Please don’t fight these hands that are holding you. My hands are holding you.
The dead air whispered of memories and screamed of longing. David let his eyes slowly drink in every curve and angle of the woman standing before him. Her mouth was set in a slight frown, her breathing steady and sad. He had never known that breathing could be sad but he stood both helpless and corrected.
“Just say it,” she shrugged tiredly, meeting his gaze with hard, dark eyes.
David swallowed the words that were bubbling in his throat, threatening to comply with her wishes. “Say what?” he raised his eyebrows weakly.
“You know what. You’ve been waiting two years to throw it in my face so go ahead,” she spat bitterly, her shoulders tensing in anticipation. “Say it,” she repeated.
“You want me to tell you I told you so? I can’t do that Selena,” he said. He shook his head stubbornly, determined to be gentle with her heart, no matter how much she wanted his harsh honesty.
“But you did tell me this would happen. You knew he would hurt me,” she pointed out.
She was right. David had been against her relationship with Justin Bieber from the very beginning. He saw the world fall at the young pop star’s feet and he knew that eventually Justin would expect the same from Selena. The thought of Selena falling at anybody’s feet made David feel sick.
“I honestly didn’t think the kid would last half as long as he did. But he proved me wrong. He might have fucked up royally, but I do think he loved you. He probably still does,” David admitted. Selena’s eyes widened dramatically. She moved to speak but closed her mouth abruptly, shaking her head and letting out a bitter laugh.
“I hate you so much,” she choked, her eyes filling with tears.
“Hey…” he whispered, reaching out to touch her arm. She flinched backwards coldly and sniffed away her tears.
“You spent months telling me that he wasn’t good enough for me!” she exclaimed indignantly.
“He wasn’t. He’s not,” David said his voice steady and sure.
“Then why the hell are you telling me how much he loved me? Why are you on his side?” Her mouth quivered vulnerably.
Her insecure posture and broken expression felt like a knife to David’s gut. He hadn’t seen her so unhinged in years. The strong, capable woman that she had grown to be was barely hanging on as the heartache threatened to claw its way to the surface.
“Jesus Selena, I could not be farther from on his side,” he assured her, grasping her arm before she could pull away. “I fucking hate that little prick. I hated him two years ago and I fucking hate him now. But even an idiot douche bag like Bieber is bound to fall in love with you. It’s fucking impossible not to,” he finished vehemently.
“Shut up,” she sighed.
“Trust me. I would know,” he uttered quietly, a sad quirk of the lips gracing his features. His voice held regret and longing, a lifetime of missed chances. He tucked both of his hands into his pockets awkwardly, averting his eyes.
“David…” she swallowed.
“Just, just don’t take him back. I don’t care how much he loves you. He treated you like shit. Don’t take him back, okay?” he said hurriedly. He cleared his throat, hating that she could still send his heart plummeting even after all of these years.
“I’m not going to. I actually think I’m going to take a long break from the whole dating scene,” she said. Her eyes were clear of tears and her shoulders less tense as she looked at David thoughtfully. He could almost hear the wheels turning in her head. She was categorizing every flash of emotion in his eyes, the regret, the longing, and especially the love.
“Good. Because you know, it isn’t just Bieber that’s not good enough for you. No guy is,” he offered casually, a teasing edge to his voice.
“Not even you?” she challenged dangerously. Heartbreak always made Selena simultaneously more afraid and brave.
With her eyes locking his in place, he took a short breath. “Especially not me,” he said clearly. She nodded in understanding.
No matter how much David wanted to be good for Selena, he knew that he wasn’t He had hurt her in the past and if she gave him the chance to, he would hurt her again. He cared about her, maybe more than he had ever cared about another woman. But he was a master at self-sabotage and Selena didn’t deserve to be dragged down that ugly path. Not again.
“Right. Yeah,” she agreed breathily.
“I wish I could throw my hat back in the ring but… I can’t take hurting you again. I know myself and I know I would fuck things up. And that would kill me,” he said.
“Oh,” she uttered uncomfortably.
“But we’re doing the friend thing now, right?” he rubbed his hands together, doing his best to wave away the tension and find solid ground.
