Broken Wings

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Chapter 9

Two days passed and Noah’s body was very angry with him. She’d kissed him and wanted him. Something he’d wanted for years. His nights were sleepless, aching to be with her as she’d offered.

Problems were starting up again on his sites and he was lashing out at his crews.

Eden wasn’t in much better shape. Her hormones leapt whenever she’d look at him. She’d been home for weeks and they still slept in separate beds. She surrounded herself with pillows while she slept to try to keep the loneliness away. When she did sleep, her dreams would take her to where she wanted to be; Noah’s arms. But, she’d always wake when her dream reached the point of their finally being together. Why wouldn’t her mind bring forth memories of being with him to fill that within her dreams? How long would she continue craving this man?

Morgan had talked Noah into letting him come to work with him. He promised to be a good boy. He just wanted to see Daddy’s buildings. Noah waited for the refusal from Eden. He was shocked when she agreed. Told him she’d have a girls’ day with Michelle.

Later that day, Noah entered the kitchen. She was standing at the stove cooking. As he stepped closer, it hit him like a slap in the face. A perfume she hadn’t worn in at least ten months wafted over to him. He stood silently, eyes closed for a moment, letting the scent wash over him.

She looked over her shoulder and noticed him. “Hey,” she softly called.

He opened his eyes and looked into hers before she turned back to the task of cooking.

“How was your girls’ day with Michelle?” he asked trying to divert his thoughts from the perfume.

“Very nice,” she answered before looking at him over her shoulder again. “She took me to a spa.”

“A spa,” he repeated.

“Yeah, she made me go through the works.”

“The works.”

Okay, so he was repeating her like a parrot and probably sounded like an idiot, but since their kiss the other day, his mind kept wandering.

“Once I got over the weirdness of the massage, we had facials, a pedicure and a manicure.”

His first response was to look at her freshly polished pink tipped toes. Then, he took in her appearance. She wore a jade colored tee that made her hair more vibrant. She had it tucked into a denim jean skirt that made it just past her mid-thigh. She’d been finding many of her old clothes and wearing them lately. Michelle hadn’t been able to return many of her clothes before she returned home from the hospital, and now returning them would be noticed.

He ran his hand down his face. Oh man, for a short thing she has legs! He stepped up behind her and peered over her shoulder. The scent of her perfume having the same affect on him it always had…blood flowing straight to his groin.

“Whatcha cookin’?” he asked.

This was the Noah she felt drawn to. The one who didn’t have walls up, keeping her out. She supposed she couldn’t blame him. Without memories, she didn’t know how to act. He had those memories and wasn’t pushing them.

Her breath caught as she looked over her shoulder and found his face very close. His eyes turned golden as they looked into hers. Was that desire in their depths?

“Garlic Alfredo sauce,” she shakily answered, turning her attention back to stirring. So much for keeping those hormones under control.

He didn’t move, just stood behind her. Watching. The apprehension flowing through her like a lightning bolt.

“Where’s Morgan?” she asked, trying to extinguish the affect he was having on her.

“I put him to bed.”

“It’s only six o’clock! He’ll be up hungry in the middle of the night.”

He couldn’t resist, he stepped closer, wrapped his arms loosely around her waist, settling his chin at her shoulder. He needed to get closer. Damn that perfume!

“I picked him up a kiddie meal. He passed out shortly after the fries,” he huskily whispered in her ear.

He felt the slight shudder she tried to hide. His body responding.

“Smells good,” he whispered.

She leaned in closer and felt his arousal. Oh God!

“I had no idea garlic had this affect on you,” she spoke haltingly.

“You Eden. You smell good,” he softly kissed just beneath her ear.

She felt his smile against her skin when her breath caught at his kiss.

“Yes,” she sighed and leaned her head back as more butterfly kisses pressed behind her ear, his tongue flicking ever so torturously light.

He removed the wooden spoon from her hand and turned off the burner. Never stopping his soft torture.

Once he had done that, her arms were free to reach up behind his neck and hold him to her, untucking her tee from her skirt.

He softly moaned as his hands felt the warm softness at her waist. Her breath caught again at the feel of his hands on her sensitized flesh.

“Don’t stop Noah. Please,” her whispers filled him.

He knew he should stop. She had no idea what that perfume did to him. Or did she?

Her shallow breathing told him she wanted him. Surely he could stop…in a few minutes. This just felt too damn good.

Let’s see if she remembers this. He ran the tip of his tongue from behind her ear down to her shoulder.


Oh yeah, her body remembered that one. She hadn’t allowed him to do this in over two years. Never allowing her body to respond to him anymore.

