The next morning….
As the morning sunrise came up over the blue waters of the Pacific, its warm rays caressed across Pandora’s bare skin. She came awake slowly, blinking in the dawning light. She felt strangely relaxed, her body lucid, her mind content. There was a warmth around her waist and she looked down to see an arm, not her own, draped across her stomach. She turned her head and saw Brock, still deeply asleep.
In the light of this new day, the wounds on his face, the bandage on his cheek were much more prominent and she grew sad that she had been the one to cause it. Sometimes she thought what she could do was both a blessing and a curse.
But they had made inroads to repairing their fractured relationship. He’d been so gentle and loving with her the night before. It was as if he was imprinting himself upon her skin until she felt cocooned by his very soul. Their lovemaking had taken on a poignant quality that she’d never experienced before in any sort of life…as if it were their first time together all over again, only not as explosive.
She watched him sleep, knowing that the events that took place the night before had severely exhausted him and she didn’t want to disturb his rest. She carefully extracted herself from his embrace, pulling the sheet further up his body to keep in their combined warmth a little bit longer. She slipped on her robe, securing the belt over her nudity before she moved to the phone to order breakfast for the both.
She ran a brush through her tangled hair as she stared out of the doors to the balcony, watching the sun move further up into the sky. There was a light knock at the door and she went to answer it, moving to allow the hotel server to bring in their breakfast.
“Where would you like this, Ms LaRue?” the woman asked in a soft voice, having seen Brock still asleep in the bed.
“Out on the balcony would be great. Thank you.” Pandora smiled. The woman nodded and moved to set up the table for them. Pandora tipped her $20 as she left, telling her she would leave the cart in the hall beside her door for when they were finished.
Pandora poured two cups of coffee, remembering that he liked his straight before carrying them back to the bed. She eased in slow so not to spill a drop, setting hers on the side table before waving his beneath his nose.
“Good morning.” she murmured, waiting for him to wake.
A New Dawn.
Filtered light streamed through the sheer curtains that hung either side of the balcony door way that was in Pandora’s bedroom. Laying still beneath the sheet was a sleeping Brock who after a long night that had seen so much happen to the couple and then hours of love making to reaffirm their commitment was thoroughly spent. He barely stirred as Pandora slipped from beneath the sheets and went to answer the door. A light grunt followed by the sound of his foot moving beneath the cotton sheet was the only sounds to emerge from the bedroom, while Pandora showed the hotel server where to put their breakfast trays.
The strong aroma of freshly brewed coffee would be all it took to rouse Brock from his slumber. His heavy lids finally opening to reveal those same golden eyes that he had the night before. The bandaging that Pandora had applied the night before covered the worst of his wounds and the weeping thankfully had stopped.
“Good morning.” The sweet sound of Pandora’s voice brought a crooked smile from Brock as the cup of coffee was waved close to his face. He slowly eased himself up in bed as the cotton sheet fell away to reveal his scarred torso and that fine line of hair that trailed down beneath the remaining sheet. He took the cup graciously from Pandora, but only after planting a soft kiss on her lips. She looked radiant this morning, with her hair brushed till it shined, and the soft expression of a woman who was now truly relaxed in his company.
“Morning Love.” Brock’s tone had a distinct gruffness to it as he brought the cup to his lips and blew on it as the coffee was still quite hot. “Have you been up long? Pretty sure I passed out hours ago.” He had been dead to the world through till the rise of the morning sun, having held Pandora for much of the night.
“How are you this morning?” He was naturally curious to see how Pandora slept and if there was anything pressing on her mind. You could see there was a different look to Brock, aside from the scars and the change in his eyes. Something more. He was focusing everything on her. As it should be.
Out of the balcony you could hear giggling and then a high pitch voice sing out.
“PAN!!!…JASON AND I HAD SEX!!!!”
Yes, the love birds in room 105 were up.
She smiled into the light kiss he graced her with. He sat up, the sheet falling away from his body and she finally saw the extent of the damage she caused. She simply stared, answering his question in a faint voice. “I’ve been up about a half hour. You were pretty shot so I let you sleep longer.”
“How are you this morning?”
Her gaze moved up to his face, catching his golden eyes looking at her, a remnant of the night before, she was sure of that. One would wonder why she wasn’t frightened of him? He did try to kill her, and he was a demon. The truth of it was…Pandora was a very unique individual. She had seen and done much in her life and anything strange or unusual, usually rolled off of her like water on a duck. It didn’t bother her that he was different. And being who he was, made him that much more special in her mind.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” she asked, reaching out to trace the deep scars on his chest with a gentle caress.
Before he could answer, there was a very familiar giggling coming from down the hall.
“PAN!!!…JASON AND I HAD SEX!!!!”
This was followed by male laughter and she heard Jason sing out, “Don’t believe a word she says!”
Pandora smirked and got to her feet, poking her head out the balcony doors and calling down the way.
“I’m pretty sure the whole hotel heard the two of you last night! I’m going to want details later! Let’s get together for dinner tonight!” she suggested before ducking back inside. She turned to see Brock watching her, a strange look in his eyes. “You’re staring.” she smiled.
