Chapter Three

CHAPTER THREE

Embrace of Loved Ones.

 

In a rush the guys and I was standing in the valley of Brokeback Mountain. I took a deep breath of the fresh mountain air. This picture-perfect valley was one of my favorite places to be. The quietness and peaceful surroundings. Stepping in front of the lake, I flipped my shoes off. The water splashed as I placed my feet in the chilly and crystal-clear lake. The sandy lake floor was soft underneath my feet. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. The warm breeze was caressing my skin, blowing gracefully through my hair and gently dancing with the button of my dress. Birds were twittering. This moment right now, was close to perfect. No worries. No uncontrollable thoughts. The rippling waterfall was calming.

A rush of wind went past me, followed by splashes. I opened my eyes, just in time to see Ryan, before he dived under the water in one big splash, which unsteadied the water. He resurfaced in a laughter. I looked over my shoulder at Dean, who was undressing down to his underwear, then he sprinted out in the water and dived under too. He resurfaced a few feet past Ryan on the lake. They were both laughing and smiling at me and I knew exactly what they were up to.

Ryan swam toward me, reaching the low water and stood up. Water was dripping from his athletic body; his muscular six-pack was glinting in the sun. Everything about him seemed strong. He was standing a few feet away from me, admiring me.

 

“Toots, you have two choices, either you come out here willingly or I will grab you and throw you in with that little pretty dress of yours.” Ryan teased with a bit commanding voice. I sighed, already knowing that I was fighting a losing battle with him. I lifted the dress over my head and threw it at the lake shore. I squeezed my eyes shut, looking at Ryan who was laughing at me. I strolled a few feet further out in the water and then dived under. The chilly water was surrounding me, cooling me down. I could see Dean’s legs treading water.  Still under water I swam to him, grabbing onto his leg, which surprised him. I resurfaced, treading water too, he splashed water at me. Ryan appeared next to us, smiling.

There was something about Ryan, that made me wanna be near him. A spark lit within me, almost every time I was with him.

 

The waterfall was roaring as we got closer to it. The twinkling water was almost blinding us, glinting with energy. The familiar tingling appeared in my hands, but this time I wasn’t fearing it. A flood of energy went through me; a bobbling sensation was spreading from deep within me and I was renewed. There is energy in everything around us. An unfamiliar voice appeared in my head, something about it seemed caring. A warmth was spreading in my left hand, a ball of bright white light appeared in my hand, glowing bright. Rays of light was shining toward the guys, lighting up their wonderful eyes. I was just as amazed as they were. They both studied my hand, then they gazed at me.

 

“How are you doing that?” Dean questioned, I viewed at Ryan and then gazed into Dean’s eyes with disbelief on my face.

“I have no idea!” I exclaimed with an amazed smile on my face. The light was sending a gust of energy through me, the most wonderful sensation, a flood of life. As sudden as it had appeared the light vanished again.

 

I was overrun with joy, I admired my two dear friends, smiling at them. I splashed water at them and started swimming away from them, they quickly followed, trying to catch up with me. Ryan reached me and grabbed around me, pulled me to him.

“What do you think you are up to!” He teased, holding onto me while Dean was splashing water at me.

“Not fair!” I laughed at them, trying to cover myself with my hands, while I was trying to get free of Ryan’s grip.

“Well, life isn’t fair, sweetheart.” Dean joked, still splashing water at me. Ryan’s cheek was up against mine, his stubble was rough on my cheek, I could feel his breath on me. The sparkling sensation appeared again. Ryan quickly and unnoticed sneaked a kiss on my neck. A thrill went through my body.

 

Then Ryan released his grip and I swam toward Dean, splashing at him too. I swam past him, heading toward the shore. They were right behind me, I reached the low water and got onto my feet. Before I knew it, Ryan was at my side, pulled me to him and lifting me over his shoulder, he ambled toward the shore. Putting me down at the ground, I gently pushed his shoulder and we were both laughing. Dean got out of the water and joined us.

Ryan strolled to the car and returned with a blanket, he spread it out. Dean and I laid down on it, taking up all the space. Ryan tilted his head at us, we pulled our shoulders at him. He shook his head and went to the car again, to get something to drink. I laid down on my stomach, supporting myself with my elbows. Dean laid on his back and put on his Texas style sunglasses, I smiled at him. We were both panting a little bit from the chase. I was thankful to have the guys, they were taking my mind of everything and just made me have a great time.

