Chapter Ninety-Seven

After We Fell

chapter ninety-seven




Hardin’s hands are still covered in rough black tape, yet they feel so tender wrapped around mine.

    “I hope I haven’t worn you out.” He grins, brushing his taped knuckles across my cheekbone.

    “No.” The majority of the tension that I was feeling in my body has been released by his fingers. However, the not-so-subtle ache for him is still there. It always is.

    “This is okay, right? I mean, you wanted space . . . and this isn’t exactly space.” His arms wrap around me as we hesitantly stand in front of the bed.

    “We still need space, but this is what I want right now,” I explain. I’m sure this doesn’t make much sense to Hardin, because really, it doesn’t make much sense to me, especially now, when his overwhelming presence is right here in front of me.

    “Me, too,” he breathes and dips his head down to my neck. “This is what’s good for us . . . to be close this way,” he whispers. His arms tighten around my body, and he uses his knees to guide us onto the bed as his lips gently suck on my tingling skin. I can feel him growing hard against my leg; he’s ready to go again, and so am I.

    “I’ve missed you so fucking much . . . I’ve missed your body,” he hisses. His hands travel under my thin cotton T-shirt, and he pulls it up over my head. My ponytail catches on the neckline, but Hardin gently untangles my hair, and his fingers reach behind me to pull the band out, letting my hair fall against the mattress beneath me. He gently presses his lips to my forehead; his mood has changed since he ravished me at the gym. He was rough there, sexy and commanding. But now he’s being my Hardin, the soft and gentle man hiding inside of a tough exterior.

    “The way your pulse”—his lips hover inches from mine, and his fingers press against the tender beating in my neck as he breathes—“goes fucking crazy when I touch you, especially here”—his free hand slides down over my stomach and into the front of my pajama pants.

    “You’re always so ready for me.” He groans, running his middle finger up and down. I feel my skin catch fire—it’s a steady burn instead of an explosion, as fits his gentle touch. Hardin removes his hand, then brings his finger to his lips. “So sweet,” he says, and his wet tongue slowly darts out to cover the tip of his finger.

    He knows exactly what he’s doing to me. He knows how much his dirty words affect me and how much they make me want him. He knows, and he’s doing a damn good job at making me burn with desire from the inside out.