Three Days Ago 6

She was surprised to find him crushing her in a hug a moment later.  She'd always loved his hugs, hell, at the moment was craving his hugs, but this one scared her a bit.  His arms were shaking and his breathing was uneven against her ear as he tucked her against him.  If they hadn't been sitting down still, she expected that he would be shaky on his feet too.  That was the last way she expected him to react to her clear loss of control of her emotions.  He was a very emotional person himself, in his writing, in his music, and in his own life.  She knew though that something that would effect him even more was to deal with people around him that were emotionally unstable or in an unstable moment.

"Shhh."  He tucked her against him.  "You're ok."

His arms stayed around her and she didn't feel the need to pull away too soon.  It was more for his own health and welfare than hers.  She'd needed his hug, but it seemed as if he needed hers just as much.  "I'm not ok," she said pulling back a bit.  "Last night after we talked I had this ugly picture in my head of what might happen to us.  You hung up the phone sounding like you were annoyed with me."

"What might happen to us?" he asked.  She could hear the worry in his voice.  His words were a little shaky and the last few words were lower in tone than the first few.  He kept his arms around her and moved a little to get more comfortable.  "What's that supposed to mean?"

She shrugged not being able to find the right words to describe the fuzzy feeling that clouded her mind the night before and the squeeze that had captured her heart the night before.  "The conversation had me worried."

"I wasn't annoyed."  She could see that this conversation was nothing but torture for him.  His eyebrows pinched together and his nostrils flared a bit.  "Well I was annoyed, but not at you.  I'm annoyed at the fact that you and I don't get to spend enough time with each other.  Last night I knew that you were in a mood and I was in a mood and all I wanted to do was to hit the cafe for my mocha and grab up the New York Times and you can do the crossword--"  He sighed again.  There was too much sighing going on.

"We'll do that all when you get home."

"I know."  He said, "I just wish we could be together more.  The last few weeks have been great, but when I call you, you're already in bed and most the times long asleep and I need you here to share this--"  His voice caught in his throat.  "I'm annoyed with the fact that my friends career's have skyrocketed and that I'm still counting pennies a lot of the time to make it through.  I just wish that--"

She rested her head against his chest and listened to his heartbeat.  It had been a long time since they'd had a conversation like this.  It had been a long struggle with him to deal with the way his life was going.  He wasn't at all depressed about his life, but there were moments where every person in their life takes a moment to look at the people around them to find themselves just a tad bit jealous or upset that their lives aren't as full as others around them.  It wasn't a weakness in her eyes.  She found herself sometimes wishing that she could be as free and open as Tony was with his writing.  She'd tried at one point to be a writer and when that didn't seem to be in the cards for her she'd settled for her teaching position.

Tony had never settled.  He knew it would be a hard road to take, but he'd told her over and over again that he loved doing what he was doing.  He once said in one of his high moods after a great show in Philly that he'd walk over glass and live in the desert without water if it meant that he could still be a performer.  Pinching pennies and looking up at his peers sometimes instead of looking across at them, was the hard part, but it wasn't often that he really let it get to him.  She'd known that it had been getting hard on him.  Being an opening act more often than being a headliner this summer hadn't helped his mood.

He sighed.  "I just wish that all of this was easier."

She moved her head and looked up at him.  "Is that what this is all about?  You think this is too hard?"

Tony moved a bit.  "No. No.  Well, yeah and no.  It's not that I don't want to do it or that it's too hard--"  He took a deep breath.  "Working is crazy, but you know I always get through it.  With you though, I'm worried that one day that you're gonna look back and regret a lot of the things that I've put you through.  Sometimes I think that I put you through more than I should, more than anyone should put another person through."  He took a breath.  "Damn I need a cigarette."

"You know you should cut back," she said.

He nodded acknowledging her constant wish for him to not smoke so much with a nod and a shrug of his shoulders.  She never would tell him outright that she hated smoking.  She was known to have a few when she was partying, but she didn't like the idea of him chain smoking the way he seemed to do when he was stressed out.

"I know, but I need one."  He patted down his pocket real quick.  She could tell that he hadn't been smoking that morning.  He smelled of cigarettes but it wasn't as strong as it normally was in the morning.  She would have known that he hadn't a cigarette even if she hadn't been sitting next to him.  He was a little more on edge when he wasn't smoking.

She turned a little to look him in the face.  "Anthony," she scolded him.

He sighed and lifted a hand to her cheek.  His fingers shook against her cheek, making her skin tingle from the light pressure that the pads of his fingertips made against her skin.  She wondered sometimes what it would be like to be his guitar.  People always joked around about a man's hands and if he could play an instrument the way he played that he must be good in bed and all the other things that came along with making love.

She had no complaints when it came to Tony and romantic things, but even she knew the way he held her in his arms was always going to be different than the way he held his guitar.

He moved to kiss her quickly.  He tasted of coffee and sugar.  "I know.  I know."

She started to giggled when he kissed her a second and third time quickly as if this was going to totally distract her from the fact that they were discussing something serious.  She wasn't about to let this subject go, but she knew the moment that he realized that he needed a cigarette that it was going to be hard to keep his attention.

He kissed her one last time.  "I have an oral fixation."

"Tony," she laughed as he moved to hug her.  He buried his nose and mouth into the crook of her neck and kissed her there one last time.  "I'm sorry that I made you worry."

"I'm sorry that I MADE YOU worry," he said and pulled back to look her in the eyes, "Remind me and I'll pay you back for the plane ticket."

She shook her head at his suggestion.  They shared the expenses like rent and utilities, as any roommates or couples would, but she wasn't about to make him pay for a ticket that she bought spur of the moment.  If she'd calmed down enough to realize what was going on, the money wouldn't have been spent in the first place.  "Honey.  Let's get you some food and get you some cigarettes and me some coffee."

His posture relaxed instantly almost as if the thought of having the cigarette was as good as having it in his hand.  "This isn't over."

"Definitely not."  She knew that tone.  She knew that he was already half way out the door.  He was already at the counter of the convenience store and gift shop that was attached to the diner that they'd pulled up next to.  He was already searching in his head for those few dollars stuffed in his pockets for occasions just like this.  "But we both need food--"

"And you need a cigarette or you're going to explode?"  Her eyes opened wide as she threw the accusation at him.

He sat up straighter and rubbed his hands together.  "I'm so bad, aren't I?"

She watched him squint a few times.  "Anthony you need to get another pair of glasses."

"I've still got my contacts around here.  I'll get a pair when we get to Denver."

He rolled his eyes as if she was scolding him like his mother.  "I'm sure that they have a Lens Crafters or something out there."

She shook her head at him.  "You're such a child."  She paused as he made a silly face at her.  This was why she loved him.  This was why she put up with it all.  This was the Tony that she wanted to be with.

"But," she said trying not to sound too annoyed with him.  Sometimes she wished that she could keep his attention, but she guessed that with every man there was always something that could control them more than the woman in their life.  Control wasn't really the word.  "I love you."

He leaned towards her and put his lips to hers once.  "I know you're still upset.  I am gonna talk to you about this.  And--"  He smiled at her.  "I love you too."

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Last updated: 09/19/04.