The thrill from Ryan’s kiss on my neck was still rushing through me. What was the deal with me lately. I shook it off and glanced over at Dean again, his hands were under his head, revealing his muscles in his upper arms. A beer can hit Dean’s stomach, which made him bend together. He sat up, putting his sunglasses on his head. Squinting at Ryan who was standing by the blanket now.

 

“Dude!” Dean exclaimed at him, Ryan pulled his shoulder.

“Sorry, thought you needed to be cooled down!” Ryan laughed at him, I shook my head at them, Dean opened the beer, foam and beer was spraying in countless directions. Dean shook his hand, dripping the beer of his hands and took a sip.

“It’s a good thing my strong muscles broke the fall.” Dean said as he took another sip. Ryan laughed at him.

“Please!” Ryan was laughing his clucking laugh at Dean.

“What!” Dean waved his arm out. Ryan glanced down his body and then squinted at Dean. I gazed at Ryan and then turned my head to Dean, smiling at him.

“He got you there, Dean.” I teased him. Dean moved the sunglasses down in front of his eyes again, I tittered at him. I gazed up at Ryan again, he was smiling at me.

“I love those sapphire-blue eyes of yours.” He admired with a loving smile and a shimmer in his chestnut-brown eyes, which made me smile, too.

 

I reached my hand up to him, he took it and pulled me on my feet. I strolled past him. Picked up my dress and put it back on. I looked back at the guys, who was cheering with their beers at the blanket. I ambled to the edge of Brokeback, overlooking the great ocean beneath, that stretched for endless miles. The fresh smell of grass was surrounding me. Dean appeared at my side. I smiled at him and glanced over the horizon where the ocean was melting together with the clear sky.

 

“It’s a beautiful view.” I said as I inhaled the fresh air.

“I know!” Dean stated, I turned my head to him. Discovering that he was staring at me, which made me smile.

“What you did back there…. It was amazing.” Dean admitted with a smile. I gazed at him, returning his smile.

 

A crack was shaking the ground underneath me and suddenly the ground disappeared. A shocked went through my body as I realized I was falling, a rush of adrenalin went through my veins. I gasped. “Deeeean!” I yelled out to him.

 

In the last minute, his hand was grabbing onto mine. I was panting, and my heart was rushing madly, a hoard of wild horses was raging within me. I was squeezing Dean’s hand tightly. I was dangling over the edge, unable to focus on anything that could bring my teleportation to use. Every fiber of my body was screaming with fear, my heart pounded out of my chest as my grip was slipping from Dean. I glanced down, the rocks at the shore underneath me, seemed as tiny pebbles.

 

“Maria, look into my eyes.” Dean insisted, I moved my eyes to his. “I won’t let go!” He assured me with a strong voice as he reached his other hand down to me. “Try to give me your other hand.” Dean spoke calmly with a heavy breathing. I shook my head at him, too scared to try to reach him. My hand was beginning to slip. A pressure appeared in my chest.

 

“RYAN!” Dean screamed out. Dean was staring deeply into my eyes, not moving them for one second.

“Don’t worry, we will get you up!” Dean made sure to me, gripping tighter around my hand. Ryan hurtled to Dean, glancing down at me. He jumped down on a steady rock side a few feet away from me. My heart was racing, tears was filling up my eyes. Ryan looked at me, stretching his hand toward me, I moved my eyes from Dean to Ryan.

 

“Give me your hand, sweetie.” He said to me with a calm and composed voice. I reached my hand toward him, feeling his hand grabbing on to mine, I squeezed his hand tightly. The adrenalin was pumping wild. He pulled me to him, Dean’s hand slipped out of mine and I grabbed onto Ryan with both hands. He was holding me close to him. My body was trembling, my eyes flooded with tears, blurring my vision. Ryan was squeezing me tight, pressing his lips against my hair. My hands were shaking, and my lip was trembling.

