Unconscious Hearts, Page 19Harper Sloan
Her tits bob as she struggles to catch her breath. They jiggle violently when I slam deep.
The whole time I fuck her, I know this is different from anything I have ever felt. Even wild and raw, it's so much more than just fucking. As I'm pounding into her, she's meeting me thrust for thrust, our bodies moving as one. The dance fucking magnificent as we reach for the peak.
"Thorn!" she screams, and I push deep, rolling my hips, then reach between us to pinch her clit between my fingers.
When she starts to come, the wetness dripping down my balls has nothing to do with the shower raining down my back. The blinding rush of my own orgasm has me dropping to my knees in the middle of her climax. She yelps, her legs tightening during my fall, and that only pushes me deeper when I land. I drop my head forward, open my mouth, and bite down on her shoulder when the sensation becomes too much. The sound that leaves her mouth, I'll never forget. Her pussy starts to constrict my movements, and I know she's coming again. The shower floor unforgiving against my knees and shins, but I wouldn't dream of moving when heaven is still wrapped in my arms, sitting on my cock.
I couldn't pull out of her tight pussy if I wanted to. And fuck me, I don't. I empty myself into her, feeling her ride out her pleasure.
Then I thank Christ that her beauty is all mine.
Inside the devil's house
Regret was out of control.
The only thing left was a deep-seated fear unlike anything Regret had ever felt. Regret hadn't just been remembering all this time, no ... Regret had been trying, for so long, to find a way back. To fix everything that had unraveled.
To escape the prison that Regret had made from the help of another.
Regret could no longer feel the happiness from the forgotten days.
Regret could no longer remember when the person Regret had loved deeply, loved Regret back.
Regret could no longer remember a life where the devil didn't feast on what parts it could successfully slash away or carve out.
All that was left for Regret now was fear, worry, and the almost nonexistent sliver of hope that Regret had been hiding from the evil beast.
The only break Grief had was when Regret came back out to plan when the misery became too great of a companion to bear.
Grief could remember one thing, though ... how to mourn the life that Regret so foolishly threw away because weakness and fear bowed in the face of terror. No fight to be found.
Regret, Grief, Fear, and Pain.
They had one thing in common now.
The room they shared inside the devil's house.
And each day, new tears of blood dropped from flesh inside that room.
Yes, Regret was indeed out of control.
Out of control and grasping onto that tiny sliver of hope. Though, Regret knew it was probably far too late for it to do any good anyway.
Will that be a deal breaker for you
We were late.
I'm never late.
Late is Piper's gig. It is not mine.
"They're going to know why we're late." I sigh, shifting in my seat. The soreness I feel now has nothing to do with the hours I spent working earlier today.
I turn with a gasp. "So?"
He glances over and gives me a crooked grin, one that tells me he's proud of himself, and then looks back at the road.
"You know, if I couldn't actually feel how well you earned the right to have that cocky attitude, I wouldn't find it as attractive as I do."
"Even if you didn't know I could back it up, Ari, you would still fucking find it attractive."
I harrumph and cross my arms over my chest. He's right--he knows he's right--but I'm not going to feed the cocky beast by divulging it.
I open my eyes, turn my head, and study him. He changed into a dark gray thermal, which I admitted to him the second he stepped out of his closet might be slightly hotter than the button-down shirt, sleeves rolled to his elbows version of him. On top of that, he paired that hotness with a pair of dark wash jeans that fit him just right all over. Drool worthy. He just laughed and walked into the bathroom to do whatever it is he does to make his hair look perfect. When he stepped back into the bedroom, looking and smelling like heaven, I almost called Piper to cancel dinner. Almost.
I somehow found the strength to keep my hands to myself and started getting ready--after he left the room, of course. I only have so much willpower.
During the course of our relationship and the constant back and forth between our separate homes, we had accumulated a shocking number of personal things at each other's houses. It made it easier, to be honest. We often wouldn't decide which house to settle in for the night until the last minute. The first time I stayed at his house without a change of clothes and had to pull on my previous day's clothes, I had a little bit of a freak-out, remembering the first time I rushed from his house. We had been together for a month at that point. Thorn, being Thorn, walked into his closet and grabbed three suits and two pairs of dress shoes. He didn't need to have me waffle on about how sorry I was about running from him because he forgave me, and when he kissed me goodbye at my car, he loaded his stuff in the back seat. Just like that, he was letting me know where I stood. Well, that and the "better bring enough that you never have to feel like this isn't just as much your space as it is mine."
I brought some things the next time we stayed at his house. He brought more of his when he came to mine, but he also took more of my stuff from my closet when he would leave. I didn't realize it, not at the time, but standing in his closet earlier, I was knocked over with just how merged our lives had become.
I had a ridiculous number of heels here--even a few of my favorites I had been looking for at my house for weeks. Enough dresses that I could probably go two weeks without going back to my place at all; if it wasn't for the cats, that is. He'd even stocked his bathroom with my favorite brands of toiletries. Best part, thanks to the fact that he has an invisible fairy who comes to clean his house and do his laundry, my clothes ended up laundered and hanging in his closet before I realized what had happened. Which was probably why I hadn't realized how much of my stuff had ended up here.
