Unconscious Hearts, Page 18Harper Sloan
"The first time I met her was in this room. I was a nineteen-year-old kid, old enough to be on my own, but I still walked into this room actually feeling hopeful. It took two minutes for her to fuck up that tiny part inside me that my parents hadn't managed to damage. That hope? Fucking shredded. She wouldn't sit when she walked into this room. She stood the whole time and looked down her nose at me from the doorway. Before I could even open my mouth, she informed Harris that we were in that room because she couldn't trust that her precious belongings would be safe if I was anything like the 'filthy trash' my father was. Let us know, if it was money that I was there for, she could put me to work as part of her staff, and I could earn my meals like the rest of them."
"My God," I gasp.
"She let it all hang out. Told me that she may have birthed my father but she'd disowned him years before, and he had stopped being her son that day. She knew I was stripping. She knew I had escaped the life I had been born into. She didn't know the man I was forced to become at sixteen. Didn't know anything else about me. Unlucky for me, I look just like my old man, always have, and because of that, she hated me on the spot. Harris spoke first, throwing her bullshit back in her face. She laughed at me, her own flesh and blood, and told me to get a good look on my way out because it was the closest I would ever come to having a life like hers. I listened to about ten seconds more of her telling me what type of man she had convinced herself I was before I walked away without ever looking back. Never did see that fucking house, seeing as I came and went through the garage down here."
"I don't understand," I whisper. "How did all of this become yours?"
He scoffs. "Ironic, isn't it? The riches she was so sure I was after, she ended up giving me in the end. From what I was told, she had some kind of come to Jesus moment when she got sick. Cancer. Ravaged her body and twisted her soul. The way those who lived here, in this part of the house, tell it--the few who were still here in the end--this was her way of buying her ticket of forgiveness for the fucked-up way she lived her life. I had a lot of time to get to know her staff, getting to know those who lived here through their stories since she died a few months before I met you. I don't think I'll ever understand her motives, but now instead of just being angry, I'm thankful that, in the end, everything I resented about her brought something into my life I never imagined I'd find. I made sure every person who was here after she died found new employment with someone who wouldn't treat them badly."
"Thorn," I breathe, dropping my forehead to his.
"She wasn't the first but just another in the long line of women who made me the man I had become. Then you come along, and it turns out I didn't fucking know a thing. That night when you told me about those changes you made to the contract?"
I nod, my head moving against his.
"I'll never, not ever, be able to tell you how much it meant to me that you went through so much trouble to show me that you were there, with me, because you wanted to be and not because you wanted some materialistic bullshit or easy money. I'll be honest, Ari, I wanted you so fucking badly I was willing to overlook the possibility that you could have been there just to get that shit and make a fucking mint off it. Ever since I was old enough to understand women were made of something different than men, I thought I had them figured out. I built that wall up and kept myself detached, used easy women, and made sure they knew where I stood. That didn't stop each one from trying to gain something from me. They saw the money and my opinion of women, relationships, and it just deteriorated further over the years. Then there was you. You brought a new truth to the table, and everything I thought I knew went out the window."
"Honey," I say meekly, my heart beating wildly, all for this man.
"You ran, but Ari, I wouldn't have stopped chasing you. Not after that. Not ever."
"Please, stop," I beg.
"I never needed that day by day I promised, but for the first time in my life, I was going to fight for a woman and do what it took to get what I never thought was possible to find. You needed that day by day, but I never did. I was fighting to give myself to someone completely, and I knew I could trust that you would never hurt me like the women in my past had."
The tears return; only this time, it isn't for the pain this man endured, but for the strength he embodies. Unbelievably proud to call him mine. That he saw something in me that allowed him to give me the gift of him. Made me believe I could trust him with me in return, and that's something I will never stop trying to give back to him tenfold.
