Chapter 44 - Melody
“I love you, Knox. I never stopped loving you,” I admitted, and he looked like my angel again as he smiled and traced his thumb across my jawline and lips.
“I was hoping so damn hard you’d say that,” he devoured me with his gaze, and the atmosphere was thick between us again.
“So, Snow, are you willing to get back together again? For the avoidance of any doubt - to be in a relationship, of the most exclusive and most lasting kind there is? And if you say yes, you’re stuck with me because I’m not letting go again.”
My face lit up. Because he was saying absolutely everything I ever wanted from him.
“Yes. Absolutely, yes. I never want to let go again, either. Just seeing you makes me happy, Knox. And I’ll never, ever be able to get enough of those kisses of yours.”
“It hurts again, Snow. Want to kiss it better?” He teased, and I nodded as we bridged the distance between us, us both smiling into our kiss.
He cupped my jaw, and my hand tangled in his hair. And we got so lost in each other again. This was love. This was what it was supposed to feel like. It was honest and raw, and I felt like a firework inside, about to shoot into the night sky and light up the whole damn city with the amount of sheer love I felt inside.
He teased me with kiss after mind-blowing kiss; I was leaning over the console, my hands darting across his bare chest, my breathing heavy and desperate, as he pulled me right over and onto his lap, and I straddled him, deepening our kiss.
“Snow, I missed you. I missed the feel of your skin. I missed tangling my fingers through your hair. I missed kissing you like this. Don’t ever send me away again,” he groaned in between kisses, one hand fisting my hair, the other slowly running up and down my thigh.
I tugged at his bottom lip. “I crave you, Knox Vaughn. With every single strand of DNA I’m made of.”
That kiss became messy fast. We were starved, and I ached for him absolutely everywhere. He angled my jawline so he could deepen our kiss. Deeper, deeper inside my mouth, exploring every cavity. My heart was threatening to combust, it was beating that fast. This was love.
I moaned into his mouth; he dragged his hand all the way up my thigh, across my hip, up to my cleavage, cupping and molding my sensitive curves. It was throbbing everywhere - we were both getting so worked up inside that car, every movement was an act of desperation. I moved against him, feeling the evidence of his arousal through the fabric of our clothes.
The rain pounded down harder on the car, the windows fogging up with every heated, labored breath we expelled.
“Snow, you’re killing me right now,” he groaned against my lips, smashing his against mine again, tangling my tongue with his.
I just smiled as he killed me softly with kiss after mind-blowing kiss. I shamelessly rubbed my body against his, this was sweet torture; I wanted him so much. This was seductive foreplay, and we were both fast losing our grip on sanity as we kept tonguing the hell out of each other, his hand moving lower again to find my underwear.
An electric shock went right through me as he started applying pressure, rubbing up and down at exactly the right spot. A vicious shudder rolled down my spine, and my back arched as his mouth moved lower down my neck, skimming my collarbone, tasting the slope of my cleavage.
“Ah....” I moaned as he kept teasing me, swirling his thumb in circles, that maddening pressure intensifying as I kept moving against his hand. I was getting closer and closer to finding that sweet release - it had been far too long.
But we both froze as the porch light was switched on, and someone opened the front door. I turned my head but couldn’t make out who it was with all the rain and the windows being all fogged up from the sheer heat we were generating inside that car.
“Talk about poor fucking timing,” Knox groaned, pressing a kiss in the valley between my cleavage, and I let out a guttural moan, not wanting to stop. My body was on fire for him, I was cursing whoever opened that damn front door right now, and it took all of my willpower to stop grinding against him.
“I have a feeling that’s your dad. He was worried about you,” Knox sighed in frustration, and I nodded, my cheeks flushed. I slipped back into the passenger seat with extreme reluctance, pulling my skirt down.
“I need a moment,” he groaned, and I took a deep gulp of breath, needing a moment myself.
“Come on, let’s go inside. We can continue this conversation in there,” I smiled after taking a few deep breaths, as he tangled his fingers with mine.
