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[an]Some kind of warning about implied explicitness might be appropriate. Not sure, I've never explored material of this nature before. but, yeah.

"Thanks," he said, as Paula took hold of the cup.
"Isn't that my line?" she teased.
"Maybe. But, you know what I meant." He sat back down, relinquishing himself to the mercies of lumpy stuffing.
He watched as she took a sip of coffee, eyes gently closed, savouring the liquid comfort after an eventful day. He wanted to say something, but wasn't sure what, and didn't know how to start from there.
"I. We...Just thanks, ok. For coming to the door, I guess. For not kicking me out. And, for sticking around." As an after thought, "I'm sure you must be really busy."
"Hm," was the response. She had swapped her beverage for the still chilly bowl, mashing down the ice cream, unceremoniously with the back of her spoon. She had the air of someone attempting to completely absorb themselves, yet failing, because the choosen task was just not mentally stimulating enough. It was as though she had to think about the ice cream, and only the ice cream, else face the consquences of what she really had on her mind.
"Must have been awful for you."
"Last night. In that cell," her voice was almost sing song, buoyant in the face of something else. "I mean, if it droved you to my room-"

"Yes, Paula, it was Godamned Awful. Is that what you want me to say? Is that what you want to remind me of? Christ, Paw," he was on his feet now, pacing, and waving his arms about, like a cornered animal, biding its time. Paula shrunk back, wanting to be swallowed up by the sofa. That's not what she'd meant at all. "I was 'driven' here by wanting to forget. To take my mind off the fact that I may have to go back. Do you get that, Paula? I might get thrown back in there someday. Permanently." He spat out the last word, leaving it to ring in the air. He stood, gasping, the sudden admission temperarily knocking the wind out of his angry sails.
When he spoke again, it was in a menacing hiss. "I can't go back, Paula."
"No one is asking you to." She stood, laying a comforting hand on his arm. The downy white of his borrowed bathrobe felt enticing as she patted it, caressing its folds between her fingers. She shook her head, attempting to dislodge thoughts of what remained undiscovered beneath them.

She governed him back to the couch, almost daunted by his apparent surrender.
"I don't want to fight, Paw," he said, as if to dispell her misgivings. "It's not what I came to do."
His eyes were wide, a deer's eyes in the final nano seconds before the bullet sears through its hide.
Paula turned away. She had to. Those eyes, they were too lucid, too overflowing with truth. She wanted to take her leave, but found herself unable, or unwilling, to let go of him. He was still gripping her hand.
Those azure headlights were turned down now, focused, as unrefined fingers traced the veins on the back of it.

"Mike?" she whispered, trying not to startle him.
Each swirl of his touch was sending morse code messages to her brain. As she stood, nobility and supplicant, it was all she could do the remain poised, her defenses working over time against the onslaught of electrical torpedos with were threatening to break through them. It seemed that keeping her head could be her only shield, but her resolve was dwindling.
"Michel. I didn't mean..."
Drawing her gently towards him, so that she knelt before him, he put his finger to her lips. "Shh. I know. I'm sorry."
There were tears now, an abundance of them. And Paula could not turn away. She was caught, bound bodily by his grasp, and mentally by the intense recognition in his face, those oceanic blue eyes. He was terrified.

Paula, no! It's over. This. It's gone. Don't-

But it was too late.
And for a moment or two, she was unsure who was to blame, whether he'd beckoned her by some subtle gesture and she'd reacted, or if she had made the first advance. After that, it didn't matter, she was incapable of thought outside of the desire for him, and of him.

Mikey...I didn't know...

Don't do this, Paw. Don't take it away again.

Exotic tears fell onto his cheeks. Mikey's eyes flickered open, and from the closeness he could see that Paula too was weeping. Her eyelids were clamped shut, but still they were seeping out, through the elegant lashes, as though, even in her unguarded position she was still fearful of complete nonresistance.
This was what he had needed, the kind of closeness that had been denied him, that he'd denied himself, for so long. He mentally implored her to relinquish the last of her defensive barriers, to release the flood gates, filling his entire being with her soul, and her being with his.

Let me in, Paw. Please.

She pulled away, regretfully, severing the lip to lip circuit.
Somehow, they'd both ended up on the couch, entwined along its length. She extricated herself from Mikey's embrace, and sat on the edge. She was still crying, hands clamped over her mouth.
He reached out, touching her arm, and she flinched as if burned, clutching the arm of the chair as a person adrift cling to a life preserver.

What the fuck,are you thinking, Mike? Asshole.
She can't even look at you, never mind touch you!

He was still recumbent, but, in the half light, cast by a single lamp lit on the edge of the room, he could see her lips move, as though trying to speak, but not able to produce sound.
He hauled himself to a sitting position, and curled his bare knees beneath him, ashamed to have invaded her stronghold, and wanting to spare her further embarrassment.

"'s not you, Mike," she said, noticing his discomfort. "It's me. I shouldn't have. Taken advantage. I should have more control."
"And, I shouldn't have self control, because I'm a man, right?" He wasn't angry, his voice was even, calm. "Paw, I don't know what I want. But, I don't see reason for anyone to take blame here. We're both big people now. we're allowed to be irrational at times like these."
She didn't respond, staring off into space again.
"I should-"
"No. Don't go."

