I had spent the evening with Tiffany at her house. We started by doing each other's nails and then moved on to looking through some old photos she'd found of her parents in the closet . Faded family photos going back to before she'd been born.
Nothing unusual about that, I thought. I mean outside of my family perhaps because my mom didn't keep many photos of herself around and even less having to do with my father. No family albums, no photos hanging on walls in our house .It's like my family history didn't exist.
Devlin had looked much younger and Gloria had been a beautiful young woman, vibrant and smiling in all her photos. In ways that she didn't now….not that she never smiled, just that it didn't seem to reach her eyes much like back then. It was like she was playing a role where she had to fool everyone even herself into believing she was happy.
But it didn't reach inside of her. I didn't think much about her. After all, she was just my friend's mom and if I did think about her, especially considering I'd been fucking her husband this summer.
"Did you see this," Tiffany had said.
I looked up to see her holding a photo yellowed on the edges.
"Brock holding a baby," she said, "How sweet…I never took him for one who liked kids."
He'd been much younger then and smiling at the baby he held rather than the camera that caught that moment forever. Something caught inside my throat but damn if I'd ever let anyone including my best friend know that.
"Maybe as long as they're not his responsibility," I said, "Some men are like that when they're young."
Then I said something else about how I'd almost tested that because if I'd been pregnant and told him…the face in that photo told me how he'd respond.
He'd want to keep it and he'd want to raise it. I don't know how I figured on that except it was just gut feeling. I don't know how I would have handled that if it had happened. A father who would take responsibility for his child, it just was outside my experience growing up without one. I couldn't even imagine and when I tried to think about it, I got scared. I didn't even feel good and warm about that, it had stopped me cold.
It had been Tiffany that Brock had been holding in his arms within a day or so of her being born as he was in the hospital. I thought I saw something on his face but maybe it'd been the light.
Then Tiffany said she'd found a small key. She pulled it out of an envelope in her baby book and showed it to me.
"What could this be?"
I had no idea.
I tossed and turned as I slept in her bedroom. I felt restless with images of the photos I'd seen of Tiffany and her parents…and Brock those years ago. They'd obviously been close back then but what happened since? The tension always loomed thick between Devlin and Brock these days when I saw them and how they talked about one another.
Gloria didn't even factor in the equation. She had little to do with Brock herself it seemed though he didn't talk about her as if he disliked her. But those photos just made everything seem so different.
Devlin had come home with his wife not long ago. I heard the sound of their voices in the hallway after they'd come up the stairs. They were talking about something that someone had said at the restaurant, where they'd gone to meet Gary and Nancy.
Then a door closed and I heard a pair of footsteps go downstairs. I knew that was Devlin. If he was waiting for me to go downstairs so I'd run into him, he should know that wouldn't work. I stayed inside the bedroom listening for his footsteps to return.
But I heard something else instead. A woman's voice on the telephone it appeared. Gloria had gone out into the hallway or the bathroom and was talking to someone.
"I heard she's not coming back…no I know he's got a girlfriend now but every time I see him I remember what it was like…what we shared…"
I frowned from where I lay in bed. What was she talking about and who had the girlfriend? I never looked at Tiffany's mom as anyone but the mother of my friend but listening to her…she sounded conflicted.
"Devlin doesn't know and I don't think he'd care except…well yeah that…in this town people talk about everything they think is true."
That sounded about right to me.
"I know but my husband would kill him if he knew it was even possible…and I don't want to be responsible for that…"
My interest piqued. Was it possible that Gloria kept a secret from Devlin and if so what? He clearly kept many secrets from her including me. I just never thought that she'd do the same though it made sense. Everyone in this town had secrets and none of us were immune.
The phone clicked off soon after that and the door opened and the hallway fell quiet again. Devlin remained downstairs maybe sitting in the entertainment room with a glass of Scotch. Despite my questions, my eyes felt heavy and I drifted off to sleep.
I sat cross legged on the floor and looked at the man digging into Thai takeout in front of me.
"How well do you know Gloria?"
He looked up at me suddenly. I'd surprised him.
"What do you mean, know her…?"
"Just what I asked, I mean I know you and Devlin were friends…"
"We still are…just that we're both so busy in our careers."
I knew it was more than that but said nothing.
"Were you friends with her…?"
He poured some curry over his rice.
"Just through her husband," he said, "but we spent time together years ago."
I sipped my tea.
"I saw some photos of the three of you together from years ago," I said, "a Family photo…I think around the time Tiffany was born."
"I remember that time," He said, "I visited her in the hospital after Tiffany was born. She was a tiny little baby…came early if I remember."
I digested that information.
"Devlin told me that she'd had a hard time getting pregnant after her first," Brock said, "Took much longer."
I hadn't known that but then I wasn't privy to Devlin's marriage. The last thing he probably wanted to think about when we'd been together. I know I didn't want to remember that he'd cheated on his wife with me.
"They were happy when Tiffany was born."
"I wouldn't know…I wasn't born yet myself."
Just another reminder that Brock had already grown into a man before I'd even been a baby… He put his plate down and looked at me.
"Why all these questions Ruby?"
"Just curious…there's a lot I don't know…even with my own family."
Brock got up to his feet and reached to pull me up alongside him. He then slid his arms around my waist and lowered his mouth on mine. I shivered as his lips brushed mine, teasingly at first. He loved doing that…tasting my mouth just enough to rile me up and then pulling his mouth away until I almost begged for it.
I opened my mouth inviting his tongue to slip inside of it. I tasted it with my own and traced the side of it with my own tongue as I slid my hands on his chest reaching underneath his shirt. His muscles twitched beneath my fingers as his tongue continued to slide along mine. He pulled away and looked at my face.
"Let's go take this elsewhere."
He swept me off my feet and carried me into the bedroom while I held onto him, kissing him.
I slumped against him after the last waves of the most intense climax rippled through my body. Our bodies drenched in sweat, slick and rubbing against each other as I finished riding his cock hard. The way his shaft stroked my clit…it made me almost hyperventilate but his hands as they stroked my lower back slowed me back down.
"Damn that was so intense."
I leaned forward and kissed him as he fondled my breasts, rubbing my nipples with his thumbs until they hardened.
He pulled me down on top of him while still inside me and I lay against him, still breathing hard and my heart pounding.
"You're one hot woman," he said, "Can't get enough of you."
"Better remember that when I'm ready to go again."
I knew it'd be another long night of intense coupling with him and next time I planned to get things rolling by sliding my mouth around the head of his cock, already savoring it. I enjoyed giving him head because he didn't force the issue. He didn't hold me fast with his hands or pull my hair back way hard like Devlin. Brock had his rougher side but within it there was always some gentleness. The two intertwined together drove me crazy.
I thought about that at work the next day as I sorted herbs. Brock had been growing on me slowly for quite a while now but I chalked it up to the great sex. The fact that he gave as well as took and damn wasn't he so hot?
Then I looked up and saw Gloria there by the roses talking to one of the new guys. She looked animated and then a short distance away Devlin. I didn't want him to see me so I headed towards the shed to get some starter kits to put on display.
Someone called me to help a woman in the tree grove in the back of the nursery where the young trees were lined up in rows and the fountains were for sale, some of them cascading water. I helped a young woman pick out a young avocado tree and helped her get it into a cart to take to the front. She thanked me and toted it away.
That left me standing alone there and when I heard footsteps from behind me, I didn't need to turn around to know it was him.