In the Name of Love
Spoilers: 4/27 trailer
Distribution: lists, standing orders, others by permission.
Disclaimer: JJ Abrams has the incest kink. I’m just going with it.
Summary: “It will be a secret about her father that I will know and she can’t know.”
I love my family enough to do this. I love Sydney enough to do this.
I am not at all aroused by the way my mother’s husband is kissing the back of my neck, lifting my hair aside and calling me by the wrong name as his fingertips walk down the bared line of my spine. (Of course, I am lying.) Laura, he says, and I’m grateful he calls her Laura. Laura is not part of my memories. Laura is a mask, one I can wear as easily as my mother did. As my sister did.
I can hear my heartbeat speed up, and the ragged desire in each of Jack’s labored breaths. I’m here, I say. I’m not going anywhere.
His palm snags on my shoulderblade, and my eyelids open again. This is not entirely a mission of comfort, even though it’s comfortable. I could sink against him, let him unhook my bra and twist around to meet him in a kiss as warm as melting sugar, tilting my head to meet his eyes. I could wrap my arms around his neck and strain to be taller on tip-toe — I am the shortest of the Derevko women, and sometimes this is problematic.
Jack, you’re hurt, I murmur, taking his hand into both of mine and pulling it around me. Let me see?
Sydney may never forgive me for this. Even though she asked me in a moment of desperation. It will be a secret about her father that I will know and she can’t know. The look of absolute trust, of love untainted with bitterness and twenty years of living with betrayal and regret. He gives me his hand and I smooth the skin with my lips, the way Laura would. The way my mother would for her husband, for the daughter she knew, the one she sang to sleep, the one she named. The way I imagine she would, and what I imagine of Laura is as real as it can be.
It’s nothing, he says gruffly as I fuss over the inevitable signs of illness and radiation poisoning. He’s so proud, so careful. He loved her, adored her, and from the way he’s pressed against me, undoubtedly desired her. Did I scratch you?
Just a rough touch, I answer, setting his hand on my hip. It’s nothing.
My sister was a perfect daytime version of our mother. Better than perfect. She could be what Laura Bristow never was: someone who cared without complication. Someone who wanted the best for her family, for Jack. And I…I don’t know what this is anymore. I thought it would be simpler. A necessary sacrifice, a merciful kindness.
He loves her so much, and it’s like being worshiped. A kiss pressed to the very end of my shoulder, the warmth of his chest against my back, the increasing hardness of his cock. And it’s harder to remember that this is a lie. Because I understand what it means to truly love someone, and how sweet it is in a world where you always have to keep your guard up. I turn around in his lap and ease him onto his back.
To know his secret…to save him…I have to love him the way he loves Laura.
There was something, I say, putting my hands on his stomach, over his chest, working myself up to straddling him. You said you wanted to tell me something, Jack.
I love you, he says automatically. I smile, a smile that I’ve seen Sydney do. I love you, too. That’s not it, though. He puts his hand behind my head and pulls me down for a kiss. Not so sweet now. Harder, hotter, tinged with need.
It can wait, he says between kisses and I kiss back. Nobody has ever kissed me back with so much abandon.
He loves me. Me, the way I smile at him, being Laura. He loves Laura, but there was never a Laura. She was a name and a pose, and I can be Laura to save Jack, I can be Laura to save Sydney, I can be Laura to save myself. And I kiss him again, kiss his throat and slide my thigh against his, filling up with warmth. It’s love, it’s all love, and my stomach is warm with butterflies and need.
I want you, I say. But you’ll tell me, after? I need to know, Jack. And he smiles at me, and the way his eyes crinkle up at the corners, the way the rough skin on his palm comes into contact with my nipple and makes it hard, the way that my hips are starting to move of their own volition, I can’t stop smiling back, putting my head against his neck and hiding tears. I can almost feel my heart breaking for Sydney — does she know this man is her father? — but I won’t give this night up.
I promise, he says. Whatever you want to know. Laura. And the way he says her name, I can hear the I love you, and I can hear the I need you and I can feel myself slipping further into this role. The way that my mother must have, in the face of this much love. This much desire. This much raw need.
He runs a thumb down my throat, and my thighs are sweat-slicked and wet. I’m wet. (I will never tell Sydney. I can never tell Sydney. She would kill me for this.) And I need him inside of me now. Please, I say. Please.
The soft hiss of breath when he pushes inside is a confirmation. And I slowly move, up and down, closing my eyes. And it feels good. (Not just the love, but that’s what I need, that’s what he needs, someone to love him. We’re both so transparent. We can do anything, but only because we’re sure that nobody can love us. We’ve been abandoned by the same woman, the woman whose name slides between us like an elision.) I throw my head back. He puts his hands on my hips, fingers biting into my hips and ass.
Laura. Jack. We trade names again.
When he presses a finger to the juncture of my thighs, right to my clit, I can’t manage a name. I’m hot and swollen with love and betrayal and want. I want him to love me forever. I want to be like this forever. I may even want him to be my father. I have a father. I have a sister. They will hate me forever if they think I love him more, even though their love is real but hard to access. Like water seeping out of cracks. Jack’s love is under such a thin skin. So thin that if I pressed, it would drown me.
More, more, more, is what I say. Like that. Like that, please. I say please too often. But he doesn’t stop. He knows what I need because it is what Laura needs. To feel him right there, making love to me. Watching me get closer and closer to utter satisfaction at his hands.
He takes pride in that, too.
Jack. I choke on the name, the sweetness and pleasure of my orgasm catching me in the spine, in my stomach, in my throat. Oh, Jack. And I fall against him, pressed body to body. Eye to eye. I have nothing but love, stroking his face as we tumble over, my back pressed against cotton sheets as he thrusts. Now I get to watch, get to see the rising edge of his satisfaction, and smile lazily.
I love you so much, I say.
He moans, and thrusts harder. My legs are wrapped around his waist, and any moment, I’m afraid the enchantment will shatter, that he will know, and he won’t love me anymore. At the still point of a moving world, I can pull away from Laura long enough to know that this is wrong, this is going to compromise us both, but that I love him, and I cannot resist the openness that he’s sharing with me.
(Sydney will never forgive me. My father will never forgive me. I am wearing my dead mother’s name and fucking her husband. I am pretending to be my dead mother and falling in love with her husband. But I can’t stop. I won’t stop.)
He says he loves me when he comes.
I believe him.
Jack, I say against his warm body, covering me now, crushing me but in the best way. Darling. Don’t leave me yet.
Laura? And his voice sounds confused, sends quivers of fear into the pit of my stomach.
I love you, I say, stroking his damp hair. There’s something you have to tell me.
For my sister. For my father. But none of that matters. I need to hear what he has to tell me.
(Because I love him. I do. And I am yet another woman who will lie to him and steal that love and give nothing back.
God forgive me.)