Chapter Twenty Three
I moved into him, curving my body against his until we were almost one. I knew his confession of love didn’t mean we’d waltz off into the sunset, skipping merrily to the sound of a love song direct from the top 20. We were going to have to fight to stay together, our combined issues were still works in progress, we still had healing to do, wounds to cauterize. It wasn’t going to be easy, but that didn’t mean I was going to walk away. I had fallen for him, and against all odds he had fallen for me too.
“Yes, Tobias. I can take a chance on us.” I whispered.
“I was really hoping you’d say that.” he murmured, nestling his face against the top of my head.
“You thought I might say no?” I whispered.
“After the way I’ve treated you. I was expecting the worst and hoping for the best.” He replied.
“Well I’m glad you still had hope.”
“Not until I met you. You gave me hope.”
I tilted my head up toward him, he was smiling and for the first time I realised it was without fear. He seemed free. I placed my hand on his cheek and nodded.
“You gave me hope too.” I whispered. “I never thought I’d love anyone after what happened… I didn’t want to get hurt again.”
Tobias frowned. “I’ve hurt you though.”
I shook my head and turned to face him, momentarily pulling myself from his embrace. I placed my other hand his other cheek. “We’ve hurt each other, but that isn’t the point.” I murmured. “The point is that you can’t control everything, sometimes life is going to hurt and if you live in fear of that, you’re not living.”
Tobias’ frown disappeared in place of smile so wide is reached his light blue eyes and lit his entire face up so much that I felt emotional being privy to his happiness. He had been inside a shell, hiding from a world he could hold in the palm of his hand, choosing only to experience a bare minimum. But I could see the curiosity peeking through now, he wanted to live… and he wanted me to be there alongside him.
“Kiss me.” I pleaded softly as I turned my body and lifted my leg over his. I sat down on his lap facing him. I let my hands fall to his chest pressing against him so slight that as soon as he went to give me what I asked for my elbows collapsed under the pressure of him pulling me in closer. Our lips met without another word, like colliding stars the room was suddenly filled with an explosion, only this was an explosion of burning love that had been repressed for far too long.
Tobias’ hands moved up from my waist, to my shoulders, then finally to my neck. He held me, curling his fingers through my hair, almost as though he was trying to tangle himself up in me. I moved against him, which garnered a tense groan to escape his mouth as we continued to kiss. His tongue flickered against mine, and then he pulled back, resting his heavy lidded focus on me.
“You’re killing me.” He whispered lifting his hips slightly, I felt him through the fabric of his pants and mine. The heat was profound, and his size as considerable as it had always been, but the desperation in his voice seemed deeper somehow, want had become need and lust had become love.
“Take me to bed.” I whispered back. “Now.”
Tobias didn’t answer me with words, instead he stood, taking me with him. I wrapped my legs around his waist while he held my waist and walked through my apartment. He pushed my bedroom door open. Then set me down on the ground and our eyes met. My heart sank as I saw the uncertainty in his eyes. Had he changed his mind?
“Are you alright…” he whispered.
I smiled he was worried about me, but he needn’t be. All that mattered was right now. I lifted my hands to my shirt and began to unbutton it. Allowing the soft floaty fabric to slide from my skin and fall gently to the floor. Eye contact still locked, I reached my arms behind my back and unclasped my lacy white bra. I let it fall to the floor as well, while my arms hung at the side of my body. I smiled and nodded.
Tobias let out a breath, the fear within him dissipated in front of my eyes. He let his eyes wander downward, absorbing me with his gaze. He lifted his head and eyes to meet mine once more, and he stepped forward to close the gap between us.
He placed his hands in mine, entwining our fingers together. For a moment he stood there, neither one of us saying a word. He tugged gently and it was all the encouragement I needed. I closed the remainder of the distance between us, pressing my topless upper half against his still very clothed body. I lifted my hands to the lapels of his suit jacket. The feel of the fabric was nice beneath my fingers, but right now it was just a barrier between him and I, an unneeded waste of space. I pulled it off, discarding it on the floor by my own shirt. I looked down to work on his buttons, but it was less than five seconds before he lifted my chin upward, planting a long lingering kiss on my lips, momentarily wiping my mind of anything other than his mouth on mine. He used his strength to walk us both across the floor toward the bed. We shared breathless kisses, while he pulled his hands from mine to undo the rest of the buttons on his shirt. Once it to, found it’s place on the floor I rest my hands against the warmth of his body and let myself melt into him.
“Ruby.” he mumbled. “I need you.”
I nodded and pulled back from our kiss. “I need you too.”
I removed my pants and panties, standing in front of him unapologetically naked. His eyes gazed over my body before he turned to focus on the button of his suit pants. His clear arousal sprung out once released from the confines of his clothes, I reached out wrapping my hands around his length, surprised by the heat radiating from it, so hot it was almost like fire. He grunted, moving with my touch for a moment before lifting me onto the edge of the bed. He hovered above me, our eyes locked. His lips curved into a mischievous smile, sending a thrill through my body that stopped right at my sensitive center. I let my head fall back as moan exited my mouth and filled the silent room.
