Falling Together (All That Remains #2)

BOOK: Falling Together (All That Remains #2)
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Falling Together
All That Remains: Book Two

by

S. M. Shade

Copyright © 2014 S.M. Shade

 

All Rights Reserved. This book may not be reproduced,
scanned or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission
from the author. All characters and events portrayed are fictitious. Any
similarities to actual persons, living or dead is coincidental and not intended
by the author.

Chapter One

Airen

 

A
lusty cry fills the room, reverberating off the walls and rousing us from a
whopping three hours of sleep.

“Go
ahead, I have him,” Abby mumbles, scooping our screaming bundle into bed with
her. I don’t know a lot about babies, but I assume they do occasionally sleep.
Lane has amazing stamina for a six week old.

“Are
you sure?” She’s exhausted. We both are.

“Yeah,
I’m fine.” I watch my wife as she talks soothingly to our little night owl, and
offers him her small bared breast. Sunlight streams through the window,
surrounding them in soft light, painting her long brown hair with a tinge of
red. They’re beautiful. She smiles up at me when I run my fingers through his dark,
fine hair that reaches below his ears. It’s so silky.

“You’re
going to have to learn to share those, boy.” My grin is suggestive as I picture
her spread out beneath me, begging for more. “It’s been six weeks,” I murmur.

She
yawns, not exactly the response I was hoping to receive. “I’d be happy with a
shower and a nap.”

“I
know darlin’. I’ll be three hours. No longer, I promise. Joseph and Troy are
coming to help me get the west field tilled so we can plant tomorrow.”

“Be
careful,” she replies absently, meeting my lips for a quick kiss before reclining
on the bed, cradling Lane as he breastfeeds.

“Call
me if you need me.”

It’s
been a little more than two years since the plague demolished our way of life,
but we’ve found ways to improvise. It’s true she can’t just pick up the phone
and call me to come home, or remind me to stop for a gallon of milk, but the
two way radios work perfectly well for our purposes. We have power, thanks to
Joseph and his genius with alternative energies, and we have an abundant supply
of bottled water to drink, but we still have to boil and filter water for
bathing and washing clothes.

Most
of our time is now spent growing and preserving food. There is no shortage of
canned foods, but many are beginning to expire and we can’t afford to get food
poisoning. We’re incredibly lucky to have Julie, finding a doctor among the few
survivors was like a miracle. Knowledge is the highest commodity in this post
plague environment, and I’m extremely grateful to be surrounded by such
intelligent people.

“You
look like hell,” Joseph remarks when I meet him and his boyfriend, Troy, at
Julie’s house.

“Fuck
you very much,” I grumble. “Let’s do this. Lane was up half the night and I
promised Abby I wouldn’t be too long.”

“Shouldn’t
he be sleeping better by now?”

“I
don’t know. Abby said Carson didn’t sleep through the night until after he
learned to walk.” God, I hope that’s not the case. A year of crying and sleep
deprivation and I’ll be fit for a straight jacket.

“Let
me have him for tonight, Airen,” Julie offers.

“Oh!
Please!” Jayla says. “I’ll stay up with him.” A grin spreads across my face as
I study my daughter. I found her alone in Georgia when she was twelve. She’s a
beautiful, caring, and fiercely intelligent child.

“You
may not feel that way when he’s screaming the house down at four a.m. I
appreciate the offer, but you don’t have to do that. We can handle him.”

“Well,
of course we don’t have to, we want to spend time with him. Now hand him over
so we can love on him until we wear him out,” Julie replies, handing me a large
jug of ice water. In addition to being our own lifesaving physician, she’s also
very kind, like a mother to us, a grandmother to the kids.

My
mother died of kidney failure during the plague. There are times when I think
of her, and miss the soft sound of her voice, but she and Julie are worlds
apart. My upbringing was privileged. I had everything I needed and most of what
I wanted. We just weren’t a close knit family. It’s true life is more difficult
now, more dangerous, but I’ve never been happier. Strenuous love and affection
trumps lonely luxury, any day.

“I
don’t know if Abby will go for it. I’ll talk to her.” She really needs the
rest, and then I really need to fuck her ragged.

“It’s
settled. I’m coming to get him at noon,” Julie insists, and Jayla dances with
excitement.