He hadn’t realized her hands had released from his hair until he felt them on his, urging them higher beneath her shirt.

“Touch me, Noah. Please,” she softly begged, his hands just beneath her lace covered breasts.

“I can’t,” he whispered.

“Please,” she breathlessly begged then squealed as his tongue entered her ear, swirling, nipping.

His body was on fire for this woman. Just a touch, Carrington. One touch, he told himself as his hands cupped over her. Her nipples hard peaks begging for release. Damn! One touch led to kneading.

“No Noah,” she hissed. When he registered her denial, one he pretty much should have expected and released his hold to pull away, she released the front clasp of her bra and grasped his hands to push them beneath the lace. “Touch me Noah.” She’d never been this vocal about what she wanted before. She’d simply respond when he initiated intimacy, her shyness in the beginning she never spoke of her wants.

The feel of her bare nipples in his palms sent another wave straight to his groin. He softly suckled the hollow between her ear and shoulder as his palms lightly circled her nipples, the friction causing her to begin panting.

He knew it was wrong to do this. He hadn’t touched her in so long. Hadn’t felt her desires build from his touch in over two years. As wrong as he knew it was, he kept on. She hadn’t allowed him to take her like this in forever, and it fed his ego to know she couldn’t deny his touch right now.

His thumbs and forefingers now alternated between plucking at her excited beads and rolling them. It surprised him when she began gyrating against him. She couldn’t be, could she?

Her panting increased, driving him on. The tempo of her oh so sensuous behind rubbing against his jeans increased.

“Are you there Eden?” he whispered in her ear.

“Yes,” she sobbed at the intensity of it.

“Really?” he mused. “Are you sure?”

One hand snaked down her body, reaching beneath the hem of her skirt. His fingers teasing through her panties. Damn she’s wet!

“Noah,” she panted out, “touch me.”

“Not yet,” he whispered back. He couldn’t remember ever having this reaction from her.

Her sob of frustration surprised him. Okay, one touch, he told himself, sliding his fingers in through the leg opening of her panties. As he slid between the folds of her slick heat she gasped.

Her legs trembled. She was so tight when he inserted first one finger, then two. He felt a tiny release of his own as her climax shook her. She melted into him.

Weeks of suppressing his desires coupled with over nine months of not even being with her physically collided. She was giving herself to him. “Oh God Eden, what you do to me,” he said, swiftly spinning her around, her back against the pantry door and kissing her full.

Her hands tangled and pulled in his hair, exciting him further. Her tongue slamming into him, suckling his, still in the throws of her ecstasy. He’d never felt this hungry for her. To have her just as hungry was a surprise. A very welcome surprise.

He pulled free, both of them breathless. “Eden, we can’t,” he panted out.


Her eyes now black with passion.

Okay Carrington, come up with a reason. Find one. Search your brain why you can’t make love to your own wife.

“We just can’t,” was all he could come up with because damn it all, he wanted to.

Her hands trembled as they stroked the hair at the sides of his face, brushing it behind his ears.

“Noah,” her lips trembled as she spoke, further breaking through what little resolve he had left. “Help me remember. How we used to be.” She sounded so much like his Eden those first couple years. Soft, gentle and innocent.

“You’re not ready for this,” he tried. I’m not ready for this.

She looked into his eyes, so golden. Full of the same passion and desire racing through her. She wanted this. She was going to break through that wall of resistance of his. They were going to make love. No was not an option.

“You were my first, weren’t you Noah?”

“Yes.” His voice tight, showing the inner struggle he was going through.

She tugged his tee shirt free and up and over his head, tossing it to the floor, exposing his bare chest to her. Her hands swimming along his back, burning him, branding him with her touch.

“I want you Noah,” she cooed, her tongue swirling around his nipple as her hand lowered, rubbing against his zipper.

“Eden…” his voice trailed off. You have to stop this Carrington! raced through his mind. She’d never been like this before. Never spoke of her wants. And she sure as hell never used her hands and body to express her wants.

She knew he wanted this just as much as her. She just needed to make sure she lit that fire too hot for him to put out.

She was driving him insane. His body engaged in a war within. He pulled back and looked at her. His fingertips caressed oh so gently down the sides of her face, causing her lips to part. Who are you? he asked her in his mind.

He’d never seen her eyes filled with such want and desire. Not a trace of the innocent girl he’d married, nor the contempt look of the past year. Before he could stop himself, he jammed his hands into her hair and brought his lips to hers hungrily, her head hitting back on the pantry door.