“We are,” she agreed, smiling hesitantly.
“Awesome,” he grinned. “So friend, if you need me to beat up any international pop stars, just let me know,” he offered lightly.
“Thanks friend,” she mocked.
“You know I have your back,” he mentioned. She nodded briefly. “Always,” he added boldly.
He reached forward one last time, locking eyes and fingers in time. She squeezed once and he returned the gesture, her small smile pushing air into his lungs and light into his eyes.
Way up high, or down low. I’ll go wherever you will go …
“You are drunk,” Selena uttered, her voice low and disbelieving. David staggard forward, his hands grasping her arms and almost knocking her backwards. “David!” she whispered harshly. She moved one arm around his waist and eased him through the doorway of her hotel room. Kicking the door shut, she groaned under the pressure of his weight.
“I am drunk,” he nodded certainly. A goofy grin spread across his face and his head tilted downward, his nose brushing Selena’s forehead. She heard him sniff twice before rubbing his nose against her skin and sliding it towards her messy hair. “You smell like the ocean,” he noted.
“You smell like a brewery,” she snapped, leading him towards her bed.
“And flowers,” he declared, tipping gracelessly onto the bed and pulling Selena along with him. She grunted in annoyance and shoved him away from her.
“What are you talking about?” she sighed, running a hand through her hair and glancing at her phone to see that it was almost three in the morning. She glared at David as he fell backwards on the bed, looking up at the ceiling as his legs hung over the edge.
“The ocean and flowers,” he mumbled quietly. Rolling her eyes, Selena poked his stomach twice, prompting him to turn his head in her direction and raise his eyebrows.
“What are you doing here David?” she wondered.
“I wanted to see you,” he shrugged lightly, his eyes steady and his pupils wide. Selena felt her heart quicken as he continued to look at her. Her skin prickled and the air between them felt almost magnetic.
“Come on David. I’m serious. It’s almost three in the morning and you’re drunk. You can’t just show up at my hotel door like this,” she insisted. He reached out a hand and tangled his fingers with her own.
“Why not?” he breathed.
“Because… you just can’t,” she swallowed.
“I’m sorry I woke you up. Actually, I’m not sorry. Because you look really pretty right now,” he scooted towards her slightly and raised himself onto one elbow.
“David. Don’t,” she warned.
“And I really want to kiss you,” he admitted.
“You’re drunk,” she snapped. Her eyes stung with frustration and she pulled her hand out of his grasp. She had thought about this moment, those words, a million times. But his blood shot eyes and beer stained shirt were tarnishing the pretty picture her mind had painted. She wanted him, she wanted David. She didn’t want this.
“I always want to kiss you,” he reaffirmed. Shaking her head, Selena slid backwards until she could lean her head against the wall.
“Shut up,” she muttered calmly.
“Everyday, I tell myself, I say David… do not kiss Selena. Because she is your little sister on TV and your friend in real life and you suck. Not at kissing, I’m good at kissing. I suck at girls, relationships and stuff,” he rambled.
“Shut up,” she repeated, closing her eyes and feeling her throat tighten.
“I was such a bad boyfriend to Lucy. She was so pretty and so nice, and I was always thinking about you and how you were prettier and nicer. I am so bad at being a boyfriend,” he sighed.
“David. Shut. Up,” she gritted out firmly. He took in her tense posture and shallow breathing. Reaching out a hand, he brushed his fingers along her bare ankle. When she flinched at his touch he blinked in surprise.
“You’re mad at me,” he observed.
“I’m tired,” she breathed.
“I just wanted to see you,” he repeated earnestly. Selena’s eyes snapped open and she shook her head.
“You can’t do this. You can’t come to my room drunk and say all of these things. You can’t tell me I’m pretty and that you want to kiss me. You can’t do this! If you think I’m pretty, then tell me that when you’re not drunk. If you want to kiss me, then kiss me! But not like this. Not when you’re like this,” she exclaimed. David paused for a long moment, taking her words in and letting them run through his foggy mind over and over again.
“Do you want me to kiss you?” he finally uttered.
