Authors: Ella Miles
Copyright © 2016 Ella Miles LLC
All rights reserved.
Editor: Jenny Sims Editing4Indies
Cover Designer: © Hang Le
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
I put the flash drive into the box. The flash drive that contains the key to everything.
My heart is torn staring at the man in front of me. The man who is supposed to be buried in the ground along with my rings. My husband. He’s alive. The only fact that I knew for sure about my life was that Ethan, my husband, died in a car accident six months ago. In the same accident that took my leg, along with my memories.
I try to focus my gaze on the shattered man in front of me. Maybe this man isn’t him. After all, my memory isn’t reliable. My eyes run over his ripped and dirty dark black suit. Blood oozes out from large cuts along his arms and legs. I can’t bring myself to meet his eyes or even look at his face. I’m sure it is just as badly beaten as the rest of his body. Instead, my eyes are transfixed on the green piece of torn fabric barely protruding from the jacket. The missing piece of fabric in my pocket would align so perfectly with it. I reach my hand inside and pull out the torn fabric. I bring it to my face breathing in the lingering manly scent as I stare at the man in front of me. Ethan is alive.
I turn to look back at Landon standing behind me in the kitchen. Less than a few seconds must pass between the time I look at Ethan and the time it takes me to meet Landon’s gaze, but it feels like minutes, no hours. I don’t know how to feel. All I feel is disbelief. I meet Landon’s eyes. His gorgeous golden eyes that have seen me come now too many times to count. Eyes that I have told I love you to. Eyes that held promises of more. Of forever just the night before.
I’m tied naked to the large hotel bed. My arms and legs spread wide for Landon to do whatever he pleases. I never thought I would feel this comfortable giving up complete control. Not after life dealt me one painful thing after the next. I like to know what the next second, next hour, and next day brings. But with Landon, I love giving up control. I love just letting go and enjoying the pleasure mixed with the tiniest bit of pain. I love him.
Landon comes back from the bathroom, completely naked allowing me to take in his growing erection. I watch his lustful eyes soak up my bare breasts before finding my hungry eyes. He bites his bottom lip as he walks toward me, and I find myself biting my own lip wishing it were his mouth there instead of mine. I watch him light the candle sitting on the end table to set the mood, I assume. Although he’s done enough to romanticize me tonight between the carriage ride in Central Park, dinner, and this incredible hotel room complete with a Jacuzzi tub that looks like a small pool. We will definitely have to try that out later.
I focus my eyes back on Landon as he leans down and kisses me on the lips. He tugs at my lip with his teeth filling me with delicious pleasure. He leaves me wanting more when his lips leave mine seconds later. I run my tongue over my sore, swollen lip as I wait to see what he will do next.
I want to demand more. Make him give me what I want faster, but I don’t want to beg. Not yet anyway.
“Do you trust me?” he whispers in my ear. His hot breath on my neck makes me shiver.
“Yes,” I breathe.
My vision is gone in an instant, buried beneath the cotton fabric of his shirt. His manly smell engulfs my nose as I wait for more. I feel his tongue flick my nipple causing me to gasp from the unexpected touch.
“Fuck.” I moan as his tongue swirls around my other nipple. His touch feels amplified a hundred times over.
“God, I can’t wait to be inside you.”
“Please,” I beg, needing him to follow through on his promise. His tongue moves to my clit flicking over it as my toes curl. But he doesn’t stay there long. His tongue moves down to my slit, lapping up my juices as his tongue thrusts inside me. I moan, but it’s not enough to satisfy my need for him to fill me and stretch me until I can’t take anymore.
“Please,” I beg again. “Please, Landon. I need you inside me.” I feel like I’m going to burst from the energy flowing through me. The energy he causes.
I feel the bed shift as me moves, but I don’t feel him. I wait for what seems like an eternity. My nipples hard and my lips swollen — wanting more. Needing more. But instead, I wait. And wait. And wait.
When he does finally push inside me, I scream from the unexpected fullness. He thrusts again and again as he rubs my clit with his thumb. He builds me fast to my brink before his thumb stops suddenly.
“I want to mark you. I want to make you come. But I want you to beg for it first.”
I moan as his thrusts slow, and he doesn’t let me come. His actions don’t bring me any relief either. Instead, he just makes me wet with need.
