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Soaked in Bleach

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Come doused in mud, soaked in bleach
As I want you to be.
                                        Come as You Are by Nirvana

 

Carol closed the app on her phone and slumped down in the chair she had on her balcony. She let out a puff of air to blow the stray hairs off her face and looked out over the grass and the woods behind the building, it was peaceful and she needed to think.

It had been two days without a word from him. Daniel had gone MIA and part of her was mad at him and part of her was worried that something happened to him, something bad. In her heart she knew, he had dipped out on her after eight months of talking daily.

But still she worried, even though she knew the truth.

She had thought he was different he had convinced her he was. And now he was just gone. As she sipped her iced tea and looked out over the golf course that was the back yard of the apartment building she lived in, she reflected on the fact that she never had good luck with men named Daniel. It was a sign and one she should have heeded.

Daniel #1 was a liar and a cheat, but oh so beautiful, with his deep brown eyes and dark hair. He was the reason she had ended up engaged to that awful Ed Peltier. Daniel #1 and she had been dating all through high school and he told her things. Things like I want to marry you. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t live without you. I want you to be the mother of my children.

But he did live without her, with every woman in their social circle until Carol had enough. Then a year later she was engaged to Ed and Daniel was knocking on her door, begging for another chance, promising he would change. He couldn’t stand the thought of her marrying someone else.

He had actually got down on his knees and begged her not to marry Ed, so she called off the engagement.
She took him back, because he was so beautiful and because she was young and believed in love. He didn’t change though and finally Carol understood, he just couldn’t and although she loved him madly with every ounce of her being, it was never meant to be.

Maybe love wasn’t meant to be for her, and she was ok with that. She would have been ok with that if Ed had been as kind as he pretended to be. She would have stayed if there had been any companionship to their relationship at all, but there wasn’t.

Carol married Ed and as soon as the honeymoon was over he started beating the shit out of her, because of Daniel #1 and his raging anger and jealousy that she had left him, for someone else. That went on for five years until her friend from work Tara and her brothers helped her get away.

She was thirty-two now and lived next door to Tara’s youngest brother, who had found her the apartment in his complex. His balcony abutted hers and he had been known to just hop over on warm summer nights, they would sit together long into the night and talk about anything and everything. Although Tara was her friend from work, her brother had become Carol’s best friend.

Daryl was the best friend she had ever had.

They had so much in common, books, the kinds of food they liked and even music and he was so easy on the eyes. Not that she would ever go there, but still the view all around this place was spectacular, even inside because of him.

The whole time she had known Daryl there was a simmering attraction on both their parts, something bubbling just under the surface. Neither of them ever acted on it and were content to ignore it, in favor of the deep friendship they had.

Not lately though, and it was her fault, she had let her friendships go in order to talk to some guy from Texas on the internet and she was so angry with herself for falling for it.

So when she met Daniel #2 on Match.com of all things she was leery. That name brought back so many memories, of a dark haired boy she loved when she was a young girl. She was not that naïve girl anymore that fell for sweet talk and promises, at least she hadn’t thought so.

But, he pulled her in and made her care and now he had dumped her, without so much as an explanation. As she sat there she silently let him go and realized that it was never anything really, just a waste of her time.
She heard Daryl’s music come on in his apartment, ‘Come as You Are’ by Nirvana and sent him a quick text asking if he wanted iced teas, the alcoholic kind, she needed it tonight.

He didn’t answer, he just appeared and hopped over the rail with a bottle of Stoli in his hand. The music still played and he left his door open so that they could hear it.

“Bad day cookie?” He said as he sat down next to her.

“Yeah, a little bit.” She said holding her glass out as he poured some vodka into it. “Let me get you a glass too.”

“I’ll get it, you start drinking, you look like you need it.” He said getting up and walking through the sliding glass door, into her apartment. He returned for a glass and poured some vodka into it, then he turned and leaned up against the rail. “Have you been crying?”

Carol looked up at him, he was the best friend she ever had, he could always tell if something was wrong, and he was always there for her and she for him.

“It’s fine.” She murmured.

“Tara said you called out sick today, you ok?” He said as she looked up and shielded her eyes from the sun. It was behind him and it made his hair look blonder and his eyes bluer. The view helped, she couldn’t deny it.