This wasn’t what she’d expected. This primitive Noah was a surprise; exciting and exhilarating. She matched his roughness.

As their kiss went on, her hands swam over his back, to his chest and back again. When her hands tangled in his hair, he broke their kiss. Taking his mouth to her neck.

“Dammit Eden,” he softly cursed, showing her he was still trying to fight a losing battle.

She pulled at his head to bring his lips back to hers. She didn’t have the capacity to think of how primitive all of this was. Her body simply wanting to experience the glorious feelings flowing through her from it.

After long moments of their feverish kisses, he stepped back from her and reached beneath her skirt. Hooking his fingers on the lace beneath, he tugged them down. His fingers slowly caressing the length of her legs as he went. She stepped out of them and he tossed them aside.

Finally! She didn’t know what to expect, but she didn’t care. Noah Carrington was finally going to make love to her.

His hands caressed their way back up. Her legs trembling as he went. Carrington, you are one selfish son of a bitch, he cursed himself as he lifted her skirt and brought his lips there.

“Noah!” her surprised squeal as his tongue swirled, teased, demanded her release. His thumbs holding her folds open as his tongue drove her over again. Her hips bucked as he suckled her. Her sobs of release filling him. She’d never given herself to him like this. So completely with reckless abandon.

“Noah, please,” she begged over and over; her legs only a wobbly mess of trembling.

Finally, he stopped his torture, kissing her stomach, then each breast before lingering at first one aroused nipple then the other. Her breathing rapid as she savored every delicious second.

Her head spinning, she reached for his head. She once again pulled his mouth to hers. His kiss just as hungry as before. He felt like a starving man and she was the first food he’d seen in months. He couldn’t get enough of her.

Both of their breathing labored as he pulled free from their kiss and looked at her. Her lips puffy from his roughness.

“Be my first again, Noah,” she whispered before bringing her lips to his chest, kissing him softly. The hiss that escaped him telling her he was losing the battle.

“Eden, we shouldn’t,” he attempted with his fading common sense.

His strength in trying to resist this was amazing. Oh no, time to seal the deal Noah.

Her hands continued caressing him after bringing his lips back to hers.

“Eden, stop,” he softly plead as his head rest in the crook of her neck while her hands continued smoothly running along his back and chest, driving him insane with her touch.

He was fighting a valiant battle. His fists pounding the pantry door above her head as his hungry kiss returned to hers.

As she continued covering his torso with caresses, she released the button and zipper of his jeans then back to caressing his soft skin.

“Please Baby,” he begged still struggling with his inner-conflict. Wanting to be with her. Wanting this. “Don’t do this.”

Her hands caressing around his waistband until reaching behind. Her hands reaching beneath his boxers, kneading his cheeks. His response, kissing her fiercely as his hands again hit at the door.

She pushed against his jeans until his hips no longer could hold them or his boxers up, whispering down his legs to his ankles. Then back to caressing him. Continuing to build the fire she knew was consuming him.

His mouth abruptly broke free from hers at the feel of her hands on his shaft. Stroking him softly. He hadn’t expected her touch. He thought for sure his release was close.

Her hand went to his tip. Finding an escaped bead, she used her thumb to spread it around his tip, putting pressure on his opening to milk more. “Oh, Noah,” she sighed as she continued her ministrations. Kissing his throat before huskily asking, “Will you come for me Noah?” Stroking him more insistently.

Eden didn’t act like this. Eden didn’t talk like this. What the hell was going on?

His head felt like lead as he lifted it to look into her flushed face. She was getting off on this! Her eyes blazing with passion as they looked into his as she continued stroking him.

He couldn’t stop this now if he even entertained the idea, which he wasn’t. She had him beyond the turning point. His only option was to become one with her.

“No!” he growled as he sharply took her wrists in his hands, stopping the torture she was inflicting. He held her hands above her head before claiming her with his most passionate kiss yet.

“I will not come for you,” he hoarsely and breathlessly told her.

Eden was a mass of confusion. Filled with unexplainable desire. The fierceness of his statement exciting her further.

“I have every intention of coming in you Eden,” he said haltingly before he brought his lips to hers. He released his hold on her hands just before he lifted her in his arms. Her skirt hiked up around her waist. She wrapped her legs around his waist as he brought her down his length.

“Oh!” she pulled free from his kiss and yelped.

“Am I hurting you?” he asked.

“Oh God Noah, you feel so good,” she sighed. “So good.”

Her arms cradled his head as their passion took over both of them. He set the pace, which she quickly picked up on and joined in.

