Driven (Page 39)
I nod slowly as I swallow the huge lump in my throat. She scoots close to me, wrapping her arms around me, rocking me slowly, and making hushing noises. A huge sob escapes, and I succumb to the tears that have threatened me for several days. It feels so good to let them out, cathartic really.
After a few moments I find a semblance of control and am finally able to speak. “I just—I feel like I’m betraying Max. I feel like I don’t deserve—” my breath hitches from my sobbing, “I feel guilty—”
“Rylee, honey,” she tucks an errant curl of hair behind my ear. “It’s normal to feel that way, but at some point you have to start living again. It is a tragic, horrific thing that happened to you guys. To him. To you. But it’s been over two years, Ry,” she grabs my hand, “and I know you don’t want to hear it, but at some point you have to move on. You don’t have to forget, but you—the wonderful, beautiful woman that you are—needs to live again. You too, were once carefree. It’s not too late to find that again.”
I stare at her, tears blurring my vision, and afraid that my next admission will make me a horrible person. I avert my eyes, afraid to look at her when I speak. “Part of the reason I feel guilty … I … the intensity, the desperation, the everything that Colton makes me feel is so much more, so much stronger, than I ever felt with Max,” I take a chance, and look back at her face, finding the exact opposite expression than what I had expected. I find compassion rather than the disappointed disgust. “And I was going to marry Max,” I choke out, relieved to have gotten this huge burden off of my chest and off my conscious. “I know it’s stupid, but I can’t help feeling it. I can’t help that it pops into my head in that moment when all I feel, breathe and want is more of Colton.”
“Oh, Ry … why have you been holding all of this in by yourself?” She wipes one of her own tears before pulling me to her and squeezes me again. She rests her cheek on the top of my head. “Rylee, you were a different person then. Your life is different now. Back then, anyone that saw you and Max together—we just knew that you were perfect for each other—just as you knew,” I can hear the smile in her voice as she reminisces. “And now,” she sighs, “you’ve been to hell and back in a little over two years. You are not the same person you were. It’s natural to feel differently—to love deeper, feel stronger—no one is going to fault you for that. No one has touched you in two years, Rylee. Your reaction is going to be more intense.”
We sit there in silence as I absorb the truth in her words. I know she’s right, I just hope that I can believe it when the time comes. My contemplative silence is broken when Haddie suddenly starts laughing. She releases me from her hug, and I lean back to look at her perplexed. What in the hell is so funny? “What?”
She looks at me and I can see debauchery in her eyes. “He’s probably great in bed,” she smirks wickedly. “I bet he fucks like he drives—a little reckless, pushing all the limits, and in it until the very last lap.” She raises her eyebrows at me, her grin sassy.
Her words make me bite my bottom lip at the thought of him hovering over me, sinking into me, filling me. I relive the feel of his lips on mine, the firm muscles beneath his clothes flexing with me, and his raspy voice telling me he wants me. I break from my thoughts, my core dampening at the thought of him. I look back to Haddie, watching her watch me, her eyebrows still raised, as if she is asking me if I think her assessment is accurate.
Oh boy, do I. And then some.
“Since when do you watch racing? Know how he drives?” I try to avert the focus from me.
“Brody watches it. I pay attention when they say Colton’s name,” she says of her brother and then smirks devilishly. “It’s definitely worth watching when they flash his face on camera.”
“The man can kiss,” I confess, grinning like a loon. “He can definitely kiss.” I nod my head in agreement.
“Don’t think about it, Rylee … just do it! Be reckless. Let your hair down,” she urges. “Do you want to wake up twenty years from now with a perfectly ordered life with everything in its proper place but never having really lived? Never really put yourself out there?”
“Well, I like the everything in order part,” I kid as she rolls her eyes at me.
“Of course, in that whole statement you would hear that! Just think of the stories you can tell your grandkids someday—about the sordid affair you had with the hot playboy race car driver.”
I take a sip of my wine, contemplating her comments. “I know what you’re saying, Haddie, I really do, but the sex without commitment thing. Without the relationship thing … how do you do that?”
“Well you stick flap A in slot B,” she answers wryly.
“It was a rhetorical question, you bitch!” I laugh throwing the pillow next to me at her.
“Thank God! I was worried it had been so long that I was going to have to give you a sex-ed lesson.” She reaches over to the table and uncorks another bottle of wine, topping off both of our glasses. She settles back in the couch, and I can see her mentally choosing her words before she speaks. “Maybe it’s best that way?” When all I do is raise my eyebrows in question, she explains. “Maybe for your first guy since Max, maybe its best that he isn’t relationship material. You’re bound to have some hiccups—after everything you’ve been through—so maybe it’s best to throw caution to the wind and embrace your inner slut for a little bit. Have some fun and a lot of mind blowing sex!” She wiggles her eyebrows and I giggle at her, my overconsumption of wine slowly taking effect, smoothing over my frayed nerves.