Chapter 24: Shared Tastes
With a deep breath I open my eyes. And that is the best wake-up I ever had. Rage is sitting on my bed and he has his blue eyes on me. He studies my face as if it is an exotic land and the moment he meets my gaze he doesn’t back away as he always does. He just pins me with a piercing, demanding gaze that sends sparks to my whole body, igniting the place between my thighs. I like these new, strange feelings that take over and fluster my soul.
“Good morning.” I say.
He replies nothing, his eyes still roaming my face. He seems tired but he is awake and alert and I wonder how much sleep did he have the night before. I dispatch my eyes from his face only to realize that he is shirtless, his soft inked skin so close to mine. I am tempted to touch him, run my fingers over the wolf tattoo that takes up most of his chest. He is stunning, every inch of him sculpted to perfection and I will never have enough looking upon him.
“You have to eat now.” his words always a harsh command but I can sense the softness underneath.
I get up slowly and sit up on the bed. My back is still hurting but I said the truth last night when I told him I had been through worse. Rage brings a bowl up to me filled with fruits and yogurt. I grab the bowl and our fingers touch. Sweet Jesus. Electricity surges throughout my body by that simple touch and I wonder how it would feel to be closer to him, flushed up against him, skin on skin. My cheeks betray my thoughts as I feel them burn and he shifts on the bed still not withdrawing from my touch.
“Doc said you should get a lot of fluids.” he finally looks away releasing my soul “Eat to get your pills. And I got to check the bandages.”
I know there is nothing in those words to make me happy but I am. My body wakes at the thought of him touching me again. I never thought that a man’s touch could be so soft and gentle and I can’t wait to feel him again. All I knew of men were those that came to be with my mother and then Daultrey. That made me think that men are cruel, harsh beings, their hands and fingers weapons ready to scar me. But not Rage. He won’t hurt me. His touch is soft, light, caring.
“Did you eat?” I ask.
He didn’t. I have seen Rage while I was working in the bar. He was drinking all the time and he ate whatever was there. I take a spoonful on yogurt and fruits and move it to him. He leans away scowling darkly.
“We share.” I say and nod reassuringly.
For a few seconds he keeps his distance and I feel like a fool holding the spoon in the air. Then he leans in painfully slow, his eyes narrowing. He opens his full mouth and his tongue cradles the spoon softly. I swallow hard seeing his thick tongue move. Then he closes his lips around the spoon and I am so mesmerized by this sight to the point I lick my lips openly. We repeat the same ritual over and over again and the torture of having him so close is the most painful and sweetest thing I have ever experienced. When we are done, he gives me my pills.
“Uhm.” I hesitate.
“I need to go to the bathroom.” I look at my twined fingers.
He stands up and rocks on his feet. I pull to the edge of the bed and he helps me up but I get dizzy. He grabs me by the armpits as if I were a little girl. Rage sure is big, his arms long enough to wrap twice around me, his chest vast against mine. He is a lot taller than me and I have to arc my neck to be able to look at him. He is a mountain of a man.
“I got you.” he says and picks me up carefully.
I never thought that being hurt would bring me such unspeakable happiness. I lay my head against his chest and hold on to him. He hisses at the connection and his jaw is clenching nervously upon impact but he carries me, keeping me close to him. It is only for a few seconds before he puts me down in the bathroom but for those few seconds I was in Heaven.
“Call me when you are done.”
When I do, he carries me back the same way and places me on the bed gently. That fierce, gigantic man has a gentle, tender side that even he doesn’t know he possesses.
“Roll over.” he orders and I do as he asks.
He sits closer this time and his hands tremble as he pulls my t-shirt up. His fingers drive the fabric to my shoulders and I get slightly up to let it roll over my breasts. I feel my nipples erect, sensitive and when the t-shirt slides over them I let out a soft whimper. Ever since I met Rage, new sensations take over me and I drown in a sea of unspeakable pleasure with him being near. Pressure is applied to my core as it gets wet and I clench my thighs to relief the need that rises urgently. Never before in my life has my body reacted that way and I am confused and excited at the same time.
