|This story is based on comments Cameron Daddo made concerning Rollie and Angie's relationship in an interview he did for Starlog magazine in 1998. The relevant portion of the interview can be found at the end of this story.|
|Angie searched through her purse, looking for her elusive cell phone.
Where had she put it?! Damn it! It wasn’t there. Angie
gave a little growl of frustration. ‘Okay, calm down. Where
would you have left it?’ Her mind cast back to the last time she
remembered seeing the phone. She’d had it this morning when she went
to the loft, that she was sure of. After that, she didn’t know.
Perhaps she’d left it there. If so, she’d have to get it. She
would need it for the weekend.
Instead of starting the car and immediately driving over to the loft, Angie just sat there staring out the windshield. Ever since last Monday, the day that Loubar tried to destroy Rollie’s life by framing him for murder and did destroy something in her by raping her through deception, things had not been going well. Neither she nor Rollie had talked about it again, but the tension between them had been palpable. Angie had tried to pretend that everything was fine, but every time she looked at Rollie, she couldn’t stop remembering making love to a man she’d thought was him. As for Rollie, all she’d seen in his eyes was misery and guilt. She knew that he blamed himself for what Loubar had done, but she hadn’t had the guts to talk to him about it. They would have to talk eventually. This thing was threatening to destroy their relationship. She just couldn’t face it now.
Sighing, Angie started the car and headed over to the loft, mentally and emotionally preparing herself for being in Rollie’s presence again. As she pulled up to the loft, she saw that the lights were on. She hadn’t expected him to be asleep, not this early in the evening, but there had been the chance that he’d be gone. She almost wished he was. With another sigh, Angie got out of the car and went to the door. As she opened it, she heard a noise. She froze on the threshold, recognizing the sound. It was sobbing. Her eyes went to the couch to see Rollie hunched over on it, his face in his hands, his shoulders shaking. Silently, she made her way up the steps. That’s when she saw the bottle of scotch on the coffee table. It was nearly half-empty. Rollie never bought hard liquor, which meant that he’d picked it up tonight and had consumed that much in one sitting.
‘Oh, Rollie,’ Angie whispered in her mind, her heart tearing open. She went around the couch and knelt before him. “Rol?”
The Aussie lifted his head and stared at her with red, anguish-filled eyes. He then turned his face away. “What are you doing here?” he asked in a low voice.
“I came to look for my cell phone. I think I left it here.”
Rollie jerked his head toward the counter. “It’s over there,” he mumbled.
Angie retrieved the phone and put it in her purse. She then went back and sat beside Rollie on the couch. There was silence for a moment.
“Why don’t you leave now?” Rollie asked bitterly. “You’ve made it clear that you don’t like being around me anymore, so why don’t you just go?”
Angie felt a lance of anguish rip through her. Did Rollie really think that, that she didn’t like being around him anymore? Of course. How could he not believe that, after the way she’d been acting? Guilt assailed Angie. She’d been so wrapped up in her own feelings that she’d failed to notice how much she was hurting Rollie with the way she was acting.
Before she could say anything, Rollie continued, his voice raw with pain. “Please, just go, Angie. I’ve already lost you. Please don’t torture me anymore.”
Angie’s eyes flooded with tears. “Oh, Rollie, that isn’t true. You haven’t lost me. I don’t want to not be around you. You’re my best friend in the world!”
Rollie snorted. “Some friend I turned out to be. Because of me, your life is all screwed up. Because of me, that . . . that. . . .” He let out a choked sound. “He raped you! And I wasn’t there to stop him!”
Angie grabbed Rollie and forced him to look at her. “You didn’t do anything to me, Rol! It wasn’t your fault! Loubar did this. He is the only one to blame.” She looked intently into his eyes. “I could never, ever blame you,” she told him in barely more than a whisper.
Rollie let out another choked breath as tears overflowed and rained down his face. Angie pulled him to her and held him as he cried, rocking him slightly, like a mother comforting her child. Her own tears burned in her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. She couldn’t break down. She just couldn’t.
It was a few minutes before Rollie quieted. He dropped his eyes to his lap, feeling ashamed for losing it like that. He’d felt so desolate, certain that he’d lost Angie as a friend. All week, she had been acting as if she hated being around him, as if she couldn’t wait to get out of his presence. And he hadn’t blamed her, not one bit. When she left earlier today for the weekend, a weekend in which he was certain that she’d decide to leave him for good, he’d gone out and bought that bottle to drown his sorrows in. After almost half a bottle, he still felt cruelly sober.
