In LA concerns grow over Gerard's condition.
He continued to stare into the fire feeling lost. Deep down he knew he should have expected this. Ayasha knew of his descent into hell, she knew how he’d treated women. Why would he expect her to suddenly think he’d changed? But God, he wished she knew the truth…he had changed.
As she watched him her mind was suddenly filled with the sound of her grandmother’s voice. That voice told her to listen to her heart, not her head. Again and again it told her to trust her heart. Slowly, with trembling hands, she removed her clothing. When she was completely nude she took a deep breath then walked towards the fire.
Gerard saw her movement from the corner of his eye but still didn’t turn to look at her.
“I’m sorry.” Ayasha whispered, her voice low and full of emotion, as she lowered herself into a sitting position next to him.
It was then he turned to look at her.
Ayasha was staring into the fire. “I have never had a man make love to me. It was always just sex, nothing more. I expected nothing more.”
“That’s not true.” He said softly. “You knew or you wouldn’t have let it happen.”
She sighed, “I’ve told you my heart and my mind have become separated. My heart wanted to believe, but my mind refused.”
When she turned to look at him he saw the fear in her eyes. “Gerard, I am afraid.”
“Me too.” He admitted softly. “But not for the same reason. I’m not afraid to love but I am afraid that love might hurt you.”
Ayasha looked away.
“If things were different… if I was here completely…but I’m not. My heart wants to love you. I’ve never felt like this before, never. I’ve never felt closer to anyone than I feel towards you. I can’t explain it. My mind says it’s because of our situation but my heart sure as hell doesn’t agree with that.” He paused, “But at the same time I know the chance of you being hurt is huge. What if you wake up tomorrow and I’m gone? What if I die?”
“No.” She shook her head, “Please don’t say that.”
Gerard sighed, “We both know it could happen. The longer I’m in the coma the smaller my chances get of coming out of it. I know that and so do you.” He turned back to the fire so she couldn’t see the tears in his eyes. “Maybe this is all just part of my punishment. I find my way out of the darkness, find love, then loose it all.”
Ayasha blinked rapidly. “No, that’s not how this will end. You will get your second chance to change your life. I just know it.”
“No you don’t.” He whispered. “You don’t know what will happen any more than I do. I just pray that you don’t have to pay for my sins. It’s over for me if I die but you will go on. That is why I am afraid to love you, if feels selfish. I shouldn’t want you to feel the same way towards me.”
Ayasha reached out to touch his arm. “Too late to worry about that.”
He looked deeply into her eyes. “What?”
“Too late to worry about me feeling love for you.” She whispered. “It scares me, I don’t know how to deal with it, but my heart is already lost to you.”
Gerard closed his eyes. “Just promise me, please, no matter what happens you will live your life. That you’ll never give up or chose your heart to love.”
“You have opened my eyes to the beauty of love.” Ayasha said gently stroking his arm. “That will never change.”
He nodded then stood. Holding out his hand he helped her stand. While she watched he zipped the sleeping bags together, threw some more sticks into the fire then laid down. Ayasha joined him, molding her body to his.
Gerard made sure the bag was covering her body completely. “Are you cold?” He whispered.
She snuggled even closer to him. “Your body is warm.”
Ayasha looked into his face with a smile, “Your body warms mine, but your love has warned my soul.”
For a moment he was too chocked with emotion to speak. Finally he forced out the words. “I love you, Ayasha. You are the part of my soul that was missing.”
She buried her head against his chest. “And you have unlocked my heart, freed my soul.”
They both grew silent and it wasn’t long before Ayasha fell asleep. Gerard held her tightly, not wanting this night to end.
When Ayasha’s eyes fluttered open the early morning light was spilling through the doors. She looked up to see Gerard smiling.
“Good morning.” He said softly.
“Good morning.” She answered automatically. However a moment later memories from last night filled her mind.
Gerard, who was watching her closely, understood. “I want to thank you for the best damn campout I’ve ever experienced.”
