~*~Kevin~*~

I decided that Jessica and I needed to get away. Time away would be fun. Things were still going good. Overall, I liked this relationship. I liked the no games. I booked a flight for Denver. I love skiing and she had never been. I got us a suite of rooms complete with Jacuzzi. One week just me and my girl.

The same week Tracie and Scott were going to spend a week in the mountains of West Virginia. He was originally from that area and she had never been to the mountains.

At least this gave he and I something to talk about when we all went out on a double date the weekend before we all took off. I had to give him credit he had thought about this trip. He had gotten some maps and had picked out some easy beginner paths for her. And they were going to stay in the lodge instead of roughing it. Both of us laughed at the thought of her digging a hole to piss in. She didnít think it was too funny, which only made it funnier. He was good to her. A gentleman. He needed to be. I was the toughest challenge he had to face. I would crush him like a bug if laid a hand on her in anger. The thought of that asshole smacking her got my blood boiling. God forbid I should ever run into him, not that sheíd ever told me who he was.

Tracie and I spent Saturday night at my house. We rented movies, ordered pizza, and drank a bottle of wine. We kicked back and talked about the next week. "I just want to relax and see whatís going on."

"What do you mean? Is something wrong?"

"Do you remember when Jess and I first started going out and sometimes I felt invisible?" She shook her head, "Thatís happening again. Iím hoping sheíll tell me whatís going on. I thought we were past this. I like being with her. I like the relationship. Itís hard when we come back from a tour, to get things back to normal again. Time alone will be good. To reconnect."

"Iím sure she must have missed you. I know I did. I like having you handy. Your damn job." She laughed and finished her wine.

"But you had Scott to keep you company. Still good?"

"Comfortable. Nothing wild and exciting, but I have you guys for that."

Jessica wasnít crazy about skiing. We spent most of our time in the Jacuzzi, in front of a fire, or in bed. I missed skiing, but there will be other trips. I guess this will be a guy thing. Iím down with that. Our last night there we went out for dinner at this great restaurant. Best steak Iíd had in a long time. I decided to bring up my concerns now. I didnít do it sooner because I wanted to give us some time. "Jessica, whatís going on? You keep drifting off."

She took a deep breath, "Am I your girlfriend?"

We had done this before, "Yes."

"How do you think our relationship is going?"

"Iím happy. Satisfied. I take it your not?"

"Not at all, Kevin. Iím very happy. Happier than Iíve ever been in a relationship, in my life really." She made eye contact and I know I had to look confused. "Kevin, I love you."

Ok, didnít expect that. I sat kind of stunned. I didnít know what to say. Thank you seemed oddly inappropriate. "Jess . . ." I didnít know where I was going, but I knew I needed to go somewhere.

"I guess you donít love me." She got up and walked out.

I rushed to pay the bill and headed out after her. I caught up to her about two blocks away. I grabbed her arm to stop her, "Jessica, baby, stop."

She turned on me, "Kevin, just let me go. You donít have to say anything."

"Yes, I do. I like us. Iím happy. Iím touched that you love me. I feel like shit that I canít return the sentiment. I do care about you a lot, and love you in that way. But Iím not in love with you. That doesnít mean that I wonít be tomorrow, or next month. Just not right now." I pulled her into a hug, "I wish I could say it. But I canít lie to you. Not about this."

She was crying, "Sometimes I hate that about you."

To say that things were a little strained that last night would be an understatement. She was quiet. I couldnít make it better. I let her set the pace. I tried a few times, holding her hand or kissing her. She pulled away. I understood. Itís scary to tell someone you love them. I do love her. I just donít feel that spark.

~*~Tracie~*~

This week away was a good idea. I relaxed. It was a nice change from home. Trees everywhere. There was a pool, but it wasnít open. Hooray! Our room in the lodge hung out over the mountain. Huge drop off the balcony. I loved that. I sat out there watching the sun come up and drinking apple cider wrapped in a blanket. Or in Scott. He was very attentive this trip. It was nice. He was always holding my hand, opening doors, washing my hair.

Nice about describes it. Nothing mind blowing. I miss mind blowing. He kept talking about how much he loved it "back home" away from the city. How peaceful it was. I agree. It is peaceful. But I think peaceful would turn into boring pretty quick for me. I never said anything to lead him to believe that I would ever be up for that gig. By the end of the week I was jonesing for a good party.

Things stayed calm and relaxing until we got home. I hit the door and started dialing numbers. Kevin wasnít due in until very late tonight. I finally got a hold of AJ. Yes! Party at his house tonight.

Great party. Not at all nice. We played strip twister. Instead of being out when you fell you had to take off something, or choose to go out. It ended up with me and Nick being the only two left. Bunch of chickens. We were doing great, so Howie poured some vegetable oil on the plastic mat. It wasnít long before Nick was down to just his boxers and I was in my bra and panties. AJ was taking pictures. Nick knew he had won when I fell, "Yes, I win. I win."

I looked at him, "Not so fast." I took off my bra and resumed my position on the mat. Nick immediately fell on his ass. "Take it off and play naked or I won."

Nick sat there Indian style, "You win. Damn!"

I grabbed my bra and kissed his forehead, "Theyíre just breasts, Nicky."

AJ was still taking pictures, "But theyíre "new to us" breasts."

Nick smiled, "Any breasts are good breasts. Good god, donít let my girlfriend see these pictures. Sheíll pop a blood vessel and Iíll be cut off for a month."

Before I knew it, "Your girlfriend needs to lighten up."

Everyone waited, but Nick just stood up, "No shit, tell me about it."

Very good. He was beginning to see.

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