Ignite Page 33

With the slight misstep in his walk and the slump of his shoulders, he headed back to his car, leaving me to wonder just how well he\d known my mother.

Twenty

I was bending over to pick up the final box in the bedroom to haul downstairs to the living room when I heard a loud slam of the front door downstairs. I stood up straight, holding my breath as I cautiously listened. I forgot to lock the door after Frank had left with the men, and now someone was here.

At the sound of heavy footsteps ascending the staircase, I hurriedly raced to my cell phone, heart thumping against my chest.

’’Sara?’’ Jaxon\s voice sounded at the top of the stairs.

I let out a relieved breath. ’’In here.’’

He followed my voice to the bedroom and stood in the doorway -- and the doorway never looked so small;I kept forgetting how big and brawny he was when I didn\ have anything to compare it to. He looked striking in his jeans, red tight slim fit sweater and black leather jacket. His hair was messy, as if he\d raked his hand through it ten thousand times in the last hour, and his face calm but conflicted as he regarded me standing beside the boxes.

’’Everything alright?’’ I asked him. In other words, what the hell are you doing here?

’’Mom sent me to pick you up,’’ he answered as his gaze travelled heatedly down my body.

Remembering what he\d said last time about Christy, I asked, ’’Did she really send you or did you tell her you would pick me up?’’

He shot me a weak, crooked smile. ’’I may have articulated that, yes.’’

Why was he staring at me like he wanted to tear my clothes off and make me forget my name? Aside from the rare moments he\d let me in - and mostly unintentionally - he\d been nothing but guarded around me. There\d been a thick, twenty foot tall stone wall in place between us and an electric fence on the other side - the latter to make sure I wouldn\ get through.

’’I figured.’’ I set my phone down on the last remaining box in the bedroom and tucked my hands into my pockets.

’’What are in the boxes?’’

’’Some of Mom\s personal treasures and photo albums when I was really small.’’

His eyebrows rose. ’’That must have been nice. Did you want to store the boxes at Mom\s house?’’

’’No, it\s alright. I\ll have to hire a car out tomorrow and I\ll take them with me home.’’

’’You think you\ e leaving tomorrow?’’ Think?

I shrugged. ’’I will be leaving tomorrow.’’

He looked amused, gripping the doorway tighter as he leaned his upper body into the room, eyeing me intensely. ’’And just what makes you think I\m going to let you go?’’

I gulped and my stomach twisted nervously. ’’What do you mean \let\?’’

His amusement faded and his face darkened. He dropped his arms and took a step over the threshold and into the bedroom. He was hardly six feet away.

’’I don\ want you to just be content,’’ he said in a near whisper. Softness crept into his face, lighting his eyes and bringing back a rush of heated emotions in me. I knew straight away he was thawing, turning into the Jaxon I\d known and loved. ’’I want you to be happy.’’

I licked my dry lips and fought back the emotions choking me. ’’I want to be happy too.’’

’’I\ve been angry for so long, and I\m tired of being angry, Sara. I kept thinking I\d fill my life with money and women and I\d forget all about you. It\s made me angrier, and hallow because my life\s lost meaning.’’ He took another step forward, keeping his gaze pinned on me. ’’I\ve been numb, and I convinced myself that if I ever saw you again, I wouldn\ feel the same about you. It\s been five years after all.’’

Looking down at the box, he took another step forward, hardly three feet from me now. His eyes returned to my face, roaming the features like a fine-toothed comb. ’’Money got old. There\s only so much shit you can spend it on. When you have it in enormous quantities, you\ e immune to it - immune to the thrill of a purchase. And women... there are beautiful women left, right and centre, pining for you because of this superficial image they\ve wired into their heads. I don\ even remember any of them. None of them want me, they want the image and the thrill of a rich guy and what his pocket can offer them. I don\ remember faces, I don\ remember the f*king, it\s meaningless, all of it.

