Cracked Open: book 3

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“Oh gods, Ciro.”

“Kaia. Kaia were gone. I couldn’t feel you anymore.” He swallowed hard.

Before I could think, I took a handful of hurried steps towards him. “Yes. I’m...I’m so sorry. I’m here now.” My voice cracked as I reached for him. “You’re awake.”

Ciro nodded and he began to calm, his shoulders not so tense. His body relaxed and he leaned towards me. His hands were shaky but I helped him hold my cheeks. As he gazed into my eyes with so much love and tenderness, I couldn’t help but smile. He took a deep breath in. “You are so beautiful. I thought we had lost each other.”

I shook my head. “I don’t believe that would ever happen. I-I’m sorry I left.”

Ciro whispered, “It’s okay.”

“No it’s not. I left because I doubted us.

“Blossom, it’s okay now because you are here right now.”

I smiled brightly at this new turn of events, and pushed myself out of his hands and closer into him. Wrapping my arms around Ciro’s neck, I breathed a sigh of relief, contentment. His strong form held me closer than ever, and everything seemed to be going right again.


There was something wrong, I could tell not only because I could feel it from her, but also because she was very still and far away. Turning my head, with my nose nuzzled into her hair, I breathed her in. “Tell me,” I whispered.

It was like she needed me to say those words because once they were spoken she spilled what was on her mind. “You were dead...dying.”

My oxygen intake stopped. I held my breath trying to figure out how I should respond. Was there ever a fancy or smart way to talk about death? Instead I exhaled and simply replied, “Yes, I was.”

“And you’re here now, and I don’t understand it.” Her brown eyes pleaded with me to explain.

I exhaled roughly and tried to find the right words. It wasn’t ever something I wanted to tell, but I could see that she needed this. Looking up at the ceiling my fingers wrapped themselves through Kaia’s hair.

I started out slow. “When I was unconscious...I was in pain. The poison was running through my blood stream and it was clouding my senses.”

Kaia shifted, and because I noticed I paused. Looking down I saw her studying me carefully and with a depth I’ve never seen. I turned my head back up to the cave ceiling. Gazing up was the only way I was going to be able to talk about my near death.

Once again I started out slow. “Because...the toxin was numbing my body I could only hear from a you were on the other side of the wall.” My fingers lightly traced the curve of her nude hip. It helped to touch her. “So when you spoke I could only hear your tone, when you touched me it took a few seconds to know where you touched or how. My sight was gone, mostly because it would have hurt to see my pain in your eyes.”

I heard a sniffle from Kaia and instinctively pulled her closer. I looked down again and saw a tear slowly roll down her cheek and puddle on the left side of my chest. “I’m sorry, Ciro.”

“Don’t be. It was eventually going to happen.”

At that Kaia whimpered and laid her head on my chest, like before.

I sighed and tried to continue, knowing she wouldn’t want me to stop even if I asked, and it would help her in the long run. “When you left, I felt like I was left in darkness all alone with no way out. My imagination of you was all that remained.”

Kaia took in a shaking breath, pulling me from the pain I had only an hour ago. “I’m so sorry.”

At this point I could only shake my head in response. I was already half way through this story. I was getting it over with.

“When you were with me, it was like my body thought I was going to be fine. You were by my side; I could still feel you, hear you...nothing was really wrong. As soon as you left my side, my body started to freak out. You have to understand that I was no longer really in control. I had to rely on my body. I think...actually I’m positive that because we had bonded, my body knew something was wrong when you were gone. The tug between our two souls...Kaia, it was painful.” I momentarily placed my fist above my gut, and Kaia covered it with her hand. “My soul...or whatever connected our two souls together...that thing rebelled against the poison like you wouldn’t believe. Our bond wouldn’t let me leave you.”

This time I looked at her, and my eyes stayed with hers. I used both of my thumbs to wipe her wet cheeks.

Moments later she slowly smiled and I kissed her sweetly. There she was, my blossom.

We lay there for a while. And slowly her expression changed. Kaia was trying so hard not to smile, Kaia was biting her lip; it was beginning to turn white.

“You know, if you lose your lip from biting it so hard, I don't think it's possible to kiss you. It would be a damn shame too. I've been thinking about your lips pressed against mine for a while now.” I inched closer to her lips as I spoke with a husky undertone.

The laughter in her eyes oozed out, and she slowly released her lip from her teeth. I kissed her and rolled Kaia so she lay down beneath me. When I gazed down, I saw a hunger reach her earthly eyes, a sexual want that Kaia couldn't hide from me. She even licked her lips, and a groan escaped me when she rubbed herself against me.

I couldn’t resist any longer. She wanted my kiss and had been deprived of a proper kiss for too long. I grabbed her swiftly but gently around the neck, and she giggled at the goofy move. I tried to steady my breathing, but I loved her too much. So much that it overwhelmed me. She overwhelmed me. Kaia firmly grabbed my face, and when we kissed it was like I could breath again, like I could make all of the forest come to life, like my tree hadn’t almost died.

It was messy love making, and we rolled a few times. But soon enough we slowed, and I truly felt in my heart what it was like to be bonded with someone. I could feel her emotions; I understood what she wanted. It was the best feeling in all my life, and I had my blossom to share it with.

Moving further down her body once again I traced her markings, ones that only I as her mate can see, underneath her breasts and across her ribs. “I think they’re perfect, Kaia.” They looked like the roots of a tree, painted across her ribs and under both her breasts, touching the top of her stomach before the knotted roots stopped.

“I like yours, too.” She spoke with a thick throat and lifted my hand to inspect the underside of my forearm. Mine had tree branches with blossoms on them.

“You do, do you?” I liked them too, because of the gray blossoms – some still blooming. “I like mine too,” I whispered, and then licked the underside of a breast sneakily.

Kaia moaned. “Do that again.”

I did, to the other, and she sighed.

“I missed you, baby.”

My heart skipped a beat at her rare nickname. “You missed me, or this?” I kissed the top of her stomach, and then rested my head gently between her heavy, aroused breasts.

Kaia pulled me up and kissed me with her swollen lips. “I missed you.”

I smirked, “Good, I should be the only one you ever miss.”

She rolled her eyes, and I had to hide an amused smile. “You’re so demanding.”

“Always, Blossom.”

Kaia tried to suppress a giggle as my hands squeezed her hips.

Hmmm... She was ticklish. “That’s new.”

“What?” She sounded worried of what I’d figured out, but very happy and at ease.

I squeezed again, and she tried to hold it back. “You are ticklish. My blossom never found a need to tell me that she was ticklish.”

“Yeah,” Kaia started to wiggle, creating sensual friction, and push my hands away. “Because I knew you would take advantage.”

Blossom didn’t get very far. I locked her in, my forearms and body keeping her under me. “What, me? Never.”

“Yes, you. You find these kinds of things amusing.”

“It’s only because I love you,” I iterated quietly and stole a kiss from Kaia’s hypnotizing lips. I tickled her again, and she laughed. Then because I couldn’t help it I tried to taste her sweet happiness.

The kiss became deeper, and I drew from her in longer sweeps. My hand journeyed downward, and my fingers played. In response Kaia panted and pulled me closer. Minutes later our hips rolled together and it was once again like nothing I’ve ever experienced. We reacted faster to each other’s gentle caresses. We wanted more of everything. As mates, we wanted to explore what we thought we had the very first time we had sex. Our arousal seemed to dance in the air around us, and if we didn’t have each other to breathe we would have choked on something so wonderful as our enhanced ecstasy.

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