“So . . . you want some help emptying that?” he heard Angie say. He looked up at her.
“The scotch. You want some help with it?”
“Angie, you never drink hard liquor.”
“Well, there’s a first time for everything.” She got up and fetched a glass. Rollie watched open-mouthed as she poured herself a generous portion of the liquid and gulped it down. Almost immediately, she began gasping and choking, tears pouring from her eyes. Rollie pounded lightly on her back until the attack passed.
“How can anybody drink that stuff?!” Angie wheezed.
“It has its charms,” Rollie replied quietly. His eyes then nearly bugged out as Angie filled her glass again and took another drink, this time more slowly. “What are you doing?”
“I want to see if I can find its charms,” she replied.
“I really don’t think this is a good idea, Angie. It won’t take you long to get drunk, being as unused to that stuff as you are.”
“Maybe I want to get drunk.”
Rollie looked into her eyes and saw a flash of pain there. Maybe this was what she needed. Maybe letting herself go over the edge for a while would help in some way. Nodding silently, Rollie poured Angie another shot and filled his own glass.
A half-hour later, he found out that he’d been right about it not taking much to get Angie drunk. She was totally plastered. He’d consumed two drinks for every one that Angie had, and he was now quite pleasantly drunk himself, though he was still cognizant enough to realize that he was drunk.
“Come on, Ange,” he said, slurring her name only slightly. “Let’s call you a cab, huh?”
“Cab? I don’t need no cab. I’m juuussst fine. Feel great!” She ended the statement with a hiccup and a little giggle.
Rollie couldn’t help the smile that came to his lips. Angie looked so adorable with her cheeks rosy from the alcohol, her eyes bright as stars, her lips. . . . Rollie’s gaze fixed upon Angie’s lips. They were red and full, glistening with moisture. ‘I bet they’re as warm and soft as they look,’ he said silently as he started leaning toward the object of his fascination. Rollie abruptly put on the brakes. ‘Whoa there! Hold it, bub! You do not want to go there!’
‘Oh, yes, I do!’ he argued with himself.
‘All right, so you do, but you’re not going to! Angie is drunk. You are drunk. You are going to get up and call a cab for her--and try not to fall flat on your face while doing so.’
‘Party pooper,’ muttered the other voice in his sodden brain.
Rollie really did intend to get up and call that cab, but that’s when something happened that threw his plan right out the window. He heard a tiny sound and turned to see Angie start to cry. The sight broke his heart.
“Angie,” he whispered as he gathered her up in his arms. Her control broke completely, and she was soon sobbing uncontrollably.
“It hurt! It hurt so much, Rollie. I was so happy, and then he took it all away. He raped me! He raped me.” Her words trailed off into even more violent weeping. Rollie held onto her tightly, his face pressed against her neck, feeling his own tears return.
“It’s okay, Angie. It’s okay. He won’t hurt you ever again. I swear he won’t. I will kill him before I ever let that happen.”
It was a very long time before Angie stopped crying. Rollie held her the entire time. At last, she drew away from him. Their eyes met. Seeing the pain still there, Rollie pressed a lingering kiss on her brow, wishing more than anything that he could take her pain away into himself. Of their own accord, his lips then moved to Angie’s cheek in an even longer kiss. He pulled back, their faces so close this time that they could feel each other’s breath. His eyes locked on Angie’s and could not pull away. They were deep, and bright, and oh so blue.
“Rollie,” Angie whispered. “Please.”
Though she did not say another word, Rollie knew what she wanted, knew what he wanted, what he had to have. And so, his heart racing crazily, Rollie closed the distance between their mouths. He was instantly struck by how soft and warm and wonderful her lips were. But then, those thoughts were drowned by a flood of liquid fire as passion long-denied exploded within him. A groan from deep inside him ripped from his throat as he crushed Angie in his arms, his tongue plunging past her lips to search her mouth with frenzied need. And then, Angie’s tongue did the same, and every last shred of Rollie’s self-control turned to dust.
