Chapter 68, Part 2

**What you gonna say when he comes over?
There's no easy way to see this through
All the broken dreams, all the disappointments
Oh girl, what you gonna do?
Your heart keeps sayin', "It's just not fair"
But still you gotta make up your mind**
All day long, thoughts of the two loves of Keesha's life invaded her mind and her heart. She couldn't go on without making a decision. It wasn't fair to them, and it wasn't fair to her. She needed to follow her heart. She needed to admit to them and to herself that as much as she loved them both, she was *in love* with only one of them.

After ending her conversation with AJ, she went into her bedroom and changed her clothes. The business suit she wore to work that day was too confining and restricting. She needed to feel free and relaxed. A pair of faded blue Levis and a white tee-shirt gave her the freedom she needed. Her hair rested loosely on her shoulders and her make-up was minimal. For what was on her mind, she didn't need fancy clothes or a heavily made up face. She needed confidence, and being the smart woman she was, she knew that confidence came from within and not without.

Her sock covered feet carried her to her living room window. As the clouds broke and a light rain began to beat on the earth, she felt as one with the earth and the elements. Their release was occurring simultaneously with hers. Her only wish was that she would feel as clean as the earth once her release was complete.

The moments passed and the waiting for AJ began to frazzle her nerves. To calm herself, she left the window and went to her open kitchen. A cup of herbal tea should relax her, she decided. She went through the moves with minimal thought and soon, the kettle began to whistle just as the knock sounded at the door.

Keesha removed the pot from the heat before she moved to answer the door. Her hand reached out tentatively and she immediately pulled it back. Her heart began to race and she knew that she had to moderate her breathing. She took a deep breath and slowly released it. Only after she was sure she was ready, she slowly answered the door.

"Keesha," AJ said with a smile which lit his eyes and covered his lips.

"Hi, AJ," she said, moving so that he could enter.

"I almost used my key, but I wasn't sure..." He let the sentence drift as he followed her further into the living room. She looked good tonight, he thought. Well, to be honest, she was always a vision, but there was just something about a pair of well-worn faded Levis...

She nodded as his words evaporated into the air. "Would you like some tea? I was about to have a cup when you knocked on the door."

"No, I'm fine," AJ said as he stood in the center of the room. "But if you want some, please go ahead."

"I've changed my mind about the tea. Have a seat," she offered as she sat on the sofa. She sat quietly as AJ removed his overcoat and placed it on one of the stools at the counter. As he turned to join her, he was greeted with a smile and he gave her one in return.

"So," he said, happily as he sat sideways to face her.

"So," she repeated with a nod. "I bet you're wondering why I asked you to come over."

"Well, maybe a little bit, but I have a feeling I know why, though," he replied.

**There are times when a woman
Has to say what's on her mind
Even though she knows how much its gonna hurt**

Keesha sat quietly as she contemplated his words and then, softly she asked, "You do?"

"Yeah. You asked me to come here because you've made a decision, right?"

"Right," she repeated.

**Before I say another word
Let me tell you, I love you
Let me hold you close
And say these words
As gently as I can**
Keesha's eyes held AJ's as she tried to find the words to tell him that he wasn't the one she wanted to be with. Her argument with Jason in the hallway had been an eye opener once she made herself face the real reasons behind her anger. Her anger had born of fear of what his occupation would do to him. Her fear grew from the love she could no longer deny.

Her eyes glistened with tears as she realized that she didn't know how to tell him. He looked at her so expectantly that her heart ached at the thought of what his reaction would be. How could she look him in the eyes and break his heart? There was no easy way to do this and she had been foolish to think that there would be.

**There's been another man
that I've needed and I loved
But that doesn't mean I love you less
And he knows he can't posses me
and he knows he never will
Is just this empty place inside of me
That only he can fill**

AJ had driven to her place so confident that he was *the one*. He knew with everything he held true to his heart and his soul that he would be the one she wanted, but as the silence grew between them, his confidence began to fade. At this point, he wanted her to just say it and get it over with. Maybe it wouldn't hurt as much if it was quick. "Keesha..." he prompted her.

**Torn between two lovers
feelin like a fool
Loving both of you
Is breaking all the rules
Torn between two lovers
feelin like a fool
Loving you both is breaking all the rules**

Her name on his lips broke her silence. Softly and with tears streaming down her face, she began to speak. "You're right, AJ. I... I love you..."

"But..." he added when she faltered.

She reached for his hand and he gave it to her. They held on tightly to each other as she continued. "I'm in love with Jason."

