For the creamofchrislee ficathon
Very PG and so not mine
Her fingers hesitated over the numbers. Her hand gripped the receiver too tight and she put it back down in the cradle, picked it up, put it back down.
Picked it back up.
Eleven numbers, soft tones in her ear as she pressed each one lightly. Almost as if she was daring her finger to not push hard enough, as if she was challenging the fates to not make the connection. He wouldn’t be home. He wouldn’t answer if he were there. She was sure of it, even though the few times she had called before, he always answered. And it had been months since the last call. Too long.
The house was quiet. Her children sleeping, dreaming. Her husband working on location and she’d already called him and talked for hours. He’d recognized the tone in her voice and he’d ended the call with
“Call him. It’s still early on the coast. Call him, Chris.”
“I can’t. I shouldn’t.”
“He doesn’t mind. He told me. I’ve told you that. He loves to talk to you.”
“You’re sure? Really? It’s okay with you?”
And he would sigh, she could see his smile in her mind. Feel his love wrapped around her, even from thousands of miles away.
So she did. The tone rang in her ear and her fingers tightened around the handset. She stretched out in her too big *too empty* bed and the cool night wind curled through lace curtains to lick around her bare ankles.
As before, her breath caught in her throat and her mouth dried to Sahara sand instantly.
“Hi.” She whispered. Wishing her voice didn’t sound so weak, so fragile, so much like the croak of a frog. “Um, hi Dave.”
She cleared her throat and felt that flutter in her chest. Felt the familiar and scary and thrilling warmth fill her abdomen.
“Yes. It’s me.”
“Hey you. I was just thinking about you.”
His voice was rapture and delight and pure sin. His laugh made her toes start to curl and she shifted on her mattress.
“Liar.” She giggled, suddenly sixteen and virginal and gone silly-soft from the very thought of who was on the other end of this call. Of all the fantasies and the hopes, of all the days she’d spent dreaming of him, thinking of him, writing about the character he’d brought to life on television and DVD. Speculating about every single word he used and the inflection with which he spoke them, discussing his portrayal and if he’d meant to let his eyes follow *that* character when he should’ve been paying more attention to another. Reading between the lines on commentaries and the very few interviews he ever gave to find answers to questions that were much more fun to ask and discuss than they ever would be to know the definitive explanation.
They spent a few precious moments talking about family. About wives and husbands and work and kids. Discussing new jobs and old and what they did on brief summer vacations.
“A whole convention? Really? Writers and readers and you talked about me?”
Chris laughed and blushed and covered her mouth. *if you only knew, David … if you only knew.*
There was a solid minute of silence. She couldn’t hear anything from his end. No sounds of television or radio and she realized that he, for whatever reason, had made it like this. That he always did when she called. That his complete attention was on her and the sound that escaped her tightly closed lips and strangled breath was barely a whisper … but he heard it.
“Are you ready, Chris?”
“Yes.” She said as she took a sharp breath. Her lungs filling with oxygen and for a moment it was as if he was here again and she could smell him. See him. Feel his large hands when he took her much smaller ones in his as he thanked her for the basket and gifts for his family.
His voice was filled with amusement and she heard the fake, heavy sigh and the rustle of tissue thin paper.
“Okay. I still don’t get it, but anything for you … Aalaii, Ahmed. Aardema, John. Aaron, Darrell. Aaron, Donald. Aaron, Louis. Aaron Louis A. Aaron, M. Aaron, Matthew. Aaron, R. Aaron, Robert and Amy …”
Thirty minutes later, the phone was back in its cradle. Chris stretched her long legs and curled up on her side and reached without thinking when the shrill ring cut through her almost-sleep filled, post-orgasmic mind.
“Did you call?”
“Yes.” She mumbled, smiling.
“Good. Save some of that for me. I’ll be home tomorrow afternoon.”