Heaven’s Regrets (Book 1)

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Chapter Twenty Six

I slowly shut my bedroom door behind me and sneak back into bed, freezing when Ghost starts to stir. Why did I freeze? I'm not in that damn cellar anymore. I'm home with the man I love.

"What's wrong, baby?" Lucas's voice is low and rough from his sleep.

"Oh, nothing. I just ran down to the kitchen, go back to sleep."

"Hmm. You sure you're okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine, just hungry."

"You didn't eat?" He sits up on his elbows to look at me, eyes filled with concern.

"No, nothing sounded good, and then I bumped into my dad and kind of forgot about the food."

"I'll go grab you something. I'll be right back." He says, already throwing the covers.

"It's almost six Ghost. Just come back to bed. I won't pass away from hunger in the next few hours. I need sleep more right now."

"If you're sure?" He asks before laying his head in my lap.

"Promise." I run my fingers through his hair as he fells back asleep, wishing I could find sleep so easily. I let out a sigh as I lay back on the pillows staring at the ceiling until the sun breaks across the horizon. I finally close my eyes and fall asleep about an hour later as Ghost is waking up.

"You always thought you were too good to fuck me! Look at you now!" Shredder roars in my face.

If I just lay here and don't respond, it'll be over quickly. I had learned that trying to fight him only makes it last longer.
It has to be hard to get your rocks off when your victim is fighting you, though I'm sure some prefer that, he didn't.

"See, that wasn't so bad, was it?" He glowered over me. "Wipe the fucking tears from your face. You know you fucking like it."

I want to hurl, but only dry heaves came.
He isn't the worst person that had come down here to touch me. Thankfully at some point he started getting possessive; fewer and fewer guys tried. How messed up is it that I’m thankful? I was 'his' he told everyone. It's pretty sad when you're relieved someone has claimed you only to rape and beat you.

I wake up in a cold sweat from my heart pounding against my rib cage. It felt so damn real, like I was back there. I frantically look around the room, making sure it really was just a dream. Finally, my eyes land on Ghost, who’s sitting hunched over the edge of the bed tapping furiously on his phone, confirming it was a dream.

"You know, before they took me, you were the only person I ever had given all of myself to." I take a slow deep breath trying to slow my racing pulse.

"What do you mean, baby?" He glances at me as he leans back, scooting closer to me, lightly rubbing my thigh.

"I had never had sex with anyone else. I liked that it was only you. It was a memory I held close to my heart, and they stole that from me. I'll never get that back." I huff, looking up at him. He looks deep in thought. I watch as his expression goes from sadness to rage and back to sad.

"God, Cassie. I am so sorry this ever happened to you. It's not something I hold against you, and as far as I'm concerned, they don't fucking count. You didn't willingly give yourself to them." His fists free hand clenched into a fist and I can only imagine what’s going through his head right now.

"I wish it were that simple. But, unfortunately, I don't think it's something I'll ever forget again." It’s the truth, how could anyone ever forget something so brutal?

"I know, baby, “ he sighs, “But maybe one day, it won't hurt as much."

"Yeah, and what about if we want to have kids?" I start strong, but the rest is barely audible. "They stole that too." I’ll never forget the pain that ripped through me when I found out. I held the best poker face I could, but it killed me, it still does. Sure, I don’t know if I want kids yet. But what if I decide I do? What then?

"There are options these days, love. We'll figure it out if that time comes." Ghost says as if he read my mind.

"It's just not the same. Nothings the fucking same." I huff, "they fucking destroyed me." My voice laced with defeat my heart shatters at the fact that had escaped my lips. I hadn't even realized just how much damage they've done.

"Do you want to talk about it? It might help, babe." Ghost lock his eyes with mine. I see the pity in his eyes, it makes me sick. I don’t want to be pitied.

"I'm sorry, I can't. I'm not ready to go into the details of it all." I shake my head. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready, I know I need to at some point, but how?

"I figured as much. So, changing the subject. What do you want to do today?" He attempts to change the subject and a small weight lifts, but the rest still holds me captive, pulling me further into the depths of darkness. Every day, I feel myself slipping further away from who I was, who I’ll never be again.