‘Oh, God! Angie!’ Rollie cried in his mind as he succumbed to a power that he could not hope to fight. His hands became desperate, needing to feel her, touch her. They dove under Angie’s top, stroking and kneading her. Angie moaned loudly and crawled into his lap, straddling him. They began to rub and grind against each other, their arousal flaring hotter by the second. Rollie started lowering Angie onto the sofa, then some part of his brain not totally drowned by his passion and the booze told him that it shouldn’t happen there, not on a couch, not their first time.
Rollie stood, lowering Angie to the floor. Not letting go of each other, they stumbled their way to the staircase, pulling at each other’s clothes along the way. Angie’s coat and top were gone by the time they reached the first step. Rollie’s shirt soon followed, being left in a heap on the stairs. Angie’s bra was the next to go. It fell, unnoticed, on the first landing. Rollie pushed Angie up against the railing, lifting her half up onto it, and lowered his head to her breasts. Angie cried out as he took a nipple into his mouth. She tried to wrap her legs around his hips, but Rollie was more interested in tearing off her shoes, his mouth still upon her breasts. Then, rising back up to capture her lips with his, he began to fumble at the fastenings of her pants. Her jeans were left behind as they continued up the staircase, Angie yanking at the button and zipper of Rollie’s pants. His jeans ended their journey on the second landing. With only their underwear remaining, they made it to the bedroom. The underwear was dispensed with just outside the doorway.
Rollie lifted Angie up and laid her on the bed. Moaning their names repeatedly, they wildly explored each other’s bodies with hands and mouths, building the fires within them to a white-hot inferno.
“Rollie, Rollie. Please. Now, please,” Angie begged at last.
Unable to deny her, and not wanting to, Rollie lowered himself fully on top of her, ready to join his body with hers. But then, just as he was preparing to cross the final line between them, Angie abruptly went limp. Startled, he looked into her face. Her eyes were closed.
“Ange?” There was no response. With a cross between frustration, amusement, and tenderness, Rollie realized that Angie had passed out. The alcohol had finally caught up with her.
For several moments, he just stared at her, his body still needing so badly to complete what they had started. Then, with a sigh, he moved off of her and lay down on the bed at her side. The moment he separated from her, Angie curled up against him like a kitten. Love for her filled him. He pulled the covers up around them and wrapped his arms about her. The minutes passed as his body’s desires eased. With another sign, a happy one, he placed a kiss on Angie’s forehead, closed his eyes, and let sleep have him.
Rollie awoke to the feeling of a warm body snuggled against him. Slowly, he opened his eyes to the sight of a tousled mass of golden hair a mere inch from his face. That’s when two things hit him almost simultaneously. He and the woman he was spooned up against were completely naked . . . and that woman was Angie Ramirez. Hot on the heels of those realizations came the memories of what happened last night. He could remember everything, their conversation, her comforting him, then him holding her as she wept. He could remember the kiss, their first kiss, and the emotions it had caused to finally be released. Every kiss, every caress. It was all burned into his brain. He was surprised that he could remember. On the few rare occasions when he’d gotten that drunk, he’d awakened the next day with no memory of what went on. Yes, this time, he’d kept his memories--but would Angie? That thought made Rollie stiffen. What if Angie woke up and had no memory of last night? How would she react when she found out how close they’d come to going all the way? If she hadn’t passed out, they would have done it. There was no doubt of it. Even now, a big part of Rollie wished that they had.
For years, he’d felt an attraction toward her, but he’d fought it, tried everything he could to ignore the feelings. It hadn’t seemed right, her being Manny’s daughter, the girl he’d watched grow up. But last night, his defenses against those feelings had crumbled. Holding her in his arms, hearing her crying, all he’d wanted to do was love her and try to make the pain go away. And then, when their eyes met and Angie had begged him. . . . He knew that the alcohol had played a big role in what happened. Being drunk had allowed him to get past his internal arguments over why he shouldn’t feel those things toward Angie and find the courage to follow through on his desires.
But what was this going to do to their friendship?
Rollie slipped out of bed, careful not to jostle Angie. He took a quick shower and dressed. Fortunately, as usual, he was mostly hangover-free, just a bit of a headache and a muzzy feeling, which would clear up with some aspirin and a cup of coffee.
Going downstairs, Rollie saw the trail of clothing they had left on their trip to the bedroom. If Angie saw that, she’d be certain that they had made love. The more Rollie thought about that, the more worried he got about her reaction. She’d just been raped a few days ago, and here he goes and gets drunk and takes advantage of her. Even though she had been as much into what they were doing as he was, he still shouldn’t have let it happen.
