The Redemption of Callie & Kayden, Page 39Jessica Sorensen
He shakes his head and strands of his brown hair hang across his forehead and shadow his forehead. “Don’t be sorry for telling me what you want. I’ll give you whatever you want, Callie. ”
Whatever I want? I want him to say that he loves me, but I won’t ever make him give me that. So instead, I do something that is so out of character for me that it shocks us both. I lift my hips and start slipping off my pants, because what I want is for him to be inside me.
He watches my every move with this animalistic look in his eyes that I’ve never seen before and I’m pretty sure every speck of my skin is flushed with heat. I take of my panties too and then just lie there naked while he’s still fully dressed. Despite the fact that I’m blushing, it’s a huge step for me and the very fact that I did it says that I’m moving forward in my life. He starts tracing his fingers across my cheek, then draws a line to my neck, his skin searing hot when it reaches my chest. His eyes stay on me the entire time as he strokes his finger across my nipple and my breathing instantaneously picks up. He moves to the other one and then heads downward, skimming his fingers across my ribs, feeling each bump until he reaches my hip. It tickles, but in a good way and the insides of my thighs are scorching so severely I have to entangle them around each other to contain the heat.
He keeps his fingers on my hip as he swings his leg over me, his eyes never leaving mine. Once he has a leg on each side of me, he uses his free hand to reach around and tug his shirt off. I feel a little better now that he’s not entirely dressed and I’m not the only one naked. As soon as my fingers come into contact with the lines of his lean chest muscles, his fingers drift downward across my body. Instead of putting them inside me again, he directs his hand to the upper part of my inner thigh.
He maintains my gaze, like he’s afraid that if he looks away I might panic. “You can tell me if you want me to stop. You know that, right?”
I nod. “I know. I trust you. ”
Smiling, he moves his thumb back and forth and my body begins to tremble. He continues to do the same thing, moving his thumb up across my inner thigh, making a path across the center of my legs, and then moving it to the other thigh. Back and forth, his fingers never enter me, like he’s teasing me. And it’s driving me crazy, to the point that I’ve become mortified at the pleading noises that keep fleeing my lips and the way my toes curl every time he’s about to slip his fingers inside me and then retracts them.
Finally, he moves his fingers away from my skin, and then he watches me, panting, and his eyes are blazing with something I’ve never seen before.
I don’t know what he wants from me, but I can’t take it anymore. “Kayden, please, please don’t stop. ”
Apparently that’s what he wanted, because a smile curves at his lips. He undoes the button of his jeans, grinning the whole time as he kicks them off. It’s weird to see him this happy, but nice too.
When he returns to the bed he lays his body down on top of me.
He studies my face for an eternity, like he’s memorizing it.
“What?” I ask, self-consciously.
He shakes his head, still studying me. I’m worried he’s going to start going off on how beautiful and amazing I am, but the corners of his mouth just quirk. “I was just thinking how I would have never gotten here if it hadn’t been for you. ”
I wiggle my arm free from my side and run my finger along the outline of his jaw. “That’s not true. I didn’t even do anything really. ”
He turns his head and presses his lips against my palm. “Yes, you did,” he whispers against my skin. “You saved me countless times. Not just from getting my ass kicked or calling the ambulance, but because you showed me that you cared. ” He shrugs and moves his mouth away from my hand, looking a little embarrassed. “You showed me that I’m worth caring for. ” His eyebrows instantly knit. “But I want you to know that you don’t have to stick around. I’ve still got a ton of shit I have to work through, and you have your own. I don’t want to put that on you. ”
I say the first thing that enters my mind. “Kayden, I love you. ”
Then I press two fingers over his mouth, so he knows he doesn’t have to say it back. The tremble in my heart matches the one in my hand as I move my fingers away from his mouth.
His breath hitches and falters and then his eyes start to water over. Mine pool with my own tears. It’s amazing how once sentence—three single words, eight letters—can have so much power. In a moment like this, even our breathing stirs the sorrow, the agony, and the happiness that we’d both buried below our hearts, underneath the immense pain.
I’m looking into his eyes and he’s looking into mine and I wonder if maybe it wasn’t coincidence that brought me to him that night in front of the pool house. Maybe it was fate that guided me there so I could save him and he could save me and then it could lead us here to this moment where we are both completely content and free and glad we’re alive.
He starts kissing me and I feel his tears drip against my cheeks and mix with my own tears. I open up my legs and he keeps kissing me as he thrusts inside me, slowly and perfectly in rhythm. I thread my fingers through his soft, damp hair, and then move my fingers down to his cheek, feeling his stubble and the slight unevenness of his jawline. His hands explore my body too, touching every inch of it, his palms callously against my skin, but I enjoy every minute of it.
