Authors: K. Bromberg
His trembling hands come up to cradle my face. “Please. I need you, Rylee,” he pleads breathlessly, his voice choking on the words. “I just need to feel you against me.” He changes the angle of the kiss, his hands moving my head, controlling me. “I need to be in you.”
I can taste his need and can feel his desperation in his frenzied touch. I grab the sides of his face and pull back so when he lifts his eyes to search mine, he can see the honesty in them when I speak my next words. “
Then take me, Colton
I can feel the muscle pulse in his jaw beneath my palms as he stares at me. His tentativeness unnerves me. My arrogant, self-confident man never hesitates when it comes to the physicality between us. Thoughts about what could make him react this way fill me with dread, but I push them from my head. I can process this all later.
Colton needs me right now.
I reach down with one hand and grab his rigid cock, positioning it at my entrance. A short, sharp breath is his only response. When he makes no indication of movement, his eyes squeeze shut and his forehead creases with whatever is still haunting the edges of his memory. I run my hand up and over his impressive length. Doing the only thing I can think to help him forget, I lower myself down onto him. I cry out, surprised when he thrusts up suddenly, our bodies connecting and becoming one. His eyes flash open and lock onto mine, allowing me to watch them darken and glaze with lust until he can’t resist from feeling any more. He throws his head back and closes his eyes at the sublime sensation as he fights his control—fights to push out the bad and focus solely on me and what I’m giving him. Comfort. Assurance. Physicality. Salvation. I watch the struggle as it flickers across his face, silently egging him on.
“Don’t think, baby. Just feel me,” I murmur against his ear as I slowly move and create the sensation needed to try and help him forget.
He exhales shakily before biting his bottom lip and bringing his hands down to roughly grip my hips. Colton rocks into me again, burying himself deeper than I ever thought possible. I whimper, so overwhelmed from feeling him tense so deep inside me.
The only reaction I can give him is to part my lips and say, “Take more from me. Take everything you need.”
He cries out, restraint obliterated, and holds me still while he pistons his hips into me in a relentless, punishing rhythm. Our bodies, slick with water, slide easily against each other. The friction against my breasts heightens my ache for release. He flicks a tongue over a nipple, sliding it across my chilled skin before capturing the other one in his mouth.
I moan out in pleasure, accepting every forceful stroke from him. Allowing him to take so that he can find the release he needs to forget whatever haunts him. The volatility in his movements increases as he drives himself higher and higher, giving himself no other option but to forget. His grunts and the sound of our wet skin slapping against each other echoes off the shower walls.
“Come for me,” I grate out as I slam back down on him. “Let go.”
He quickens his tempo, his neck and face taut with purpose. “Oh fuck!” he yells out, crushing me against him with his powerful arms and burying his face in my neck as he finds his release. He rocks our joined bodies back and forth gently as he empties himself into me. The desperation in his strangling grip tells me I’ve given him only an iota of what he needs.
He sighs my name over and over, lacing absent kisses between them, his emotion transparent. His utter reverence coming on the heels of his earlier insults steals my breath and completely immobilizes me.
We sit like this for a couple of minutes so that he can take a moment to compose himself. It can’t be easy for a stoic and always in control man like him to have a witness to such an emotional episode. He runs his fingers over the chilled skin of my back, the hot water running a few feet behind me sounding like Heaven.
When he finally speaks, it’s of nothing we’ve just experienced. He keeps his head buried in my neck, refusing to meet my eyes. “You’re cold.”
Colton shifts and somehow manages to stand with my legs wrapped around him. “Stay right here,” he tells me, placing me in the stream of warm water before leaving the shower. I look after him confused, wondering if his display of emotion was too much for him and now he needs some distance. I’m not sure.
He returns quickly, water still running in rivulets off of his skin. He takes me completely by surprise when he swoops me up in his arms, turns off the water with an elbow, and carries me out. I shriek as the cold air from the bathroom hits me. “Hold on,” he murmurs against the top of my head at the same time I realize his intent.