Making a sudden decision, Rollie gathered all the clothes and brought them back upstairs. He deposited his in the hamper and laid Angie’s on the floor beside the bed. He looked at her as she still lay sleeping, her bare shoulders and upper chest above the covers. There was nothing he could do about the fact that Angie was naked. If she didn’t remember what happened last night, maybe she’d think that she stripped herself.
Rollie returned downstairs and started a pot of coffee brewing. As he sat waiting for it, he tried to decide what he was going to do. If Angie didn’t remember last night, he wouldn’t tell her. He would pretend that she’d gone to bed in his room and he’d slept on the couch. He hated the idea of lying to her, but he would do anything he had to in order to save their friendship and protect Angie from any more pain and humiliation. But what if she did remember? Then all he could do was beg her forgiveness and pray that she didn’t leave him.
And what about him? What about the fact that he wanted a repeat of last night, only, this time, getting a chance to make love to her in the way he’d fantasized about in those dreams that he tried to pretend he never had? He wanted her, needed her, so badly. Up until now, he’d been able to keep it buried deep inside him, denying that those feelings were even there, but he couldn’t anymore, not after having her in his arms, tasting her mouth, touching her soft, white skin, seeing her beautiful body. . . . Rollie quickly put a rein on his thoughts. This wasn’t doing him any good. He would have to be satisfied with that one night of love. There wouldn’t be any more. Angie wouldn’t want that . . . or would she? She had willingly slept with Loubar when she thought the assassin was him, and she hadn’t been drunk that time. Maybe. . . . No. Those were dangerous thoughts. He mustn’t get his hopes up. It would hurt enough to know that he could never have Angie. For her to openly reject him would be more than his heart could take.
The coffee finished percolating, and Rollie poured himself some of the hot liquid. He went to the couch and sat down to wait for Angie to awaken--and to what that awakening would lead to.
Angie roused from sleep, wondering how an entire marching band with ten-foot drums and twelve-foot cymbals had managed to crawl inside her head. Her eyes squinted open a crack--then flew open all the way. She abruptly sat up, instantly regretting it when the marching band was joined by a herd of elephants all playing hopscotch. Moaning and clutching her head, Angie looked around blearily. She was in Rollie’s bedroom. Correction, she was in Rollie’s bed in Rollie’s bedroom. She looked down at herself. Um, oookaaay, correction again. She was completely, utterly, totally NAKED in Rollie’s bed in Rollie’s bedroom. What the hell happened last night?
Angie laid back and tried to sort out her jumbled memories. She’d come to the loft to see if she’d left her cell phone there and had found Rollie almost halfway through a bottle of scotch and crying. Angie remembered the words Rollie had said to her and felt the sadness again. She had stayed and comforted him as he cried. Then, for some reason that she couldn’t fathom now, she had done the stupid thing of pouring herself some of the scotch--then poured some more. Angie had a vague memory of breaking down somewhere along the line and starting to cry, Rollie holding her, but beyond that, there was nothing. She didn’t know how she’d gotten to Rollie’s bedroom or how she’d come to be naked.
A sudden thought hit her, making her gasp. My God, did they . . . did something happen between them last night? They were both pretty drunk, that’s for sure. Drunk, she might have lost her inhibitions, the fears that had kept her from doing something about her feelings toward Rollie, and. . . .
Angie groaned and covered her face. What had she done? She had this horrifying picture in her mind of trying to seduce Rollie, throwing herself at him. The question was, what had he done? Had he responded or had he managed to get her up to the bedroom and then escape? Either way, what was this going to do to their friendship? Maybe he wouldn’t remember either. Rollie usually didn’t remember a thing after he got really drunk.
No matter what, she couldn’t hide in here forever. She had to go out there and face Rollie and any repercussions to what happened.
Angie got up and took a long, very hot shower. As she washed herself, a sudden image came to her of Rollie’s hands caressing her body. She stood utterly still as the fleeting image faded into the haze of her hung over brain. Had that been a real memory or just her mind playing tricks on her with one of her past dreams of Rollie making love to her?
