Twice in a Blue Moon

Page 71

His hands grip my waist, holding my hips to his thighs and against my stomach he stirs, his teeth brush against my lip—deliberately, a gentle tug turns into a bite, and fourteen years of anger and unresolved hurt pour out of me. I have two fists in his hair, tugging his head to the side so that I can bite his neck. He cries out, wrapping one arm around me and lifting me roughly, flinging me to the side so he can open the back door.

He all but tosses me in, watching as I scoot back and he’s a predator, or maybe I am, the spider luring him in here, hoping to give him something he’ll never get again.

I want every wish he ever makes to be for this. A penny in a fountain. The first star. An eyelash. Eleven eleven. Just for one more time.

The door slams shut behind him, and he’s too big for the space but he doesn’t seem to care. On his knees, he slides the skirt of my dress up over my hips, pulls down my underwear, and looks at me like he wants his mouth just there, right there, but there isn’t room for him to lay me down, stretch out between my legs.

Instead his hand comes to his trousers, unbuttoning, unzipping, and I’m there to help pull him free; and for the first time I can’t hold the sound back, that sharp cry when I remember this, too. The weight and heat of him. The noises he makes, helpless but deep.

He’s there, pulling my ass farther down on the seat, closer to him, beneath him, and he tells me not to say a word, a fucking word please don’t say a word because I can’t be in you and hearing you and feeling this.

His desperate incoherence throws me. In the barely there light, when I look up I can see the angry red bite on his neck, the conflict on his face. He presses into my thigh, and we both fall still.

I am a girl made of a million questions. Or, maybe, just two:

Do you really want this? Or is this part of your penance?

“Are you going to regret this?” he asks.

In truth, maybe. But it would wreck me to watch him back away right now, put himself together, and climb back out of the truck.

“I’d regret it more if we stopped.”

He ducks his head, chin to chest, and seems to debate whether this is good enough for him. But I want to touch. I unbutton his shirt, tiny button by tiny button, and spread it open, feeling the hard, smooth expanse of his chest. He is a continent, maybe even a planet over me.

Fingertips brush across his nipples, down to his stomach, and the muscles there clench under my hands. I trail a finger across the soft hair, and find him, making the decision for both of us, bringing him to me.

Sam’s hips come forward, and he adjusts his position with one leg on the floor of the backseat and one wedged on the seat. He pulls my legs around him, and when I hear his shaking exhale, it sounds like the most exhausted kind of relief. Like succumbing to sleep on a battlefield.

“Tate,” he says, and rests his head on my shoulder. “You don’t know what you do to me.”

I try to tell my body, Focus on this, just here, don’t remember, don’t compare, but it’s hard because nothing and no one has ever felt like Sam. There isn’t an army of men between then and now who’ve been this tall, this broad, this capable of blocking out the sky overhead or the grass beneath and just giving me nothing but him. There’s never been another sensation like this, and it’s impossible to not feel that, somewhere deep in that ancient part of my brain that stores up these perfect experiences and brings them forward when I get even a little whiff of them again. See? It says. This is what you’ve been waiting for.

But I’m not getting a little whiff, I’m getting everything. Sam is giving me everything, in deep, long strokes and his mouth on my neck, his hand on my ass pulling me up to him, onto him, and then he reaches between us, his thumb finding what it wants and he circles, and circles, and I can see him moving in the odd hazy light, and can see his stomach growing tight and that’s what does it for me, that realization that this feels good to him, and it feels so good and so fast that he’s close and we barely started.

My back arches away from the soft leather of his seat and he rears up, bringing his other hand there, holding me while I fall. He tells me he’s coming, saying my name again and again and when he finally does come, he makes a sound I’ve never heard before. It’s a cry, muffled by my neck.

Then I hear nothing but crickets outside and the jagged push-pull of Sam’s breath and mine. He stills, and then slowly shifts us so he’s sitting and I’m on top. I think he wants to look at me, for me to look at him, but it’s not that easy. I think looking right at him might make me crumble, so instead, I focus on his jaw.

His hands come up, cupping my neck. “You okay?”

“I’m not sure yet.”

He leans forward, resting his mouth on my shoulder. “I admit I don’t love that answer.”

“I don’t have a better one right now.” This swirl of reactions is too big to process in this small space, especially when all I can smell or feel or hear is Sam.

His mouth makes a tender path from my shoulder to my neck, to my jaw. “I’d do anything to get you back.”

“You never tried to find me. Even here, you’ve been so careful. I don’t see you fighting.”

“I figured it wasn’t my right to try.”

I close my eyes and lean forward, resting my forehead on the bulk of his shoulder. I can’t exactly argue with that. If he’d pushed me, I would have shoved him away. And when he was cautious and distant, it felt like disinterest.

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