“Well it didn’t turn out exactly like I planned.” She said softly. “It turned out better than I could ever have hoped.”
He looked deeply into her eyes. “No regrets?”
“No.” She whispered. “No regrets.”
Gerard smiled, “I’d prayed you’d feel that way. Okay now you just wait here and I’m gonna rustle you up some breakfast. I’ll bring it to you.”
Ayasha giggled, “Breakfast up here sounds heavenly but I have to go down with you for a minute.” When she saw his confusion she continued, “Uh, I have to use the bathroom.”
He laughed, “Oh yeah. Okay but as soon as you’re done you head back up here okay?”
She nodded then slowly stood. Her body pleasantly ached from their lovemaking. Ayasha stretched her arms high above her head.
“Damn I’m glad no one can see in those doors.” Gerard said as he stood. “I don’t want anyone seeing that beautiful body but me.”
Ayasha had never felt so comfortable with a man seeing her nude body before. She giggled, “Heck, I’m not even gonna get dressed to go downstairs.”
“Good.” He answered as he stood. “I won’t either.”
She laughed, “Yeah, well you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing you.” As soon as she said it her smile faded. No, of course he didn’t have to worry about that. She was the only one who could see him.
Gerard understood her thoughts. “Hey, you can see me.” He reached out to stroke he cheek with his fingertip. “You see my body and my soul.”
Ayasha moved closer to press her lips against his. “And what I see is beautiful.” She whispered.
She’d only returned to the attic minutes before when she heard him slowly coming up the steps.
“Okay woman, you’re gonna have to break down and go to the grocery store.” He said as he crossed the area between them. “Not much of a breakfast but it’s all I could come up with.” He sat the plate down in front of her he’d carefully been balancing.
Ayasha looked down at the two pieces of toast covered in jelly and the cup of coffee. “Hey, this is fine.”
He sighed, “I am serious. You need to go to the grocery store.” He knew the reason she hadn’t was because most of the time after work she rushed back home.
“I will.” She promised, “But not today. Today is ours.”
He sat back down next to her. “So what’s our plan for today?”
Ayasha couldn’t remember ever feeling this happy. “Well, first I eat breakfast. Then I need a shower.” She took a bite then glanced up at him. “You should take one too.”
Gerard frowned, “Do I stink?” He’d never considered the possibility that this spirit body might need care just like his real body.
Her giggle was instantaneous. “No.”
“Well then why…” he suddenly grinned, “Oh”
“Yes, oh. That was my way of suggesting you might like to take a shower with me.”
“Hell yes, I would.” He said nodding. “Definitely.”
Mikey had arrived early at the hospital knowing today was the day they wanted to move Gerard to the extended care facility. However once he reached Gerard’s room he was shocked to find it empty. Fear gripped his heart as he raced down the hallway.
“Mr Way.” An older nurse greeted him.
“Where’s my brother?” He asked.
She smiled realizing the shock he’d felt when he’d reached his brother’s empty room. “They took him down to run some tests.”
Mikey forced himself to take a deep breath. “Tests? What tests?”
Gently taking his arm she led him into the private waiting room. “Last night your brother’s heart began to beat rapidly causing his blood pressure to elevate. So it was decided to run some tests on his heart to rule out any damage.”
“His heart?" Mikey whispered. “Why would his heart start to beat rapidly?”
“We don’t know.” She said kindly. “There is a good chance it was just because he has been showing so much more brain activity. It could be his mind was reliving a memory that caused his heart to race. It’s not unusual for this to happen to coma patients. I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about but the doctors want to make sure.”
“Make sure that the drugs didn’t damage his heart?”
Before Mikey could speak Donna rushed into the room. “Where’s Gerard?”
The fear in his mother’s eyes made him force a smile. “Don’t worry, Ma. They just took him for some tests.”
Donna all but collapsed into a nearby chair. “Oh, thank God.” Like Mikey she’d feared the worst when she’d walked into the empty room.
