Falling into you, p.21
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       Falling into You, p.21

         Part #1 of Falling series by Jasinda Wilder
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“Oh god…” I whimper.

  “I haven’t done anything yet baby,” Colton growls.

  “I know,” I pant. “I was just saying your name. ”

  He laughs, a low rumble in his chest, then slides one palm over my spine, under my ribs and cups one free-hanging breast in his huge hand. He pinches my nipple, thumbs it, tweaks it, rolls it, and I’m breathless already. Then his other hand slides down between my thighs to stroke my folds and I’m lost. I arch my back and lift my ass to give him better access, hang my head as he swipes and circles me into climax.

  As I come, an initial shudder of ecstasy washing over me, I feel him nudge my entrance with the head of his shaft. I hold my breath, biting my lip, and then a second wave rollicks over me and he feels it, plunging in as the wave crests. I cry out as he drives home, burying himself to the hilt with a soft, satisfied grunt.

  “God, Nell. You’re f**king incredible. So beautiful. I love the way you lift your ass for me. I love the sounds you make when you come for me. I love your pale skin and strawberry blond hair. ” He strokes into me slowly, sliding deep every time he says the word “love. ”

  I push back into his thrusts, crying out softly at each in-thrust, whimpering when he draws out. He continues this way, slow and gentle and rhythmic.

  It’s not how I want it, and he knows it. He wants me to beg for it. I’ll play his game. I turn to look at him over my shoulder, my hair curtaining to one side.

  “Harder, Colton. ”

  His eyes go hooded and he lifts his chin slightly, curling up his lip in a smirk. “You want it harder?”

  “Yeah, baby, I do. ”

  “How hard?”

  “Really hard. ”

  “Beg me to f**k you harder, Nelly-baby. ”

  I don’t recognize myself, when I’m like this, lost in the moment. I like this woman, though, this shameless Nell who begs her man to f**k her. It’s far cry from the innocent sixteen year-old girl who shook all over in a Red Roof Inn as her first boyfriend touched her tentatively.

  I bite my lip, just to make him crazy, pull forward as he draws back, then slam my ass onto him, driving him deep, hard. “Fuck me, Colton. Fuck me hard. Fuck me deep. Spank me when you f**k me. ”

  God, that was hot. I almost couldn’t get the words out. But it’s what I want, truly and madly. Him, all of him. I want him, Colton, as he is. Rough and raw and primal, gentle and loving and careful. I love what he does to me, how he makes me crazy, makes me want things I didn’t know I could ever want.

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  Colton loses it. He grips my hips in both hands, widens his stance, and draws back until he’s almost out of me. I suck in a deep breath, anticipating the flesh-trembling drive of his hips.

  Instead, he sinks in as slowly as he can, more softly than I thought possible, a caress of his arousal within me. A tease. And then, because I’m not ready for it, he slams into me. I cry out, face contorting in pleasure. He pulls out slowly, slides in slowly, two and then three more times, gentle as a whisper.

  And then, when I open my mouth to speak, he crashes hard, so hard, and my words, my breath leaves me in a rush. I can’t even catch my breath, then, because he’s done toying with me. He’s driving into me, drilling me with savage power. My entire body is jarred forward with each thrust, and broken whimpers release from me at each one. The whimpers turn into yes’s, and those turn into his name, chanted in the brutal rhythm of his hips. He jerks me back into him, pushes me away, and I barely register the first orgasm, so lost am I in the pleasure of the pain, the delicious slam of his body into mine, the way he fills me with each thrust, the way he seems to stretch me.

  And then he comes, growling and roaring, slamming into me, driving deep in the hardest thrust yet, almost too hard, but not. It can never be too hard. And then…oh god, oh shit, ohmigod, he’s back to the tender sliding, bent over me, kissing my spine, palming my ass, dipping into me in shallow thrusts that hit me in just the right place to make me completely come undone.

  I bury my face in the rough fibers of the couch and scream as I shatter, a million jagged bolts of lightning blasting through every cell of my body. He smacks my left ass-cheek as I scream, and the orgasm ruptures into a higher peak, and I’m rocked forward with a slow but powerful thrust into that perfect spot, timed with the spank of his palm. He pulls back, slaps my right cheek in time with another cresting wave and shallow thrust, and I’m sobbing with the intensity, driving back into him, collapsing forward and rocking back in uncontrolled spasms. Volcanic heat and electricity shred my body, earthquake shudders wracking me, all centered on my core, low in my belly, deep inside me.

