Crossroads

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Chapter 14

Mia

“But when I do just that, when I gaze into those light blue eyes, I almost stagger back from the sea of emotion in them. Pain, grief, love, desire, and fear. They’re all displayed in his irises, presented on a silver platter, offering his soul to my very being.”

PAST

My grandma once said that life is what you make of it.

I’m a firm believer in that sentiment, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what to make of this situation.

Because the tension in my car is so thick that I’m having trouble breathing, oxygen seemingly being a stranger to the atmosphere surrounding us.

Lincoln hasn’t said a word since I agreed to talk to him, he only traces patterns on his jeans as I drive back to the apartment, noticing how he watches the roads pass until we finally reach the garage. The soothing hum of the engine comes to a stop when I park the car in my spot, silence instantly crashing down on us.

We sit like this for a moment, sharing an excruciatingly long and sparkling gaze, his eyes burning a hole into my very being with how much fire they hold. I practically jump when he suddenly brushes his fingers over my own, the contact sending shivers down my spine. My fingers wrap around the door handle before I quickly get out of the car. And I don’t hesitate for a second when he gets out as well, my thumb rapidly tapping the lock button on my car key, before I quickly make a jump for the stairwell.

Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m feeling so hot, so fired up and alive. I just do, and so I quickly fiddle with the lock on my door before I finally push it open, the scent of my home somewhat calming my being as I take a deep breath.

The door closes shut, and as I turn around to lock it as well I almost smash into Lincoln, who again stares at me with that raging tornado in his eyes. He watches how I lean over to secure the deadlock on my door, trying to ignore the raging heart in my chest as I stand up straight, gathering all the confidence I can for the talk we’re about to have.

I can see it in his eyes, see the obvious struggle with himself, though I don’t know the source of it.

“So...” I decide to break the silence, knowing that I can’t take much more of it.

But Lincoln just looks at me, his usually so light blue eyes seeming so dangerously dark today that my thundering heartbeat only intensifies, the tension between us reaching an all-time high with every second that passes.

“So...” he finally continues, his body subconsciously leaning into mine, and I can’t help but take a step backward, my heels bumping into the wall right behind me.

“Dr. James and I talked about you today...” Lincoln finally admits.

“You did?”

He takes another step towards me, his hands now resting on my hips as his eyes study me intently. “Yes, we did.”

“Okay... And what did you come up with?” I can’t help but hold on to him as well, my hands fisting his shirt as I look up at him.

A shaky breath releases his throat, one of his hands reaching for my face where he gently strokes my cheek with his thumb, the pure emotion in his eyes heightening my senses on a celestial level.

“Dr. James said...” he whispers as his knuckles skim over my cheek, “He said I should keep my distance from you.”

I don’t even register the sharp breath I inhale at his words, the truth in them being so painfully obvious that I physically feel the agony running through my veins. “He did?”

Lincoln nods his head, the same heartache I feel deep inside of me so blatantly visible on his face, his features looking almost distorted with how much he fights himself. “He did...”

His eyes burn so intensely into my own, I feel my whole body ignite from the sole heat in his irises. There’s a question lingering in them. A question he wants an answer to, but is too afraid to ask.

And while we stand like this, just gazing into each other’s beings like it’s the only thing we need, like it’s the only thing that keeps us alive and our hearts beating, I can’t help but doubt my own existence. Because ever since I saw Lincoln on that bridge I feel like I got lost, lost in the river right beneath it, its current too wild to withstand.

“He also said I should move out of here...”

I don’t know what happens to me right this moment, but something is pulling at my heart at the sole thought of Lincoln leaving this apartment. Just imagining this place without him in it seems so wrong. He’s a part of it, by now. He makes it what it is.

“And what do you think about it?” I can’t help but ask, trying to keep the emotions out of my voice, unfortunately to no avail.

“I think...” he swallows deeply before his voice drops at least an octave, “I think the sole thought of staying away from you shatters me, Mia.” Tears are prickling in his eyes when he suddenly cups my face, his forehead resting against mine as he takes another deep breath.

“I can’t stay away, Mia. I just can’t...” he sobs out the words, and I can’t help but place my palms on his cheek, lifting his head so I can look into his eyes properly while I brush the stray tears from his cheeks.

But when I do just that, when I gaze into those light blue eyes, I almost stagger back from the sea of emotion in them. Pain, grief, love, desire, and fear. They’re all displayed in his irises, presented on a silver platter, offering his soul to my very being.

And it feels like an out-of-body experience suddenly, because I’m definitely not the one controlling my movements when I push Lincoln, his back bumping into the door behind him with a quiet thud. His eyes widen when he takes me in, obviously trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing, not that I know it myself.

“Then don’t, Link.” It’s the only thing I manage to say, my heart thundering in my chest while I feel the blood rush through my veins. “Don’t stay away.”

He reads me intently, still trying to find the answer to that goddamn question in his eyes.

“Mia...” he whispers, although I hear the despair in his voice.

“I’m sick of it, Link,” I interrupt him, “I’m sick of being rational, of being cautious, of doing the right thing... I can’t fucking do it anymore. I want to do what I want to. People dictate my life left and right, and it needs to fucking stop. I need to live my goddamn life.”

There’s a hint of admiration in his eyes when he studies me for a minute, his hands moving down to my neck where his thumb rests calmly on my carotid, my raging pulse thundering against his thumb. But then his eyes slowly turn into something different, something dangerous, dark, and way too bloody handsome.

“What are you saying, Mia?” The low bass of his voice vibrates straight through my fingers, and right into my very being.

“You know very well what I’m saying, Lincoln.”

