I haven’t gone over this fully so I know that it is still lacking but I want to keep my promise to post. I hope you guys don’t mind reading around the problems in this chapter. Please Leave a little comment to let me know what you think.
“Where?” Lucas chokes while Delah and Seth continue looking back at him wordlessly.
Already imagining worst case scenario, his outlook grows grimmer and with it, the pain in his heart gets more intense for every second they remain mute.
Staving off a fresh wave of tears, he begs again, “where is she? What did he do?”
Finally, her sister responds, “she wanted to be alone.”
Just knowing that Alaine is alive makes him faint with relief. Pulling in a necessary breath of air to counter a sudden wave of lightheadedness, Lucas steadies himself against the wall.
“Thank God,” he breathes. “Is she here?” he asks as his eyes shifting between the two of them.
“Your bedroom,” Seth answers. “But...” he starts to explain then stops. “She doesn’t want...”
Before Seth can finish his statement, Lucas raises a hand to stop him and takes hasty strides across the living room. When he gets to the foot of the stairs, he turns back pointing a finger at his driver.
“You,” he says. “Don’t go anywhere.”
Not waiting for a response, he takes the stairs two at a time. He steps into his unlit bedroom and is immediately hit by the cold wind sweeping in through the opened side door that leads to the balcony.
Needing a minute to gather some strength and his wits before he has to face Alaine, he slows his approach.
The entire way from Maine, he’d done little more than pray that she was okay and think about what he would say and do when he saw her. Now that he knows that she is alive and she stands but a few steps away, he has no idea how to deal with whatever Angus had done.
The lump clogging his throat grows bigger with each of his leaden steps towards the doorway. Not too long ago he’d woken up and followed her out there. It was a different time -- a happier time.
Lucas pokes his head outside. Seeing Alaine standing there staring down at the city bustling with life and lights below with a heavy blanket wrapped around her petite frame fractures something inside him.
She’s so small.
Envisioning anyone hurting her -- someone as big as Angus taking advantage of her -- is too much to handle.
Instinct demands that he go to her -- that he enfolds her in his arms and promise that he will fix everything. Should he? He doesn’t know. He has no idea how she will react to his presence after what she’s been through.
Closing his eyes against the threat of tears, he sets a cautious foot onto the balcony so she won’t be startled.
Unsure of what to do, he stands there, prepared to gauge her reaction until she gives him a sign.
“Alaine?” he calls.
Her name falls from his lips, pained and hoarse and so soft, it’s carried away by the wind. She doesn’t hear him but that same wind whisks the fragrance of his cologne to tickle her sense of smell.
Alaine turns to face Lucas and he swallows at the sight of her wide, wet, swollen eyes. The disfigurement of her right cheek and split in her lower lip raises a storm of emotions in him. Nausea rolls his insides and he squeezes his fingers into his palm to keep her from witnessing the tremor in his hands.
In order to focus on her and what she needs right now, he does his best to quell everything he feels before daring to take another step forward.
“Baby,” Lucas says, his voice weighed down by sorrow. “I’m so sorry.”
The way she begins to weep silently draws Lucas’ tears to the fore. They roll down his cheeks as he takes another hesitant step in her direction.
“Ali Cat,” he pleads.
Her crying increases, halting his advance. In silent invitation, he opens his arms, hoping, praying, bidding her to come to him.
The blanket drops from her shoulders when she lunges at him, deep wracking sobs shaking her small body.
Like steel bands, Lucas’ arms close around her as he holds her to his chest.
“I’m so sorry. I’m here, baby. I’m here now,” he croons lifting her in his arms.
He walks them over to the single lounge chair occupying the corner and lowers himself in it. There, he cradles Alaine in the cold night. Goosebumps raise on their skin. He should take them inside but he can’t bring himself to move. This is where he met her. It’s obviously where she wants to be. So he holds her there like he would a small child and though chilled himself, he uses his body to shield her from the bite of the early March wind.
They remain huddled together, the seconds ticking into painful minutes until her sobs lessen to tiny hiccups. While he lets her cry without interruption, Lucas sits there contemplating her injuries.
The gentleness in his hands smoothing over her hair bely the violent lust for blood burgeoning inside him. He lines her forehead with the softest kisses while trying to keep tension from tightening his muscles. Alaine burrows herself deeper into his warmth while his touch glides like a soothing balm over her wounded spirit.
