Hey y’all. First round edits are complete. Second round begins today! I’ve been cutting and spicing and cutting. Whoo! It’s a beast, but I love it. Here’s another lil taste of Tunie and Charlie’s angst-y tale of romance. Let me know what you think! – SS
Tunie must have walked for over an hour. She walked until she looked up and realized it had gotten dark while she was lost in her thoughts. She was quite a ways from home, and her feet hurt, so she hailed a cab. But instead of heading for the apartment, she told the driver to take her downtown. She couldn’t take anymore tonight. Charlie would probably be gone by midnight, then she could go to bed in peace.
Charlie. Arrogant, silly, spoiled ass Charlie. He was something else. A walking contradiction and he didn’t even know it. So full of confidence, and knowing, but as sensitive as a turtle without his shell once you peeled back a few layers.
He thought he was entitled to whatever information he wanted, but he certainly didn’t like to be questioned. She’d learned that early, though it hadn’t taken her long to break through that stuffy shroud he liked to cover himself with. When they were alone in the apartment, and he was watching her watch TV, or cook, or rip fabric and do her thing, he softened.
She supposed he was growing to trust her. She hoped so, though he’d probably slit his own throat before he’d admit it. He was too busy stretching around inside that bitter angst he liked to wear like one of his perfectly tailored suits. In his mind, women were good for one thing and one thing only: to fuck him, and only that if he paid them.
Tunie didn’t think he actually believed that, only that he’d convinced himself of it, but she never tried to tell him any different. She figured if that’s how he wanted to live his life, he undoubtedly had his reasons. They had an arrangement, and she was keeping to her end of the bargain. He’d said quite clearly, there will be nothing personal in this soft business arrangement. That was okay with her.
At least at had been at first. He’d been so cold and formidable that first week. He showed up like clockwork, made light chit chat, ate her food, fucked her, and left. But he never hurt her; he never demeaned or abused her in any way, and he always made her come, hard.
That sex had been quite shocking those first few times. The feeling of good, of ease, of connection was so intense, so all consuming she hadn’t known how to deal with it. What was a woman supposed to do when a man could turn her inside out like that? What was she to think when he could bring tears of pleasure to her eyes? Without much effort, Charlie could have her on her back, legs in the air, moaning like she was dying and begging him to fuck her harder, faster, give her more…and Tunie never asked anyone for anything.
She’d never imagined consensual sex could be scary. That it could make you act completely unlike the person you knew, or thought you knew, yourself to be. Before Charlie when people started talking about sex she usually removed herself from the conversation. She wasn’t a prude, she just didn’t want to hear the mechanics of what went on between strangers. Nor did she want to be emotionally influenced by the trials and tribulations that seemed to accompany the average love affair. She had enough on her mind without absorbing other people’s bullshit.
Before Charlie she hadn’t even been mildly curious about romance. Not about the good aspects of love, the sweet gestures or the spontaneous displays of affection, or the bad, the lies, the hurt, the cruelty. No, she definitely hadn’t wanted to hear about the bad side of love. And sex, well, that was so far outside her realm of life it might as well have been an act between martians, a ritual from some far flung tribe that eschewed clothes and drank hallucinogens from cups made of tree leaves. Actually, if it was learning about an indigenous tribe she might have had more interest. Sex between coworkers and their significant others or their one night stands? She wasn’t even curious.
But slowly, he’d got under her skin. Charlie thawed something inside her that she hadn’t even known was frozen when he let her see who he really was.
She became aware of her new emotions right around the time he became Charlie instead of Charles. She could still remember the look on his face the first time she’d called him that. He’d been surprised, but then he looked smug. Perhaps he was pleased to rate a nickname. She didn’t bother to analyze that either. Life was good now, and Tunie knew what it was like when it was bad. She had no interest in borrowing trouble, as her mother used to say…