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*Love is a living thing; it hurts, heals, saves life and takes it away*
The whole gang has gathered by the time I get Carmen ‘home’ to my place. Tyrone and Curtis are making their required appearance for the semester. They’ll be gone within two days and I don’t see why they aren’t married to their girlfriends yet. Vince and Ashe are also there. Everyone has been drinking a bit so maybe they aren’t as careful as they should be.
“Hey Psycho-Carmen,” Steve lets in. Carmen stiffens. I’m not going to take this lying down.
“Suck it up Steve. A hundred pound girl kicked your ass; own up and get over it,” I snap.
“Steve, don’t be an ass,” Ashe adds.
“She looks good crawling into my bed naked,” Steve glares at her. I’m not sure what to say, but then I’m not a total idiot either. Carmen starts to tremble.
“The night before she left? Yeah, we talked about it,” I lie. “She thought it was all one big joke.” That brings Steve up short. He expects to slap Carmen, not to be slapped back by me.
“You sent your bitch to my room with a knife?” he asks.
“It wasn’t a real knife Bro. What do you think I am; crazy?” I counter.
“Dude, you were punked,” Vince laughs. Curtis and Tyrone laugh as well. Only Ashe shoots me a worried look. Carmen instead remains stiff but strokes my hand.
“Let’s get your stuff moved upstairs,” I tell Carmen. She nods and we go back out to my car and start bringing stuff up. Ashe comes out and helps.
“Thank you Ashe,” Carmen volunteers all on her own.
“Steve is being a real dick. I don’t want you to think we are all that way,” she responds.
“Ashe, I know you are a good friend to Robert. I hope you understand that he is very close to me,” she tells Ashe.
“I understand Carmen,” Ashe says softly. Carmen stops what she is doing and studies Ashe.
“Okay,” Carmen says as if the word has some secret significance. I’m happy to get everything loaded into my room. Fortunately Carmen has little actual luggage and no significant furniture (only one lamp).
Once done, we are sitting around the room in an awkward moment.
“Thank you,” Carmen says. “Your advice with Robert was very useful.”
“Oh yeah, well it is what girlfriends do for one another,” Ashe informs Carmen. Carmen smiles with something akin to affection. I doubt Carmen has any friends. She has certainly never mentioned any.
“Robert trusts you Ashe. I wish you would trust me too,” Carmen continues. Her voice is eerie and distant. I reach out and almost do something forbidden — wrapping an arm around her. Carmen senses my twitching. “Ashe, can Robert and I have a little alone time. We can all go out to eat in a bit.”
“Sure,” says Ashe nervously. She gets up and exits the room.
“Carmen, do you want to have sex?” I ask. It has been a while and I’ve been looking forward to some love-making since we parted ways.
“Can you hold me,” she requests calmly. I finish stripping and scoot into bed. Carmen’s naked form follows me in. The blanket encloses us and I pull her on top of me. She resists for a moment until she figures out my intent — to snuggle her on top and encase her in my arms. Carmen murmurs for a few minutes.
She starts moving her arms over my chest and kissing me on my chin and lower lip. She rubs her thigh against my hard-on and sighs contentedly.
“Oh, I’ve missed you so much,” she finally tells me. “Did you miss me?”
“Not in a way I can put words to. It was like a part of me was missing and there was nothing that could take its place,” I say. The problem is I feel that way about Ashe too. What in the hell am I going to do?
Carmen hugs me tightly and nestles her head beneath my chin.
“I feel the same way. I was so afraid all the time. I was afraid something bad would happen to you and I wouldn’t be there to save you. I know you need me now and I know I need you. Thank you. You make me feel complete.” We go back to snuggling for a while until my stomach makes a rumbling noise. Carmen pokes me in the ribs.
“No talking,” she giggles. She does roll off of me a moment later and pushes herself out of bed. I watch her starting to get dressed. She notices this and stops. She looks at me then starts to stretch and pose for my eyes. God she looks so hot.
“I can’t do this for anyone else,” she reckons. “I’m only safe with you, Robert; only you.” I can only grin salaciously. Carmen dresses with painstaking care and seductive charm. When she pulls her shirt on I scramble for my own cloths. Only as we are heading downstairs do I think about what she meant by ‘only being safe with you’ means.
“Rob, Steve is dead,” Ashe says in a panicked voice. I step up and hold her close as she sobs into my chest. The three of us had always felt like … we would somehow last forever.
“What happened?” I ask.
“He was horsing around and spilled over the seventh floor stairwell. He caught the rail, but with his hands still hurt, he slipped and fell to his death,” she whimpers.