Unable to take the quiet anymore, Lucas requests softly, “talk to me, Ali.”
A very perceptible shiver runs through her body.
“Not yet,” she whimpers. “Just hold me, please. Hold me tighter.”
For him, it’s the easiest request to fulfill. He never wants to let her go again. However, he needs to know. Though it is a struggle to speak beyond the strain in his throat and though the very idea of knowing what Angus did to her pains him, he says, “tell me what he did.”
Another shudder runs through her. Lucas’ throat constricts even further yet he holds her closer to remind her that whatever happened is over now.
In his mind are images of what she might have endured. He’d been able to keep them boxed up until the moment he saw the evidence of violence on her face. Now his imagination reigns sovereign despite his attempts to replace those thoughts with this reality.
“I’ll kill him,” he threatens, his voice gruff and low with deadly promise. “I’ll kill him, Ali.”
“Shhhh,” she responds. “Take me inside, Lucas,” Alaine implores softly as she looks up at him. “Take me inside so we can both forget. I need to forget. I need to replace him with you.”
She lifts her chin to close the distance between them. Her warm lips, salted with tears settled over his so tenderly yet they steal the air from his lungs.
Although he knows he shouldn’t, that he should make her talk to him instead, her kisses are magnetic, pulling him in. Lucas finds himself responding, dragging his lips slowly over hers.
The feel of the little tear in her bottom lip beneath his tongue coasts a shiver through him.
He should stop but how can he deny her request?
The hem of her shirt rides higher, exposing soft skin above her waistband to his touch. It’s warm and inviting so his hand teases her smooth flesh and travels upwards, causing her to gasp into his mouth.
I’ve missed you, Ali,” he uses fingers and kisses to assure her.
He trails higher until his palms curl over the full swell of her breast.
Lucas pulls back long enough to look down at her. Yes, he’s missed her. He’s missed this. But he cannot bring himself to do what she is asking.
Tonight should have been different. This is what it should have been about. It should have been a happy reunion for them. He’d planned to take her on a real first date. One where he actually asked instead of propositioned her. He’d have taken her anywhere she wanted to go and do whatever she wanted to do. Then he would love her. He would tell her too. Now she lies there against him, shaking and afraid while his heart continues to fragment, painfully.
He places a kiss to the tip of her nose then presses his face into the crook of her neck.
“Alaine,” he breathes softly. “My sweet, sweet Alaine,” he repeats as he inhales the scent of his bodywash on her skin. “I cannot do what you ask. Not now. I won’t. What’s this?” he asks when he feels the abrasive edges of the bandage covering the cut on her neck.
His fingers skim over the tan coloured material pasted to her skin.
“He cut you?” Lucas asks in disbelief.
Each detail -- each piece of evidence -- of what she endured sends chills up and down his spine.
Alaine recoils from his rejection and begins to ease from his hold. His first instinct is to keep her there but the sudden tautness in her body makes him stop.
“Talk to me. Please, Ali,” Lucas begs.
“Let go of me,” she says softly. “Let go!” she demands when doesn’t release his hold.
“Okay,” Lucas says in surrender.
Doing his best to ignore the dejection he feels when she gets up and turns her back to him, he follows after her.
“I’m not rejecting you, Alaine,” he explains as he moves to stand beside her. “I could never reject you but right now, babe, I - I don’t think it’s a good idea, after...Just talk to me, please,” he implores.
She turns around and slaps him...hard. Her hand flicked so quickly he had no time to see it coming.
Once the shock of the sting across his cheek passes, Lucas clenches his jaws to cast off his rising anger.
With her face scrunched up with determination, she tries again swinging her hand forcefully towards his face. This time expecting it, Lucas reaches out to intercept her wrist before it finds its target.
Fully expecting him to twist it, Alaine whimpers and braces herself for the stabbing pain. It doesn’t come so she struggles against him for release.
“Stop,” Lucas urges with a firm tug that brings her back into his arms.
“Don’t,” he growls shaking his head but softens at the sight of the tears welling in her eyes again. “Please, Alaine, don’t hit me,” he says. “Talk to me, cry, yell, hold on to me, blame me, but don’t...” he says and trails off.
He takes that same wrist imprisoned in his larger hand and lifts it to brush his lips over the mild discoloration there. Then he closes her fingers in his and carries their joint hands over the pounding in his chest.
