Escaping too You ~book 3

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Chapter thirty-seven

When I woke from my little nap, and when I mean little nap, I mean an hour nap. Not enough time to reenergized myself. If anything, I woke up more groggy and more irritated. A shower didn’t even help. I stood under a waterfall of hot water for what felt like days. The past twenty-four hours washing down the drain with the tainted water. I wanted to go to Ryann afterwards, but our bedroom door was still closed, and Travis was no longer standing on guard.

When I found him, he was in the kitchen grabbing something to eat. He assured me that Ryann is okay and that she was in the room talking with Teresa. He felt the moment was private and needed to remain private. On the other hand, I wanted to barge in the room and find out what’s being said.

Instead, Travis talked me out of my original thought, and I’ve been staring at the blueprints Alex emailed me. But I can’t focus. All I’m focusing on is the screen of my laptop as it blurs out my vision. Slamming my laptop shut, I get to my feet and collapse on the small leather couch I barely fit on. My head is resting uncomfortably on the armrest as I manage to bend my knees to keep myself from spilling over the edge. Closing my eyes, even in this uncomfortable position, sleep comes quickly.

A cool breeze washes over my body as I take in an intoxicating smell of floral and vanilla. The scent is everything familiar that I want in life. It’s warm. It’s loving and fills me with so much hope that I just want to bottle the fragrance up. Wrapping my arms around myself, I try to catch the fragrance, but my arms wrap around something else. Something more familiar and comforting than the smell.

My eyes spring open, and I find Ryann laying across my chest. My arms wrapped around her, holding her close. I can tell she’s awake by the way she’s breathing, but even with my movement, she keeps her cheek planted to my chest.

Rubbing her back in soft, gentle strokes, we lay on the couch in a tranquil silence. Neither one of us wanting to be the first to talk. Or maybe....we aren’t sure what to say. My hand runs up her back until the tips of my fingers entwine with the softness of her hair. And if it’s possible, Ryann melts even further into my chest. I need this, I need her, and I never want to let her go. I will never let her go.

Ryann shifts slightly in my hold, and I brush away the fallen hair from her face as she inches closer. Her face is wiped clean of any makeup, her face still showing the splotchy evidence from her tears. I love seeing the true beauty that is Ryann makeup-free. What I don’t like to see is the evidence of her despair written on her face.

Leaning into my touch, I urge Ryann towards me. Our lips connecting in one overdue passionate kiss. And as the connection deepens, I can feel every inch of Ryann’s agony. The pain, the betrayal, and the soul-shattering trust that has been broken. Someone she confided in during the most challenging part of her life used the information he gathered against her for his own selfish needs. But I need her to see, within me, that I’m not the same. The people she has surrounded herself with, we aren’t like that.

Ryann pulls away, resting her forehead against mine. My finger traces the outline of her face before brushing against her cheek. “Talk to me, babydoll.”

Pulling away, Ryann scans my face. Her finger running over the bridge of my nose before tracing the bruise along my jaw. “Are you okay?”

“Just bruises. They’ll heal.”

“What happened after I left?” She suddenly asks.

Watching her, she cocks her head to the side, studying me. God, why does she have to look so damn hot when she’s inquisitive?

Sighing, “Babydoll, I’m not sure.....”

“Tell me,” she demands.

Urging her off me, I manage to sit in a more comfortable position. Ryann folds her legs under her as she sits facing me. “I beat the shit out of Max.” Ryann frowns slightly, “Don’t give me that look. The fucker had it coming.”

“And my dad?”

I can feel every muscle in my body stiffen. “What about your dad?”

I’m treading on a very thinned line, but I also feel like it’s too soon to be discussing what happened. Clearly, Ryann has a difference of opinion. “What did my dad do?”

My heart plummets. I know the answer she’s looking for, but the response I have.....it’s not the one she’ll like.

“Babydoll.....” My voice nearly breaks because as soon as the word leaves my mouth, Ryann’s eyes immediately start to gloss over. “I’m sure he wanted to.” Why am I defending this asshole? Oh, to make his heartbroken daughter feel a little bit better. “But, I.....”

Ryann starts to shake her head as her tears break. “Don’t defend him. Don’t lie on his behalf. He didn’t do anything. Did he? Just stood there and watched you beat the shit out of him.”

Sucking my lips in, “I’m sorry, Ryann.” Again she shakes her head, dismissing my apology. Taking her hand, I bring it to my lips and place a longing kiss to the top. “Erm....your dad may have also gotten socked in the jaw too.”

“Wha....what? Thomas.” She groans out. “Why?”

Pursing my lips, “Ya, it wasn’t me.”

She eyes me, “Samuel?” Shaking my head, I watch her think. Calculating every possible person in that room that could have possibly punched her father. Until she gasps, “Travis? Why?”

Why? Why not? If it weren’t him, it would have been me. “Because your dad had it coming.” Honesty is always the best policy, right? “And don’t try and defend him. I watched a father stand back and watch his daughter crash down with the weight of the world, and he didn’t budge from his spot. He just stood there and watched.” The words leaving my mouth aren’t surprising to her. “Travis stood in a role that should have been in your life from the beginning.”