“I’m hardly presentable, Snow. I’m not even wearing a shirt. What the hell will your family think?” He laughed, but I just shook my head.
“My dad can loan you a shirt. And they’re going to think that you’re the guy who saved me - again. Come on - I’ll do the explaining if you’d like. Because I’m not ready to let go of you as yet. Please stay, Knox,” I pleaded, and he nodded.
“The truth is, I’m not ready to let go either. It’s been too long, Snow. Way too long.”
We ran to the front door, hand in hand as fat, cold raindrops pelted down on us, drenching us both.
My dad was standing there, waiting for us, looking at us with his mouth hanging open. We must have been quite the sight - Knox holding my hand, us both drenched and shivering, with him running shirtless towards the house.
“Are you okay, Mel?” My dad barked in my direction first.
“Yes. Knox got me out of there by breaking down the fire door,” I smiled at Knox again, and damn, he looked even more irresistible with drops of rain in his hair and running down his chest.
“Why aren’t you wearing a shirt?” My dad narrowed his eyes at Knox, looking at him with a lot of suspicion. I tried to shield him, standing in front of him as he held me by the waist.
“He had to tie his shirt around his hand to break the glass panel with, so he could get the fire ax out to break down the door,” I quickly explained, and my dad nodded, that frown receding somewhat.
My mom and Hailey appeared behind him, both looking anxious.
“Mel - I’ve called doctor Bentley - he’ll be on his way soon to make sure you’re okay,” my mom said, her eyes wide with worry.
“I’m fine, Mom, really,” I tried to reassure her as she took me into her arms, hugging me tightly.
“I’ll go get you both a towel, and a shirt for Knox,” my mom said, turning around. “I’m sure there are some shirts that Adam hasn’t worn.”
My eyes fell on Hailey, and she held out her arms as well, embracing me.
“I’m glad you’re okay, Mel, you did so well. I was proud of how you handled yourself, despite being scared and all alone,” she said, sounding close to tears. “I was so scared for you.”
“Thank you, Hailes. You were great. I couldn’t have done it without your encouragement,” I smiled at her, feeling tears welling up inside my eyes again.
My mom returned with towels and a shirt for Knox, and I showed him to the guest bathroom downstairs, then started toweling my wet hair.
“When you’re done - dinner’s ready. We waited for you, but I’m not sure if you’re hungry?” My mom asked gently, and I nodded.
“I can eat. Can Knox stay, please?”
“Of course,” she smiled. “It looks like you’ve worked things out with him?”
“We’ve worked things out. And he’s back for good,” I couldn’t help but smile again, and I could just see that she understood.
“Your dad told me. I’m happy the two of you have talked about things. And you might not think that I know what’s going on right below my nose, just because I don’t always say something. But I know more than you think, darling,” she smiled.
“Thanks, Mom. He just makes me happy.”
“I can see that. Be brave, whatever you do. Be honest with him about how you’re feeling, and what’s going on, okay?” She implored me gently, and I nodded.
“I’m being brave, but so is he.”
My mom took both my hands and squeezed them, smiling, silently understanding without me having to say another word. And it made me so damn happy that she was supportive of us. Because he hadn’t been perfect, but neither had I. But together, we were imperfectly, messily, perfect for each other, trying to make sense of this chaotic world together.
Just then, Knox reappeared, his hair tousled, and wearing a plain white shirt. And I just wanted to look at him, because part of me still couldn’t believe he was really here.
“Dinner’s ready. Come on through,” my mom led the way, and I took his hand, our fingers intertwining immediately.
During dinner, we kept stealing looks and little touches. And it felt so damn good to have him there, having dinner with my family. Even my dad was nice to him - and that was saying a lot, because he usually tried his best to intimidate our boyfriends on the rare occasion that they’d received an invitation to dinner at our house. I still remember when I first brought Heath home, he called him a light-weight to his face, and I don’t think he ever quite recovered from that, because he wasn’t particularly keen to ever come inside again.
“Knox - what’s the plan now you’re back?” My dad asked, and we looked at each other before he answered.
