Page 17


I’ve seen men shot between the eyes and held my hands over bloody stumps when a leg was blown off by an RPG and I never felt like I would lose my mind with worry. This was one little girl with a tiny cut – not really that big of a deal considering the shit I’ve been around in my career.


Reaching for the hem of my shirt, I yank it roughly off of my body and toss it into the trashcan next to the dresser. As I’m reaching in one of the drawers for a clean shirt, I hear the door to the apartment open and close.


I turn and hurry out of the room, wanting to get to Gwen before she goes into the bedroom and sees Emma.


When I get to the living room, Gwen looks up at me, pausing in the process of taking her shoes off when she sees my bare chest. I stop and put my hands on my hips and flex, just a little bit.


God I’m such an asshole.


Gwen blinks and finally looks away, kicking off her shoes and then tossing her purse on the couch. “You do not even want to know the kind of day I had. I almost had to call the cops on those two idiots. They were screaming at each other so loudly I think they made one of my ear drums explode.”


When I don’t say anything, she looks up at me and her smile falls. “What’s going on? What happened?”


Before I can explain, Emma comes racing down the hall and into the living room. “Mommy guess what? I was a big girl today and I got two suckers!”


Emma runs up to her and holds up the one sucker that she hasn’t eaten yet. Gwen squats down and stares at the white bandage on her forehead right by her hairline.


“Baby, what happened to your head?” Gwen asks as she traces the bandage with the tips of her fingers.


“I fell and hit the table. Austin carried me to the car like he was Superman! And we drove really fast to the hospital and I got shot in the head and then sewed up,” Emma tells her happily.


I wait for Gwen to turn and scream at me and tell me I’m the worst person in the world for letting something happen to her daughter. Instead, I hear Gwen chuckle. “I don’t think you got shot in the head, I think you got a shot in the head. Does it still hurt?”


Emma shakes her head back and forth and Gwen pulls her into her arms and kisses her right on top of the bandage. “I’m so sorry I wasn’t there, baby. Mommy was dealing with crazy people and I must not have heard my phone ring.”


Figuring Gwen is just waiting until Emma is out of the room before she curses me out, I stand there and wait for my punishment. I deserve it. I should have never let Emma out of my sight.


“It’s okay, mommy. Austin gave me lots of kisses and he took good care of me. When I get hurt again, can Austin take me to the hospital?” Emma asks.


Gwen squeezes Emma one last time and then pulls back to look at her. “Well, of course he took good care of you, Austin is good at taking care of people. Let’s just hope you don’t have to go to the hospital again any time soon.”


Gwen gives Emma one last kiss over her bandage and then sends her back to her room. She stands up and walks over to me and I have a sudden urge to cover my balls.


“Come on, we need to talk,” Gwen says before turning away from me and walking down the hall.


This is why I should never be a parent. I will just fuck everything up.


Chapter 22


Gwen


I feel horrible that Emma got hurt, today of all days when I wasn’t there, but at least Austin and Ellie were here to take care of her. Austin looked like he was going to puke the entire time I was bent down talking to Emma while she explained what happened to her. As he follows me into his room and I close and lock the door behind him, I would almost swear this hard ass Navy SEAL is scared to death of me.


Good lord, I just wanted to thank him for taking care of Emma, not chew his head off. I know the last few days have been difficult and I’ve been a bitch towards him since he jumped to those stupid conclusions about my ‘expectations’, but does he really think after what happened today I’m still going to hold a grudge about that?


Austin stands in the middle of the room with his hands in his pockets and his head down, staring at the floor.


I let him stew for a little bit, figuring he deserves a few more seconds of misery after the shit he pulled the other night.


When it’s obviously he can’t take the silence anymore, he heaves a big sigh and looks up at me. “Go ahead, let me have it.”


I take a step closer to him, resting my hands against his chest and look up at his face. “Thank you.”