“No, not like this!” she let her head fall into her hands and pulled her knees to her chest.
“I mean, another time. If I wanted to kiss you, would you want me to?” he wondered softly.
“I don’t know. Maybe,” she whispered. Her mind was screaming yes as her hands dropped from her face and she took in his gentle expression and sparkling eyes.
“Okay,” he nodded carefully.
“Okay…” she echoed.
“Can I sleep here tonight?” he posed, moving to sit next to her. There were several inches between them but Selena could still feel the heat of his arm close to her own.
“No,” she muttered.
“Please? Sel,” he leaned towards her, his breath hitting her ear and almost making her shutter.
“Why?” she managed.
“I’m tired, and drunk, and stupid. And I just want to be with you right now,” he admitted. “Please?” he added, his voice barley above a whisper. Sighing internally, Selena rubbed her eyes.
“Fine,” she agreed. “But you have to stay above the blankets,” she continued sternly.
“What if I get cold?” he pouted. Selena fought the urge to smile. Her insides melted as his face contorted endearingly. No matter how hard she tried to stay mad at him, he always wore her down. Always.
“You could always go to your own room, with your own bed, and your own blanket,” she replied firmly.
“You’re so mean,” he muttered, laying down and closing his eyes.
“And yet you’re still choosing to be here,” she mused.
“You’re pretty and you smell nice, and I like you…” he uttered, letting out a low yawn.
“David,” she breathed.
“You’re not even mean really,” he shrugged softly. “You’re nice. You’re always nice, even when I’m a dick…” he continued quietly. His breathing became shallow the sound of low wheezing escaped his lips.
“Yeah well, you’re almost always a dick,” she murmured sadly.
“Hmm…” he sighed, scooting closer to her. She let him press his forehead to her arm and she reach out a hand to gently thread her fingers through his hair. She sighed as she watched him breath steadily.
“I am such an idiot,” she whispered.
x x x
Two days, one night later, Selena awoke to the sound of David’s sharp knocking at her hotel door once again. She groaned irritably but, she could not deny the hurried pitter patter of her heart as he called her name through the thick door. When she turned the knob and pulled the door open carefully, she found David leaning against the wooden frame, his eyes focused and his body upright.
“I’m going to kiss you,” David announced, his shoulders set and his eyes determined.
“What?” Selena gasped, her heart hammering in her chest. She felt her knees wobble as David rubbed his hands against the front of his shirt and his body tilted forward slightly.
“I’m going to kiss you. Unless you don’t want me to,” he swallowed. Selena leaned against the doorknob, squeezing it tightly in her hand. She blinked several times, watching David waver in the doorway.
“It’s two in the morning,” she mentioned dumbly.
“I know. Sorry,” he cleared his throat, fidgeting more and more as the seconds ticked by.
“Why?” she breathed. He was silent for a long moment, his eyes darting back and forth before finally resting on her mouth.
“Why do you want to kiss me now?” she continued.
“I always want to kiss you…” he smiled nervously. “I told you that,” he added.
“You were drunk when you said that,” she reminded.
“I’m not drunk now,” he noted.
“You’re not,” she agreed quietly. David smiled a bit, his eyes hopeful and wide.
“So…” he trailed off anxiously.
“So, kiss me,” she nodded. Her words sounded foreign to her own ears. Every inch of her body was buzzing with anticipation as David took a small step forward and placed a hand on her sweatpants clad hip.
“I will,” he chuckled softly. He pulled her towards him gently and she stumbled, her hands landing against his chest. She laughed nervously as she looked up and her forehead bumped his nose.
They held each other’s gaze for a long moment, noses bumping and lips only a breath apart. David shook his head slightly at their awkwardness before tugging her closer and slanting his mouth over hers carefully. His lips pressed against her mouth and she felt a jolt rush through her body. Her chest was so full that she felt as though she might burst. David began to move his lips slowly, almost experimentally. Selena followed his lead, sliding her mouth in time with his own. She felt his tongue trace her lips hesitantly and before her mind could process what was happening, she opened her mouth in response and pressed her body closer to him. He made a low noise in the back of his throat that sent a shiver through her entire body.
