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Chapter 20


Biting my lips, I watched Chase jog on the shoreline of the beach. I can see the sweat glistening on his skin underneath the hot sun.

I was surprised when I saw him at the door last night and then thoroughly upset when I allowed him to take me more than once. In fact, repeatedly. I should have protested but my body ached for his touch. It was like I couldn’t even control my own body and thoughts. He controlled everything.

The ache in my chest appeared again this morning. He doesn’t understand why I am distancing myself away from him, but I knew it wasn’t entirely his fault. It was mine too.

I want to tell him, but I am afraid to. I’m afraid of rejection. I am afraid that once he hears that I have feelings for him, he will let me go and I’ll miss him. So, I took the cowards way out by not telling him but distancing away from him in hopes that whatever feelings I have for him will disappear.

I’m the type of woman that don’t normally open but when I do, I fall hard and too quickly. The relationship that I have with Chase, it wasn’t what I call normal.

I thought I could do this casual sex relationship, but I should have known my heart was too weak for it. That intimacy plays with the heart.

He must have felt my steady eyes on him because he stopped in his run, slicked his dark brown locks back and his eyes connected with mine. His chest rising as he was breathing hard.

My breath hitching as his eyes darkened. I clenched my thighs together and shifted in my seat almost anxiously.

It was as if our time apart did nothing to my reaction to him. I still crave the man’s touch like my next meal. Tearing my eyes from him, I got up from the white painted wooden chair I was on and headed inside.

I didn’t even wait to see if he decided to follow me or not. Instead, I walked to the bedroom and locked myself in again, trying to fight off whatever feeling I was feeling.

My eyes found the bed that he and I slept in all night last night. Impassioned memories flooding my mind. I can still feel every touch of his skin on mine. His lips marking my body like it was his territory.

Again, I turned away from the bed and walked to the bedroom window. I opened it up and closed my eyes, taking in a deep inhale of the salty ocean breeze. Hopefully, that will thwart whatever thoughts I was thinking of.

It’s okay. I can do this. I just need to be more careful around him. Less exposure. I just need to learn to close off my feelings.

A knock sounded at the bedroom door. My heart picked up speed as I turned away from the window to look at the door.

“Briar,” Chase called out.

“Yeah?” I asked, my voice hoarse with emotions.

“Are you okay in there?” He asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I just needed to grab my cell phone.” I made up an excuse.

“And you had to lock the door?” He sounded slightly amused, but he sounded skeptical.

I walked over to the door and opened it. His eyes lifted from the ground and met mine again. I bit the inside of my cheek and took a deep inhale. Now that he was a lot closer, the attraction was a lot stronger. The need to throw myself at him was almost deafening.

I took a step back and his eyes darkened but not in desire but irritation. He took a step forward and I took another back.

“What’s wrong with you?” He sounded angry now.

I shrugged, “I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not. You’re different. Something is off.” He replied, taking another step forward. Now he was completely in the room with me but gave me enough room to move around him and escape.

I did just that...except...his hand wrapped around my elbow and pulled me back. I avoided his eyes.

“Look at me.” He ordered but still, I cowardly refused.

He placed two impatient fingers underneath my chin and lifted my eyes to meet his. His eyes were swirling with anger and irritation. The strong tick in his jaw and flare of his nose told me he was losing his patience. It was almost frightening to see him like this.

“It’s not-”

“If you are going to tell me it is nothing, then save it. Tell me what’s wrong. Is there something you want to tell me?” The longer he spoke, the angrier he was. There was a glint of jealousy reflecting in his irises.

“Chase, please, let me go.” I tried to pull my elbow out of his hand.

“Is it because of Logan?” He asked Logan’s coming out with a hiss.

“What?” I blinked.

“Do you like him?” His eyes darkening with each passing second.

A flash of my own anger hit me and I glared up at him, “And what if I did?”

I saw his jaw ticked again. I yanked my arms in an attempt to free myself again, but he whipped me around that my back was now firmly pressed to his front. His arms securing me in a tight hold.