He narrows his eyes at me in confusion. “What the hell are you thanking me for? I was supposed to protect Emma and she got hurt on my watch. You should be beating shit out of me right now.”


I shake my head in disagreement. “Being a parent isn’t about keeping them in a bubble so nothing bad ever happens to them. Accidents happen; you can’t prevent all of them. All you can do is be there for them when they do happen, which is exactly what you did. You may think you aren’t father material, but I’m pretty sure most parents in the world would disagree with you right now, and I’m right there with them.”


He closes his eyes and lowers his head, so I continue. Might as well lay it all out there for him so there isn’t any more confusion between us. “I know you don’t think this is something you’d be good at and I have no idea why. Even though I highly disagree with your opinion of yourself, I’m okay with it. I meant what I said the other day – I never asked you to take on any kind of role in our lives. I don’t need that from you.”


Austin finally opens his eyes to look at me again.


“What do you need?” he asks softly.


With my eyes still locked on his, I slide my hands down his chest, around his sides and over his hips until I reach his hands. Lacing my fingers through his, I walk backwards, pulling him along with me. When we make it to the master bath attached to his room, I pull us inside, closing and locking the door behind him. I let go of his hands and walk over to the shower, turning the knobs until water is pouring out of the showerhead. Letting it warm up, I turn back around and start undressing.


His eyes never leave mine and I watch him swallow thickly as I strip in front of him, my clothes dropping into a pile by my feet until I’m standing in front of him completely naked.


As steam begins to fill the small room and my heart starts beating faster, I open myself up a little further to him.


“Right now, I just need you,” I admit softly.


Austin lets out a groan and his arms are immediately around me, pulling my naked body against him before his mouth fuses to mine. I open my lips to him and let out my own soft groan when I feel his tongue against mine. It’s only been two days since I last felt his lips on mine, but it feels like forever.


As we continue kissing, I reach between us, quickly unbuttoning and unzipping his jeans, pushing them, along with his boxer briefs, down over his hips. Austin pulls away from me long enough to shove them the rest of the way off and to kick them into the corner with my own pile of clothes.


“Jesus, you’re so fucking beautiful,” he whispers.


There’s conviction and awe in his voice as he looks at every inch of my body. For the first time in years, I don’t feel the need to cover myself, to hide my scars or look away in embarrassment – I feel beautiful with Austin.


He closes the distance between us, wrapping his arms around me and lifting me up against him. As my feet leave the ground, I clutch onto his shoulders, wrap my legs around his hips and let him walk us both into the shower.


The hot water cascades down my back as he closes the glass door behind us. I let my head fall back and allow the water to soak my hair and my face before bringing it back up to look down at him. With one hand on my ass holding me against him, he brings his other hand up to the back of my head, pulling my mouth down to his. The spray from the shower rains down on both of our faces as our tongues tangle together. I tighten my thighs around him as he turns and pushes my back against the cold tile wall, bringing his hand off of the back of my head to skim down the front of my wet body. His palm slides over my collarbone and down to my breast, lifting it in his hand as his thumb rubs back and forth over my nipple.


His large, rough hand combined with the warm water flowing over my skin creates a wild need inside of me and I cling to him tighter, trying to bring us as close as possible.


Austin abruptly takes his hand off of my breast, pulls his mouth away from mine and lets me slide down his wet body until I’m standing in front of him.


“Why did you stop?” I ask breathlessly, letting my hands skim down the hard, wet planes of his chest.


“Oh, I have no intentions of stopping, darlin’,” he tells me with a lopsided grin as he drops to his knees on the shower floor.


He slides his hands up the inside of my thighs, placing kisses against my skin there as he goes. Looking down at him, I run my fingers through his wet hair over and over until he slides his thumbs up through my sex and opens me to him.


My hands immediately clutch onto chunks of his hair as he keeps his mouth a centimeter away, his warm breath mingling with the water sliding down between my legs.