“I wasn’t, but I will be.” She replied.

“It was a shitty thing to do, and I’ll go kick his ass if you want me too.” Daryl said as she took a long sip of her drink.

“Tara told you?”

“She did and asked me to check on you, she’ll be here after eleven and the three of us are going to get wasted and plot the demise of this douche bag that hurt you.”

Carol shook her head. “I just want to forget he exists.”

“Drink up then.” He raised his glass to her.

They sat drinking in silence for a while and it wasn’t uncomfortable, it never was with them. In the years they had lived next door to each other they had nursed each other through many turmoils in life. They had been through bad jobs and bad relationships together; this was just another bump.
Finally, Carol spoke again after staring at the trees for what seemed like hours as she drank her drink down and made another.

“Daryl, am I that unattractive, is that why everyone leaves me?” She said softly, looking forward and not at him.

He didn’t answer right away, Carol knew that was his way, Daryl always had to think an answer through before he said anything. She didn’t know the reason for this was because he was always afraid to say the wrong thing and give things away that he didn’t want her to know about.

Things that he felt about her. Tonight was apparently the night though because she needed a kindness from him and he would never hold that back from her.

Daryl turned in his chair and stared into her eyes. “Carol, you don’t know how beautiful you really are, do you?”

She blushed wildly and looked up at him. “Come on you’re just saying that.”

Daryl shook his head. “You are the most beautiful woman I know.” He sputtered out and wondered if it was too much. He looked over at her, she was thinking, he could tell by the way she scrunched up her nose and narrowed her eyes. He had made work of studying everything about her and he knew her. He would wait until she was finished thinking, and then she would say what was on her mind. He looked down at his cigarettes on the chair next to him and grabbed them and lit one.

Then she turned back to him.

“What is it about me though? What’s wrong with me?”

“Hey, there ain’t nothing wrong with you, there’s something wrong with any guy who doesn’t see what I see.” He took a long pull on the cigarette and decided to just say it, say everything that was on his mind.

“What do you see?”

“I see a good and kind soul, a caring friend and someone who takes my breath away on the regular.” He said before he lost his nerve again, because this time, this time he wasn’t going to let her get away from him.

“Daryl?” She answered.

“Any guy would be lucky to have ya, you just ain’t found the right one yet.” He sipped his drink and looked out over the trees. It was quiet now and the crickets were chirping, making their night music as the sun went down over the day.

They didn’t talk for a long time, each lost in their own thoughts and that was ok. They didn’t always have to talk, sometimes not talking with them communicated a whole lot more than words.

“I take your breath away?”

“Yup.”

“Why?”

Daryl considered how to answer this question, because the reality was, he loved her and had loved her for a long time. She was also his best friend and he was so afraid of losing her that he kept it quiet and under wraps. Not even Merle knew, Tara maybe, because she was a little more in tuned to him, but he wasn’t really sure if she had figured it out.

He hid it well, giving Carol her space when she needed it and hid it in the arms of other women, but she was the one. The air was thick suddenly, with words spoken and unspoken, with something else too.

“You don’t even know, do you? You’re the entire package, sweet, pretty face and slamming body.” He said too quickly and although he wanted to take it back, he realized it was better that she knew it now.

“You’re just saying that.”

“No, I’m really not.” He said staring at her in the darkness.

Carol assessed the implication of what he just said. She had noticed him many times and wondered what it might be like, she was a woman after all and he was very attractive, the whole package, as he had said. But they were friends, and she treasured that.

“You’re drunk.” She laughed and he touched her hand. She felt that familiar pull towards him that she had felt in the past. She felt it when they sat out on the balcony like this on warm summer nights, she felt it when they stayed in when it was cold and watched horror movies.

Daryl brought his face closer to her, so that he could see her eyes in the darkness, the only light came from inside their respective places now.

“I’m not.” He tossed the cigarette over the balcony as he spoke to her.

It hung in the air now between them, and she suddenly realized how stupid it was to mourn over someone she had never laid eyes on. Daryl had been right in front of her all along. That fear she had slowly slipped away as she looked at him.

