Authors: E. L. Todd
E. L. TODD
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are fictitious or used fictitiously. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher or author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review.
Editing Services provided by Final-Edits.com
Copyright © 2016 by E. L. Todd
All Rights Reserved
Deep Into The Night
The sheets were warm and the bed was soft. It was late into the night, an unearthly hour that no one should be awake to experience. I was pulled away from my dreams by the distraction of gentle embraces. A rugged mouth was placing kisses all over my body, starting from my stomach and heading down to my thighs.
“Mmm…” I wanted to stay asleep but I wanted the erotic touches to continue.
My legs parted gently and soft lips moved further up my thigh.
My back arched and my body tensed. The dream was the best I’ve ever had. I never wanted to wake up.
Hawke’s lips pressed against my folds and kissed me gently. His tongue moved around my clitoris before he sucked it, igniting all the nerves in my body.
It felt amazing.
He kissed me harder, chasing away the smoke that surrounded my dreams. It was a dense fog that slowly cleared until the dream disappeared entirely. A blinding orgasm took me, bringing me back to reality with a violent jolt.
“Hawke…” My fingers dug into his hair as I enjoyed the climax. It made me feel alive like I never had before. Everything was on fire, from my fingers to my toes.
When the high passed, I slowly drifted down to earth, my eyes opening and taking in the dark ceiling of my bedroom. The light didn’t enter through the windows so I knew the sun hadn’t risen yet. When I looked down, I saw Hawke’s face between my legs.
Wordlessly, he crawled up my body until he was directly on top of me. He looked down at my naked body, his wet lips gleaming in the distant light.
“What time is it?”
He gave me an intense look like he hadn’t heard a word I said. Then he moved between my parted thighs and pressed his hard cock inside me. He stretched me the moment he entered, moving through my slick.
My head returned to the pillow, and I enjoyed every move and sensation.
“It doesn’t matter what time it is.” He rocked into me slowly, the sweat collecting on his chest. One hand fisted my strands. As he looked deep into my eyes, his hips thrust over and over. “Time has no power over either one of us.”
At 5:30 a.m., I showered and got ready for work. Hawke didn’t have to be at the office until nine but he usually got up anyway. When I went into the kitchen for breakfast, he already had my plate ready.
It was two scrambled eggs with a side of toast. And there was a mug of coffee with just a little cream and sugar next to it. His plate was already wiped clean but his coffee was only half way finished. He read The New York Times as he sat there.
I took my seat and ate quietly, glancing at him every few minutes. We didn’t talk as much as we used to because words were unnecessary. We could communicate on a completely different level, something that no one else could understand.
He turned the page and kept reading, the sun starting to rise in the distance.
Sitting together like this made me think about our future. Would we do this every day for the rest of our lives? Would we be old and gray one day and wonder where all the time went? If that day ever came, I knew I would be content.
He folded the paper when he was finished and occupied himself with staring at me. He sipped his coffee while he kept his eyes trained on me, taking in my hair and work t-shirt. “What are you thinking about?”
He couldn’t read my mind. “I hope we’ll stay this way forever.”
He set his coffee on the coaster then snaked his hand to mine. His dry fingers rubbed across mine, feeling my knuckles. The devotion in his eyes held the promise I didn’t need to hear. We lost two years of our lives but that didn’t matter anymore. Now we were right where we belonged. “We will.”
We stood outside the gate and waited for Marie and Axel to exit the plane.
“They’re going to be so depressed when they see us.” Hawke stood beside me with his arm around my waist. He towered over me with his height, making me feel smaller than I already was.
“Why? What did we do to them?”
“Nothing. But now they’re back to reality.”
“I’m sure they’re sick of each other by now.”
He looked down at me, his blue eyes twinkling in a special way. “I wouldn’t be sick of you.”
“That’s different. I’m pretty cool.”
He rubbed his nose against mine. “And you wouldn’t be sick of me.”
“That’s because you’re really hot.”
He smiled slightly, but his eyes expressed his delight even more. “True.”
Marie and Axel walked off the terminal, looking noticeably tan. They still had their leis around their necks like they weren’t quite ready to say goodbye to paradise.
I waved from the crowd so they would spot us. “Welcome home.”
“Hey.” Marie stiffened in surprise then ran directly into my arms. She hugged me tightly and rocked me from side-to-side. “I’m so happy to see you. You already did so much for the wedding, and now you’re here to surprise us?”
“We thought you could use some help with your luggage.” It was no secret Marie packed her entire wardrobe on every trip. “And we missed you.”
“Awe. We missed you too.”
“No, we didn’t.” Axel walked up to Hawke then gave him a high-five. “I can honestly say I didn’t think about either one of you during our trip.”
“It’s okay.” Hawke restrained his chuckle. “I didn’t think about you either.”
Axel patted him on the back. “That’s why we’re friends. Always honest.”