I tried not to let myself love the way my brightly colored clothing looked hanging next to all of his dark ones. It was a sea of black and gray, making my clothes only stand out more. It was futile, though.
Seeing our lives mix only made me imagine what it would be like if we permanently shared space. I stood frozen, the dream of that just too incredible to break away from.
It was the shoes, in the end, that did me in.
It's no surprise that a man as tall as Thorn would also have a giant foot. No surprise at all. I'll admit, the first time I realized how big his feet were, I gawked but only for a second. I couldn't help it. I had never seen feet more than double the size of mine. When my shoes shared closet space with my ex, his didn't strike me like Thorn's. They were also about four sizes smaller too, but not the point.
Thorn had giant feet.
Thorn had giant shoes.
But it was seeing my dainty size six heels, arranged so perfect and neat, that made me wish for things I had no business wishing for this early in our relationship. They shouldn't look like they were made to sit together, but boy, did they. Just like Thorn and me, we fit ... perfectly.
I felt another shift deep inside me, and there, standing in my underwear, the significance of what made me pause to begin with struck me hard.
The emptiness I had lived with, what little was left since Thorn started making me feel again, filled so fast with a giant rush, I couldn't feel that void any longer.
Someone who shared closet space with her man was not alone in life.
Someone who had her shoes mixed and displayed so effortlessly with someone else's didn't have "no one" to share her heart with.
No, she definitely had someone.
A giant someone.
A perfect someo
ne who was made for her.
"What are you thinking about?" he questions.
"I like the way my stuff looks mixed with yours in your closet," I utter, not wanting to keep something that means a great deal to me from him. His fingers tighten on the wheel, the hand resting against my thigh jerks. "I like it. I really like it. It sounds silly, I know, but I've never looked at my things, sharing a space with a man's, and perceived them like I did when I was getting ready. Even when ..." I pause, swallow, and wait for him to ease up on his grip of my thigh. "Even before ... well, it's just never resonated like that before. It's odd, but there you have it."
"Ari, you want to talk about your life before me, don't hold back. I don't just want some parts of you. I want it all."
"It's not important. Or the point."
His hand lifts off my leg, downshifts while steering around a slower car, then I feel his warmth again when he resumes his speed and steadies the wheel after passing the other vehicle.
"Pardon?" His question throwing me for a loop for a second.
"Your ex. What is his name?"
I frown. "Thorn, we don't have to do this."
"Ari. His name."
"Tommy. His name is Thomas Vale."
"All right, Ari. Way I see it, Thomas Vale might be a son of a bitch, but he's still the son of a bitch you have a history with. As much as I would like to erase the pain from that history for you, I can't. And, baby, even if I could take the pain away, that history would remain. It's a big part of you. It made you the woman I need. Don't keep that from me because you think I can't handle it or I'll fly off the handle because of it."
I keep my eyes on the road. We're only about ten minutes away. "I don't think you can't handle it, Thorn. I just don't think you should have to. It's not like he's someone we have to deal with."
A deep chuckle escapes his lips. "As much as I hate to admit it, the chances of us running into someone from my past aren't slim. Just because you're the first who made me need more, it's bound to be something you're going to have to deal with. That motherfucker, though? The odds are high I'll never have to find out if I can be near him without strangling him for hurting you. You telling me what's on your mind isn't me having to deal with him. It's me letting you know just how much I want every piece of you. Good and bad, Ari. It made you the woman you are today. Don't overthink it. Now, tell me about little Tommy."
"I would rather have a root canal. You know what would be more enjoyable? If we talked about our shower earlier."
"You can tell me all about how much you love my cock later."
"You're so bossy."
"You want every piece of me? Even the bad?"
"Especially the bad."
"Okay, honey." I take a deep breath, letting the memories he wants come out of their box. "I met him my freshman year at University of Nevada. We were both studying medicine, which is what opened the door to us dating. We stayed together throughout school, and he eventually got his medical license. At that point, I was a registered trauma nurse, but back in school working toward certification as a physician's assistant. We both were focused on our careers. He asked me to marry him just after I turned twenty-three. I remember when it happened because I didn't saying yes right away. Still, it did eventually happen and only slightly altered the ten-year plan I had mapped out."
I glance at Thorn before continuing, worried he wouldn't handle talking about Tommy well, but I find him calm and attentive.
"Anyway. The plan. We wanted to open a practice together, instead of him doing it alone and me going to the ER as I had originally planned before our engagement. We would have two kids after a few years, some cats, and a minivan in the driveway." I sigh because the rest was not pretty. However, it was something I had accepted and put behind me--thanks to Dr. Hart. "I should have seen the signs, you know? London stopped speaking to me about a year after I became engaged. Things were strained before that but not terrible. Eight months before the wedding, Tommy started complaining and snapping at me for the stupidest things. Things he felt I was lacking. Everything from the way I dressed to how I was ... uh, in bed. That didn't bother me as much as him comparing me to London. What I lacked that she had. Four months before the wedding, he dropped a bomb on me and admitted he had a vasectomy. Who does that? Who fakes a business trip only to stay in town and get sterilized without telling the woman they're supposed to be starting a future with? A future where kids had been planned. Anyway, I realize now that what I had with him was unhealthy. Even if he and London hadn't had their affair, Tommy and I never would have lasted."
