Addicted for Now / Page 20

Page 20


He doesn’t pull out or rock just yet. He stays deep, my need building fiercely. He breathes just as heavily as me, nearly kissing, nearly shifting, but he remains in this single, taunting position that has my nerves singing.

“Tell me the first thing that comes to your head,” he says.

In an aching whisper, I say, “I love you.”

His eyes graze me with sheer want. “How much do you love me?”

“So much.”

“How badly do you want me?”

“So badly,” I say with a short gasp. “Please.”

“How do I feel inside of you?”

I struggle to form words, my toes beginning to curl, my muscles spindling.

“Lily?” he says forcefully.

“…Good.” I manage to sputter.

“How good?”

I shake my head. I can’t describe. “You’re unlike anyone…” He’s my best friend. My best friend is all the way inside of me. If I think back years ago, when I wouldn’t allow myself to even fantasize about this moment, I would have died and come right there.

He slowly slips back and then slowly slips in. I shudder as soon as he fills me again. “How was that?” he asks with a growing smile. He knows exactly how that was.

“I can’t…”

“You can’t what?”

“Breathe.” I can breathe, of course—I’m talking. But it feels like my lungs are about to explode.

“I’m not stopping,” he reminds me. Please don’t ever. He slips out the same way for the second time, and when he eases himself completely inside of me, my cries must breach the walls of our bedroom.

“Lo, Lo, Lo!” I repeat in hurried succession. I constrict around him once and then twice.

He lets out a deep groan, his mouth parting like mine, unable to tease me with a lingering kiss any longer. “Lil,” he says, sitting up off my body to see the way he disappears between my legs. I want to see that too, but Lo shifts even further forward, and I constrict again. Holy…

My back arches, and I tug against the cuff and the scarf, the metal digging into my skin, the sharpness reminding me of Lo, igniting something intense within me.

Even as I come, I prepare for him to pull out and say enough is enough. One peak is all you get, Lily.

But he continues that mocking routine. Slipping out so very slowly. Slipping in so very slowly. Stopping, waiting, watching me.

And I come again.

He’s bursting every nerve in my body. He’s causing my world to spin.

And I can see how much he’s waiting for his release, how his own peak closes in, and how he restrains himself from coming, from ending this. Each time I tighten around his cock, he groans and finds a way to stay sane, to stay back in order to help me. In order to allow me to reach this place many, many times.

He’s filling my every single need.

He’s taking care of me.

Only Lo can satisfy every part of my all-consuming soul.

He is truly my everything.

{ 12 }

LOREN HALE

The therapist’s office rests in the heart of New York City, and on the ride here, Lily can’t keep her legs from bouncing. I’ve spent three months spilling my guts to doctors and psychologists; one sex therapist isn’t going to scare me off. I just wish I could take away Lily’s nerves. I told her it won’t be weird—that this lady has probably heard some wild things—but it wasn’t enough to stop her head from whipping towards the door like she was ready to fling herself out.

I take her hand, intertwining her fingers with mine. Her shoulders slacken and she turns to look at me, releasing a giant breath at the same time. I can’t help but smile. She’s cute, even when she doesn’t mean to be.

After paying the cab, a tense elevator ride, and a short walk down the hall, we wait in a small area that looks more like a modern living room: glass bookshelves and light streaming through long windows. The office door swings open, and the therapist motions us inside. A leather couch sits along the coffee-colored wall. And a robust black leather chair lies directly across.

As she takes a seat with a little notebook in hand, I embed her looks in my mind. I’m not sure how I pictured Lily’s sex therapist, but she definitely wasn’t middle-aged with a short black bob. The woman is even tinier than Lily, probably no taller than five feet.

“You must be Loren.” She extends her hand before I sit on the couch. “I’ve heard so much about you.”

I shake hers and then settle beside Lily, my arm curving around her waist. And I watch the therapist, seeing if she notices the touch and if she’s going to criticize me for it. She doesn’t say a word, but her eyes do catch our embrace.

“It’s actually Lo,” I correct her. “Obviously Lily didn’t tell you everything.” My words taste nasty in my mouth, and they sound even worse.

And yet, the therapist smiles good-naturedly.

I don’t know why this irritates me. I wish she’d snap at me like Rose does for being rude and insolent.

I glance out the window. Her vast view of the city probably costs a shit ton—especially with a park directly in sight.

Of course Rose picked out the most expensive therapist in a hundred-mile radius. Not that money means anything to Lily. But I wouldn’t be able to afford having a cracker with… I read her name on the plaque of the oak desk. Dr. Allison Banning.

Lily never mentions her by first name, always referring to her as “Dr. Banning” but if I have to expose my personal feelings to someone, I don’t want to act like she’s a complete stranger.

“So Allison…” I watch her cross her ankles and focus her whole attention on me. No wonder Rose liked her. “Do you get many sex addict, alcoholic couples?”

