Read A Love Like This Online

Authors: Kahlen Aymes

Tags: #romance, #love, #sexy, #erotic romance, #oliviamk1218, #kahlen aymes, #dont forget to remember me, #a love like this, #the future of our past, #the remembrace trilogy

A Love Like This (5 page)

I was uncomfortable at his words and I
looked down at my hands, clasped between my knees. My elbows were
resting on my legs as I leaned over them. I hardly found the words.
“Harris, you can’t measure what you and Ellie have against my
relationship with Julia. No two couples are the same. We’re not
perfect. We have our struggles, too.”

“Yeah? Like what? I can see the love between
you. Shit, I can feel it if I’m within fifty yards of either one of
you. She’s always touching you and the way you two look at each
other. I envy you,” he said, his voice deep.

I could hear the pain in his voice and I
felt bad for him as I expelled my breath. “Well, our schedules are
hellacious. We don’t see each other much. Sometimes it’s literally
days apart.”

“Yeah, but does Jules think you’re fucking
around? Ellie is distant and I can see it in her eyes that she
doesn’t trust me. Shit, she says she doesn’t! Always accusing me of
cheating on the road.”

I sucked in a deep breath and filled my
lungs up to capacity and blew it out before answering him,
carefully considering my words.

“Julia trusts me. I trust her. It’s not
about that. She’s very supportive of my residency, but there are
times when she resents all the time I’m away from her. She didn’t
get married to be alone and I hate it as much, or maybe more, than
she does.”

“But you love what you do and the bottom
line is, she backs you. She knew she was marrying a doctor. She’d
never ask you to give it up, right?”

“No.” I said without hesitation. If
anything, it was me that wished I’d picked a less demanding
profession, no matter how rewarding it was. “She’d never do that.
Has Ellie… asked you to quit the band?”

“Not in so many words. But she’s stopped
coming to gigs and practices and then she bitches when we don’t see
each other. She yells at me about the fans, but that’s all part of
it. If we make it big, it will get even worse. I’m not sure she can
handle it and I’m not sure if I want to argue all the fucking time.
I’m tired of defending myself for shit that isn’t even
happening.”

“Damn. I didn’t realize it was that bad. I
can’t imagine how I’d feel if my wife doubted me. I wouldn’t wish
that on anyone.”

“That’s just it. She married you when she
didn’t even remember everything about your relationship. That’s
how much
she trusts you, Ryan. You’re luckier than you know.
Ellie doesn’t even believe me when I say I’m not screwing the
groupies and we hardly ever have sex. It’s killing me.”

Oh, I knew how rare the love Julia and I
shared was, which made it difficult to sit here and try to convince
Harris that his relationship with Ellie would be okay. I couldn’t,
because honestly, I wasn’t sure.

“No, I know how lucky I am but I almost
fucked it up good. Julia threatened to leave me to get me to trust
how much she loved me, Harris. Maybe Ellie needs a wake-up call
like that. I hate to suggest it because I love Ellie and I don’t
know her side, and I don’t want to speak out of turn, but it’s an
idea. After it happened with us, I became even more aware that when
I wake up with Julia close to me, I’m holding the world in my
arms.”

He huffed in exasperation. “Even when you
speak about her… it’s like poetry. As devastated as I am with this
crap between me and Ellie, with you guys it would be worse. I hope
nothing ever comes between you because it would literally knock you
on your ass.”

I nodded. “No shit,” I said quietly. “I
know. I’ve lived through almost losing her once and I don’t think I
could take it again.” I reached out and put my hand on his
shoulder. “It will work out if you love each other enough.”

“Maybe.”

“It will. Ellie totally lights up when
you’re around, so focus on that.” I said the words, but I had to
qualify it in my mind. During the last couple of times we’d seen
them, the strain between them was clear.

I sat back in my chair. The DJ had been
playing some faster music, but was finally starting a slower set.
It was getting late, almost eleven o’clock, and the talk with
Harris made me want to get my hands on Julia. My eyes continued to
scan the room.

My parents and Julia’s were on the dance
floor along with Aaron and Jen. I cringed when I noticed the
familiar figure of Liza across the room talking to Min and a man I
didn’t recognize.

What the fuck was she doing here?
Jenna detested the woman and I couldn’t see Aaron adding her to the
guest list. She must be here as a guest of someone who was invited.
I prayed she wouldn’t try to talk to me and I’d been lucky so
far.