“Oh crap. I’ll need to call his parents. I don’t know what I’m going eryaman escort to tell them.” Damn, I had spent two weeks with them last summer. Steve wanted me and Ashe around to keep him sane.
“What’s going on?” Carmen asks suspiciously as she walks in and sees Ashe and me together.
“Steve died today,” I manage to say. It feels so unreal. I almost expect to see Steve leap out of a closet and laugh at me. The look on Ashe’s face tells me that this is a waking nightmare.
“Oh,” Carmen says, her face turning neutral. “I’m sorry.”
“What did you do?” shouts Ashe. She pulls away from me and moves toward Carmen. Carmen doesn’t flinch. She doesn’t react at all.
“I’ll be up in our room,” Carmen announces before turning toward the stairs.
“She murdered Steve,” Ashe moans. “That crazy bitch hated him and he hated her and now he’s dead. He wasn’t careful Rob. You’ve got to save yourself or she’ll kill you too.”
“Ashe, this is crazy. We have no evidence that she was even there. Steve was nearly twice Carmen’s size,” I try to explain.
“Rob, every person who gets between the two of you ends up hurt or dead.”
“Ashe, Lindsey got hit by a car. She runs across campus all the time. Steve was screwing around in the stairwell the way he’s done with me dozens of times. Weird yes; evidence, not so much.”
“I’ll find evidence Rob. I’m not going to let her get away with this,” Ashe promises me with tear-streaked cheeks. I am concerned for Ashe for not only for her grief but because deep down Carmen is unstable. I don’t want those things colliding.
“Her being a stalker doesn’t make her a killer. She only attacked Steve when she was attacked and the whole Lindsey thing we’ve patched up. Please, let this go,” I plead.
“I’ll …I’ll think about it,” Ashe concedes. I feel relieved. I take her over to the sofa and make the call to Steve’s parents. I’m sure the cops have already called, but I want him to hear from his friends as well. I hope it matters.
“Hello, Robert Lynch?” the old guy at the door inquires a few days later. Before I can ask, he shows me a badge and adds, “August Mitchell. I’m a Homicide Detective assigned to Steven Binder’s case.”
“Come on in,” I say as I back up. “I’m Robert but people normally call me Rob. I thought Steve’s death was an accident.”
“It is still an open case. It’s tough for a man to clear that pedestrian barrier that protects the stairwell so we have to investigate this as a ‘suspicious death’,” Mitchell tells me. “Now what can you tell me about Steven Binder.”
“Steve was my best friend. We met our freshmen year as roommates. We hit it off right from the start. Our sophomore year we moved here and we’ve been in this house ever since. I’ve spent a few weeks at his parent’s place. I don’t know what else to say. He was doing okay in his classes, I don’t know of anyone who could stay mad at him, and … I … it doesn’t make sense.”
“Ashe Harwell is … was our mutual friend. She and Steve dated on and off since freshmen year, but they were friends first. She was never jealous of other women he saw. Fidelity wasn’t a strong point with Steve, but I don’t know a woman who stayed mad with him.”
“Robert?” Carmen asks as she comes down the stairs. Mitchell looks up at her.
“This is my girlfriend Carmen Santos. Carmen, this is Detective Mitchell,” I explain.
“Carmen, strange seeing you here; I thought you would never want to return to this town, much less this house,” the detective states.
“Oh, I remember you now,” Carmen whispers.
“Six years is a long time. How have you been?” Mitchell asks.
“Yes; good,” are her clipped replies.
“I’m afraid another death has followed you around,” he says speculatively.
“Steve and I didn’t get along,” Carmen volunteers.
“There was an episode last semester. Steve grabbed Carmen and she fought back,” I confess. “We’ve worked past that.”
“Carmen, I’m glad to see you talking once more. We should catch up about old times,” Mitchell requests.
“I’ll be upstairs Robert,” Carmen responds, turning quickly and leaves.
“What was that all about?” I say with more heat in my voice than I would like.
“Do you know that Carmen was in this house before?” he inquires.
“Yes,” I tell him. “She was the care-takers daughter and there was a multiple murder. I don’t know what role Carmen played in it.”
“Carmen was the only witness but she wouldn’t tell us anything. She was nearly catatonic. Eventually we had to send her home to her grandparents, but they were a piece of work too. I always regret that we couldn’t do more for her,” Mitchell informs me.
“What happened?” I ask. I can see Mitchell weighing my request. I imagine if he was a better detective, or most likely more than the only homicide detective in a college town I wouldn’t get anywhere.
“As best as I could figure out; Carmen’s mother invited her boyfriend and two of his buddies into the house to rob the place. The haul was more than they expected and the three fell esat escort to fighting each other. Carmen’s mother took the goods and left Carmen behind.”
