Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Thirty Pieces of Silver - Sins of the Flesh

It was nearly five in the morning when Darren finally stumbled up the last few steps to his front door. His head was fuzzy from the brandy but at least his mind was back on steady ground.  He no longer wanted to kill his brother, or felt overwhelmed by the demands being heaped on him. Leaving Emma's flat earlier was one of the best decisions he'd ever made.

He slipped the key in the lock and a vision of Molly flooded his mind. Molly, a prim name for such a feisty woman. The vision was of her milky skin turned pink in places by his touch, laid unashamedly bare on top of rumpled sheets while her chest rose and fell rapidly in happy exhaustion. Molly. The feeling of satisfaction he had been consumed with after making love to her was being tainted by guilt now he was home. Clare's home. Sometimes he envied Tony's blinkered view of the world, taking what he wanted and allowing only one emotion at a time enter his brain. Darren felt like a man being torn apart. It was as if there were two people trapped inside his skin. On one hand he was just like Tony, only worse. He was brutal, lustful, greedy and heartless. But then there was the other side which craved honesty, loyalty, beauty and peace. Every time he did something, good or bad, these inner voices went to war, bombarding his brain with conflicting emotions so strong it was like having ice picks driven into his skull.

He twisted the lock open and in that moment guilt got the better of lust in his mind. The image of Molly, and memories of how greedily she had taken him dulled. Instead of elation he began to feel as if he was the one who had been used, not her, this despite the fact he'd left a bundle of fifties on the bedside table before he slipped out of the room while she slept. Molly?  Was it her real name? She had said so but who could tell with a girl like that. One thing for sure, she had been good for him, even saving him a little. 

He eased the door open quietly while all these thoughts rushed through his brain. Another emotion rose up inside of him, loss. Tonight in Molly's arms he had been sent back in time to when he had first been with Clare. The contrast between what they had been like in the beginning and what they had turned into was staggering. He hadn't even realised that things had changed so much or how his feelings had dimmed over the years. Where had all that passion gone? Could it return for them or were they all used up as a couple?

What ever happiness lingered inside him from his time with Molly flew like the last shadows of night before the rising sun. He had cheated on Clare and she didn’t deserve that no matter what he needed. He loved her, he knew he did and even thinking her name made him certain of that. Things had changed for them, but they had to, it was life. What was done, was done, in all senses. It was time to take a leaf from Tony's book and quash all those stupid thoughts and concentrate on what was important. Molly was a lay, Clare was the woman he loved, and that was that.

As he eased the door closed he caught a trace of Molly's smell wafting from his skin. He inhaled deeply and felt tiny parts of her invading his body once more, prodding it awake from the inside, demanding to be satisfied one more time. When the lights sprang into life his heart jumped in his chest. Clare stood in the sitting room door, her face pale from lack of sleep and worry, her eyes red from crying.

“Where have you been?” she demanded, her voice hard and ready for a fight. He felt backed into a corner, which he literally was, so his tongue lashed out before his mind had the chance to engage.  

“Out!” he snapped, the word was as hard as if it had been carved from solid stone.

“And you couldn’t have called or answered one of my texts?”

“Leave it, will yea? Haven’t I been through enough today without this?” Her mouth, which had been open to deliver another next stinging accusation, snapped shut. He knew she had been sitting worrying all night, his phone was evidence enough of that. Dozens of missed calls and texts ranging from worry to anger and back again. Darren knew she had been imagining all the things she would say when he turned up but with one stabbing sentence designed to draw as much guilt as possible, he had thrown her plan out the window. Something swam behind her eyes as her closed mouth turned into a pout. She crossed her arms over her dressing gown and adopted a look that a whipped puppy would have been proud of. Darren felt another huge slab of guilt fall from a great height to crush him from the inside out. He wanted to comfort her, to hold her in his arms and had even started to take off his coat when he remembered the tantalising musk which drifted off his skin. He had to keep her at a distance so with cold ruthlessness he leaned against the wall and mimicked her folded arm stance, keeping his face stoic.

“Someone shot my brother in cold blood, I've the whole crew looking to me for answers, Tony is off his fucking rocker and you are giving me grief? Is it any wonder I needed a few hours to myself?”

The hound-dog look Clare wore vanished. Her brow furrowed as Darren's words mowed through her emotions and a wave of desolation swept over her. Darren knew that with those few words he had turned all of Clare’s anger on herself and he felt terrible. She had every right to be angry at him and if she knew all of it, it would kill her. He loved her too much to do that, so a small lie, a tiny hurt, was the kindest thing he could do. 

“But, I was only…” she said making a tiny move forward.

Darren held out his hand like a guard stopping traffic, “I know, you were worried, but I’ve got more on my plate than that right now.”

The crestfallen look on her face deepened. Darren softened his stance and took the sting out of his words. “I know you were worried, sweetheart, and I appreciate it, but things are what they are. You've got to trust me to do what is best for us, for all of us.”

“I do, Darren, of course I do.”

“Then trust me, Babe.”

He saw her arms unlock and he knew he had to move. He pushed himself away from the wall and pretended to yawn as he walked toward the bedrooms. Her arms stopped moving as if someone had pulled the plug on a robot. He knew it was cruel but it was for her own good.

“Me head is buzzin,” he said rubbing his eyes and exaggerating his stagger as he wandered down the hall. “Would you make a brew, I need a shower to clean the stink of yesterday off me.”

“Sure, I’ll bring it down.” she said, her voice laden with worry.

Darren continued on toward the bedroom. Once inside he stripped all his clothes off and gave them a liberal spray of his aftershave before dumping everything in the laundry hamper. He stood naked in front of the mirror and examined himself front and back for marks or scratches, which there were none thank God. Molly was a professional after all. Jealous wives don’t make the best marketing tools. He jumped under the shower before it had even warmed up and scrubbed at his body. Once he had lathered himself a few times under the steaming spray of water, he felt better. It was a bit of a rush actually, like had gotten away with something. He thought of Molly again and this time the guilt was less, her devilish smile and wicked ways did something to him and felt a tingle of excitement rush through his body. Clare opened the door of the bathroom and through the steamed up shower glass he saw her lay a mug beside the sink.

Darren opened the shower door grabbed her by the hand making her spill the tea a little.

"Darren, look what you did?" she scolded. He beamed a smile at her as water dripped from his hair onto the bathroom tiles. With a gentle tug he pulled her too him and lifted her under the hissing flow of water before she could get a word out. She spluttered and blinked her eyes at the unexpected drenching.

"Darren!" she yelled playfully and slapped his naked chest. He drew her chin up and kissed her deeply and with the passion he'd remembered earlier. The woman he loved stood on her toes in a soaked terrycloth robe and melted in his arms. Passion turned to hunger as their kisses became desperate and frenzied. Without taking his lips from hers he slipped the sodden robe from her shoulders which splattered to the floor of the shower and blocked the drain hole. Darren pulled back to drink her in with his eyes. Her chest was already turning pink from the heat and her eyes were huge and longing. She smoothed her hair back from her face and by doing so exposed her long sensual neck. Darren fell on her like a starving man and they made love as the warm water slowly filled the base of the shower. 
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