His thumbs move to my cheeks, swiping at the tears in vain. When it becomes obvious I'm not going to stop anytime soon, he leans in to close the distance and kisses me deeply. I hold on, giving just as good as I'm getting. When he pulls back, dropping his forehead back against mine, I smile--weakly--but at least my tears have stopped.
"Told you I knew pain, baby," he softly says. "It's because of that pain I can sit here with beauty in my arms and feel thankful for every fucking day I lived through it. Life brought you to me, and I know it's because of what I've lived through that I could recognize what I was being given. Everyone experiences pain. Some more than others. It's how you choose to learn from it that determines your future. To live through pain, the kind that cuts a deep mark on your soul, and survive? That means I can truly appreciate when the last thirty seconds of my past ended and I got my future of beauty."
"Thorn," I breathe, swallowing the thick knot of emotion lodged in my throat.
"Take me out of this horrible woman's house and get us home. Let me show you, somewhere that isn't haunted with the memory of someone so nasty, how I feel about what you just gave me."
Wild and raw
I lean into the turn, and Ari's arms around my waist tighten as my bike speeds through traffic. Her words before we left The Orchard replaying through my mind.
Let me show you, somewhere that isn't haunted with the memory of someone so nasty, how I feel about what you just gave me.
This time, when I feel that burn in my chest, I welcome it. Starting to understand it.
Get us home.
Home. Goddamn did that rock me.
She has no idea--not a fucking clue--what she's come to mean to me. Telling her that shit back there, watching her cry for me, fucking gutted me. I knew she needed my "more," though. I probably would have given it to her before then, but I didn't want to tell her that shit before she was ready to take it on. Not after the heaviness of hers had hung around for weeks after I got her "more." I imagine she needed mine just as much as I needed hers, though, and that's the only thing I regretted during the time I kept my past from her.
One thing's for sure, I don't regret waiting to give more of myself to someone until her. Didn't know I was waiting for her to come into my life at the time, but fuck did she make it worth the wait. She owns me. Completely. Just like I own her. I don't need my resume of broken relationships to tell me what I already know. That what I have with Ari is as real as it gets. I know what stains mark her past. With her, what you see is what you get. No games. No bullshit. No lies and manipulations. It's because of that, I know down deep that she hasn't given herself to someone completely either. Even if she was engaged to that sorry fuck.
When I stop at the light, I reach my hand down and rest it against her bare thigh. Her whole body trembles against my back. She rocks her hips, the thin material of those fucking shorts not hiding her heat from me. Even through my jeans, she's burning hot.
The light changes, my pipes roar, and I take off. She presses closer, hands pressed flat against my stomach, and I feel her smile against my back.
My girl, she loves my bike.
Her hands begin to roam the closer we get to my place. I'm wound so tight, knowing I'm about to have her back in my bed, it's a fucking miracle I can even drive. I've been patient. She's been blossoming around me for weeks, but still, I waited. I meant it when I told her I wanted more before we got between the sheets again. I wanted to know he
r better, know what made her who she was, but I wanted to give her that of myself just as badly.
Before her, I would have thought it was a fucking joke to keep my dick in my pants and make sure a woman knew how much I cared about her before fucking her.
Now? Now, I might not regret waiting to find Ari, but I hate that she knew I wasn't even close to a saint in those years my pain kept me trapped
I'm going to savor every fucking inch of her, and I'll make sure she knows all I see now--all I'll ever see--is her.
I turn down the drive to my house, hooking to the left instead of following the drive where it loops to the front of the house, and head down to my underground garage. The sensor, having picked up the chip on my bike, already raising the door, and I pull right in. My bike sounds even louder against the walls.
I don't even think. I have us both off the bike and our helmets tossed carelessly away seconds after shutting my beast off. I hear one of them hit something solid, and glance briefly over at my McLaren to see both helmets resting on the ground near it. If it's dented, it'll be worth it. I roll my neck, then turn and grab Ari by the waist. She laughs, wrapping herself around me. Just like every time she's done it before, the second her body is clinging tight as fuck to mine, something settles deep inside me. A calm that betrays the irrepressible hunger to own every inch of her.
