nothing in particular, to emphasize her point. His snort was more a teasing raspberry against her skin, though enough for her to maneuver herself into a half straddle of dominance. Having captured his wrists, a false pretense, really, she closed in, their noses touching.

-G.I. Joe-

Snake Eyes groaned, closing his eyes at the sudden contact and invitation of so much more. He tried with all his might to settle his mind and most base desires in order to follow her, groaning again at the involuntary wanton need to be with her all over again. "I met you," she reminded in a low tone and with more intensity than the trained assassin could handle. He forced the heaviness of the words she spoke down with an audible gulp, the truth so poignant he shivered. Besides his mentor, his parents, and Scarlett, no one else unequivocally knew him. Jinx, the Joes, the military, they all held their opinions of him based on his actions and ethics code, but there was more to the ninja than that and few traveled that deep to reach the inner most parts of his mind. Scarlet was one of the few. Patient enough to peel away the layers.

"We were days from incurring Cobra head on. The climax of our journey to clear our names and prove to the world all the villainy the Cobra Commander had committed and the real threat he presented. You were my shadow more than ever. You moved with me," and as she rendered herself to extracting a memory filled with intense emotion from all corners, he reversed their position, crowding over her, almost shielding her away from the evils that floated in the places of her mind he couldn't always reach. He traversed the expanse of her body from her hip up her side, paying careful attention as his fingers riddled over each rib and the smoothness of her skin, so similar to silk but impressionable like fresh laundered cotton. Grazing the outer roundness of her breast, he rested his forehead on her shoulder, loudly exhaling in the most obvious suppression of other desires. She smelled of peach blossom, accents of an earthiness laced in by some expressed self empowerment from her.

Her body stretching to accommodate them and with better control that his years of training never bestow him, she drew her hands, pressing with her slender fingers up his back to the base of his neck, where they followed the outline of his ears to his temples, stopping to guide his attention back to her.

"You pulled me into that hotel room before we even made any decisions on where in that town we should patrol. You didn't care that the others were in the room right next door. You needed to speak to me privately right then. You said that knowing all the dangers that were rising against us, you would give up your life if it meant mine would carry on. You told me you loved me and that if something happened, I had to see you, the real you. It was the first time we made love, confessed it to the fullest extent."

Even with Cobra Commander's remains sealed in some vault away in a secret government facility, located within uncharted mountains, his machines and toys, files, and treachery all taken and buried, the Cobra Commander was still here. Lurking in the minds of the defenders and victims, and when the night was still, the air crisp and static with uncontrolled energy, she would be jarred awake. Screaming for her father, for her lover, for her team, for her salvation from all that was chasing her, she was still fighting just like everyone else that ever encountered the twisted human, called the Cobra Commander. The nightmares were rare, but so powerful they rocked the world he and Scarlett labored to build with each other.

Snake Eyes impulsively kissed the spot just above her cleavage, the home of her heart, the treasure chest of all her feelings and insecurities. He brought himself to her again, kissing her passionately on her lips, grasping at her body to surround her with his strength. As he traced his tongue along her lips, he moved away again, their eyes touching base and recognizing the need they wanted of each other. But, badgering him in the back of his mind was the last and most recent time of her falling in love at first sight. How had he played a role? His sanity and male pride needed to know. She, too, convinced herself of her obligation to finish the story she had already woven before commencing with anything else.

"And then, I saw you reborn, this you."

He heard them conversing in the hallway. He was sitting there, restless. It had been a few weeks after the surgery, a follow up visit and the very day his bandages would be removed to unveil a face that was no longer marred with burn marks. Scarlett was explaining that her nervousness was just butterflies at hopeful news that no unwanted consequences had reared their ugly heads, and while her supplication of an answer was given, he also knew she was eager to see his face, something that had been hidden away like a secret since the procedure.

Walking into the doctor's room alone, she was stunned into stillness and silence at the sight of his reconstructed face. His blonde hair so new and fine, it was more like the fuzz of a newborn chick than the hair of a grown man. She stiffly walked to him, her hands outstretched and trembling, she delicately laid her hands on him, trailing her fingers over his face. Reading his softened, rounded brow and defined cheek bone as if blind to the sight of the tanned skin that ran fused seamlessly together. The cataracts of the scarring lifted to reveal the clarity and beauty of the body, that housed the altruistic spirit, was lifted to light again.

In loving reassurance, her eyes closed, she whispered, "No matter, I love you." She kissed his freshly formed lips for the first time, revealing in their gentle response after so long of being separated.

-G.I. Joe-

It was inevitable, the encouragement of her sharing would lead to their lovemaking. The fine caresses and accidental grazes of exploring fingers, on the tender notes of appreciation and exaltation that is only derived when true love is found by matched souls. Harmony.

-G.I. Joe-

Having changed into an old pair of favored denim jeans, loosely hanging from his hips without the support of any belt, Snake Eyes sipped his coffee, standing shirtless in their bedroom doorframe. Scarlett was still sheathed within the confines of their bed sheets, having spent the morning reconnecting with her boyfriend, she was sleeping peacefully. He crossed over to the wall length mirror, languidly posing in front of it. Had I changed? Am I a believer of 'love at first sight'? This concept, very western, no doubt. Yet . . .

Taking a glimpse of the redhead draped in the soft green linens reminiscent of fresh bamboo, a yearling of mother nature, he was sure it was a 'yes.' No longer was she the recluse college student with tunnel vision or the bullheaded lieutenant willing to sacrifice everything to justify herself to others. She was a confident, self-motivated woman who trusted others and shared the most intimate things with more than a journal. She, too, provided a multitude of different facets – or sights – for him to fall in love with over and over again.

He didn't know when this all had happened, or why he hadn't noticed it sooner. Maybe because everyone had pegged it to be some single solitary moment instead of snippets of different moments. 'Love at first sight' was a lofty concept for diehard romantics and convoluted Hollywood movies. Snake Eyes much preferred having the sight to see all the mile markers of love, even if he wasn't the first to see it.

~ End Love at First Sight