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We hold each other’s eyes as he slowly trails his hand down my side before taking his hard dick into his hand and slowly pushing into my waiting body. The second he pushes inside me, the rest of the world is forgotten, and we come together like we always do, wild and frenzied. I lose track of how many times we flip back and forth, both of us fighting for the top position of control. When we fall off the bed, he flips so that his body takes the brunt of the pain, and I scream out his name when I land, and his dick hits me deeper than ever before. My eyes roll back in my head, and I ride him like I’m auditioning for the top spot in a rodeo.

I reach out blindly, grab onto his nightstand for leverage, and dig my heels in before lifting almost completely off. He growls, and his fingers dig into my hips, almost to the point of pain. “Dee…”

I wink before roughly dropping back down his length, and we both groan with the pleasure.

He doesn’t give me much time to enjoy taking him and being in control. I know he is just humoring me when he lets me have a few minutes of fun. He flips me easily, and I vaguely hear something crash to the floor before he’s pounding into me hard and fast, just the way I love it. His strong hands hold my legs by the knee as he comes up on his knees and thrusts into my body powerfully. Each time he bottoms out, I scream his name.

“Beck… Baby, so close!” I close my eyes when the pleasure becomes too much.

“Eyes. I want to see your eyes when you come.”

My eyes snap open, and I look up to see his eyes burning with lust. A bead of sweat rolls down the tip of his nose and drops between my breasts, burning my skin as it slowly rolls towards my neck. He takes a few more deep thrusts before he leans back slightly and brings one of his hands between us, pinching my clit in between his fingers, and delivering the most delicious pain.

“Oh, God… Oh, YES!” I try to keep my eyes open to focus on his face, but then the kaleidoscope of bright colors closes in on my vision as the power of the orgasm takes over my body.

“Feels so damn good… so, so good.” He pulls out, almost slipping free of my body, before he pushes in quickly. His balls slap against my ass, his hands tighten against me, and he grunts before collapsing against my body.

We lay there for a few minutes before he rolls off of me. I instantly miss the fullness of him inside my body. He helps me off the floor and pulls me close, wrapping his arms around me tightly before kissing me deeply.

“You’re a pain in my ass sometimes, but damn, when my wildcat comes out, it’s worth every second.” I cock my brow at him, not quite understanding at first, and frown slightly when he laughs loudly. “Dee, look around.” I pull my eyes from his and look around his room. The sheets are on the floor, the mattress is slightly hanging off his massive bed, nightstand over-turned, and his lamp is in pieces on the floor.

“Oh my God! How do we end up doing this every time?” I bury my head in his chest, enjoying the feel of his laughter rumbling against my face.

****

I should have known better to think that I could be happy. Happiness and love just aren’t something that is meant for me. It was stupid of me to think that I could trust that foreign feeling of pure happiness, trust and love I felt that night and the following days when I was wrapped tight in Beck’s arms.

All that happiness that I had been feeling died a quick death, when a week later, Izzy’s crazy ass ex-husband showed up at my house. Not only did he almost kill Greg, but if Izzy hadn’t taken control of the situation, I have no doubt in my mind that she and I wouldn’t have made it. The hope, the joy, and the belief that I could do this died that day, and it didn’t matter what I told myself, what Beck told me. Nothing was able to shake me from the dark hole my mind seemed to run to.

I was lost. I was afraid. And worst of all, I was alone because I pushed the greatest thing to ever happen to me away when I let my fear take control. The worst part, next to losing Beck, was that I couldn’t even pull myself back in. I didn’t want to pull myself back in. Darkness had become my best friend, and everything bright and happy just seemed to vanish.

Time turned into an endless cycle of gray. I went through the motions, and acted like everything was okay when everyone was around, but the second I was alone, and the webs of my depression weaved their way around me in a cocoon tight enough to suffocate me, the only thing I wanted was for it to all just stop. I wanted the end, and each morning when I woke up and realized I hadn’t gotten it, I slipped a little deeper.

And I had no one to blame but myself.

Chapter 6

Almost Two Years Later

“You’re turning into the old cat lady on the street.” Coop laughs, picking up one of the kittens that appeared on my porch one day a few months ago. “Which one is this? Pussy or Trouble? You know, it’s basically the same damn thing. Pussy is trouble, and trouble always comes from pussy.” He laughs at his own joke, but I stay silent. I’m always fucking silent these days.

“Yup. You want a beer before we head out?” He just looks at me, so I shrug and head over to the fridge, snagging us both bottles. When I hand him his beer, he’s looking at me as if I’ve grown two heads, not exactly a look I’m used to being on the receiving end of.

“You feeling okay? I know it’s been a rough run the last year or so, but drinking before lunch? Not exactly a normal Mr. Perfect move there, Beck.” My skin feels like it’s too tight as he looks at me with his worried eyes. Jesus, when did I become this guy? Hell, I know exactly when. I just don’t know what to do about it.