"I see," he said with downcast eyes. He felt that he should let go of her hand, but he couldn't. Even now, even though she wasn't in love with him, she was still his lifeline. Maybe she always would be.

**You musn't think you failed me
Just because there's someone else
You were the first real love I've ever had
And all the things I ever said
I swear they still are true
For no one else can have the part of me I gave to you**

Her other hand cupped his cheek and her thumb caught the single tear as it escaped and trailed down his cheek. Forcing her own tears to remain at bay, she whispered, "I'm so sorry, AJ. I never meant to hurt you. You mean so much to me. You always, *always* will. Please know that I'll always love you. I'll never stop loving you."
"Yeah, Keesha, I know," he replied hoarsely. He released her hand and with his two hands removed her hand from his cheek. As he brought her hand to his lips, he closed his eyes. After he kissed her hand, he gently placed it on her lap and then rose from the sofa. He grabbed his overcoat from the stool and then he slowly walked to the door.

"AJ... I.... Please, don't-"

"Go?" he asked, his back facing her. He heaved a long sigh and said, "But, I have to. Good-bye, Keesha. I'll never stop loving you either."

As the door closed behind him, Keesha released the sob which had been lodged in her throat ever since she hung up the telephone. She had known it would be hard, but she had never realized it would hurt so much.

**Someone's gonna cry when they know they've lost you
Someone's gonna thank the stars above**


Boom. Boom. Boom.

Keesha woke with a start. She didn't know how long she had been asleep. Her tears and the rat-a-tat-tat of the rain had lulled her into a deep slumber. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she rose from the sofa and padded her way to the door. She ran her fingers through her hair to tame her mussed curls and then she opened the door.


He had been on the verge of pounding on her door again and his hand was still raised when she opened it. As his eyes took in her wrinkled tee-shirt and red, puffy eyes, he slowly lowered his arms. All thoughts of himself and what happened between her and AJ disappeared from his mind as he asked, "Are you okay?"

Wrapping her arms around herself, she shrugged and then slowly nodded. "I'm fine."

Jason's eyes narrowed as he listened to what her body language and eyes told him. She was hurting, and he didn't like seeing her this way. "May I come in?"

"Sure," she said, stepping aside to give him room.

After he was inside, she closed the door. In the soft glow from her lamp, she could see that he was dripping wet. "You're soaked," she said with a frown. "I'll get you a towel or two."

"Keesha, wait," Jason said, reaching out to take a hold of her wrist. As he touched her, he felt her tremble. Closing the distance between them, he raised his other hand to lightly caress her cheek with the back of his hand. His voice was low and husky as he asked, "Are you sure you're okay? AJ didn't hurt you, did he?"

"Of course not. Wait a sec. How did you know AJ was here?"

"I was there when you called him," Jason replied.

"And you came over anyway?" Keesha asked, surprised, but not really.

"Yes," Jason said, holding her with his crystal blue eyes and gentle touch.

"Why?" she asked, barely trusting herself to speak. She silently prayed he'd say what her heart told her he would.

"Because I love you and I couldn't stay away...even if you chose AJ. Where is he, by the way?"

"He left," she answered.

"Why?" Jason asked unable to tear his eyes from hers.

"Because I told him how I felt," she replied. "I told him that I love him and always would, but that I was in love with you."

Jason released the breath he had been holding and one swift movement pulled her into his arms. Her arms wrapped around his neck as he swung around the room. After the swinging was over, he slowly lowered her sock covered feet to the floor. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close to him. As she smiled back at him, he said, "I feel like I've waited a lifetime to hear you say those words, sweetheart. I love you, too. I am in love with you and I love you with all of my heart."

"Oh, Jason, I-"

The rest of her words were silenced as Jason's lips covered hers. As soon as his mouth touched hers, her lips parted and his tongue plundered inside, swirling around and tasting her. Keesha felt a slow, smoldering heat rise inside of her as his strong arms, hard chest and ardent kiss suffused her and made her feel complete. Holding him close with only their damp clothes separating them, Keesha felt like she was home, and when she took her turn to explore him with her tongue, tasting him and drawing him into her mouth, she knew he felt it, too.

**Someone's gonna cry when they know they've lost you
Someone's gonna thank the stars above**

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: "The One You Love" was recorded by Glen Frey. (Thanks, Pamazon for suggesting it!!!) "Torn Between Two Lovers" was recorded by Mary MacGregor.]

P.S. There's an email only chapter which accompanies this one. If you're interested, e-mail me at

Chapter 69

Home Page