“Please mark me. Make me come,” I beg. I’m panting hard from being brought so close and then denied. I try to slow my breathing. I try to slow my beating heart. I try to anticipate what he’s going to do to me. To mark me. To make me his. But my heart doesn’t let me calm down enough to think.
That’s when I feel it, the burning of my flesh on my soft belly as Landon moves harder and faster inside me. He does it again, but this time, it ignites me.
“Make me yours,” I say when I realize that it’s hot wax arousing my body. Gently warming my skin and reminding me of this night forever. A night I will never forget. The night I realized I wanted this man forever. He is my future. I don’t care about my past. I only care about my future with him.
When I looked at him that night, our eyes both held the promise of a future. Now, when I look into his eyes, all I see is pain. There is no hope of a future, only emptiness. He knows that the man standing in the hallway is Ethan. I need to tear my eyes from his, and I need to go to Ethan. He is my husband, after all. Not that I remember him, though. He’s a complete stranger to me. I just don’t understand how this is possible. How is Ethan alive? What the hell happened to him?
My hand grabs my chest over my heart to try to relieve the pain pounding in my chest. This is why love isn’t worth it. This pain that I will never get over. My heart knows. It knows that Ethan coming back means the end of Landon and me.
I hear a loud thump behind me, which forces my eyes away from Landon. Ethan has crumpled to the floor.
“Ethan!” I scream as I run the twenty feet from the living room to where he lies completely broken. It takes me less than five seconds to reach him, but that is more than enough time for the guilt to consume me. Whatever happened to Ethan was horrible. And instead of looking for him, saving him, I moved on to Landon. How is he ever going to forgive me for that?
“Ethan!” I scream again as I kneel down beside him. He doesn’t respond. His body is still limp on the floor.
“Check to make sure he is breathing,” Landon says calmly standing over me.
I gently roll Ethan’s body onto his back and watch as his chest rises and falls. He’s still breathing.
“We need an ambulance. A man is unconscious but breathing,” Landon says into his phone. I let his voice drift off as I look back at Ethan. His jet-black hair has started to grow wild and unkept. Dark stubble covers his chin and neck unevenly. Bruises cover his face. He looks just like I did after the accident. It’s like for him the accident happened yesterday instead of almost six months ago.
“An ambulance is coming. The operator just said to make sure he is still breathing and not to move him,” Landon says.
I nod not able to say any words. What am I supposed to say? Landon, this is my husband, Ethan, who was supposedly dead and who I can’t remember. Ethan, this is Landon, the guy I’ve been fucking even though you’ve been alive this whole time. No. There are no words. No words can make any of this right.
“I love you. It’s going to be okay,” Landon says.
I shake my head as the tears fall. Those words are definitely not the right words. Those words don’t make anything better. It’s never going to be okay again.
I used to think love didn’t exist
That it is purely just a myth.
Something visited in fairy tales
But never found in real life.
Watching Alex fall apart over Ethan’s body broke me. Somehow, after everything, I’m going to lose her. I’ve lost enough. I can’t lose anyone else I love. I won’t go through that again. I won’t lose Alex.
I watch as the woman I love paces back and forth in the waiting room. My strong, beautiful, passionate woman is a fucking mess, and I can’t do anything to fix it. Not one fucking thing.
Ethan was immediately rushed back as soon as he arrived by ambulance to the emergency room, and they haven’t told us anything. All we have is questions. Like what the fuck is her husband doing alive?
I hate him. And not just because he could ruin everything between Alex and me. I just don’t trust him. What man abandons his wife for six months?
I get up from my chair and walk over to Alex, pulling her into an embrace. She melts into my arms. Her warm body fits perfectly with mine. This is how it should be. Just like this.
“It’s going to be okay,” I say again. Although, I have no idea how it will ever be okay again. Maybe he will have amnesia too. Maybe he won’t remember who she is either. Maybe he will want to start a new life with someone new and leave Alex to me.
I tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear trying my best to comfort her. She doesn’t say anything. She just lets me hold her. Lets us be together even if these are the last few moments we will ever have together. I try to engrain this moment into my memory forever. The smell of raspberries lingers around her. Her beautiful red hair and emerald eyes. Her pale skin covered in tattoos and scars. Her flushed cheeks and bloodshot eyes. Everything about this moment, I will remember.
Her arms tighten around me, squeezing me so hard I can barely breathe, and my arms tighten around her in response. We are both hoping that our bodies will mesh as one in such a way that we can never be separated again.