“I have a job offer here - I’ve been applying the past few weeks and was interviewed via video-conference. I’ll go in and meet the team in January. The plan is to finish my thesis part-time, while working. It may take me a little longer, but I’ll get there,” he answered confidently, and I squeezed his hand underneath the table in encouragement.
“You don’t want a job at the firm?” My dad frowned.
“No offense... but I’d rather make my own way. I’d rather get a job on merit than because I... know the boss’ daughter,” he explained, and I couldn’t help but smile, because he was making me so damn proud right now.
My dad’s eyebrows shot up, and he nodded, and I could see he was impressed too, because he didn’t have a comeback to that.
“That, plus... I’d rather you not have the leverage to fire me, Adam,” he unexpectedly made a joke, and we all laughed.
“Fair enough,” my dad said dryly. “Because we both know I wouldn’t hesitate if you fucked things up personally or professionally.”
We all laughed again at my dad’s bluntness. But I could see he was rather enjoying the banter with Knox.
Halfway through dinner, the doorbell rang.
“That must be doctor Bentley. Mel - let him just have a quick look at you to make sure you’re okay, please,” my mother insisted, and I nodded with a sigh, knowing I didn’t have a choice in the matter.
A few minutes later, Dr. Bentley gave his verdict. It was as I expected - I’d suffered an anxiety attack, probably related to some mild PTSD from nearly drowning a few months prior. He encouraged me to talk to someone about what had happened, and gave me a referral. And although I’d been trying to be strong and work through things myself - thinking that I didn’t need anyone else to tell me I’d suffered from traumatic experiences and that I was suffering from the aftershocks - perhaps it was time to admit that I needed help.
“Here’s something that will help you sleep tonight. Take it and have an early night,” he handed me an envelope with a tablet inside, and I thanked him for his time. And all of a sudden, I felt exhausted. It must have been the rush of adrenaline that had left my system. It must have been the shock that had worn off. My body realized that I was safe.
I returned to the dinner table just as everyone was finishing their meals.
“Everything okay?” My dad asked with a frown, and I nodded.
“Yes, it was just an anxiety attack. He recommended that I have an early night, and gave me a sedative to help me sleep,” I explained, and my dad nodded.
“If you don’t mind, I’m not hungry anymore. I’m exhausted, actually,” I said softly, and everyone nodded in understanding.
“I’m going to have a quick shower. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Knox - please wait if you don’t mind. I just want to wash the dust from that stairwell off me, but I’d like to talk some more.”
He nodded, a smile curving on his lips. “Sure. Do whatever you need to do. I’ll wait,” he reassured me, and my heart squeezed inside my chest, just seeing him sitting inside my house with my family, having dinner as though it was the most normal thing in the world. This was what I wanted. Exactly this. In the space of about two hours, I’d gone from being in hell to being heaven again, just like that.
I showered and got dressed in record time, then made my way downstairs again. Everyone was sitting in the lounge room, the fireplace was lit, and by the sound of it, Hailey was asking Knox questions about what it was like to live in London.
“Why are you so interested in London all of a sudden, Hailey?” My dad asked just as I walked into the room.
“Because I’m thinking of applying for jobs...” Hailey dropped the bombshell, and my mom gasped.
“Hell no,” my dad thundered, and my eyes found Knox’s across the room like a magnet, and he looked relieved that I was back just in time to save him from my dad exploding like a hand grenade.
“And that’s our cue, Knox. Let’s go upstairs to my room,” I said, and he immediately got up, taking my hand.
“No shenanigans. I can see through walls,” my dad looked right at Knox, and I bit my bottom lip to stop myself from laughing.
He just sighed and shook his head at my dad with a smile. “I’m looking forward to hearing about all of your other superpowers, Adam,” he said dryly, and then I couldn’t help myself; I started giggling and dragged him up the stairs.
I was in complete awe of this new Knox. The Knox that made jokes with my dad and who was saying and doing absolutely all of the things that I’d ever wanted and needed.
I pulled him inside and closed my bedroom door, and finally, we were all alone again...