“Somehow in the fighting Carmen got the blood of two of the men on her, as well as what we think is her mother’s blood. We figure she was wounded in the fighting but she never went to a hospital or clinic, so she got clean away. In six years we having found any trace of her,” the detective confesses.
“And Carmen? What happened to her?” I wonder.
“We found her two days after the murders hiding in a closet, dried blood all over her and one of the murder weapons in her hand. Personally I think she killed one of the guys, but I decided not to pursue a case against what someone thought a twelve year old girl probably didn’t do to a thirty year old man,” he informs me.
“Thanks for that,” I sigh. Then something occurs to me. “Detective, where did you find her?”
“Oh, let me think … top of the stairs, third floor on the right,” he guesses. He’s named my room. “I’m glad she’s found somebody. I had a real feeling about that girl not making it but I’m glad I was wrong.”
“You aren’t worried about Carmen and Steve are you?” I ask.
“Nah, Carmen wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he responds. “Carmen’s just a kid who had it rough and as I said, I’m glad she’s found someone.”
“You don’t find it weird that she is living back here after all the bad things she went through?”
“Carmen’s a good kid and I’m glad she’s found a healthy way of dealing with the trauma,” the detective tells me. “You told me she and Steve found a way to deal with their problems, beside I doubt she could have lifted Mr. Binder over that barrier. She’d have to be some kind of weightlifter.”
“Or crazy-mad,” I mutter.
“What?” he questions.
“Nothing; I hope you figure this out. Steve was one of my two — three best friends in the world,” I say.
“I understand,” the detective smile,” by the way, were where you at one forty-five on Tuesday?”
“Physical Kinetics — ended at two oh-five, but I didn’t out until two-fifteen because I had to ask my instructor about midterm projects.”
“Good to know,” he nods thoughtfully.
“Detective, it was the day my best friend died. I’m always going to remember it.”
“I don’t doubt that,” he admits. “Well, I have to be going. Thanks for your assistance and tell Carmen I wish her all the best.”
“I’ll do,” I tell him as I escort him to the door.
Carmen is running her fingertips along my arms and chest while we are bathed in the candlelight. She is holding something back and she’s been fighting it all afternoon long.
“Yes,” she says softly.
“We are going to have to move a new place soon.”
“We could buy this place now,” she suggests.
“Now that Steve is gone?”
“Yes Robert, now that Steve is gone,” she looks down at the bed. I take a deep breath. I want to look into her face when I ask her if she killed Steve. What do I do if she says ‘yes’? Do I believe her if she says ‘no’? Why is love this difficult?
“Carmen, we can’t afford this place. I already discussed that with you,” I sigh.
“I have the money Robert. I’ll give it to you. Please buy the place for us and make it our home,” she whispers. I want to cry inside.
“Where did you get that kind of money?” I cringe.
“Please don’t ask me that Robert,” Carmen begs while still looking down. “Please.”
What in the hell do I do now?
“Carmen, I want you to tell me … but you can tell me when you are ready.”
God; that is a cop-out. I can’t believe that she killed Steve. She knew what he meant to me. She knows how numb I feel without him in my life. I don’t want to lose her too.
“Okay Robert,” she informs me as she looks into my eyes, “when I can I’ll tell you everything I will. I love you.”
“I trust you Carmen.”
“That’s enough for now,” she murmurs. “Touch me please. I want to feel good about myself.”
I pull her close and stroke her curves until we feel a more mundane hunger overtake us. For the first time I really feel that we are alone in the house. I miss Steve, but I’ve never seen Carmen happier.
Ashe sits across the coffee shop from me as she sips her milkshake. She looks uncertain.
“I haven’t forgotten what you told me,” I confess. “It is with Steve and Carmen and school I haven’t had to deal with us and that is a mistake. I shouldn’t treat you that way.”
“It doesn’t matter. You are with Carmen,” is her depressed reply.
“Carmen and I may be buying the house,” I tell Ashe.
“How in the hell?” Ashe gapes. “How did she get that kind of money? I know you don’t have that much — nowhere near.”
“Ah, she’s going to tell me soon.”
“Rob, please don’t tell me you bought that?” Ashe wonders.
“I don’t know what to think anymore. I … you, but Carmen is trying so damn hard. Ashe you’ve always been my best friend but I can’t walk away from Carmen. I can’t lie to you. If we can’t stay friends I understand.” Ashe stares at me for the longest ankara escort time.
“Okay. We are still friends. Carmen is a tough act to compete with, but I can see she means a lot to you. Are the three of us still going to be able to hang out together?” Ashe asks.