Within moments he has stepped into the bathtub that is filling with water, and sets me on my feet. He sinks down in the overabundance of bubbles and tugs on my hand for me to follow. I lower myself, the blissful heat surrounding me as I settle between Colton’s legs.
“Ah, this feels like Heaven.”
I lean back into him, silence consuming us, and I know he’s thinking about his dream and the aftermath. He traces absent lines up and down my arms, his fingertips trying to tame the goose bumps that still remain.
“Do you want to talk about it?” I ask, his body tensing against my back with my question.
“Just a nightmare,” he finally says.
“Mmm-hmm.” Like I believe it was a run of the mill monster chasing you down a dark alley type of dream.
I feel him open his mouth and close it against the side of my head before he speaks. “Just chasing my demons away.” I reach my hands up and lace them with his, wrapping our joined hands across my torso. Silence stretches between us for a few moments.
“Shit.” He exhales in a whoosh. “That hasn’t happened in years.”
I think he’s going to say more, but he falls silent. I debate what to say next and choose my words very carefully. I know if I say it the wrong way, we might end up right back where we started. “It’s okay to need somebody, Colton.”
He emits a self-deprecating laugh and falls quiet as my remark weighs heavy between us. I wish I could see his face so I can judge whether or not to say my next words. “
It’s okay to need me
. Everybody has moments. Nightmares can be brutal. I understand that better than most. No one’s going to fault you for needing a minute to collect yourself. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. I mean…I’m not going to run to the first tabloid I see and sell your secrets—
secrets I don’t even know
His thumb absently rubs the back of my hand. “You wouldn’t be here if I thought you’d do that.”
I struggle with what to say next. He’s hurting, I know, but he hurt me too. And I have to get some things off of my chest. “Look, you want to shut me out, that’s fine…tell me you need a minute—that you need…” I falter, searching for something he’ll relate to “...
a pit stop
. You don’t have to hurt me and push me away in order to have some space.”
He mutters a curse into the back of my hair, his heated breath warming my scalp. “You just wouldn’t go.” He exhales in exasperation. I’m about to respond when he continues, “And I needed you to go. I was terrified you’d see right through me and into me, Rylee, in the way that only you’ve been able to…and if you did, if you saw the things I’ve done…you’d never come back.” His last comment is barely a whisper, so soft I have to strain to hear him. The words unzipping his hardened exterior and exposing the vulnerability beneath. The fear. The shame. The unfounded guilt.
So you tried to make sure my leaving was on your terms. Not mine. You had to have control. Had to hurt me so I wouldn’t hurt you
I know his confession is difficult. The man who needs no one—the man who pushes people away before they get too close—was afraid to lose me. My mind spins with thoughts. My heart squeezes with emotions. My lips struggle to find the right words to say. “Colton—”
“But you came back.” The utter shock in his voice undoes me. The significance behind his admission hangs in the air. He tested me, tried to drive me away, and I’m still here.
“Hey, I’ve gone up against a teenager with a knife before…you’re nothing,” I tease, trying to lighten the mood. I expect a laugh but Colton just pulls me back and holds me tighter, as if he needs the reassurance of my bare skin against his.
He starts to say something and then clears his throat and stops, burying his face back into the curve of my neck. “You’re the first person that’s ever known about those dreams.”
His bombshell of a confession rocks my mind. In all his therapy dealing with whatever it is that has happened to him, he’s never talked to anyone about this? He’s that hurt, that ashamed, that traumatized, that
, that for almost thirty years he has kept this festering inside of himself without any help?
. My heart twists for the little boy growing up and for the man that sits behind me—so disturbed by whatever happened that he’s kept it bottled up inside.
“What about your parents? Your therapists?”
Colton is silent, his body taut and unmoving, and I don’t want to push the issue. I lean my head back on his shoulder and angle my face so it nuzzles into the side of his neck. I kiss the underside of his jaw softly and then rest my head down, closing my eyes, absorbing this quiet vulnerability from him.
