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47. The Best Kind of Pain

“Oh, Cam,” I moan, closing my eyes tightly. “It hurts.”

“Just a bit more,” he whispers in my ear, his hands gripping my shoulders. “You can take it.”

“Cam,” I groan again, biting down on my bottom lip, taking the pain.

“Yeah, that’s my girl.” His hoarse whisper hits my ear.

“Ah, shit! I can’t take it, I can’t take it!” I cry out, dropping my head back, the pain becoming too much.

“Baby, sit still.” He chuckles while giving me his best calming voice. “It’s almost done already.”

Sure enough, the guy finishes the last line just as I’ve all but given up with my weak pain tolerance.

“There ya go, doll,” the tattoo artist winks at me as he washes it, then wipes it down one last time, making Hawke’s eyes narrow at him.

I can’t contain my excitement now that the pain is over. How he has so many tattoos, I have no idea, it’s not for the weak. That shit hurt.

Walking over to the mirror, I stand before it, checking out my first and only tattoo. It’s an all black hawk, on the side of my rib, just beneath my breast.

Hawke walks up behind me, smiling with his eyes as he circles around me to take a look.

“I can’t believe you actually did it,” he grins, eyeing it and then my entire body as a whole, biting the corner of his lip. “That’s sexy as fuck.”

Yep. Just hearing him admire it makes the pain worth it. I’d endure more of it just to hear his approval. He makes me feel so beautiful, so rare, so unique. Truly the best kind of pain.

“I can’t believe you told me not to,” I reply, admiring how amazing it looks on me. Like it was meant to be there.

He plants himself behind me in the mirror, his hands holding onto my hips as he continues talking to our reflection, “I just didn’t want you to regret it. You know there’s a negative connotation around couples’ tattoos.”

“Hawke,” I say, turning to face him. “You literally put my name on your forearm!”

He smiles looking down at the tattoo. On the inside of his forearm near the elbow he had me write out Cole in cursive.

“That’s different. I’m obsessed with you, it makes sense.”

I smack his shoulder playfully making him show me that beautiful smile of his before wrapping my arms around his neck.

“Why do you think I got my hawk?” I cock my brow with a smirk, making him smile shyly. “Always a part of me, Cam.”

“I fucking love you.” He leans down pressing his full lips onto mine before they travel to my neck. His tongue darts out, licking the spot beneath my ear making me release a breath from my lips. His lips find my earlobe. Dragging his teeth on the sensitive spot, he whispers, “I can’t wait to fuck you with your new tat.”

I swallow, my pulse instantly racing at the words whispered. My eyes look behind us and I see the tattoo guy grinning at us, clearly seeing my lustful expression. My cheeks have to be a deep shade of red. Yep, time to leave.

We head back to the house again after hitting the grocery store for a few items. Things are different here beneath this roof, within these walls. It’s warmer with just the two of us, but there’s still a lingering energy that doesn’t sit right. Patrick is gone, still locked up and awaiting trial.

Apparently his father tried to post bail to have him released until his court date, but because of the severity of the crime, he wasn’t offered it. The thought of him sitting there, waiting for daddy to pay his way out, only to find out that a manslaughter charge doesn’t allow bail makes me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.

His brother Sean came and picked up the rest of his things from the house last week. We graciously had everything spread throughout the lawn as we sat on the porch, watching with cocktails in hand as he loaded it up himself.

Patrick’s charges included a laundry list of federal offenses. Obstruction of justice, fleeing a scene, manslaughter, even his buddy filed charges against him, assuming Patrick was the one who beat him up, so an assault charge to top it off. I filed a restraining order per Hawke and Julie’s advice.

His father was also being charged with obstruction of justice for attempting to pay off and cover up the accident on Patrick’s behalf. The way it’s all panning out, Patrick appears to be looking at around at least fifteen years with the total charges. If he gets it all. It would be a miracle, but we can hope, right?

Julie dug her heels into this state of affairs after seeing and hearing what truthfully transpired. She had her attorney friends take on the case pro bono in order to nail this family and get Hawke released of his charges. Filings were already made to have his record expunged, removing all prior history off his record, leaving him the clean slate he deserved.

In the meantime, we’re sharing the space in his house like never before, for the first time, alone together.

It’s kinda strange to have already lived with your boyfriend before you became a couple. I already know his weird quirks, one being his oddly clean and tidy behavior, just as he knows my incessant need to have fuzzy blankets all over the house.

Living with him is amazing. Waking up together every morning in each other’s arms, then walking out and grabbing our coffee together while watching mob movies? Life couldn’t get any better than this. We’re living off of the money Hawke already had from Patrick’s family with the promise of more from the city for the wrongful conviction.

It’s hilarious how it all played out. I’m still working towards writing my own novel while maintaining my role as an editor and Hawke is taking time off to enjoy life and his newfound freedom.

“I want pizza!” Hawke calls out from the shower.

“Thank god,” I say from the kitchen. “I hate cooking after shopping, I’m so tired.”

Hawke throws some sweatpants on, coming out to the kitchen with a towel in his hand still drying his hair. His broad shoulders still have droplets of water clinging to him like they never want to leave. I get it, water droplets, truly I do.

