Igniting the Wild Sparks, Book 3

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Chapter 23

When I shove the keycard into the slot, the door opens into a shadowy room. Shutting the door behind me, I walk through the first section with a bed, then past the closed bathroom door with light seeping out from beneath it. I go into the second room and notice the turned-down bed. I wonder what else he planned. The curtains hanging from the gigantic window encompassing the back wall are open to the beach below.

Reaching into my dress, I pull out the pieces of tape sticking to my tits, wad them into a sticky ball and toss it into the trash can. Sitting down on the small gray couch, I take off my shoes, for which my sore feet thank me. Going to the window, I peer down seven stories to the semi-deserted beach. I hope I find a quiet place to propose without an audience. That would undoubtedly scare me and maybe my daredevil. Watching the dark waves gently roll onto the shore, I hear the faint crashing through the glass, and it soothes my jangled nerves.

Hearing the bathroom door clicking, I automatically lick my lips and smile. Finn’s arms soon wind around my waist, and using his mouth, he pushes my head down and tantalizingly scrapes his teeth down to the crook of my neck, where he wholeheartedly sucks on my skin this time. He firmly draws me to him as his hands hungrily move up my body to my breasts. He tucks his fingers into the front of my dress and strokes my nipples, and they grow hard. Feeling more courageous from the champagne, I pull open the top of my dress, and Finn’s hands swiftly move to cover my breasts.

Astonished by my audacity, he says, “We’re in front of a window, Becks.”

Grinning and turning my head so that our lips practically touch, I purr, “So?” What’s he care? He still gets to cop a feel.

“I don’t want people seeing you naked.”

“It’s just my boobs,” I tease. “Don’t you think it’s daring of me?”

“Yeah, it is, but they’re for me to see.” Securely holding my breasts, his mouth is next to my ear. “Your body is mine. I’m not into sharing you with other men.”

I giggle from the tickle of his breath and lips on my ear. “I’ve noticed.”

“Do you want to share me with other women?” Cara pops into my head, and jealousy fires through me. She wants my Sparks.

I whirl around, his hands dropping from my tits, and I growl, “Fuck no.” He grins, and I warn, “I hope you have another shirt.”

His grin falls to display his sudden confusion. “Why?”

I tear open his shirt, buttons flying, pinging off the wall and desk, and Finn gasps. He at least removed his tie and belt, so I don’t have many obstacles. Gripping his open shirt, I possessively state, “You’re mine, Sparks Wilder.”

His smile disappears, and his eyes are sincere. “Yours, Becks. Always.”

Impatiently, I push his shirt off his shoulders, and he readily helps me. I extend to kiss his heart tattoo, licking over it and to his nipple, where I swirl my tongue around before I bite it. He steeply inhales and holds the back of my head as I drag my tongue to his other nipple.

After I’ve thoroughly roused that one, he tilts my chin up and kisses me. I grip his biceps over his shamrock and cross tattoos as he pulls me to the bed. When he moves to guide me down onto it, I astound him once more by pushing him, which catches him off guard, and he falls onto the mattress.

He says, “Damn. You’re so fucking hot.” His mouth is still agape as I stand between his open legs and briskly undo his fly over his straining hard-on. Snapping out of his stupor, he swiftly sits up, interrupting my task, to take off his key necklace and places it on the nightstand. His hands go to my hips, and he hikes up my dress, exposing my underwear and then his fingers dig into my waistband, dragging them down my thighs. I push them the rest of the way, and he says, “Leave your dress on.”

I curiously smirk as my heart beats faster. “Why?”

He drifts his hands up and down my hips. “When my hands were up your dress, I thought about you wearing it while you screamed my name.”

Reaching into his waistband, I yank at his pants. “I said loud sex, didn’t I?”

Finn solemnly nods, but a smile threatens to give away his wayward thoughts. He lifts to help me rid his pants. “I’m here to deliver.”

When his pants and boxer briefs are gone, I climb onto the bed. My hand goes straight to my prize, and Finn groans as I delicately run my fingers underneath his balls. He lays back, propping his weight on his elbows like he did before the kite festival. Amid his hard breaths, he rasps, “See how much I need you, baby? I’m all yours. I’ve missed you so much. Don’t make me wait to be inside you.”