Sliding his hand to my knee, he tips to the side and brings my knee up as he keeps rocking into me. I’m climbing higher, faster, and my hands cling to him, gripping onto his shoulders. He kisses me with more passion than he ever has before, delving his tongue into my mouth and then sucking my tongue into his. He bites at my lips, nibbles at my neck, and grabs at my breast until a passionate fire combusts inside me. I cry out as I arc into him and my head falls back against the mattress. I gasp, waiting for him to catch up with me, and then I shut my eyes and breathe in the moment, letting go of my second biggest fear and preparing myself to face my first.
Kayden I slide out of her and roll onto my back, feeling more of my shield crack apart. As insane as it sounds, I’m somehow becoming whole again—or becoming whole for the first time in my life. I want to keep moving forward, putting myself back together again and helping her heal too. I decide to take a baby step in that direction and get up off the bed. She watches me walk across the room naked and her cheeks are heating, which makes me smile.
“What are you doing?” she asks, pulling the sheets over her body as she sits up.
I unzip my bag that I dropped on the floor near the door and rummage through my clothes until I find it. The cold metal presses against my palm as I round the foot of the bed and lie down beside.
“What’s in your hand?” she asks as she reaches for my fingers.
I let her pry them open and then watch her face twist as she stares at the necklace in my hand. “I found it when Luke and I were walking around in San Diego. It made me think of you,” I explain.
She peers up at me through her lashes, chewing on her bottom lip. “How come?”
I turn my hand sideways and let the chain fall from my hand and dangle from my fingers. At the end is a four-leaf clover, stained a shiny metallic. “Because you’ve brought me nothing but luck, Callie Lawrence. ”
She immediately frowns. Sitting up, she brings her knees to her chest and wraps her arms around her legs. “I’ve brought you nothing but bad luck. You almost wound up dead because of me. ”
I shake my head, then move behind her, putting a leg on each side of her and sweeping her hair to one shoulder. “Every single second I’ve spent with you has been worth it. Besides, I probably would have wound up dead anyway. ” She starts to turn her head in shock, but I put my hands on her shoulders so she can’t see past my arms. She can’t be looking at me when I say this.
“Before you, there was just pain and emptiness and I really didn’t care if I lived or died. I was just there, existing at the surface of the wat
er, not quite drowning but not quite able to breathe. And then you came alone and I could finally breathe. Without you, I probably would have just kept cutting until I finished my body off. ”
“But so many bad things have happened to you since I came into your life,” she says, sounding choked up.
“Those bad things were because of my own choices and from problems that existed well before you came along. ” I put my lips beside her ear. “But you showed me something I’d never seen before. ” I kiss the tip of her earlobe and she shivers, her shoulder moving upward against my cheek. “You gave me good… I’ve never had good before. ” I place a soft kiss on her neck and whisper, “You showed me that it was okay to feel both the good and the bad. It just took me a while to get it balanced. ” I suck her earlobe into my mouth, thinking about how she poured her heart and soul out to me on the phone. I want to say it to her, to let her know that I feel the same way, but the words won’t roll off my tongue, so instead I say, “I want to be with you, Callie, more than anything. ”
Her head falls against her knees and she starts to sob, her body heaving. I slide my arms underneath hers and then steer her back with me as I lean against the headboard. I listen to her cry and it matches with the rhythm of my heart. I feel how much I want her—need her. I feel how much she means to me. I feel the pain that coexists with my feelings for her. I feel how much I want to run a razor down my arm, feel the skin split open, and watch the blood pour out, and then I feel how much I don’t want to do that because of her. I feel how much I want to live and be with her.
My heart opens up and I feel it all. Every single emotion that’s ever been inside me starts pumping through my veins: the good, the bad, the painfulness, the heartache, the loneliness, the happiness, the need, the knowing that there’s more out there to life than what I grew up with.
And for the first time in my life, I feel it all and tell myself that, in the end, I’ll still be okay.
Callie I cry myself to sleep and when I wake up, I feel different.
Kayden’s pressed up against me, with his arm around me, clinging onto me like I’m the most important thing to him in the world as he sleeps off his overwhelming day. I have a necklace around my neck that he gave me because he thinks I’m good luck. Seth is still gone and again I wonder if he has spy cameras all over the place because it’s like he knows what he’d be walking into if he came back to the room.
I also feel lighter—braver. I want to be free from the one thing that still pushes me down. I want to tell my family about Caleb, not just because I want them to know, but because I want to free Kayden from the burden of letting his father buy Caleb off.
If I tell my family, then they’ll be on my side—and Kayden’s—once they understand why he beat Caleb up. At least that’s what I hope. Honestly, I have no idea how it’ll all turn out.
Maybe they’ll crush me and decide not to believe me. But whatever the outcome, it’s time to face my worst fear and not allow it to own me anymore. Then maybe Kayden and I can move forward, together, with a little less weight on our shoulders.