"Is that what you dreamed about?"
"Yes." I sigh.
"You don't have to say anymore. I don't want to push you," he says tracing my fingers with his.
His hand glides over mine, feather light, leaving warmth in the wake of each pass. I shake slightly, but his touch . . . it feels good. I quiver, looking into his eyes.
"He made me take all my clothes off, and beat me with a belt," I say, closing my eyes. Blake's body goes stiff. "After the beating, he tied me to a bed . . . I'll spare you the details of that."
"Jesus Christ, Lily," he hisses. "How old were you?"
I swallow thickly, almost choking on the imaginary lump in my throat. "Eight."
He grabs me by the arms and pulls me against his chest. I struggle against him, but he tightens his embrace.
"Blake, stop. I can't. Let go." I push against him harder. He doesn't let go.
"Lily," he says in soothing tone. "Please."
His words are calming, like a sedative administered through my ears. My body relaxes as my mind screams in alarm. I wrap my arms around his neck, my body trembling in protest. "No one's ever hugged me before," I whisper against his skin.
"I don't want you to go, Lily. I want you to stay here with me."
"Tell him no."
"I can't." I run my fingers into his hair. It's soft. A shiver runs through him under my touch. His lips brush my shoulder and I still.
"Blake . . . please don't. You deserve better."
He leans backward, placing his hands on either side of my head, and forces me to look at him. "Stop telling me what I deserve and accept what I want." He leans in, pressing his lips to mine, and my body practically seizes. Desire courses through me, mixing with the ever-present fear.
My hands fist in his hair as his mouth possesses mine. Pain and pleasure are two sides of the same knife and Blake is twisting it in my soul.
I pull away, clamping Blake's face in my hands, resting my forehead against his. Our breathing is labored and rough, my body on fire. He trails his hands down my sides, resting them on my hips.
"There's somewhere I need to take you and your team tomorrow. Before you decide to follow Jax's orders," he says, out of breath.
I've only got four days left. Breaking my own heart and maybe his in the process seems like a rude thing to do, but after tonight, I know it's inevitable.
I never should’ve let you in.
Blake wanted us to go with him to his halfway house. He refused to shut up until the entire team agreed to come. Jameson pulls up in front of the fifteen-story sandstone building. Catching my gaze, he winks at me. I roll my eyes.
Jax and I fought over this for two hours this morning, after Blake talked the others into it. I’ve no interest in seeing or mingling with other survivors. I spend every day fighting my own damn demons. I don't need to be surrounded by everyone else's too.
"Breathe. Mason is just trying to make us understand," Jameson says, leaning over the center console.
He's close enough that his breath tickles my ear, and my body goes rigid. He notices, and pulls back slowly as if he's spooked a wild animal. He's never invaded my personal space before. Not even during the few weeks we had a break that I spent with him and Rhett. Even then, Jameson was cautious of my boundaries. The longer we're with Blake, though, the more my team forgets those boundaries.
I get out of the car and step back, waiting for Blake. Exiting a moment later, he buttons his suit jacket. He looks down at me, and smirks. I tangle my fingers together.
Keep fucking smirking, and one day I'll slap it off your face.