Mayhem & Hope
Tawny had raised her left eyebrow slightly when she saw the dreamcatchers hung above both beds. She knew they had been hung by Rick with love, and perhaps some forlorn hope, so she lowered the eyebrow, took his face in her hands, looked into eyes, and said, "Thank you. They are beautiful. You are a wonderful, thoughtful man." Then she had softly kissed his lips. No matter how futile it turned out to be, she was touched by his gesture.
Having sex with with Rick never caused occasional flashback memories from the time she had spent in Dwayne's jungle of madness, so she had not hesitated to take him in her arms, and beneath that dreamcatcher, fully express the feelings of passion and tenderness he ignited in her. She had whispered all the words of tenderness and passion she knew in his ears as she wrapped her arms and legs around him, drew him deep inside her, and rocked with him to a slow sensuous rhythm of what she knew was lust, and thought just might be that thing called love. Unfortunately, she had been so badly damaged by her time in Dwayne's jungle of madness, she often wasn't sure if love really did exist? If it did exist, was she still capable of it? The one thing she did know was, she had promised herself she would never, ever, say, not even once, "I love you" to any man until she was really sure of those two things, and that he was the man she loved. She knew one other thing. She never wanted to hurt Rick. He had never judged, or used her in any way shape or form. He was kind, loving, passionate, tender, thoughtful, and a dozen other wonderful things with her. She was trying to be all those things in return with him.
The rhythm picked up, Tawny felt that age old "can't get enough of him" feeling women get when they are in the arms of someone who makes them feel the way a woman should at times like that. She raised her legs until her ankles locked behind his neck, grabbed his buttocks with her hands, and pulled him even deeper inside of her. She found her head spinning at just how right he felt there. The beat picked up even more, and for a few precious moments in time, all either of them felt was just how right it was between them. Both of them reached a climax to that beat at the same moment. Each of them calling the other's name as they did so. As they lay spent in each others arms, Tawny found herself more deeply committed than ever to giving that thing called love a chance with the man who had given her the dreamcatchers, and so much more. She found herself more hopeful it might exist. Soothed by that thought she had fallen asleep in his arms, and slept there peacefully until just before dawn. Even then it had been a full bladder, and not a nightmare that had awakened her. She hoped this was a sign the dreamcatchers might be working, and not just one of those rare occasions she managed to make it through the night with no nightmares.
After emptying her bladder she headed for the kitchen. As she thought about the dream catchers Rick had bought for her the voice inside her head told her she was damn fool for allowing herself to believe even for a moment, that a silly dreamcatcher could rid of her of the nightmares her time in Dwayne's jungle had left her with. The voice reminded her how Rick would look at her, and really feel about her if he ever found out why she so often woke screaming from those nightmares. It called her nothing but a pretty little animal whore, and other things Dwayne and his friends had told her she was. It told her to leave this place, return to her old life and ways, forget this foolish feeling of hope because no man could ever love what she had become in Dwayne's jungle of madness. "Run!" it screamed. "Run before he somehow finds out, and you have to see the revulsion at what you are on his face."
For a few seconds, she listened to the voice, and actually thought about obeying it. She looked down at Rick still dozing, torn between wanting to keep the promise she made the night before concerning giving this thing called love a chance, and fear of losing him if he ever found out what had really happened to her between the time she was 8 and 16 years old. She sighed, quietly left the bedroom, and went to the kitchen to make coffee. She was still debating whether to leave or stay as she sipped her coffee, and watched the sun rising over the hilltop.
The sun had no more begun to brighten the sky, when the hummingbirds hit the feeder hung in front of the window. As she stood watching them, Rick padded into the kitchen, bleary eyed, but smiling from ear to ear. He poured himself a cup of coffee, walked up behind Tawny, and after swallowing a sip of it said, "Our little ones are hungry this morning."
Tawny laughed and said, "Those little pigs are always hungry! They keep me, Big George and some others busy refilling all the feeders. And we are spending a fortune on hummingbird nectar."
Rick laughed and replied, "We can afford all the nectar they need." He paused, kissed the back of her neck, then continued, "I like having them here. They add grace and beauty to the place, like you do." He leaned over, sat his cup on the counter, took Tawny's cup from her hand, turned her around, and said, "That's why you, and the hummingbirds are staying." Before she could reply he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her tenderly. Rubbing his hands up and down her back as he did. Tawny relaxed in his arms, returned the kiss and soft back rub, and told the nagging voice in her head to STFU, she was through running.
By accident and design, Rick had given her a place that was the closest thing to a home she had experienced since the day Dwayne slit her mother's throat, and abducted her. Originally the plan to disguise their new base camp as a Texas Hill Country hunting lodge/resort was for practical purposes. Those searching for them would be doing so in the remotest areas of the world, looking for something resembling a hidden military camp.
They weren't going to be searching for them among what looked like nothing more than a bunch of hunters and tourist enjoying the newest hunting lodge/resort. Rick even did the unthinkable, and used some local contractors to do a lot of the work when they restored the original old buildings, and added new ones for community facilities. The locals just didn't know about the alterations and security features added by Rick's crew after that original work was completed. All this had resulted in a new place that looked and felt nothing like a base camp to anyone observing it, and a lot like home to Tawny.
After breaking from his kiss Tawny smiled up at him and said, "Okay, I'll stay. As long as we keeping feeding them, I bet the hummingbirds will too."
Rick had grinned and replied, "They will be the best fed hummingbirds in the hill country!"
Tawny laughed and said, "They already are."
Tawny refused to listen to the nagging voice as it tried to put its two cents worth in. She had listened to that voice for far too many years. It was time for it to be silent.