  He strokes slowly then, milking my climax until he’s soft within me and I’m a limp puddle of sated woman. He pulls out of me, lifts me in his powerful arms and carries me to my bed. He’s gone briefly and then back, cradling me against him.

  “I can’t believe you like it rough like that,” he says.

  “Why not?” I ask, tracing patterns on his skin, drifting my touch downward to take him in my hand, stroking him.

  “You just seem so innocent and delicate. ”

  “You know I’m not either of those things, Colton. ”

  “Yeah I know that, but it’s how you seem. ” He toys with my nipple, circling it with the pad of his index finger. “One minute you’re all classy and kind of aloof and beautiful and everything, and then you seem to just…let go and something wild comes out of you. You turn into this…”

  “Shameless slut-beast?” I suggest.

  He snorts, but his finger turns my chin up so I’m looking at him. “Funny, but no. You’re anything but that, Nell. Never think about yourself like that. ”

  “I don’t, I was joking. ” Sort of, but I won’t admit to the deeper truth.

  He sees it anyway, damn him. “Nell. ” His blue eyes sear me.

  I have to look away. “I just…it’s the same old thing, Colton. Part of me can’t get over the idea that this is wrong. You’re his older brother. I know, I know. He’s gone and I have to get over it. We—this, with you and I—it’s not wrong. It’s not. But the stupid guilt is always there. ”

  He doesn’t answer right away. “I understand, Nell. I do. Just…talk to me about that shit, okay? Don’t lock it away or push it down. I’ll understand. ”

  I nod against his chest, then smile as I feel him begin to grow hard in my hand. I slide my fingers around him until he’s fluttering his hips into my touch, then slide astride him. He’s inside me, slipping in easily, perfectly. I’m sitting up on him, lifting with my thighs and sinking down. I took him by surprise, and that makes me giddy. He’s frozen for a few strokes, and then he takes me by the waist and moves with me.

  Then he freezes again. “We need…we gotta put one on, baby. ” His gaze is strangely intense. “The last thing we need right now is a pregnancy. ”

  I don’t slow in my rise and fall. “We’re good, honey. I’m on birth control. ”

  “Since when?”

  I frown. “Since…always. I never stopped taking it after…what happened. ” It’s an awkward moment. I bend over him and kiss him. “The point is, we’re fine. I want it like this, nothing between us. ”

  He cradles my face in his palms and devours my mouth. “Thank god. I’ve wanted to feel you bare like this so bad. ”

  “Me too. ”

  And then there’s no more space for words between our gasps and kisses and groans. We move together for an eternity in perfect sync, each motion, each breath mated to the other’s, until we dissolve together, coming undone together.

  When we’re tangled breathless and basking in the afterglow, I press my lips to his ear. “I love you, Colton. ”

  “Don’t you forget it, baby. ”

  I snort and glare at him.

  He kisses me softly. “Kidding, Nell. I love you. So much. ”

  Chapter 13: A Blue Cross

  Eight Weeks Later<
br />


  Hell no. This isn’t happening. It isn’t. It can’t be. Not now.

  My right hand is flat over my mouth, and it’s all that’s holding in my panic. I’m sitting on the edge of the tub in my bathroom, naked but for a baby-doll T-shirt. Knees pressed together, feet bouncing. Head shaking side to side, eyes wide and hazy and shimmering and stinging.

  I look down at my left hand. I’m holding a white plastic stick between thumb and forefinger. A tiny square window in the plastic shows two blue lines in a cross.

  I don’t even bother packing a bag. I book the first flight back to Detroit, which leaves in three hours. Not enough time, but it’ll have to be.

  On the way out, I tape my only explanation to Colt on the front of my door: a note containing three words, and the test.

  As I ride the taxi to the airport, his words echo in my head, over and over: The last thing I want right now is a pregnancy.

  I’m back to where I started, emotionally: locked up tight, refusing to cry. Wanting to find some way to hurt, so I don’t have to feel the fear and the panic and the knowledge that this is the last thing he wanted.

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  By the time I reach DTW, my lip is swollen from biting on it so hard.

  I nearly let out a sob when I remember how biting my lip drove him crazy.