“He should be back in his room within the hour.” The nurse explained.
“Will they still move him today?” Donna asked.
The nurse looked at Mikey. “It will depend on the tests.” With that she left the room.
Donna stared at her younger son. “What did she mean? What are the tests for?”
Mikey sat down next to her. “Ma, last night Gee’s heart started to beat rapidly.”
“Oh God.” Donna muttered in fear.
“Hey, don’t get upset.” He said knowing he needed to keep her calm. “The nurse said it’s probably because he’s showing so much more brain activity, which is a good thing.”
Donna forced herself to take a deep breath. “Oh. So it’s possible his mind caused his heart to race?”
He nodded, “Yeah, his thoughts could do that.”
She needed to think positive thoughts. “Then his brain is working harder.”
“Right.” Mikey leaned back then closed his eyes.
“What aren’t you telling me?” His mother asked softly.
He opened his eyes. “Nothing, Ma.”
Donna grabbed his hand. “Honey, don’t keep things from me. Please.”
Mikey sighed, “The tests are to rule out any damage to his heart.”
“Damage that could have been caused by the drugs?”
Now Donna leaned back and closed her eyes while still gripping his hand tightly. “A week.” She whispered.
Mikey understood her words immediately. “Yeah, it’s been a week. A week ago today I let my brother down. A week ago today I didn’t stop him from destroying himself.”
“Michael, stop saying that.” His mother’s tone was sharp. “This is not your fault.”
“I let him down.” Mikey whispered.
Ayasha took a sip of coffee then glanced out the windows. “Looks like it might rain.”
Gerard followed her gaze. “Yeah.”
She heard a hint of sadness in his voice. “You don’t like rain?”
“Oh, I love the rain. I love to listen to the sound as it beats against the roof but more than that I love the smell.” He paused, “Guess I was just wishing if it rains I’d be able to enjoy that smell.”
Ayasha took another sip of coffee. “Well you’ll definitely be able to hear it. We’ll made sure and come up here. We could even sleep up here again if you’d like.”
While he’d like nothing better than that he knew she had to work in the morning and that meant he would return to the darkness. “I’ve turned your life upside down.” He sighed.
“Gerard, I won’t lie. Since you came into my life it’s been like being on a rollercoaster. But I truly feel like I’m living now. Before, as much as I love my job and my house it’s all I had. I was lonely and simply letting my days pass by without really living them.” She paused, “Do you understand?”
He nodded, “Yeah, I do. But hearing that concerns me. What will happen when I’m gone?”
She wanted to put his mind at ease. “I’ve told you, you’ve opened my heart and soul to the beauty of love. I honestly don’t believe I’d have ever picked up a paint brush again if you hadn’t been here. And yet, I now realize how much I’ve missed my art. I’m going to continue to paint, to create. I’m not going to close myself off from the world because I’m afraid.”
He smiled, “Don’t close yourself off from the people who want to be your friends either.”
She nodded, “That will be harder for me because I’ve held distrust so deeply in my heart but I’ll try.”
“So we gonna paint some more today?”
“I’d really like that.” Ayasha said before popping the last bite of toast in her mouth.
“Me too.” He grinned. He thought a moment then added, “I’d also like to try to write today.”
He sighed, “I’m not sure. Maybe I’d just like to get some of my thoughts down on paper but shit, I’m not even sure I can do that.”
She understood he was saying he wasn’t sure because of his situation. The fact that he couldn’t use the computer still baffled both of them. “I think you’ll be able to.” She said softly after giving it some thought.
“I hope so.” He said slowly, “But shit, I’m afraid I’ll pick up a pen, put it to paper and no words will appear.”
“If that happens I could put your words on paper.” She offered.
He was touched by the offer but the truth was the thoughts he wanted to write were too personal. “Well see how it goes.” He said suddenly standing. “Now about that shower.”
Together the left the attic to head downstairs.
Ayasha took her plate into the kitchen then placed it in the sink. When she turned she saw Gerard was smiling. “What?”
