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The Love I Found

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Brought together by the hostile foster system, Emilia and Cal are forced to take ownership of their lives from a young age. With no guidance, they lean on each other to navigate through a journey which soon entangles them in a world of drugs and crime. While Cal is able to adapt quickly to the corrupt environment, Emilia finds herself increasingly questioning whether she belongs or if she'll lose Cal in the same way she has lost everyone else. Surrounded by the nefarious activity and dealing with buried past trauma, their relationship is put to the ultimate test. Can two broken souls find love and learn to heal in a crooked world? Or was their relationship destined to fail from the very beginning? ((TRIGGER WARNINGS: 18+ This book contains substance abuse, violence, offensive language, sexually explicit content, as well as some physical, verbal, and sexual abuse.))

Romance / Drama
Leigh Vann
5.0 7 reviews
Age Rating:


"Hit me."


"Just hit me, Emilia. I know you want to."

"I don't want to hit y—"

He shoves me back, before I can finish. It doesn't really hurt, and it doesn't scare me. Cal is my protector. I know he would never hurt me. At least, not physically.

When I think about the girl that was just all over him, I realize he can hurt me emotionally quite easily. And it wasn't just tonight either. It's been one thing after another these past few weeks. The drugs. The stealing. The constant ups and downs of our relationship are exhausting.

Do I even matter to him or have I been fooling myself? Am I just his burden that he doesn't have time for anymore?

I'm feeling sorry for myself, and it's not a feeling that I'm comfortable with. Not anymore. I'm better than that now. Cal has made me better than that.

I shove him in return, surprising myself, and the arrogant ass has the nerve to look pleased. He also remains firmly in place as if my attempt to shove him is as weak as a summer breeze.

"C'mon, angel, that's all you got?" His words come out in a taunting tone. Then his hands rest against my shoulders, and he gives them a quick squeeze. It's his subtle way of reassuring me, just before he shoves me again.

This shove is more forceful than the first one, and I stumble back a couple of steps.

I straighten my back and take a step forward. "Stop it, Cal," I demand through gritted teeth.

"Hit me," he says again, as I walk toward him. "I know you want to. It's written all over your face."

I'm about to deny it, when he steps toward me and shoves me again. This time I am midstep and the force of his shove catches me off guard. I begin to fall backwards, but Cal grips my upper arm and jerks me toward his chest.

The whiplash of his actions causes me to fall into him, and the anger, that has been simmering just beneath the surface for too long, comes erupting out of me like a volcano.

I slam my fists against his chest as I regain my balance, but I don't stop there. I continue to hit him. His solid chest has become my own personal punching bag and with every landed punch I feel stronger. More capable. I zero in on my target and lose myself in the adrenaline rush.

I don't know how many times my fists collide against his chest, but eventually I move my gaze from where my punches are landing. I look up at his face.

He's smirking. I'm hitting him with everything I've got and he's just standing there with a stupid smirk on his perfect lips.

I want to slap that smile right off of his face.

It's only after I see his surprised expression that I realize I've done just that.

Knowing that I caught him off guard feels better than it should and fills me with a new sense of power. I take the opportunity to slap him again.

His eyes flash with something I can't quite read, and I draw my hand back to slap him a third time. Before I make contact, he lifts an arm and catches my wrist in his hand.

Our eyes meet, and he holds my gaze. The fire burning in his eyes engulfs me. His grip on my wrist is verging on painful, but I welcome the feeling. It grounds me.

He reaches up with his free hand and cups the side of my face. As his thumb brushes my cheek, I become aware of my tears.

When did I start to cry?

I don't have time to feel embarrassed, before his lips are crashing against mine. His hand that is on my cheek moves to grip the back of my neck, and he pulls me closer as his tongue gains access to my mouth.

I hear him groan as I stroke my tongue against his, and he pulls on my wrist that is still caught tightly in his grasp. I go along with the movement, and he presses my hand against my side and guides it down my body. When we reach my waist, he pulls my hand away from my own body and presses it against himself.

He's already hard.

Until just recently, I wouldn't have known what to do with this, but now I know what he wants. I begin to stroke him through his jeans, and he pulls on my wrist to increase the pressure.

His tongue leaves my mouth, and he nips my lower lip with his teeth. His mouth trails along my jaw to the spot just below my ear. He presses a kiss against the sensitive skin, before murmuring in a low rumble, "You're upset that I'm not giving you enough attention."

I shake my head, though he isn't asking a question. He's making a statement.

"No." I don't sound very convincing, even to my own ears, but I don't want to admit how dependent on him I am, how needy, though I'm sure he already knows.

He pulls on my wrist again, stopping me from rubbing against his hard length, and moves my hand away to drop it at my side. I want to mourn the loss of contact, but then he's grabbing my ass and lifting me off of the ground, pressing me against him, where my body most craves his touch.

I wrap my legs around his waist as he walks toward the four post, queen sized bed in the room. He sits on its edge so that I'm straddling him, and I rock my body against him, causing us both to moan. I grind against his body a few more times, and then his hands grip my waist to keep me from moving.

"Yes," he insists. I try to move against him again, but his hands hold me firmly in place.

I've lost track of what we are talking about.

"Look at you, so fucking eager. You're not my shy girl anymore." He leans forward to rub his face against my breasts, and his teeth graze my nipple through the thin material of my shirt and lightly lined bra.

"I'm still your girl," I gasp out the words, desperately wishing he would release his hold on my waist so that I can press against him again.