“Will you kiss me?” She choked out before she lost her nerve and she saw his eyes change immediately. She bit her lower lip and stared at his lips now and he was weak for her when she did that. He had seen it a million times but he had never been so close to her when she did it. It was unsettling in the best possible way.

He put down his drink.

“Are you sure?” He said out loud as his mind reeled with the words please be sure, please be sure.

She nodded her head and that was all the consent he needed, he brought his lips to hers softly and it was all he imagined it would be. Carol had always been afraid that if she kissed him it would creep her out, like kissing her brother, but it wasn’t like that at all.

When it ended she looked at him and the only thought she had was more, I want more of this.

“More.” She said it out loud and then his lips were on her again, his hands slid over her thighs and along the back of her shirt and she pulled him closer. Carol had felt his body before and she knew his chest was hard and his shoulders were broad. But this? Feeling him like this, was something different and as his tongue slid against her lips this time, begging for entrance she parted her lips and kissed him back.

Daryl let out a moan and dug his fingers into her hair, holding her head in place as she reached for his arms to pull him closer. The chairs were too far apart and finally, he pulled her over onto his lap, one of her legs on either side of his.

“Oh my God, why didn’t we ever do this before?” She whispered as his lips traveled down her neck, hot and wet.

“Cause we’re both chicken shit that’s why.” Daryl laughed, bringing his lips back up to hers in another scorching kiss. He was a great kisser and he kissed dirty. The kind of kisses that made you wonder what else he could do with his tongue. It was a pity really, that it had taken them so long, but the timing was everything.

Carol could feel how hard he was already through his jeans and it made her feel powerful. Her ego rose as she ground herself against him and he moaned out loud again and grabbed her hips.

“Jesus Carol, you’re fucking amazing.” He rasped out. “More than I ever thought.”

“You thought about this.” She said, bringing her lips down to his ear and breathing the words softly. His hands were traveling over the outside of her clothes and his touch was scorching, not like anything she had ever felt before.

“All the time.” He groaned leaning his head back against the chair as she placed wet kisses all down his neck.

“Me too.” Carol confessed, bringing her face towards him for another kiss, this definitely wasn’t like kissing your brother. It was like every good thing in life rolled up into one. Why had they waited so long?

She reached under the hem of his shirt and he stopped her hand before she could pull it over his head. “You don’t got to do this if you don’t want to, I understand if you need to slow down.”

She responded by pulling his shirt over his head and then leaned back to pull her own off. She had been moping around all day in old sweats and a sweatshirt, and hadn’t bothered with a bra.

“Jesus, Carol.” Was the only thing he could mutter as he stared at her there in the moonlight looking so perfect.

“I don’t need to slow down and you already know I’m on the pill, I think we covered everything.” She said, leaning back to unbuckle his pants.

“Do ya wanna go inside?”

“Nope, right here.” She laughed. “Chair or deck, your choice.”

He stood up holding her against him with her legs wrapped around his waist then gently laid her down on the deck.

“More room down here.” He whispered into her ear as his hand brushed against her nipple just right and she was already arching her back from the feel of it. Then he followed with his lips and she was melting into the deck from the way he made her feel. “This ok?”

“More than ok.” She slid her small hands over the bulge in his pants and kissed him again, her hands going for the buckle again.

“Hold on, not yet.” He muttered against the skin of her breast, bringing his hands down to the seam of her sweatpants. He waited till she nodded her head and with one last lick on her nipple he blew hot air on it and traveled down her stomach with his hot mouth.

Daryl stopped at the seam of her pants and licked all around her stomach, making his intentions known, then looked up at her.

Carol could barely see his eyes they were blown wide from passion, but she knew he was still asking permission. “Yes.” Was all she could choke out and then he was pulling her sweats and underwear off.

‘Aneurysm’ was playing now. Come on over and do the twist, ahhhhh, love you so much it makes me sick.

Carol stared up at the night sky full of stars and let the words to the song wash over her.

His hands were rough feeling because he was a mechanic, but gentle as he touched her as if she was a precious thing to him. It had been a long time since she felt someone else’s hands against her soft skin and she came fast.

Daryl brought his face back up to hers and kissed her again, pushing his tongue into her mouth and taking it over. Carol was still coming down from the high of her orgasm and he was whispering in her ear.
“I’m not done yet.”

