Authors: MJ Fields
“Since.” He thrusts in. “The first.” He pulls out. “Time.” In again.
“Oh, God,” I cry.
“I saw you.”
He moves steadily in and out at a pace he sets. I don’t dare move, not wanting it to stop.
“So perfect,” he hisses and bows his head, kissing me then pulling away with a low rumble from his chest.
He’s looking at me, showing me how he feels. It’s need. It’s want. It’s patience, acceptance. It’s …
“Damn it,” I cry as I thrust toward him when I can no longer hold back, and I come, biting into his shoulder.
“Fuck,” he says, rolling to his side and pulling me with him.
He slows the pace and kisses me through my seemingly never ending orgasm.
“T,” I whimper after what seems like forever. I’m exhausted.
He pushes my hair back and cups my chin. “What, beautiful?”
“I don’t want this to end, but—”
“Exhausted,” I admit.
He rolls to his back, pulling me on top of him. “The show is yours, Ava.”
He grips my hips and sets the pace.
I set my hands on his abs, and he shakes his head. “Behind you. On my thighs.”
As soon as I do, he releases my hips and grabs my knees, spreading me wider.
“Ava, look at us.” One hand returns to my hip, and his thumb pushes against my clit.
“Oh, God, I can’t.”
“It’s right there.” He presses it again. “Take it.”
I rock faster, and he groans, “Fuck yes. Fuck. Yes.”
“Oh, hell yes,” he says, and I feel him twitch inside me.
I move faster, grinding harder.
“Stop. Fuck, Ava, stop,” he says as I feel him coming inside me. “Ava, damn it,” he snaps. “Stop.”
I immediately think of Luke and the way he snapped at me. It hurts, and I quickly move off him.
“Ava,” he says, sitting up and reaching for me.
I grab my clothes off the floor and walk out the door and into the hallway to the bathroom. I look back to see he is coming toward me naked.
“What are you doing?” I say as he pushes past me and shuts the door behind him.
He pushes me against the wall and kisses me before pulling back. “I tried to stop you.”
“When this fucking thing broke.” He pulls off the condom and tosses it into the toilet. “That was not on purpose.”
“Is that why you said—”
“Stop? Yes, of course it was.”
I kiss him to shut him up and because I want to kiss him, because… Well, he’s not Luke. He’s the anti-Luke.
He turns and grabs a washcloth, before running it under hot water and cleaning between my legs.
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s fine.” I nod and smile.
“You didn’t seem fine,” he says, washing himself off.
“T, I thought you were mad at me.”
“Mad at you?” He chuckles. “For making me come? That’s absurd.”
I smile as he seems to be searching my face.
“Ava Links, you are my goddess.” He cups my chin. “Even more so now than before. Let me be the guy who makes you forget your heart was ever broken.”
“Who says it was ever broken?” I force a smile.
“You don’t ever have to pretend with me.”
For some reason, I believe him.
I lie in bed, looking at the clock. I’m exhausted, but I can’t sleep. I am giddy because T, hot, hung, and handsome rock star drummer, wants me. And apparently, he wants me for more than today, and I know we could have such fun together.
I also know that means Luke Lane was not the last person I was with and that Luke Lane more than likely saw T’s vehicle in my driveway, so Luke Lane now knows I am a woman of my word … which also makes me feel like a complete and total slut bucket.
As I look at the ceiling, I do it trying my absolute Ava best to make me feel better about sleeping with two guys in two days. Clearly, though, I suck at it.
I roll over to my side, closing my eyes, and reach for Bingo, my blanket that I clearly need because I can smell it. But when I reach for it, it’s gone.
I lie across the pillow to reach on the floor for it and realize it’s the pillow that has that smell, the one that’s home and love and all things Bingo is to me.
Too exhausted to get off my bed and look for the thing, I settle on hugging the Bingo scented pillow and quickly I allow myself to sleep.
Sometime later, there is a knock on the door, and then it opens. “Ava, you have a package.”
I roll to my back and look at Logan. “What?”
He doesn’t leave. “Are you gonna open it?”
I close my eyes. “No, I’m going back to sleep.”
My eyes snap open. “Do you need to?”
“It’s a big fucking box, Ava, so yeah, I wanna see what’s in it.”
