Hearts Asunder Chapter 6 by "MourningStarre"

Lois groaned inwardly as she watched AJ hold lovingly onto Keesha's hand. There was a smile so bright on his face you would think it was the sun. He was setting himself up for a big fall, and there was nothing she could do that would cushion the blow when he hit the pavement. Heartbreak was just going to have to be one of the things he learned about as he learned about everything else.

Gathering her jacket, Lois prepared to leave.

Keesha released her hand from AJ's grasp to set down her purse. "You're not leaving already, are you?" she asked Lois.

"Yeah, actually I am. I have some L&B business I have to attend to," Lois answered as she eased into the jacket.

"How are things going over there?"

"Oh it's going terrific," she smiled. "Mary Mae's CD is selling like hotcakes. With any luck, maybe I can persuade her to come over and lay down a few more tracks"

"I've heard her humming and singing some new tunes, so you might just get your wish," Keesha happily shared.

"Thanks for the info Keesha, I'll be sure to use that during my persuading." Glancing over at AJ, "I'll see you tomorrow, okay? And please, give some thought to what I was saying to you before," she urged.

"Goodbye Lois," AJ returned, his mind already made up where that conversation was concerned.

"Bye Keesha."

"Goodbye." Keesha watched as Lois left the room. "What was she talking about?" Keesha asked AJ, her curiosity getting the better of her.

"I want to do something and she doesn't think it's a good idea," AJ answered.

Taking a seat in the chair Lois recently vacated. "Really, what is that?" she wondered. "If you don't mind my asking?"

"No, I don't mind you asking me anything. It was about you."


AJ nodded. "I think you're wonderful, Keesha, and you're so beautiful," he beamed as he once again took her soft hand into his.

AJ holding her hand was nothing new, but this time it was different. Keesha felt a strange, warm and very unsettling feeling stir in the pit of her stomach at his touch and his words. "AJ..."

"Please, let me say this. I don't know who I was before I opened my eyes in this hospital, but I'm certain of one thing, and that's how I feel about you."

Slipping her hand from his, Keesha got up from the seat and went to the far end of the bed. "AJ, don't do this. I should have told you before, I'm"

"Involved with Jason," he finished for her. "I know."

"You know?"

"It didn't take long to figure out," he sourly noted.

"Well I guess you should also know I'm more than involved with him, AJ. I love him very much," she explained.

"You don't love me?" he asked, reaching for his cane to join her at the foot of the bed.

Why did she feel like answering that question would incriminate her? After taking a few moments for thought, she finally responded. "I do, but it's not the same. We're friends, AJ. Good friends, but just friends."

Reaching his destination, AJ peered deeply into her eyes. "Why are we just friends? I can't explain why I feel the way I do, I just feel it. With everything in my mixed up world I'm trying to piece together, these feelings are the only things that have always been real, and been here," he said patting his chest. "Don't you feel it too, Keesha?"

"Have I somehow given you the impression that I have feelings for you other than friendship? If I have, I'm sorry. I love Jason," she said in as much of a declaration as it was a reminder to herself. Shaking her head in an attempt to clear the cobwebs that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, she repeated her assertion, but with even more conviction. "I love Jason."

His gaze never wavering, "Who are you trying to convince?" he asked.

Pre-accident AJ had flirted with her before, that was his way, but this wasn't the same. She felt herself becoming defensive. "I don't have to convince you or anyone else of my feelings for Jason. I love him. Why are you doing this?"

"Because I need to. I'm at a, aa disadvantage," he explained, finding the word he was searching for. "I don't know what we were like before my accident, but from what Lois said..."

"What Lois said? What did she say?" Keesha asked, anxious to know what prompted this behavior in him.

"That I always liked you, and I met you first. I don't understand how you ended up with Jason. I know how I feel about you now, and I can't believe I didn't feel the same way before. Did I do something to upset you? You didn't find me attractive?"

"No, it's not any of that."

"Then what? I have very strong feelings for you and I don't think I'm having them alone?" AJ said, easing closer and closer still to Keesha.

Swallowing the knot that had developed in her throat, she backed away. "What are you implying?" Keesha asked, her outrage at his suggestion, not coming through with all the nervousness she was suddenly experiencing.

AJ walked forward as Keesha continued to back away. He stopped only when her back hit the wall, preventing her from going any further, and mere inches separated them. "I'm saying that I love you, and I don't think that comes as a surprise to you."