“Ok.” She sputtered out as she watched his head going down over her breasts again, licking her nipples slowly and lower to her stomach. He crouched between her legs and slid them over his shoulders, his gaze burning into hers the whole time. She watched as he licked behind her knee and along her inner thigh, making an entire production out of it.

“God damn that’s nice.” Was all he said and then his tongue was on her. She had been right, he knew what he was doing, with his tongue and his fingers.

The second orgasm washed over her slowly and made her whole body flush and she cried out louder than the first time. Surprised at herself, she looked at him as he brought his face back up from between her legs.

“Fuckin amazin.” Was all he said and she knew he meant it. She went for his dick again, determined now and he was huge.

She got the button of his jeans down and unzipped, bringing her hand inside his pants now. The feel of her hand on him was almost too much.

“You’re sure?” He said loud enough so that there was no mistake, and she nodded her head vigorously.

“Please.”

“Alright then.” He said kissing her again, her foot shot out and hit the third chair on the deck knocking it over with a thud.

“Jesus we’re gonna wake Mrs. Jones downstairs.” Carol said covering her mouth and giggling.

“Fuck her.” Daryl laughed as they both pulled his jeans down, and he kicked them off.

“Hurry.” Carol pleaded, and he obliged pulling her legs up and sliding into her wet heat.

She felt better than any woman ever had, she was warm and tight around him and he almost lost it right there.

“Oh God dammit…fuck me.” He groaned as she wrapped her legs around his waist to hang on because she had a feeling this was going to be a ride.

“Ohmygod.” She moaned, not even caring now that she was fucking her best friend out on the balcony in front of all the neighbors. It was too good and he filled her completely, she couldn’t keep quiet. “Ohmygod.”

“That’s it, baby, come again.” He growled. “I wanna feel it.”

“I can’t.” She said breathlessly.

“Yes you can.” He pushed against her, watching his dick go in and out of her and it made him dizzy with want. “Yes, you can.” He reached down between them to help her along with his fingers.

“Ohmygod Daryl…” Was all she got out and then she came harder than before, her whole body vibrating and squeezing around him. It was too good and Daryl totally lost it and exploded in a rush of profanity right after her. It had never been like this before, with anyone else. He was filled with emotion and feeling for her, filled with the need to be by her side forever.

This was what he had been longing for all his life and he prayed she felt the same.

He slid down next to her and pulled her close after they both recovered their breathing and stilled their heartbeats. It was quiet now and dark and he had things to say to her.

“Are you sorry?” He asked.

“Nope, are you?”

“Fuck no. I can’t wait to do it again.” He pulled her closer.

“Me either.” She said snuggling closer to him and laying her head against his chest.

They laid there a while just holding and touching each other, looking up at the sky and talking quietly, every once in a while, kissing until they heard the sound of keys in Carol’s doorknob.

“Oh fuck, it’s my sister.” Daryl laughed as they both stood up pulling their clothes back on as Tara called from inside the apartment. She had gotten off work and came over with a carry out of nachos, and they were both laughing as they straightened themselves out.

The lights came on in Carol’s apartment as Tara made her way towards the balcony.

“Hey, hey where are you?” Tara called, walking towards the sliding glass door, she stood there holding the tray and looked at them. They were both laughing and acting weird, weirder than usual at least.

“What’s going on?” She asked. “You guys drunk or something?”

“Nothing.” Carol giggled to herself. “Nope.”

“You?” Tara pointed to her brother.

“Nothing.” He said shaking his head, with a small grin on his face that Tara did not miss. She looked from one to the other and then all around the deck, the bottle of Stoli and glasses on a small table and her eyes settled on a few things.

“Sure, ok.” She sat the tray down and dropped her purse. “But tell me, why is your shirt on inside out?” She pointed to Daryl. “And Carol, your underwear is right over there.” She pointed to the chair where Daryl had tossed them and sat down in the other chair. “You can sit there.” She laughed as he picked them up and shoved them in his back pocket and righted the chair they had knocked over.

“Those nachos.” He said sitting down next to her.

“Hungry are you?” Tara side eyed him as Carol sat down in the other chair.

“Starving.” Daryl replied.

“Hey,” Tara said to both of them with a wink. “It’s about time, Merle owes me fifty bucks now.”