The Result of Restraint
As soon as he opened the door he knew it was a mistake to have come here straight away. He ought to have gone and calmed down somewhere, stricken the images from his mind, erased the hopes from his heart…
Kristen’s smile was as beautiful as it always was and she reached for him, pulling his jacket off and pressing a soft kiss to his cheek and then his mouth. He could still feel where Stevie’s lips had met his only minutes earlier. His wife’s kiss felt wrong and just how fucked up could he be, honestly? Cursing himself silently, he broke apart from her and eased his shoes off, sitting down on the edge of their hotel bed.
He felt the mattress depress as Kristen sat beside him and Lindsey tried to stop the urge he felt to move slightly further away from her. Smothered was the only word he felt right now. He should be longing for her embrace, desirous to spend time with her after these past few weeks of being away on the road without her. Instead, he kept his head down, took deep breaths, tried to forget the way his throat had tightened and his spine had straightened when Stevie had absent-mindedly fussed with and mussed up his graying curls as they’d ridden up in the elevator together. The show had been an exercise in restraint and he’d found himself surprised at how much he had missed some of the intimacies and words they played out together onstage every other night.
An hour after the show finished, as they made their way to their individual suites in the hotel, he could still see the disappointment that had flashed across Stevie’s face as he had loosened his hold on her hand onstage. She had stood right next to him in the elevator, as ever ignoring any pretext of appropriate physical distance, and they’d waited, not bothering to speak as they moved upwards. A few seconds of silence had passed before he felt her fingers in his hair and he nudged her with his shoulder affectionately. Her hand stopped its calming motion and he felt himself turning to look down at her. His first mistake. Her eyes were wide and curious and beautiful, so beautiful. So he had kissed her. The moment he’d felt her responding, as he felt her small hand come up to his jacket to pull him closer to her, Lindsey’s heart had done a little pitter patter and the recall of that was enough to redden his face in shame. Honestly, one would think they were flirtatious teenagers on their first date sometimes, the way he reacted to her attention and she reacted to his touch.
He could feel Kristen’s slim fingers trailing across his shoulders now, familiar and comforting in some ways, disturbingly foreign to him in others. The press of her lips to the back of his neck and the words being whispered in his ear were the only warning he needed. Not tonight, he just couldn’t… He’d made love to Kristen whilst thinking of Stevie before, while she still lingered in his mind, and it had never, ever ended well. One incident in particular had led to probably the worst fight he and his wife had ever had, an acrimonious argument filled with threats and accusations and hurtful truths.
So, he said no.
And Lindsey knew Kristen wondered why. He feared she knew why.
Two nights later, as Fleetwood Mac took the stage, Stevie clasped his hand more tightly than usual, kissed his brow where he knew frown lines were in evidence, told him it would all be alright. He wished he could believe her.