Authors: C. M. Stunich
X X X
I moan into Ty's mouth as he finally kicks up our session a notch and frees my breast from the confines of my bra, massaging it in circles, digging the metal of his rings into the soft flesh. I sigh against him, relaxing my body and dropping my hands, sensing Ty's need to be in control. I have no problem surrendering to him. That's what love is really. Surrendering yourself to the person that means the most to you. Appropriate or not, a piece of Noah's poetry sounds in my head, the perfect lyrics to the song Ty and I are singing with our bodies. It's another line from
For Them The Wheel Turned,
the very same poem I was quoting to myself when Ty first took me to SOG. Talk about coming full circle.
And the unwashed found refuge in capitulation; and they were ecstatic in their state because it made them bigger than the self; connecting them to their other halves, this process built hearts and souls and became their reason for living.
X X X
Table of Contents
Copyright © C.M. Stunich 2013
"Paint Me Beautiful" Excerpt Copyright © C.M. Stunich 2013
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
For information address Sarian Royal Indie Publishing, 1863 Pioneer Pkwy. E Ste. 203, Springfield, OR 97477-3907.
Edited by Brandy Little of "Little Bee's Editing Services"
Cover art and design © Amanda Carroll and Sarian Royal
Optimus Princeps font © Manfred Klein
Conrad Veidt font ©
Bumbayo Font Fabrik
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, businesses, or locales is coincidental and is not intended by the author.
to the ones who Never lose hope,
no matter how hard things get.
Lauren Dootson, that means you!
I'm keeping a secret from my soul mate.
It's not an easy decision to live with and it's reduced my nails to mere stubs and turned my fingers raw and bloody as I chew at them nervously. All the while, my sea blue ring, the one that sparkles with Ty's heart and the best laid plans of men, shines bright in my vision and makes my eyes water even now.
Seriously, Never, don't be such a fucking coward.
I sigh and drop my hands to my lap, determined to get some hot sauce or something, anything to keep them out of my mouth. The thought of spicy food makes my stomach turn, and I barely make it to the bathroom before I'm puking my guts out and silently cursing Ty.
You should've known,
I tell myself as I sit back against the bathroom cabinet and try to breathe through my nose.
Guys like that always succeed the first time. Fucking stud.
Hey.” I jump and my eyes snap open, slide up Ty's long legs and get caught on his new lip ring. It's gold with a green gem in the center, and sort of reminds me of St. Patrick's Day. Still, he looks hot in it. Ty always looks hot. “Beth wants to know if we're opening any presents tomorrow evening?”
Huh?” I ask as I put the butt of my hand to my head and wish like crazy for a cigarette. I never realized it before, but smoking was like a breathing exercise for me.
In. Out. In. Out.
It was one of the things that kept me from hyperventilating which is what I feel like doing now. I want to open up my mouth and blurt my secret out right now, let it float in the air like a butterfly and land on Ty's lips where it will rest in suspended silence until the end of time.
Ty senses something is wrong – he always does – and leans against the door frame, popping a cigarette in his mouth. My eyes follow the tip of it as he talks and it jiggles around enticingly. I feel like a dog at the racetrack, like I would run all damn day for a single drag.
Let's talk about it,” he says, and I know that he's just speculating.
Talk about what?” I say as I examine my ring and smile. Yesterday, Ty asked me to marry him, and I said yes. We haven't told anyone about it yet, but we're going to tomorrow, on Christmas Eve. It's all so fairy tale that it kind of makes me want to roll my eyes, but at the same time, it's so sweet that I can't possibly act like I'm not affected by the gesture.
Well … ” Ty drawls as he glances over his shoulder for signs of my sisters. When he doesn't find anyone, he lights up and closes his eyes in bliss, taking a drag and pulling the cig from his mouth with two fingers. I practically drool and have to turn my head to stare at the bit of mold that's starting to creep up from beneath the baseboards. Not good. “You keep throwing up, so something must be wrong.”
I'm on my period,” I say because that makes so much fucking sense. When I glance back at Ty, I see that his dark brows are raised skeptically.
Uh huh,” he says as he puts the cigarette back to his lips, bracelets jingling like summer wind chimes. “Because a woman's menstrual cycle frequently comes without blood and with a whole shit ton of puking.”
Thanks for making me feel so attractive,” I say as I stand up and turn around to face the sink. Ty steps inside behind me and closes the door with his foot, sliding his arms over my shoulders and down my chest. He rests his chin against my shoulder and lets the smoke from his cig trail out and tickle my nose. I take a big, guilty inhale and try not to think about all the horrible things it may or may not do to this baby that I may or may not keep.
The longer you wait to talk to Ty, the harder this will be, dumb ass.
I find you very attractive,” he says and drops the cigarette purposely into the still running water of the sink, stepping back and grabbing my hips with his hands. “Want me to show you exactly how much?” He pauses and then adds, “The future Mrs. McCabe.”
Right,” I say as I resist the urge to give into him and let myself go. Ty makes me feel like that, and I think that's one of the reasons I like him so much. He makes me want to split my body open and release my soul, let it fly and not care how black it is, how tarnished. Despite what I might say, Ty really does make me feel beautiful, inside and out. “Who says I'm changing my name?”
Aw,” Ty says as he spins me around and kisses me quick and sharp on the lips. “But I want to have the same last name as you.”
Change yours,” I say with a shrug, but I don't think 'Ty Ross' has the same ring as 'Ty McCabe'.
Never!” There's a banging at the door. It's Lettie. “Beth says that if she catches you smoking, she's going to ring your neck.”
I sigh and put one hand on my hip, just so Ty knows he's in trouble.
Sorry, baby,” he tells me and presses the sweetest, softest kiss to my mouth, hot and perfect. How can I stay mad?
How can I continue to lie?
I love you, Ty McCabe,” I say as he smiles and draws some hair behind my ear with his fingers.
I love you, too, Never Ross.”
Noah Scott comes over for Christmas Eve which is fine because nobody knows what happened between us in the kitchen that day, the way he said goodbye, the way he gave me up for good.
Hi Never,” he says as he scoots in the front door and shakes snow from his boots. “Merry Christmas, Ty.”
Merry X to the Mass,” Ty says which is weird but kind of cute. Noah notices my ring right away though I'm not wearing it on my ring finger; it's on my middle. He stares at it for a long time and then slides his blue, blue eyes up to Ty's dark ones, pauses there and smiles. It's a sad smile, but a real one.
I brought some gifts over, but I left them in the car. Do you think you could help me carry them in?” I open my mouth to reply, but Ty beats me to it, stepping forward and bending down to grab his combat boots.
Yup,” is all he says as he stands up and kisses my cheek gently, lip ring brushing against my flesh, warm and hard. “Be right back, babe.” I sigh, but I don't say anything. What is there to say, really? My first love and my true love are spending a holiday together with me and my recently repaired family. Ty and Noah escape outside without getting caught by any of the little ones. All they want to do is play in the snow, but Beth, in all of her motherliness, has said it's too harsh out right now, and I can't disagree. Snow is falling in crooked sheets, blanketing the ground with soft pillows of white that have already toppled some of the weaker trees in the area and snapped off limbs from the strongest.
We'll go outside eventually,
she tells them,
eventually but not now.