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Suddenly I was airborne and in seconds I was flat on my back on a tiny muddy beach and Bear was on top of me. His lips crushing mine until I couldn’t breath, his hand palming my breast, his cock hard and ready between my legs.

“Baby, I’m sorry,” he said dropping his forehead to mine in a rare moment of vulnerability. His voice was rough and shaky. “Help me. Please. I don’t know what I’m doing here.”

“What are you trying to do?” I asked. He raised up, just enough to look me in the eye.

“I’m trying to love you.”

We were two tortured souls. Both in more ways than one person should ever have to experience.

But we found each other.

We needed each other.

So help him I did.

I sat up enough to pull him back down to me, the broken shells in the mud dug into my back. The water of the bay lapped over my bare feet. Bear was a million different things, and he may have been pushing thirty, but we were alike in so many ways. He was just a boy who had no clue what he was doing and I was just a girl who had no idea what to do with all the feelings I had swarming around inside of me.

I just knew that I wanted him.

That I loved him.

“Promise me that no matter what, that you won’t give up on me. Promise me, Ti,” Bear said, his eyes welling up with water. I wiped the corner of his eye with my thumb and he leaned into my touch.

“I won’t give up on you,” I promised and I meant it.

I would never give up on him.

Neither of us knew what the future held for us, if anything at all. All we knew is that we had today. Right then, right there. We were just a normal boy and a normal girl trying to figure out how to love one another.

Today.

Tomorrow we would figure out the rest.

Today, Bear pulled my shorts and panties to the side, sank his hard cock deep inside of me and frantically fucked me until I couldn’t think of anything but him, the orgasm that tore through my body, the tears that ran down my face, and the elation my heart felt over knowing that the stupid boy who made mistakes loved me.

And that was good enough.

For today.

Because tomorrow never came.

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

Thia

Bear pushed the boat back in the water and used a thick branch to row us back to the other side of the bay. “I really am sorry,” Bear said again when we were halfway across.

“I really do love you,” I said, and I meant it.

“You know that you are the only person in my life who has ever told me that?” Bear asked.

“What is going on?” I asked, noticing a commotion going on by the seawall, which Bear had his back to as we rowed.

“Fuck if I know. This is all new to me too,” Bear said, oblivious to what I was referring to.

“No, turn around,” I said and Bear looked behind me to where a woman wearing an all white pantsuit stood on the seawall. Her dark hair was pulled into a severe bun and her lipstick was so bright red that I could see it even in the dim lights of the dock. Next to her were three police officers with their guns raised and aimed at our boat.

Bear turned around and as soon as he saw what we were heading toward he tried to subtly turn the boat around but it was too late, we hit the current and it pushed us rapidly toward the seawall. “I’m sorry,” the woman said, “I know this wasn’t supposed to be until tomorrow but I couldn’t hold them off. I tried to call your cell.”

“Bear, what is she talking about?” I asked. “What’s going on?”

“Fuck!” Bear cursed, dropping the useless branch into the water.

“Cynthia Anne Andrews?” one of the officers asked.

“Why are they calling my name?” I asked Bear who looked at the floor of the boat and then back up at me.

“Don’t forget your promise, Ti. Don’t give up on me,” he said as the boat hit the seawall. One of the officers reached down to grab me and I shrieked.

“Don’t fucking touch her!” he warned, standing up in the boat. The officer pulled back but held up his gun again. “Ti, you gotta go with them.”

“What?” I asked. My heart pounding rapidly against my chest. Ray and King had come out of the house and were standing several feet behind the woman and the cops watching the scene unfold.

“Thia, I’m Bethany, your attorney, and he’s right, you have to come with me.”

“I thought it was just a meeting? I thought it was tomorrow?” I asked as the understanding of what was happening sunk in.

“I’m sorry,” she said and I believed her. Bear bent down to lift me onto the seawall and I shrugged him off.

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