I couldn’t believe Elle had been listening to my conversation with Callum. She must have thought Sevin would take it as good gossip. She had no clue it would actually devastate him to know what I was considering.
After I’d gotten home from Addy’s earlier, I was desperate for a solution. I kept thinking about her advice and concluded that the only way out of my dilemma was to leave town immediately. So, I decided to put some feelers out about moving into the Hughes’ guesthouse and possibly working for the chain of supermarkets they owned.
It wasn’t until I walked into Sevin’s tonight and saw the fear in his eyes that I started to doubt that I could go through with it. Feeling his heart beating that way made me forget everything I’d decided upon. It put me back at square one.
“You think you know what I came here for? How could you possibly know what I’m gonna say when I don’t? I’m so confused. Every time I think I’ve made a decision, I look into your eyes, and you’re all I see.”
“You came here to tell me you’re leaving. Am I right?”
“I don’t want to leave.”
“You can’t leave. You can remove yourself from Dodge City, but can’t you see that you can’t really erase me? I’m still gonna be here. So is your sister. When you tell me to forget about you, to keep with the original plan and marry Elle, sometimes I don’t know if you realize what you’re really asking of me. It’s not just a wedding. Marriage is a life sentence. It means being her man, having sex with her, sharing my life with her and only her. If I marry Elle, I’d be vowing to do all of those things and following through with them for the rest of our lives. Is that what you want? You want me to make babies with Elle? I don’t thi—”
I screamed, “No! It’s not what I want! It’s not what I want! I’m so scared of that.” My hands were on each side of my head as I tugged at my hair in anger.
“You scare the hell out of me, too, Evangeline.”
“I’m trying to do the right thing, but I want you so badly it hurts. When she told me what she was planning to offer you, I got so jealous that I haven’t been able to eat or sleep. This feels like an impossible situation. You’re right…I came here tonight to try to tell you that I was leaving. But the second I’m in front of you, the way you make me feel…all I want to do is stay. Why couldn’t I have found you under different circumstances?”
He pulled me into a hug and spoke into my shoulder. “Don’t go back there tonight. Please. I promise I won’t try anything if you stay here.”
“There are seriously moments that I feel like I could die from this. Sometimes, it’s so bad that I hate you.” A slight laugh escaped me for having admitted that.
He smiled. “No, you don’t. You wish you did.”
“My staying here tonight is not fair to her. That’s crossing a line.”
“You don’t think we’ve already crossed it?” He grabbed my face. “Wanna talk fair? I don’t think you can say that it’s fair for me to marry her when all I want, all I fucking dream about is you. Elle is a sweet, wonderful God-fearing person. She calms me down and makes me feel good inside. But you…” He moved his face in closer. “You light a fire in me, Evangeline, one I can’t put out, one I don’t want to. I wish I could show you how I feel.”
Fire. That was a good word to describe the level of burning desire coursing through me at the thought of what he’d do to my body if he could. He had experience. As much as it made me jealous to think about him with other women, the thought of experiencing something like that with him thrilled me. I knew I wasn’t going to give in to my physical needs, but my mind needed to be satisfied if my body couldn’t.
I’d often fantasized about the nude pictures he confessed to drawing. I wanted so badly to see the objects of his creativity.
“I want to see your drawings.”
“Are there other drawings?”
“Will you show them to me?”
“You’re gonna think I’m twisted.”
“You already told me the story behind them. I promise I won’t.”
The mood was extremely tense as he led me to his room. A small lamp provided just a little bit of light. He took out a medium-sized black box from the back of his closet. “I’ve never shown these to anyone before. My stepmother accidentally found them when I was moving out, but that doesn’t really count. You’re the first person I’m ever willingly showing them to.”
Leaving the box on his bed, Sevin walked over to the opposite side of the room and leaned against the wall. He crossed his arms and watched me as I opened the box.
My eyes widened. I didn’t know what I was expecting, but the reality was absolutely shocking and breathtaking all at once. Beautiful women of all shapes and sizes. Body parts were clearly and graphically recreated to perfection with fine details like pubic hair and beauty marks. The faces were mostly turned to the side or looking down. Some had their eyes closed. Some were more sexually provocative than others, but they were all tasteful.
“These…are amazing. You don’t use real models?”
“Yeah, right. I had loads of naked women stashed away in my old bedroom back home.” He pointed to his head with his index finger. “No, it’s all from up here. None of them are real people.”