Pablo NerudaI love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
San Myshuno Senator Suites Apartments A few months after the last chapter
Liam opened the door and his eyes grew big.
“Hey …” Vivien said into his wide-eyed, frozen stare.
“Vivien! Now this is a surprise! Did I miss something? I didn’t know you were coming back so soon! Weren’t you supposed to be on tour for another month and then go home to your parents?” he mumbled, still noticeably shocked.
“Uh … yeah. Last minute changes again. Lead singer of the band I was opening for broke both legs and his collarbone during some intoxicated afterparty moment, so the tour has been postponed indefinitely, but I got a new engagement for a few gigs here at the Grand Hall again. I hope it was okay I came here? I tried to call but you didn’t answer.” Vivien tried her best to hide the disappointment about his subdued welcome and the fact that he never got back to her.
Somehow deep inside she had expected him to be beside himself to see her again much sooner than expected, kinda like she had been to see him.
“Phone died on my way home from work. Forgot it upstairs on the charger, sorry. And yeah, of course it’s okay! Oh – please come on inside!”
“Liam darling … do you have more wine? Oh … hello?” a female voice purred, then a woman Vivien didn’t know came into view possessively putting her hands on Liam’s shoulder and Vivien’s blood turned to ice, while at the same time she blushed when she just now realized Liam’s shirt was unbuttoned.
“Lana, this is Vivien, an old friend, we grew up together. Viv, Lana. I’ll get more wine. You too Viv?” he said nervously after noticing Vivien’s stares, then quickly buttoned up his shirt.
Vivien couldn’t stop staring at the woman in front of her, while feeling downgraded by Liam’s half-hearted introduction.
“Vivien. Wine?” Liam waited for her reply.
“Uh, no. Thanks. Gotta get to the hotel.” she said, turned quickly, grabbed her bag and ran out the door. At the elevator Liam caught up with her.
“Where are you going? I thought you were staying with me again?!”
“Are you kidding me right now?! Am I supposed to sit there and stare at you make out or something?!”
Liam had stepped in front of the elevator door, blocking it, while holding on to her now.
“Don’t go.” he said with determination.
“Let go of me!”
“Not like this, Viv. I am not gonna let you leave like this. Please stay. I’ll take Lana home.”
“Liam …” her comeback was more a yelp of bottled up frustration and disappointment.
“Okay … fine. I’ll stay, but isn’t this a bit awkward now?”
“Should have thought about that before you got all pissy and pouty like this. Come.” he nudged her, then grabbed her bag and went into the apartment, straight up to the guest room, Vivien followed.
“Thanks Liam. And hey … please don’t send the girl home. Not on my account. You obviously had plans and I burst in on you guys. I’ll stay up here.”
“You sure? Because she isn’t here for us to play monopoly, if you catch my drift. I don’t mind telling he something more important came up …”
“Liam, stop! Don’t be silly! You invited her here, so be a gentleman. And of course I am sure. This is your home. I’d feel bad if you changed anything now on my account, there is absolutely NO reason to. I am wiped anyway, I’ll take a quick shower and then I am off to bed. I won’t have a clue about what you two are gonna be doing and I won’t intrude. I came here wanting a comfy bed and a friendly face. Got the face, now I am ready for the bed. Promise, it’s all good.” Vivien downplayed her real feelings about it all.
“Oh … all right. I guess … sleep tight, don’t let those bed bugs bite, then.” Liam visibly fought the faint smile onto his face.
After he left to go downstairs to Lana, Vivien showered, then went straight to her bedroom – correction: Liam’s guestroom. Laying in bed she wrangled her feelings of disappointment, jealousy and sadness. What did she expect? Some weeks ago she had been offered to open for a famous band on their national tour, so she dropped everything, leaving Liam alone from one day to the next. Did she think he’d sit all alone in his penthouse, waiting eagerly for her return whenever that might be? Well, the answer was, yes, she had hoped that, well aware she had no right to.
She heard noises in the hallway, steps on the stairs, a female giggling. Apparently he was taking Lana to his room, which bordered the guest room Vivien was in. She frowned. This felt … strange. And then she heard their noises. Distinct sounds, leaving nothing to the imagination as to what was going on in Liam’s bedroom, and after they had been at it for a while, judging by her screams, he was either viciously butchering her or a very skilled lover.
Finally it was over, Vivien breathed a sigh of relief, as she felt tears welling up in her eyes, which made her angry at herself. What did she expect? That he live celibate for the rest of his life because she felt something she wasn’t allowed to feel for him. ‘Yeah, that makes perfect sense, Viv!’ she thought sarcastically.
After tossing and turning for hours in an attempt to find sleep, she finally dozed off, only to be awoken by more nookie-related screaming by Liam’s overnight guest. The next morning she had to crawl out from underneath a pile of pillows to go pee.
She had to pass by Liam’s room door to get to the bathroom, and the scene of him having her pressed up against that very door returned. He had been angry with her for snooping then, but she remembered how it felt, him so close. What would it feel like to be pressed up against a wall by him when he wasn’t mad but … ‘WHAT?! VIVIEN!?‘ she reprimanded herself, blushing.
Half an hour later she was at the coffee maker when Liam came down. Instantly she was angry with him, reasons unknown. Or more accurately: for reasons she would never admit to herself – or anyone.
“Morning Viv. Oh good, you made coffee. I hope you made it strong, I am desperate for some thick Cameron style brew.” his tone was way too chipper for Vivien’s taste, lowering her already basement-level mood even more. How dare he? After everything now?!
“Morning. I believe THAT! Want some ice too, for down your pants?” Vivien’s heard herself say before she could stop herself. The tone in her voice had been decidedly too snarky to be a casual joke.