Marie released me and backed away. “Well, I missed you guys.”
“No, you didn’t.” Axel gave her an offended look. “I kept you entertained the entire time.”
“And I was,” she said. “But I’ll always miss my best friend—no matter who I’m with.”
Axel shook his head in disappointment. “I gave her some of my best moves. I even read a few Cosmo magazines.”
Hawke raised an eyebrow. “Really? Cosmo?”
“Yeah,” Axel said. “They have some pretty interesting stuff in there.”
My brother was from a whole different planet. “How was Bora Bora?”
“Awesome,” Marie said. “Those bungalows over the water were so cool. There were manta rays everywhere and we even saw a few sea turtles.”
“How cool,” I said. “Take lots of pictures?”
“Too many,” Marie said. “Believe me, you’re going to be bored when I show them all to you.”
Axel moved his arm around her waist. “Wife, I’m jet-lagged. Let’s head home.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty tired too,” Marie said. “You guys should come over tomorrow.”
“Sure thing,” I said. “Let’s get your luggage and give you a lift.”
“You guys don’t have to do that,” Marie said as she waved it off.
“We insist.” Hawke took my hand and walked with me to the baggage claim. “Technically, the wedding is still going until you get to your doorstep. Frankie and I are just completing our duties.”
Axel walked with his arm hooked around Marie. “Maybe we should have a wedding every weekend so we have these two at our beck and call.”
Hawke turned to Axel. “Be careful. When our day comes, you two will be the maid of honor and best man…so I suggest you be nice.”
A smile immediately formed on my lips. It was difficult for me to give this relationship another chance in the beginning, but now, I didn’t have any regrets. Hawke and I were exactly where we should be, and I wasn’t afraid he would take off again.
This was our happily ever after.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Marie and I got a drink after work. I changed into a dress when I left the bakery so I wouldn’t be caked with sugar and flour. Some of it was in my hair but nothing would get that out besides a shower.
“Tell me everything about the honeymoon.” We both had apple martinis placed in front of us, each with an umbrella.
“Girl, I’ve never been to any place nearly as nice. Hawke gave us an excellent recommendation.”
“Wow. I’ve never even been on a vacation before.”
“Ever?” she asked incredulously. “I guess that makes sense because Axel hasn’t really either.”
“It just wasn’t common in our childhood.”
“Well, this place would give you a heart attack. The food was amazing, the service was impeccable, and the location was glorious. It was such a bitch to get there but it was worth it.”
“The flight was long?”
“Twelve hours,” she said. “And then we had to take another plane from Tahiti to Bora Bora. I didn’t get much sleep on the plane so I was jet-lagged the first day.”
“But you probably forgot about all of that when you got there.”
“Instantly.” She snapped her fingers.
It was hard to believe Axel almost ran out on the wedding. If Hawke hadn’t found him, the outcome may have been very different. “I’m glad you guys worked everything out. When he talked to you before the wedding, I had no idea what he was going to say.”
She took a long drink like she needed the alcohol to kick in. “I was terrified too. I had no idea what he was going to say either. But when he told me, I honestly didn’t care. Those first few months of our relationship are just an indistinct blur. Axel is nothing like that anymore.”
“He’s really not.”
“He’s already such a great husband. He always carries my bags and looks after me… It’s really sweet.”
It was hard to imagine my brother being sweet. Most of our interactions were just us butting heads. “He really loves you, Marie.”
“I know he does.” She couldn’t hide the joy on her face. Her features lit up like the Manhattan skyline. “I’m very lucky.”
“When are the babies coming?” I smiled because I knew that would make her squirm.
“Uh, no. Not right now.” She shook her head dramatically. “I already have to take care of Axel. That’s enough work as it is.”
“You guys would have cute kids together.”
“And you’ll be the number one babysitter.”
Babysitting wasn’t an interest of mine, but I would love to spend time with my niece or nephew. “Let’s cross that bridge when we get there.”
She finished her cosmo then waved down the bartender for another. “How are things with you and Hawke? You seem happy.”
“Really happy.” The two years we were apart were unbearable. I managed to hold my head high and keep moving forward, but it wasn’t that easy. Now that we were together again, it made me realize just how empty my life was without him. Now I felt whole, like nothing was missing.
Marie smiled. “I wonder when he’ll propose.”
“I don’t know about that. It’s still too soon.” But being his wife would be a dream come true. We were already committed to each other in an unbreakable way. Married or not married, we were destined to be together in one way or another, even if it was just as friends. I couldn’t escape him, and he couldn’t escape me.
“Time isn’t an accurate measurement of most things. When you know, you know.” She sipped her drink then played with the umbrella.
If Hawke asked, I wouldn’t say no. But I didn’t think he would ask—not yet.
“Why don’t you guys move in together? Axel and I did that, and we don’t have any regrets.”