For years, Angie had thought about what it would be like to be with Rollie in that way, but she had never followed through with it. She couldn’t, not until Rollie made the first move, showed some sign that he felt the same way. He never had, so she never did. But she had wanted to. Oh, how she had wanted to! All these years, every time she had seen Rollie with another woman, she had jealously wanted it to be her with him, her that he was interested in like that. But she had finally given up hope that such a thing would ever happen . . . until that night, the night that Loubar posed as Rollie and seduced her. When he looked into her eyes and kissed her, she had thought that Rollie was at last giving her the thing that she’d been waiting so long for. But it had all been a lie, a terrible deception. Rollie didn’t feel that way about her, and he never would.
Feeling tears start to prick her eyes, Angie got control of herself and quickly finished her shower. Loath to put her dirty, wrinkled clothes back on, she dug a sweat shirt and pair of boxer shorts out of Rollie’s dresser and put them on. The thought of wearing Rollie’s clothing, particularly the boxers, was making Angie feel aroused. If only. . . . No. Those weren’t healthy thoughts. She’d suffered enough these past few days. Why put herself though more pain by wishing for something that wasn’t going to happen?
But what if it already had? What if, last night, she and Rollie, the real Rollie, had broken down the barriers of friendship and become lovers? What if fate had cursed her to experience that joy, then never remember it because she’d been drunk at the time? Considering how her life had gone in the toilet since Sunday night, it would be just like it for that to have happened.
Well, she wouldn’t know until she went downstairs and faced Rollie. Only then would she know if she’d done irreparable damage to their friendship.
Gathering her courage, Angie left the bedroom and descended the stairs. As she reached the ground floor, Rollie turned around on the couch to look at her. His jaw dropped open as he saw what she was wearing. He closed it with a snap and swallowed deeply.
“Um . . . hi, Ange. How . . . how are you feeling?” he asked hesitantly.
“My head feels like the inside of a set we blew up, and my mouth tastes like the Martian from Moscow baby crawled into it and died. Other than that, I’m just ducky.” ‘Good, Angie. Act casual. Don’t let on how scared you are.’
Rollie laughed. Okay, she wasn’t acting like she remembered what happened. Maybe he was safe. He got up and moved into the kitchen area.
“Well, we both got pretty plastered last night. I don’t doubt that you’re feeling like crap this morning.”
Angie stared at Rollie. Okay, he wasn’t acting like anything happened last night. Maybe nothing did. “What . . . about you?” she asked tentatively.
“Oh, I’m fine. You know me. I rarely have a hangover to amount to much.”
“Yeah, and, right now, I hate you for it,” Angie muttered.
Rollie chuckled. “Sorry, Love. Here, have some coffee.” He held out the cup he’d just filled for her.
“Thanks.” Angie took the cup. As she did, their fingers brushed, and it took a lot of self-control for her not to jump at the contact. ‘Get a grip, Angie! Just stay cool,’ she chastised herself.
Rollie turned away from Angie, berating himself for his reaction to that simple touching of fingers that had just occurred. Just that brief touch and he’d wanted to pull her into his arms and kiss her. He hoped to God that these feelings faded. How could he work with her day in and day out if every time they touched, he had that kind of reaction?
“Would you like something to eat?” he asked, still turned away.
“No, not right now. I’m not sure my stomach could handle it.”
They lapsed into silence, neither of them knowing what to say next. As the silence grew, Angie tried to decide what to do. Should she feel Rollie out on what happened or should she just leave it alone? She wanted to know, but she was afraid of what she might find out. Rollie didn’t seem to be upset or uncomfortable. That would lead her to believe that nothing out of line had taken place. Unless he didn’t remember either . . . or was putting on an act. Could she really just let things lie and not say anything? Could she let these questions that were burning in her mind remain unasked? Gathering her courage yet again, Angie took a deep breath.
“Um . . . I’m afraid that I don’t remember much about last night. I recall coming over and finding you with that scotch and what . . . what you said. I remember starting to drink with you, and. . . .” Angie’s eyes dropped for a moment. “Did I . . . did I start to . . . to cry?”
Rollie stared at Angie. She looked lost and a little scared. He felt an ache grow in his heart. “Yeah,” he replied gently. “But you needed to, Angie. You needed to get that out. I’m . . . I’m just glad that I was there for you when it happened.”
Angie met Rollie’s eyes, gazing into them deeply. He was looking at her so tenderly, so lovingly. It made her throat tighten to see how much he cared for her. Against her will, tears filled her eyes and began trickling down her face. Instantly, Rollie was there, pulling her into his arms.
“Shh. Don’t cry, Ange. It’s all right. Everything is going to be okay,” he whispered, stroking her hair.