“Do you want another drink, Harris? I’m
going to see if can find Julia. I can get you one on my way
back.”

“No, that’s okay, Ryan. Go enjoy yourself. I
need to find Ellie, too. I want to leave if possible. I have an
early flight and this situation really wipes me out. I want to go
to bed.”

“If I see her, I’ll send her to find you.” I
held out my hand to him to shake it goodbye. “It’ll work out, man.
I wish you the best, you know that.”

“Thank you. It was good to see you and it’s
always a pleasure to see Jules. She’s terrific.”

“She’ll want to say goodbye to you. Will you
wait to leave until I find her, please?”

“Sure. I’d bet money she and Ellie are
together anyway.”

I smiled apologetically. “Probably
right.”

I wandered through the crowd, acknowledging
people I knew and stopping only to chat briefly to Dr. Brighton’s
wife, Cynthia, before finally finding Julia and Ellie in the
hallway outside the ballroom. They were leaning against the wall
with their heads close together and Ellie was clearly upset
,
her face pinched and red, her cheeks damp with tears. Julia reached
out to her friend and hugged her close, causing Ellie to sob into
her shoulder.

I hesitated, wondering whether or not I
should interrupt. Scenes like this were weird and I stopped a few
feet away to consider it. Some of the other guests milling around
on their way to the bathrooms or in and out of the hotel were
casting curious glances in the women’s direction.

Julia noticed and whispered something into
Ellie’s ear. She nodded and moved out of my wife’s arms to begin
wiping at her eyes with both hands. I moved forward and pulled a
handkerchief out of my front right breast pocket and held it out to
Ellie wordlessly, my left hand skirting down Julia’s bare back to
rest on her hip.

Ellie’s expression was embarrassed but she
took the hankie and dabbed at her eyes. “I’m sorry I’m such a mess.
I should be inside with Aaron and Jenna and here I am blubbering
like an idiot!” she sniffled.

Julia’s arm was around my waist and she
leaned into me slightly. I knew her heart was breaking for Ellie
when her head tilted and rested on my shoulder. I resisted the urge
to turn and place a kiss on her forehead, knowing I needed to focus
on Ellie.

I released Julia and hugged the other girl
close to me, but Julia’s hand remained on my lower back, rubbing
slightly and maintaining the connection between us.

“Ellie, what can I do? Can I get you a stiff
drink? Do you need to go up to your room? Should we come with
you?”

Ellie shook her head. “No. I can’t take you
away from your brother’s wedding, Ryan, but thank you for being so
sweet. Harris should be out here with me, but obviously, he doesn’t
care where I am.”

I sighed. “I don’t think that’s true, honey.
I just spoke with him. He’s upset, too. You two should talk.”

I glanced down at Julia, whose eyes met mine
and she bit her lip. I could read the look I found there. This was
bad.

“We have talked. What did he tell you?”
Ellie asked, still trying not to cry.

“Uh… I think you should talk to him about
it.”

Ellie’s face hardened and she pulled away
abruptly. “Look, Ryan, I know he’s been screwing those groupies.
They all do it; the rest of the band, too. I’m not cut out for the
life of a traveling rock star and Harris’s solution is that I quit
my job and follow him around the world.
My
job! Then, if he
leaves me, where the fuck will I be? I can’t do that. I won’t,” she
snapped.

My hand slid down her arm and I took her
hand. “I don’t think he’s cheating, Ellie. I really don’t. I can
see that you’re hurt, but so is he. He’s devastated that you won’t
marry him.”

“I’ve seen those girls hanging on him. I
surprised him on the road and I saw how they are with my own damn
eyes! I can’t possibly marry him after that.”

I stiffened. Harris hadn’t told me that part
and maybe it was worse than I thought. I felt helpless to ease her
pain. “I’m… Did you see him doing anything or just some woman
hitting on him? Ellie, think about it.”

“She was all over him, and he didn’t stop
her.” Fresh tears filled her dark brown eyes and spilled over on to
her cheeks. She used the handkerchief to dab at them.

“I see. I’m so sorry, Ellie.” It seemed
pointless to continue the conversation when the one she needed to
have it with was Harris.