  Part Three


  Chapter 14: The Unborn Song

  Two Days Later

  I’m nearly rabid with worry by the time I’m able to leave the shop and catch a cab to Nell’s Tribeca apartment. It’s been two days and I haven’t heard shit from her. No calls, no texts. She was supposed to come over after her Theory class, but she never showed. Phone goes straight to voicemail. Text don’t get delivered. Her boss at the little dive bar where she works a couple nights a week says she never showed up for her shift. I contacted her on FB Messenger, no answer. Finally, I leave Hector to lock up the shop, because I just can’t take it anymore.

  I toss a bill over the seat of the cab and don’t wait for change. I have to take a few deep breaths before I’m calm enough to unlock her door with the key she gave me.

  We just exchanged keys last week; I thought things were great.

  Up the stairs three at a time, nearly knocking over a little old lady in the process. There’s a piece of paper folded in half and taped to the door. Shit, no. Fuck no. What is this?

  I rip the note off the door, and it’s oddly heavy for a piece of paper. There’s a plastic baggy inside the paper, and inside the bag is a pregnancy test. Oh hell no.

  Oh hell yes.


  And no Nell. I search her tiny apartment more than once, as if it’d reveal her hiding in a cupboard or something.

  Just the test in the stupid baggie, and three scrawled words: I’m so sorry.

  She f**king ran. I’m angry, I’m panicked. I’m so many things it’s all a jumble in my heart and head, and I can’t think straight. I’m on a plane suddenly, with no memory of having gone to the airport or buying a ticket or anything. I’m in a bad, bad place.

  Memories are surfacing, things I’ve never told anyone, ever, not even Nell, and I’ve told Nell pretty much every sordid detail of my f**ked up life…except that.

  A couple long, brooding hours later, the plane has landed and I’m in a rental car—I don’t even know what kind—and flying far too fast north on I-75. I’ve shut down. I’m a blank, empty. No thoughts. Thoughts are dangerous. I can’t feel. All I can do is act, move, be.

  I have to find her.

  Fucking have to.

  Miles flash, stoplights change too soon and slow me down. I barrel through more than one red light, earning blaring horns and flashing middle fingers. Then I’m approaching my parents’ house and it’s dusk, but I know she’s not there, why would she be? I skid to a stop in the middle of the road in front of Nell’s parents’ house. I leave the car door open, leave the engine running. Unreasoning panic drives me, panic so deep I don’t understand it, but I can’t stop it. I can only move with it, let it have reign over me.

  I burst through the Hawthornes’ front door, slamming it open violently. I hear a glass shatter and woman scream.

  “Colt! What the hell—what are you doing here?” Rachel Hawthorne has her back to the sink and has a hand pressed to her chest, confusion and fright in her eyes.

  “Where is she?”

  “Who? What—what are you doing here?”

  “Where…is…Nell?” My voice is low and deadly.

  She hears the threat in my voice and pales, begins to shake and back away. “Colt…I don’t know what you’re—she’s out running. She went for a run. ”

  “Where does she go when she runs?” I demand.

  “Why do you want to know? Are you two…”

  “Where does she go, Rachel?” I’m standing inches from her, towering over her, glaring. I should back down, but I can’t.

  Rachel is trembling, white as a sheet. “She’s—the old county line road. North. It goes in a big arc and she—she cuts across Farrell’s field back this way. ”

  I’m out the door and running, full-on sprinting. Terror claws at me, and I can’t fathom it, can’t get out of its grip. It’s hounding me, pushing me. She’s pregnant and she ran from me rather than talking about it, but that’s not enough for the kind of reaction that’s driven me since this morning. It’s coming from way deep inside me, a kind of psychological foreknowledge that something is horribly, horribly wrong and I have to find her.

  My feet stomp in the dirt, pushing mile after behind me. Dark now. Stars out, moon low and round. My blood is on fire, my heart pounds and my head throbs and my hands are clenched into fists.

  I’m shaking, I’ve been flat-out running for at least two miles and I’m not in that kind of shape, but I can’t stop. Can’t.

  Not won’t…


  Another mile, and I know I’ve slowed, but I’m pushing myself, because I have to find her.

  Farrell’s property, a wide expanse of high grass and old fallow fields and lines of trees subdividing properties. If she fell in the grass out here, I could pass right by her and never know it.

  But there she is. Jesus, thank you.

  She’s just sitting, hunched over, face in her hands. She’s sobbing. Even when she told me everything and cut loose with years worth of pent-up grief she didn’t weep like this. It’s…god, it’s the single most awful sound I’ve ever heard.

  Worse even than the wet thunk of the bullet into India’s head.

  Nell has been absolutely broken, and I don’t know by what.