“I’m fine… just have a lot on my mind right now.” He looks at me for a couple more beats before shaking his head and looking out the garage door. I busy myself with cleaning up the tools from my latest woodwork project, cleaning off my worktable, and sweeping up the sawdust. I should’ve known he wouldn’t be able to let this go. I know they all worry about me. I see the way that they watch me, waiting for me to crack, or maybe, waiting for me to explode. At this point, I’m pretty sure both are options.

“How long are you two going to play this game, Beck? You don’t think I know how you spend your nights, sitting at home like a fucking old man? You don’t date; you work, which I’m sure everyone loves since you do all the hard shit before we ever even crack the file open to start a new case. But you aren’t doing yourself any favors. If Dee doesn’t want a relationship, or whatever the hell you’re fighting this one man war for, I think it’s time to move on.” He walks over, puts his beer back in the fridge, and takes a deep breath before continuing. The whole time, I’m statue still. “Whatever her issues are… they aren’t yours to worry about.”

What can I say that won’t be betraying her confidence? I wish I could scream the truth in his face, because he doesn’t even know half of it. For almost two years I’ve watched the woman that owns my heart struggle to keep her head above water. Not even her best friend sees the pain she’s carrying on her back, because she hides it so well. But not from me. No one else was there to pick up Dee’s broken soul and fight to keep her whole after Izzy’s ex-husband attacked them. No one else saw how many times her beautiful, dark eyes completely lost their spark. And, while everyone else has moved on after the incident, I was the one by her side for months before she finally pushed me away.

The only thing I’ve thought of is the deep-seated worry that, one day we would show up at her house, and she would be gone. I do what I can from the sidelines, but even I know that isn’t enough. Izzy is too busy with Axel and their son, Nate, to even notice how far Dee is slipping away from us. Greg and his new wife, Melissa, and son, Cohen, are enjoying their new life as a family. Honestly, after everything those two have gone through recently, it isn’t a shock to me that he hasn’t noticed. Having your son kidnapped can do that to someone.

No, the two people closest to her, who that would be able to see through the veil of bullshit she wears around, are too busy. And the one person who wants more than anything to be there for her, has been locked out. So, yeah I’m just a little screwed up at this point.

“I can’t help it, Coop, and I know you don’t understand, so spare me the bullshit. I can’t just turn this shit off.” I finish sweeping the last pile of sawdust, and after dumping it in the bin, I look back over at Coop. “She needs me. I don’t know how to explain it, but when I look at her, even when she’s smiling and laughing with the girls, all I see is the need.”

“Right, well, I won’t pretend to understand where you’re coming from because I’ve never felt that, but you have to ask yourself if you’re just seeing something you want to be there because you’re still fighting for something that used to be. Did you ever think that maybe, she isn’t the same chick you first met?”

“No, because if I thought like that, I would be just another person to give up on her. Come on, we’re going to be late if we don’t stop talking like a couple of damn chicks and get over to Greg’s house.”

I take a few minutes to change out of my work clothes and throw on some old jeans and a faded black tee before we head over to Greg and Melissa’s for Cohen’s birthday party. The closer we get, the more nervous energy flows through my system. I feel it every time that I know I’m about to come face to face with Dee.

God, please don’t let her have a date.

****

The party is in full chaos mode when we walk in. Coop, being Coop, heads straight for the kids and starts acting out some weird impression of a ninja. Kicking his legs and flapping his arms around, he looks more as if he needs medical attention by the second. Cohen’s in the middle of about ten little boys his size, all of them laughing at the weird man in front of them.

It takes Coop about one second too long to notice what he just walked into.

“Coopie!” And in a flash of blond hair, black spandex, and a gold cape, Sway jumps into the fray and hugs Coop tightly. Cohen starts laughing hysterically when Sway starts jumping around, flailing his arms, kicking his legs, and swishing his long, blond ponytail around. Coop, never the one to be out done, joins in, and before long all the kids are acting like cracked out little hyenas.

“Hey, you, glad you could make it.” Melissa’s voice breaks through the insanity, and she wraps her arms around me, giving me a small hug before pulling back. Greg is right behind her, giving me one of his hard stares, which just makes me pull her in for another hug and kiss her lightly on her cheek. When she is pulled out of my hands and into Greg’s arms, we both laugh. Yeah, it’s way too easy to pick on him these days. Ever since she found out that she’s pregnant with twins, he’s become almost unbearable with his possessiveness.

“Calm down, you beast.” Melissa laughs, swatting his arms away.

His eyes are still burning at me when he finally speaks. “Don’t touch her. You want some cake?” I laugh before following them through the craziness and into the kitchen. The tension that has slowly rolled off my shoulders when we first got here comes flinging back with vengeance. There she is, as beautiful as ever, laughing with Izzy and Emmy.

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