His eyes light up like a goddamn Christmas tree when he registers my words, and I can feel the shiver running through my veins when his grip on my neck slightly tightens, his whole posture turning animalistic and raw.

“I need you to say it...” he’s breathless when he speaks, his words would be inaudible if we weren’t only inches apart.

And I can’t help but smirk, just then. Because I’m done with it all. I’m done playing by the rules, done doing what everyone expects me to. I’m ready to be who I really am.

“No, you don’t.”

Before any sense of logic and rationality can find its way back into my brain I get on my toes, gaze into those heavenly light blue eyes once more, and then brush my lips against his own. It’s obvious he didn’t expect the motion because he’s hesitating at first, only for a split second before he suddenly runs one hand through my hair, fisting it at the back of my head and shoving me closer to him.

I circle my arms around his neck, weaving my fingers through his thick hair as I run my tongue along his bottom lip, eliciting a furious growl from the back of his throat before he captures my lips again, his tongue chasing my own. We’re pulled in a spell of passion and desire, our hands skimming each other’s bodies like we’re exploring a whole new world. I can feel his heart hammering against my chest with how tightly he holds me against him, our bodies seemingly becoming one in this dance.

“You make me feel, Mia...” he whispers against my skin when his lips trace a path down my jaw, his tongue almost imperceptibly skimming over the sensitive spot behind my ear. “My heart beats so fast when you’re around, it almost hurts...”

“What do you feel, Link?” I moan the words when he presses my body flush against his own, one hand on the small of my back while the other has a tight hold on the back on my neck.

“I feel your heart beating through your ribcage, I feel your pulse racing against my fingertips... And I fucking feel the goosebumps on your skin when I do this...” he breathes the words, his lips running up and down my neck before they settle on my jaw, outlining it with gentle strokes of his tongue.

For a second it feels like I’ve lost my mind, pleasure and lust running through my veins like hot lava as I try to catch my breath, but fail miserably.

“I asked...” I pull away, grabbing his hands and intertwining our fingers before pressing them flat against the door. “I asked, what do you feel? I know what I feel... We’ve established my reaction to you already.”

He visibly shivers when I lean into him, his fingers struggling against my own in an attempt to free himself. “What do you feel when I do this?” I run the tip of my tongue over his neck, his chest rising and falling with every deep breath he takes. “Tell me, Link...”

“I...” He once again tries removing his fingers from my hold, but I firmly press them against the door again, not ready to give up my power.

“Explain it to me. Explain your emotions...” my whispered words travel down his neck as I feather kisses along his collarbone, my teeth gently grazing his skin.

“You...” his voice is barely a whisper when his breath hitches in his throat, and I can feel his body tense when I press my own flush against him, my lips still tracing patterns over his skin. “You drive me mad, Mia... So goddamn mad... I can’t even think straight when you’re close to me.”

His fingers wrestle with my own again, but I slam them against the door once more, leaning back before looking him straight in the eyes. “Then don’t think. Just do. Show me your emotions, Link.”

And it seems like I lit another fire in him because as soon as I loosen the grip on his hands they are all over me, pushing me backward until we reach the living room, his lips chasing my own right when my legs bump into the couch behind me. “Feel this...” he whispers against my lips while reaching for my hand and then slipping it beneath his shirt, placing my palm flat against his chest. His heart thunders against my fingers, and I feel how my own adjusts its rhythm to meet his.

“You make me feel like I exist, Mia...” his voice trembles again when he shakily runs his hand through my hair, “You make me feel like I matter.”

“That’s because you do...” I exert pressure against his chest as I slowly pull back, the need to look at him suddenly invading my senses. “You matter, Lincoln. Not just to me, to so many people out there, your patients, your colleagues, your friends... Believe it. Live it.”

His emotional eyes stare straight into my soul, and it almost looks like he wants to say something but suddenly decides against it. Within a split second he’s hunting me down again, almost throwing me over the large couch with the force of this kiss, and I can’t help but hold onto him, holding on for dear life. I can taste his tears on our lips, and I freely let him lift me up, his hands on my thighs as he carries me to the other side of the couch.

We lose ourselves in this kiss, in the feeling of our hands on each other, in the feeling of existing as one. It almost feels like we’re not on this earth anymore with how furiously we breathe each other in, jolts and sparks flying with every time our tongues collide. My body wants to be closer to his than physics allow, I subconsciously press myself so firmly against him, and I’m surprised I haven’t crushed him yet with the pressure I’m exerting. But I need this feeling, I need the warmth of his body seeping into me, need to inhale every ounce of his heavenly scent until I’m drunk on it, starting a whole new addiction.

A potent, dangerous, and oh so passionate one, at that.

“Mia...” Lincoln breathes against my lips, slowly breaking our kiss, “I need you so much.”

The tears are glistening in his eyes again, his large hands almost crushing my face when his eyes dive so deep into my soul, I think he might discover everything I am with one single glance.

“You have me, Link...” I run my hands through his hair, caressing his temple with my fingertips, as I always do. “I’m real. I’m here. And I’m not going anywhere.”

I kiss away the tear that rolls down his cheek, and I almost think he might break from the gesture with the way he shudders right then.

“Promise me,” he whispers as he searches my eyes, looking for the truth, looking for anything that gives him a reason to trust me.

“I promise. I promise to stay if you do the same. Even if you feel like you shouldn’t.”

He nods his head, his eyes holding every single human emotion at once. “I do. I promise.”

And so it happens that we make a promise tonight. A promise I intend to uphold. A promise that will come with so many complications, so many issues, but I’m ready to face them. I’m ready to fight it all.

No matter what.

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