  I crouch beside her, touch her shoulder. She doesn’t even respond, doesn’t look at me. I scoop her in my arms, and something hot and wet coats my arms.

  The ground where she was sitting is wet, black in the dim light. A huge swath of grass is blackened with dark liquid.



  “Nell? Baby?”

  “Don’t call me that!” A sudden, vicious scream. She wrenches out of my grip and falls to the grass, crawls away, heaving so hard she’s close to vomiting. “It’s gone…it’s gone, it died…”

  And I know what happened but I can’t even think the word.

  I scoop her up again, feel hot sticky wet flowing from her. She’s still bleeding. “Nell, love, I’m here. ”

  “No, no…you don’t understand. You don’t—don’t get it. I lost it. The baby…I lost the baby. ”

  “I know, sweetheart. I know. I’ve got you, I’m here. ” I can’t keep my voice from cracking. I’m as shattered as she is, but I can’t let on.

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  She hears anyway. She finally seems to realize it’s me. She’s limp in my arms, twists her head to look at me. Her face is streaked with red and sweat, hair tangled and plastered to her foreh
ead. “Colton? Oh god…god. You weren’t supposed to follow me. ”

  Anger billows out of me. “What the f**k, Nell? Why’d you run? I love you. You think I wouldn’t—wouldn’t…shit…what did you think I’d say?”

  She pounds my shoulder with a weak fist. “It’s what you did say. A baby is the last thing you wanted. And that’s what I was going to have. A baby. A f**king baby. ”

  “No, Nell. No. That’s not what I said. I said a pregnancy is the last thing we need. I did not say a baby is the last thing I wanted. And regardless, running was…so wrong. You’re mine. The baby would—would have been mine. I’d take care of you. I’ll always take care of you. ” I’m crying. Like a f**king girl, I’m just openly crying as I carry Nell across the field, stumbling over roots and branches and hillocks. “I’m here…I’m here. ”

  She’s too quiet. Looking up at me, half-lidded, weak eyes. Unfocused. Shimmering wet in the moonlight. Bleeding onto me. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I was just so scared. I’m scared, Colt. ”

  It’s the first time she’s ever called me Colt. “I know, Nelly-baby. I’ve got you. You’ll be okay. ”

  “No…no. It’s not okay. I lost the baby, Colton. ” Her voice hitches, breaks.

  “I know…” so does mine. “I know. ”

  “I didn’t want a baby. I didn’t want to be a mother. I’m too young. It was too soon. I begged to not be pregnant all the way here. But—but I didn’t mean this. I swear. I didn’t want this. I’m sorry…Not this way. ” She’s barely audible, rambling.

  She’s lost a lot of blood. I’m covered from the chest down. My arms are trembling, my legs are jelly. I ran so far, so fast, and I’m operating on adrenaline right now, pure determination. I’m half-running with her, stumbling in the darkness.

  Then the yellow glow of the Hawthorne’s backyard appears and I’m fumbling at the sliding door with bloody fingers. Rachel Hawthorne is frantic, begging, demanding to know what happened. Jim Hawthorne is on the phone.

  “Colt, what happened?” Rachel’s voice from far away.

  I won’t let go of her, can’t. She’s unconscious. Still bleeding on me.

  A hand shakes my shoulder, brings me to reality. “Colton, what happened? Why is she bleeding?” Jim, harsh and demanding and angry.

  “Miscarriage—” It’s all I can manage.

  “Mis—she was pregnant? With your baby?” He’s even angrier now.

  “I didn’t…didn’t know. She didn’t tell me. She ran. Came here…” I look down at her lovely, slack face. “Please, Nell. Wake up. Wake up. ”

  She doesn’t wake up. Her head lolls to one side, her hand falls free and swings. She’s barely breathing…or not at all.

  Blue-gloved hands take her from me, gently but firmly. I try to fight them, but other hands pull me away. Rougher, harder hands, too many hands keeping me from her. I turn. Dad. Jim, Mom, Rachel. All pulling me away. Yelling at me, but there’s no sound. Just a roaring in my ears. A uniformed body steps into view, a young guy from EMS.

  His eyes are brown and hard, but compassionate. Sound returns. “…Gonna be okay, Colton. She’s lost a lot of blood, but you got her help in time. I need you calm or I’ll have to have you detained and you won’t do Nell any good like that. ”

  I’m panting. I meet his eyes. Hope swells in my chest. “She’s not dead? She’ll be okay?”

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