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The Redemption of Callie & Kayden, Page 38

Jessica Sorensen
Page 38


  Kayden is standing on the other side of it, with a thin jacket on, and the bottoms of his jeans are wet with muddy water and so are his boots. He has snowflakes in his damp hair and water beads off the end of each strand. His lips are purple, his eyes are red like he’s been crying, and his hands are tucked up in the sleeves.

  “Nope, not breakfast for me,” he says, glancing at me. “I think this is what you ordered. ”

  He’s making jokes, but none of this is funny. Kayden’s here after he took off and then I told him I loved him and sobbed on the phone as I told him my story. I don’t know what it means or if I’m stable enough to find out. I want to believe I am though, that I’m not the weak girl I used to be. That I can handle anything.

  Kayden runs his hand over his head, ruffling his hair and sending snowflakes to the floor. “Hey. ”

  “Hey,” Seth says, glancing at me from over his shoulder.

  Kayden maintains his gaze on me, his emerald eyes sparkling in the sunlight flowing from outside. There is snow falling from the sun-kissed sky, something that occasionally happens when a small section of the sky is cloudy but the sun still can spill through.

  Kayden lowers his hand to his side and I just stare at him as I remain on my back, letting the cool breeze sink into my body. I can’t tell if he’s listened to my message yet, but I hope he has.

  “Um…” Seth coughs into his hand. “I think I’m going to go check out what’s taking room service so long. ” He squeezes past Kayden, leaving the door wide open.

  Kayden doesn’t budge. He keeps looking at me with this perplexed, intense look on his face, like he’s afraid to cross the threshold. The moment keeps building, bricks stacking on bricks, as we just look at each other, afraid to move, to breathe, to be the one to speak first.

  I sit up, my hair blowing in the wind. “You can come in,” I say and my voice nearly gets carried away in the wind and knocks the bricks to the ground in a pile of dust.

  He doesn’t disconnect our gaze as he bends his knee and steps one foot into the room. He repeats the movement with the other foot and then shuts the door. The wind ceases and the curtain is closed so the room is mostly dark.

  “I got your message,” he says, shocking me with his bluntness.

  “Oh…” My throat feels like it’s closing as I kneel up onto the bed, bringing a pillow to my lap to hug it. “Kayden, where have you been all night? Were you with your therapist?”

  A breath eases from his lips as he rakes his hands through his hair, shifting his gaze to the wall just over my shoulder. “I’m sorry, but I couldn’t do it with you there. ”

  “Did you… did you tell him about your dad?” I ask and he just stares at me, with a strange look on his face, like he’s really studying me. I don’t know if it means he told him or not. I don’t know what any of this means. I move my feet to the floor and stand, tipping my chin up to meet his eyes. “Kayden, you need to tell someone… I thought we… I thought we had a deal. ”

  He gives me a small smile and then threads his fingers through mine. His hands are as icy as breeze outside the room. “I did tell someone. I just didn’t want you there when I was giving… all the gory details. ”

  My shoulders jolt upward as I imagine him on the floor again. “But you did tell someone? Really?”

  He nods and forces the lump down his throat with a hard swallow. “I wasn’t lying in the text. I went to talk to my therapist and I told him. ”

  “And?” I’m not sure what the right question is or if one exists.

  I feel like I should just let him tell me what he wants to.

  He sighs and then lines form on his forehead as he presses a hand to his chest, massaging it over his heart. “And it feels kind of good. ”

  I study his expression and realize that his eyes look a bit greener, his shoulders a little less stiff, like some of the darkness he keeps bottled inside has reduced and lightened. “What did your therapist say for you to do?”

  He stares off into space, his hand coming up to my face. He starts twirling a strand of my hair around his fingers and I don’t think he’s even aware he’s doing it. “He said to think about pressing charges. ”

  “And are you going to?”

  “Think about it?”

  “No, press them. ”

  “I’m still thinking,” he mutters. He unravels my hair from his finger and looks at me with depth in his eyes. “I want to, but it’s hard. I just need some time,” he murmurs, confused. “I really wish I had some help… What I really wish is that my brothers would be on my side, at least so I don’t look like a complete liar. ”

  “Maybe they will be,” I say encouragingly. “You said it was the same for them, right? Maybe once they see you do it they’ll want to stand up to him too. ”

  He shakes his head, his gaze never wavering from mine.

  “Nah, Tyler’s a crackhead alcoholic so I’d have to wait for him to sober up first, and Dylan’s been missing for forever. Well, missing in the sense that he won’t speak to anyone in the family. ”

  “Do you know where he is?” I ask, sketching my finger below his eye and along the red streaks on his skin. He’s been crying. I can feel the dried tears.

