Okay this is it, it's done :) told you the end was near. I'd like to thank James my Beta who helped out alot with this. And to all my faithful reviewers and Wispr who even though found some stuff that was unagreeable, kept reading.
And everyone else! I write for you not myself.
P.S. Last call Rain of Faith, it will pull you in, please go read it!
I smoothed my hand up her neck, fingers in her hair; she went stiff, breathing too fast. I kept my hand in her hair rubbing circles on her scalp.
“Relax.” My voice was soft, gruff. She was standing in front of me, hands fisted at her sides. I took one of her hands in mine brushed my lips across her knuckles and she jerked.
She’d come to me two nights ago, a day after the break down. She wanted me to help her through her fear of being touched, coaching her in a way. At first I’d hesitated, it was Faith. She was attractive, strong, fucking scary when she was pissed, my best friend…but she had a look in her eye and I knew how much it cost her to come to me.
“What scares you the most?” my fingers were still on her scalp, her breathing was starting to even out.
“That it will hurt.” Her eyes were wide, vulnerable. She looked like a child, scared and lost. I intertwined out hands, running my thumb over her cheek, letting her see with my eyes I wouldn’t hurt her. She closed her eyes when I ran a hand down her arm, she was trembling.
“I won’t hurt you.” The words were whispered against her lips, she swallowed so hard I could hear it. Gently, I brushed my lips over hers, barely a kiss. She took a deep shuddering breath; I pulled away just a bit giving her a moment to compose herself.
She hesitated, her hand hovering over my chest, then my shoulder, she gave a nervous chuckle.
“I don’t know where to put my hands…”
Smiling I released her hand, placing them both around my neck, she bit her lip curling her hands into fists. I ran my hand down her side and she stiffened, I rubbed patterns on her waist, over her shirt until she relaxed under my touch, her fingers played with my hair, wide brown eyes on my face.
She nodded, this time when my lips brushed her, she hesitantly responded, stepping closer, her head tilting. My body responded to her nearness, to her soft lips.
She pulled away.
“Sorry.” I smiled, “Can’t help it.”
She looked down at the bulge in my pants and then back up at me, “Does it hurt?”
“No.” I smiled widely and she scowled.
“Don’t laugh at me.”
“I’m not laughing…”
Faith rolled her eyes, taking another step closer. She ran a hand through my hair, the other once again on my neck; she pulled me down to her. The kiss was firmer, more purposeful. She pressed her body closer to me, my arms circling her waist, tongue licking along her bottom lip.
I pulled her clip out of her hair, letting the heavy mass fall down her back, grasping it in my hands. I loved the way her hair felt, how she smelled.
She pushed away from me, breathing hard, “You okay?”
The brunette nodded eyes wide…”Are you sure?”
She nodded, sucking her bottom lip into her mouth. “Yea…it…feels nice…”
Smiling I sat at the edge of my bed, “Want to do it again?”
She sat beside me, already leaning toward me. She seemed to enjoy it more, her hands in my hair, tongue sliding along mine, but when I leaned over her, her back hitting the bed she jerked away from me, shoving at my chest to scramble away from me.
“Don’t make me lay down.” Her voice was breathy, “do we have to lie down?’
I shook my head getting to my feet, “We can stand.”
She swallowed relief flashing across her face.
“Hey Ma.” Faith dropped onto the couch beside me. She was wearing a long sleeve thermal shirt and black silk pajama bottoms, her hair wet from the shower. I shifted in my seat allowing her to snuggle into my side. I ran a hand over her damp hair, dropping a kiss onto her head.
“How are you doing?” my words were soft. She shrugged looking up at me.
“I’m dealing I guess…” she bit her bottom lip, “Did Daddy tell you about…” she trailed off uncomfortably, hands picking the imaginary lint of my pants.
“Yes, “ I replied evenly…”Faith…I know this is hard for you…Do you know the first time the Ardeur came up in me I was with Micah…I’d only just met him not even an hour before…”
“You guys had sex?” it was whispered shocked. I nodded.
“You’re a lot like me, but I think you may even be stronger.”
She rolled her eyes “No I’m not.”
I hugged her tight, “Yes you really are…” her brown eyes were curious, “You’ve been through a lot, more than anyone should ever have to deal with and you didn’t let it break you…You fought off the Ardeur, it’s why with Jason it was so much stronger, and you still tried to fight it…I understand what it's like not to have control over the things you do, and I’m sorry we gave you this particular demon, if I could I’d take it into myself with double the strength if it would mean you could move at a pace you’re comfortable with.”
“I thought if I could have sex without the need pressing against me it would be better, because it would be something I chose, but…I panicked and it hurt because I wasn’t ready for it.” She shrugged, “I know it was wrong, but at the time I thought it’s what I needed in order to win this thing, to have something that I chose for myself.”
“I wanted the next time I had sex to be my choice…with someone I wanted it to be with and it wouldn’t hurt.”
I caught her small hand in mine, “It doesn’t hurt physically, “she continued, “But…emotionally…I know I wouldn’t let anyone that close if it was my choice, I wouldn’t let them touch me.” She swallowed looking up at me with a sad smile, “And when it’s over and I’m alone in my head I can hear myself screaming, hurting because I feel violated…”
“You don’t have to have sex…”
“But it’s more possible, “she shrugged, “I might just accidentally have sex with someone.”
I wanted to tell her no, that’s not true, but it was. It was how I ended up with so many guys in my bed.
Her hand tightened around mine, “…I’ve been…I’ve been sort of experimenting, with Shi.”
“Experimenting how?” I asked slowly, she kept my gaze, face honest, open.
“Sexually, “She continued, “We haven’t had sex, but…I trust him. And in a way I sort of love him.” She smiled wide enough to flash dimples, “I can be myself with him, and he knows not to push me…I don’t want to hide stuff from you, I don’t want our relationship to be strained like it’s been.”
“Neither do I, “I ran a hand over her hair, “I guess…I didn’t have my Mom growing up…I was taught sex with more than one person was wrong, dirty and I know it’s not now…It is possible to love more than one person…I’m so tough on you and your sisters because I want you to grow up as normal as you can, I want you to be happy.”
“We are happy, “she shrugged, and “I don’t think I’d like my life to be normal, no Shape shifters? No vampires?” she made a face, “Sounds boring.”
Laughing I ran my finger down her nose like I used to when she was smaller and fit in my lap. “Are you happy?”
She hesitated, biting her lower lip trying to find the words.
“I am…and sometimes I’m angry and I hate what I have to go through…But that’s life, right?” she started to sit up, “And then I think about all the people I have to hold my hand when it gets too much and it makes me feel better.”
We smiled at each other, she hugged me. Burying her face in my neck and I had to blink back the sudden stinging of tears.
“I love you.’ The words were squeezed tight, she kissed my cheek.