Naomi wasn’t going to enjoy herself, she was never going to enjoy herself again, but a certain blonde American was going to make that pledge very hard to keep.
Chance MeetingBy Suzy Redfern
Naomi Gibson got off the bus, and looked round. She sighed and tried to be happy, but when John had left her, she’d almost given up. Two years was a long time to be with someone, and when they just upped and left you, it took a long time to recover. It had already been six weeks and she was just beginning to feel like she could do something other than cry. Her friend Jennie had forced her into this two-week holiday. She’d said that if she couldn’t see the cup he always had his tea in and the plate he ate his breakfast on, maybe it would be easier to recover.
She took a deep breath and went into her hotel, she never saw the cute blonde guy getting out of a taxi behind her. But heard him when she was at the desk checking in, his American accent drifted across the foyer and in the back of her head a little voice said he sounds nice, but her voices were shut away, and as far as she was concerned would be for ever. She was never going to love again, they always left, and she was not going to go through it all again, ever.
Her body wasn’t listening to her head, because when the owner of the voice came and stood beside her it reacted, he was really cute, tall, blue eyed and blonde haired, the kind of guy two years ago she’d have drooled over, but today it was only her body that saw him, her head was still incapable of any emotion.
Ken Hutchinson saw the woman at the desk and smiled, she was cute, perhaps this holiday was going to be fun after all. When Starsk and the Captain had almost forced him on the plane, he’d been angry. He knew that it had been a long time since he’d had any kind of holiday. The near miss last week in the shoot out had un-nerved him too, but that was no reason to pack him off to a foreign country. But while he was here he might as well make the best of it. He turned and smiled at the woman and got a completely blank look back. Hutch frowned it was a new feeling for him, he normally just had to smile and women fell at his feet. Well American women did, maybe British women weren’t so easy to charm. His body went into overdrive, and he put on the really huge ‘I like you’ smile only to have it completely ignored, the woman collected her key and left.
Hutch got his key and followed her into the lift. She stood in the corner looking straight ahead. Time to be charming, she was being far too hard to get.
"Hi, I’m Ken. Are you on Holiday?" he said and grinned as cutely as he could.
Naomi heard the voice and slowly she made sense of the words. She blinked and turned to look at the man. "Yes I am, thank-you," she relied politely.
Hutch tried again, "I’m a stranger here, in great need of a native guide," he moved closer.
Naomi’s brain heard him and wanted to answer, ‘I’ll do it’ but she was so caught up in her sadness that the reply was strangled before it got to her mouth and she just said, "There’s loads of tourist information at the desk." At that moment the doors opened and she got out.
Hutch watched her go, there was something wrong with her, he just knew it. Her voice had been flat and quiet. She’d been hurt, he knew what that felt like, he’d had his fair share of heartaches. Still she wouldn’t want a stranger poking his nose into her life. The lift stopped at his floor, he found his room and spent a few hours sorting out his stuff and watching some TV, none of which were very diverting, but he had learned long ago it was better to relax for a few hours after a long flight, that way the time difference wasn’t so bad.
That evening when he went down to Dinner, he though of the women again, and hoped he’d see her in the dining room, perhaps if he talked to her for a while he could at least wipe some of her sadness away. He knew he shouldn’t interfere but he couldn’t bear to think of her with such sadness in her life.
He couldn’t see her sitting anywhere and she still hadn’t appeared when he’d finished. Probably ate in her room, at least he hoped she’d eaten. It was so easy to stop eating when you were too sad. He laughed at himself; here he was worrying about a complete stranger. He spent the evening in the bar and then had an early night; it was always best not to be too energetic the first evening.
The following morning he was up early. Had a quick breakfast, and went out into the sunshine. It was a lovely day so he jumped on the nearest bus and just sat enjoying the ride. Out of the window he saw a park and decided to get off and have a wander. He didn’t want to do anything constructive today, just bum about and ease into his holiday.
The park was huge and full of people; he wandered along in the sun. Finally he came to a large lake, there were boats and ducks and swans, all very English. Sitting on a seat he just watched the people going by. He turned to look at a seat three up from his and saw a familiar face; it was the woman from last night. Small world, she was staring out at the water, he smiled, she looked small and lost. Getting up he strolled over to her. She was so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she jumped when he said hello.
Naomi looked up and saw the guy from last night, he was following her, a small pang of fear slid through her, then common sense prevailed, it was just a coincidence, she was too jumpy. She managed a weak smile at him this time.
