Authors: Harper Sloan
Tags: #Corps Security Boxset, #Contemporary, #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary Fiction
I open my mouth to rip her a new one when I hear the office door click again. The first thing I see is a pair of the sexiest fuck-me shoes I have ever laid eyes on followed by the hottest fucking legs ever to wrap around my hips and Greg motherfucking Cage holding the body that belongs to them. Nestled tightly to his body, covered in his jacket, is a sleeping Izzy. His jacket covers every inch from her chin to her thighs, but I know what’s under there. Sex . . . pure sex. I can tell she’s been crying. The tear streaks covering her cheeks are a dead giveaway. Her eyes are swollen and rimmed red. Even with all that, she is still the most beautiful girl in the world to me.
My arms itch to snatch her away from him, to claim what is mine. Even with all my anger, I still want her. I stand there completely knocked immobile, just looking at her. Taking her all in.
Greg completely ignores me like I’m not even standing there in front of him. He looks down at Dee and softly says, “She finally calmed down about ten minutes ago. Let’s get her home, yeah?”
“Sure, G. Let me go get the bouncer to open the side door. They already have your truck parked back there so we don’t have to take her through the front,” she weakly responds, looking completely trampled.
It seems like everyone knows what is going on right now—everyone except me. No one thought to clue the poor sap in to what exactly caused this scene. The biggest question floating around my skull is not where she has been and why she left. No, I want to know what happened to my Izzy, the girl who wouldn’t let a fucking thing knock her down.
I see Beck and Coop off to the side walking off with Dee to find the magical bouncer with the keys, leaving me standing with Locke, Greg . . . and Izzy. Both of them are looking at me like I am the bad guy here. I just wish I knew what I’d done to earn those looks of contempt.
I open my eyes when I feel someone lay me down, opening them long enough to see Greg looking down at me with his brow creased, noting how exhausted he looks. It takes me a second, but then I remember and quickly sit up.
I’m home, in my room. Glancing over at my clock, I see that it’s closing in on four in the morning.
“How did I get home, G? Where is Dee?” Pausing, I gasp up at him, “Oh my God, was he really there? Axel?”
Cursing softly under his breath, he looks away. I can tell he is trying to school his response, weigh his words. He always seems to worry that I’m going to slip back into that dark place I was in when he found me. I won’t lie, sometimes I do too, but I can’t have him treating me with kid gloves all the time.
“Greg, please . . . please just be honest with me,” I beg of him.
“Iz . . . baby girl, I just don’t know what to say. If I’d any idea that the Axel you told me about was Reid . . .” He trails off, looking back off into space. I have no idea what is going through his head, but if I know Greg, he is riding the guilt train hard.
“What? You would have made him come to me? Little too late for that, G. He had his chance to come to me YEARS ago! Years! It’s not like I didn’t let him know how to find me. I left my grandparents’ address with his foster mother. I was waiting. I waited for years and I would have waited forever. But where was he? Huh? Where was he when I needed him? All those times I needed him. That’s right. Gone.” I can feel the tightness of anger forming in my gut. “I thought he was dead this whole time. You know this, Greg. I’ve thought for twelve long years that the boy I loved was gone forever. Twelve years of feeling empty, lost, and so unbelievably alone.” I’m crying again, and I just can’t seem to stop. The weight of Axel’s return is so heavy; I needed him so badly. “You know I went back to see June, his foster mother, about a year ago. I just wanted to make sure, as stupid as that is. You know what she told me? She told me he was in a better place without me. How was I supposed to take that?”
Greg gets back up and starts his pacing again. I have no idea what’s going through his mind right now, but I can tell he is struggling with it. He knows all about my past with the infamous Axel. I remember one very bad night for me, about six months after I left Brandon. We were watching movies. I have no idea which movie; it was something stupid and cheesy. I remember watching the actors promise to love each other forever, that nothing would ever tear them apart. And then I lost it. I threw my wine glass at the TV, screeching and screaming about how everyone leaves and nothing is forever. Greg had to forcefully hold me down until I was able to calm myself. He sat there holding me still for almost two hours. When I finally stopped thrashing around; he sat me down and demanded I talk.
