Earthquakes and Chills

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Chapter 18

“Why do you have to be this way?” Nolan said as he slammed the door behind us.

“What do you mean?” I said quickly.

“Just take a moment. Breathe,” Nolan said, holding me still, “close your eyes and just breathe.”

We stood there for a moment. I could feel Nolan’s eyes on me, and he was unrelenting, so I closed my eyes and took a breath.

“In and out. Just breathe, Zoey. I want you to know that I am not asking you to leave. I am not pushing you out of here. Just give me two weeks. If you’re going to leave anyway, give yourself and me time to adjust. Please.”

My eyes fluttered open, and I looked up at him, trying to read his eyes. He was so sincere, and his eyes made my knees feel weak. I realized I had never looked at him so blatantly before, but he didn’t shy away from me as I analyzed every feature on his face.

“Okay,” I replied with measure.

“Okay,” he concurred, “I will give you space, and if you still choose to leave, let me help you with your move. You shouldn’t force yourself to struggle more than you have to. Why don’t you just take the day, take a moment to yourself before you make huge decisions?”

He let go and went up the stairs to get ready for work. He didn’t wait for my reply, so I understood that it wasn’t something that he was offering as a suggestion. He actually wanted me to take a moment to plan.

A huge part of me just wished that Nolan wasn’t so… he was just so supportive, so kind, and so giving… it hurt. I could feel my heart seizing as I breathed.

I threw myself on my bed, wanting the room to come crashing down around me. All I could think of was him.

The good thing was I didn’t have much to pack. I looked around the room and knew that all I had to do was throw my stuff in a bag, and I was good to go. I could leave any moment without a second thought, and that idea of freedom gave me comfort and consolation.

Unable to sleep and wound up in thoughts, I glided toward the kitchen. My eyes affixed to the floor; I could scarcely think of anything else other than my future. I scoffed at myself.

“Couldn’t sleep?” Nolan said softly as he gazed at me from the shadows.

“Not really,” I said more to myself than to him.

I watched as he moved toward me. Every move had intent, and his gaze held me still beneath it. His lips quickly found mine and branded them harshly.

“Don’t go,” he breathed.

“Why?” I asked foolishly.

“Because I need you,” he said softly as he took my hand in his and placed it on himself. I could feel his ache throbbing beneath my hand, but before I could speak, he kissed me again.

He carried me up the stairs to his bed. All I could do was feel. It was as if I was drowning, and every gasp I drew for air was met by every inch of his being. He spurned me to the brink and then eased.

“What?” he laughed, “did you want more?”

“Stop teasing,” I growled.

“Then tell me,” he said dangerously. I moved up slowly toward his ear and graciously bent his head to listen.

“I-” instead of speaking, I pulled him beneath me. I looked down at him, pleased with myself as I moved against him. “I don’t like being teased.”

His eyes narrowed, and I smirked as I drew moans from his mouth.

Then he stilled.

“Are you finished?” he asked angrily. He pulled me off of him and drew me beneath him with a roughness he had never shown me before. “Is this what you want?”

He pulled my hair and thrust himself against me with force. His hand was beginning to bruise my side, and I felt a mixture of pain and pleasure. He grunted slightly as he pooled inside of me.

I could feel him harden inside of me again, and I looked back at him in surprise. Again, he moved against me, but this time with a tenderness that melted my heart.

My lips eagerly found his, and I felt tears springing down my cheeks. I turned my face to hide them, but he cupped my cheek and smiled into my lips.

“I love you, Zo,” he said softly into my hair.

It was dark, but I could feel his eyes on me. I tried to turn, but he held me still, and I couldn’t escape the feelings he imparted within me. He was slow and deliberate in his movements. It didn’t take long for either of us to climax.

I found my eyes suddenly closing as his arms held me still. I thought of the day... the next day. I had to leave this place; it was what was best for both of us.

“You stayed.”

My eyes fluttered open, and I was shocked to see daylight. I scrambled to move but was caught beneath Nolan’s stupidly heavy arm.

“No,” he whispered against my ear. “I want to see you in the light.”

His lips kissed my shoulder as he pulled the blankets off, leaving me naked. I reflexively tried to cover myself, but he pinned my hands above me.

“You’re beautiful,” he said earnestly.

“Are you done? Or am I trapped here?” I mumbled.

“You’re trapped,” he smiled.

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