He smells like fresh soapy heaven splashed with some sort of cologne that gets my woman parts activated. That paired with the sight of him shirtless, covered in his infamously scattered tats, wearing loosely fit sweats with no underwear and a clear outline of his dick? Yeah, he’s screwed.

“Go cuddle up on the couch, I’ll call it in,” he says, kissing the top of my head while getting the pizza brochure to call it up.

The pizza arrived about forty minutes later, interrupting our game of strip poker just before my shirt came off.

“Goddammit!” he curses out, throwing his cards. “I’ve never been more mad at pizza in all my life,” he mutters, getting up, leaving me giggling in delight.

We eat while watching A Bronx Tale on the couch practically on top of each other, pulling our slices straight from the box.

“I wanted to talk to you about something,” Hawke says, brushing his hands off over the now empty pizza box before turning to face me on the couch.

“Okay,” I reply with a slight hesitation.

“How do you feel about selling the house?”

My eyebrows shoot up in surprise.

“I mean, I figured at some point you’d want to, but the decision is up to you, obviously. The connection you have to it—”

“I have no connection to tangible things. I have a connection to you and you alone,” he says abruptly.

His sentiment gives me pause. His love and obsession is adorable to say the least.

“I just mean with your father. This was your home before all of this happened. Your attachment to it may be different than mine,” I say softly, climbing into his lap.

I softly drag my fingers from his shoulders down to his chest, touching every ripple of muscle I can, before reaching the waistband to his sweats.

He shifts his position beneath me, slouching slightly and adjusting his hips to accommodate me on his lap while his hands find my thighs.

“My attachment is to you,” he answers quickly without thinking."Everything else is up here and in here, where it should be,” he says pointing to his head and heart.

A smile pulls at my lips at his abashed display of emotions and the sound makes him grin. His eyes narrow slightly while his focus and attention turns to my body on top of his. He begins toying with his lip ring. A tell tale sign that he’s thinking about sex.

It’s probably my favorite tic of his.

“I’ve thought about our future, you know,” he comments in a softer tone, drawing small circles on my thigh with his index finger before gazing up at me shyly.

“You have?” I ask, biting my lower lip, holding back my smile. I brush some of his hair back with my fingers, admiring him. “And tell me, what do you see?”

This is the first time we’ve really talked about us and plans that we have. Everything before this was simply about survival, we had no objectives, we had no goals. But now, we are given this opportunity for just that.

“I see you, sitting on the deck of our home off the coast of California, wind blowing through your hair as we watch the sunset together.” He grabs my waist, pulling me as close to him as he can. “I see you writing while gazing off at the blues, greens, and teals of the ocean. I see me working and doing something I love while helping you with your dreams. I see us being happy. Really fucking happy.”

My heart aches. Everything he’s describing and the way he sees it gives me such a blissful feeling. We can be happy. We will be happy. Really fucking happy.

“And babies. Lots of fucking babies,” he adds, cocking a brow with a mischievous grin while squeezing my ass in his large hands.

“Hawke!” I scold, my eyes opening wide in surprise.

The fact that he’s thought about me having his babies tells me everything I need to know about the future he’s seen. It’s us, forever. The promise of it all is making my stomach churn in excitement. I want that for us too.

"It sounds like heaven."

I sit up straight on his lap, grabbing for the hem of my crop top, pulling the shirt over my head, leaving my hair all disheveled around my face.

His stares up at me, his lips slightly parted before I remove my bra as well. He licks his lips before swallowing as I see the roll of his Adam’s apple. Having control over a man like him is an indescribable feeling. I’m a goddess in his eyes, glowing beneath his wonder.

“See? Didn’t it turn out great?” I ask, covering my breasts, turning slightly, and showcasing the tattoo again.

He grabs my hands, pulling them away from my body, leaving my chest bare before him. He bites down on his lip before opening his mouth and finding my nipple. His hands work their way up my thighs to my waist to finally cupping both breasts as he toys with my nipple between his lips.

“It’s...fucking...perfect,” he says between kisses.

“Cam,” I giggle. “You’re not even looking at it.”

He touches the sensitive skin, gently running his fingers over it.

“Trust me, I can’t keep my eyes off it,” he says, kissing near the area then sitting back as his eyes take me in. “God, you’re beautiful.”

I flush at his words, feeling each one of them travel to the pit of my stomach.

His hand travels to the middle of my chest, resting his palm over my heart as he takes my hand, placing it on the exact same spot on his chest. I lean down, capturing his soft lips with mine.

He kisses me slowly, achingly slow. His tongue drags along the length of mine before angling his head and doing it again with more force. The passion between us building, the heat between us never more evident. What we do to each other is unimaginable. It’s chaotic, it’s wild, it’s nothing short of beautiful.

He places both my hands on the sides of his neck, pulling me in closer to him. I feel him eager, hard and ready beneath me under his sweats. I grind into him, needing him against me and he releases a breath at the contact.

“I need you now,” I moan between kisses.

His mouth drops open as his brows knit together.

“I got you,” he says with a breathy tone.

His promise, all I need.

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