Keesha refused to hear the words, this could not be happening. She cared a great deal for AJ, she never denied that, but had she been harboring deeper feelings than she realized? No, it couldn't be. He was her friend, Jason's brother, and Jason was the man that she loved, she had to explain that to him. "You've been through quite an ordeal, AJ, and you're feeling gratitude. Saying you love me as a friend, no, that doesn't surprise me, as I said, I..."

AJ silenced her as he leaned forward and captured her lips in a kiss.

The shock of having the lips of Jason's brother pressed so intimately against hers was unnerving enough, but when her lips parted, seemingly on their own to deepen the kiss, it threw Keesha even more. AJ's tongue was so soft and warm as it raked against hers. The feel of his lips caressing hers so tenderly as his arms wrapped tightly around her body bringing her closer to him was erupting a volcano of emotions in Keesha. AJ was not unaffected, feeling his loins tingle with growing arousal as he pressed his body even closer to hers. A burning desire bubbled deep within Keesha. AJ's touch was stirring feelings that were reserved just for Jason. Jason! Her head shouted. Finding her bearings, she brought an abrupt end to the passionate exchange. Trying desperately to catch her breath, she could only stare at AJ, dazed, confused, and much to her own shame, incredibly aroused.

AJ's heart pounded like a war drum in his chest. Keesha was so beautiful. His body was aching for her, as he knew hers was for him. Unable to resist, he moved in for another kiss.

Pressing her open palms against his chest, "Stop," Keesha uttered, her voice breathy with an almost sensual quality, and not demanding as she had hoped it to be. She couldn't let him kiss her again. Never again.

Extending his hand, he stroked her smooth brown cheek, his thumb lingering at her full lips. "There is something between us. The old AJ might have been able to let it go or pretend it wasn't there, but this AJ can't do it, and I won't even try. You're going to be mine. Jason be damned," he vowed.

The room was suddenly very confining. Rushing over to the bedside table, Keesha grabbed her purse, and without saying another word to AJ, fled from the room, as he called after her.

AJ realized Keesha was upset, but he had no regrets. She knew where he stood, and she had to accept the fact that she had feelings for him. With their flaming kiss still lingering on his lips, AJ planned to make it his business to remind her of that fact every chance he got.

Keesha was pressing her shaky fingers on the down button of the elevator. "Come on," she pleaded, as she waited impatiently for the car. Her mind kept replaying the scene in AJ's room. She touched her lips. How could she let that happen? She loved Jason, of that, there was no question, but AJwhat was she feeling for him? How could he stir such feelings and longings in her when Jason fulfilled those needs and more? The ding of the elevator's arrival brought her momentarily out of her daze. Without looking she plowed forward, running right into Jason.

"Hey sweetheart. Where's the fire?" he wondered, catching her by the shoulders.

Wrapping her arms fiercely around him. "In my heart," she offered as a reply. "It's burning just for you."

A smile covered his face. "I always love hearing that," he returned, brushing a kiss against her lips. "Did you see AJ?"

Combing her hand through his flaxen hair, "Just for a minute," she said, her voice amazingly calm. "He's doing fine."

"Well, I'm going to go in for a little while. You want to come with me? Maybe afterward we can see whose fire is burning stronger," Jason grinned.

"I've got a better idea," she said taking his hand and leading him into the elevator as the doors closed on them. "Why don't we let AJ get his rest and concentrate on us for a while."

Giving her a curious look. "Is everything okay?" Jason asked, the back of his right hand grazing her left cheek.

"It's fine," she said, placing a soft kiss on his lips. "I just love you, Jason. I love you very much. Never doubt that."

"I don't doubt it. I love you, too. Keesha, what's wrong?" he wondered, her anxious behavior not getting past him.

"I want to make love to you. I need to feel you close to me. Is something wrong with a woman wanting to be with the man she loves?"

The elevator opened at the lobby. "No, not a thing, if you're sure that's all it is," he answered, as he walked out behind her.

Once outside the hospital she turned to face him, "What else could it be?" she replied, giving him another kiss before resting her head against his chest. The sound and feel of his heartbeat against her cheek reinforcing all the love she had for him as his fingers stroked her back.

What else could it be? That's what Jason wanted to know as he watched the woman he loved grapple with something she couldn't or didn't want to share with him. Something he was also determined to find out about, one way or another.