I followed his eyes to the third, smaller vase of flowers. I attempted to make a joke, but I should have known better. "Oh, those? I don't know. They're from my secret admirer."
He asked about five or six questions, including, "Who is this motherfucker?" and "Has he sent you other things?"
I stood there listening patiently while he rambled off one question and comment after another. When he finally took a break, I asked, "Are you finished?"
He was so damn pissed, but at least he had enough sense to be quiet. "Fuck no, I'm not finished. I need to know where to find this so-called secret admirer. He needs to back the fuck off."
"Ashton. Chill. I was kidding. Damn, every time I try to be funny, you have to ruin it. I don't have a secret admirer. Those are from my mom and kids. Go ahead, read the card."
I thought he'd take my word for it, but he actually sat the other flowers down and removed the card from the flowers in question. Even when he saw that they were indeed from my family, there was no change in his demeanor. He wordlessly placed the card back in the holder, and tucked the box of chocolates under his arm. Then he picked up the other flowers again, and started to walk out. "Come on, I'm ready to leave."
I threw my purse over my shoulder and grabbed the gorilla and balloons, and closed the door on my way out. He followed me to my car, and we placed everything inside.
Ashton finally spoke, his tone somewhat more pleasant. "I'll drive my rental around and follow you. Do you mind if we just go to your place?"
"No, that's fine. If you're hungry I'll fix us something."
He walked off without acknowledging the part about food, so I started the car and waited on him. Then we drove to my house. He helped me get everything out of the car and into the house, but still hadn't said anything. We were standing around aimlessly in the kitchen, so it was as good of a time as ever to talk about what was going on.
"I don't know what I have to do to prove to you that you have nothing to be jealous of, now or ever. I made a promise to you, and I'm going to keep it. But I won't joke about it anymore. I'm sorry if I upset you."
He kept his distance, but began pacing slowly. "Yeah, you may have good intentions, but shit happens. Trust me, I know. But I'm sorry, too. I don't know why I'm like this." He paused for a second, then continued, "Why is it that you hardly ever call me or text me unless you're replying to my messages?"
That question came out of nowhere. But the answer was easy. "I don't mean anything by it. Honestly, it's just that you call and text me such that I don't really have the opportunity to be the one to initiate contact."
"Does it bother you that I want to talk to you so much? I mean, I can't help it that I think about you every minute I'm awake. I just want to know what you're doing and thinking, and if I can't physically be with you, by phone is my only option."
There was that ever present issue again: the one where we could rarely be together. "No, it doesn't really bother me, Ashton. But hearing you say that makes me feel like I'm holding you back. You deserve to be with someone who can be with you as much as you want, not once every couple of months or so."
"I didn't say you were holding me back."
"I know. I'm just telling you how I feel. Will you promise me something?"
He stopped pacing and asked, "What?"
"Promise me that you won't let me hold you back. If you ever want to be with someone else, just tell me. Be honest with me and I'll understand."
He looked at me incredulously and held his arms out in disbelief. "I'm not promising you that, because it's not going to happen."
"Okay, then think about what you're saying. The way you feel about being with someone else... that's exactly how I feel. It's not going to happen. The thought actually repulses me. So, since the feeling is mutual, can we please agree to not let jealousy interfere in what we have here? I mean, I'm the one who has to put up with much prettier and younger girls vying for your attention all the damn time."
He walked to me and put his hands on my hips, pulling me close. "No one is as pretty as you."
He was so full of shit, but I tiptoed to give him a kiss, which he returned eagerly. There was a fire to it that I hadn't experienced before. And that was the end of the disagreement/argument, or whatever it was.
Before I knew it, he had me pushed against the table, the edge of it digging into the back of my thighs. It hurt like a bitch, but right before I couldn't stand it anymore, Ashton eased up and forced me to turn around. He unfastened my pants from behind while he roughly kissed the back of my neck. No doubt he was leaving marks.
"Take them off," he said, and lowered his own pants.
He positioned me as he pleased, and entered me from behind. I had to hold onto the table to steady myself from the force and also to keep my knees from buckling. I wasn't too keen on the roughness of it all, especially since Ashton wasn't in the greatest mood.
In a way I felt like I was being punished, for no good reason. And I most definitely felt like he was punishing me when he slapped my right butt cheek. I'd never once had the desire to be spanked. Admittedly, though, I was willing to try out just about anything with Ashton. But once was enough to know that I didn't like it.
His hand was rubbing where he'd just slapped, so I reached around and took a hold of his hand so that he'd get the hint to not do it again. He must have understood, because after a few more aggressive thrusts, he toned it down. I still wasn't enjoying it much though, until I took his hand that I was holding around and down to where I needed his touch. I had no more complaints after that.
We eventually made our way to the couch in the living room. The bedroom was simply too far away. And that's where we stayed, skin to skin, until he had to go.
In the end, I only had four hours with Ashton. But that was four hours more than I expected to have. I was blessed that he loved me enough to go through the hassle of flying across the country just to spend a few hours with me. And I was already looking forward to the next time, whenever that would be.