I told him everything from the day I met Axel at fourteen to the day he left when I was seventeen. I told him about every single wonderful memory we had shared within those three years. Then I told him about my parents, the baby, and then the parties. He knew about the deep devastation I’d felt when I had lost and lost and lost some more. He knew how and when I’d met Brandon—rich, successful, and handsome, Brandon. He knew how vulnerable I had been when he walked into my life and scooped me up; unbeknownst to me, that he was the devil in disguise.
Greg knew everything there was to know about me, but with everything I had shared . . . not once had I told him Axel’s last name. I’m guessing this little bombshell was quite a hit for him. Being ex-military, he always sympathized with the Axel I had told him about. He would always tell me that Axel wouldn’t want me to be in pain over him and what a strong and heroic person he must have been.
Lies. All fucking lies.
Axel didn’t die a hero; he lived a betrayer.
All the dreams that we had, promises we had made, they all seemed like the biggest slap in the face now.
I have mourned the loss of him and the loss of us for so long.
He was the only reason I survived at the hands of Brandon. I would just close myself off and think of him and the times we had together. He was my salvation in the darkest of dark.
“You know what? It doesn’t matter. How can he possibly explain this, G? I can’t go there anymore. I can’t go back there. Not with him. Nothing he can say will heal the wounds he inflicted.” Defeat and overwhelming melancholy have taken root.
“Iz, I don’t know what his reasons are. I don’t feel like this was intentional, baby girl. I really don’t. I talked to him, I saw his face, and he seemed completely clueless. I don’t even think he has put together that you are the person I talked to him about yesterday. There is something missing. I just can’t figure out what it is.”
“Clueless, Greg? Are you kidding me right now?”
“No, baby girl. And as much as it pains me to say this, I really think you two need to sit down and talk.”
“What? No way, Greg. No. I have nothing to say to him. Not one thing. Did you see how mad he was? I didn’t even see his face but I could hear it. I could feel it. He is acting like I did something horrid. What is so horrible about loving someone?”
“I don’t know, Iz. I just think there is something to be said about closure . . . for both of you.”
Closure? I laugh to myself as I lie back against the headboard. This man has lost his fucking marbles if he thinks I can, or want, to have a sit-down with Axel. I can’t. I just can’t. This must be some cruel joke from above. I knew I was onto something when I stopped praying. No one who throws so much shit at someone should be trusted. Haven’t I been through enough? I just started to feel ‘normal’ again. Hell, I just stopped seeing my therapist a month ago!
“Just go, G. Please, just go.”
I turn over, pull the sheets over my head, and cry softly into my pillow. I hear the door shut and heavy-booted feet stomping down the hall, followed by soft murmurings.
Just when I’m about to fall asleep, I feel slender arms wrap around me, holding me tight.
“Love you, Iz. We will get through this.”
Dee’s reassuring words are the last thing I hear before I fall into a restless sleep, hoping for some peace to be found.
“God, Izzy, you feel so fucking good wrapped around my cock. So . . . fucking . . . tight,” he rasps as he slowly thrusts his long, thick length into my waiting body. “Never felt anything as good as you.”
His hands tighten on my hips as his pumping picks up speed. His powerful rocking is rubbing my erect nipples in the most delightful way against his sheets. I dig my fingers into the sheets, trying, but not succeeding, in keeping my moaning down. All I want to do is scream out in pleasure with every single thrust and every single roll of his hips. He gives a good push in, the tip of his generous cock hitting my cervix. Each thrust now has tightening up and lightning bolts of sheer pleasure shooting from my pussy to every part of my body. My fingers tingle; my toes curl; my breasts feel like they are throbbing. Every single inch of my skin is on fire for this boy.
“Fuck me . . .” he rumbles, his breathing coming in fast bursts against my back. “Like you were made for me, baby.”
I’m afraid to open my mouth, to respond with any kind of sound that will let him know he has me feeling the exact same way. I know the second I unclench my lips, screams of pure ecstasy will come bolting out. God, I love him. He’s right; we fit together like we are meant to be. Both our bodies align perfectly, our movements are in perfect sync with each other, and our thoughts communicate wordlessly.