  He shrugs, moving my hand to his mouth and closing his eyes. He places a tantalizing kiss on my palm. “I’ve never tried to find him. ” He opens his eyes and tilts his head. “Maybe though… I could try. ”

  I nod, leap to my feet, and wrap my arms around his waist without any hesitation. “You should. At least I think you should. ”

  He kisses the top of my head and inhales my scent. “I know you do. I wouldn’t expect any less from you. ” He sweeps his lips across my head again, then slants his face to the side and relocates his lips to my temple. He kisses it delicately before traveling south to my cheek and then my jawline, sucking on my skin. My shoulder shudders upward as his breath feathers against my neck. He kisses me there too, sliding his tongue out and giving my skin a little nick.

  “Thank you,” he whispers against my neck as his arms encompass my waist. His fingers press into my back as he steers me closer, aligning our bodies.

  I try to tip my head to the side to look at him, but one of his hands cups the side of my neck and he secures me in place. “For what?” I breathe as he strokes my collarbone with his lips, lightly grazing his teeth along the skin.

  “For saying it. ” His voice is unguarded and he keeps peppering me with kisses all the way down my shoulder. I have on a tank top and some pajama bottoms and my skin is sensitive to his hungry touch.

  “It was the truth. ” The last part comes out as more of a whimper as he slides the strap of my top down while his other hand glides up the front of my shirt, his cold skin mixing with the heat I’m radiating.

  He starts backing me up to the bed with his hand resting on the outside of my bra. When the backs of my legs hit the edge of the bed, he lifts me up by the waist and lays me down on the bed.

  He draws back for a minute, staring down at me and I feel naked under his penetrating gaze. But I’m not nervous. I know he won’t hurt me. And I think I know that deep down, even if he can’t say it, he loves me.

  He opens his mouth to speak and I hold my breath in anticipation. “You’re beautiful. And amazing. ”

  My cheeks grow warm at his compliment and I stuff down the harrowing connection my memories have to the word “beautiful,” because the one and only guy who’s ever said it to me is Caleb. “Kayden, no I’m not. I’m just an average girl and I’m happy with that. ”

  Shaking his head, he traces his finger down the arch of my neck. “No, you’re way beyond average, Callie. ”

  I squirm under his gushing. “I’m not that great. ”

  “No, you’re amazing and perfect and caring and beautiful. ”

  I offer him a small smile. “So are you. ”

  He kneels down on the bed so he’s straddling my hips.

  “Those things you said
on the phone… it had to be hard to say them. ”

  Pressing my lips together, I shake my head. “Not as hard as I thought. ” His face is masked and he looks perplexed as he struggles for words he’s afraid to say, so I say them for him. “You don’t have to say it back. I just wanted you to know how I felt. ”

  His lips start to separate and I push up on my elbows, grab hold of the top of his shirt, and crush his mouth against mine, so he doesn’t have to deal with it just yet. Putting his hands out, his palms slam against the mattress and he braces his weight on his hands, stopping himself from smashing into me. His tongue pushes between my lips and slips powerfully into my mouth. He tastes like syrup and pancakes and smells like coffee and snowflakes. I breathe in through my nose, inhaling the scent as I kiss him. He sucks my bottom lip into his mouth and bites it roughly, sending a searing ripple to the center of my stomach.

  There’s freedom in his movements, from the way he kisses me to the way he grabs at my breast. His happiness makes me happy and that’s all I really need at the moment.

  He draws his lips away, but before I can protest, he sits me up and grips the bottom of my shirt, yanking it over my head, and my hair falls to my shoulders. With a needy look in his eyes that sends a coil up my legs, he reaches behind me and flicks the clasp of my bra open. I notice there is a collection of rubber bands on his wrist and I wonder if his therapist gave them to him.

  He notices that I’m staring at them and he stares down at them too. He slips his finger underneath one of them and flicking it looks up at me. “They’re supposed to help me heal. ”

  I nod, looking into his eyes. “I know. ”

  A moment passes between us and then he’s kissing me again, folding his strong body over mine as he pins me down below him on my back. He pushes his knee between my legs and skims his fingers up my inner thigh, propelling my body into an uncontrollable frenzy. I open my legs and let him rub his knee against me, probing my fingertips into his shoulder blades as he tastes my neck with his tongue. Little moans keep fleeing my lips as my body arches into his and unexpectedly he moves his legs away from me.

  “Don’t stop,” I beg and he slants his head to look at me. I feel mortified for begging. And surprised at myself. “I’m sorry,” I apologize, embarrassed.

  “Don’t be sorry,” he says in a gravelly voice. He grabs my hip and turns us to the side. Reaching his hand down the waistband of my pajama bottoms, he slides his fingers deep inside me and a moan leaves my lips as my body clings to his. He cups the back of my neck and lures my lips to his, kissing me fiercely as he moves his fingers inside me, and I end up screaming out his name.

  Once I come down from the high, I feel embarrassed by my outburst. My cheeks are warming and I know he can see it.

  “You know you’re adorable when you blush?” he says, outlining my damp cheeks with his finger.

  I bite down on my lip. “I’m sorry I begged like that… and screamed. ”