When she pulled free from their latest kiss and looked in his eyes, he was still showing restraint, though how she had no idea. She felt it in the rigidness of his posture.

She wanted this primitive Noah. Now that they were making love, she wanted him as lost as she was. She leaned forward, stroking his ear with her tongue. “Don’t hold back Noah,” she cooed. “I want all of you.”

Hearing her say that sent a jolt through him. His body held hers against the door, allowing his hands to cup her head and bring her in for another primitive kiss after growling at his fading resistance.

She responded by keeping their rhythm going. Pushing him closer to the edge.

He spun them around sharply so he leaned against the pantry door. “I’m not gonna last Baby,” he warned.

She was so tight, her climax from his mouth clenching around his shaft. And then tighter, letting him know she was on her way to another.

His arms setting a faster pace of lifting her up and down him. “Yes!” she called out just before he erupted within her. Filling her. Their combined juices filling a new scent in the kitchen.

He collapsed against the door, still holding her.

When she looked at him, he swore she had a glow to her. Her auburn hair even brighter than he remembered. Her face glistening with sweat.

One arm wrapped around her waist holding her to him, his other hand rose to run the backs of his fingers along her cheek.

He kissed her softly, hoping it wasn’t the wrong thing to do. Her soft smile before she brought her lips to his for a gentle, long kiss filled him.

Gone was the hunger of moments ago. Now, their kiss was one of connectedness. Her hands softly tangling his hair.

His body now relaxed, he slid his body down the door until he sat on the floor, she in his lap, still joined, still kissing.

When their kiss ended, his hands framed her face. He’d never seen her look as beautiful as she did at this moment. She kissed his cheek before snuggling in at his shoulder, feeling both their heart rates at mach speed as their chests rest against one another.

“Oh God Noah, how could I forget this with you?” she asked emotionally. Words couldn’t describe what she felt.

One very shaky hand rose to caress her hair. Here he was, sitting on his very own kitchen floor, his pants at his ankles, her skirt at her waist, still joined. What the hell had just happened?

“It was never like this before,” he whispered willing his heart to close off. To keep what had just exploded between them from coming in. For to let it in would only create more pain when her memory returned. He silently asked himself, How do I forget this with you?

His heart ached just a little. God help him, it wasn’t just sex this time. Like it had been toward the end before. He had just made love to Eden, heart and soul. And his heart was going to pay in the end.

He had no idea how long they stayed there on that kitchen floor. She hadn’t allowed him to hold her afterwards in so long. Snuggled up so close. Her soft breaths on his neck. He cradled her head at his shoulder. The scent of their lovemaking filling the air around them. God help him, he couldn’t let her go.

Darkness fell outside, casting them in shadows. She kissed his neck, “Noah?”


“You okay?”

“Yeah,” his voice hoarse with held back emotion. “I just don’t want this to end.”

She had no idea he was referring to more than their session when she said, “We can’t sleep on the floor.”

He gave a soft chuckle before letting her go. They dressed and cleaned up the kitchen. As she tossed the sauce contents down the disposal, she watched Noah. She felt him distancing himself, but why? Okay, so she still couldn’t remember, but they had just made love. And, if what he had said was true, it had been the most explosive they’d ever had.

“Noah?” she called.

He stopped washing down the countertop and looked at her. She had a mischievous smile.

“We’ve never… you know … in the kitchen before, have we?”

He chuckled, “No that would be a first for us.” They’d only made love in the bedroom on the bed before. Hell, he counted himself lucky if she allowed the light on.

She walked over to him, looping her arms around his neck, her smile seductive. “Well,” she kissed his cheek softly, “I vote for that was amazing.”

His arms loosely around her waist. How was it she was so completely different? Sure, she’d been a little bit like this in the very beginning. Affectionate, but not the temptress she was standing before him now. And over time, she’d turned cold and heartless, at least where he was concerned. She gave all her love and warmth to Morgan. Shutting him out completely. He didn’t know why but he was certain it would return when her memory did. How was he going to deal with rejection all over again? Especially after this? She’d held no reservations while they’d just made love. Even before she’d become cold and distant, she’d held a part of herself in check. Now, she had a confidence to her he’d never seen before. What the hell was he going to do?

What did he tell her? Yeah, best we’ve ever had Eden because you gave yourself completely over to me. Or, Eden, you have no idea how much you hate me. Talk about the proverbial rock and hard place.

