Falling into You Read online

Page 15

“I don’t even know what to say. I thought I was dreaming. ” His eyes bore into me, blue and hot like a bunsen burner flame. “You want to know what I was dreaming about?”

  I nod.

  “Answer me. Out loud. ”

  This is a new Colton. Bossy, direct. I’m not sure if I should be pissed at the way he’s barking orders, or turned on by it. I settle for both.

  “Yes, Colton. I want to know what you were dreaming about. ” My tone is soft and submissive, but I know my eyes betray my ire.

  His face is impassive. “You. I was dreaming of you. ” His eyes narrow. “I was dreaming of you doing what you apparently were actually doing. ”

  “Was it a good dream?” I ask, daring. “Did you like that dream?” I trail my fingertip through the stickiness on his belly, eyeing him from beneath lowered lashes.

  He sucks in a sharp breath, watching my finger tracing patterns on his skin, then his gaze flicks to me again. “It was a conflicted dream. I shouldn’t have wanted it to not be dream. I shouldn’t have wanted it to be real. But I did. ”

  I try to ignore the thunder of my pulse in my ears. “Why shouldn’t you?”

  He frowns. “Because…because of everything. ”

  “Say it out loud. All of it. ” I can be bossy too.

  “Because you were in love with Kyle. ”

  “He’s gone. It wouldn’t be cheating. ” I swallow hard, because a part of me says that’s a very very valid reason why not. Because it would be. I would be cheating on him.

  “Your turn to say it all. ”

  “Say what?”

  “What you’re thinking. ”

  I begin tracing the kanji on his chest, the orange-yellow flames, the dragon’s eye. “I’m a liar. It would be cheating. It would be cheating on his memory. But…that’s bullshit. ”

  His head sinks back and he turns aside to stare at the wall. I watch his jaw clench and release, watch the fine black stubble on his tan skin shift.

  “How f**ked up is that?” He says, barely audible.

  He gets out of bed, takes a couple steps across the hall and into the bathroom. I watch him wet a washcloth and clean his stomach off. He comes back and slips back into bed next to me, on his side, facing me.

  “That’s what I was thinking, too, though,” he says. “It’s bullshit, but I can’t shake the feeling. You and me would be…an affront to his memory. But that’s just bullshit, because he’s dead and he’d want both of us to be happy. ”

  “Well that’s stupid too. If he was alive, he’d want me. ”

  “But he’s not. ”

  “Is this an argument or a discussion?” I ask.

  He huffs a laugh. “I don’t even know. ” He turns back to look at me. “What you just did? That changes shit. ”

  “I know. ” My words aren’t even a whisper, they’re less. “Are you mad?”

  He bobbles his head back and forth. “Mad? No. Not mad. Confused. Not gonna lie, it was kinda shady. I couldn’t tell you I wanted it, or that I didn’t. ”

  I choke. “I know. I know. I’m so sorry. I—I feel disgusted with myself. ”

  “Don’t. Just don’t. I’m no better. You were asleep and I took your clothes off—”

  “You were making me comfortable,” I interrupt.

  He talks over me. “I wanted to see you again. I wanted to see your sweet, round ass. I touched your thigh. ”

  “But you didn’t make me—you didn’t do what I did. ”

  He rubs his face with his free hand.

  “Is this a competition? Which one of us is more of an ass**le?” I ask.

  In my head, though, I’m stunned breathless by what he said. He wanted to see my “sweet, round ass. ” I’ve always thought I had too much ass. It’s an insecurity. Common, I know, but unshakeable. I still run like a fiend, because it’s one of the few times I can be free of dreams and memories and nightmares and guilt. Then, when I’m drunk, and when I’m playing music. But no matter how I run, my ass is round and my br**sts heavy.

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  “I’d win that competition, hands down. No question,” Colton says. “You had a moment of weakness, or something. I’m an ass**le all the time. ”

  “You’re wrong. ” I shift up his body and meet his eyes from a couple inches away. Kissing distance. “It wasn’t a moment of weakness. It was a lot of moments of desire. And you’re not an ass**le. ”

  “What do you want, Nell?”

  “I already asked you that question, remember?”

  “So neither of us knows what we want?” His eyes search mine, and his hand inscribes circles on the small of my back.

  “No. Yes. I know what I want, but I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong. I do know that how I went about getting it was wrong, though. So for that, I’m sorry. ”

  “So you’re saying you should’ve done what you did, but while I’m awake?” His palm continues to circle, but moves lower.

  I arch my back subtly, but enough. He notices, and his eyes widen, his nostrils flare, his lips thin, his breathing goes deep.

  “Yes,” I say.

  I have to just own what I did, what I want. He was all too right when he said what I did changes things. I can’t go back now. I know how he feels in my hand. I know how his body feels beneath me, and I want more of it. I know how his hand feels on my ass. And I know he wants this as much as I do, and we’re both conflicted about it.

  I meet his eyes and hold his gaze as he explores downward. I bite my lip when he begins up the swell of my ass. When I got in bed, I’d stripped off my jeans, so all I was wearing was a tiny yellow thong. A triangle of silk over my core, strings over my hips, a string down my crack. I took off my bra, too, so I only had on a tiny t-shirt, a fitted thing, blue cotton with a pocket over the right breast, a glittery purple heart on the pocket.

  He follows the line of the waistband of my thong around my hip, his eyes locked on mine, and he slowly and deliberately cups my left cheek. I search his eyes, and see my emotions reflected back at me: conflicted desire.

  “I forgive you,” he says, an ever-so-subtle smirking tilt to the side of his mouth. “After all, it was a really awesome dream. ”

  He explores the line of the string between my cheeks. I’m holding my breath, and I can’t seem to catch it. He slides his palm up the other side, then back down, caressing my thigh, then the other. God. Oh god. Now up my spine, up my bare back, under the shirt. His fingers, his palm on my skin, tracing fire.

  His fingers go between my arm and my rib, seeking access frontward. I shift my arm, slide my palm up his chest, hesitate at his shoulder, then do as I’ve wanted to do for so long, it seems, and scratch over the stubble on his jaw. This action gives him access, and he moves his hand around my ribs to brush the outside curve of my breast smashed against his chest.

  “What are we doing here, Nell?” he asks, his voice his voice a raspy whisper.

  I shake my head and lift one shoulder. “I have no idea. But I like it. ”

  “Me too. ” He pulls me closer, higher. I go with him, shifting so I’m entirely on my side, head propped up on one hand, leg slung over his thighs, free hand on his breastbone.

  Now I’m exposed. My shirt is hiked up so the undersides of my br**sts peek beneath the hem. I silently dare him, encourage him with my stillness, my steady gaze on his too-blue eyes.

  Ohmigod. God. He takes the dare. Palm on my belly at first, I think he might go south, and I think he considers it, then moves up, north to the hem of my shirt. I was already holding my breath, but my throat gets tighter, my lungs burn, my heart either stops beating or pounds wildly, I can’t decide which.

  Then his rough and gentle and huge hand cradles my breast beneath the shirt. I haven’t taken a breath in at least thirty seconds. Oh god, oh god, ohmigod. His hand feels so amazing. Scratchy, hard. My br**sts are fairly big, C-cups, almost a D, but he can palm one easily. His palm scrapes m