“You’re my first.”

“Shocking.”

Lily elbows me in the side, and I can’t tell if it’s because of my sarcasm or because I called her Allison. The therapist stays unblinking, already mastering that complacent face and cool exterior. She could give Connor Cobalt a run for his money.

“Why don’t you tell me how it’s been since you moved home?” Allison asks me.

“About sex or in general?”

Lily turns a bright shade of red and slumps in her seat. I’m more comfortable talking about f**king, not because I have a dick or because she’s shy—even though she kind of is—but because I’m not the sex addict. I don’t feel ashamed about sex. She does.

I raise my arm to her shoulders, and she eases into my body a little, relaxing more.

“Either one,” Allison tells me. Her eyes flicker between Lily and me with rapt attention now. She’s definitely going to pick apart every single movement we make. “You decide.”

Lily opens her mouth, but I cut her off on purpose. I don’t want her to dodge the subject. “We had sex a few days ago,” I confess. Explaining my inability to be with Lily without arousing her—well, it feels like walking through quicksand. And so I purposefully keep it short, direct, to the point. She doesn’t need to know the messy details.

Like how she couldn’t wait until the night. How, after an hour, I had to pry myself off her to stop. She was satisfied, but with Lily, it’s a momentary fulfillment. It leaves the second she wishes to feel a cli**x again. I wanted to f**k her as much as she wanted to be f**ked, but I had to watch her face crumble as she realized that was it.

For the first time, I’m looking at the bigger picture—the future—but Christ, no one ever mentioned how I’d have to endure preliminary pain to get there.

“You had sex a few days ago,” Allison repeats. “What exactly happened?”

“I put my penis in her vag**a.” Embarrassment and remorse swim with the black tar in my chest. My filter—it’s permanently on the fritz. I think my father must have busted it one night. But not with his fists. He’s too civilized for that.

Lily lets out a laugh, which makes me feel a little better.

“Not anatomically,” Allison clarifies. “Did you only have missionary? How long did it last? What time of day? And how did it end? What were your feelings afterwards?”

So many f**king questions, but I take them one at a time. “Only missionary. It was about seven o’clock.”

Lily immediately reddens at the time of day.

My eyes narrow, knowing full well that I just got caught by Lil’s ability to turn into a cherry.

“It’s best if you don’t lie,” Allison tells me.

“It was around three,” I say with a shrug. “She couldn’t wait until later, but she did hold out until we got home.”

Allison nods. “That’s really good, Lily.”

She brightens a little at the compliment, and I squeeze her shoulder, realizing that my words don’t hold the same power as her therapist. To hear a professional say, “You’re doing good,” must be a relief.

I wouldn’t know, really. Even though I learned a lot, most of the people at rehab wanted me out of there. And my therapist stares at me like I’m a world-class f**k up. And Ryke—well, compliments from him aren’t worth much. He’s trying to make amends for being absent in my life, for leaving me alone with a father that he knew ranked low on the World’s Best Dad chart.

“And what happened afterwards?” Allison asks.

“I pulled away from her,” I say, “but she tried to keep going. I ended up just holding her in my arms until she fell asleep.”

The brief happiness in Lily’s eyes begins to flicker out, replaced by silent humiliation once more.

“You didn’t fall asleep with her?”

I frown. “What does it matter if I did or didn’t?” I don’t understand how this pertains to Lily. I shift on my seat, and Lily turns her attention to me. I don’t like that at all.

“You have a problem too,” Allison says, “and your addiction will affect her. It already has.”

I cut her off. “I get it. I should stay away from her. I should say goodbye and let her have a fighting chance.”

Lily’s eyes widen, and she clenches my shirt between pallid fingers.

Even thinking about letting her go puts a pain so deep in my gut. No one knows me like Lily Calloway. She’s my best friend, and without her—God, what’s the point?

“No,” Allison says flatly. “I was going to say that I’m here for you too, Lo. Your recovery is congruent with Lily’s. In order for her to be healthy, you need to be as well.” She pauses, glancing only once at her notebook. “I don’t think separation is the right action here. Without a monogamous relationship, Lily may fall back into her old routine, and it’s best to strengthen the one that’s already in place, not destroy it.”

I nod, her words slowly sinking in. I wait for the relief, but it barely hits me. I think all my happiness is buried beneath the torment of what’s to come.

“So,” she begins again, “why didn’t you fall asleep with her?”

I lick my lips, more willing to clear my thoughts now that I know she’s on our side. “Sleep has been really difficult for me lately. It takes me longer than Lily.” My leg jostles a little, and Lily is the one to press her hand to my knee, to give me much needed comfort, even though I’d rather be her rock right now. “Every night for years,” I say, “I’d drink until I passed out. Alcohol—that was my sleeping pill.” It was the very thing that stopped my restless thoughts and tucked me into bed. Without it, I’m constantly exhausted.


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