They continued to explore each others mouths and David turned her gently until her back was pressed against the door frame. His hands felt so firm against her hip and ribs, running up and down her torso steadily and eliciting and electric pressure against her skin. She took a shallow breath through her nose, inhaling his scent and feeling every part of him surround her in the most amazing way. When they finally pulled apart, he hovered close, his eyelashes tickling her cheek bones as he panted.
“Okay,” she uttered dizzily.
“I should have done that a long time ago,” he mentioned.
“Yeah,” she nodded.
“I’m gonna do it again. Tomorrow. And probably the day after,” he muttered distractedly, tucking a piece of her hair behind her ear. Her eyes widened slightly and vision felt out of focus.
“Okay,” she breathed.
“Okay,” he repeated.
x x x
In your heart, in your mind, I’ll stay with you for all of time…
At night, Selena would close her eyes until her head started to pound and her breath became shallow. She would grit her teeth and steel her nerves, until little white dots sprung up in her mind. She would wish and pray, and hope.
She never, ever, wanted to leave Puerto Rico.
Her unconscious mind would dream of long hot days and crystal clear nights. She would dream of warm, rough hands against her skin and long dark eyelashes tickling her face. The smell of the ocean had burrowed deep within her bones and the musk of sand and sweat washed over her with each passing breeze.
She never, ever, wanted to say goodbye.
David had told her that he felt like he was on a different planet. Selena just felt like she was finding a brand new home. She felt free and at ease. She felt like the version of herself that she loved most. The version of herself that typically only surfaced in Texas. Her laugh was louder, her smile was brighter, and her eyes more open. She saw and felt everything more strongly. She saw and felt everything.
She never, ever, wanted to let David go.
Selena felt brave in Puerto Rico. She felt unstoppable. Her voice was steady as she whispered in David’s ear. Her hands were determined as she slid the tips of her fingers along his collar bone. Her eyes were dark as she held his gaze. Selena felt like everything was finally beginning to come together in Puerto Rico.
She never, ever, wanted it to end.
x x x
“David…” Selena warned, biting her lip and resisting the urge to grin. His light eyes sparkled as he poked her stomach gently. She shook her head in exasperation and took a small step towards him.
“Yes Miss Gomez?” he wondered innocently. She pressed her hands against his chest, leaning back and raising an eyebrow. The buzz of the cast and crew surrounding them faded into the background and Selena felt her entire body tingle with heat.
“You need to stop making me laugh during this scene,” she began, her tone serious and firm.
“I have no idea what you are talking about?” he shrugged casually. He fingered the hem of her shirt, his eyes trained steadily on her own. She felt butterflies swarm through her gut as his fingertips grazed her bare stomach briefly.
“You’re trying to mess with me and if you don’t cut it out we’re going to be here all night,” she explained logically.
“All night, huh?” he mused. Selena nodded dramatically and widened her brown eyes. “I did want to try that restaurant near the beach,” he continued thoughtfully.
“And if we don’t finish this scene soon, you won’t be able to make it to the restaurant before it closes,” she noted.
“We…” he corrected. Selena furrowed her eyebrows and grunted in question. “We, won’t be able to make it to the restaurant before it closes. You’re coming with me,” he mentioned.
“Since when?” she chuckled.
“Since it’s lame eating in a restaurant alone and you look and smell a hell of a lot better than Jake,” he smiled easily.
“How charming,” she sighed.
“Come on. Have dinner with me. You know you wanna,” he urged. She laughed, her head falling back slightly. “I’ll even pay,” he added quickly. Selena pursed her lips together and eyed him critically.
“If I say yes, will you stop messing with me for the rest of this shoot?” she wondered, turning to eye the crew as they rearranged several props. David moved one hand to gently squeeze her hip as he nodded.
“I’ll be good. I promise,” he grinned.
