At midnight they lay in bed skin to skin, enjoying the foreplay. Vanessa feeling robust started from kissing his face sharing deep long ones before nuzzling his neck & wetting it with em. As she reached lower than the shoulder, the pace slowed down confining to a region that she licked & then continued back to the original tempo-stopping at the top of the arm. She smoothly mounted him with aligned bodies-hips together & her feet gently rubbing against his. She crossed her arms over his chest & keeping the loving eye contact placed her chin over her arms. Both looked into each other’s eyes with upturned lips. “Done?” he asked her “Na-un” she playfully shook her head to refuse “Just wondering why my baby is so restless, distracted & smoking excessively that he’s tasting like tobacco” “How do you know what tobacco tastes like?” he worried a little, as had changed shirts often to escape but she was too close to miss it. “I smoke occasionally so…” she figured it was understandable “What’s the problem love?” “Nothing” he pulled her close, trying to end the conversation but she remained focused “It’s her again isn’t it?” “No. We’re not in touch anymore” “Hmm… “She paused some seconds thinking “John I can’t live like this” “I haven’t seen or heard from her in days” “You haven’t forgotten her. It’s all there in your eyes. I can live with anything just don’t put me through this torture. I can’t stand it.” “There’s nothing sweetie” he tried cajoling-himself heartbroken at the fact. “There isn’t one thing that I won’t do for you. I don’t ask you for anything else. I just don’t have the heart to share you with another woman” overwhelmed with emotion she placed a kiss on his breastbone-closest place to her mouth “I can give you up but I refuse to share you.” She trembled with the intensity of her feelings. She was near tears but controlling her face lest her body gave her away. He held her by the arms & kissed her hand. He was too disturbed himself with the idea of losing his beloved to want to comfort his wife yet he tried. He had spent days pretending to feel happy when he was at the nadir of his own. She was busy with her own work to realize how disturbed he was but picked it from the little time she spent with him. “It’s not a thing that goes away in a day. I know you both want each other desperately. I’ve done all I could. I don’t want to be the one to stop you anymore. If you really want her, you are free. Here-” She was about to take off her wedding ring when he grabbed her arm & her hand “Don’t. There’s nothing between us.” She shook her head “I know what is. And it’s not easy for me. I can’t pretend to be satisfied when your mind is on someone else. I know I’m jealous, but I’ve asked one thing from you & that was to surrender yourself. I’m willing to give anything you ask, but you won’t do the same” “What’s the issue when there’s nothing?” he was getting frustrated too “I love you” she kissed his chest again “I want you to remember that. You’ve been the only man in my life for me. I can’t see you unhappy” she had another set of tears rising that she paused for a moment to swallow. “No matter what you choose, no matter what you do, I’ll always love you so if you want her, go ahead.” She silenced for another lump “Just let me go” “Lets enjoy the time we have together because there isn’t much anyways” “If I have to live without you for the rest of my life, I can live without you another month as well” finding it hard to control her tears she slid off him & wearing her robe rushed to the bathroom. He followed her putting his own clothes on as he waited outside “Ness” he called to her “I’m fine. I’m not crying” she called out restraining her voice trying to sound normal with rivulets of tears flowing down both sides of the face. ‘I can’t give him up. I can’t live without him but he’s not happy with me’ she covered her mouth & cried over the sink. He stood leaning against the wall thinking how he could choose between the women he loved. He couldn’t pick one over the other. But it was true that his emotions ran too deep for Michelle right now. In all the years he had never realized it but her absence was driving him crazy. He was dying to hear her voice but he her husband had cut off all links to her. He rolled his head over the wall, hating the fact that Vanessa was making his life more miserable than it was. “Vanessa” She flung the bathroom door open & stepped out when it was wide enough. He stood leaning near the door & held her by the arm gently but firmly pulling her into his own to give a hug. She had her face low trying to avoid him but back in his arms she couldn’t resist holding him & simultaneously tears followed. She passed her hands in his hair as he kissed her cheek & then the neck finally taking her back into the French embrace. Despite trying to abstain she felt helpless with him. Her heart ached at the thought of losing him & though she wanted to break it up, the idea prevented her all together. He was actually distracted wanting his time alone but he hid it well. He didn’t like to see her in tears. She just parted her lips to say “Kiss me like it’s our last” & they did-devouring each other passionately ensuring memories to last. “I love you” he whispered as they parted. She just wanted to hang onto him feeling too weak to move but the ambience was different tonight. She didn’t feel him like her own completely. On most days she would ask for more when insatiated but now something of her pride & his mood prevented her though she felt empty. He let her go but emotionality led her to kiss him again. This time it was superficial & shorter. She pulled herself away as he was merely responding waiting for her to be satisfied. She hated the fact that her appetite excelled his & so did her desire for him. She fought the urge to embrace him again, giving him space to make the next move. He stroke her hair saying: “I’m going down for a while” She nodded, wanting to beg him to stay thinking that he’d go down to the workshop surrounded by the things given by her. She knew he would smoke & she knew once out he’d be on comparing the two making his choice. She wasn’t used to being in competition especially fearing to be at the losing end in anything. But now when it was the most important part of her life, she was up against someone she gave little regard to. ‘Ironic’ she thought. He walked out of the room & she longingly stared in his direction even when he was gone. She felt weak to stand but decided to get something to drink. She waited a few minutes leaning against the same wall where John had stood a while back then went down in the same silk robe, only tied at the waist & quite openly exposed her cleave down to the abdomen & her legs thigh down. She didn’t care about what she wore or not. It was 3am in the morning & she went to the kitchen to get herself a drink. Mrs-J watched her painfully. “Yes, we take turns in going crazy” she explained body hung low as she momentarily took sips of wine from the glass. “Honey you shouldn’t. You know you’re harming your baby” ‘Hope it kills both of us’ she thought quietly then began to weep again. Mrs J hugged her. “I’m alright” she slowly got up with the old lady patting her back. “God bless you both” she wished her, tightening Vanessa’s robe from the front. She was like a mother figure. Vanessa gave her a weak smile & lifting her robe from the front went to the library leaving the glass unfinished even though she wanted to have it all.