He glanced down. “Oh, nothing.”
“Gerard.” She said frowning. “What?”
“I wanted to tell you how fuckin’ much I like seeing you walk around nude but I’m afraid you’ll be upset.”
For a moment she stared at him. “Before I would have been upset.” She admitted softly. “But not now.” As she walked towards him she smiled, “And for the record I enjoy seeing you like this too.”
He looked down at his body. “How weird is it I forgot I was nude?” Again his smile slipped. “Of course since I can’t feel a fuckin’ thing I suppose that’s not all that weird.”
She didn’t want his mood to turn dark. “Come on.” She said taking his hand to lead him to the bathroom. Once there she turned on the water and began adjusting the temperature. She stood back then reached for one of her braid to free here hair.
“Please let me do it.” He said softly.
She smiled as he reached for the braid then gently removed both rubber bands. Once they were out he slowly unbraided her hair then ran his fingers through it. “It’s so beautiful.”
He didn’t notice the look on her face because she turned away pretending to check the water temperature again. Finding it was perfect she turned but was surprised by the look on his face. “What is it?”
Gerard stood staring down at the ground.
Believing he’d changed his mind about showering with her she said quickly. “Hey I’ll just be a few minutes. You could wait for me in the living room.”
He hated that she’d seen the emotion on his face that she’d misunderstood. “No.” He took her arm to help her step over the rim of the tub. “No way.” He moved to stand behind her so the spray was mostly hitting her body.
Ayasha was still concerned. Something was wrong. Turning around she said “Gerard?”
He couldn’t talk about it right now. “Hey, you could call me Gee.”
She looked into his eyes. “Would you like me to call you that?”
“Yeah, Sugar. I’d like you to call me Gee. That’s what my close friends and family call me.”
“Okay, Gee.” She wasn’t giving up. “What’s wrong?”
He was touched by her concern but for now he couldn’t deal with tell her the truth. “Nothing is wrong.” He reached down and picked up a bottle of shower gel. “Now turn around so I can wash your back.”
Slowly she turned allowing the spray to hit her chest while his hands gently rubbed her back. However as heavenly as his touch felt she was still concerned and saddened he was keeping something from her.
“How’s that feel?” he asked as he continued to gently rub her shoulders.
“Wonderful.” The answer came out as a purr. She leaned forward slightly to place her arms on the shower wall.
His soapy hands continued to kneed her shoulders for several minutes then he slowly took a step so they could reach around her. Once they had reached around her body to cup her breasts she sighed with pleasure. Gerard loved the sound, loved hearing how his touch made her feel. He continued to caress her breasts then leaned down to kiss the back of her neck.
“Oh, Gee.” She whispered.
He felt her body tremble. Sliding his hands down he heard her sharp intake of breath as they moved down her stomach. Ayasha leaned into him loving the feel of his body pressed to hers.
However his hands stilled when she spoke again. “Please tell me what’s wrong.”
His first thought was to lie. “Nothing is wrong. Aren’t you enjoying this?”
“Very much.” She whispered.
“I just want to please you.” He kissed her earlobe as his hands gently pushed her legs apart slightly. From this position he could see his hands over her shoulder, see his fingers were now caressing her curls.
“What would please me more would be for you to tell me what’s wrong.”
He removed his hands from her body and took a step back. Ayasha turned to face him.
Gerard tried to keep the anger from his voice. “Nothing is wrong.” When she continued to stare at him he grew frustrated. “Look I just want to give you pleasure. What is wrong with that?”
Ayasha was confused. “And you have been.”
“So why keep asking the same fuckin’ question?”
She blinked in surprise at his anger then took a step back.
Gerard immediately felt bad. “Look, I’m sorry. It’s just I want to please you so fuckin’ much.”
Ayasha was still confused. “And you are, and you have. Last night was beautiful.”
