By the end of the week Kara was ready to pull her hair out. She hadn’t talked to anyone other than by e-mail or IMs, her apartment was so clean she could eat off her bathroom floor if she so chose and she had watched more god-awful daytime television that any person in her right mind should subject herself to.
She wanted to talk dammit. She wanted to sing something, anything to shatter the silence that had been her companion all week. At this point she would have sung Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to her neighbor’s cat if it she thought she could get away with it.
With a sigh she clicked off the television and wandered her apartment. She was drawn to the little room down the hall, the old piano called to her. She had polished it and the warm honey finish shone in the late afternoon sun. Sitting down she ran a scale before sliding into the song her mother had always played for her. There were no words, just a haunting melody that flowed around the room and settled on the man standing in the doorway.
She hadn’t heard him come in, didn’t know he was there as she moved from one melody into the next. He stood and waited, listening to her sadness flow out her fingertips and into the room.
He knew how hard it must be for her not to be able to speak or sing. He had watched Jon struggle with this more than 20 years ago. But this time, this time would be different. Richie wouldn’t let Kara do to herself what he’d seen Jon do and have done to him.
There was no Doc McGee involved this time and there would be no steroid injections, no half-assed attempts or quick fixes. He wasn’t going to stand by and watch her push herself the way Jon had if she wasn’t ready. A doctor or a specialist would be involved, even if he had to drag her there himself. He wasn’t going to let her waste her god-given talent on what ifs or what might be.
As the music faded away he dropped his bag to the floor and she turned at the soft thud. Too surprised to even think the “Richie” was blurted out faster than he could admonish her not to talk. And it hurt. He watched the pain cross her features as he crossed the small room to her. Crowding next to her on the piano bench he wrapped his arm around her. “I know that hurt, I could see it in your face. Please Princess, no talking, not yet.”
“But Rich” she started. He pressed his fingers over her mouth, “Come on, you know better.” Kara frowned and got up, heading back to the living room, to her pen and paper. Richie followed, stopping her when she picked up her pad. “Wait a minute Princess, I have something for you.”
He rummaged in his bag and handed her a pink notebook that sparkled with a tiara on the cover and a pen that was pink as well. Pink and sparkly? I’m a little old for that, aren’t I? She turned the paper so Richie could see. He smiled, “I hoped it would bring a smile to your face. It worked, didn’t it?” She shook her head and smiled as she nodded.
Turning back to her paper she began to write again. Thank you. But Rich, what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere in the midwest or Canada?
Richie toyed with the ends of her hair that lay over her shoulder. “I told Jon I wanted to come see you and make sure you were really all right.” Kara rested her head against his shoulder before she penned her thoughts. You didn’t tell him what was going on did you? She frowned; she didn’t want anyone to know.
He saw her frown and sighed, “I had to Princess. I couldn’t just up and leave.” He turned her to face him, “besides, he’s been through what you’re dealing with right now. He knows what it is not to be able to talk or sing; what it is to be afraid you’ll never be able to again. He understands and” he reached into his shirt pocket and handed her a slip of paper, “he wants you to e-mail him if you have any questions or if you just want to talk.”
Kara looked at the paper in her hand. Jon had been through this? Maybe she’d e-mail him and get his opinion. Maybe it would help. She looked up at Richie and smiled, thank you she wrote on her paper before setting it all aside. She looked back at Richie, he had come to her, again, when she needed him. Crawling onto his lap she straddled him and took his face in her hands, “thank you” she whispered and before he could say anything her mouth was on his, kissing him gently.
Richie’s hands slid to her hips and held her close as her lips played over his. He hadn’t been looking for this when he decided to come see her. He had been worried about her, but right now, the worry was fading and the lust, the longing was taking over.
Sitting up a little straighter his fingers tangled into her mass of hair and tugged her head back, exposing the creamy line of her neck to his eager mouth. She sighed as his mouth skimmed over her and she nearly whispered his name but his lips were on hers before she could get the word out. Pulling back he tsked, “uh uh Princess. You don’t get to talk.” He stood, holding her in his arms “in fact” he said as he started toward her bedroom, “you don’t get to make any noise at all.”
Laying her on the bed Kara looked up at him with a frustrated glare. How did he expect her not to make any noise at all? He watched her, knowing what she was thinking. “You can do it Princess.” Joining her on the bed he pulled her sweatshirt up and off, groaning when he found her braless beneath. Dipping his head, his tongue drew a line from the hollow at the base of her throat to one rosy pink nipple. He looked up at her before he went any further, “you ready?”