“I am so sorry, Ali,” Lucas says. “I shouldn’t have left you. I should have been there for you. I should have taken you with me. I should have done something,” he cries softly.
Witnessing the anguish in his soft gray eyes, Alaine wonders what prompted her to lash out at him? Why would she want to fight this beautiful man who is so obviously pained and broken for her?
“I’m sorry,” she says caressing his face where the red imprint of her palm remains.
He shakes his head, letting out a slow breath to convey that all is forgiven.
Straining on the tips of her toes, she sinks her fingers into his hair and drags his head down for a kiss.
“I need to forget, Lucas,” she speaks against his lips. “Don’t you understand?” she asks. “I need you to take his touch away.”
“Ali,” he protests softly.
Grasping her shoulders, he gives her a gentle shake as if hoping she can be released from a spell.
“This is what I want,” she demands firmly. “If now isn’t the best time for you when will it be, Lucas?” she questions. “Tomorrow? Next week? A month from now? What difference does it make?” she spits.
Thrown completely off kilter, Lucas runs a hand through his hair, with a heavy breath.
“You’re not raping me,” she continues defiantly. “Don’t you get it? I don’t want to be a victim anymore. I will not be a victim. I will give my body to whomever I choose, when I choose and I choose you, now.”
At the end of her tirade, Alaine pulls the shirt over her head, revealing her naked breasts.
“Don’t you want me?” she cajoles.
Weakened by her plight, her near nakedness and being without her for too long, Lucas catches her around the waist and draws her closer.
Before he does anything else, he searches her face for signs of reservation. At the slightest hint, he will let her go. In the meantime, just to be sure, he asks, “Do you want this Alaine? Really?” he inquires as he brushes the back of his hand tenderly over her bruised cheek.
To answer his question, she leans up to kiss him again. Taking him by the hand, she guides him back to the bedroom where she begins to undress him with painstaking slowness.
She undoes every button despite the pinch in her wrist then walks around to stand behind him and pull it off his shoulder. Little shivers course through Lucas’ body when she goes up on her toes to place a line of kisses across his upper back.
She steps back in front of him to allow her eyes to roam over his naked chest in adulation until they come to rest on a scar at his hip.
“Old injury,” he explains to the query in her eyes.
Accepting his answer, her fingers prowl lower to trace the evidence of his arousal growing in his pants.
“I promised myself I would touch you next time,” she says with a little smile.
In a husky voice strained with both desire and anguish, he asks, “did you?”
Alaine nods her head while she busies herself with his belt buckle, button, and zipper. Boldly, she dips her hand into his boxers the unexpectedness of which causes Lucas’ heart and stiff staff of flesh to lurch.
He pulls in a hitched breath through his teeth. Her untested touch feels amazing. While he wants to enjoy it, he closes his eyes and bows his head in sorrow as she takes command of his pleasure.
“Look at me,” she orders.
He resists and she commands again.
This time he obeys, barely managing to keep the waters at bay.
“I want this. I do,” she encourages him while tightening her fingers around his engorged length.
Lucas wishes that he could slow his reaction but his body betrays him. He finds himself stiffening further between her fingers but he bites back the moan forming in his throat.
Smiling, Alaine notes, “so do you,” much to his chagrin.
If he was a better man who deserved her, he would walk away. But he isn’t. Never has a woman’s hand on him, her strokes so innocent and unskilled, felt so good. Lucas hangs his head feeling shame at the pleasure vibrating throughout his body.
“Look at me, Lucas,” she requests again.
Meeting her eyes, with her hand pleasuring him, is his undoing.
“Baby,” Lucas says in a final plea, yet his fingers, on one hand, clamp over her hips while he closes the other around her fingers stroking him to guide her movements.
Alaine tells herself that she needs this. She needs to replace the cold blue of Angus’ eyes with the warmth of gray ones. She needs to replace his rough unwanted touch with Lucas’ tender and skilled loving.
His eyes caress her face with such tenderness and agony that her heart breaks. A fresh wave of tears streams down her cheeks again.
Reading the concern in his eyes and recognizing the slip in his resolve to give her what she desires, she begs, “don’t stop. I need you.”
She kisses him then, pressing her breasts into his naked chest. One arm wrapped around her, the other finds itself tangled in her hair, angling her head to deepen their kiss.