“Thank
you.” I plant a kiss on each of their cheeks.

“Airen!”
Julie calls as Joseph, Troy, and I file outdoors. “Let the poor girl get some
sleep.”

Giving
her my “who, me?” look earns me an exasperated shake of her head. “I promise to
behave myself.” I grin, holding up my right hand.

Joseph
snorts his disbelief. “Do you want to talk to Abby before we get started?”

“Nah,
let’s get it done. I’ll explain before Julie shows up to collect him.” With the
three of us dividing the work, we finish quickly and head to my house for
lunch.

We’re
scarcely through the door when Abby’s voice echoes down the hall, making me
wince. “Airen Lane Holder!” What the hell did I do now? Shit, she yells at me
like I’m a kid.

“Uh
oh,” Joseph mutters under his breath as we walk into the living room where
Abby, Julie, and Jayla are congregated.

“What
the hell makes you think I can’t take care of my own baby? I raised Carson on
my own, didn’t I? You send Julie to come to the rescue like I can’t handle it!”
Her serious brown eyes glare at me, but I can see a layer of hurt just beneath
the surface of her anger as if I’ve doubted her, called her parenting abilities
into question.

“Abby,
she offered and I thought we could use a break.” Her jaw tightens and she
stalks into the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Five sets of eyes stare
at me, waiting for my reaction. Why does she have to be so damn stubborn?
Neither of us has had more than four hours of sleep per night since Lane was
born. “Julie, I appreciate the offer, but I guess tonight isn’t a good time.
I’ll talk to her once she calms down.” Squaring her shoulders, Julie glances at
me and starts toward the bedroom.

“There
goes a brave woman,” Carson says. I think she’s wasting her time trying to
reason with Abby when she’s like this, but I reluctantly follow her into the
bedroom. Lane sleeps in the center of our bed, while Abby perches on the edge
of the love seat, folding a basket of his laundry. It’s amazing how many tiny
outfits are in one load.

“Abby.”
Julie sits next to her on the love seat. Abby ignores her and continues to sort
through the laundry until Julie grabs her wrist and exclaims, “Stop. Look at me
for a moment.” She turns and regards Julie with a guarded expression. “I asked
Airen to keep Lane tonight because I wanted to, and Jayla is so excited to take
care of him. You’re a wonderful mother and no one doubts your ability to care
for your kids, but, dear, everyone needs a break, and you’re surrounded by
family that wants to help if you’ll just give us the chance.”

My
chest tightens as Abby bursts into tears. “He just
won’t sleep
.”

She
sobs as Julie wraps her in a hug. “You’re exhausted, and you may be having a
little postpartum depression. Let me take care of Lane tonight. Jayla and I can
handle him.”

“I
know.” With a sniff, she glances up at me apologetically. “I’m sorry I yelled
at you.”

Mark
the calendar and alert the press, Abby Holder just admitted she was wrong and
apologized in record time. I’m stunned again when she reaches for me, wrapping
her arms around my hips, her forehead resting against my stomach. My hands
travel through her hair before I lean to drop a kiss on the crown of her head.
God knows I love her, but she can try my patience. “It’s okay. I’m worried about
you, darlin’. You need some rest.” She nods and wipes her eyes, rising from the
sofa.

Julie
collects Lane’s clothes and Abby retrieves a container of breast milk from the
fridge. For a moment, I’m sure I’ll have to pry the baby from her arms, but
after kissing and cuddling him again, she hands him over to Jayla.

“Can
I stay at Joseph’s tonight?” Carson asks. He wants to get out of here and I
can’t say I blame him. Abby laughs and gives him permission to escape.

Joseph
wraps his arms around Abby, and pulls her into a hug. “I’m here anytime you
need me, honey. I’d love to watch my godson sometime.” She nods against his
chest and wipes her eyes again before thanking him. I hate to see her so weepy.
It’s not like her. She hates to be caught crying.

After
everyone leaves, Abby returns to folding laundry while I silently fill the tub
with hot water, adding her favorite bath oil. I’m partial to it as well, it
makes her skin soft, and the smell of coconut always reminds me of her.

“Come
on.” I tug my exhausted, stubborn, lovely wife to her feet.

“Air,
I should finish this.”