"Hello, er Ken, wasn’t it," she said, the grin she got back would have toasted bread. Somehow it made her feel a bit better. He had a wonderful smile, and it had slipped itself under the shell of her sadness.
"Yes, Ken Hutchinson," he held out his hand. "But everyone calls me Hutch," he finished.
Naomi took the hand, it was firm and warm, and it made her feel safe, silly thought.
"Naomi, Naomi Gibson," she said and her smile widened slightly under his gaze.
He sat down and she stared back out at the water. The ducks and swans had lost interest in her, since she hadn’t thrown any bread. Hutch watched her and tried to think of something to say, his stomach growled, and gave him an idea.
"Do you fancy a hotdog?" he said and saw her look up, a shadow flowed across her face, damn, he’d said the wrong thing.
"I’m not sure, I haven’t had one for ages," she said sadly and then seemed to come to a decision, "Okay then, if you like." She stood up, "But I don’t think you will find them as good here as you do at home."
Hutch smiled, "That’s okay, they’re not always good in my neighbourhood either," he said leading her towards a hotdog stand he’d seen earlier. She was right they were awful; they only ate half of them. Hutch stopped and shook his head.
"You were right that was horrible, let me treat you to lunch, in a PUB, is it? The foods gotta be better there."
Naomi smiled, "It should be, but there’s a burger bar across the road, I love hamburgers," she replied. She couldn’t go in a pub at the moment, that was where she and … her breath caught she couldn’t even think about that yet. Hutch had started towards the burger bar, so she pushed back all her sad thoughts and followed him.
She spent an almost happy couple of hours chatting and laughing with him. He was cute, funny and such good company, if she hadn’t been so flawed, she could have stayed with him all day. But by mid afternoon, her heavy thoughts had come back and she just had to been alone. She made her excuses and fled, back to her lonely hotel room, and her sad thoughts.
Hutch watched her go, she was very unhappy, something really bad had happened to her, and only recently. She had a darkness inside that was messing up her life, he wished he could help her sort it out. But only she could do that, he finished his coffee and went off into the crowd, he would see her again at dinner tonight. She had promised to come down to the dining room to eat tonight.
Naomi sat in her room, it was nearly time to go down for dinner, but she was feeling heavy hearted and wasn’t sure she wanted to eat at all, let alone smile and talk to Hutch. But she’d promised and if she didn’t go he’d probably be knocking on her door wondering why she wasn’t there. She took a breath and went out. When she got down to the dining room, she saw him sitting in the corner. Well out of the main room, almost in shadow, he’d probably picked it special so she would be in private. As she approached he stood up and pulled out her chair, such the gentleman.
They had a quiet dinner which he insisted on paying for, she sat and watched him as he drank his coffee. If she hadn’t been so emotionally empty, she could have spent a few happy days with him. He looked like he’d be a considerate lover, and was very good to look at, but she just wasn’t ready for that kind of thing yet.
He sat back and smiled; "Would you like some brandy?" he asked and knew that she would say no. Some people drank when they were sad, but others did the opposite and didn’t eat or drink. She was one of those, she’d had a very small lunch and eaten hardly anything tonight either. She’d had one glass of wine all evening. She desperately needed to tell someone about her pain, but he knew she wouldn’t tell him yet; it would be several more days before she would trust him enough to share that kind of thing. He didn’t waste time trying to chat her into his bed, I knew that it was not going to happen either, it might never happen, but certainly not for a few days at least.
Naomi walked up to her room and prayed he would not try to kiss her or want to come in, and was so grateful when he just smiled and wished her goodnight. When he’d gone she was almost disappointed and this surprised her, she thought she would never ever feel that way again. But slowly this man was helping her to feel normal again. They had made a date, ha, ha, for breakfast. And for the first time in ages she began to look forward to something other than the death she’d almost slipped into when John… She could still only whisper the name, had… when he’d gone. She spent an hour crying and wished she’d let Hutch in her room. At least she’d be able to hold him tight, a hug was something she could really do with now. She went out onto her balcony, the dark night called to her. It would be so easy to just step off the edge and then no more sad thoughts. No more lonely nights, she leant over the edge and the long way down blurred, and she almost just tipped over. But at that moment the phone rang, she hesitated and it rang again. She walked over and picked it up, she heard Hutch’s voice, but couldn’t understand what he was saying; she just stood there, her mind trapped in the past. A loud banging noise made her blink, someone was at the door, she walked over in a trance and opened it. Hutch stood there he was quite upset, and was shouting something, but she couldn’t make it out, then there was blackness.