He didn’t know what to say, so he gave her a quick kiss. Big mistake. She took the invitation and deepened it. Gliding her tongue inside his mouth, causing him to moan. How many times had he wished she’d be the one to initiate intimacy? To welcome him and not reject him? To willingly be in his arms? And now that all three were happening right now, he was afraid to let it happen.

Okay, because he was really enjoying himself, he allowed her to make out with him a little while longer. Or so, he tried to convince himself that was the reason he was standing in the middle of the kitchen like a horny teenager.

Finally, he reached for her arms behind his neck and broke the kiss. He wanted her again. He had to wrap his brain around this before he made that mistake again.

No, that was not disappointment he saw in her eyes.

He stepped away. “I really need to clean up from work,” he told her. Poor excuse, but all he had.

Okay, she’d pushed too hard. But, they were well on their way back to whatever it is, was, they had, she reasoned. Something that good wasn’t about to stay buried for long. She’d been almost scared at the force of passion she felt in his arms. It was so, so … overpowering.

“You go clean up. Let me see what I can make us for supper.”

“Eden, just pop a frozen pizza in the oven.”

“You sure?” she looked perplexed.

His eyebrows rose as he looked at her. “I’m a guy. Pizza and a beer make me happy.”

He wasn’t sure what the look was that flickered in her eyes. It wasn’t there long enough for him to interpret. Knowing him, he’d just said something wrong.

“Kay, I’ll wait till you’re done with your shower,” she finally answered, turning away while he left the room.

Noah stood in the shower, letting the hot spray flow over him. He heard her turn the master bath shower on. His hands on the shower wall before him, he bowed his head, cursing himself.

How could you be so stupid? Why was he unable to stop what had happened downstairs? It had never been like that with them before.

Of all the stupid things, Carrington. You tossed her around like a rag doll. You could have hurt her.

You were my first, weren’t you Noah? Her question repeated, taking him to their first time. Their wedding night. He saw it play out again in his mind.

She entered the hotel room bedroom dressed in a cream negligee. One look at her and he was lost. He could see she was beyond nervous. Her arms trying to cover what the sheer material exposed.

Can we turn off the light?’ she nervously asked.

He reached for her hand and pulled her close. With his other hand he reached over and dimmed the lights. No darkness. Not tonight.

His hands sifted her hair back off her face. “You’re an angel,” he told her.

He saw the sheer terror in her eyes. Watched her swallow as she looked back at him.

It’s okay Baby,” he whispered before taking her lips in a gentle kiss.

He kissed her softly for long moments. He was just as nervous as she was. He knew she was a virgin. Knew he needed to take it slow. Every ounce of control he possessed was needed right now.

He lifted her in his arms and gently set her down on the bed. He removed his pants and saw another wave of fear in her eyes.

He rest beside her, taking her lips with his once more.

It’s okay Baby,” he soothed again.

He settled between her legs, arms holding him up as his hands held her head.

Just breathe,” he told her softly.

He tried distracting her with delicate kisses. Yet, once he entered her, she pulled away and screamed.

It’s okay Eden,” he tried soothing.

Her bottom lip between her teeth, tears flowing down the sides of her face.

He tried to be as gentle as possible. Her petite stature and narrow hips made her so tight.

He moved gently within her. Tried kissing away her tears, which weren’t stopping.

Do you want me to stop?” he asked her.

She took in a shuddering breath, shaking her head no.

His heart was breaking. She was so delicate and pure. He wanted this to be special for her, not painful.

As much as his body wanted to go harder and faster, he remained as gentle as possible.

He heard her softly cry, “It hurts.”

Oh Eden,” he sighed when he finally released within her. Cursing his body for feeling such pleasure while hers was in pain.

He withdrew from her and rolled to the side, bringing her to his chest.

It’s okay Baby. I promise, it’ll be better.”

It had to, he told himself. He’d just received an enormous gift. Her. He had to show her sex was a wonderful connection between husband and wife. He loved her. He needed to connect with her.

She pulled free from his hold. “I need to go to the bathroom,” she said before quickly retreating to the bathroom, closing the door behind her.

After a moment, his heart broke. He heard her sobs. They were coming out in hiccups.

He stood and noticed the blood on him. He quickly put his boxers on and went to the door.

He softly knocked. “Eden?”

She didn’t answer. Her sobs the only thing he could hear.

He slowly opened the door. She sat on the edge of the tub, holding her face in her hands as her body shook.

Eden, Baby.”

She looked up. Her face completely covered in tears. “I’m sorry,” she sobbed.

He went to her. “No Baby, don’t be sorry.”

She stood and her cries became heavier.

Eden, talk to me.”

