Together But Not

There was a thin sheen of uncertainty but the vacation went well.  We were a big happy family.  And the tension only rose when Alex and I were alone.  Which only happened at night. 

The first night back Alex slept on his side and me on mine.  Which never happened, but by morning we’d been drawn together in the middle of the bed.  I woke with my alarm and Alex rolled over and put the pillow over his head.

Each night got a little easier.  But the silence got stronger.  There was no anger.  Or fustration.  Just uncertainty about what we were doing, and how we were going to go forward.

We didn’t fight.  Though the silence made it seem like a perpetual one. 

It was the morning of the full moon, when things finally reached a breaking point.  Alex woke up with my alarm and grabbed my arm, “Stay.”

“I need to go do my yoga.”

“Please Nox.  Stay.  We need to talk.”  He sat up letting go of me and I still got out of bed. 

“About what?”

Alex sighed, “We haven’t talked since our last fight.”

“I don’t want to fight Alex.”

“I know.  But sit down and let’s talk.”

“I need to do my yoga.”

Alex growled, “Come one Nox you can do it after.”

“Don’t like the new me?”

Alex sighed and looked out the closed patio doors.  “I liked when you listened better and talked even more.”

“Talking only gets us into fights.  I’ll listen, if you have something to say.”

“You don’t care about us anymore?”

I shrugged, “I care.  But you let me sit out there a whole fucking day alone.”

“You needed the space. I wasn’t far away.”

“I fucking needed you.  I needed you to understand that I’m not going to let some ass hat have sex with me.  I’m strong.  I’m capable.  I know I’m not breakable.  I know.  But I can’t be this person all the time.  I can’t.  But this is what you want.  So this is what you get.  You get the fake me.”  I turned around so Alex wouldn’t see me cry.

“Jesus Nox, come on.”  He crawled to the edge of the bed and pulled me down into the bed with him.  “I’m sorry.  I don’t want to lose you.  And you are here with me, but I feel like I lost you in that punch you wanted to throw.  In the way you handled Dan.  I lost you.”

“You haven’t lost me.  You just don’t like me in any form.”

Alex sighed, “You’re right.  I have this perfect picture of you in my head, and you fall short.  But you’re human.”

“I’m not.”

“You know what I mean.  You aren’t perfect.  I’m not perfect.  But I do believe we are better together.  So please.  Just be you.  Don’t do this.  The kids know somethings wrong, but no one is going to say anything to you.”

“So what Alex?  You want me to be submissive.  You hate it.  You don’t want me to go submissive with everyone else.  I’ll try.  But it’s hard.”

Alex nodded, “I know.  I’m sorry.  I keep asking you to change, it’s not fair.  I changed.  You’ve changed.  I know.  I see it.  I feel it.  Nox please come back to me.”

I sank a little bit into his grip and Alex pulled me down in the bed.  I cried more.  I needed him so badly.  So much pain and anger came out of those tears.

I missed yoga, and breakfast.  But Alex’s stomach rumbled and he groaned, “We need to eat.  We both can’t starve ourselves.  Ant had to feed three times the other day just to sustain you.”

“I’m sorry.”

Alex pulled me close and then helped me sit up, “Come on, let’s go eat.”

I moved with Alex and we went out into the kitchen where the rest of the family was.  Ant and Isabelle were sitting on the couch next to each other happily eating their breakfast stealing glances at one another.  A stab of jealousy washed over me.

_What’s wrong?_  Alex asked in my head as he looked at them.

_We used to do that._ 

Alex chuckled, _We still do.  Least I have.  And I’m pretty sure you did too._

I leaned into Alex as we walked and he wrapped his arm around my waist pulling me closer.  “I’m sorry.”  I said.

Alex pressed a kiss to my cheek, “Me too.”

We sat down at the kitchen island and Ryan passed us plates already piled high.  When Rider came into the room he wrapped his arms around both of our shoulders, “Bout time.”  He said then pressed a kiss to my cheek and then one to Alex’s.  “There is a car show today up the road at the shopping center.  I hear they have some pretty classic cars and some high dollar ones like Alex has.”  My little brother turned to me with a grin, “Why don’t you take Alex.  I got this here.”

I looked over at Alex, “You want to go?”

Alex shrugged, “Just the two of us?”

I nodded.  Rider had left as soon as he made the proposal and was hurrying up the kids, “Come on now, hurry up, if you want to go swimming you have to eat quickly so we can wait.”  They all giggled.

“And whatever bodyguard follows me.”  I said.

Alex groaned.  Like he’d forgotten. But he nodded, “Alright.”  He grabbed his plate and slid off the stool.  “A real date.  You pick me up in an hour.”

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“To get ready for my date.  You should too since you take longer than me to get ready.  I’ll grab clothes and use Rider’s room since he suggested it, you can pick me up there.”  Alex said as he headed down the hall with his plate in hand.  He felt smug in my head.  It wasn’t his plan, but he liked it now.  And he was making me take charge which also made him happy.