“I thought…” He clears his throat as he tries to find his voice. He swallows harshly and I can feel his throat work beneath my lips. “I thought that if they knew about them—really knew the reasons behind why I had them—they wouldn’t…” He stops for a moment, and I can feel the unease rolling off of him, as if the words are physically hard for him to utter. I press another kiss on his neck in silent reassurance. “They wouldn’t want me anymore.” He exhales slowly and I know the admission has cost him dearly.
“Oh, Colton.” The words fall from my mouth before I can stop them, knowing full well the last thing he wants is my sympathy.
“Don’t…” he pleads, “
Don’t pity me―
“I’m not,” I tell him, although my heart can’t help but feel that way. “I’m just thinking how hard it must have been to be a little boy and feeling all alone without ever being able to talk about it…that’s all.” I fall silent, thinking that I’ve said and pushed hard enough on a topic he obviously doesn’t want to address. But I can’t help the next words that tumble from my lips. “You know you can talk to me.” I murmur against his skin. His hands tense in mine. “I won’t judge you or try to fix you, but sometimes just getting it out, getting rid of the hate or shame or
is eating you makes it a tad bit more bearable.” I want to say so much more but forcibly tuck it away for another day, another time when he’s a little less raw, a little less exposed. “I apologize,” I whisper. “I shouldn’t have—”
“No, I’m sorry,” he says with an agitated sigh, leaning forward and kissing the shoulder he tagged with his elbow. “For so very much. For my words and my actions. For not dealing with my own shit.” The regret in his voice is so resonating. “First I hurt you and then I was rough with you in the shower.”
I can’t help the smile that forms on my lips. “Not going to say that I minded.”
He laughs softly and it’s such a good sound to hear after the angst that filled it moments ago. “About your shoulder or about the shower?”
“Um, shower,” I say, noting his attempt to digress from my comment and thinking that a change in topic is just what is needed to add a little levity to our extremely somber and intense morning.
“You surprise me at every turn.”
“Did Max ever treat you this way?”
? Where is he going with this? His comment takes me by surprise. When, I turn and face him, he just tightens his arms around my torso and pulls me closer. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“Did he?” he insists, the master of deflection.
“No,” I admit contemplatively. Sensing I’ve relaxed some, he unlaces his fingers from mine and moves them back up to draw aimless lines on my arms. I look down at my hand and watch as I poke absently at the bubbles. “You were right.”
“The first time we met. You told me that my boyfriend must treat me like glass,” I whisper, feeling like I’m betraying Max’s memory. “You were right. He was a gentleman in every way. Even during sex.”
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Colton concedes, bringing his hands up to massage the base of my neck. I don’t speak, shocked at myself for feeling how I do. “What is it? Your shoulders just tensed up.”
I exhale a shuddered sigh, embarrassed at my train of thought. “I thought that was how it was supposed to be…that was what I wanted sex to be. He was my only experience. And now…”
“Now what?” he prompts with a hint of amusement in his voice.
“Nothing.” Heat rushes into my cheeks.
“Rylee, talk to me for Christ’s sake. I just fucked you in my shower like an animal. Used you basically for my own reprieve, and yet you can’t tell me what you’re thinking?”
“That’s exactly it.” I aimlessly draw circles down his thighs that cradle my sides, the admission tackling all of my modesty and throwing it to the ground. “
I liked it.
I never realized it could be different. That it could be so raw and…”
Oh my God I’m drowning here.
I don’t think I even spoke to Max about sex like this, and we were together for over six years. I’ve known Colton less than a month, and we’re discussing how I think it’s a turn on to be manhandled.
Sweet fucking Jesus
as Colton would say.
“Carnal,” he finishes for me, and I can hear a tinge of pride in his tone. He kisses the side of my head, and I shrug, embarrassed at my lack of experience and unfiltered admission. Sensing my discomfort, Colton squeezes me tighter. “There’s no need to be embarrassed. Lots of people like it lots of different ways, sweetheart. There’s a lot more out there to experience than just the missionary position with whispered sweet nothings.” He breathes into my ear, and I wonder how even he can turn me on with that statement.