Angie relaxed into Rollie’s arms, letting herself get lost in the feeling of being close to him. She sighed softly, closing her eyes. And that’s when everything suddenly came flooding into her mind. She remembered Rollie’s lips upon hers, then his tongue in her mouth, hers in his. She remembered the passion, the heat as their hands frantically sought the touch of bare skin. She recalled them stumbling upstairs, shedding clothing along the way. Then in the bed, their bodies tangled together, hands and mouths seeking, yearning. She remembered everything--except the moment that their bodies finally joined. The last thing she could recall was Rollie laying down upon her.
My God. They’d really done it. They’d made love. And Rollie knew. He had to know. It was obvious that he remembered last night. Did he regret it? What was this going to mean for their future?
Rollie was holding Angie tightly when he felt her abruptly stiffen. She remained still in his arms for several seconds, then, slowly, she lifted her eyes to his. The instant their eyes met, he knew that she had remembered, and with that knowledge came fear and guilt.
“You remember,” he said in a harsh whisper.
“Yes,” Angie confirmed, also in a whisper.
Rollie released her and walked away a few steps. He covered his face with his hands. “God, I’m sorry, Angie. I didn’t mean for that to happen. The last thing in the world I’d ever want to do is hurt you, take advantage of you like . . . like that, especially after. . . . I hate myself for it! I’ll understand if you hate me too, if you never want to see me again.” He choked back a sob.
Angie stared at Rollie’s back. He thought he’d taken advantage of her, violated her, like what Loubar did. Yet, from what she could remember, she had been as much the aggressor as he had. And it had been wonderful. Angie realized that she didn’t regret what had happened, except for the fact that she couldn’t remember it all and that it had taken a bottle of alcohol for them to find the courage to do it.
Angie stepped forward. “Rollie, you didn’t take advantage of me. I wanted it to happen. I’ve wanted it for a long time. You have no idea how many times I’ve dreamed of us making love.”
Rollie spun around and stared at Angie in shock. Did she really just say that? Did she actually feel the same way as he did? “You . . . you’ve dreamed a-about us?”
Rollie gaped at her, afraid to believe. But it was there, in her eyes, the desire and . . . and love. He reached a shaking hand out and touched Angie’s cheek. He watched as her eyes slid closed and she gave a long, trembling sigh.
“Angie,” Rollie whispered. He moved forward and pulled her into his arms, burying his face in the crook of her neck, feeling her bring her arms up around his own neck. “Angie,” he murmured again as he began kissing her throat. Angie was trembling in his arms as his mouth moved slowly up the length of her neck to the soft hollow behind her ear. The tip of his tongue slid out and began to explore the spot. A moan so deep it surprised him issued from Angie’s throat. He then closed his lips over her earlobe and began sucking on it. Angie moaned again, this time his name. Leaving her ear, he started raining soft kisses all over her face, ending with a gentle touch of his lips upon each of her eyelids. He drew back and gazed deeply into her eyes. Then, unable to wait a moment longer, he lowered his mouth to Angie’s. Soft and gentle he kissed her, trying to hold back the passion that was already rising like a tide within him. He wanted to show her how much he loved her, how much he cherished her. But the tide kept rising, and he clung to her more tightly, his mouth pressing harder upon hers. And then, he felt Angie’s tongue slide across his lips, and he was lost.
Moaning, Rollie crushed Angie to him, opening his mouth to her. She arched against him, pulling his head forcefully against hers, thrusting her tongue past his lips. Rollie’s desire slipped its reins and ran wild. He lifted Angie up onto the counter. Her legs parted and wrapped around him tightly. Rollie let out a groan as his arousal flared out of control. He reached for the sweat shirt covering her and lifted it over her head. Angie began attacking the buttons on his shirt, and he was soon also naked from the waist up. They both moaned as their bare skin came together.
“Oh, God, Angie. I want you. I want this. I don’t want it to stop this time,” Rollie said hoarsely.
“I want it too, Rollie, so much. Please don’t stop,” Angie pleaded. Then the other meaning of his last sentence filtered through. He didn’t want it to stop this time? Did that mean. . . .
Angie stared into Rollie’s eyes, which had grown almost black with desire. “Rol? Last night, did we. . . ?” She let the question trail off, knowing he would understand.