“Right. Somehow I find that incredibly hard to believe,” she muttered.
x x x
The restaurant was small and secluded, with palm trees and bamboo half walls providing privacy. Soft, tropical music floated through the air and a warm breeze hovered gracefully. The sky was grayish purple, darkening with each passing moment. Selena felt her heart quicken as she noted the countless couples littering the area, talking intimately and sharing intent glances. David’s hand continuously bumped against her own as they made their way towards their table. At first she had wondered if she had been subconsciously wavering in his direction, seeking the comfort of his presence. But as they continued to walk she noted the wide swing of his arms and the small smile tugging at his lips.
“This is nice,” he mentioned, resting a hand against Selena’s back as he guided her to her chair.
“Yeah. This place is beautiful,” she nodded, watching him carefully as he took the seat across from her. She looked down, scooting her chair closer to the table.
“No. I meant being here with you. This is nice,” he explain.
“Oh…” she breathed, looking up with parted lips. “Yeah. This is nice,” she repeated.
David smiled, unaffected by her reaction. Typical David; unaffected, unruffled, unpredictable. He had adapted to Puerto Rico the same way he adapted to everything, with ease. Selena envied his carefree nature and confidence. Sometimes she wondered if that was why she felt so drawn to him. She wondered if maybe a part of her sought out his presence in an effort to encourage a different side of herself.
“So, I talked to Lorenzo earlier,” David began. Selena nodded, toying with the menu but listening as he spoke. “He wanted to visit next week. He said that- he’s an idiot. Never mind,” he shook his head and looked away.
“What? What did he say,” she insisted. David continued to shake his head and Selena nudged his hand with her own. He slapped her hand away playfully and she tugged at his fingers. Letting out a sigh, David wiggled his fingers free and covered her hand with his own briefly. He let his fingertips dance along her palm for a moment before pulling away and tucking his hands onto his lap.
“He just, he wants me to help him get you to notice him,” he admitted.
“Notice him?” she questioned. “You mean like…” she trailed off awkwardly and David let out a nervous huff of air.
“Yeah,” he confirmed.
“Oh. I um, I don’t…” she stuttered uncomfortably, wringing her hands together.
“I told him you were off limits,” he noted quickly.
“You what?” she uttered in surprise.
“I know. I had no right to do that. You should be able to date whoever you want. But Lorenzo is my brother and, it’s weird. You’re my, my friend. My coworker,” he rambled, his hurried words seeming so unlike him.
“It’s okay,” she paused for a moment. She opened her mouth to say something more but quickly closed it.
“Would you have wanted to, go out with him I mean?” he wondered, swallowing hard.
“No,” she admitted. “He’s your brother,” she added. She wanted to tell him that Lorenzo was Lorenzo. Lorenzo wasn’t him. Lorenzo wasn’t the boy she thought about day after day.
“Right. That would be weird,” he agreed.
“Right. But I mean…” she bit her lip nervously, her eyes fluttering back and forth as she internally debated whether or not she wanted to take a chance. David’s eyes widened in interest and his foot bumped her own under the table.
“What?” he prodded.
“We’re in Puerto Rico,” she shrugged. “Things are different here. Things feel different,” she continued.
“He decided not to visit so…” he cleared his throat, his foots stilling between both of her own.
“That’s not what I meant. I just, something that might be weird normally, might not be weird here. You know?” she murmured bravely.
“Like dating my brother?” he challenged.
“Like, like doing anything that we would normally be too scared to do!” she sighed.
“What are you too scared to do?” he wondered curiously, an edge creeping into his voice.
“There are lines in LA. Because of work, and the industry, and our images, there are lines. Those lines are a little more blurry here. It’s kind of like we’re on a different planet and maybe we could…” she sucked in a deep breath.
“Maybe we could what?” he whispered.
“Maybe we could stop being so scared of crossing lines for a little while. Maybe we could leave that all behind,” she shrugged.
“And what? Leave everything that happens here, here?” he squinted. His body was tense and alert, almost as if her were putting all of his effort into understanding her completely.
“Yeah,” she breathed.
“You don’t think that would be kind of hard, separating the two worlds?” David’s eyes were dark and intense. Almost as if her every answer would determine his every move.
“I think… I think the worlds are already separated,” she decided, sending him a small smile.
“Yeah?” he reaffirmed.
“Yeah,” she nodded surely.
x x x