Brock was staring. The way the sun’s rays illuminated Pandora’s form gave her an almost angelic glow about her. It was almost magical in a way and captivated him as he sat up in bed. Seeing her look back at him, Brock felt like he was the only man alive on earth…blessed to have her back in his life.
“I’m enjoying the view. It’s spectacular.”
He wasn’t referring to the view of the Hawaiian coast, but of his Pandora, his love. Setting down the coffee cup on the bedside table, he slid out from under the sheets, then padded around the bed till he came up to stand behind Pandora and place his arms around her waist. Brock drew her back into his chest whilst his chin nuzzled the top of her head. He was naked of course, having not bothered to dress yet…he had time for that. He had felt her fingers running through his scars earlier and whispered.“I’ll be alright, Love.” He didn’t want to worry her about his scars. In time the pain would go away. It was better to feel this, than to have a shattered heart.
Brock had heard the cry of the girl next door, followed by the sound of a man’s voice. “Friends of yours?” Naturally, he had no idea that Doctor Lumbard was next door, but he knew one thing. Whoever they were had sex. Very…rowdy sex.
Jason was rolling on the bed, covering his eyes as Jane bounced around the room, then ran over and dived on top of him. Her exuberance was incredible in the morning, having enough energy for the both of them. She grinned and then squealed. “Pan invited us for dinner!” Jason laughed as he toyed with her hair and said “Yes, and I think the whole hotel heard.”
Jane erupted into a fit of giggles and started to kiss him all over again, while on the night stand, the picture of Jason’s late wife….was smiling.
Pandora actually blushed when he referred to the view he was seeing. She instinctively knew he wasn’t talking about the ocean behind her. She watched him slide from beneath the sheet, naked and her breath caught in her throat as she saw the scar had gone all the way down to his thigh.
He wrapped her in his arms, whispering that it would be all right. It seemed as if he felt he deserved this reminder of what was nearly lost between them. She couldn’t fault him for thinking such things, but she wished she could take the scars away.
He spoke of Jason and Jane a few rooms over.
“Yeah. Um…Jason, Doctor Lumbard, you know. He showed up here the day after I did to honor his wife’s last wishes. He’s been a good friend to me these past few days. We talked about you, mostly.” she stated, looking up at him. “The woman, Jane was here for her honeymoon with her wife…turns out the woman is some kind of two-timing slut. Ran off with her ex-husband, left Jane here. I think she and Jason will be good for each other.”
She snuggled deeper into his warmth, listening to the steady beating of his heart.
“So much has changed. We’ve changed. And we’ve become stronger for it. I love you, Brock. Maybe this was supposed to happen for us to realize the depth of our feelings. But know this…” She pushed back a little to stare him in the eye, “You broke my trust once and it nearly killed me. Do it again…and the consequences…won’t be pleasant.”
Forgetting all about the couple next door for the moment, Brock listened to Pandora put in words exactly how she felt. Her love for him remained, but she acknowledged the changes. Very deep and emotional ones. But it is only through adversity and coming through the baptism of fire that you appreciate the other all the more. Brock felt that way now. His punishment was something that Pandora would see ever day and night, as his body showed this.
“You broke my trust once and it nearly killed me. Do it again…and the consequences…won’t be pleasant.”
“I know I did, and for what it is worth, I know I could not survive what we just went through again.” He meant every word of this, his eyes showing that golden glint.
Brock drew her into his embrace again and kissed her forehead in a tender way. Everything in the way he treated her was all the more gentle than it had ever been before, almost like he was afraid she would break in his arms. He wanted to take things slowly, not rushing her at all. Pacing. It wasn’t surprising really. He wanted last night to live on forever.
“I love you, Pandora.”
Heartfelt…and true these words were as he kept her within his gaze. He was now an open book, standing before her exposed. She only had to ask and he would speak his mind….be there for her. He learnt to listen.
She could hear the honesty and sincerity in his voice and she believed they had turned a corner. She was his, he was hers. As it should have been.
“I’m going to go shower while you finish your breakfast.” she smiled, reluctantly stepping out of his arms. “I’m going to do some site seeing today, maybe do some surfing.”
She gave him a look over her shoulder as she headed into the bathroom, one that couldn’t be mistaken for anything other then an invite to join her.
Would he take up the offer?
Feeling her draw herself out from his arms, he let his fall to the sides as Pandora mentioned she would have a shower while he finished his breakfast. He hadn’t really started it, but he knew there was something other than food that he wanted a lot more. For now at least while he had this chance, he didn’t want to let her out of his sight.
“I just lost my appetite…for food.”
Like a puppy, he followed along behind her (an over sized puppy), and when reaching the bathroom, he leaned against the door frame and stared as she went to disrobe. The gasp that left his lips would be automatic to see her in her natural state. The slip of fabric hitting the floor, as she would turn on the faucets to start the water running.
Seeing her step into the frosted glass cubicle, he reached for a bar of a soap and a small sponge before following her into shower. The steady stream of hot water burst across his skin, and while the wounds across his entire body were still raw, he endured the pain as he kept her in his gaze.
“Can I wash your back?” Brock asked, already lathering up the soap to the sponge.