’’Five years and I numbed myself out, accepting this f*king tainted, lonely existence. Pretending I didn\ want you still, pretending you f*ked me over and that you were nothing but a nasty, horrible bitch to soothe the ache - as if cursing you out was a balm over a wound that only kept festering. There\s no salve to the heart when it comes to forgetting you. You\ e unforgettable;unimaginably, unbelievably, inconceivably unforgettable.’’

I watched him take a few deep breaths as his face contorted into that of sadness. ’’You\ e the best thing that ever happened to me. You\ e it for me. You always have been, and I refuse to let you walk out of my life again. I need you too much. Even after all this time, I\m so f*king in love with you it kills me.’’ His voice broke and he looked away, the pain in his face scorching me on the inside.

I was crying, but not tears of sadness or guilt. Tears of f*king joy streaked down my face as the fear inside of me washed away like a wave retreating back into the ocean. I\d been so terrified he hated me, terrified that there was no more love between us.

It was my turn to take a step forward, and I stopped right in front of him. Bringing both hands on either side of his face, I leaned into him until our chests were touching and looked up into those impossibly beautiful blue eyes of his.

’’I never stopped loving you,’’ I breathed out, tasting the salt of my tears around my lips as I licked them. ’’I want to be good enough for you-’’

He cut me off with a kiss. An amazing f*king kiss. Heart stopping kind that was deep, intense, filled with longing and, most of all, love. I knew these lips so well, could practically taste the emotion he was seeping out of him and into me. He caressed my tongue softly, wrapping both arms around my waist. I wrapped mine around his neck, bringing him deeper into me as we started the slow dance of our tongues, reacquainting and relearning.

There was no anger in him, no punishment in the strokes of his lips against mine. There was only gentleness. Such a vast blanket of warmth enveloped me, cocooning me into his bubble of safety and love. A deep yearning bloomed inside, and it wasn\ passion or lust, it was a thirst for love.

I could feel the hard ridge in his pants as he pressed me harder against him. He slid his hands down to the back of my thighs and picked me up effortlessly. I wrapped my legs around his hips, and bunched his light sweater with my hand as he walked forward. I felt the cold wall against my back and lost myself in the feel of him.

’’I\m sorry,’’ I found myself saying against his lips. ’’I\m sorry for everything, Jaxon.’’

He groaned in return and slipped his hot hand under my shirt, trailing his fingers over my abdomen and slowly up to my breasts. He broke away from my mouth and kissed me feverishly down my neck, stopping near the marking he gave me.

’’Do you know why I put that on you?’’ he asked, billowing hot breaths against my skin.

’’Tell me.’’

’’I had to make you mine somehow.’’

’’I thought you did it to piss me off.’’

He chuckled softly. ’’That too.’’ He resumed his kisses, grazing his stubble against my skin, leaving marks in its aftermath.

I shakily pulled down his jacket, and then brought his shirt over his head. I needed him. I needed to feel his skin against my own. I wanted to be sure this was going to happen and that he wasn\ going to change his mind.

Pinning me against the wall with my legs still curled tightly around his lower body, he used a hand to throw his shirt off over his head. Then he grabbed my own and pulled it off, dropping it to the floor where a pile of our clothes was slowly beginning to form.

He looked down my plain white bra, and I half kicked myself for not having packed anything se*ier, but it wasn\ like I expected any of this to happen... ever.

’’I can\ get over how full you are,’’ he muttered, trailing kisses down to my breasts and gripping my hips tightly. ’’You\ e so womanly now. So f*king se*y.’’ He pulled down the cups of my bra until my breasts were exposed and gently tugged at the peak of each breast. I gasped at the bolts of pleasure shooting down to my core. I twisted his short hair between my fingers as he continued to worship me like this. He remembered just what I liked, the small things that brought me to the edge of bliss, but pulled back before I could lose myself completely.

He set my feet back on the floor and unbuttoned my jeans, sliding them down along with my underwear until they were off. I watched him, barely feeling the cold air because I was over heated by the mere presence of him. Everywhere he touched left me in goosebumps, quivering at the familiarity. It was like a hard core addiction I couldn\ get enough of. Why did I walk away from this? I asked myself while I watched him press kisses up my legs.