I close my eyes. “Go ahead.”
“Well, at least come down and see what it is.”
“For someone who can’t stand Christmas, why is a box so damn important?”
He walks over and stretches out his hand. “Come on, Ava. Someone sent you something. Let’s hope it’s from a man. I don’t want you living here alone with ten cats.”
I grab his hand and pull myself up. “Why? Do you have plans to fill this house up with little Lond—”
“Don’t start with me.” He scowls.
“Fine,” I grumble as I stomp dramatically out of the room.
When we get to the bottom of the stairs, I see a box, a huge box, and I look at Logan.
“How the hell do you ignore that?”
I walk around it and see a small box that says
, another that says
, and a
is on the large box.
“I need a knife,” I tell Logan.
He pulls a pocket knife out of his pocket as he walks over to me. “I got it. You’ll cut yourself.” He cuts the tape and hands the box to me.
I pry it open and pull out a note card and an iPad mini.
Follow the instructions to a T in order for this act to happen as planned.
Press record on the video recorder.
After cutting box two free, Logan hands it to me and then presses record.
I open the next box and pull out another note card and read it.
Press play on song number one.
I look at Logan who shakes his head.
“Press play,” I say, unable to hide my smile.
James Bay’s song “I Need the Sun to Break” plays.
“I know this song. ‘
I’m halfway gone. Sleepless, I’m battle warn. You’re all I want, so bring me the dawn
Logan laughs as I sing.
“Don’t laugh at me, Logan. I at least get an E for effort.”
“Come on, stop messing around.” He seems more eager than I am to see what’s inside.
“It says, ‘Cut the tape free from the sides, let them fall, and open the top, pulling it toward you.’ ”
“Then do it already.” Logan laughs as he holds the iPad.
I cross my eyes and stick my tongue out at him.
“I swear, sometimes I am the most mature person in this house.” He rolls his eyes and cuts the sides open. When they fall open, it looks like a green plant.
I pull the top back and laugh out loud when balloons in the shapes of the sun and butterflies come floating out in bright, cheerful, vivid colors.
The box looks like an elementary school painting of two hills and the sun rising between them.
“What the hell is this all about?” Logan chuckles.
I grab the card on the bottom of the box and open it.
Today, I watched the dawn break with you. It didn’t only feel like a new day, my goddess, it felt like a whole new beginning, one full of smiling suns and beautiful nights to come.
My room key is enclosed. I am hopeful you will use it.
I’m here for four more days and three more nights. Then I am going back to my home in the city.
Logan looks in the box and points at the painted drumsticks then reads the cartoon-like blurb coming from them. “
She chose drums
I laugh and cover my face. “Turn it off.”
“What the hell is this all about?” Logan laughs. When I don’t answer, his eyebrow rises. “Oh, fuck, Dad’s gonna love this.”
I reach for the iPad and hit the button so it’s recording in selfie mode. I blow the camera a kiss then turn it off.
Logan bends down and grabs the key card that fell on the floor. “That’s one hell of a booty call.” He hands me the card, looking at me with his eyes narrowed. “You like him?”
“If I don’t, I’m crazy. He’s perfect for me.”
“Who is perfect for you?” We both turn to see Dad walking into the kitchen.
Logan smirks at me. “Go ahead and tell him.”
I shrug. “T, Daddy. T is perfect for me.”
“Like hell, he is,” Dad snarls.
“What is your problem with Thomas?” I ask with my hands on my hips.
“He tried to get you to…” He pauses and shakes his head. “That concert … he—”
“Dad, really? That was ages ago.” I giggle.
“He takes great pride in forcing his tongue down your throat whenever given the opportunity.” He scowls.
“Given the opportunity, Daddy? It’s not like he’s forcing himself on me.”
“All those women at those shows, Ava … You can’t trust a man who lives that lifestyle,” he says as if talking to a child. And although I am his child, I am not … a child.
“Maddox and Brody live the same lifestyle,” I point out.
“Are you in love with him?”
“Oh, my God, Dad. Seriously, we’re at a cardboard box and sunshine balloon stage. Jeepers, give it a rest.” I throw my hands in the air, and the room key flies out of the card and straight at him.
