After the revealing encounter with Jewel and her husband, Skyler had leapt over the bar and grabbed a bottle of whiskey. But, as he gazed at the bottle in his hand, he knew he wouldn?t drink a drop of it. He had to think clearly. When the two of them were out of sight, he stepped out onto the porch and let the afternoon sunlight wash over him. He loosened his necktie, sank down into a rocking chair, and watched the western horizon swallow the sun. Rocking gently, he listened to patrons file in and out of the Inn.
He noted that he felt no compunction nor culpability. Skyler had thought the man was gone from her life, hence the woman?s eagerness for intimate conversations and late-night recreation. He wished Alex would turn and go back where he came from. His presence seemed to make Jewell unhappy, instead of the opposite.
Was it Skyler?s generally uncaring and dismissive attitude toward any and all painful human emotion or societal etiquette that spared the boy the guilt? No. It was the simple fact that he still wanted her, badly. He was not ashamed of it.
Late into the afternoon he sat on the porch, contemplating the lengths to which he was willing to go. He feared nothing that they could do to him; neither drama, nor confrontation, nor even her scorn. The only thing he feared was what could be taken away ? never again being able to taste that sweet, supple, intoxicating fountain of saccharine bliss, the lips of Jewell Ravenlock.
As the sky turned from pink to indigo, Skyler sat rocking and grinning. A certain image wouldn?t leave his mind. Normally he loathed when women tried to act cuter than they really were, but he just couldn?t help but smile at the image of Jewell, dancing in the forest with flowers in her hair. Then, he imagined himself striding out of the trees and discovering her dancing in her unfettered innocence. He imagined the special words he would say to her, as shafts of sunlight shone through the leaves, kissed their flesh and bathed the woods in golden ambience. And then, he imagined what he would do to her there, on the forest floor among the flowers and the trees.