Monday, March 20, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 8

Later that night, after calling her family and friends to let them know that she hadn’t won, Nyla found herself unable to sleep again. Finding nothing interesting on TV, she decided to go downstairs for a late night swim to relax after such a long, draining day.

The August heat hadn’t drained her; it was the company she’d kept today. The constant emotional highs and lows Nyla had felt from being around an undeniably attractive man and two competitive, openly hostile women had definitely taken their toil on her.

As she made her way through the burgundy Persian carpeted hallways of the hotel, the mahogany clock she saw on a wall revealed that it was now 4am in the morning. I’m officially one-day-old in the Lord, Nyla mused, getting on the elevator. She was extremely happy about that.

****

Swimming in long luxurious strokes, Nyla traveled back and forth across the width of the pool several times. It was a while before she spotted a lone figure sitting on an ocean blue-colored lounge chair on the darkest end of the pool area. When the person suddenly stood up upon being noticed, she realized that it was Kirk.

What Nyla didn’t realize was that fact he’d come out here an hour ago for a little swimming and stargazing - two things that never failed to relax him. She also didn’t realize that he’d been silently watching her for the last twenty minutes.

Wearing only a pair of navy swim trunks, Nyla watched as Kirk came towards her. Trying to think of something halfway intelligent to say in the midst of her raging emotions, she took her time getting out of the pool. After wrapping her wet body in one of the hotel’s burgundy terrycloth robes, Nyla’s mind had cleared somewhat from its distraction.

“I thought you would have been upstairs resting up for your big date tomorrow,” she said. Saying those words set Nyla’s teeth on edge like long fingernails to a black chalkboard. Just the thought of Kirk and Talethia at some tropical location together aggrieved her.

Kirk came closer until he stood directly in front of Nyla. His dark eyes were ablaze with emotion as he noticed the pain in her chestnut pools. “I picked the wrong woman,” Kirk whispered. With every delicious lap he’d watched Nyla swim that truth had sunk in deeper and deeper.

Kirk forced himself to continue looking at Nyla’s lovely caramel face, instead of focusing on how the moonlight looked shining on her deliciously well-toned body in that glimmering silver suit she wore. Now was not the time for lust. There was something deeper happening here. Something deeper and higher happening at the same time, changing Kirk against his will, invoking a faraway memory to come closer to his consciousness. Something about Nyla’s sad chestnut eyes suddenly seemed so familiar. Had they met before this game show? If so, when?

“Uh...huh? What?” Nyla stammered out. What is he talking about? she mused, trying equally hard not to stare at Kirk’s muscular mahogany chest as she pretended to busy herself with tying the robe’s sash.

“I deliberately picked the wrong woman. And you know it, too, beautiful one,” Kirk said softly as he reached over and traced Nyla’s wet hairline down to her smooth elegant neck. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to relish the electrically charged heat between them before promptly removing his hand. Any further contact might produce a blazing fire that neither of them would be able to put out.

“You are the one I should have picked. But I couldn’t.” Kirk shook his head and frowned as if it pained him to say this. “No matter how much I want you, I know I’m not ready for you yet.”

Nyla nodded in agreement, still tingling from his touch. She understood exactly what Kirk was talking about now. Now was not the time for them. She was not ready for another serious relationship, either. Her heart hadn’t fully healed from the last one yet. Although the last twenty-four hours had gone a long way towards speeding up her recovery, Nyla knew that she still needed some time alone. Some time to get to know God better.

But the endearment he uttered, Nyla mused. She couldn’t seem to get past the fact that Kirk had called her by the same affectionate name the female minister had mentioned yesterday around this time. Maybe beautiful one is a popular endearment in this part of the country, she thought, wondering what all of this meant.

“I understand completely,” Nyla finally replied. “Well, goodnight, Kirk.” Then sighing audibly with regret, she moved to walk past him.

Kirk nodded his farewell, still in complete control of himself until the sash of Nyla’s robe accidentally brushed against his leg, sending another bolt of electricity through him. Inhaling sharply, he reached for her hand and held it, allowing the strong currents stemming from their touch to flow throughout his whole body this time. Neither moved for a long while as they stood looking intently into each other’s eyes, drinking deeply of what they saw there.

Then suddenly they moved at the same time towards each other. Soon Kirk and Nyla were locked in the kiss of lifetime as they clung together, probing each other’s mouths like there was no tomorrow. It certainly felt like it. Only this moment mattered now, for tomorrow they’d have to go their separate ways again. Return to their separate lives. With that in mind, Kirk and Nyla kissed as if they needed this memory as a private souvenir to take back home with them.

When they finally came up for air, Kirk rested his forehead against Nyla’s and sighed out loud. Deep regret weighed heavily upon his shoulders. “Goodnight, beautiful one. Thanks for gracing my life with your presence. I’m richer for it.”

It took everything in Kirk to release Nyla instead of taking her back to his room to finish what they’d just started. And the fact that they’d both unconsciously said goodnight instead of goodbye would be something he’d think about for months afterwards.

Nyla nodded without saying another word. Among other things, she was too stunned that she’d broken her no-kissing-on-the-first-date rule for this man. A gorgeous, mahogany-skinned, kiss-your-socks-off-man. A man that she’d never see again. Then as Nyla walked away on slightly unsteady legs, she realized that this trip had truly been bittersweet in more ways than one.

****

Five floors up, Brian - the cameraman - had just finished a late night of editing and was out on his balcony smoking a cigarette when he spotted the two people below. I knew Nyla was the one, he mused, after having witnessed the whole intimate scene. But that moment had not been filmed and thus Brian had no proof that he’d actually won the bet. Well, maybe that’s a story best left untold, he reasoned, seeing how Kirk’s shoulders slumped with sadness as he watched Nyla walk away.

I don’t believe it! A rich man ‘can’ actually be poor, Brian realized as he watched the miserable looking doctor slowly walk in the opposite direction of his ladylove. All of this made Brian think of his loving wife back home and how much she had enriched his life over the years.

I guess I’m a rich man after all, he mused, going back inside the suite to make a call. He suddenly wanted to hear Marina’s voice right now.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Kirk really has realized that he chose the wrong. he wasn't ready for a serious relationship which he knew he be getting into if he chose Nyla. but in a way, i'm kind of disapointed in him that he chose someone who was that shallow. both were golddiggers. thats too bad.

Suprina said...

I agree, but I think Kirk will redeem himself in the next few chapters.