Running my lips across his Adam’s apple, I say, “You’re so hard for me, Sparks. I don’t want to wait. I’ve missed you, too.” I suck on his neck as I glide my hand over his shaft, making Finn moan more. Giving him a love bite for everyone to see, I stick my tongue into his ear, whispering, “You’re wrong. You will scream my name.” I move to straddle him, but he brusquely picks me up and flips me onto the bed, trapping me beneath him.

He shakes his head. “Huh-uh. It’s my turn to take you against your will.” He smirks as he pushes up my dress with one hand.

I glance at the gaping window and then to Finn. “Sparks, we’re still in front of the window. People might see us.” It’s one thing to stand topless in a window, but to star in porn is beyond my realm of intrepid.

“Nobody can see us on the bed.” His hand glides over my thigh to the blue garter, toying with it. “This is sexy. I had a hard time not doing this.” He slips two fingers inside of me, and I happily moan. As they move, he gives me a love bite on the other side of my neck. My hands dash into his hair and tug, and Finn hums against my throat.

Playing along, I weakly protest, “Finn, don’t do this.” He shifts, pulling his fingers out of me, and my hands fall to the bed. He firmly clutches both my wrists, pinning them to the mattress. I feebly try to break free, but damn, even if I were really trying, I wouldn’t be able to.

“Tell me how much you want me, Becks.”

I scoff, “I think you’re doing this wrong.”

Finn disregards my joking. “I felt how much you do.” Letting go of my left wrist, he reaches down and firmly slides himself over my clitoris. I sigh at how good he feels and want more. “Come on, baby. Tell me.”

I counter his rhythm with my hips. “I want you.”

He whispers, “More than that. You know what I want.”

I sweep my fingers into his hair above his forehead. “Finnigan.”

“More than that.”

I giggle and squeal, “Finnigan, you’re hot!”

He shakes his head as he looks into my eyes while slightly entering me. The feel of our skin touching so intimately nearly spurs me into coming on his tip. Finn whispers, “It’s something you haven’t said to me in over a week.”

“Put the seat down?” I laugh again, and he impatiently sighs. It has to be the champagne. I’m a lightweight in that arena, too.

He slows his movements. “Becks, I’m serious.” Now I feel like a bitch.

Moving my hand out of his hair and to his jaw, I try again. “I want to make love to you.”

“Almost.” He kisses my neck, and I hear him gasp as he pushes more into me.

I hesitantly ask, “Baby, did you bring a condom?”

Next to my head, he grumbles, “Now, you’re ice cold.”

I’m serious.”

“Whoops,” he mutters against my neck as the head of his dick strokes back and forth into my pussy, teasing both of us. “My bad.” Finn kisses my throat down to my chest. He releases my other wrist and further exposes my breasts, seizing one with his mouth and torments me that way, too.

I sigh in both delight and frustration. Still riding his tip, I breathlessly ask, “What are you doing, Finn? I want to know.”

He finally lifts his head and hovers above me, still not putting his weight on my stomach. “I’m waiting for you. Tell me, Becks. I need to hear it.”

“I need to hear you say it, too. What’s the real reason you’re not wearing a condom?” He stops blinking like I’m privy to another one of his dark secrets.

He returns to licking my breast, and between mouthfuls, he mumbles, “I told you why.”

“I want the truth, Finn.”

He sighs, blowing warm air across my nipple, and raises his head again. “I’ll give you the three-word answer if you give me the three words I want to hear.”

Smiling, I look into his soulful brown eyes. I sweep my fingers over his cheekbone and gently kiss his lips. “I’ll give you more than three. I love you, Sparks.”

He growls and fully thrusts into me, and pausing, we moan our ecstasy to each other. He looks into my eyes and strokes my cheek with his thumb. “That’s what I wanted to hear from you. I ache for your love.” He slowly leans down to kiss me and skates his hands to mine, clasping ours together. I clamp my fingers onto his hands as he solidly lunges.

Amid kisses, I say, “Your turn.”

He slowly drags his chin to my ear and whispers, “I’m trying, baby.”

“Trying what?” He wouldn’t… No… Rod can’t be right twice.

“That’s all you’re getting, Becks.”

Bowled over, I nearly stutter. “Are you trying to get—” Finn kisses me, and his skillful tongue compels me to forget my question.

I move my hips up to his, and he huffs his pleasure into our kiss. My hands throb from his strength, so I open my fingers, and he releases them. Putting my right hand on his heart tattoo and the other creeping up into his hair, I’m in heaven. “Finnigan.”

