Knock On Wood (Riders of Tyr #6)

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Last Secrets

Tamie

I watch as he sleeps, a ray of sun falling on his face making him look like a vision. I couldn’t get any sleep after he took me in his arms and slipped into a deep slumber. I know he needed that. I know he hasn’t slept while we were apart and that the nightmares crept back in. But I couldn’t find release in his arms.

It was joy. Not just joy, bliss. Utter, pure bliss. All of me belongs to him and nothing can change that. I don’t regret our time apart. It gave me a chance to grow and now there more of me to give to him.

I lean and I leave a kiss on his lips lightly forgetting that he is a warrior. Slowly his eyes open and he looks upon me with adoration. My breath is caught as his arms tighten around me.

“Did you sleep well?” I ask.

“Always with you,” he kisses my neck. “And I had the best of dreams.”

“Care to share?”

“Simple things,” he messes awkwardly with his hair.

He feels embarrassed by the looks of it. Was he dreaming of me? And what were we doing in his dreams? I blush with the notion.

“No, kitten,” he goes into teasing mode. “Not that kind of dreams. I don’t have to dream of it, I can make it happen,” he glues me to him to offer me a feel of his growing excitement against me.

“Then,” I gulp, “what kind of dreams did you have? You can tell me,” I mess with his thick beard, “I am studying psychology you know.”

“Well, Dr. Freud, don’t laugh at me,” he makes me promise.

“Never. Now tell me. How surreal was it? Wait did I have two heads?”

“As I am not in enough trouble with you having one,” he chuckles. “Nope, all body parts were in the quantity and place they are supposed to be. I was just...”

Did he just blush? And right when I thought he could never be cuter!

“You were just? Come on, no secrets between us.”

He flinches at that comment.

“Too soon?” I bite my lip.

“Okay,” he smiles. “Well, I dreamt that we were married and that we had a home and I was getting ready to go to work. In a suit. And you were trying to feed our son his breakfast before he went to school and I... Well, I liked it.”

I freeze. It’s not the marriage thing, I want to spend the rest of my life with him too. It’s not the house. I know he dreams of a big kitchen of his own. It’s not the suit. I know he wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one. It’s that notion of us having a kid, a family. A real family.

And then I realize that I was accusing him all this time for hiding things from me and I was doing the exact same thing. I let him dream about us, I allowed him to fall for me, to claim me for life and I haven’t told him the one thing that might change his mind. He has a right to know: I may never be able to have children.

I push away from his embrace and his face darkens. He looks like a child that was just told that there won’t be a Christmas this year.

“Stupid I know,” he struggles to take his dream back.

“No,” I haste to correct him. “It’s perfect. Just perfect.”

I get up and turn my back to him. Tears well up in my eyes. How could I be so stupid? How could I ever think that I would be whole, that I would have it all and get my happy ending? No man would want to be with damaged goods like me. And as much as Kyle thinks he loves me, he will soon change his mind.

I am torn between telling him now and be done with it or spend a day with him, one last perfect day before I lose him forever. I decide I don’t deserve anything more he has to give me and I get up to get my clothes.

“Tamie?” He too gets up and slips into his jeans and tee. “Did I say something wrong? I thought that we-”

“I can’t, Kyle,” I throw at him.

“I know I fucked up, kitten,” he rushes to me.

“You don’t get it.”

“I get it. I was an asshole but I promise you, I will never hurt you again.”

“Oh, Kyle. It’s me.”

“No, never you. You are perfect,” he grabs my hands and kisses them.

I step away from him. He is the one who is perfect. I look upon him one last time before I utter the next thing. I take him all in, his body and face, his scent and that adoring look of his.

“I can’t give you what you dream of, Kyle.”

“I only want you, I only dream of you. Please, Tamie, don’t leave me again. I will do whatever it takes, I will-”

“I can’t have children,” I almost scream and finally the tears come rolling down.

He freezes mid-sentence and looks at me shocked. He takes me all in as if there is something physical on me that will tell him if my claim is true.

“What do you mean?”