“It’s okay, I got you…. I got you, sweetie!” He whispered softly. “Sweetie, listen to me, you have to reach up and grab Dean… okay, I got you.” I moved my eyes to Ryan’s, tears rushed down my cheeks, he dried them off with his thumb. I nodded, and he kissed my forehead.

 

I gazed up, seeing Dean at the top, he was reaching down toward me. I reached my hands up, grabbing a hold on Dean’s, holding on with dear life. Dean pulled me to him, to safety. He was sitting on the ground just holding me, in his embrace. My body was still shaking, and the tears was rushing down my cheeks as I wept.

Ryan pulled himself from the edge and crawled to us, embracing both of us in a hug. I was wheezing and clutching onto Dean. Ryan stood up and picked me up from the ground, carrying me toward the lake, I was holding onto him, not wanting to let go.

 

“You are safe now, Toots, just relax.” He promised softly. My body was in shock, still trembling uncontrollable. Ryan reached the bench and sat down with me in his arms. I was clutching myself to him. Dean came to us with a bottle of water, he handed it to me. I started drinking from it, almost wasting it due to my shaking hands. I got a few mouthfuls down and handed Dean the bottle.

 

“Let’s get you home, Toots.” Ryan whispered to me.

“You go ahead, I will bring the car.” Dean assured Ryan, Ryan stood up and in a rush, we were standing in Ryan’s bed room. He gently laid me down on his bed and pulled a soft blanket over me. He sat down at my side, stroking my cheek. My body was slowly getting back to normal, I gazed at Ryan. A few trembles appeared occasionally.

“Thank you.” I stuttered at him, he smiled and nodded at me. Exhaustion rushed over me and within a few minutes I fell asleep.

I awoke confused in Ryan’s bed. I rubbed my temples, feeling a little light-headed. The door opened, and Ryan entered the room, he paced to me when he realized that I was awake. He sat down and placed his hand on my cheek, his hand was soft, and his presence made me safe. He glanced into my eyes.

 

“Are you okay?” He wondered worriedly.

“I’m alright, I guess.” I answered a bit confused, I gazed into his eyes. Being eternally grateful that I had the guys, they just saved my life. In all my twenty-four years, I had never been so scared before. Then another thought popped into my head. Daniel.

Ryan kept staring into my eyes.

“Is he back, yet?” I said in a whisper, Ryan shook his head and pulled a little smile.

“Not, yet.” He answered softly.

“Let’s not tell him about Brokeback… Ryan, I’m gonna tell him about us kissing tonight, it isn’t right.” The light in his eyes burned out and his smile faded. He knew he couldn’t say anything that would change my mind. He nodded, got up from the bed and strolled to the window.

My hands were getting clammy, I started taking a few deep breaths. I had been missing Daniel and was excited to see him again, but still the guilt was crawling through my system, making it almost impossible to breathe. I could not predict how he would react. I thanked Ryan once again.

 

I stood by the window, a light rain was falling, as Daniel’s car pulled up the road and continued to the parking space behind the house. I took a deep breath and pressed my fingers to my lips. Here we go.

I waited for what seemed like a half hour before, the door was opened, and Daniel came in. I automatically smiled when I saw him, his eyes lit, and he smiled crooked. He came to me, put his arms around me in a hug. He then observed me and then his lips touched mine, they were a bit rough and I didn’t get the thrill, as I did when Ryan kissed me. I pulled my head away from Daniel’s, considering his eyes. He threw a worried look toward me.

 

“What’s the matter?” He worried, his smiled faded. I sighed and sat down on the bed, glancing up at him.

“Honey, while you were gone…. Um…. Ryan kissed me.” I confessed quietly with a sigh, rubbing my hands at my thighs, I glanced up at him.

“He what!?” He exclaimed in disbelief, shaking his head.

“That’s not the worst part…” I started again, his eyes widened. “…. I kissed him back too….” I confessed embarrassed by what I had done. He placed a hand on his forehead, still shaking his head. He was clearly upset. His jaw tightened, his eyes pierced through me.

“I am gone for a while and this is what I come home to. How could you do this to me!” He scolded at me, which made me feel even worse. I stood up from the bed and observed him, finding the right words to say.

“I’m sorry it happened, but I told him that we couldn’t, that I was married to you…” I assured him, but he had reached a point where he wasn’t listening anymore. He put his hands on his side, he took in a deep breath.