“Louder,” he demands, bossier since coaching and me getting hurt.

“Finnigan!”

He gently moves stray hair from my face, but snarls, “Do better.”

“I love you, Finnigan Wilder!” I joyfully cry out, and closing his eyes, he grins as he drives faster. A sharp pain grabs me, and I bite my lip.

His eyes open, and he streams his right hand down my dress, over my ribs, and to my waist. As his gaze follows his hand, he tersely utters, “You’re so damn beautiful. I can’t fuck you enough. You’re my addiction, Hadley Beckett. I love you more than my own life.”

“Louder.”

He grins at my word-pilfering command and does as he’s told. “Hadley Beckett, I love you!” he freely shouts, his deep voice bouncing off the walls.

I dazedly smile. “More.”

He laughs. “You are so fucking beautiful, Hadley! I won’t ever get enough of you!”

“Now, tell me another thing I want to hear, Coach Wilder,” I insist with bated breath.

Knowing what I’m referring to, his smile disappears, and he’s suddenly anxious as his hips slow their grinding into mine. “Becks,” he says quieter, losing his liveliness.

“Tell me, Sparks.” I need to know you still want to marry me.

He shakes his head and uneasily flicks his tongue over his lips. “I can’t.”

I circle my index finger around my name on his tattoo. “Please. I need to hear it.”

Finn’s eyes widen, and he swallows. Above a whisper, he once more confesses, “I want to be your husband.”

My heart leaps. “Is that the truth?”

He nods. “I swear to you.” I avidly kiss him, and he groans as he kisses me in response. Finn regains his spirit and finding my way back into his hair, we rock together in a harmonious, breathless rhythm. When his lips lift from mine, he says, “You feel so good all over me. You’re so soft, so gorgeous, so loving, so forgiving, and so mine. I’ve fallen more in love with you, Becks.”

His words spark me, and I whimper, “You’re getting me close.”

Finn keeps a rigorous pace, with my breasts bouncing out of my dress. “Love me the way only you can. Surrender to me, sweetheart.” The sweetheart does it.

“Oh, Finnigan!” I pull on his hair and wail as I explode. I guaranteed him loud sex. I just hope we don’t get kicked out of here.

His delight is evident, too, and to the wall above me, he yells, “That’s it, baby! Give it to me!” Finn then lowers his head and whispers, “Your pussy. Fucking hell, I love it on my dick.”

I hold on to him as more ripples wrack both of us. “Oh, Sparks,” I breathily drone.

As I bask in my euphoria, he pants harder and softly says, “Becks, I’m coming.” He moves his hand to my hip and yells, “Holy fuck, Hadley!” Closing his eyes, Finn grunts, shoving deep into me, and gasping for air. I screech, but it’s from pain.

He opens his eyes, and we gaze at each other while catching our breaths. I kiss him and suddenly nervous, I whisper, “I’ve fallen more for you, too.” Finn smiles and kisses me again.

Finn just doesn’t know how much.

While in the bathroom, I wipe a cold washcloth over my face to cool me and to clean off the smudged makeup. I set the washcloth down and lift my dress to take it off, Finn having already unzipped me. I stand naked in the mirror and notice my bruise is a faint purple and yellow. It may be healing, but it’s still painful. I lightly push on it, and it’s tender near the bottom. Hopefully, it won’t hurt soon.

Skipping a bra, I pull on a sweatshirt, underwear, and jeans. Although loud, hot sex messed up my hair, I leave it braided for now since it’ll take too long to remove them. Digging into a zippered pocket in my toiletry bag, I pull out the black velvet box and shove it into my jeans pocket, hiding the bulge with my sweatshirt.

When it’s Finn’s turn in the bathroom, I gaze out the window, concentrating on calming thoughts. Right. I’m proposing to Finn Wilder, Richmond’s resident eternal bachelor. My heart, still sprinting from our lovemaking, now pounds in fear of the unknown.

When he’s ready, I pick up my phone and the key cards, handing him one in case I lose mine. Closing the door, Finn unexpectedly pins me against it, swooping down to kiss me. His lips linger on my mouth, and I feel his smile against mine. Stepping back, he drapes his arm over my shoulders, and we walk to the elevators.

It’s a clear night, and the moon is a small sliver, so the stars twinkle brightly. The beach still has stragglers since it’s a Saturday night. Finn drops his arm from me and entwines our fingers, giving them a small squeeze. When I look up, we catch each other’s gaze and smile. His hair is sexy, sticking up in every direction that I pulled it.

