Chapter 30 - Knox
I was fucked up, and I knew it. Damaged beyond repair. I had a girl like Snow in my arms, and I was trying to run from her. Not only from her, from everything in my past, including her.
There was something wrong with me; I knew it. It was like there was something deep inside of me that didn’t want to give up control. That didn’t want to let go, for fear of it being ripped away from me again.
It was true that we were young. I’d just turned twenty-two, and Snow would be in a few weeks as well. It was true that we both had commitments and studies in different places, half a world apart from each other, and that we couldn’t physically be in the same place right now.
But I knew that I was scared. That I was running from this thing with her. If I wasn’t responsible for someone else, I couldn’t hurt them, right? I couldn’t lose my soul again, right? If I had only myself to be responsible for, I couldn’t damage anyone else.
I knew that giving in was a mistake. I knew the moment that I laid eyes on her again, that we’d give in again, too, although I tried fighting it. But there was this invisible force that seemed to connect us. This invisible bond, this crazy attraction that was stronger than any single rational thought that was rearing its head inside my mind, warning me that this couldn’t possibly end well, again.
And as she lay in my arms after we made furious love, again and again, satisfying that deep craving that had been lying dormant for months, I knew that she wanted some form of commitment. Some form of label attached, to whatever it was that we had.
But our situation was complicated. We couldn’t be together right now. I didn’t want to lay awake at night, wondering what the hell she was up to halfway around the globe, worrying that she’d need saving again when I wasn’t there to save her. It would drive me insane if I took responsibility for her, and I couldn’t look out for her. What if something happened to her, like with Harlow, and I quite simply wasn’t there? I’d never forgive myself. Aside from that, I didn’t want to be jealous of her friendship with all of the Connor Blakes in her life, while I couldn’t be there for her myself. It wouldn’t be fair to her, and it would drive me mad at the same time.
The situation was unhealthy, and I knew it. I couldn’t live without her; it seemed. Now that she was in front of me again, I was obsessed with her. I couldn’t get enough of her. I wanted to keep her here and beg her to give up her studies, and her whole life, and stay. But I knew that would be incredibly selfish of me to ask her to give up her aspirations and dreams when I had nothing to offer her in return but a damaged soul and a sinner’s heart.
I was going around in circles in my mind, and the only conclusion I kept arriving at, again and again, was that now was not our time. That I should be grateful for what we had right now, because it would be foolish to try and fight the cards we’d been dealt.
So, we fell asleep in each other’s arms that night. And it wasn’t dark dreams of Snow drowning that woke me up that night, but this inexplicable need for her that couldn’t be satisfied. We made love twice again, then fell asleep again. We were crazed, starved, almost manic, and quite simply, we ruined each other again and again. This thing was so far beyond rational explanation that I didn’t even want to try to put words to it. All that I knew was that it felt as though Snow owned whatever was left of my soul when we were together like this, but I was trying to hang onto it at the same time.
We woke the next morning, and it was well after ten a.m. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d slept like this. I couldn’t remember the last time I woke up with a smile, like this, even though I knew she was a mirage, that she’d disappear on me again in a few days. And just the thought of her leaving made my heart contract painfully inside my chest.
“Good morning, Knox,” she said, and her fingers immediately found that angel wing-pendant I gave her. Her voice was raspy and sexy as hell. Her voice first thing in the morning was enough to make me inflamed with need again.
“Morning, Snow,” I smiled, tracing every contour of her face with my fingertips. She was hauntingly beautiful. She was the face of every dream and every nightmare I’d had since I came here, at the same time.
“I had such a great sleep,” she stretched, and the feel of her soft body curving against mine was enough to instigate something sinful again.
It was after eleven that we finally got out of bed, that craving for each other temporarily satisfied, but starvation of another kind forcing us outside.
“I need coffee first,” she demanded, and I laughed, because that was my Snow.
“This way,” I led her to a place that made decent coffee, two blocks away.
And after finding something for breakfast, Snow’s eyes went wide as we finished our meals.
“We need to find a drugstore. You know, because of... last night,” Snow’s cheeks were stained red, and I nodded in understanding.
“You mean, last night and this morning and a few times in-between, actually,” I said dryly.
“There’s a chemist two minutes away from here.”
After a leisurely walk, we entered, and Snow discreetly explained the issue to the pharmacist, who gave her a questionnaire to complete.
She looked at me with wide eyes. “How long has it been since having unprotected sex?”
I smiled. “Which time?” I teased.
“My question, exactly. Should I write down all the times, or just the first time?” She bit her bottom lip.
“Umm... I think just go with the first time. The ones after don’t really count, do they?”
“Really?” She raised an eyebrow, and we both started laughing again.
“This is embarrassing as hell, Knox. I feel like a teenager who has messed up,” she shook her head as she answered the rest of the questions, shaking her head a few times.
“Reason for needing emergency contraception? My word, they want a lot of detail,” she sighed as she wrote.
“Okay - I’m done,” she handed the form back to the pharmacist, and then we waited a few minutes before she was called and given instructions on how to take the medication.
As they were ringing up the item, I threw three boxes of condoms onto the counter. Snow looked at me, and her jaw dropped.
The chemist looked at us and had trouble suppressing a smile.
“We have a lot of time to make up for, Snow,” I teased, swiping my card before she could.
“That’s rather ambitious of you,” she shook her head, blushing again.
“Is that a challenge? Because you know, I’m happy to skip the sightseeing and explore landmarks of a different kind instead,” I keep teasing her.
“I have no words right now...”
“You won’t be needing words for what I have in mind, although your lips and tongue will definitely come in handy.”
Her jaw dropped again. “What has gotten into you?” She was highly embarrassed, but the way her pupils dilated told me she was also highly aroused, and for some reason, I wanted to see just how hard I could make Melody Davis blush, right then.
“It’s not what had gotten into me, Snow. It’s the other way around, actually.”
Her breathing became quicker and more shallow, and we were just looking at each other hungrily again.
“Sightseeing, or time to head back?” I gave her the option, already knowing which option she’d choose. Because hell - we both seemed to be completely unable to help ourselves.
“Umm... you don’t want to be carrying that around the whole day, do you?” She found a very reasonable rationale for choosing to go back to the hotel. Snow was a clever girl; there was no doubt about that.
“No, I don’t. Let’s go.”
And that, pretty much sealed our fate for the rest of the day as well.
We ruined each other on the bed, in the shower, even on the chaise lounge. It was as though we were trying to destroy each other again and again. As though we were trying to make up for lost time. We were greedy. This thing with Snow was getting completely out of hand.
And it was later that night when we were driving each other to the absolute brink of sanity again, Snow wearing nothing but that angel wing pendant I gifted her for Christmas, when words that I’d been suppressing inside, suddenly slipped out.
“I’m falling for you, Snow.”
Her lips, swollen from being kissed into oblivion, curved into a smile, and she looked like a fucking angel, while I was slamming into her again.
“I’ve fallen for you a long time ago, Knox Vaughn.”
I couldn’t help but smile as well as I took her mouth again into a kiss that made the world spin for us both. And we both held on, so tight. I still didn’t know how the hell this thing was going to work. I still didn’t think this was a good idea. But I was hoping like hell that we’d find a way to make it end well this time. Because I was starting to realize that perhaps I’d been misguided all this time. It seemed that my soul wasn’t mine to give away any more, because a girl named Snow already owned it, and I just hadn’t realized it.