“Of course,” I breathed a sigh of relief. She looked into my eyes and a felt an uncomfortable tug of emotion.
“I’m still going to look out after you, just so we are straight on that,” Ashe jokes.
“I can live with that,” I laugh.
“I hope so,” she taunts. Why did I feel that I was missing something?
I come home to find Carmen dancing through the house. She smiles widely when she sees me, squeals and throws herself into my arms right as my book bag hits the floor.
“It is ours!” she laughs. I can’t believe it; I had only made the offer to Steve’s parents a day ago. Carmen kisses me several spastic times before shoving a piece of paper at me. I read it.
“Carmen, this is telling us that they’ve received my offer, that’s all,” I tell her. Carmen looks unconvinced in my skepticism.
“They say it is firm offer,” she grins. “That’s a good thing. This house will be my home — our home again.”
“Carmen, I thought this place would have bad memoires for you,” I suggest to her.
“This was the last place my Mom and I were together Robert. It ended in a horrible, horrible way but you’ve made all those nightmares go away. You’ve given me back my soul, and back my home.”
“Hey, next time,” I joke, “if you would tell me what you want it might be easier for me to get it for you.”
“Oh,” Carmen looks down coyly, “in that case I should tell you that I want you.”
“On it,” I smile as I pick her up and head for the stairs.
“Robert, how about the sofa?” she says as she kisses my neck. I don’t know what to think; Carmen and I have sex once and that in the careful private of our bedroom and now she wants to have sex in the main room of the house? I grab her up by her ass and Carmen wraps her legs around my waist as we start kissing like maniacs.
I lay her down on the sofa and start peeling off my clothes. Carmen is struggling to beat me to being naked. I can see a surge of regret in her eyes but she fights it down. I put my body down on hers and keep the kissing going on. She still has her sox on as I feel my penis poking her vagina. She’s moist but not wet so I start rubbing up and down her side. She starts giggling.
“Hey, that tickles,” she gasps. I don’t stop, just switch tickle points. “Please,” she pants.
“Tell me where you want my hands,” I tease. Carmen wiggles and looks away.
“Could you … play with … my breasts,” she whispers. I take my time in obeying, letting Carmen become more comfortable with her own desires.
I soon have her panting in a different way.
“I’m not afraid,” she starts to whisper, “I’m not afraid anymore.” I’m not in the bedroom so I feel free to speak my mind, but it isn’t appropriate. Instead I slowly sink into her. Carmen moans but doesn’t tense up. If nothing else, she seems eager almost wanton.
I slip in a little more. She’s tight, the tightest I’ve ever had, but I’m not thinking like I’m in some pornographic tale, but in some kind of twisted love story instead. She young and new and getting adjusted to me in a way I’ve never experienced before. Somehow this makes the bizarre aspects of our relationship matter less and less.
Carmen brings her legs up around me and entwines them over the small of my back. She pulled herself tightly to me, biting on my shoulder and collarbone until I gasp out in pain.
“Sorry,” she whimpers.
“Don’t you dare stop,” I respond in pants. Carmen goes back to her ministrations but with a little less pain and a bit more tongue. We are both learning about each other.
Suddenly Carmen digs her heels into my ass and draws her fingers like claws across my back.
“Robert!” she screams before a brief spasm wracks her body and she slumps loose. I slow my pace but keep thrusting into her. Carmen puts her hands on my cheeks and holds my gaze as I keep at it. It is such devotion and love there that I lose control. I have my own orgasm and send my semen deep into her womb.
“Wow,” sighs Carmen. “I love the way you take care of me. I love the way you make me feel Robert, it is so … you.”
“Um … your welcome; thank you, and anytime you want,” I smile. I then perfect the moment by slipping off the sofa, tumble to the floor and pulling Carmen down on top of me.
Carmen is able to slip her legs out of the way so I don’t land on them, but she lands heavily onto my groin. I grimace in pain.
“Oh God, Robert are you okay?” Carmen says with wide-eyes.
“I’m not going to want to have sex for the next few minutes,” I groan.
“Can I kiss you,” she whispers.
“I’d really like that,” I respond softly. She leans down and kisses me then kisses me again.
“Robert,” she says, “can it be like this forever and ever?”
“Carmen, I’ll … I’ll try,” I reply. Carmen smiles warmly and goes back to the kissing.
Ashe, Carmen and I are sitting around the end of the dining room table eating dinner, going over school and how our first month has gone. Carmen is being quiet, but clearly being less on edge than she’s been around company for a while. Ashe is a bit restrained until,
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