Rollie smiled gently into her eyes. He cupped her face in his hand, brushing her cheek with a thumb. “No, Ange, we didn’t.” His smile became one of mild amusement. “You passed out.”
Passed out? She had passed out before they consummated their lovemaking? Joy flooded Angie. She hadn’t forgotten. This was going to be their first time, and she would remember it all.
“Make love to me, Rollie,” she whispered.
Without another word, Rollie lifted her up and carried her upstairs. He laid her upon the bed. Gently, he removed the boxers Angie was wearing, caressing her hips and thighs. Angie made short work of his remaining clothing, and there was soon nothing between them.
His heart filled with joy and desire, Rollie worshiped Angie’s body with his hands and mouth, knowing that, this time, it was real. It wasn’t because of a bottle of scotch. There would be no guilt or doubts afterwards. Angie wanted this, wanted him, as much as he wanted her. He loved her, more than he’d ever loved anyone in his life.
“I love you. God, I love you so much, so much,” he whispered against her neck, feeling tears prick his eyes.
All the memories of last night were filling Angie’s mind as Rollie made love to her, the joy, the passion. It had been so wonderful, but not as wonderful as now, now when her mind was clear and certain with the knowledge that Rollie wanted this as deeply as she did, that this was only the beginning.
And then, rising above the fire of passion, Angie heard Rollie’s voice, a whisper of sound speaking words that she had longed for more than any others. She lifted his head and saw his love for her shining behind the tears in his eyes.
“I love you, Rollie,” she told him, pulling his mouth down to hers. And in the midst of that kiss that held all their love in it, Rollie’s and Angie’s bodies at last became one. They moaned into each other’s mouths at the rapture of their joining, feeling as if the universe had come to a halt. They lay still, absorbed in the sensation of their union, their eyes diving into each others, a thousand words, a thousand emotions passing between them in an instant. And then, they began to move, their eyes closing at the pure ecstasy of it. Slowly, they rocked with each other as the ecstasy grew, immersing them deeper into the fire of their bodies, deeper into the wonder of what was happening. The fire blazed hotter and hotter, burning away all sense of self, fusing their hearts and souls together in a way they’d never known before.
His mind and his body no longer fully his own, Rollie let himself utterly lose all restraint for the first time in his life. Moving with unrestrained passion, he heard Angie cry his name over and over again, felt her body heave and thrash beneath him, with him. And then, she let out a scream, and he watched as she found her release, becoming more beautiful than he had ever imagined. Crying out her name, feeling as if he would die from the sheer, indescribable rapture of it, Rollie followed her into the ultimate ecstasy, giving her all of him, surrendering his soul to her.
Feeling as if her body would explode from the power of her climax, Angie shuddered in the grips of it, her scream echoing through the loft. Then she heard Rollie cry out her name, and she forced her eyes open to watch him come to his release, awed by the sight and the sensation of him filling her with himself, a part of her mind unable to believe that she’d finally been given this gift.
At last, it was completed. Chests heaving, bodies trembling, they lay together for long minutes. Angie held onto Rollie, his weight warm and solid upon her. She wanted them to stay like this forever. Rollie lifted his head and looked at her. There was wetness on his face. He reached up and gently brushed his fingers over her cheeks, and she realized that she was crying too.
“I love you, Angie,” he said, his voice shaking, his heart in every word. “I have always loved you.” He paused. “But I didn’t truly realize it until last night, when you broke down and cried in my arms. I knew that I loved you like a friend, like family. I also knew that I was feeling . . . things that I shouldn’t feel as only a friend. I wanted to know what it was like to kiss you, to hold you as a lover, even though I tried to pretend that I didn’t. But then, last night, it all became so clear to me, how much I was in love with you. I was a fool for not letting myself see it before, for wasting all this time.”
“We didn’t waste any time, Rollie,” Angie told him fervently. “These years that we’ve been together as friends have been wonderful, the best. We’ve come to know each other, really know each other, in all the most important ways. And I . . . I think that maybe neither of us was completely ready to be more than friends until now. It took everything that’s happened, all that we’ve been through, to show us that we didn’t have to be afraid anymore, that we should never have been afraid to show what we really felt.”
Rollie gazed at her, knowing she was right. These years they’d spent side by side as friends and work partners had been the best years of his life, ones he wouldn’t trade for anything on Earth. Through all the happiness and laughter, all the pain and tears, they’d forged a bond that could never be broken. He should never have been afraid that he’d lose Angie as a friend. Nothing, no one, could ever really drive them apart.