Finally standing, he hastily threw off his jeans, eyeing me up and down, trailing his tongue over his bottom lip. I self-consciously put an arm over my breasts, and was about to put my other hand over my se*, but he grabbed it before I could and shook his head.

’’Don\ ,’’ he said. ’’I want to see you.’’

I went crimson while he devoured me with his eyes, and it felt too much like the first time I\d given myself to him, which was bizarre because we\d already popped the five year cherry two nights ago. This was different somehow;we were taking our time and it was personal.

I relaxed myself and took in the raw masculinity that was Jaxon Barlow. So gloriously cut, depicting every muscle he must have busted his ass off to achieve: sculpted deltoids, bulging biceps, hard six pack of abs, narrow waist, the V of his obliques, and firm, rock solid quads. While I may have grown fuller thanks to late nights snacking in front of movie marathons, Jaxon had become a machine through vigorous workouts.

I felt slightly intimidated by this. I wasn\ at all sculpted to perfection. I had a lousy cardio activity that consisted of running three times a week, but even I would look for excuses to get out of them.

He picked me up again and wrapped his arms tightly around me, situating me against the wall again, kissing me softly as he grinded his hard length against me. Thank God he was holding me or I wouldn\ have been able to stand on my own. I moaned in his mouth at the feel of him rubbing me gently. I was drenched by the time he slowly eased himself inside.

His lips brushed my own. We were breathing too heavily to concentrate on kissing. I opened my eyes and watched the pleasure sweep his face as he rocked in and out, slowly and surely.

’’Look at me,’’ I whispered. I was desperate to feel the connection and have it solidified between us.

When he did, my chest bloomed at the venerating love in his eyes. I rested my forehead against his, breathing his air, sharing the pleasure that rioted between us. He eventually lowered us down onto the thick carpeted ground, with his back against the wall and me astride him.

He bunched my hair in his hand, and squeezed at my hip with the other while we moved.

’’Don\ leave me,’’ he panted against my neck, moving faster into me.

’’I won\ ,’’ I promised, gripping him tighter as if to emphasize I meant it with every bit of me.

’’You\ e mine. Mine. Tell me you\ e mine.’’ My chest ached at the desperation in his voice, seeping out of him even while he was in pleasure.

’’I\m yours.’’ I kissed him fervently and he pushed his tongue into my mouth, seeking and taking what he could. He moved forward and rested me on my back and thrilled me to no end, prolonging the peak by teasing and nipping and roaming his hands up and down my body.

I raked my nails down his back, cupped his ass, and begged him to get me there because I couldn\ hold back any longer. This euphoria I felt - so mind blowing and sensational - left me thoroughly spent. Our skin was moist, our hair damp, our breathing hard and strenuous. He was still on top of me, still in me even long after we\d caught our breaths. He pulled his face away from my neck where he\d rested it and looked down at me.

’’Tell me you\ e mine again,’’ he demanded quietly.

’’I\m yours,’’ I obliged, stroking his wet hair.

’’Then you\ e not leaving me.’’

’’I already told you I\m not.’’

’’I won\ let you.’’ He gulped back an emotion, and his eyes went red. ’’Sara, I don\ ... I don\ think I\d be able to survive you leaving me again.’’

’’I\m yours, Jaxon. I\m not going anywhere.’’

’’And this Daniel guy, I know I said some bad things about him -’’

’’I ended it today,’’ I interrupted him.

His eyes brightened. ’’Really?’’

’’Yeah, it wasn\ fair to string him along when you own my heart completely.’’

He kissed me urgently. ’’I\ll be damned if I see you with another guy again.’’ Then a thought swept his face and his eyebrows bunched. ’’How many men were there after me?’’

’’Does it matter?’’

’’No, but I want to know.’’

’’Just Daniel.’’

He liked the sound of that, and he let out a breath that he\d held in after he\d asked. He finally eased out of me and tucked me into his side. I hardly cared we were completely nude in an empty bedroom on the floor. My old bedroom, actually, and now it sort of comforted me that it wasn\ all bad memories associated with it.


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