His moves are more purposeful and his touch more flamed this time. The minute the bandages are off I shudder at the thought of seeing him so distressed as he was last night. Rage is plagued by his own demons but seeing him out of control, in so much pain, ready to hurt himself again made me bleed inside. This time he doesn’t stop just curses under his breath before grabbing the cream.
“If I am hurting you, Iris, let me know.” he leans in and his breath brushed my skin.
He applies the cream with feather light moves and although I feel the irritation on my skin, I focus on his touch. What Daultrey has damaged, Rage is healing.
“You...didn’t sleep well last night.” he says as he is bandaging me.
I bite my lip. I haven’t slept good since I was a child. All I could ever think of was survival. Survive my mother’s lifestyle and the men that came in and out endlessly. Survive living chained like a slave in the chop-shop. Survive being Daultrey’s property. Survive the streets when I escaped. For the first time in my life I don’t want to survive, I want to live. Rage lets out a deep breath that makes me focus on him.
“That piece of shit is out of your life. He won’t lay one fucking finger on you ever again.” his words wrap me like a blanket.
He gets up and walks around the room. I sit up on his bed and follow him with my eyes, not daring to say anything. His broad chest is taking deep, angry breaths and he keeps his eyes closed. I wonder how it would be if my nightmares followed me all day, playing before my eyes again and again. I would go mad, for sure. People would call me psycho. But they would never be able to understand. How much different would I be from the man growling before me, driving his nails over his arms, eager to cause pain to himself? How long before would I have died if it wasn’t for my sister’s love?
“Rage?” I speak up.
“I couldn’t stop it.” guilt guts him deep.
“But you did.” I assure him.
“You are hurt. Your back. your skin.” he hides his head in his arms “Your beautiful skin. I am bad, bad, bad.” he rubs his head with violent moves.
I slide to the edge of the bed and let my feet hang by the end of it. I push myself up and fight the nausea that hits me hard. Rage needs me and I need to be there for him as he was for me. My feet move and I manage to be near him.
His nails draw blood on his skin and I gulp at seen him scar himself the same way Daultrey did mine. I reach out and touch his arm. With one quick move he grabs my arm and tightens his fingers around it. He shoots his eyes in mine and he growls like a wild animal ready to devour its prey, no sign of recognition in his look. I swallow the scream coming up my throat and remind myself that he is Rage. My beautiful Rage that kept me safe. I just need to keep him safe now.
“It’s me. Just me.” I say softly.
Pain and rage flickers through his eyes, the same words inked on his fingers. They are his only companions in life. I move my other arm and let it hover over his face, not touching him but letting him feel my warmth. His breathing comes back to normal slowly, the fires burning in his eyes soothed and his grip loosens.
“It’s OK, Rage.” I keep saying “It’s OK. It’s me. I’m here.”
“Iris. My beautiful Iris.” he exhales relieved.
His words tighten my heart more than his hands ever could. He called me “beautiful”! He called me “beautiful” and didn’t want to hurt me. I feel as if my heart was going to explode with happiness. I search his eyes, urging him to say it again but a flicker of realization changes his stance.
“You are out of bed.” he shouts “Fuck, Iris, you need to rest.”
“I couldn’t let you...” I say timidly.
He helps me to the bed and refrains from looking at me.
“I scare you. I scare everyone. I scared you at the bar. When I was looking over you. At the parking lot. I am bad, evil in my blood, Iris, and I hurt you and I...Fuck!” he starts pacing again “You need to be away from me but I can’t let you go.”
Any other might feel fear crawl under their skin seeing a man swing between moods so quickly. Or claim he would keep them close no matter what. But I know how it is to be a prisoner, how it is to have a man see you as his property and I am not Rage’s prisoner. I am under his protection.
“You don’t scare me.” I inhale deeply as his blue eyes come to mine “I didn’t mind you watching over me. I always want you close. I like it when you are close.”
His big eyes widen even more and he moves closer as if obeying an order I never gave. He leans to me, enough for his chest to hover just a few inches over mine. He takes one strand of hair out of my face softly. His look is heavy and he takes one deep breath before talking.
“I like it when you are close, too.” is all he says.