Julia was silent and I could see the
resignation on her face. The deep sadness meant she’d tried to have
this same talk with her friend and Ellie obviously wasn’t in a
place to listen. “Why don’t we go say goodnight to the bride and
groom and then I’ll take you upstairs. If you don’t feel like
staying with Harris tonight, Ryan will stay with him and I’ll stay
with you.” She looked up at me apologetically and I nodded
shortly.

“Of course.” I was disappointed to lose the
last night of this time alone with Julia, but Ellie’s situation was
more important, so I agreed without hesitation.

“Thanks for being so sweet, but I wouldn’t
want to do that to you. I can deal with it one more night. He’s
flying out very early anyway.”

“You’re not even traveling together?” I
asked incredulously.

She sensed my trepidation and rushed to
clarify. “We’re not going to the same place. He’s meeting up with
the band in Toronto and I’m going back to Los Angeles,” Ellie
explained.

I put one arm around Ellie and the other
around Julia and turned them back toward the ballroom. “I see.
Well, before you go upstairs, you owe me a dance, little bit.”

“Yeah, my feet hurt anyway,” Julia
interjected with a smile.

I laughed and Ellie’s lips lifted in a
smile.

“Yeah, right. If you’re trying to make it
seem like I’ve stepped on your feet, wife, you’re lying. She’s the
one who steps on my feet, Ellie,” I teased.

“Shut up, Matthews. You know what they say;
if your feet get stomped on while dancing, it’s because you didn’t
move them out of the way fast enough.”

Julia reached out the hand that was behind
Ellie’s back and squeezed my arm that was resting around Ellie’s
waist. It was more of our silent communication.

We all laughed softly as we made our way
back to the table where Harris was waiting. He stood up as we
approached. “Ellie, would you like to dance?”

“Uh… I was… sure, okay.” She looked
reluctant, but took Harris’s proffered hand hesitantly. Harris’s
expression softened and I felt Julia relax next to me, a deep sigh
expelling from her lungs.

As we watched them move off toward the
center of the parquet dance floor, I turned Julia into my arms.
“What about you, Mrs. Matthews? Would you care to dance with your
husband? I promise not to step on your exquisite feet.”

Her arms slid around my waist and she tilted
her head up to look into my face. She had on ridiculously high
heels, but I was still inches taller. I loved it. She seemed so
fragile and perfect; so magnificent. Her skin was translucent and
glowing and her full red mouth called to me in silence.

“Mmm… I only said that…”

Our bodies worked well together and dancing
was no exception. I bent my head and took her mouth with mine,
placing a gentle kiss on her luscious lips.

“I know, my love.” I released her slightly
and took her hand in mine, our fingers twining together as was our
usual habit. Her head fell to my shoulder and her other hand
clasped around my bicep as we made our way to the dance floor.

I pulled her close and sucked in the sweet
scent of her perfume as she snuggled into my shoulder, her head
coming to rest just below my chin. I rubbed it back and forth on
the top of her hair a few times because I couldn’t resist.

“You feel so good,” I said softly as we
swayed to the music. The lights were low and the dance floor was
crowded. Paul and Marin had left earlier and Gabriel and Elyse were
still dancing a few feet away. My mother smiled at me when she saw
the way Julia and I were wrapped up together and I grinned at her
over the top of Julia’s head. She nudged my dad and had him glance
in our direction. He shook his head at us and smirked.

I shrugged slightly and mouthed some words
for their benefit, but so Julia wouldn’t hear. “
I can’t help
it
.” They both smiled again before he twirled my mother around
quickly at a tempo too fast for the music, eliciting a high-pitched
laugh.

I turned my attention to the soft woman in
my arms and bent my head to kiss the bare skin of her shoulder. She
moaned softly as my tongue pressed down between my open lips. The
sound caused an immediate reaction in my body. She had so much
control when she wasn’t even trying. I still found it
mind-boggling.

“I’m sorry, baby. Being away from you
tonight is the last thing I want, but if Ellie needs me…” she said
softly, one hand running down the front of my shirt to fist in
it.

I continued my trail of kisses and moved
aside a small tendril of hair so I could kiss the curve where her
shoulder met her neck. “Mmmm… I know. It’s okay,” I murmured
against her skin.

“Is it?” She pressed her body closer and
slid the fingers of both hands into the hair at my nape. I fucking
loved it when she did that and Julia was well aware of her affect
on me.

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