December 03, 2010

Inherit My Heart Chapter Twenty-four

Katrina lay in her dark room, staring sightlessly at the ceiling which was hidden from her view by the night’s shadows. Why had she pushed him away? He’d been a gentleman, and acted as if her abrupt rudeness hadn’t mattered.

But it did matter. It mattered a great deal, at least to her. Katrina knew, after having been through this day with him, that she loved Gavin. That's why she wanted to give herself to him. It was why she felt so alone and…abandoned, almost, even if he was only in the next room. After meeting him the first night—was it only a few days ago?—she could think of nothing but him. It would be extremely lonely for her when he found the answers to all of his questions and left.

Katrina rolled over onto her side and wadded up her pillow, hugging it to her body as she curled around it.

“What kind of trouble is Charleston in to cause a lawyer to come looking for me?” she whispered to her pillow. “What questions could he possibly need that weren’t answered tonight for the police? How much more shame will I have to endure before he’s satisfied? How much?” She pummeled her silent pillow, until it lay limp and defeated, but no answers came to ease her troubled heart.

She rolled onto her stomach, shoving the unresponsive pillow back to the top of the bed. All kinds of images and fears paraded through her mind, which only made her head hurt worse. Turning back to her side, she dragged the pillow back under her throbbing head, fluffed and smushed it into a comfortable shape, then tried to empty her brain of every thought so sleep could overtake her, willing herself to that end.

She must have dozed, but her dreams were strange. At one point, she thought Gavin was standing over her, smiling down at her. She reached up to him and asked him to stay with her. When he asked if she was cold, she heard herself tell him no, she wanted him to stay so he would make love to her. The dream Gavin groaned and ran out of her bedroom, slamming the door viciously behind him.

Katrina awoke with a start. She looked around her, but all was quiet and as it had been when she had gone to bed. She shook her aching head. What a crazy dream! She must have a brain fever; it had been so vivid it had seemed real to her.

Katrina got up without turning on the light, going into the bathroom for a drink of water. She didn't know why she was so thirsty tonight, but she was! She reached for the glass she kept on the shelf beside the bathroom sink. It wasn't there. Strange, it was always there.

Her hand groped around on the shelf, but found no glass. She reached and turned on the light, closing her eyes to the light's sudden glare. When her eyes became adjusted to the brightness behind her lids, she slowly opened them and looked around. The glass was not in the bathroom. She hadn’t seen him in the bathroom, but Gavin must have taken it into the kitchen this morning so it could be washed with the rest of the dishes.

Turning off the light, Katrina waited until her eyes readjusted to the darkness before leaving the bathroom. Walking to her door, she listened. Hearing nothing, she quietly opened the door and tiptoed through the living room, past a sleeping Gavin, and on into the kitchen. There was enough moonlight from the windows, she didn't need the light.

Moving as quietly as possible, she got a glass from the cupboard. Going to the sink, she barely turned on the tap. She knew the water would be warm, but right now she was more interested in wet than cold, and she didn't want to disturb Gavin by letting the water run until it was colder, or by getting ice cubes.

Her glass filled, she turned the tap off and drank the water, slaking her thirst.

She’d been right. It was warmish, but still refreshed her. Carrying the glass so she could return it to her bathroom, she left the kitchen and re-entered the living room.

It was darker in here, but the light filtering through the front window from the nearby street lamp made it possible for her to see quite well. She looked towards the couch where Gavin lay quiet and still.

Unable to stop herself, Katrina walked over to stand quietly in front of him. Warmed by her love, her heart sang out to him as her arms ached to hold him. She silently mouthed the words, 'I love you, Gavin Browning!'

A shiver coursed through her with the need of him and she decided she'd best go to her own bed quickly before she did something foolish. She stood a fraction of a moment longer, watching him. Katrina knew he didn't really want her. Hadn't he put her aside each time after they had shared a few kisses, no matter how much she’d let him know she wanted him? She reviewed her wanton behavior with Gavin; maybe Charleston was right and she was a slut. A half sob caught in her throat. She ran silently from the room, her thoughts black with inner turmoil.

Closing her door quietly, she climbed into bed, smothering her bitter tears with her pillow. She didn't want Gavin to think of her that way, but her actions had told him she was that kind of woman. Her tears streamed, undammed, from the reservoirs deep within her soul.

Finally, tears spent, Katrina dried her eyes. She slipped into the bathroom and barely turned the water on, sufficiently to just dampen a face cloth. She washed her tear-streaked cheeks and blew her running nose, then quietly padded back to bed. It didn't take her long to drop into an exhausted sleep.