If this is what she wants he will do it for her and he’ll pour all his love into it.
She walks him backward until the backs of his knees hit the bed, forcing him to sit.
There, Lucas performs his own admiration taking his time to relearn the feel of her skin and the shape of her body beneath his hands.
Firmly, he pulls her between his legs to rediscover the taste her skin. He palms her breasts and flicks his tongue over her pebbled nipples before sucking them deep into his mouth. He runs his lips and tongue over her abdomen all the way to her hips. With every nip and every lick, he realizes that she still tastes like her. Nothing that can change that.
Encouraged by her little gasps and sighs, Lucas lifts his head and asks, “how flexible are you?”
Without giving her a chance to respond, he decides to find out for himself. Leaning forward, he lifts her leg up beside him on the bed and pauses to look up at her again. Hooking one arm around her waist for support, he runs his thumb over her womanly flesh to enjoy her reaction before easing her knee onto his shoulder.
“You want this?” he asks again.
Alaine’s back arches as Lucas’ expert tongue forces her up on the tips of her toes of her leg still planted on the floor. She cries out loudly as he continues his assault on her sex and grasps the back of his head to keep herself from toppling.
He plays her body until he feels her muscles start to tense and quiver. With his arm still wrapped around her waist, he shifts her leg back onto the floor and silences Alaine’s whimper of protest by lifting her to sit astride him.
He positions her over his weeping flesh and guides himself to her entrance.
“It’s your show, baby,” he moans to the feel of her wet heat sinking slowly over him.
Reaching for his hands, Alaine brings them to her hips. “Show me,” she requests.
Not once breaking contact with her eyes, Lucas directs her undulating hips until she finds a steady rhythm of her own.
His heart is thudding in his chest as he gives up control to her and tries to keep up with her slow pace.
The sight of her rising above him, a true goddess, her dark hair a long curtain around them is more than he can take. He leans forward to close his lips over her breast and she gasps arching back, sheathing him deeper inside her.
His hips surge upward in response as her actions grow more frantic, and her nails anchor into his back for support.
“Baby, slow down,” he hisses. “Alaine, Jesus!”
He moans and writhes with each of her uninhibited thrusts and grabs on to her, trying to regain dominance of their spiraling passion.
She is oblivious. Her hips continue to roll and rise and thrust and repeat and she takes him along with her for a joy ride.
“I missed you,” she cries as her body begins to splinter. Gasping his name, she leans close to his ear and begs him for release.
When her walls squeeze his sensitive nerves, Lucas can’t suppress his shout of ecstasy. He vaguely remembers that there are other people in the apartment and the door to his bedroom is standing wide open. But there is no stopping this runaway train. They are loud, groping and riding each other into mindlessness.
“Alaine,” Lucas whines, both in warning and rapture. “Not so fast baby. I’m so close. I’m going to come, baby, please, I can’t...” he grits between his clenched teeth.
In a final attempt to prevent the inevitable, he grabs hold on to her hips with the intention of lifting her off him. But her thighs clamp down and her insides shudder, squeezing out the last vestiges of his restraint.
Through the blinding pleasure, she continues to work her body over his.
Breathing a slow expletive, Lucas mumbles in a language that neither of them understands as he succumbs to the eroticism of watching her come. Whining and whimpering, he erupts inside her in long, slow bursts that are almost painful.
She rocks slower now, milking him, as the tumultuous waves of her climax recede.
Lucas wraps her in a tight embrace and delves his tongue inside her mouth mimicking the now easy rhythm of their lovemaking.
Not yet ready to release her, he prolongs her pleasure with little nips and sucks at her skin, encouraging he slow rocking until he becomes too sensitive to take anymore.
“Shhh,” he croons as he digs his fingers into her hips to quiet her movement.
For the first time in hours, Lucas smiles when he hears her soft contented sigh.
The intensity of their loving weakens them both. Lucas slumps against her shoulder and remains there until both their breathing settle.
“I’m so sorry,” he offers thinking of the consequences of his actions tonight.
Her sudden sobs silence his apology. Now he doesn’t know what to do. He feels every bit the cad he is and chastises himself for being too weak to stand his ground.
Still, he embraces her, with their bodies joined, listening silently as her tears rain freely down onto his chest.