Her mouth lands on my neck. My hands flex against her ass, the firm flesh feeling so goddamn good in my hands. When I get to the door, I push it open, and it slams against the wall in my haste. I don't even need to hold on to Ari when I let go to punch in the alarm code because she's doing all the work for me with her body clinging to mine.
"You going to need a shower before we go to dinner later?"
She hums, confirming that she will, but doesn't stop kissing the skin around my jaw. When her teeth nip at me, my cock jerks against her violently.
My hands move to her hips, gripping her tight and moving her hips against my length. Our breaths are loud in the silent house as I move to the stairs and climb them while I drag one hand from her hips, behind her ass, and trace the line of her crack until I can feel the wetness of her pussy against my fingers. Then I press, roll, and make sure every inch of her sweet as fuck pussy knows who owns it.
I lose her mouth when I start rubbing her clit. Her head falls back, arms stretch out, and she leans back with a firm hold around my neck. I hit the top of the stairs and move my hand, going between our bodies. Her new position giving me a better angle. I look down, pull the waistband back, and slip my hand between her tight fucking shorts, diving between her folds.
"Oh, God," she cries, tremors shaking her body when I push two fingers deep. "Yes, honey."
"Your pussy is hungry for me," I tell her, the scent of her arousal making my mouth water. "Fuck, I'm hungry for you."
She makes a low whine, her hips trying to take what I'm not ready to give her.
I drag my fingers out slowly and hold them at her entrance. I step into the bathroom, looking at her, and wait for her to focus on me.
"Thorn," she gasps, her chest moving rapidly, wiggling her hips when I don't move my fingers back in where she wants them.
"Need me to fill you up, baby?"
"God, yes," she answers immediately.
"Climb down," I tell her, not liking the fact that I have to let go in order to get inside her. It's irrational, the anger I feel over having to release her in order to get us both naked ... and my cock inside her. "What are you doing to me, Ari?"
Her feet touch the floor, and she pushes her hair out of the way, looking through her lashes at me while toeing off her shoes. She lifts her foot, one at a time, slow as fuck, and pulls her socks off.
I reach out, impatient to have her back in my arms--against my body--but she slaps my hands away. I narrow my eyes at the same time my cock jerks.
"Take your clothes off, Thorn," she orders, pulling her shirt up and off. She drops it to the ground at her feet, her thumbs sliding against her sides and into her shorts. Then she stops. "Now."
I clench my teeth.
"You gave me something back at that house, Thorn. Now listen to me. Get naked, and let me show you how I feel about you giving me your more."
She smiles, smug as can be, when I do what she wants. If she wants to run this show, I'll do my best to let her ... for now. I doubt I'll be able to hold off for long anyway. Just seeing her tits straining against her bra is enough to make me want to ravage her tight little body.
Her hands leave her shorts, gliding against the skin I want against mine, until she's pressing her delicate fingers against the center clasp of her bra. My mouth waters when they fall free, swaying heavily as she continues to undress.
I kick my pants to the side, my cock slapping against my abs and the wetness of my pre-come dripping from the tip.
My eyes roam her naked skin. The dusty pink nipples point, straining toward me, begging for me. I slide my eyes down her flat stomach, licking my lips when I see the wetness on her pussy. Every inch of her, perfect. When she's like this, naked and vulnerable, it reminds me how fragile she is. Petite, a body that has just enough meat on it to welcome mine as I take her. The only part of her that isn't tiny is her tits. If I hadn't already had her naked and those full tits in my mouth, under my touch, I would swear they were fake based on her size.
I reach out, wanting to get the wetness that's making the trimmed curls between her legs dewy, against my tongue.
She skirts my reach, though, walking around me to step into the shower. She turns on both of the showerheads. The water falling like rain from each. Then she points at the bench between the dual heads.