"Can we just stay in bed and watch movies? I didn't get much sleep last night." Oh, and, I’m so fucking depressed I want to die. But of course I can’t say that, they’ll lock me away.

"I think I can manage a day in bed with you." He gives his best attempt at winking, which looks more like he has something in both of his eyes.

"You'll get it someday, babe." I chuckle.

"Yeah, yeah." He rolls his eyes, climbing off the bed and puts a dvd in the player.

It's hard being back with him. I love him so much, but at the same time, every time he touches me, I'm brutally reminded of Shredder. How could I possibly tell him that though? He wouldn't understand.

Logically I know that eventually I won't be so forcefully reminded, but right now, I just want to crawl out of my skin and disappear. I can still feel the burning sensations everywhere Shredder touched me. My flesh felt like it was trying to burn itself away with each brush of his fingertips. I'd let my flesh burn away if I could.

I feel trapped in this damaged body. It may look like me, but it doesn't feel like it belongs to me anymore. I wish I would have died in that street.

"What's going on behind those beautiful eyes?" Ghost's voice pulls me from my intrusive thoughts.

"Nothing I want to say out loud." I let out a nervous laugh.

"That's fair, but Cassie, you can tell me anything. There's no judgment from me, trust me. I've spent a lot of time, too much time, in the darkness. Don't let it swallow you like I did."

"I know." I lightly run my hand over his cheek, "I'm trying really hard not to let that happen. But I don't think that's a battle I can win today."

"I get that, and you don't have to win every day. It's okay to give in to it some days too." He looks like he’s fighting his own silent battle and my heart breaks just a little. I know everything that happened to me hurts him, too. I can’t help but blame myself for it.

Two months have gone by, and things still aren't feeling quite normal. But it’s gotten better, although I still have this nagging fear that it’s all been a dream.

Ghost has been everything I need right now. He knows what I need when I need it. I can’t believe how much he’s changed. We both have.

He spends every night in my room, even when I don't want anyone near me, he’ll toss a pillow and blanket on the floor next to me and sleep there. He knows I need him, even if I don't always want to be close to him.

Ghost pulls me into his chest, bringing me back to reality. "I want to show you something. Are you up for a drive?"

My mind takes me through flashbacks of memory lane. The last time he wanted to take me somewhere, he had confessed all his feelings, only to walk away.

"Uh, sure." I know he's changed, but the lingering feeling that it's been too good to be true rips through me like a dull blade.

"Don't worry, babe, you're going to love it." He says softly, almost as he senses my doubts.

I was always most comfortable on the back of his bike, but I’m a bundle of frayed nerves right now. He won’t give me any details about where he’s taking me, and the all too familiar feeling of this ride has me on the verge of a panic attack.

As we pull up to a strange two-level house, my stomach churns. Why the hell is he taking me to a random house?

"So, what do you think?" He yells over the roar of the engine as he pulls up to an oversized garage.

My arms stay clenched tight around his chest. I can't move.

"Uh, Cassie? I need to breathe, you know." He chuckles.

"Huh? What?" Then I realize he’s referring to my death grip. "Oh, uh. Sorry." I mumble, loosening my grip.

"You alright, baby? You're shaking."

"Um. Yeah. It's just the last time I was brought to a strange house... Well, I didn't see you again for six months..."

"Oh my fucking god! I'm such an idiot!" He rushes over his words. "No, Cassie. This isn't that! I would never. This is the house I built for you. Well, Caden too.. he did most of it, honestly." He stumbles over his words, pulling at the back of his neck.

"You - you built this, for me? Lucas, it's beautiful." I sob, suddenly feeling ridiculous for being so anxious.

"Well, thank Cade. He did most of it. Unfortunately, I only got as far as the framing.." I watch him nervously shift back and forth. At least I’m not the only hall of nerves.

"This is amazing! Are you going to show me around or what!" I gaze at the beautiful house in front of me.

"Oh, yeah! Duh. Are you sure you like it, though?"

"I love it!" I grin. A fresh start in a new place is just what I need.

"In that case, wait until you see the garage." A mischievous smile spreads across his face.
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