“Angie, I want you to know that you are the best friend I’ve ever had, that I could ever have, and that means more to me than anything, anything,” he told her earnestly. “If this had never happened, if we had never stepped beyond friendship, I would still have been so happy and grateful that you were in my life, that I was . . .” his voice wavered, “that I was blessed to have you as a friend,” he finished in a whisper.
Crying again, Angie buried her face in Rollie’s neck, stroking her hands through his hair and over his shoulders. They stayed like that for a long time, then Rollie moved off her, regretting the loss of their physical connection, but knowing that they would come together again soon. Angie curled up against him, and he held her close, one hand caressing up and down her back as the other one lay cupped over the swell of her bottom, feeling so happy and privileged that he could touch her like that. They lay in silence for more minutes, content to just be close.
“Rol?” Angie finally said.
There was a pause. “I want . . . I want to tell you about Loubar.”
Rollie stared at her, seeing the nervousness. “Ange, you don’t have to. It doesn’t matter, not anymore.”
“Yes, it does matter. I want you to know what happened that night.” She laid her head on Rollie’s chest and took a deep breath to steady her. “When we came home from the wrap party, I thought that you . . . that he was acting a little strange, but I just shrugged it off. He asked me to give him a hug, so I did. Then he started saying that he didn’t know what he’d do without me, being so sincere. He gave me a kiss on my cheek. Then he began touching my face and my lips, looking at me like you never had before. He kissed my cheek again, near my mouth, so . . . lovingly. I looked up at him, and I thought that you were finally giving me what I’d been waiting for, that you were finally telling me that you wanted me like I wanted you. It was all I needed. I started kissing him, and before I knew it, we were in your bed.” Angie stopped and lifted her head to look at Rollie. His eyes were closed, an expression of pain on his face. She cupped his face in her hands, waiting until he opened his eyes. When he did, the anguish in them made her breath catch. She tightened the grip on his face. “When we were . . . when he was with me like that, I thought it was so perfect, because I believed he was you. But I was wrong. I never knew what perfect was until now. That night was nothing compared to what we just shared, Rollie. I should have known he wasn’t you. Do you know why? Because as he and I made lo-- No, as we had sex, I didn’t feel our bond, the connection that you and I share. I wanted us to be together so badly that it didn’t register that something was missing that night. Rollie, what we experienced last night and what we shared just now was so very much more than perfect. It makes . . . it makes what Loubar did not hurt anymore.”
Rollie’s breath caught, and he began to cry. Angie pulled him to her. He clutched at her as he wept, his face pressed against her breasts. When he was finally quiet, she lifted his head and kissed away the traces of tears. Rollie smiled at her, and she returned the smile joyfully. That’s when a thought came to him.
“Ange, we, um . . . we didn’t use any protection.”
Angie’s smiled widened. “I know. I didn’t want to. I wanted to feel you.”
“Me too. But, uh, what if. . . .” His voice trailed off in embarrassment.
Angie was delighted at the blush that was suffusing Rollie’s face. But then, she grew serious. “If it did happen, Rol, then . . . then I think I’m okay with that. I think I’m more than okay with it.”
“You are?” An expression of wonder filled his eyes.
Feeling happier than he had ever thought possible, Rollie pulled Angie
close, bringing his lips to hers. They let their passion take them
again, knowing that, no matter what the future brought, their love and
their courage would lay the path before them.
"In reality Rollie and Angie would be perfect for each other," opines Daddo. "There is an attraction there, and a part of it infuriates both Rollie and Angie. My idea has always been that Rollie is attracted to Angie, but does everything in his power to put her out of his head. I think Angie is (attracted to Rollie) too, but she can't do anything about it because Rollie hasn't made the first move. It's quite an interesting dynamic, and sometimes I think that they should just go out, get drunk and get it over with. But I like that tension. Initially, the idea about Angie and Rollie getting together was met with big disapproval. It was too much, considering their relationship. Angie is the daughter of a guy named Manny, Rollie's mentor. When he died, he left the loft and the business to Rollie. And with that came Angie.
"People said I was a complete bastard when I came up with this cliffhanger idea for the season finale. It's a shocking episode. I think most of our audience want to see Rollie and Angie get together, and this certainly satisfies that need in the first ten minutes. The whole thing is blown open now. I think it's the greatest thing."