His hand reaches between my thighs and he starts to roll his thumb in deliciously circles, making my body’s pleasure reach even higher than before.
“Come with me, Princess. Come fucking with me.”
Right when my pleasure reaches insurmountable levels and the claws of the most powerful orgasm start taking hold . . .
I wake up.
Sitting straight up with a giant jolt, I hear a thump to my right and look over to see Dee sticking her tired head up over the side of the bed. Unhappiness with a twinge of confusion mars her pretty face. Her hair is sticking up in every direction possible, and her flawless makeup from the night before is smudged under her eyes and lips. If I weren’t still feeling the effects of that dream, I might laugh. She looks absolutely ridiculous.
“Jesus Christ, Iz. A simple wake up would have sufficed, too.”
“Sorry,” I snort, earning me a new glare.
I take my eyes from the tiny ball of unhappiness on the floor and slowly look around my room, trying to figure out what feels so different. Well, besides waking up with Dee in my bed, freaking weirdo. A knock at my door has me frowning even deeper. For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out what feels so off.
The door opens a crack and Greg pokes his head in. “Hey,” he says hesitantly, “Okay if I come in?”
And that is all it takes for it all to come rushing back in crystal clear HD Technicolor. My birthday, the package, Club Carnal, and Axel.
Dee pulls herself off the floor, rubbing her ass as she pushes past Greg on her way out the door and mumbling heated words under her breath.
“Someone woke up happy,” Greg says, walking over to the edge of my bed, taking a seat. He looks over at me, digging in for what seems to be a nice little visit. “Mornin,’ baby girl. Sleep okay?”
He looks so awkward in my girly room. His brown hair is tousled in a just-woke up way, giving him an almost boyish look to his normal hard face. He’s wearing sweats and a tight white undershirt, showing off his thick, muscled arms. He screams masculinity in my frilly room.
“Slept decent, I guess. Or at least I think I did.” I pick at some imaginary lint on my comforter, not looking up into his knowing eyes. I feel him shift, turning to his side so he is facing me. Still, I don’t look up.
“Look at me, baby girl. I need to see that you’re okay.”
I take in a big pull of air, hold it, and look up. His sleepy look is long gone and his hard controlled stare is firmly in place. A stare of which I am not used to being on the receiving end. I’ve seen him give it a million times before. It’s his look that always means business, business no matter what—a look that you do not want to cross.
Guess this means it’s game on; I was really hoping he would have just let this go. There wasn’t anything left to hash out.
“Look, G, I know you mean well, but this shit . . . This shit isn’t something I want to deal with. Not now, not later. I’m not even sure I want to ever deal with it again. What’s left to say at this point, huh? That road? It is not one I want to go down again. It’s been blocked off with detour signs for a long time now, huge fucking warning signs telling me to walk the other direction. I would be setting myself up for more pain and heartbreak and that is not something I want to do. Is it too much to ask for me to just be allowed a little happiness, some of this dark cloud to dissipate?” I don’t even give him a chance to get a word out, cutting him off before he can try and plow right over me. “We know . . . now, that you and . . . You and him are friends. Let’s just leave it. You can be friends with him and you can be friends with me. I don’t see why the two ever have to intermix. Ever.”
I can tell he is trying to talk his temper down, or maybe he is just having some convoluted one-sided argument with himself. Who knows. I don’t care at this point; there is no way I am doing this. Not when it is still cutting so fresh into my skin. I feel like I have a movie rolling in my head, over and over with the same images. Images of a past forgotten and a future lost.
“Izzy, this isn’t going to just go away. Sooner or later it will have to be dealt with.” I know he’s right, I really do, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with him. Denial is a perfectly acceptable place to pack up and move to. “He is going to be my partner now. He lives here and is staying, Iz. He isn’t going to just disappear.”
I don’t have the energy for this fight, and I know it will end up being a heavy one, a fight I will need all my wits for; going into battle with Greg is never easy.
“I get that
might not be going away, but that doesn’t mean I have to deal with it right fucking now.” I feel like punching something. Why can’t we just pretend that last night never happened? I’m the queen of fucking brushing it under the rug. That’s a game I can play with the best of them. Out of sight, out of mind.