I’ve been resting in Grams’ bedroom for the last twenty minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Grams’ bedroom before. It’s nice. It smells like her. Softly violet and sensibly vanilla. There’s a small mirror over the dresser. It has a simple cherry wood frame. I wonder if it gets much use. Grams never seems like the type of woman to check herself in the mirror. There’s a framed picture of her late husband on the bedside table. The bedspread is a faded patchwork quilt. The floors are polished hardwood with large rose colored rugs. A small embroidered pillow sits on an old rocking chair. The room feels so warm. I let my eyes close, seeing Pacey on his bed. Seeing my painting of Pacey early this morning. It’s been a week since we made love. I want him so much I’m shaking all over. And maybe I’ve ruined it.
I hear voices downstairs. Jen’s voice; anxious and superficially happy. That’s her “I’m a big fat liar” voice. I know her well enough to recognize that. I hear Grams’ voice; patient and melodic. Then I identify one voice I’d know anywhere; Pacey’s. He’s hyper. I can tell just by the speed at which his words fall out of his mouth. God, he’s seen the painting. He’s seen it and he’s going to kill me now.
I hesitate for a minute before getting up and heading downstairs to accept my fate. Taking the stairs slowly, I look down into the entry way. I see Pacey there, doing that thing with his hands. He sort of takes one fist and hits it into his palm, like he’s got a baseball and a catcher’s mitt. He shifts his feet in a little shuffle. His upper body twists slightly, giving himself an air of confidence. Pacey swaggers when he walks. He bounces on the balls of his feet. When we were ten, it made me laugh. When we were fifteen, I’d just roll my eyes and ignore him. But now, it takes the breath out of me. And I stand halfway down the stairs and watch him, cherishing the few seconds before he dumps me.
“Pacey, I wouldn’t lie to you,” Jen says, laughing nervously. “Look, Joey was tired and she went upstairs to rest. Okay?” She backs up a step as Pacey throws his hands in the air.
“You told me she was helping Bessie feed crabby guests coffee cake, while Bodie took Alexander to the doctor for an appointment,” Pacey accuses. He rolls his eyes and jumps once. His frustration is evident. “An appointment because Alex had colic and scurvy, no less.” He furrows his eyebrows at Jen, then turns to Grams. Grams laughs as Pacey winks in her direction.
“Yes, I did, but, but....” Jen gropes for a way out of this.
“Pacey, don’t forget the measles and polio Little Alexander was in danger of contracting,” Grams reminds him, chuckling at her befuddled granddaughter.
“Thanks Grams,” Pacey says, smiling her way. He laughs and the mischief in his eyes makes them darken “Polio, Jen? You told me the little boy who’s like my nephew might have polio. What if I had believed you? What then?” I sit down on the steps and just watch. Jen nearly backs into the stairs now and I’m tempted to run back up them to avoid my manic boyfriend.
“Well....he doesn’t have polio,” Jen adds, helplessly.
“Duh.” Pacey rolls his eyes and in doing so he sees me. I freeze under his gaze, pinned to the stairs. His smile widens and his eyes are so clear, I swear I can see right through them. “Josephine.”
“Pace,” I say, wishing away the telltale hitch in my throat. My eyes fill with tears and I can barely see him. I try to blink them back while the blur of blue that is my boyfriend advances on me. Before I know what hits me, his arms are around me, holding on tight. Maybe his plan is to smother me to death? I don’t care, I hold on, sobbing into his shoulder. He’s wearing the blue shirt I love so much, the one that matches his eyes.
“Jo?” He pulls back allowing a breath between us. He lifts gentle fingers to my face, caressing tears away. “I’m sorry I was late,” He whispers sincerely.
“Pacey,” I cry out brokenly. I reach for him and he obliges, pulling me close again. “I’m sorry. I’m such a bitch.” Grams and Jen retreat into the kitchen. Pacey pulls back and gives me a hard, frank stare.
“Sometimes,” he admits. But there’s mocking in his tone. Can I hope? Maybe he hasn’t seen it yet. I could paint over it.....and someone would just tell him about it later. He kisses me sweetly on the nose and I know I have to tell the truth.
“I painted something, Pace. On our wall.” I remember painting on the final touches. Oh Lord, the final touches. I steal a look down at the front of his jeans and blush.
He looks at me and smiles. His eyes dance like falling stars. “Yeah, I saw.”
“You did?” Why isn’t he mad yet? I trace a finger over his mouth hesitantly. His lips are so soft.
“Jo, you painted me naked. In the middle of town. There were about a dozen tourists staring at places on my body that I don’t even expose to daylight,” Pacey sputters out, his face tinting a light pink.
“I know....I’m sorry,” I whisper, looking over his shoulder. Anything to avoid his anger.
“And I almost ran into Dawson’s fist,” Pacey says, running a hand through his hair. It’s getting curly. It may look dumb, but it feels good between my fingers. I reach my other hand out to brush a curl behind his ear.
“Dawson hit you?” Twit. I hope Pacey beat the crap out of him.
“No, I ducked. He fell. I sent him packing. He was a tad upset about your finger painting.” He smirks at me.
“I painted with brushes,” I mutter indignantly. Then I bite my lower lip and deepen my voice to a level I hope comes off sexy. “Well, except for some parts....” I lower my gaze to his crotch obviously. He follows my glance and releases a good throaty laugh. “I could show you my technique later.”
“Remind me about that tonight.” He lowers his head to my neck, his breath heating my bared skin.
“Tonight?” It’s getting so hard to breathe.
Pacey pulls back to gaze into my eyes. “It’s been a week, Jo.” He leans in to kiss me and before I can stop myself I jerk my head away.
“You’re not mad?” I spent the week avoiding him. I painted him nude in the center of town. Why isn’t he furious?
“You painted your hand in mine. You’re wearing my shirt.” He smiles, fingering the collar of the cotton undershirt. He leans over me, his legs between mine, a stair below me. He kisses my neck, my cheek, my forehead. “You made Dawson want to cry.” His eyes are filled with wonder. “This week....I thought you regretted being with me. I thought....”
“I thought I didn’t measure up, Pace,” I murmur, my words entwining with his.
“I thought I didn’t measure up,” Pacey admits shakily. He kisses me hard on the lips. His tongue pushes between my lips and strokes my tongue slowly. His hands circle my waist. Before I know what’s happening, Pacey has lifted me into his arms and is carrying me down the stairs and out the door.
Jen and Grams hurry in from the kitchen only to be met with Pacey’s retreating back, me in his arms. I raise a hand their way and murmur a “thank you” to Grams. She waves, puts an arm around Jen and heads inside.
I barely notice Jack and George tangled in a heap on the front porch as Pacey opens the passenger side door of his car and places me in the seat gently. Closing the door, he races to his side, gets in, and starts the engine in a rush of energy. He grins at me as he checks the rear view mirror to back out of Grams’ driveway. Driving away, Pacey reaches over and squeezes my knee. His eyes are on the road, we’re headed towards Pacey’s home, and he barely gives me a sidelong look when he says, thoughtfully, “You were awfully generous to me with the finger painted part, Jo.”
I reach a hand over, resting it on Pacey’s crotch, feeling him harden beneath my fingers. “I think I got it right, Pace.”
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21