She always did have the uncanny ability to freeze him with a look.
Mikey was caught halfway between sitting and standing, and unsure which way to go, paralysed once more by her wild green eyes, hair even more mane like than it had been previously.
There were primal instincts beginning to stir in his groin, and though he was only wearing a bathrobe and boxer shorts, the room had suddenly seemed to become unbearably humid.
Paula broke off her now silent plea, and went into the kitchen, leaving him even more confused. He relaxed back into the torturous chair, relying on it to erode his covetous hunger, and it's now quite obvious effects.

Christ, Mike. Might as well strap on a neon sign, Buddy. That thing ain't going nowhere.
Serves you right too. What the fuck have you been saving yourself for, if not this?

"Jesus," he cussed, unable to make a comeback against his own inner voice.
Paula reappeared, although quite what she'd been doing was a mystery.
There were no tell tale cups of tea, in fact nothing had changed, and Mikey hadn't been listening for what she was doing. Although, she did have the look of one who'd just attempted to tear one's hair from one's head.
"That's just not fair," thought Mike, who ironically, now that she'd denied them both, demanded he stay, left the room in frustration, and returned resembling a privet hedge, found her more tantilising than he could ever recall. It was devastating. All he could think of was escaping, before she realised what she was doing to him. But, there was no way if she had locked the door.
The bathroom.
He jolted up, struggling to maneuver around the settee quickly enough. He just caught her puzzled look in the corner of his eye. "Be right back," he called by way of explanation, and fled, locking the door firmly behind him.

He pressed his ear against the door momentarily, trying to hear whether she was following. There wasn't a sound. He pulled the light switch, hoping the brightness might blind some sense into him.
Still feeling flushed, Mikey threw of his robe, allowing it to pool untidily around his feet. He slid to the floor, legs spawling beneath him, and tried to stop panting.
He looked around the bathroom, which was exactly like his, trying to find some suppressive inspiration. His eyes fell upon the mirror, and he got to his feet, scampering over to it.

Now, listen, Mike. Control, ok?
Fuck, this was a bad idea.
What the bathroom?
No, the fucking coffee. Being here, you irritating Bastard. Neither of us are ready. We're both emotional, more vulnerable than usual. It's moving too-
No offense, Bud, but I don't think either of you have a choice here.

As if to drive that point home, the imitation marble fixture brushed against his erection, its cool solidity felt through the the fabric of his shorts, sending shivers down his back.

Fuck, Mikey. You said yourself, you're both adults. Consenting adults. And, did you forget that you're still married to her?
Maybe. But how long has it been?
Too long. Fuck, Mike. She wants you too. Grow up, and stop using Jimmy to keep her away.

She stood at the closed door, straining to listen. All she had heard so far was heavy breathing.

God, why is this so hard?

She stiffled a chuckle, and gave the door a sharp knock.
"Ye-ep?" his voice was muffled but obviously strained.
"You okay?"
"U-huh. Yeah, fine."
She inhaled, resolutely. "Mike. Open the door." Nothing. "Let me in."
The catch on the other side was moving. It seemed like he was fumbling, stalling for time. Well, she wasn't going to give him the chance to keep her shut out. It was time he took some responsibility.
She shoved at the door, forcing the catch fully open, and felt the door yield, barely giving him time to jump back.

The door snagged halfway open, blocked from behind by she knew not what.
Mikey stood semi hunched, bathed in the stark lighting, and utterly naked aside from a pair of very inadequate grey shorts.
It felt strange to be seeing him so exposed after so long, and obviously against his will, judging by his attempt to hide behind, what she now understood to be his bath robe.
Paula was riveted, unable to snatch her gaze away from the glistening flesh of his revealed chest. He closed his eyes against her scrutiny, and righted himself, almost apologetically. He allowed the robe to drop but onto the linoleum.

He stood, not moving, eyes still closed, so as not to see the repulsion he was sure would show in her face, and stepped to away from the door, granting her an unobstructed view of all the he had become.
Paula, contrary to what was going throw Michel's mind, could not close her mouth, bottom lip quivering with the effort. Her eyes widening as they travelled the contours of his well remembered figure, and came to a halt once again stumbling over the straining fabric.
He was more beautiful, for all the differences there were since she'd last beheld him so undressed. She fleetingly wondered how many lithe young things had traced their hungry fingers around the still quite defined pectorals, down that belly made inevitably the larger due to his penchant for alcohol, winding up at the same unveiled column that she herself was aching to see. It was quickly cast aside.

No point being jealous, Paula. You've been apart nearly five years, what gives you the right to expect him to keep cold in all that time?

She hadn't said a word since she'd opened the door on him, and he was fairly sure he'd not heard a breath since he'd bit the bullet and reluctantly stood for inspection.
"Be brutal," he'd thought, anything to make the tension go away.
He cracked one of his eyes open, as much as he dared, to determine whether or not she'd fainted, he told himself.
She didn't notice, her eyes being elsewhere.
A serpentine tongue darted across her lips, and the electrical shockwave it released into the room all but over whelmed him.

Word Count:

It's not easy having a good time. Even smiling makes my face ache.- Frank N. Furter.


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The following comments are for "So, How Cool Is This? Part 21."
by Jasmine

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