“Did you sleep with him?” His voice dangerously low. A mix of fear and pleasure tugged at my chest and a shiver ran down my spine.

I felt Chase’s lips on my neck, nibbling down to my exposed shoulder. I silently cursed myself for not wearing a more conservative outfit, but it was Hawaii. The weather here does not call for sweaters but spaghetti string silk tops and short skirts.

When I didn’t answer him right away, he tightened his grip and pressed his evident hard on into my back. A bite to my neck prodded me to answer.

“No,” I told him, that seemed to satisfy him slightly because he started sucking on my neck and I knew he was leaving another love mark. Marking me. Possessing me.

I swallowed, “Let me go, Chase.”

One hand snaked up to cup my breast while the other slipped lower between my legs.

“Why?” He whispered. His tone dropped a notch.

His fingers brushed my drenched core. I cursed myself for the second time today for wearing a thong.

“Stop. Please.” I begged.

Surprisingly, he dropped his hands and I took the opportunity to step back. His face hardening with each passing second. Suddenly, I felt guilty like I did something wrong. Something I shouldn’t have done.

“Chase, let me explain.” I took a step forward, but he shook his head.

A bitter chuckle leaving his lips, “I am not one to chase tail, Briar. I don’t chase and that’s always how it has been. Yet, here I am chasing you. Christ, I think I broke every f/ucking rule in my rulebook for you. I don’t like this feeling. The urge to beat the sh/it out of a man who I know has a clear interest in you.”

“It’s complicated,” I mumbled dropping my gaze to my feet.

“That’s not what I want to hear. I’m a businessman. I deal, and you sign. If you can’t tell me what the fuck is wrong with you. I can’t fix it. I’m your Dom. I should be able to earn your trust but here I am picking at the crumbs you are handing me.” With each sentence, it was like a knife to my heart. He doesn’t understand.

“I can’t do this...” I said softly. My eyes connected with his hard ones. I can see how angry he was.

He grabbed onto my elbow again. His once soft eyes turning cold and distant.

“You’re in a contract with me. You can’t break it unless- ”

“Unless there are feelings involved,” I whispered the end of his sentence.

He faltered. His hard and cold composure slipped slightly.

I swallowed and pressed my palms firmly on his naked chest, “I can’t do this because I have feelings.”

Tears forming and clouding my visions. My heart ached so much that it was almost hard to breathe.

“I think it’s best if you leave,” I whispered before pushing on his chest hard.

He let me go.

His arms dropped to his side, but he didn’t move. I turned my back on him and wiped the tears that had daringly escaped.

A moment later, I heard him grab his bag and the front door slamming shut. I turned back to see him gone and it was then the tears flowed freely. There was a hollowness in my chest that seemed to hurt each time I breathed.

I didn’t realize how late I was until I saw him leave. It was late because I have already fallen more so than I wanted. I should have realized how much I waited on him. He could play me like a fiddle and I wouldn’t have objected at all.

I lay curled up on the floor as I cried my heart out. Clutching at my chest desperately as sobs after sobs wrecked my body.

An hour later, and I was still on the ground. Curled up in a fetal position as if to protect what was left of me. My tears were still slipping down my face, but I have stopped sobbing. I stared into nothingness as I allowed the feeling of pain to eat me.

Finally, when the sun has completely set, and it was completely dark, I got up. I felt cold and alone. I moved to grab a blanket and wrapped it around me. Hugging it close as I walked outside to the shoreline. The only source of light was the moonlight and the light shining from the front door of the beach home.

I guess it was for the best. I knew it was going to come to this anyways. I shouldn’t have expected for him to confess his undying love for me because he didn’t have the same feelings that I did. I was just taken aback at how much it hurt. It felt like my body was being ripped apart and put back together. My head was pounding, and my chest was aching with an emptiness that I knew was going to be hard to fill.

It was late when I returned to the beach home. I guess it was time to end my vacation short and return home.

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