Gazing into her eyes all his anger fled and the truth poured from his lips. “Last night was a fluke. I’m not sure how it happened. I’m fuckin’ glad it did but…”
“I don’t understand.” She said softly. “You didn’t think you’d feel desire for me?”
“Oh hell.” He muttered. “I knew I felt desire for you but not just desire in the normal sense. My desire was to please you.”
“And you did.”
He nodded, “That’s what I want to do now. I want to run my hands over your body, hear those beautiful moans come out of your mouth.”
Something about this conversation was so wrong. “So you only want to touch me?”
“Ain’t that enough?” He ground out losing his temper.
She immediately turned her back on him so he couldn’t see how his words had upset her. “Of course it is.” She said softly.
“Oh shit.” He knew he’d hurt her. “Ayasha I’m sorry. Look the truth is when I said last night was a fluke that’s what it was.” He paused then touched he shoulder. “I haven’t been able to have an erection for a long fuckin’ time. I’m sorry.” He was surprised when she turned around smiling.
“That’s what this is about? You were afraid I’d been upset if you couldn’t?”
“Well that fact sure upsets the fuck out of me.” He answered.
Ayasha smiled, “Touch me.”
His hands came up to cup her breasts.
Reaching for one of his hand she gently lowered it between their bodies. She saw the shocked look on his face. “Look down.”
His gaze fell to their fingers that were clasped around his erection.
“Gee.” She said softly. “I know you can’t feel but this is something I need to do.” With that she lowered herself onto her knees. As he watched she slowly ran her tongue up and down his rock hard member before taking it into her mouth. She was right he couldn’t physically feel it but mind could.
“Oh, Ayasha.” His voice shook. “That looks so beautiful.”
For several minutes her mouth continued to make love to him. It wasn’t until she felt the water spray begin to cool she forced herself to stop. Standing back up she looked into his eyes. “I needed to do that. I’ve never taken a man into my mouth without disgust before. I needed to feel what it was like…to do it with love.”
He blinked rapidly feeling overcome with emotion. “Thank you.” He whispered.
Ayasha smiled. “Please, can I feel you inside me now?”
“Oh Honey.” He wanted nothing more. Turning her body he pressed her back against he shower wall then reached up to place her leg on tub rim. With one swift thrust he was inside her watching her face.
“Oh, Gee.” She clung to him.
He placed his hands on each side of the wall giving him better movement. Then slowly he began to trust. Ayasha’s body was on fire.
“Yes.” She threw back her head. “Yes.” Her hands cupped his butt urging him to thrust harder, deeper. The passion was building, she was so close.
He continued to watch her face, needing to see the pleasure, loving that pleasure. One final thrust and he saw her whole body tense as the wave of passion washed over her. Ayasha’s head fell forward onto his shoulder and he pulled her to him.
For several moments they stood in each others arms as the water continued to spray their bodies. Finally Ayasha moved back and smiled, “The water is getting cold.”
“Oh.” He immediately moved to the back of the tub. “Sorry.”
“I only told you because if we don’t get out soon you’re going to see goosebumps all over me.” She giggled but then grew serious. “If that wasn’t going to happen I wouldn’t want to stop.”
He quickly applied more shower gel to his hands and washed her body. Once it was rinsed away he turned off the water then stepped out of the tub. Grabbing a towel he opened it and as soon as she stepped out he placed it around her. As he rubbed her body dry Ayasha spoke.
“Thank you for telling me the truth.”
He continued to dry her body. “No guy wants to admit he can’t get it up.”
Ayasha grabbed his chin to make him look into her eyes. “I want you to know that wouldn’t matter to me.”
He sighed, “If the situation was different it would matter.”
She stepped away from him. “Do you really believe that?”
He refused to look into her eyes. “Ayasha no woman wants a man who can’t satisfy her.”
“All I’ve ever wanted was a man who loved me.” She whispered.
Gerard looked up into her eyes and saw the honestly. “Well, at this moment in time you have that.”
She threw her arms around his neck pressing her body to his. “That’s all I need.”