Free Me (Page 46)

Free Me (The Found Duet #1)(46)
Author: Laurelin Paige

But maybe that was only because I was a woman and because my imagination was limited. Or I was looking for a reason to be jealous.

JC completely ignored my question, which only made me more convinced it was about a woman, and asked his own. “How did you get your scar?”

I wondered if we were playing a game of bluff. Who would tell the story they didn’t want to tell first? Except he’d already told me the story behind two of his tattoos. It was probably my turn. Quid pro quo and all.

I bit my lip then said, “I did something stupid.”

“What was that?”

“Made my dad mad.” I’d been wearing a bikini to sun in the yard. I’d known he wouldn’t like me doing it, but I’d done it anyway, hoping he wouldn’t catch me. But he did. I was twelve and he’d accused me of dressing like a prostitute. He’d picked up a loose board from the fence, not realizing there was a nail in it. Or maybe not caring. When he smacked it across my back, the nail caught in my bare skin and pulled a deep gash. It should have had stitches, hence why it had scarred so badly. I’d been lucky to not get tetanus, because he never took me in to have it looked at.

It wasn’t something I told people. I didn’t like the pitying looks I got when they found out my father beat his kids. Worse was when they could no longer look at me at all. It’s surprising how many folks can’t deal with other people’s tragedy. Like it’s contagious or something.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to JC to know either. But he’d asked, and I wanted to be honest with him more than I wanted to hide the ugly parts of me. Wanted to show him that he could be honest with me.

“Your dad did this?”

I tilted my head up to meet his eyes. “Yeah.” I prepared myself to answer more.

But JC surprised me. Putting two fingers under my chin, he leaned up and kissed me. It was the kind of kiss that said what words couldn’t say. It said I’m sorry this happened to you, but it didn’t come off patronizing. It said Let me make it better, while doing exactly that.

It was the best balance of compassion and understanding that I’d ever received in regards to my past abuse.

I was so grateful and moved by it that I quickly let it grow. I slipped my tongue deep into his mouth and shifted my body on top of his. His gentle caresses turned rougher, more desperate, as he sucked and nipped at my lips. His cock stiffened under my belly, and without breaking our kiss, I drew my knees up to straddle him. Still wet from earlier, I slid down, sheathing him easily.

I pulled away from his kiss, sitting back to ride him, my palms flat on his chest. This position was outside my comfort zone, and it took a few minutes for me to establish any sort of a rhythm. JC had been right when he’d guessed that I liked to hand over the control in the bedroom. But maybe he needed that from me sometimes too. Even if he didn’t need it, I wanted to show him that I could be versatile. For him. That I could give as well as take.

It was different being in charge. I had to shift a few times before I found the angle that hit where I liked when JC usually found it immediately. With me on top, he could touch me in ways he normally couldn’t. As soon as his thumb landed on my clit, the pressure began to build, low and warm. Spreading over me and through me, gathering momentum until it felt like I could soar.

Suddenly he sat up, burying his face between my breasts. “Oh, Gwen…”

I slowed as he kissed around one of my nipples. Then his eyes fastened to mine, and he said, “I can’t decide if you came along at the best time or the worst.”

He tugged my knees higher, forcing my ass to sit back so I sat more firmly on his cock. Gripping my hips, he took over, knocking my clit just right as he rocked me against him. “Right now, I’m just glad that you came along.”

His words were all I needed to spur my climax. It hit me, bowling me over, as though it hadn’t given me any warning, despite the fact that it really had. Much the way falling in love with JC had hit me. All the signs had been there. Still, I’d refused to see it coming on.

And what could I do about it now? Nothing except ride the wave the same way that I was riding the crest of my orgasm. It shattered through me. It wracked me and wrecked me. Yet in the end, as I dug my fingers into JC’s shoulders and felt him pound through my resistance, I was better for it. I was calmed and pieced together. I was made new. I was made whole.

***

We slept after.

We dozed away the afternoon, wrapped around each other.

When I woke up, the room was dim and JC wasn’t in the bed next to me. I sat up and felt better as soon as I found him in the armchair, fully dressed, watching me. He sat with his legs outstretched, ankles crossed, like when I first met him. Yet his back was straight and his shoulders tight.

Before any words were spoken, I could tell things were different.

“What time is it?” I asked, hoping my half-asleep state was causing me to misread.

He smiled, and while it was sincere, it was weak. “Almost eight,” he said. “I was just going to wake you.”

“Yeah. I need to get home and get ready for work.” I’d have just enough time if I didn’t have too much trouble getting a cab. Focus on that, I told myself. On the responsibilities I had. I didn’t have time to dissect what was going on here.

“I called a taxi for you.” How he could always read my mind, I’d never know.

It struck me that if he had called for a ride before waking me that he’d either wanted to make sure I got as much sleep as possible or he’d wanted as little time with me as possible. I hoped it was the former. But, from the awkward distance between us, I feared it was the latter.

“All your things are there.” He nodded to the bottom of the bed where he’d laid out my clothes. Was the gathering of my things a kind gesture or a hint? “I’ll let you get dressed.” He stood and left the room, shutting the door behind him.

I dressed quickly, knowing if I slowed down I’d have time to analyze, and I was afraid I’d be emotional and jump to conclusions. Just because he seemed distant now didn’t mean I’d imagined how things were earlier. And it didn’t mean he regretted it either. It could simply mean he knew I needed to leave. Knew that he’d be a distraction if he didn’t give me space.

Still, shutting the door seemed like such a blatant statement. Impudent, even. Separating me from him. Shutting himself off. Shutting himself down. It stung, and my eyes blurred with tears.

Say ouch.