If Only Tonight

Life After The Storm: Chapter Seventy Three - Do You Feel What I Feel?

Life After The Storm:
Chapter Seventy Three: Do You Feel What I Feel?

The events of the night before replaying in her dreams, Mia awoke to the sound of birds chirping. Not wanting to get up she stubbornly stayed in her bed. The feel of his lips on hers, had heat rushing to her cheeks, but she couldn't stop herself from thinking about the kiss...or about him.

With bright morning light streaming in to the room, along with crisp fresh air, Mia finally lifted her head from the pillow, looking up at the clock. It was almost eight. I shouldn't have fallen back asleep, Mia thought regretfully. Having first woken up at six, showered, and gotten ready, Mia had decided to distract herself and read while waiting for Matthew to wake up. It had only taken a few pages before she had fallen back to sleep. Deciding to get up for good this time, running a hand through her hair, she stretched before heading for the bathroom.

As she walked down the hall, Mia decided to peak in to Matthew's bedroom. She was usually awake before him, and most of the time she looked he would always be fast asleep.

Quietly opening the door, Mia was surprised to find his bed empty and neatly made.

It was then that she heard a chuckle coming from behind her. She stood frozen in place, embarrassed to be caught. Slowly Mia turned around only to find Matthew walking down the hall towards her from the bathroom, clad only in a pair of jeans, wiping his wet hair with a towel.

Seeing his shoulder, she could tell he had changed the bandages. Watching him come closer, she couldn't help but stare at his chiselled chest. She could feel the heat rising in her cheeks.


"Checking to see if I'm still here, and that I haven't run off yet?" He asked cheekily, as he walked towards her. Until now, he had been unsure of what effect he had on her. Now that he knew, he decided to push for more, after all last night had gotten him a kiss. Maybe today he'd be able to steal a few more!

Mia simply shook her head, not saying a word.

Having woken up an hour earlier, Matthew had decided to get dressed before her. She had always beaten him to the shower, and it drove him crazy when she laughed at his yelp half way through his own shower when the hot water turned cold. In a hurry, Matthew had thought he had gotten both his jeans and his shirt before entering the bathroom; it was after his shower that he had realized what piece of clothing he was missing. Of course he hadn't factored in that Mia would be up and around.

Her hair slightly mussed up, Mia looked like she had gotten ready earlier. Wearing her paint splattered shorts, an open flannel shirt revealed the black tank top she had on underneath.

"Nothing, you haven't seen before, babe." He said grinning non-chalantly, as he walked past her into the room. Looking surprised, Mia followed him in much to his surprise.

"Hold it! Since when did you start calling me babe?" It seemed Mia had finally found her voice, as she asked him sounding annoyed.

"Since when did you start drooling at the sight of me?" Matthew was quick to retort.

"I wasn't drooling!" She argued, walking up closer to him.

"Uh huh..." Matthew teased her, mischievously.

"Then what's that?" He said pointing to her mouth.

It was amusing to watch, as Mia checked to see if he was telling the truth. When he saw the realization on her face that he had lied, Matthew quickly grabbed her by the waist. Losing balance, they fell on to the bed behind him.


Moments later, Mia found herself on top of Matthew, straddling his waist. She had run his fingers, trailing them over his bare chest before their hands entwined. Her hair fell over her shoulders as she bent down to kiss him once more. Her lips tenderly touching his.

It was unclear how she had gotten herself in this position but she didn't care. Mia's mind was peacefully blank. Having spent the night dreaming of kissing him, she was finally getting her wish. All she knew was that she didn't want it to end.

Pulling her closer to him, Matthew deepened the kiss.

Her hands in his, resting on his bare shoulders, the current between them caused an alarm to go off in the back of her mind. What are you doing? Her mind shouted at her. It took all the strength she could muster, but Mia broke away, gently taking her hands out of his, as she moved off of him. What was I thinking? She berated herself, trying to look calm. I shouldn't be doing this! I don't do this! What's wrong with me?

Looking confused, Matthew grabbed her hand.

"What's wrong?" He asked looking puzzled.

Unsure of what to tell him, Mia said the only logical thing she could think of.

"Hungry." She answered him.

Walking towards the door, Mia found something on the dresser; she flung a t-shirt at him, as she left.


As they started to work, whole hours passed without much notice. Even lunch was as quiet as breakfast. The light could be seen starting to fade to darkness. Painting another room of the basement, Matthew tried to get her back to being comfortable around him. The entire day had gone by without much being said between them. Every time their hands would brush against each other, she would move away. She wouldn't let him get too close, as though afraid things would slip out of her control.

He didn't understand her being so cautious again. Didn't she see all he wanted was her? It hurt that they were so close but worlds away when it came to the state of their relationship.

Persistent, Matthew tried once more, trying to take the paint brush from her hand. She looked at him amused.

"What do you want?" She asked him, with a small smile.

You, Matthew thought.

"Trade?" He said instead, presenting her with the paint roller.

"Fine." She sighed, as she moved to take it from him, Matthew pulled the roller back, forcing her to come closer.

She stared up at him, questioningly, he leaned in closer about to kiss her, but Mia moved away.


"What do you want?" Mia asked, as he tried to take her paint brush.

"Trade?" Matthew answered, moving the paint roller closer to her.

Sighing, she relented.

"Fine." She said, inching to get hold of the roller.

With a quick move, Matthew had pulled the roller back. She took a step closer. Staring up at him, she knew his motives were to be suspected. Their morning had brought back emotions that she had been keeping well in check over the last few days. She wasn't sure she was ready to give her heart what it wanted. As he leaned in closer their lips about to meet, Mia remembered what had pushed her away from him this morning, as well as the night before. The hurt at being left, the pain at seeing the pictures, the feelings of betrayal that had been trying to over power her, Mia moved away.

Tired of playing games with him, Mia decided that it was best to just call it a night.

"I guess this is good for today. We can probably finish it tomorrow." She told him, handing over the brush but making no move to take the roller. He didn't say anything.

"I'm going to hit the shower." She told him before hurrying out of the room.


An hour later, Matthew came up from the basement. He had finished painting the room. There had only been one wall left, and it didn't make sense for him to leave it for the next day. Having cleaned up the paint brushes and rollers this time, since it was his turn, he sorely missed Mia's company.

He headed to the deck. From the beginning of his stay, he had found that the deck was probably the best part of the cottage. Sitting atop the lake, it had an brilliant view of both the water and land. Sliding the glass door, he stepped on to the deck only to find Mia staring out across the water.

Moving quietly, he came to stand beside her.

It took him a few moments of arguing with himself, but he decided to try.

"Mia..." He started, but she shook her head.

"Goodnight, Matthew." Mia said, gently, as she walked away leaving Matthew alone to think.