“Nope,”
I reply, moving the basket out of the way and leading her to the sweet smelling
bath. “You’re going to take a bath with me and then we’re going to sleep. No
arguments.”

“Yes,
sir.” Her sarcastic little salute makes me grin. There’s my girl. Oh, she’s
going to get it.

I
pull her shirt over her head, and she slips out of her shorts and panties.
Damn. It’s been over six weeks since I’ve had her and she looks so inviting. My
hands itch to touch those luscious curves and soft, smooth skin, but I have to
keep my hands off her. Once we’re in the tub, she relaxes back against my chest
with a soft sigh. I run the washcloth over her shoulders, and my groin tightens
when she hums with delight. As I wash her hair, my eyes keep finding their way
back to her breasts, round and swollen, nipples hard from the cool air. The feel
of the silky strands between my fingers add to the hard on growing between my
legs. When her head dips back and she closes her eyes, revealing the creamy
curve of her neck, I can’t resist the urge to run my lips down the soft skin.

“What
would I do without you?” she whispers.

“You
could do better.”

“Never.
I love you so much.”

“Back
at you, darlin’.”

We
go from bath to bed, after pulling the curtains to block out the late afternoon
sunshine. I want her, but we are just too tired. I should be taking better care
of my wife. She presses her naked body against mine and I nuzzle her neck
before our eyes slam shut.

It’s
evening when I wake, feeling better than I have in weeks. I pull the covers
over Abby and creep out of the room, leaving her to sleep before I succumb to
the temptation of her naked body in our bed.

Wow,
the house is spotless, and a note is taped to the fridge.

Abby,

We
only wanted to help so please don’t beat us in our sleep.There’s a casserole in
the fridge for dinner. Troy made it, so I can’t promise it’s edible. Call if
you need us.

Love,

Joseph
and Troy

We
must have been dead to the world for them to have done all of this without
waking us. The next couple hours find me stretched out on the couch watching a
movie. I can’t even recall the last time I had the opportunity to relax alone
so I’m taking advantage of it. I intend to let Abby sleep as long as she needs,
but she’s going to get it when she wakes.

The
credits are scrolling up the screen when I hear her moving around, and the
thought of her breaks my reverie. There are so many familiar names in those
ending credits, friends and coworkers that are two years in their graves. My
life as an actor and model seems more and more like a dream instead of a
memory. I’m happy here, but I still miss the person I was.

When
I peek in on her, she’s bent over the sink, brushing her teeth. Christ, look at
her in those little boy shorts. A woman once told me men only have enough blood
for one head to function at a time, and tonight, my lower one has the upper
hand. “What?” she asks with an innocent grin when she catches me staring. She
squeals as I sweep her up and toss her on the bed.

Fighting
the urge to rip her panties off and shove inside her, I draw the smooth skin of
her neck between my lips and suck gently in the way that drives her crazy. It’s
her weak spot; she can never resist. She melts beneath me and her hands dive
into my hair, tugging lightly. Later, she’ll try to pull it out at the roots.
Smooth, sweet lips close over mine, sucking them before parting to allow access
to her warm mouth. With slow deep strokes, I explore the familiar softness that
I never tire of tasting, and she responds with a tiny moan, her tongue moving
feverishly against mine.

I
have bedded my share of women, but this woman puts them all to shame. She’s
that special combination of sweet and absolutely ruthless in her pursuit of
pleasure, hers and mine. So passionate, and not afraid to let me see it. If she
likes something, she makes sure I know it, and her cries for more strike me
like a physical blow, enflaming and arousing me past the point of any cognitive
thought. There’s only Abigail. Her smell, her taste, her groans, the feel of
her skin plastered to mine, and the clench of her thighs around my hips as she
loses control.

She
moans as I kiss down her neck to her breast, pausing to lap and suck at each
nipple until she writhes and grinds her hips against me. “Mmm, you’re so soft,
I love it,” I murmur, trailing my lips across her belly. Her hands fist the
sheets as I lick up her inner thigh before burying my face between her legs.
Fuck, she tastes so good. Her moans and whimpers fill my ears and she struggles
to hold still as I increase the pressure, working my tongue in slow circles
until her legs tighten and her breathing becomes erratic.

BOOK: Falling Together (All That Remains #2)
4.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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