After pouring coffee into a mug next to her, with a quick side-glance Liam shrugged.
“Did we keep you up?”
“DUH! You kept the entire block up. May I recommend a gag or soundproofing your room, so we don’t end up with a SWAT team bursting in the windows thinking you are some mad serial killer? Which decent person screams like a stuck pig during sex?! Seriously!”
Liam shrugged again.
“Doesn’t have to be decent, only willing and able to make my cut. Anyway, looks like you got a taste of how I felt back at college when you and Malik were plowing the back forty all night every night that the walls crumbled. And I shouldn’t know this about you, but you aren’t exactly a quiet lover either!”
“It was NEVER like that! And I don’t scream like I am on fire when I … during … stuff! There is a fine line between ‘dead-fish’ and ‘fallen-into-lava’! She sounded faker than a low budget porn actress!”
“She could sound like an airhorn, as long as the rest is up to par. And keep telling yourself you and Malik weren’t like that. I know what I heard and how often I heard it.”
“Maybe you heard Malik and not me!”
“Only if his voice shoots up several pitches to a female one and he likes to scream his own name during orgasm!”
“OMG! I am so not discussing something so personal with you! We’ll just have to agree to disagree then, huh? Aren’t you gonna get a cup out for your … guest?”
“Lana already left. She and I are technically colleagues, she’s a paralegal at the law firm where I work. Meaning, officially none of this ever happened.”
“Oh man, Liam. Don’t get yourself fired now because you couldn’t keep it in your pants. You have been working too hard for all that. This is really nuts!”
“Thanks for your concern, mom! But I am a big boy and capable of my own choices.” he kissed her forehead, then left to probably shower and get dressed.
San Myshuno Grand Skyview Hotel & Suites A few days later
Vivien’s short engagement opening for a famous singer, a solo artist this time by the name of Brett Newman, had concluded. When he asked her to his hotel room for a drinks, she accepted, knowing private afterparties in celebrities rooms for extra privacy after events wasn’t unusual practice in the entertainment world. When she got there, she quickly realized there were no other guests, just him and her. Uncomfortable, she stayed anyway. Naturally he offered her a drink, got a good head start on her, downing hard liquor like water, kept getting too close to Vivien the entire time, when she finally had managed an angled position next to him, yet far enough away for him to not be able to put his arm around her, so he placed his hand on her thigh, patted it a few times, then squeezed it and said
“I know what you need to loosen up some. I like you, and I am feeling generous tonight. Watch this, little girl.”
He dug around in his pocket, pulled out something he unfolded, then dumped it on the table, pulled out a credit card and went to work until he had some white powder in three neat lines, then rolled up a piece of paper and offered it to Vivien.
Then it dawned on her.
“Nah, thanks, I am good.” she said with a nervous giggle.
“Ah, don’t be such a pussy, lil girl. Here, I’ll go first. I’ll show you how it’s done.” he finally took his hand off her thigh, leaned forwards and snorted two of the lines, the noises he made sitting back up felt repulsive to Vivien, as did watching him wipe his nose. Disgusting!
“I think I better go now.” she got up, but he grabbed on to her, she struggled free.
Vivien hurried over to the other side of his room to grab her purse from some shelf near the door. When she turned around, there he was, smirking awfully, the intentions written all over his face. Vivien’s heart pounded out of her chest. Uh oh!
She tried to make a run for it, the door just a few feet away from her, but his hands were already all over her, her purse dropped to the floor out of reach. It had her phone in it.
“We need to loosen you up, sweet tits. I know you had a black boyfriend before, but I promise you, my dick is gonna make his look like a little finger!” his tone changed to match his dismal intend, sending shivers down Vivien’s spine as she cursed herself out for having come here.
“Eeew! Get away from me, you moron! Don’t touch me! Please – just let me go!”
“Nah – too late for that now. You got me all worked up now, bitch, you are not getting out of here until you put out. And I can go all night long! Tomorrow you will be the sorest piece of ass in town!”
“Stop! STOP! HEEEEELP! HELP!”
“Ha ha ha – soundproof walls, you little whore. You can scream all you want, nobody will bother us.”
She trembled, knew that he had a reputation of taking what he wanted, when he wanted, including women against their will. Vivien felt inner panic, cursing herself for having been so stupid to come here in the first place, started shaking, then thought how she wished Liam were here to help her, then remembered his half-assed greeting and that girl, Lana, whom he then had noisy sex with all night, then she remembered the time she called him to warn him about the rumor of them dating, only to interrupt sex then too, all that making her miserable, he seemed unaffected, while screwing his way through town. And now she was stuck with this horny asshole here. Vivien’s well known temper flared up – and she saw red …
“There you go, you fucking dick! Hope this was as fun for you as it was for me! Guess we know which of us will be the sorest tomorrow morning! Hint: NOT ME!” Vivien hissed, while Brett rolled around on the floor, groaning about his burning eyes and aching groin, as Vivien now flipped him off, grabbed her purse and ran out of his room.
After the altercation, Vivien took off and ran home, burst into Liam’s penthouse, noticed the TV on in the living room and ran to him – only to realize too late that he wasn’t alone. He was in the middle of intimacy with Lana, who screamed when she noticed Vivien, both she and Liam jumped up, shocked, both of them completely naked.
“VIVIEN!” Liam yelped.
“Are you kidding me right now?! She is back again and THIS?! NOW!? After what I have just been through?! ON THE SOFA WHERE I SIT TOO?! THAT IS SO NASTY! YOU ARE NASTY AND UNBELIEVABLE! I have had it! I am so done with all this bullshit!!!” Furious, Vivien ran out of the room and up the stairs, locking herself in.