She lifted her gaze to his. “Something’s wrong with me,” she told him. His face showed his confusion. “I’m bleeding.”

He saw the blood on her negligee. “Baby it’s okay,” he said as he pulled her to his chest. Kissing her crown.

I’m so sorry,” she apologized again. “I’m inadequate.”

He pulled back, cupped her face with his hands. “No. You’re fine.” He kissed her softly. “It was your first time.”

But, I wanted it to be special for you,” she said through tears. “I’m so stupid. I don’t even know how to make love with you.”

He pulled her to him again. “Oh Baby, you’re fine. I promise, it gets better.”

He soothed her a moment longer before walking her out of the bathroom. He retrieved one of his tee shirts from their luggage and helped her replace the negligee with it.

He brought her to bed, turned off the lights and just held her to him. Stroking her hair as her tears finally slowed down.

Her breathing back to normal, the exhaustion of the day and what had just happened were taking over her body. He felt her finally relax in his embrace. His right hand taking her left in his. The new gold band at her ring finger.

It’s okay Baby,” he whispered.

He felt her take in a shuddering breath. “I love you Noah,” she sleepily called. “I’m so sorry.”

Her battle to stay awake done. He laid there in the darkness, holding her close, feeling her soft breaths along his chest.

Don’t be sorry, Baby,” he whispered before kissing her forehead, silent tears of his own now falling at the thought of hurting her. “Don’t be sorry.”

The water from his shower hitting at his face as he looked to the ceiling, back in the present.

Be my first again Noah, her words from earlier now repeated. When she gasped as he entered her earlier, he feared the worst. He’d hurt her again. When she’d confessed he felt good, he couldn’t believe it. When she told him not to hold back, he was afraid. He’d never made love to her without keeping a part of himself restrained. If he was too rough, too fast, he was afraid of hurting her. For the first time, he loved her completely, no reservations, nothing held back. And it was in the damn kitchen.

He was always amazed at how quiet she’d been while they’d made love in the past. Afraid someone might hear when all he wanted was for everyone to know how much pleasure she was experiencing. Yet, in the kitchen, she held back nothing. Hearing her as she came tore into him. Hell, the whole experience in the kitchen raced through his veins. He couldn’t remember ever being so hungry for her. Her hands in his hair, kissing him back just as hungrily drove him beyond reason. She’d always been afraid to touch him in the past. Damn she’d been so shy before she’d pulled away. Yet, it was almost like she was pushing him. Making him want her beyond reason. And she’d never been that way before. She was shy enough about her own body. He’d accepted the fact she’d never get over her shyness to touch him. And, then she’d become so distant he feared they’d never get close to what they even had in the beginning. He hadn’t even registered she’d undone his jeans until he felt her stroking him. Felt more like a lightning strike flowing through his body.

And yet, he still couldn’t believe it had happened at all. He’d done as she’d asked. Held nothing back. Including his heart. He knew it would be a huge mistake to have her again. As much as his body wanted to experience it again. To be sure he hadn’t been dreaming it. He simply could not make love with Eden again with this dark cloud of elusive memories looming over them.

As he continued giving himself a severe lecture, his body was reacting to knowing she was just in the other bathroom. Water glistening down her. No Carrington, you can’t have her. She’ll never forgive you when she remembers.

The water cooling, he had no choice. He couldn’t hide in the bathroom forever. Besides a cold shower wasn’t helping his body cool off any.

She sat at the foot of the bed when he exited the bathroom following his shower. His sleep pants at his hips, his chest bare.

He looked at her curiously. “You okay?” he asked as he stepped into her room from the hall.

Now will you come back to our bed Noah?”

“Eden, look, what happened –“

She stood up abruptly. “Don’t!” she warned. “Don’t you dare say it shouldn’t have happened. Or I wasn’t ready.” She hastily wiped the tear that slid down her cheek. “I’m not some china doll.”

Here was Eden. Her determination shining brightly. The ironic part about it was she was now arguing the completely opposite argument she used to. Instead of arguing for him to not get his hopes up that a little sex was going to make things right, she was arguing…what?

“I wanted you Noah,” she said softly. “And, don’t you dare say you didn’t.”

He stood before her, his hands on her shoulders to hold her at arm’s length. “I want you, Eden,” he softly confessed as his eyes gazed into hers. “I just don’t know the rules of the game.”

He saw the hurt fill her eyes. “You think I’m playing a game?” she asked him.

He released his hold on her and paced a little. “I mean the whole amnesia thing. Eden, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.” I know what I should do. Stay away from you until your memories return and we can figure all of this out.