Hutch watched her open the door her eyes were dead, she didn’t see him or hear him. Then she just folded; he caught her before she hit the ground.
At first he hesitated to undress her, after all they were strangers, but she needed get into bed in the warm and sleep, something else he guessed she’d not had enough of lately. He stripped her to her underwear, and then wrapped her up in the bed. He sat in the chair and prepared for a long night. She called out a couple of times in her sleep, about this guy called John. He sounded like a bastard; she kept calling him to come to her and crying when he wouldn’t.
Halfway through the night she held out her arms pleading for him to hold her and make it right. Hutch felt his heart constrict, her voice sounded so hurt. He took the chance and lay on the bed beside her, letting her hold him. It calmed her down, and she settled into a more peaceful sleep. He meant to stay awake but the next moment he opened his eyes to bright sunlight. Naomi was still asleep so he carefully untangled her arms and went into the bathroom to splash cold water on his face. When he came back she was awake and sat up in bed. When she saw him, she pulled the covers up to her neck.
"How did you get in here, don’t come any closer, I’ll scream," she was afraid of him.
Hutch smiled at her, "Don’t you remember, you let me in, last night," he said slowly not moving.
Naomi frowned, and then remembered something about the door. "Oh yes, I’m sorry I remember now, I was just going to ..." She stopped, she couldn’t tell him she was going to kill herself and he’d interrupted her. "Did you undress me?" she said, and the thought made her feel vaguely sexy.
"I had to, you were in a kind of daze and needed to sleep," he looked at her; she didn’t seem too worried about him undressing her. He hoped she’d understand the cuddle in the night too, if she remembered.
Naomi looked at the stranger in her room, he must be such a nice person, he was here on holiday and had taken time out to look after her, and she must look such a mess. He was cute; he could have had any woman in the hotel why was he hanging round a loser like her. Her feeling overflowed again and the tears fell.
Hutch came over to her and held out his arms; Naomi slowly leant against him and began to cry again. Hutch held her tight and rocked her gently, she cried for what seemed like hours then it began to stop, not like it normally did though, the deep dark hole inside her seemed to be filling up slowly. She could feel Hutch’s strong shoulders against her head and his arms holding her tight, the pain began to subside.
Hutch felt her pull away from him and sit up, her eyes didn’t seem so dark, now and when she smiled there was more life in her face.
"I must look a mess," she sniffed.
Hutch smiled "Awful," he replied and she laughed and pushed him.
"Thanks so much," she replied but knew he was only joking.
Hutch looked at his watch, "We’ve missed breakfast. Get dressed, and I’ll treat you to brunch," he said and helped her to stand up.
Naomi smiled and bent to kiss him, "Why are you so nice to me, I’m a stranger who has made your shirt all wet," she said.
Hutch looked down at his shirt all damp and grubby, "I think I’d better shower and change too," he said avoiding the question. He didn’t know why he wanted to be nice to her, except it wasn’t fair for her to be so sad.
Naomi had the most naughty thoughts, involving him and her in the shower, and made herself blush. She was definitely getting better, that was the first real carnal thought she’d had since...
Hutch left and Naomi hurried though her shower and dressed with care. She looked in the mirror and felt excited, she had remembered him cuddling her last night, that’s what she had needed, someone to care for her, again. There was one other thing she need too, and that would happen in the next few days, she knew it. At some point she and Hutch were going to make love. After that happened she knew she would be healed, well at least on her way to being healed anyway.
Naomi had just turned to pick up her bag when he knocked on the door, she opened it and he actually whistled, which made her blush, and give him the most wonderful smile.
Hutch smiled back, he could see such a difference in her, she was on the way to getting better, he held out his hand and they went out.
Naomi had a wonderful time; she’d forgotten how fun life could be. Hutch kept hold of her hand most of the time and bought her a small bear she’d admired in a shop. They laughed and messed about and she began to laugh inside as well as out again.
The day shot by and all too soon they were back at her room, Hutch stood back, but she smiled and invited him in. The sadness was still in her eyes but much reduced. Hutch watched her as she went out onto the balcony, and smiled down into the dark, the dark that last night had almost been her end.
Hutch touched her back; "Are you okay?" he said, something about her frightened him.
"I am now, but last night, I almost," she stopped and looked down.
Hutch realised that he’d stopped her doing something really bad. He hugged her, "Why don’t you tell me all about it," he said quietly.