I want to tug him against me; I want to thrust my hips forward to bring his mouth where I need him, but I hold perfectly still while he stares at what he’s doing between my legs. His thumbs move in slow circles, opening me to him over and over again until I just can’t take it anymore. I feel like I’m going to come just from watching him.


“Please, Austin,” I whimper.


As soon as the words leave my mouth, he leans in and runs his tongue up through my center. I let out a moan as I close my eyes and let my head fall back to the shower wall. His tongue is firm and hot as it slides over me, circling the tip around my clit before sucking it into his mouth.


He brings his hands around to grab my ass, pulling me harder against his mouth while he licks and sucks, devouring me until all coherent thought leaves my mind and I can do nothing but moan and curse while he brings me closer and closer to the edge.


Austin moans against my sex and I feel the vibrations of his mouth deep inside. I need to see him. I need to watch what he does to me. Opening my eyes, I look down at him and I whimper, thrusting myself against him as his tongue plunges inside of me before moving back up to my clit. There really is nothing hotter than watching a man on his knees between your legs, bringing you to climax.


He flicks his tongue quickly against my clit, over and over until I feel the warmth of my orgasm start at my toes and work its way up my legs until it explodes from me. I hold Austin’s head in place against me and move my hips faster against his tongue, my release stealing the breath from my lungs.


With a few tingles of my orgasm still spasming through me, Austin is up off his knees, lifting me up against him and pushing inside of me all at once. We both let out a groan as the wetness from my release and the water soaking our bodies makes him slide into me as deep as he can go on the first thrust.


Austin buries his face into the side of my neck as he pulls out and immediately drives back inside me, the force of his thrust pushing me up the shower wall.


“Fuck,” Austin moans against my shoulder. “What the hell are you doing to me, Gwen?”


I don’t reply because I don’t have an answer. I don’t know why our bodies fit so well together and I don’t know why I want him more than I ever thought possible, I just do.


Wrapping my arms around his shoulders, I hold him close and move my hips against him, letting him know I need him; letting him know I want whatever he has to give.


One of his arms slides around my back to keep it from slamming into the wall and his other hand clutches onto one of my thighs wrapped around his hip. He kisses his way up my neck until he reaches my mouth, grazing his lips against mine without kissing me. He stares into my eyes as he pulls out of me and plunges right back in. I whimper against his mouth and he does it again, and again, and again, each thrust of his cock inside of me pushing me towards another orgasm.


The water of the shower quickly turns colder as it rains down over us, dripping off of our noses and mingling with our kisses, but the heat from our bodies keeps us warm. Austin drives inside of me over and over until we’re both panting and I’m clawing against his shoulders.


“Jesus, you’re killing me, Gwen. I could fuck you forever,” Austin mutters against my lips as he pumps in and out of me.


His words shoot straight to my core and I explode around him, shouting his name as I come.


He quickly follows right behind me, pushing himself as deep as he can, holding himself still while he explodes inside of me. He curses over and over, his hand gripping my thigh tightly through his release, his cock pulsing inside of me.


We stay wrapped around one another until our wildly beating hearts slow and the cold temperature of the water finally starts making us shiver.


Without saying a word, Austin lets go of my leg, pulls out of me and reaches over to shut off the water. We exit the shower and he grabs two towels, wrapping one around his waist and the other around my shoulders, rubbing his hands up and down my arms over the towel to warm me up.


We finish drying off and leave the bathroom, neither one of us saying a word about his slip of the tongue, talking about forever.


Chapter 23


Austin


“I could fuck you forever.”


God dammit. What the hell was I thinking saying something like that to her? Right now, I’m blaming it on my dick. That fucker makes all of my decisions for me when I’m buried inside of this woman. Gwen never commented on it so maybe she didn’t hear me.


After the best shower sex I’ve ever had in my life, shit, the best sex I’ve ever had in my life, Gwen went in to check on Emma and Ellie and hasn’t come back out of the room yet. I decide to call Cole back and apologize for hanging up on him earlier when Emma got hurt.

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