Of course, Dad being Dad, he catches it and lifts it up. “This, Ava, is not a cute, little cut-out.”
“He’s got you there.” Logan laughs.
“Really? Hey, Dad, where are my box of condoms, pat on the shoulder, and the atta boy he got?” I throw my thumb over my shoulder at Logan.
“Ava …” He shakes his head.
“Dad …” I shake mine back.
“You’re my little girl,” he says with a sincere sadness that I may buy into if he didn’t already know about me and Liam giving it up to each other just to be rid of our virginity.
“I became a woman at the Ross family barn my junior—”
He covers his ears. “No! No, I don’t want to hear it.”
I laugh and walk up to him, take his hands, and smile. “I’m a big girl, Dad. I can take care of myself.”
“If he hurts you, I will kill him with the very hands you’re holding, and that will land me in jail. So you keep that in mind.”
I smirk. “I know a good lawyer.”
“Logan, you ready to go to the gym?” he asks.
“You two didn’t go already?”
“Nope. Logan messaged me before dawn and told me he was gonna sleep in.” Dad walks toward the bathroom. “I’ll be right back.”
I look at Logan, and he’s looking down at me, his eyebrow’s perched on that damn high and mighty spot they rest on when he feels he has something on me.
“I believe the words are thank you, Logan, for covering my ass this morning.”
“What?” I ask, acting as if he’s mistaken.
“And seriously, tell your friend, next time he runs after you to the bathroom, put some fucking pants on,” he whispers before turning on his heels and walking to the coat closet.
“Loggie?” I say in the sweetest tone I can muster up.
He looks back at me.
“I won’t bust on you about your little crush—”
“I don’t have a damn crush. She may, but I don’t.”
“All righty, then.”
Thankfully, a knock on the door takes me out of a very awkward conversation. I walk to the door and swing it open.
Luke is standing there with sweats and a hoodie on. He looks me up and down, at my eyes, my lips, and then I step back.
He walks in. “Your dad and Logan ready?”
“You’re going to the gym with them?” I hiss.
He looks back at me, cold and emotionless. “It’s been known to happen.”
“After what you said—”
“Ava, you caught me on a bad fucking day.” He stares at me then squints like he has something to say. I am afraid whatever it is will intensify the guilt I am trying so hard to ignore.
I stare back at him and feel tears pooling in my eyes.
“Don’t,” he says, his jaw twitching. “It doesn’t help shit, Ava. Put the emotions in check, be a good little soldier, and carry on.”
One tear falls down my face, and he reaches out and swipes it away.
That one gesture shows more care than he has shown me in seven years.
He shakes his head. “Words have been said. Can’t take them back.”
“But you can,” I insist, wiping away more tears.
He shakes his head again. “You have a good time last night?”
I swallow back more tears.
“It’s all good, Ava.”
He shakes his head again. “Game over. It was already decided.” He turns and walks into the kitchen.
“Hey, you showed.” Logan laughs, greeting him.
“Said I would, didn’t I?”
“Sure did. Check this shit out. Ava has an admirer.”
“Cute,” he says. “She deserves one.”
I walk quickly past them and start up the stairs.
“Where you going?” Dad calls after me.
“Back to bed,” I answer.
“You making breakfast for us three when we get back?” Logan asks.
“Yeah, sure,” I say, running the rest of the way up.
Once inside my room, I dive onto my bed and bury my face in a pillow. I look over the bed for the blanket, but it’s not there. I know it has to be here; I can smell it.
I get down on the floor and look beneath my bed. It’s not there, either.
I spend ten minutes tearing apart my bedding and still I don’t find it anywhere.
“Damn you, Bingo,” I say as I climb back in bed.
I look at my phone to see what time it is, and I see an unknown message.
I hit the notification and read the message: That bad, huh? It was a gallant effort. It’s all new to me, Ava. I’ll do better next time. – T.
I kick my feet, trying like crazy to rid myself of some of the guilt I’m feeling, but it’s to no avail.
I roll over and hug the pillow, smelling home and love. I cry into it. I cry hard because crying helps. It releases pain and guilt. It seemingly rids me of the emotions I can’t sort out, allowing them to boil over. I cry because it’s cathartic.