It's the day before the day before Christmas and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend. Christmas is a time for love, forgiveness and togetherness, so let's see if Mace and Chantal can have any of those things. At least for a little while.
Hustle Into Love
* * * * *
In all his years Mace had never felt the way he did now. Not only did his body hurt—his cock still ached like a sore tooth—but his heart felt like it had been run over by a herd of very aggressive, very angry tap dancers.
He’d been furious with Chantal. Coitus interruptus. He snorted at the memory. They hadn’t gotten far enough to experience her newest word of the day. The thought of being inside her made his lust and fury burn even hotter, and even though he knew a woman had a right to say no, it didn’t help the pain in his groin. But he knew he had only himself to blame.
He hadn’t meant the words, one moment in time, as Chantal had taken them, but after he’d railed at her earlier, he really couldn’t fault her for thinking the worst of him. So, after she’d made the announcement about vocabulary, he’d pushed back the frustration he was feeling, turned on his heel and stomped out of the office.
There he was met by a very worried Cái…and two paramedics. Mace had to laugh as he recalled the scene. The boy was a great assistant, but he needed to learn when someone was talking tongue-in-cheek.
Mace’s smile fell away. He’d had his tongue in Chantal’s cheek. In her mouth and almost down her throat. The memory of her taste would keep him up, literally, for many days to come. And if he couldn’t figure out a way to get her past her anger, it might be the only way he’d get to taste her again.
After he’d apologized to the paramedics and left them and the confused Cái, he’d gone straight to his office and put in a call to his brother. It wasn’t that he doubted Chantal. Not really. But what she’d told him flew in the face of years of belief. That was something not so easy to toss away.
Luckily, he got through to Lì, and when he told him what had happened, he had to grit his teeth and listen to a lecture that all but singed his ears off. How could he, Lì asked him, believe such a thing about Chantal. She was beautiful inside and out. She would never use her body like that. Why had Mace acted in such a dishonorable way?
So, of course, Mace had to tell him about being jealous of Li and wanting Chantal, even knowing she belonged to his brother. About how he’d hated listening to Li talk about her and how he’d begged off meeting Chantal for fear of his brother discovering how he felt about her. Then he had to grit his teeth and listen to Lì’s irrepressible laughter.
Maybe having a big brother wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
But eventually the teasing ended, and he was able to ask the really difficult question. Are you gay? And when Lì admitted he was, Mace had to ask the even harder one. Why didn’t you tell me?
It took a long time before Lì could convince Mace he had never told anyone. Period. Chantal was aware of his lifestyle choice but not because he’d ever said anything specific. It was one of those things she just knew, but they never talked about.
For Mace it was a little different. The way Lì was raised—the whole Chinese culture—made it more difficult to tell a male relative the truth. So instead, Lì hoped he, like Chantal, would pick up the clues and understand without saying. The fact Mace hadn’t, meant ten years of confusion and pain for his younger brother.
Mace could tell Lì regretted that deeply. His heartfelt apology went far to soothe the anger and confusion in Mace’s heart. And when they signed off, he was able to tell his big brother to enjoy his sabbatical and mean it.
But none of that really helped with what he was going to do about Chantal.
He paced to the window in Lì’s office and stared down at the Cotai strip. It had taken exactly one kiss to make him realize all those sweaty dreams and longings he had for her didn’t come close to the real thing. The taste of her lips, the feel of her soft, scented skin. The sounds she made when her passion took wing. When she’d been in his arms it was as if he’d discovered paradise.
Yet a single stupid statement had sent him spinning out of heaven and into a cold hell of his own making. It wasn’t easy for a D'Avranches to eat crow, but if he wanted more from Chantal, he was going to have to consume a big helping of it.
He rubbed his heart. She’d hurt him by believing he was only looking for a quick bout of sex, but he’d hurt her with all his accusations and erroneous beliefs. He swore aloud. His misinterpretation of hers and Lì’s relationship had cost him ten years of truly knowing Chantal. Would this misunderstanding keep them apart for another decade? His dark eyes narrowed and he shook his head.
Not if he had anything to say about it.
* * * * *
He found her where he expected to. Alone in the practice hall. He’d heard she’d canceled the evening rehearsal, and his heart ached when he realized he was the cause. Knowing Chantal’s work ethic, he must have really upset her to make her call off something she knew was so desperately needed. Just another thing he’d have to apologize for.
Yet when he slipped in the door, he found he couldn’t even announce his presence. His throat closed up, and his heart began to race. His palms dampened, and his cock throbbed to life.
Chantal was dancing.
And God, she was magnificent. He knew without her saying a word she was still hurt and distraught over what had happened between them. Her body told him so with each move it made. No sharp and sassy dance motions now. No, this time it was as if she wept as she moved across the floor, dipping and swaying like a trembling leaf caught in the wind.
Each step she took told a story filled with pain and sorrow. Her arms rose over her head, her face lifted to the sky, and in her eyes he saw all her broken dreams and shattered wishes. Her hands fluttered and dropped, and Mace mourned along with her as she crumpled to the floor and then so slowly it hurt to watch, she came to her feet and started all over again.
How could he have ever believed it wasn’t her talent that had made her the star she was? What maggot in his brain had destroyed his thoughts so much he couldn’t look at her and see the awesome gift she had? Was it the jealousy that had made him such a fool? Why had he been so blind for so fucking long?
Not even aware he was doing it, so caught up he was in her heartfelt expression of regret and longing, he walked down the aisle towards the stage. And so into her dance was Chantal, she didn’t even notice him until he stepped up onto the stage. Then she froze in place, looking at him with pain-filled eyes. They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity.
Unable to do anything else, recognizing this could be a beginning or an end of everything between them, Mace held out his hand. “I’m so sorry, Chantal,” he said, his voice hoarse with his own regret. “For everything. Can you ever forgive me?”
Okay, so I didn't expect that at all. See what I mean? They've gone off on their own. What will they do now? Will they continue what they started in the office? Or will she turn and walk away?
We'll find out next Tuesday. Until then, I would like to wish each and every one of you a very happy Christmas. May it be filled with love, laughter and beautiful dreams.
Follow Your Dreams