“Just tell me one thing… Are you in love with him?” I didn’t say anything to begin with, I looked down at my feet, then I glanced at him. I couldn’t find the words I wanted to say.

“Daniel, I…. No, I’m not!” I tried to assure him, but on somehow myself too. “There is just this connection between us, I…” He held his hand up toward me, I stopped speaking and just looked at him.

“You know what… You don’t need to tell me anymore…. Kevin offered me to go on a two days business trip, I turned him down, but I think I will go anyway… Now you will excuse me, I need a drink.” I was sure that him leaving again wouldn’t be the solution to our problem. He headed down to the bar, I drove a hand through my hair and sighed.

 

Daniel sat down in the bar, Bobby greeted him and poured a glass of Bourbon for him. Ryan came to the bar and observed Daniel, who turned his head and glanced at Ryan over his shoulder. I was heading down the stairs toward the bar, when I saw them there.

 

“Well, well isn’t it the wife kisser?!” Daniel mocked at Ryan. Bobby looked at Ryan with his eyes widened, Ryan returned Bobby’s look and waved his hand at him, in a gesture for him to mind his own business, then he stared straight at Daniel.

“Look Daniel, it’s all my fault. I kissed her…. I was the one luring her to do something she wasn’t supposed to do!” He admitted, but it made no difference at all to Daniel. He poured the Bourbon down and put the glass down in a thump. He gazed at Bobby, nodding. Bobby poured him another. Ryan was trying to keep himself composed. His hands tightened into fists. Daniel glanced at Ryan again.

“Are you in love with her?” Daniel crooned at him, Ryan nodded at him. Daniel’s eyes narrowed, he turned back to his drink, poured it down and turned around toward Ryan.

 

As I reached them, Daniel threw his glass down in front of Ryan, it clinked into pieces on the floor. Daniel paced toward Ryan, pushing his shoulder toward Ryan’s as he past him. He gazed at me mockingly as he came to me. I was furious at him, I squinted my eyes together at him, breathing heavy.

 

“This isn’t the way to fix this Daniel!” I blurted at him. He just observed me for a while. He was different then he used to be, it couldn’t just be me kissing Ryan, there was something more behind all of this. He strolled past me, I turned around and yelled after him, he didn’t stop. I turned toward the bar, where Bobby was cleaning up the glass. Ryan had sat down in the bar. I paced to Bobby and apologized to him. He nodded at me and went to throw out the glass. I sighed and sat down next to Ryan. I pinched the bridge of my nose. Ryan’s hand gently touched my shoulder, then he was squeezing at it a little bit. I put my hands over my mouth, then I turned my head toward Ryan. Our eyes met in joined frustration. Then I looked down at my joined hands, rolling the silver ring around my finger.

 

As soon as he had gotten back, Daniel had left again, going away with Kevin.

I was lying in the immense lonely hole, that once was our joined and loving safe place. The loneliness consumed me and there was only one person I could think of that was as lonely as me. I threw the cover aside and ambled out on the hall, turned to my right and continued a few rooms down. Then I gently opened the door, went into the room and silently closed the door behind me. I tip-toed to the bed, lifting the cover.

 

“What the fuck!” Ryan exclaimed surprised that somebody was in his bedroom at this hour.

“Shh…” I crawled under the cover and laid close to him.

“Hi gorgeous.” He whispered, you could almost hear the smile on his face. His lips carefully kissed my cheek, he put an arm around me, pulling me closer to him.  “What are you doing here?” He whispered, I could feel his breath on my neck. I placed my arm on his and cuddled even closer to him.

“I couldn’t sleep…. The bed is too big and lonely.” I gently whispered back. I turned a little bit and put my head on his shoulder. His breath was warm on my forehead. He smelled soapy, his embrace was safe and all I wanted to do was stay like this forever; in this safe dome of his energy, there was no trouble, no worry. A timeless paradise, where everything was good. Memories of the day, that had just passed rushed through my mind and my thoughts traveled to Hayden.

“I miss Hayden.” I whispered softly, he moved his head, so his nose was touching my forehead.

“Then let’s call him.” Ryan suggested with a lifted voice.

