Look at how my tears ricochet - Taylor Swift
When Melinda woke up, Jim wasn't in bed. She sat up, feeling disoriented, feeling almost like she'd dreamed the night before. She was still nude, and she picked up the shirt from last night, sliding it back over her head.
She knew she hadn't dreamed it, but that wasn't a guarantee that Jim meant what he said. No. That was the wrong way to put it. She knew Jim wouldn't say something he didn't mean, but it was easy to make promises at night.
It was even easier to break them once the cold light of morning made them look naive and foolish.
Had she really thought it would be this easy?
She padded down the hall to the guest room, her heart sick. If he was inside...she didn't know what she'd say. She didn't know that there would be anything left to say.
But the door was wide open, and the bed was empty. Melinda didn't know what to do, so she went back to her bedroom and into the bathroom, switching the water on to heat up as she brushed her teeth.
She looked up, and Jim was in the doorway.
"No fair," he said. "You're showering without me."
"I didn't know where you were," she said, and her voice broke. Jim's face softened, and he strode to her side in two long steps, wrapping her tight in his arms.
"I would tell you what I was doing, but that would spoil the surprise," he whispered, cupping her face in both hands, and placing a kiss on her lips. "But let's shower, and then we can find out?"
"That sounds good," she whispered.
Showering with Jim felt like going back to being 24 years old, and dumb in love. She pressed her body against his, the water making them slick. She just wanted to be closer. His hands were all over her, touching every piece of her, and she closed her eyes against the spray of the water. Jim lathered her body with soap before tenderl y washing her clean, and Melinda stepped from the shower feeling like a different woman.
She loved him. She stood there, looking at herself in the mirror. Jim came up behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist, and buried his face in her shoulder. She looked at the pair they made in the mirror, and how soft her face looked right now; what a sensual picture they made. She felt her stomach fluttering, as it had used to in the early years.
She loved him.
She turned around in his arms, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him.
Jim slowly pulled away, blinking down at her. "I would love to take you back to bed but then my surprise would be ruined," he said, smacking her ass lightly, and groaning. "God, now I really want to stay up here."
"What's the surprise?" She asked, and he shook his head.
"Dry off and find out," he said, stepping out of the bathroom. She rolled her eyes and followed.
By the time they made it downstairs, kissing each other the whole way, Melinda was dressed for the day in a light summer dress. She figured she and Jim could go to the farmers market, walk around town or something. His arm was snug around her waist, though they were only walking to the kitchen, and Melinda leaned into him.
When she saw what was on the table, her eyes widened. A bouquet of fresh flowers, a bowlful of whipped cream, cut strawberries, syrup, softened butter. There was a gentle, cinnamon smell in the air, and Jim, pressing a kiss to her forehead, separated from her, grabbing an oven mitt.
He pulled a tray from the oven, and she gasped, pressing a hand to her mouth.
"French toast," he said, looking at her closely. "I baked it, so that the surprise wouldn't be ruined."
"Oh my god, Jim," she said, tears overflowing in her eyes. "Jim," she repeated, the word ending in a sob, reaching her arms out to him.
She felt like her heart was breaking, but in an entirely different way. She felt like an outer layer that had been squeezing her heart together these past few horrible months had shattered, and her heart was finally working again. She felt like he'd finally penetrated all of the walls she'd put back up. She felt like things would actually work.
He put the toast down, meeting her embrace in two easy steps, and wrapping her up in his arms.
"I love you, Mel," he whispered, his voice near her ear. "And I'm so sorry for forgetting that, and for being so goddamn stubborn and mean. That look in your eyes just now, I haven't seen it in years, and fuck, Mel." His hand cradled her head, and he was holding her so tightly Melinda could hardly breathe, but she didn't want to.
She leaned up, standing on her tallest tiptoes, pressing tiny kisses to his mouth, his chin, anything she could reach, over and over until he wrapped his arms around her waist and swung her off the floor, kissing her so deeply she forgot where she was.
And this was what she'd been missing, this was what was going to make them whole again. This closeness, this intention.
She wrapped her arms back around his neck, and when he finally let her down, they sat at the table ánd ate french toast with whipped cream.
Melinda couldn't remember ever being happier than in that moment.
The weekend would end. Aiden would return, and he'd return to parents who smiled at each other, and kissed again. He would remember that moment for the rest of his life, the day that he came home and his parents loved each other again.
Melinda would go back to work. She'd spend time chasing ghosts, but she started to put more limits on it. Previously, she'd go out all hours of the night, but since Jim had more control over his schedule now, they both made a pact: no more working nights.
Every night, they came home, shared their days, and were just together. Sometimes they fought. Sometimes they didn't know what to say. They went to counseling when it got hard again.
But Melinda knew that no matter what, she'd never feel as awful as she had then. She knew that they'd beaten death, and now they'd beaten something even more awful-indifference, and anger, and coldness.
In those moments, when they were struggling, Melinda would take his hand in hers, look up at him, and their gazes would lock. And somehow, things weren't as bad then.
They were going to make it after all.
A/N: Happy late birthday, Mariah 3 Love you so much ~Meowser