Jon shakes his head. “It’s weird, because I’d never really thought about ‘love’ when it came to my dad. It wasn’t something I’d ever really looked for. I knew some kids had that–hell, I knew you had that, with the way your dad doted over you–but I just assumed you were all lucky, or special, or somehow extraordinary. I never knew it was something I should expect. I mean, my dad never even told me he loved me. And when Will and Max came along, their dad was the same. Emotionally dead.
“And Mom wasn’t much better. She was too hurt by my dad–and then too drunk in the wake of what happened. She’d tell me she loved me, but it was rarely when she was in a coherent, sober state.”
“I love you, Jon,” I tell him spontaneously, moved to say so by his story and by my own genuine compassion for him. “How could anyone not love you?” Sadness overwhelms me as I look into his eyes, and I feel myself begin to cry. “Don’t believe it for a second. Just because they didn’t say it doesn’t mean they didn’t feel it.”
Another tear falls down his cheek, but he never breaks down. He looks at me for a few seconds, his thumbs wiping away the wetness from my face, and returns my involuntary verbal outburst with an instinctive physical one of his own. His lips crash hard against mine, moving quickly as his hands lace through my hair and rest at the nape of my neck.
Both of us in need of a breath, he turns his head to the side slightly, resting his temple against mine. My hands press on his chest, feeling the fast rise and fall of his breathing that mirrors my own. His left hand trails down my right arm until it reaches my hip. His fingers grasp my hipbone as his right hand gently caresses my cheek.
“I need you,” he whispers in my ear. I nod my head against his, and I know he can feel my response. He continues to stroke the corner of my mouth with his thumb. I kiss it sweetly, and he lets it linger over my lips. I kiss it a few more times before I grasp his t-shirt in my hands and start to take it off. He lets go of me to pull it over his head.
His eyes trained on mine, he stands up in front of me, offering his hand to help me to my feet. Once standing, I kiss his lips, then his jawline, then his neck, and he turns his shoulder like clockwork, bending down ever so slightly so I can kiss the dream and the sleep. ©2014 Lori L. Otto
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