I end at The Sky Launch, when Alayna realized the truth. It’s the worst part and the best part. It was the moment I almost lost everything. But it was also the moment that I was finally free to love Alayna in the way she deserved, and in that way, it was the moment I gained everything.
I don’t tell her that the whole thing was Celia’s game. I will, one day. But tonight is for my faults, my mistakes. No one else’s. Admitting my own role as victim shifts the focus away from that.
It takes over two hours to complete my story, and when I do, I’m exhausted. Mentally and physically. And I can’t hide that I’m down. It’s been an evening of recalling my sins. I’m humiliated. I’m ashamed.
Alayna stares at the skyline past me, a breeze blowing her hair behind her so her face is clear and visible. Still, it’s hard to read her thoughts as she takes everything in. I start to think that maybe now I need that drink, but then her eyes swing to meet mine and she speaks.
“It’s not on the agenda for me to disclose anything,” she says, “but I have my own confession.”
I’m not worried about anything she has to tell me. The things she thinks are her flaws are the very aspects of her that I adore most. But I am intrigued.
She clears her throat. “It could be easy to listen to what you’ve said and focus on the heartache that you say you caused. But the part that’s missing is that your experiments were done on grown-up people. Adults who are, in the end, responsible for themselves. You hurt Celia. She had a chance to walk away, and she didn’t. She’s culpable for what she became after that. That’s all her, H. Not you.”
I tilt my head and study her. “You had a chance to walk away, too.”
“I did. And me coming back to you—that’s all me.” Her lips twist into a smile. “Though you did do a damn good job of making yourself impossible to resist.”
Weakly, I return her smile. It’s a small comfort against the weight of my past.
Alayna gets up suddenly and crawls onto my lap, straddling me. My c**k stirs automatically from our point of contact, but I ignore it. She wraps her arms around my neck, and my own hands settle around her waist.
“Here’s my confession, H. It’s a difficult one to admit because I don’t want it to sound like I condone the things you did.” She takes a deep breath. “But, honestly, I wouldn’t have given you the time of day if you hadn’t manipulated me. No matter how you chased me. Nothing you could have done would have made me start any sort of relationship with you.”
My eyes narrow. She’s told me before that she was as instantly attracted to me as I was to her. It was in her face, in her body language from the moment we first interacted. Surely if I’d approached her in the conventional method of courtship, I could have won her attention.
“Don’t get me wrong,” she says, apparently picking up on my confusion. “I was attracted to you at first sight. You pulled me to you inexplicably. I was instantly fixed on you. And that made you everything that I should stay away from. I’d been well for a long time before you, Hudson. I’m pretty sure I could have stayed on the wagon. It would have been difficult, but I would have avoided you like the plague.”
She moves her hands around to caress my jaw. The soft flutter of her thumbs against my stubble sends shocks to my groin. “Then you waved money in front of me. And I convinced myself I needed that money enough to break my rules and do the thing you asked of me. If you hadn’t done that, Hudson, if you hadn’t played me…” She shakes her head at wherever her thoughts trailed off to. “Honestly, I don’t think there’s any other way you could have won my attention. Unless you held a promotion over my head in exchange for spending time with you, and that would have been just as shitty.”
She leans down and kisses me softly then leans her forehead against mine. “I would never have given myself the chance to fall in love with you if you hadn’t forced me to. It doesn’t excuse you. But it’s the truth. And for that, I have to say that I guess things happened how they should have. If I had the chance to rewrite it all, I don’t think I would change a thing. This is the path that led to me with you like this. It’s the reason I came back to you so easily. Because I realized I’d rather live through your betrayal and end up with you than never to have gotten you at all.”
She kisses me again, deeper this time. Her tongue pushes through my lips and wars aggressively with mine. I’m moved. Not just my cock, that is now hard as stone, and not just by what she’s doing now, but by everything she’s said. She’s way too forgiving. Way too open-minded. But I’m so f**king grateful that she is because now she’s mine.
Her kiss grows more frantic, and I know what she needs, but as I’m about to take the reins, she stops me. “Let me, Hudson. You told me things that were hard for you to say. Let me show you how much it doesn’t matter. How much I love you anyway.”
So I do. I wait until she asks me to touch her br**sts before I cover them with my palms. I let her unbuckle my belt and release my cock. She’s the one who lifts her skirt and pushes aside her thong underwear. Then it’s her who positions herself over me and slides down on me. She’s tight, but she pushes her hands against my chest and leans back until she’s seated comfortably. I fill her so perfectly like this, her pu**y pulsing around me as she moves up and down.
I lean in and tug at her ni**les through her shirt and bra with my mouth. Alayna tilts her h*ps forward, and I can tell she’s found the right angle when she starts to moan. She speeds up, talking in breathy gasps as she rides. “I love you, Hudson Pierce. Every part of you. Every flaw, every scar. Just like you love me.”
She tightens, and I can feel she’s close. “I love the way you take care of me.” Her words are a struggle now. “And the way you accept my jealousies and insecurities. I love your c**k and the way you f**k me. And the way you make love.”
She’s bouncing up and down in a frenzy now, and we’re both on the edge. Just as she clenches around me, she says, “Did you say that I can’t come when I’m in control? Because I’m coming.”
I start to laugh, but then I’m coming too, the dark disappearing in a flash of white as my orgasm steals my vision. We soar together like this, riding the wave of our simultaneous cl**ax, climbing higher and higher as we fall deeper and deeper into each other. I’m lost in her and found in her all at once.