Home » Creative writing » Entanglement – Part Seven

Entanglement – Part Seven

Bedside Light

Photo by jemsweb via Flickr

Previous installments of Entanglement can be found by clicking Home on the header menu and scrolling down. If you haven’t begun the series and would like to, here’s a shortcut to Part One.

At Aliss’s, Miller hung his jacket by the door and, just as she slipped it off, reached for the denim one he’d lent to her days before. Holding it in his hands, he caught her eye before hanging it up, too. Aliss recalled an earlier pang of guilt, now gone, as she pulled off the dress she’d worn over her shirt and jeans and tossed it on the couch.

“I’ll be right back,” she said over her shoulder as she headed for the bathroom. She washed her hands and face and emerged running her tongue over freshly brushed teeth.

With the lamp off, Miller was at the windows checking the street below from behind the blind. “I wanted another look,” he said, letting it fall back into place. “I’ll get the light.”

“I’ll just turn this one on instead,” Aliss said turning into the bedroom. A low watt bulb beneath a parchment-colored shade bathed the small room with a gentle light as she slid onto her futon and the rich rose colors of its paisley quilt.

Miller paused outside the doorway, where light faded into dark. “Can you stay in tomorrow?”

“I guess so,” she said, stacking the pillows against the headboard.

“You know how it is at the store. If I’m off today, I work tomorrow. But I’m off at seven. I’ll come straight over. We can make a plan.”

“I can’t imagine anything that would work.”

“If he goes on thinking he has the power, it’ll get worse.”

“You learned that somewhere?”

“From a master.”

Aliss thought he might explain who that was and which side they’d been on, but when she didn’t ask, he didn’t elaborate.

Miller stepped back into the darkness and she heard the scrape the bathroom door made before it shut tight. She stretched out onto her side in the opposite direction, toes touching the headboard, with her back to the green trailing vines on the white sheers at her bedroom window. Leaning on her elbow, head cradled in her palm, she waited for him to come back.

When he did, he sat by the pillows, slipped off his shoes and sat cross-legged, facing her. She broke into a broad smile. “Lean back against the pillows. Get comfy.”

He moved over, unfolding his legs, stretching out along her body’s length without quite touching. His back found the pillows and he leaned into them.

“Well,” she sighed.

His eyes followed as she slipped off his socks, crawled up his legs, and sat on his thighs. He began, “Are you sure …” the words trailing off as if he’d forgotten his point.

She gripped the bottom of his sweater. “Let’s see what I’ve been forgetting to look at.”

Miller’s face grew rosier than light reflecting off the quilt. “I shouldn’t have said that …”

Aliss placed a finger to her lips, shaking her head to shush him. He obliged, tilting forward just enough to facilitate the gray fabric going over his head. She tossed the cabled sweater on the floor and gazed at the muscles she’d been missing, running her fingers along the gentle grid below his ribcage.

Miller’s surprise was evident everywhere she touched him, but his eagerness to touch her and be touched by her was stronger and more obvious, tempered by the strength, patience, and tender desire he’d never hidden from her.

Aliss tossed her tee to the floor and leaned in for a kiss. Miller closed the distance until there was none.

The whorls of their dance continued, flowed, instinct guiding each impulse to lead or follow, until they were spent, content to allow their bodies’ deepest vibrations to subside, dreaming in each other’s arms before knowing they’d been ready for sleep.

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7 thoughts on “Entanglement – Part Seven

  1. This is a great development, and given that we’ve been reading the story in increments, it seems well paced. I’m not sure if it would reading the whole piece all at once, though. She seems to go from ‘oblivious’ to ‘in lust’ in two scenes. I loved the language, surrounding the encounter, though.

    • I’m glad it felt right to you, within the limits of my installment delivery system.

      I thought I’d made it clear in Part Three that she liked him more than she wanted to let herself, even though the two of them were obviously compatible, and then again when she was so worried about him in Part Four. I thought I’d built up to it after the tenseness of their shared experience. But it’s hard to gauge that sort of thing when one reads their own work over and over again. I guess that’s the drawback of doing it this way.

      I’ve been thinking of it as a novel, but as a little one, smaller and tighter, without quite so much scenery. At first I told my sister that I thought of it as a graphic novel without the pictures, but she told me that really didn’t sound right. Anyway, thanks for the input, Jessie. I may have to address that if I decide to do anything with this later.

  2. Great piece, Ré. I too love the way you pulled it all together. We don’t need constant “Mr. Grey”, do we ?! Perhaps because you’re delivering this in installments you have to keep each installment going forward. That means going forward every 600 words or so. For me, this “encounter” happens too early in the story. She has, after all, just been scared out of her wits, but I see why you placed it here. (Maybe I just read slower books.)
    Keep it going though. Intriguing – or is it over?

    • Oh no, not over yet! The main plot hasn’t hit its stride. 🙂 I’ve been wondering about yours and Jessie’s reactions so far, and thinking that I’m either a very inscrutible woman, putting a bit too much of my point of view into Aliss, or it’s a good thing that she’s not well understood yet. Maybe I’ll check over the next installment and post it earlier than I’d planned. I think it’s time for more plot to turn. 🙂

  3. I like the way you’ve given her the room to make a decision, and initiate things. They care for each other. And, he has stepped up as her protector. You also had them quite composed in the last installment. That was a good prelude to their continued composure back at the apartment.

    Also, at this point, the tangle with the stranger wasn’t aggressive or violent. Unnerving, yes. They could both be strong people and not dwelling on the confrontation — or, as the stranger indicated — there’s more to the story…
    and now she has dragged Miller into the mix.

    • I appreciate your take on this chapter. I understand the point of view that this might have come too soon, but I’m also glad that you saw another angle on it. I’ve been very interested in the various ways people respond to unnerving situations. I hope to get better at deciding on a character’s actions and writing them in a way that isn’t blunt, but is clearer — not always agreed with, of course, but clearer. Thanks for commenting.

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