Authors: Naima DaCosta
She was rather young, but good..strong voice with that hint of vulnerability sweet and convincing in it's sincerity.
The arrangement was amazing. It sounded deep and lush yet irresistibly catchy at the same time. The production was smooth as silk, top notch. Hayley stared into space lost and the moment until the song finally ended. She turned to him. Jack was smiling almost blandly.
“That son of a bitch he knows I never listen to the radio,” she thought. Hayley didn't know whether to laugh hysterically, start crying, or hit him. She wished she could do all three simultaneously. She was shaking and she opened her mouth to scream but he spoke before she could make a sound.
"Number 14 since yesterday- going up."
Jack laughed at the look of stupefaction on her face.
"Why are you doing this to me?" Hayley said weakly, "I can't handle all this.. why didn't you tell me.. I didn't want you to do any of this."
Jack said magnanimously, "I only did what any good producer would do. I found a hit so I took it and ran with it."
Hayley wasn't buying this at all, "you're not a producer, you're a songwriter."
Jack brushed that aside, "sometimes I'm a bit of both... incidentally all the publishing royalties go directly to you, that's no mean feat for an unknown songwriter."
He paused and pretended to reconsider this, "You know I really should have given myself some points for the arrangement though."
Hayley laughed and started hugging him and hitting him at the same time, "you fucking asshole!..I hate you."
They were both smiling and though she was genuinely mad at him for deceiving her, there was an enormous amount of love in her heart. She felt a need to escape before she fell apart completely.
"I'd better go home. I'm going to be doing a lot of crying tonight, probably all morning too."
Jack spoke..slowly and carefully, "Well it'll be awhile until the checks start clearing but there's no reason you can't start using your new studio in the meantime after all you're going to have to start working hard to come up with a follow up to your first hit." He added pompously, "you're in the big time now baby- you can only go up or down, there's no time to stand still."
Jack tried to sound reasonable, feeling anything but, "you should crash here tonight at least, test it out tomorrow."
"I don't think so" Hayley said, not wanting to touch on the real reason she didn't want to be around him now.
"I have to be honest I'm still not sure how I feel about using that space...you have no idea how grateful I am that it exists but it doesn't seem right somehow... not now, this all feels too new and raw. As for staying tonight I'm too overwhelmed by everything to be able to relax here."
Jack looked disappointed, she added patiently, "I wouldn't be any fun tonight anyway even if I did stay." The wind seemed to go out of his sails. Jack looked sad, not in his brooding way which Hayley was used to, but just plain sad, like a small child or a dog.
Hayley said, "what's the matter have all these grand gestures of yours turned you all sentimental?" She knew she was being cruel but she had to give him a little bit of payback for those terrible shocks he had given her.
Jack spoke in a toneless voice, "well I was looking forward to seeing you again." His heart sank even lower at the lack of sympathy he saw in her amused look.
Hayley spoke jocularly, imitating his old manner with her "What's wrong, are you disappointed we didn't fuck more? - well I'll tell you a secret you should already know, Jack. You can have that any time I'm free, tonight I'm not."
He smiled bleakly, "Of course that's perfectly reasonable."
Hayley started to feel guilty now and let herself weaken a bit, "look I'll tuck you in but then I've got to go home and cry, OK?"
Jack’s face lost that hangdog expression but there was a kind of heaviness that lingered about him. She took his arm to lead him but she had no idea where he had stashed his old bed, so she asked, "where to?" Jack led her to the back of the room behind where his giant speakers stood...he pulled aside a curtain and here was another door she hadn't seen before, he opened it to another double doored hallway.
"This place is turning into quite a maze isn't it?" Hayley remarked.
Jack said nothing but opened the last of the doors into a specially designed circular bedroom that looked like it had never been slept in. There were black velvet curtains covering the walls. Several beautifully woven rugs surrounded the voluptuously round custom made bed that lay waiting invitingly in the center of the room. The bed was the most comfortable looking thing she had ever seen It was draped in dark emerald colored bedspread made from the finest doupioni silk. It's languorous contours relaxed and seduced the eye.
Hayley could only imagine the gorgeous comfort of being nestled naked inside it. She looked up to see the artificially domed ceiling was hand painted sky blue. There was a rolling tray nest to the bed, the kind used in hotels. there was a bottle of champagne sitting in a bucket of half melted ice atop it. The two glasses next to it shone with the purest of crystal.
Jack was watching her reaction to it all, Hayley had been so overawed earlier that she was more or less immune to any shock at this point. Still, she felt relaxed being in here, and her body language said as much. She wanted to just roll around in the elegant lushness of the bed but still felt like teasing him, so she said, "What's gotten into you? surely you didn't think you needed to do all this, just to get laid?"
Jack couldn't hold back anymore. He began to cry...not just tears but actual sobs. Such was his character that he did it shamelessly, while looking straight into her eyes with complete vulnerability. In that moment she felt he was the saddest and most beautiful person she had ever met.
Hayley simply melted, her own worries and qualms were brushed aside as she gathered him against her chest. saying over and over, "Sorry sorry sorry lover sorry I'll stay with you tonight, I promise."
Jack lay against her chest sobbing like a child. ..This sacred moment she had longed for was every bit as satisfying as she had imagined she wanted to just hold him like that forever.
For some reason feeling his warm tears all over her breasts and feeling his shuddering sobs against her body made her start to feel more and more turned on with each passing moment. Jack had his hands on the side of her head as he came into her saying,"I love you so much hayley." After that he was quiet and so was she.
Hayley was happy, so full to bursting, happy, but she still felt somewhat separate from the love she had felt so free expressing to him these last two hours. It didn't seem to be a part of her organically as much as it was something precious she kept under lock and key now and it puzzled her. Her mind ran over all the events of the past few hours.
She whispered, "I still can't believe you did all of that for me."
Jack remained quiet.
Hayley asked him, "why did you, really?"
"I would have done it for anyone like you.. I never met anyone like you before is all" he paused " maybe I've been waiting my whole life to do something like that for someone. Maybe you were just the person who helped me remember how much I wanted to."
Hayley’s eyes shone, lips parted slightly as she slowly exhaled a deep sigh. Jack took her hand and glanced across their bodies laying there enmeshed together in that sumptuous bed.
Hayley started to feel that feeling again, of total oneness, of total surrender to their souls dearest sympathy. That same immutable feeling from before. It came over so strongly in that moment that it actually felt like she was dissolving in it. She felt confused, unable to accept the actuality of it.
"What's going on. What's happening?" she said in a small voice.
Jack looked at her and spoke slowly and deliberately, with a total authority in his tone, "This is our place now... you're going to live here- with me, from now on for as long as it makes you happy to be here. That studio is yours- you can pay for it if you wish but it's already in your name. This bed is our bed. this bedroom connects to each of our studios so this will be where we can meet when we need to relax from working. If you need to nap without being disturbed you have my old bed in your studio, I have my couch.”
Jack smiled again, "It's only fair to warn you though, that if avoid this bed for more than three days in a row- I may have to come after you!"
Hayley started crying almost as soon as she realized how much he meant it, "I guess I'll be doing all my crying here instead after all...and then some." She gave him a quick look of concern, remembering earlier, "unless you still need to cry more darling."
"We can take turns dearest, I think we both deserve it."
Jack’s eyes stayed fixed on her ardently, "by the way, how come your tears turn me on so much?"
Hayley laughed musically, the sound catching slightly in her throat. She cleared it, then smiled again with a curious wonder born of her blissful contentment.
"I was wondering the same thing earlier. I'm not quite sure..but this is going to be a long and extremely lovely night.”