"Backing Off" Chapter 8

 

He was the first to wake up, and for a moment he forgot where he was, but the warm body beneath him quickly reminded him where he was and who he was with. Just for a moment he wanted to be still, he really didnít want to know the reason she had to see him, because he knew on some deep level he wouldnít like it.

"John, you awake?" She asked as she moved gently away propping her arm up and looking into his eyes. He glanced at her and for a moment he was just lost; those eyes spoke silently to him of how she felt and he read longingÖ and sadly regret.

"Yeah, he said, propping up and looking at her. Iím wide awake, now tell me why we had to meet."

"You are not going to like it, so let me just come out and say it, the situation with RJ has changed." She said.

His eyes seemed to get a shade darker, and then he asked, "What changed?"

"John, RJ asked me to marry himÖ and he wants to do it right away."

John moved then, getting up and fixing his clothes, not saying a word, and then he went to the window, and said "You mean you two have gotten that close in this short of time?" He said it in a monotone voice, which was not a good thing, because he was boiling right about now.

Evangeline got up pulling down her skirt and walked behind him, but not too close, she can feel the tension in the air. "He says he doesnít want to take the chance of losing me again, and that we feel right."

"No." he said in a deep primal growl, " You are not marrying RJ.

"John, listen, it would mean that he trusts me and I could really get what we need on the Santi Organization, isnít that what this has been all about?"

Slowly turning so that the shadows played with his features making him look more dangerous than she had ever seen him with her, he grabbed her and told her what had been burning inside ever since this mess began and she got involved.

"Van, listen to me and hear me out, I didnít want you involved with RJ, but I respected your right to make your decision to help out with this investigation, but let me tell you what it has cost meÖ and what will be the fallout if you continue with this madness. While I speak, please donít say a word; you have got to hear this. If you only knew how much pain this has caused me --feelings I had turned off you bought back to lifeóand just as I was beginning to walk again with you, I turn a corner and you are walking down the street with another man, holding your hand and I donít know what else. But just let me tell you how I picture it: I see RJ all over you and I have to shut down part of my brain just to get through a routine day. When I look at the incoming reports I have to put out of mind the horror that is before me, pictures of you and him, close but not too close, and I have to suck it in."

"John, she interrupted, you knew what would happen going in," she said.

"Van, I said let me finish, this needs to be said. It took me a long time to feel about someone the way I feel about you, and I am a possessive man, I donít--I canít have you with RJ anymore." He said finally.

"I donít know what to say, I have committed myself to this." She slowly looked down.

"Then be uncommitted, or Iím walking and not looking back." He said firmly.

Van looked up, to see what his eyes were telling her and she knew he meant what he said. She pulled gently out of his arms, and said quietly "Then there is nothing left to say," she walked quietly to the door and held it open.

John walked toward the door and stopped, and asked "Are you sure, because Iím not changing my mind?"

"Yeah, Iím sure, Iíll be married to RJ by the end of the week, I will continue to contact the bureau through Antonio and I wonít trouble you again," she said clearly with just a slight tremble in her voice, to let him know how her heart was breaking.

"Van, you have to understand, if I donít do it this way I will go insane, and I canít allow myself that ever again. I was over the edge once, I wonít go there again even for you. Take care," and he walked out closing the door behind him, yet he didnít move away immediately. He heard her slump against the door and her sobbing that racked his mind and soul, but he couldnít go back, he had to back off.

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