Before I could recover from his gaze his tongue flicked against my left nipple, while his fingers tweaked the right. I arched, unable to dilute the reaction my body was having in response to his touch. I reached out, grasping at whatever I could hold on to. One hand grabbed a fistful of blanket, the other held onto the heat of Tobias’ back.
“Now.” I whispered. “Please.”
Tobias lifted his head and pressed his lips against mine. He let out a deep, but unsteady breath as our bodies moved against one another. With a powerful thrust he slid inside me, filling me in a way that only he had ever been able to.
The sensation was earth shattering, to the point I could barely remember who or where I was, until our eyes met again. I was with the man I had fallen in love with, who against all odds had fallen back.
We built a rhythm together, increasing speed and friction simultaneously until everything became technicolor. The vibration started from deep within me, slowly radiating through my veins, like some kind of pleasure serum. I called out Tobias’ name, my voice thick and raspy. He leaned forward, burying his face against my right breast, tensing against me, holding me tighter than ever before as he let go… really let go and fell apart with me.
His breathing was shallow, and he was shaking. “You okay.” I whispered.
He grunted in reply, lifting his head slightly to kiss the rise of my breast. “More than.” He finally managed to say.
He collapsed beside me, but pulled me with him, until my head rest on his naked chest.
“Can we just stay here for the rest of the day.” He murmured.
“If you want.”
“Oh… I want.” he replied. “There are a lot of things I want right now… but I need to recover.” He added.
“Well. I’m not chef extraordinaire like you, but I dial the number for take out real well. I could order some sustenance for lunch to refill our energy levels.”
Tobias let out a sleepy chuckle. “Sounds like a plan.”
“Good.” I murmured. “Just give me a few minutes. I think I may have forgotten how to walk.”
Tobias chuckled again, which filled me with a contentment I hadn’t known I was without. I closed my eyes and listened to beating of his heart. It was hard and fast, which was unsurprising considering what had just happened between us. It’s methodical sound calmed me, as it slowed down the more he relaxed.
“Ruby.” He whispered just as I began to doze.
“Mmhmm.” I replied, too sleepy to use words.
“I really am sorry I messed with your emotions. Pulling you in, just to push you away again. Always keeping you at arm’s length. I manipulated and lied to you to stop you from getting close. I wanted you to go away and stay at the same time. It was a mind fuck, I know.” He stopped speaking for a moment. “Really, I’m sorry.”
“Tobias.” I begun, I propped myself up on his chest and looked up at his face. He was content, and spent. But I could tell he still felt guilt. “It’s okay.”
“No, it’s not. Being fucked up on the inside isn’t an excuse to treat other people like shit… and I’ve been doing it for years…” His voice was laden with guilt and I knew that despite his admission, he still had some way to go in his journey. I needed him to know I understood.
“Tobias, everyone deals with trauma in different ways. Some act out, some withdraw, some repress feelings. There is no right answer when it comes to dealing with pain, there isn’t an easy fix… there isn’t a light switch to flick. You were dealt a shitty hand of pain that you didn’t know how to process. You were a child and what happened to you forever changed certain things about you.” I stopped. “But you are not what happened to you and you are not your coping mechanism. You are you.”
Tobias smiled, his hand cupped my cheek. “Doctor Gertison’s right.”
My eyebrows furrowed, but I found myself smiling. “Right about what?”
“You being a good influence on me.”
I nodded. “Well, I’d have to concur with Doctor Gertison.”
His smiled deepened, before it slowly dissipated. He propped himself up slightly and looked down at me, with worried blue eyes.
“Do you still want to quit?” He said suddenly.
I frowned, I didn’t answer right away, I hadn’t really thought about it. Everything had happened so fast that I was still regaining my breath from his admission of reciprocal love. I bit my lip and shrugged.
“Maybe it’s for the best? Considering what the staff think of me already…” I frowned, I hadn’t told him about me lambasting them in the elevator. They already considered me a scarlet woman. I’d guilted them, but they’d feel vindicated in their incorrect thoughts if Tobias and I suddenly walked hand in hand through the building.
“I don’t give a flying fuck about anyone else Ruby.” He paused. “Only you and I want you by my side.”
I let out a soft chuckle. He was the same Tobias, just one who was able to be more open with his feelings. I nodded and pressed a kiss on his breastbone. If he could handle it, then so could I.
“I’ll keep working for you Tobias Clarke.” I stopped and grinned. “But I warn you, I might get distracted by the boss.”
Tobias grinned back. “I’m pretty sure the boss won’t mind. He is in love with you after all”
Warmth enveloped me, and I rest my chin on the edge of his hand that lay across his chest. I was never going to get tired of hearing those words leaving his mouth. I smiled and replied. “I love you too.”