“Why not just not think?” she asked. “I don’t know what to do either, Noah. But, I don’t want to be in this limbo anymore.”

Limbo. There was a good word, he thought. How long would they be there until her memories came crashing in around him?

She could see how conflicted he was. She walked over to him and placed her hand on his arm. “Noah, what’s wrong with me?” His confusion could be seen in his eyes. “Why don’t you want to be with me?” she further probed.

He pulled from her light hold. “It isn’t that I don’t want to be with you,” he tried to explain.

“Noah, you said it had never been like that with us before. Why?”

Oh great. How did he explain this?

“You were different. Before,” he finally told her.


This Eden was too inquisitive for his own good. The Eden before the accident didn’t give a rip how he felt about anything. This one forced him to face his feelings.

She watched as he went through his thought process.

“Don’t give me broad terms Noah,” she warned. “I want to know.”

No you don’t.

As if reading his mind, her eyes told him yes, I do.

Live for today, Jake’s words repeated in his mind.

Noah took the few steps needed to be in front of her. His hands back on her shoulders, his eyes looking in hers, he told her, “You were,” he paused. Then, he sharply pulled free and jammed his hands into his hair. “Different!”

She couldn’t understand why this was so difficult for him. What on earth could have been so different he couldn’t tell her?

She walked to stand before him. Her eyes searching his. She placed her hands flat on his bare chest, and she felt that pull again. She felt his heart rate rise as his eyes looked into hers.

Slowly her hands slid up his chest. Her bottom lip between her teeth. “Noah, am I…” she chewed her lip a second, “inadequate?”

He was taken back by her question. “No!” He couldn’t go through that again. There was absolutely nothing inadequate about her. Not in the beginning and sure as hell not now. Tonight she’d been the woman he’d only dreamed his Eden would become.

“I don’t understand,” her voice soft. “Even now, all I can think about is your mouth and hands on me.”

He just looked at her. She seriously didn’t just say what he thought she did.

Her hands went to the back of his head and pulled him in for a soft kiss as she rose on tip toes. He didn’t hesitate when she wanted passage and her tongue slipped inside. Softly exploring, tasting.

His hands went to her waist for a moment before caressing to her back.

The feel of his hands on her flesh sent a sensation through her. She lifted her lips from his. “Yes, Noah,” she sighed. “I love your touch.”

They kissed a moment longer before he snuggled her close. “This Eden,” his voice a soft whisper. “This is what’s different.”

Her head spun from his delicate kisses at her neck and shoulder. He was intoxicating.

“What Noah,” she whispered back, returning feather light kisses of her own to his chest. “Tell me, what’s different?”

She was like a drug. An addiction. She had a way of getting through she hadn’t possessed before. How was that possible?

He didn’t want to talk. He wanted to experience these new feelings. New sensations. To overdose on this new Eden and shore up all of it.

He pulled back and looked at her. “Eden, what happened downstairs shouldn’t…”

“Don’t say it,” she softly warned again.

“Shouldn’t have happened – the way it did.”

“I don’t understand,” she replied in a whisper.

Her breath caught as he slid his hand along the nape of her neck. “You okay?” he asked, taking his hand back. It was possible she’d hurt her head or something with their excursion in the kitchen.

“I love when you do that,” she replied.

A soft smile lit his face as he repeated the action. She closed her eyes at the sensations flowing through her from the motion.

“Eden,” he whispered before giving her lips a butterfly kiss. “The first time should not have been in the kitchen.”

Her head fell back, giving him better access to her neck and throat. “I don’t believe I was complaining,” she answered.

“It still shouldn’t have been.”

“Then how should it have been?” she huskily asked.

Ignoring every lecture he’d given himself in the shower, “Let me show you,” he answered, burrowing his hands in her hair, angling her head to the best advantage for the deepest kiss possible.

She sighed and melted into him. Surrendering to him as she’d never done before. He lifted her and made his way to her bed, setting her down gently, never breaking their kiss.

As she lie there, looking up at him, caressing his hair behind his ears, his fingers delicately caressing her stomach. Her eyes were as dark as he’d ever seen them.

As he looked into her face, the want and need he saw there hit him like a sledge hammer. No contempt at his touch. No pushing him away. Instead, her eyes called to him.

“Oh, Eden,” he sighed as his hand slid along her neck into her hair and his head lowered to kiss her thoroughly.

In contrast to their earlier, desperate session in the kitchen, now they ventured onto a journey of exploration.

He felt exhilarated at her sighs during his exploration. A nip here or delicate kiss there eliciting sighs from her that filled him. His particular favorite was when she’d tell him to “do that again.”