Naomi stood looking out into the dark and told him how she’d been engaged to John, and they’d been together for two years, but six weeks ago, he’d gone off to work as usual but not come home that night. Three days later they’d found him dead at the wheel of his car in Norfolk, he’d committed suicide with a gun. Hutch hugged her close, and listened to her talk on. After that she’d found out that he’d been having an affair and had lost all his money, but instead of telling anyone he’d just gone off and shot himself.
She sighed. "I just fell apart, I knew nothing about it all, I was alone and broke, my friend took me in and then sent me on this holiday, cause she was afraid of what I’d do," she took another breath.
"Last night it just came to a head and I decided to jump," her voice shook, "Then you rang me," her voice stopped for a moment then she whispered. "Thank you for my life back," she turned in his arms and kissed him.
Hutch returned the kiss but held back.
Naomi began to snuggle down in his arms and he felt his body begin to react to her, but felt uncomfortable; she was reacting to him because he’d saved her. He really wanted to make love to her, but knew she would regret it tomorrow.
Naomi stepped back and smiled, then reached down to undo his pants, he put his hand down and stopped her. Naomi looked up surprised, and slightly hurt, she’d thought he’d wanted her.
Hutch smiled at her; "Look Naomi, you may think you want to do this now, but it’s just a reaction to all that’s happened to you recently," he said and pulled her in for a hug. "If you still feel this way tomorrow night then it will be fine, but tonight, lets just hug and kiss and sleep," he said.
Naomi smiled up at him, he was right, it probably was because he’d freed her from the darkness, but she still knew that she was going to have him, one way, or another. She started to take off her clothes and when she was naked got into bed.
Hutch stood for a moment then got undressed too. He kept his body under rigid control, but got in bed quickly before it failed him.
Naomi grinned to herself, she’d seen how tense he’d been, while she’d watched him get naked, her eyes of course had checked him out, and found him not wanting! She snuggled up to him and felt him react to her presence, she giggled.
Hutch grit his teeth, "Will you stop that," he said but grinned in the dark. Folding his arms round her body he held her tight, "Now lets get some sleep, I need it after being up half of last night." He felt her relax.
She wanted to stay awake but the warmth and the feel of his arms soothed her and she drifted off into a warm happy sleep, the best sleep she’d had since that awful day.
The sound of cups rattling woke her up and she saw a naked Hutch pouring water into two cups and the smell of coffee drifted in the air. She shuffled up in bed and grinned at him trying not to spill the hot water on his delicate bits. He turned and smiled; she decided to see if she could provoke a reaction in him. She took the sheet and threw it back to reveal her naked body, and the expected reaction happened. Plus he blushed scarlet and nearly dropped the coffee. Naomi laughed.
He put down the coffee and turned to her, "You really are naughty," he said but couldn’t keep the grin off his face.
Naomi reached up and touched his face, "Look Hutch, I know you said about leaving it till tonight, but I know I want you now, another 12 hours wont make any difference." Her other hand reached down and grabbed him.
Hutch jerked when her hand touched his body and for a moment he almost stopped her, but the look in her eyes told him that she was over her pain and had moved on. He bent down and kissed her gently at first then with more passion.
Naomi pulled him towards her and ran her hands up his chest, he was so strong and muscled, she felt really excited.
Hutch put his hands on her face and kissed her lips and then her neck, Naomi felt a shiver of excitement run down her back, making her body shiver. He moved further down and kissed her nipples, making them stand up. He moved lower down her body and kissed her belly. This always made her squirm, she was really close to orgasm already and when he reached her special place, it was only seconds before she cried out and clutched at him. He pulled up and entered her swiftly, making her cry out again. Going slowly at first he held himself back, letting her take the lead. But it became very difficult when she began to thrash about, he tried very hard to make it last but couldn’t.
Afterwards they lay in each other’s arms, for what seemed like days. Hutch had to move, his arm was dead where she was laying on it. He sat up and looked down at her, she’d fallen asleep again, making up for the lack of it in the last few weeks. He got up and threw away the cold coffee, and got dressed, phoned room service and got breakfast sent up. Sex always gave him an appetite.
Naomi again woke to the smell of coffee, and saw Hutch sitting drinking his, she spent a happy half hour snuggled up in bed eating buttered toast and jam and drinking coffee. She watched Hutch buttering his toast and putting the jam on, he was so cute. She knew he wasn’t hers; he was only here for a while. His life was somewhere else, as was hers. But for the next couple of weeks they would be happy in each other’s company and each other’s bodies. Then she would go back to her other life and pick it up where it left off two years ago, the part with John was gone and forgotten as if it had never been.