He's quiet. His hand, like a lead weight against my leg, gets heavier as the silence trickles on. I know he said he wanted to know about Tommy, but his actions aren't exactly backing that up.
"Kids important to you?"
I frown at him, confused. His question throwing me for a loop. Out of everything I said, that wasn't expected. I replay what I told him about Tommy, and the lightbulb clicks. "If I say yes, will that be a deal breaker for you?"
"Depends. If I tell you I never want to ruin a kid by passing on the shit I'm made from, is that a deal breaker for you?"
The air rushes from my lungs, my body jerking back into the seat, his words like a punch right between my breasts--straight to my heart.
The shit he's made from? My God. I get why he thinks that--I really do--especially after everything he's told me about his life before he found Harris. But just because I understand why he would think that doesn't make the sting any less knowing he doesn't see the man I do.
"I'm ... I'm not sure."
He sighs, the soft rush of air falling from him heavy and thick with importance. "We're new, Ari, but even so, we're solid in a way that the day-by-day stuff ended weeks ago, and the possibility of an end to us stopped being an option. We're new, but we're also very much not. The things we've shared? Only two other people know my shit, and I'm sure not many more know yours. That says a lot about just how big what we have is. You've changed the way I look at things, a lot of things I never thought I would change my mind on, but I'm not sure kids would be one of those things even the beauty of you could fix."
"I understand," I murmur. And I really do. He didn't have the family I did growing up. The one with two parents who loved each other so much, but loved their kids even more. The childhood that made me want nothing more than to show that to my own children. Could I give that up? Could I give up something I've always wanted if it meant I would never lose Thorn?
"Like I said," he continues, flipping the turn signal and steering into the parking lot, "we're new because of how little time we've had so far, but not when you take into account just how much we've overcome to get here and stay here. There's nothing but time for us now, Ari. Two months ago, I would have dropped a chick off at the bus stop if this conversation even started, but you're different. Table it. Don't let it worry your mind. I won't let my issues keep me from hearing you out later as long as you keep an open mind to me being enough if I can't give you that. You think about it, I'll think about it, and I promise I won't run off and get snipped in the meantime as long as you can promise not to run from me again because you're worried about it."
I unhook my seat belt and nod. "I promise."
He opens his door and climbs out, but dips his head back down. "Though, probably should remember a condom next time I fuck you."
He winks, meaning it as a joke to lighten the mood, and shuts his door.
Meanwhile, I try not to freak out over his words.
It doesn't escape my notice that, even though that was some heavy stuff, it doesn't actually feel like the end of the world. He fills me up. He really does. If I feel that with just him now, maybe he really is enough that I wouldn't feel the void of no children. That being said, I still feel in my gut that it would be a shame not to give the world more of this incredible man.
When he opens my door, I climb out with his h
elp, mindful of the short hem on my dress. I smooth the skirt out when I stand, looking at how well we match when he pulls me to his side, and leave my thoughts behind. My dress--the same gray of his shirt, only covered in light pink flowers--looks perfect next to him.
"You want your phone?" he asks, tipping his chin in the direction of his car where I left my phone in the cupholder.
"I'm good, honey." I've never liked being one who cared more about their phone than their dinner companions. Plus, I know it's safe with his dark tinted windows.
He nods, then takes my hand in his. Solid. Warm. Everything. He doesn't ease up on his hold, guiding us to the restaurant with the ease of a man used to having a woman at his side. Which I know he isn't. We just really do fit effortlessly. Even when I stumble, my heel getting twisted on a hole in the sidewalk, he's instantly there to hold me steady.
"I'm on the pill, you know," I tell him softly right before he opens the door.
His hand stills, the door open just a crack, and he looks down at me. "Not a good time to tell me that I don't need to wear condoms, babe. Not when I can't do shit about it until later."
I shrug. "Something to look forward to, I suppose."
None of the heaviness from our conversation remains. It's not forgotten, but seeing him looking almost carefree, without that stoic sternness on his face, settles a contentment around me. He holds the door with a gesture for me to go first, kisses my temple before I can walk past him, then takes my hand once again and follows me through.
"Hey, guys," Piper greets, standing up from the seat where she had been sitting near the door in the restaurant's version of a waiting room.
I pull from Thorn and give her a hug, noticing her tense smile immediately. "You okay?"
She doesn't answer, pulling back and stepping away instead. I look over her shoulder and find Matt standing behind her with his disgusting, ever-present frown in place.
Lovely. Douchie Matt is here tonight.
"Matthew Scott, let me introduce you to Thorn Evans ..." I look at Thorn and smile. "Thorn, honey, this is Matt."
Thorn reaches out, offering his hand. "Nice to meet you," he says when Matt's hand hits his. Matt's arrogant expression tells me he didn't notice Thorn's tone, but I did, and I know he didn't mean a word of that.