I raise a brow but do what she wants, walking into the steamy air.
My ass hits the cool marble when I sit.
She bends, my gaze leaving her face to watch her tits sway.
"Eyes up here, big guy."
She moves the hair from my eyes, the steam from the shower not helping, and it just drops back down. She, again, pushes it back. This time, she leaves her hand in my hair and smiles at me.
"Thank you for not letting me stay stuck in my own past, Thorn Evans. Thank you for being patient, gentle, and knowing what I needed even before I did. Thank you for changing the course of my life with the same thirty seconds that changed yours, even if it took me a little longer to see it. Thank you, honey, for giving me beauty too."
My chest burns, and my throat moves as I swallow. The need to pull her into my arms climbs higher. I'm just about to say fuck it and get her where I want when she slowly lowers herself to her knees. If I thought I was testing my control before, when she leans back--ass to heels--and the water falling from the showerhead starts rolling down her body, I realize I never knew temptation until I had Ari Daniels naked and wet, kneeling before me. She smiles, her eyes hooded, and rocks forward while pushing her wet hair back.
My cock jerks when her hands glide up my thighs from my knees. I grind my teeth, breath through my nose, and feel my whole body rock when one hand cups my balls and the other wraps around my shaft.
And when her mouth closes around my swollen cock, I swear I feel the earth shake. I lean my weight onto one hand, the other going to her head. My thumb sweeps against her cheek, resting near her mouth to feel my thickness stretch between her lips while she feasts on my cock. My fingers wrap around the back of her neck, flexing on every downward glide and flexing my ass at the same time she takes my length until she gags. I watch her go as deep as she can, her eyes never leaving my face, and lick my lips when her tongue presses against the tip of my cock. A small burst of come shoots into her mouth when she puts pressure against that hole with her tongue, lapping the small sample of me up and humming her enjoyment against my length.
The iron grip on my control snaps when I watch her shift her hips, rolling them, searching for what only my cock can give her. Needy for it, just from sucking my cock.
She cries out when I
pounce. She's off the ground and in my arms with her back against the shower wall in seconds. I press my hips against hers, the lips of her pussy opening to make room for the thickness of my cock. I glance down our bodies, seeing the angry red tip of my cock, her pussy hugging my shaft, and bite my tongue. I'm a big man, but us like this makes me wish I could slow down and give her gentle.
But I can't.
Not this time.
The hot water falls from the shower down my back. The heat against my back not even close to the heat from her.
My hips pull back, the length of my cock slowly losing the warmth of her pussy, until just the tip of me is gliding against her. I only look away when I feel the searing heat of her entrance kiss the tip.
"Ari," I call out, my voice rougher than normal. She stops watching my cock, her arms tighten around my neck, and she gives me those beautiful eyes. "Fuck, baby," I breathe; all the words I want to say just vanish when I see her looking up at me like that.
Her legs tightening around my body is the only hint she gives before her heels dig deep into the skin above my ass and she pulls herself up with her hold she has on my neck. One second, I was trying to find a way to get past the loss of my control, and the next, she had every inch of my cock buried deep, taking what she needed. My roar that follows her sliding that tight heat over every fucking inch of me should have shattered the glass walls surrounding us. She cries out, her walls clamping down around me, rippling and constricting against me. The wetness of her arousal coats my length, and I feel my balls pull tight, instantly ready to give her what she's milking from me.
I move my hand to the back of her head, holding her there while I start to feed my cock into her body and making sure her head doesn't crack against the wall when I start to slam into her roughly a few thrusts later. Her screams of pleasure continue to pick up, and I can feel my own grunts vibrating through the stall. Each time I bottom out, deep inside her, my balls slap against her body. The sensations of it all causes me to lock my knees in order to keep my balance.
Her pussy ripples against my cock.
Her nails claw at my back, shoulders, and neck. Everywhere.