Hell, what I wouldn’t give to have a father figure like Travis. In the department of father’s, Ryann and I were dealt a shit hand. I guess, now, we’re lucky enough to have Travis fill that role in a way.

Taking Ryann’s hand, I play with the engagement ring on her finger before she takes her hand from mine. Her eyes glossing over again, “How long did you know? About Max? You never liked him, but you’ve known about that night? You know the details.”

I can feel the waters starting to become choppy. I’m in an area we shouldn’t even be treading in after yesterday. Ryann should be relaxing and trying to forget about what happened, not digging deeper to try and understand her newly fond memories. But by the determined look in her eyes, I know she won’t stop until she gets the answers she wants.

“I don’t think....”

“And I don’t care what you think, Thomas. Tell me. Now.”

Sighing, I run a hand through my hair, feeling exasperated. “Yes, fine. I know what happened. I’ve known for some time.”

“I’m sorry,” Ryann scoffs, “You’ve known for some time and didn’t think to tell me?”

Getting to my feet, I start to pace the office. I need to move to burn off some of this energy. I need to remain in control in front of Ryann because if I lash out towards her, it’s game fucking over. “I’m sorry, please tell me what the hell I was supposed to do, Ryann. Please, I’m all ears. I’d love to know what you’d do if you had a piece of traumatic information that someone you loved couldn’t remember.”

I watch Ryann’s eyes narrow as her tongue grazes the inside of her lip. Well, that didn’t take long. I easily just pissed her off.

Sighing in hopes, she sees that my asshole self is surrendering. I don’t want a fight. Not today. Not ever. “Ryann, I watched you struggle between wanting to remember to forcing the memories back. I watched you withered in bed against an unseen force, then to wake up freaking out. I was......urgh, I was afraid what would happen if I told you that information and you weren’t ready.”

Ryann gets to her feet and marches over to me, “I want to see the report.”

Shaking my head, “No, you don’t. Ryann, the report is graphic. I can’t let you read it.”

Ryann pushes me away from her, “Fuck you. You’re not going to tell me what I can and can’t read. I’ve had enough people in my life telling me what I should do.”

My jaw ticks, “Don’t you dare lump me in with those group of people.”

“Then don’t be one of those people.” She nearly yells.

Backing Ryann into the back of the desk, I hoover over her. Pissed that she would even think to lump me in with those assholes. “Do you want to try that again?”

“Show me the damn document, Thomas.”

Feeling my jaw tick, I growl out as I back away from Ryann and to my laptop. Flipping the screen up, I bring the device to life and open up the saved documents in my email. Waving my hands like I’m directing a damn car, Ryann cautiously takes a seat in the oversized office chair.

Backing away, I start to pace the office again, my hands fisted into my pockets as I steal glances of Ryann every now and then. But I can’t fully read her. All I can read is her anger. If she had lasered vision, my laptop would be toast and on fire.

After what feels like twenty hours, Ryann finally lets out a slight cough followed by the soft click of my laptop closing. Looking at her, I don’t see tears falling down her face. All I see is a woman trying to reclaim the innocence that was stolen from her. “Babydoll?” I’m standing in front of her. Her attention is now locked on the desk as her hand twists and turns on the hard material.

Reaching out for Ryann, my fingers play with the charms of her necklace before trailing a soft line up her neck until I’m tracing the outline of her jaw. Her head instinctively leans into my touch. My thumb brushes across her smooth skin before brushing across her moist lips. The longing in her eyes is all I fucking need.

Urging her up on the desk, I step between her legs. My hands resting on her thighs before sliding under the hoodie she’s still in, and her skin immediately ignites into heated goosebumps. “I remember.” She tells me. “Everything. Thomas, how could I be so fucking stupid?”

Placing a kiss to her forehead, I walk from between her legs to the office door to close it. Locking the door, I find myself where I want to be, back between Ryann’s legs. Lifting at the hem of the sweatshirt, I pull it over Ryann’s head. Exposing every inch of perfection. My fingers trail an imaginary line from one side of her belly to the other before tenderly caressing up to her breasts.

“You’re not stupid,” I tell her as I urge her to lay back on the desk. Placing my hands on her hips, I hover over her belly button, my breath leaving hot moisture against her skin as I start to trail soft and tender kisses up to her chest. My hand cups a breast as my fingers begin to knead the soft tissue.

“Hmm, are you tryin’ to distract me, Mr. Copeland?” God, I love the moans of her voice. It’s such a fucking turn-on.

Pinching her nipple between my fingers, Ryann gasps out as her back arches off the desk. “I would never.” My teeth scrape across the taught skin of her nipple, causing her to scream out in pure ecstasy.

“God, Thomas. I don’t want to think anymore.” Ryann pulls me to her lips, “Make me forget.”

Fucking hell, the breath against my lips is enough to drive me insane. Our tongues collide in a fury of raw passion as Ryann tugs at the roots of my hair, sending a primal growl to fall from my lips. If Ryann wants to forget. I’ll make her fucking forget.

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