And, when it had been her turn to explore, she’d softly ask if he liked what she was doing, or what he’d like for her to do. She’d done something she’d never done before: made him feel special.

As he lie above her, his arms on either side of her head as he held himself up on his elbows after they had both gently and thoroughly caressed and kissed each other’s’ bodies, part of him felt guilt. She may not remember what it had been like, especially when she walked out, but he did. And, he figured she wasn’t going to be real happy with him taking advantage of the situation when her memory returned.

“Eden?” he softly called to her.

When her eyes opened and looked at him, he felt like he was looking at a completely different woman. Her state of ecstasy shining brightly from her dark eyes.

“Please tell me you’re sure about this,” he pleaded.

Now was not a time for this. For whatever reason, he was questioning something she felt was as natural as breathing. “Make love to me, Noah,” she whispered then pulled his mouth to hers, silencing any more words of reasoning or protest. Sighing into his mouth at the feel of his resistance fading.

“Oh Baby yes,” her soft sigh as he entered her caused him to stop and look at her. She was completely lost to everything but this moment. He slowly began moving inside her again. Her bottom lip pulled between her teeth as he did. Her eyes closed. Lifting her hips to take him in as deeply as possible.

When they reached their summit, it was after an amazing journey of discovery for her. Surely they must have been like this before. He was just as she’d thought. Remembered? A gentle, thorough lover. He gave and received with equal valor.

Midnight displayed on the bedside clock as they lie nestled in each other’s embrace. Body temperatures and heart rates back to normal.

Noah held her securely in his embrace, her delicate fingers softly caressing his chest.

“Noah?” she called softly.

“Hmm,” he responded, his eyes closed, enjoying the moment of closeness.

“Why did you do that?”

He tensed slightly. Christ, what did I do wrong now?

“Do what?”

She pulled from his hold and looked down at him, her expression perplexed. “You hesitated. Stopped. Asked if I was sure. Why?” When he didn’t answer right away, she asked, “What did I do wrong?”

His hand rose and he brushed the backs of his fingers along her cheek. She looked like Eden. Her voice sounded like Eden’s. But this woman looking at him right now might as well be from a whole other universe.

“You didn’t do anything wrong. I told you, you’re just different.”

She flopped down on her pillow, emotion building. She crossed her arms over her chest. Noah thought for sure the wrath was coming.

“I don’t understand. Why won’t you tell me?” she asked.

It was his turn to lean on his bent arm and look down to her. Her watery eyes showing she was fighting tears.

“You’ve never,” he paused looking for the right words.

“Just spill Noah.” Her impatience was shining through.

He chuckled. “Okay,” he agreed. “You’ve never called me baby before.”

“That’s it?”



He smiled before leaning down and kissing her bare shoulder. “Oh, that’s nice,” she sighed.

“And, you’ve never done that,” he told her as his hand traveled along her abdomen, stopping just shy of where he knew she wanted him to if her change in breathing was any indication.

She used her hand to guide his lower. As his fingers teased her still sensitive bud she threw her head back.

“Or that,” he said.

As her eyes slowly opened to look into his, his smile caught her off guard. Then, his hand stopped teasing and he watched as she tried putting thoughts together.

Her eyes looked away a moment as she calculated her response.

“I didn’t talk while we made love before?” she asked.

“Let’s say, you didn’t tell me, or show me, what you wanted. What you liked.”

“I was shy?”

Okay, not the word he’d use. Closed off. Reserved. Unattached. The past two years anyway. In the beginning, yes, she had been shy.

“For lack of a better word,” he answered, “yes.”

“And, I never called you baby before?”

“Uh, no.”

“You don’t like it?” she ventured.

He took in a breath. “Was a surprise.”

“Oh,” she was perplexed.

“What?” Now he was curious. This Eden was open and honest. Might as well take advantage.

“Well, I don’t know why I wouldn’t have said it. I mean, I had all these feelings and my head kept calling you baby so I just said it.” She now met his eyes. “It just felt – natural.”

The look of surprise on his face caused her to giggle.

She reached up and looped her arms around his neck. “Or maybe I should have said big boy or something.” She pouted, further taking him off guard with her playfulness. “Which would be a very accurate statement as well,” she cooed seductively.

He cleared his throat. Who the hell are you? And what have you done with my wife?

She pulled him to her and just before kissing him softly she said, “You may touch me now.”

“Oh, may I?” he joked back.

“You most definitely may.” And, then she kissed him. Taking them onto another round of discovery.

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