“Exactly what you heard. I can’t have kids. I can’t give you the family you dream of.”

“Tamie? How? Why?”

My tears fall like a waterfall now, plagued by his shocking look and the painful memories that come over me. No wonder I decided to study psychology. I got a ton of issues to deal with but this right here, might me the one to take me the longest to recover from.

The memory of that day comes and hits me hard. I retreat and I feel shaking like a leaf. My mind has protected me from most of it. I have fainted more times than I care to remember and even the time I was awake, is mostly buried in my subconscious. And still, the bits that linger are enough.

One after the other coming for me. Freddie and two more men. Again and again, taking me with force as if they hated me. Thrown like a rag doll on a filthy bed. I fought at first, I remember as much. But after a while I was exhausted, I just lay there, arms and legs apart, eyes glued to the ceiling, tears down my cheeks. I must have wished a thousand times to die.

“Tamie? Talk to me, kitten,” Kyle’s voice brings me back to the painful now.

I never cared about it. I never wanted to have any children. I barely thought I would make it out alive. Even if I did, I never thought that I would meet a man to make want to be alive again and dream. But here he is, standing before me, planning a life for us, a life i can’t give him.

“I can’t, Kyle. I just can’t.”

“Tamie, you will talk to me and you will tell me why you would think that you can’t have kids.”

“Cause I can’t!” This time I do scream. “Cause I was raped over and over again, brutally and savagely when Freddie got his hands on me. He and his men wanted to break me and they did. They took me and destroyed me inside.”

His face changes from shock to disbelief to rage.

“Who did that, Tamie?”

“What does it matter?” I gather the last of my things and I go for the door. “I am not whole, I am not for you.”

“Who the fuck did this to you, Tamie?” He grabs me.

“Let me go!”

“Never!” He booms. “Tell me who did that to you and I will make sure they are dead. And then we will deal with it. You and me.”

“There is no you and me. Didn’t you hear what I said? I can’t give you the kids you dream about. Let me go.”

“First of all, I will never,” he pulls me to his chest, “ever let you go. No matter what. Secondly, you will give me names. And then, kitten, we will go to the doctor. And if,” he pulls my chin up to look upon me, “if it’s true we will go through this together. You hear me?”

I open my mouth to say something but no words come out of my mouth. His look is sincere and nothing of his adoration has waned. Maybe not now, not right now, but it will tear us apart in the end. I know it will. And it will kill me. I can’t do this so I step away once more.

“You will stay, kitten, you promised. And we will be happy together no matter what. And if we want kids and can’t have them, we will stay just the two of us till we are old. Or we can try other ways or even adopt. If we stay together, there is nothing we can’t do.”

“Kyle,” I am sobbing now.

“Do not cry, kitten.”

“I...” more tears.

“Seriously, stop crying. That’s some serious ugly cry you got going on there.”

I can’t help but laughing while tears still come down my cheeks.

“Yeah, a bit improved but that snot running down is not helping.”

I widen my eyes and clean my face with the back of my palm.

“Woah! Gross much?” He chuckles.

He has the power to make me feel better. I just told him about the most painful memory of my life and he still has the power to make me smile. I look up to him and he is pleading me silently to trust him, to trust that all will be well.

I take a deep breath and then I decide to pay him back for making fun of me. I go to him and he opens his arms. I instantly feel cured, protected, cherished. I let go in those feelings for a while. And then, remembering he told me I had an ugly cry, I take his t-shirt and wipe my tears, snot and drool on it.

“Tamie!” He looks at me shocked and disgusted. “God, you ruined the thing.”

“I will clean that, sorry,” I fake an apologetic look.

“Forget it,” he takes the tee off. “I am not getting near that thing again.”

“Any excuse to strip, right?”

“You know you like it,” he smirks.

We stand still. Kyle moves and he wipes the tears from my cheeks. He then leans in and kisses my eyes. It’s a promise, a silent promise that it will all be alright. I lean my head on his chest and wrap my arms around his waist. It will all be alright.

“Now,” his voice turns dark. “Names.”

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