Published by BooktroupeSeries: , Promises #2
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Seth is back.
When he walked back into my life, it almost felt like the pieces of my broken heart could be fixed. I thought we could go back to being best friends, but then I started to feel what I had been blocking out for years. I tried. Boy, did I try! But once I started to let him in, I wanted nothing more than to cross that line from friendship into something more…
Just when I think I can move on and let myself be happy, an ugly reminder from my past comes storming in and threatens to destroy the sliver of hope that’s been growing since Seth came back.
Do I even deserve to be loved?
“I’m not asking to fix your heart. I’m not asking to mend you. I love each and every shattered piece of you. I’m asking that you let me love you. Let me love each piece of your broken heart, and I swear to you I will make up for every heartache you have ever experienced.”
I came back for Josie.
I knew I’d have to fight for her, but with the loss of her dad and the truth about what happened with her and Blake, I quickly realized that making her mine was going to be a lot harder than I first thought. The problem is, I can’t pretend like she’s just my best friend. I can’t pretend I don’t want more.
I’m willing to do anything to get her to admit she has the same passionate feelings for me, because I know once she opens up and stops lying to herself, I can show her what it really means to be loved. It’s a battle of wills, but my love for her is stronger than her will to stop me.
So I fight for her. I fight because I know she deserves it.
I was instantly distracted as I walked into the space. Seth. Shirtless. I don’t think I need to explain my lack of focus. Or the drool.
“You lied to me,” he said gruffly, sitting on the barstool at my counter. His blond hair flopped in front of his eyes, and my hands itched to push it back. Touching him again the way I wanted to would satisfy only a millimeter of the need I have, but it would relieve some of the pain. I turned around to hide my thoughts.
“Ugh . . . I need coffee,” I said vacantly, reaching for my coffee maker. I didn’t even hear Seth move, but his hand grabbed mine and he turned me around, placing his hands beside me on the countertop to trap me. My breath caught, and I was positive he could hear my heart pounding in my chest.
His blue-green eyes screamed hurt and anger, but I didn’t even care about him being mad. All that mattered was the charge that thumped between us. I was very aware of him.
“You lied, Josie. You’re not supposed to lie to me.”
“Seth . . . Come on,” I said, turning my face away, unable to look at the raw emotion in his expression. His hand dashed out and grabbed my chin.
“How long, Josie?” he asked. I closed my eyes, not wanting to admit anything. “Open your damn eyes, Jos. Stop fucking hiding.” His voice was hard, but it was also full of desperation. I opened my eyes and narrowed them at him.
He didn’t understand that I needed to keep him away from me. My life is tainted by darkness, and he doesn’t need that. Yes, I lied to the one person who I said I wouldn’t deceive again, but it was for his own good!
“It doesn’t matter, Seth. I’m fine.”
“Like fucking hell it doesn’t matter. I haven’t heard you scream like that since your nightmares after you were raped!”
The haunting reminder brought back vivid memories of that time. He or one of my dads would come lay with me to help me fall asleep. Every day that Seth wasn’t in school, he was there with me, trying to make the nightmares go away.
“Since the engagement party,” I whispered, looking down. I don’t know why I admitted it, but I think part of me realized I couldn’t hold on to all this pain anymore.
That’s when my resolve started to break. How long could I go on fighting the feelings that I have for Seth? How long could I act like nothing hurts me?
“Fuck, Jos . . . ,” he whispered back, placing his forehead against mine. His signature smell of hay and apple pie drifted around me, and I almost lost my footing from wanting him so bad. “You should have told me.”
“I didn’t want you to worry.”
“I worry about you every second you’re not with me, Pussycat. Every second that you hide behind that wall you’ve built, I wonder when you’re going to crack.” His hand reached up to caress my face, and I leaned into his touch. It was only an infinitesimal movement, but I still heard Seth’s breath hitch. My lapse in self-control made him bold. He brought his mouth to the side of mine, and kissed me. I couldn’t stop the whimper before it escaped my mouth.
“There you are,” he whispered hoarsely against my lips, always seeing me, even when I didn’t want him to. I wanted to bask in the moment, but I had already opened up to him too much. I pushed through his barricade and ran back to my room.
“I’ve got to help Dad at the garage today,” I threw out as an explanation, and then I went to hide in my shower.
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