“We’ll see where it goes.” I wasn’t in a hurry to change anything. I was very happy with the way things were.
“Anything new with you? With work?”
My life was pretty uneventful at the moment. “Not really. You’re the one with the interesting lifestyle at the moment.”
“Yeah, it was magical.” She smiled as she remembered the big day. “I’m sad it’s over.”
“You have Axel every day for the rest of your life. It’s not really over.”
That cheered her up. “You’re right. I landed the perfect man.”
“I wouldn’t go that far...” Marie was blind to Axel’s faults, whereas I saw them crystal clear.
“Hey, Frankie.” A familiar voice sounded in my ear, and I recognized it even though I hadn’t heard it in a while.
“Hey, Kyle.” After our last conversation, I didn’t expect to see him again. It’d been several months since we stopped talking. When he stopped texting me and stopping by the shop, I assumed he’d finally moved on—which was a good thing.
He looked the same as he used to. His hair was a little longer than it used to be, but that was the only difference. His arms and shoulders were still powerful, and he had a boy’s charm in a man’s body. “I saw you across the room and wanted to stop by and say hi.” He turned to Marie. “Congratulations on your wedding.”
“Oh, thank you.” Marie immediately smiled at the compliment. She liked Kyle the first time she met him.
Kyle turned back to me, a beer in his hand. “So, how’s it going?” The vibrant sense of life he used to possess was absent. It reminded me of a match that wouldn’t light no matter how many times you scraped it.
“Couldn’t be better.” He said it with fake enthusiasm and took a drink.
Marie grabbed her phone and looked at the time. “Gosh darn, I’m late for my hair appointment.” She grabbed her purse and left the table. “I’ll catch up with you later, Frankie.”
That was just an excuse and I knew it. “A hair appointment?”
“Yep.” She walked out of earshot and disappeared out the door.
Kyle stood at the table with the beer still in his hand. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to chase your friend away.”
“You didn’t.” She would get an earful about it later.
He glanced at the seat Marie had just vacated. “Can I join you?”
I immediately thought of Hawke and how pissed he would be if he spotted us together. But then I remembered why I was with Kyle in the first place. “Of course.” I hadn’t thought about Kyle much since Hawke and I got back together. When I did, I was always hoping he’d moved on and found a great girl. But judging the hollowness of his eyes, that hadn’t happened yet. “What’s new with you?”
“You remember that trial I told you about?”
“It’s still going.” He sighed before he took another drink. “The defendant has a damn good lawyer and he’s searching for every loophole possible. But I’m not letting him get away with it. I won’t settle for anything less than life in prison.”
I would never forget about how passionate he was about his cases. He didn’t take cases very often, choosing to play golf or spend time at home, but when he did, he was a behemoth in the courtroom. “I’m sure you’ll win, Kyle.”
“Losing isn’t an option at this point.” He grabbed the umbrella from my drink and stuck it in his beer. “Why don’t beers have these umbrellas? They’d be a lot more fun that way.”
“Because men wouldn’t order them.”
“I don’t know about that. I sure would.”
Just like old times, he made me smile. “Seeing anyone?” Please say yes.
“There’s this girl I’ve been seeing for a while but I’m going to break it off.”
“I’m just not feeling it with her.” He didn’t make eye contact as he spoke. “She’s too clingy. Makes me uncomfortable.”
“I’m sure it’s just because she’s into you.”
“She’s pretty and everything, but I don’t really think about her when I’m not with her.” He shrugged then took another drink. “I never cared about having a relationship before I met you. But now that I know what it’s like, I really want one—a real one.” He looked up and met my gaze. “I guess I’m a one-woman kind of guy now. Never expected it.”
“Maybe you’ve matured over the past year.”
“Maybe. But the more dates I go on, the more I dislike dating altogether. So much talking…”
I chuckled. “We tend to do that. Why don’t you try Tinder?”
“Every time I use that, I just hook up with people.”
“Nah. I’m not doing that.” He surveyed the bar before he turned back to me. “So…you and Hawke are still an item?” The hope in his eyes was unmistakable.
“Yeah. And it’s going to stay that way.” He kept forcing me to hurt him and I absolutely hated it. I missed Kyle because he’d become a good friend. Sometimes, I wished we could still hang out and catch a ballgame. But I knew that wasn’t possible—for his sake.
“Well, I’m happy for you.” Despite his sadness, he seemed sincere. “I hope I find something like that—someday.”
“You will.” There wasn’t a doubt in my mind. Kyle was the perfect guy. I even judged myself for leaving him in the first place.
“Got any cute friends to hook me up with?”
“None that are single.”
He sighed. “The good ones are always taken.”
“Yeah, it seems that way.”
He clanked his beer, which was nearly empty, against mine. “Well, I should head out. I’ve had too many already.”
“I can walk you home.”
He finished his beer then chuckled. “I’m alright, Frankie. But thanks.”