"Damn right, you're my girl." His fingers dig into the flesh above the waistband of my low-rise jeans as if reinforcing his claim on me. "I didn't say you weren't my girl. I said you weren't my shy girl. You're always going to be mine."

"Yes." I'm in complete agreement.

"I haven't been giving you enough attention." He's circled back to his earlier statement.

"Yes." There's no sense in denying it now, when I'm just about panting in his lap. He's been so absent lately. I've missed him. I've missed this.

He finally releases my waist, so that he can grip the bottom of my shirt. He pulls it up to remove it, and I obediently raise my arms to make the process easier.

"We can't have that now, can we?" he asks in that sexy voice of his, that he could use to convince me of anything.

I shake my head in response as his hands run up my back to find my bra clasp. He opens it with ease, and the straps fall down my arms.

Cal eases me off of his lap so that I'm standing in front of him, and my bra falls to the floor. His eyes roam over me like he has all the time in the world, and then he loops a finger from each hand into one of my belt loops and pulls me forward to stand between his open legs.

"I'll take care of you, baby," he tells me as he trails kisses along my lower stomach, moving from one hip bone to the other. "I'll make you feel real good. You know I'll always take care of you. Just like I told you, yah?"

Yes, I definitely remember that he had promised to take care of me. I will never forget. Only, when he told me, I had never imagined that he meant it in every sense of the word. That he meant my every need.

His hands move from my belt loops to the button on my jeans, and he pops it open. While he lowers the zipper, he looks up at me with hooded eyes. He then leans forward as he works at pulling my jeans and panties down my legs at an agonizingly slow pace.

Once they are at my knees, he has leaned forward enough that his cheek is pressed against the exposed skin of my right thigh. His breath feels like a warm caress between my legs as my jeans and underwear fall around my ankles.

I've forgotten how to breathe and my legs have started to tremble. I am so revved up right now.

Why is this so torturously slow? Why hasn't he thrown me onto my back and climbed on top of me yet?

He taps two fingers against the inside of my left shin. It encourages me to lift my foot, and he slips off my jeans and underwear and then moves to do the same on my right.

Now that every piece of my clothing is on the floor, he nuzzles his face against my thigh and breathes in deeply. His hands run up the backs of my legs and he grips my ass tightly while he slips off the edge of the bed to kneel in front of me.

"Fuck, you smell so good. Bet you taste even better."


I don't have time to process his words, before his mouth is on me.

A scream rips out of me, and on instinct my hands grip his hair. I think it's because I want to push him away—this is too much—but instead, I'm holding him closer.

His tongue is relentless, and the soft sounds of satisfaction that are coming from his mouth add the perfect touch of vibrations to the onslaught of pleasure coursing through me.

He's never done this to me before. Something was holding him back. I am so thrilled that whatever it was isn't holding him back anymore.

"Mmm, yes. Fucking knew you'd taste like heaven, angel," he mumbles the words against my skin, and I squeeze my eyes shut, feeling a familiar clawing need building inside of me.

I yank on his hair desperately and try to form words. "Cal," I gasp his name. What am I even trying to say? "Cal," I try again. "I need... I need..."

"I know what you need, baby."

He pushes two finger inside of me, and his mouth lands exactly where I need it. He sets a perfect rhythm with his hand, pumping in and out of me and alternating between the most pleasurable sucking and skillfull strokes of his tongue.

I scream his name. My orgasm is so powerful, I swear I see stars.

Much later that night, we lie in our bed with Cal's naked body pressed against my back. His fingers lightly drag up and down my arm, notifying me that he is still awake, inspite of his silence. I turn in his arms to look at him.

"It wasn't..." I start quietly but stop when I notice his eyes are absently staring up at the ceiling. I've seen this look on him too many times. He can be right next to me and still seem a thousand miles away.

He tilts his chin down to meet my eyes.

Now that I have his attention, I try again, more boldly this time. "It's not just about the sex, or about wanting your attention..."

He closes his eyes, resigned. "I know."

"It's everything since we've gotten here. The stealing, and the fighting, and the drugs... Cal, it's dangerous."

He opens his eyes, and they narrow at me. "I gave you an out."

I hold his gaze, hoping my eyes express what I can't quite put into words. "I couldn't... I can't. Not without you."

"'Cause you're my girl." He says it softly, and it seems to be more to himself, as his eyes once again drift up to the ceiling.

There's silence between us. The bass of the loud music coming from the party down the hall seems to be the only sound in our room.

When Cal speaks again, he sounds annoyed. "What do you want me to say? They expect certain things from me. That's why they took us in. That's why we aren't on the streets. You're taken care of. I'm doing what I'm good at. I don't see the problem."

Two loud knocks rap against our door and a voice calls, "Hey pretty boy, time to get going. Place isn't going to rob itself."

Cal swings his legs off of the bed and stands.

I sit up. My eyes follow his movements as he starts gathering his clothes.

"We can find somewhere else. You're better than this," I try to reason with him. I watch him step into his boxers and then pick up his jeans.

He pulls them on and fastens them, finally glancing back in my direction. I wait to hear what he has to say as he walks to my side of the bed, but he only leans down and presses his mouth to mine in a quick, hard kiss.

He walks back around the bed and picks up his shirt. While walking toward the door, he puts his arms through the sleeves and pops it over his head.

I assume our conversation is over when he reaches for the doorknob, but he pauses after he grabs it.

"I'm not," he finally replies, without looking at me. He turns the knob and pulls the door open, adding in a voice, void of all emotion, "I'm worse."

He steps out and closes the door behind him.

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