 

Down in the kitchen Ryan was making hot chocolate as I pressed on Hayden’s name on my phone, putting it on speaker. The dial tone was beeping for a while before the call was answered. There was a rustle before Hayden’s voice appeared.

 

“Sugar, do you have any idea what time it is?” Hayden teased, sounding sleepy.

“Yeah, I know Hayd, I’m sorry to call so late, but I just miss you… you are on speaker with Ryan too.” I could almost picture him sitting in front of me at the table. Ryan said Hi to him from the kitchen counter.

“Sugar, I miss you too… Hi Ry… What is Dean doing?” I glanced over at Ryan and smiled, then I looked down on the phone.

“He’s sleeping, how’s the search coming along?” I asked him curiously, Ryan put the chocolate down in front of me, I squinted at him with a smile and took a sip.

“Well, we haven’t actually done anything yet, I hope we will begin tomorrow, so I can return soon with a star for you.” His words gave me a warm sensation. Ryan sat down next to me. The thought of telling Hayden about what had happened today went through my mind, but I didn’t want him to worry about it.

“You are so sweet… so it means that I will be alone with Ryan and Dean for some time than?” I asked Hayden jokingly, glancing at Ryan, who gazed back at me. Hayden was laughing at the other end.

“You make it sound like a bad thing.” Ryan teased me, then we laughed with each other.

“You guys, I need to be going now, we have an early start tomorrow, but I will call you again soon, alright.” Hayden explained to us. I took a sip of my chocolate, it burned my tongue a little but, Ryan smiled to me.

“Yeah alright Hayd.” Ryan told him.

“Goodnight Hayd, I love you.” I spoke lovingly to him, while I was smiling at Ryan.

“You too…. Bye Ry.” He ended the call, my mood fell a little bit again. Ryan could tell that I was missing him. He put his arms around me, kissing my forehead.

 

A low rumble from the distant thunder was setting the mood, as we were lying in Ryan’s bed again. I turned to my side, facing Ryan. I considered his deep chestnut eyes, which was glowing in the occasional flashes. My eyes caught something on his cheek. He had a tiny scar under his left eye, I hadn’t noticed it before. I gently touched his cheek, moving my finger over it, feeling the softness of his skin. I turned around with my back against him, his fingers were carefully going up and down my back. A satisfying sensation went through my body, I closed my eyes and enjoyed every moment of it. “Maria.” He whispered in my ear, I turned on my back and glanced at him, our eyes had adjusted to the darkness around us and the flashes lit up his face occasionally.

 

“I wish that I was the one who was married to you, I would never treat you like Daniel does. I would never leave you alone like this. I can’t stand to see you this upset and lonely.” He confessed with sadness in his voice. The words were loving and warm, but it was confusing me.

“Ryan please, you are messing with my head, I love you but…” He interrupted me.

“I know what you are thinking, don’t play me.” He was so sure of himself, which upset me a bit.

“What am I thinking, then?” I threw at him and the mood changed a bit between us.

“You want me to kiss you.” He claimed which threw me off guard.

“The hell I do!” I threw at him with rage in my voice. I got up from the bed, paced a few steps away and stood in the middle of the room with my arms crossed over my chest.

Something in me actually wanted to kiss him, but I couldn’t do it to Daniel, even though Ryan was hard to resist. When gazing into his eyes I was captured. His hand touched my shoulder and he glided in front of me. My head was bowed down, he placed a hand at my chin, carefully lifting my head up and gazing into my eyes.

 

His head gently moved toward mine and his lips softly touched mine, I bowed my head down again. I couldn’t believe that we were doing this again. We had no reluctance what so ever. I glanced up at him again, then I moved closer to him and put my hands at his chest. His lips kissed mine again, sending that familiar tingle through me again. It alarmed me that I only got this feeling, kissing someone who wasn’t my husband. But God the way he kissed me was amazing. He kept kissing me passionately, he ran a hand through my hair, which send a thrill down my back. I was being drawn to him, something was luring me in. I placed a hand on his chest, pushing him gently away, bowing my head down again. I knew that if I didn’t stop him now, there was no telling what would happen. I sat down on the bed and he observed me.

Was there something in me that, was falling for him?