We reach a quieter section, close to our hotel, but far enough that people around won’t notice us, unlike how they probably did earlier in our room.

I stop to take off my sneakers, and he does the same. At least there are no snakes here. I think. Sparks watches as I roll up my pant legs like Rod and I did at the creek. Tossing my shoes into the dry sand, I walk to the water to soothe my buzzing nerves. I hop into the cool, wet sand and dance in the shallow tide. Finn gingerly follows me, and I grab his hand, twirling around under it, making myself giggle. “You are a good dancer.”

He raises a dubious eyebrow. “That’s one thing I am not.”

“Oh, but you are, Mr. Wilder.” He shakes his head and looks down at the sand, quietly laughing at my assertion. As he stands there, I stretch out his arm and then pirouette to him, rolling up his arm and into his chest. I laugh, and when I look up at him, he kisses me. Grinning, I say, “Thank you again for saving me from Shane. Twice.”

His eyes dart above my head, and he mutters, “I was more than glad to. He was leering at you all night. I wanted to break his fucking nose.”

“Finn!”

He tightens his arm around me. “Becks, trust me. I was watching him for a while.”

“I thought you were watching me?”

“I was watching you and whoever was watching you,” he meanders.

“That’s crazy. He’s my trainer.”

“He wants to be more than your trainer. If he looked at you the way he did and we weren’t at your best friend’s wedding, I would’ve punched him.” The look in Finn’s eyes is resolute and determined. Is he that serious?

“You can’t punch someone for looking at me.”

“He wasn’t just looking at you, Becks. I virtually read his damn thoughts. He wants my girlfriend, and there’s no way in hell he’s getting you.”

“He won’t. He wants to be friends.”

He bleakly laughs and rolls his eyes. “Yeah. Friends. Sure. And high altitudes scare the shit out of me.”

I roll my eyes at him in return. “He wanted to be friends since our best friends were getting married. That’s all. I don’t want him. Just like I don’t want Rod. We’re only friends.”

“I can see you and Rodwell being friends more than you and that asshole.” This is not the mood I wanted before asking him to marry me.

“Don’t worry about Shane. The wedding is over, and I only have to see him at the gym. Though he doesn’t want to see me until I have a checkup.”

“Why?”

“He thinks I’ve lost weight. That’s the point of going to the gym, isn’t it?”

“I’ve noticed it, too, Becks.” His gaze drops to my body, and his hands explore my waist and hips, evaluating me.

Sighing, I grab his hand again and twirl away from him, dancing back into the water, and pulling him with me.

“Roll up your jeans,” I instruct, kicking into the surf.

“I’m good.”

“What? You’re paranoid a Finnatic will see you and think you’re not cool?”

He laughs, and his white teeth gleam in the dim glow of the overhead lighting behind us, which also casts a blond halo in his mystical hair. “Yeah. Something like that.” He follows me into the ankle-deep, sudsy water.

“Come on, Jiminy,” I taunt.

He yanks on my hand, halting me. “Oh. You think you’re funny?”

Not able to look at him without giggling, I look ahead and say, “I am.” Suddenly, Finn scoops me up out of the water, making me squeal. I tightly put my arms around his neck and pray he isn’t going to throw me. I might lose the ring, and the water is too cold. Instead, he dips and gives me a long, persistent kiss, nearly compelling me to forget about my plan and for us to go back to our room. His hair brushes against my forehead in the cool ocean breeze. Reaching up, I bury my hand into his hair and deepen our kiss, his light goatee scraping against my skin, which is still sensitive from his earlier enthusiastic kisses. I needed this. It’s calming my nerves for the moment. I drop my hand and slip it into his sweatshirt to pull out his necklace. Holding onto his key, I feel his smile in our kiss.

Finn whispers on my lips, “I love you to the stars, Becks.”

I smile against his lips. “I love you beyond, Sparks.” We give each other one more kiss and then he sets me down. When he does, the nerves return worse than before, and I shake, so I take a couple of deep breaths. From behind me, Finn is oblivious to the chaos within me. He encircles his arms around me and kisses the side of my head as we gaze out into the watery darkness.

I take another deep breath and say, “You’re my soulmate.”

His chuckle vibrates through my back. “I am,” he states, stealing my earlier reply. Even though it’s a game for us, I don’t laugh. “Always?”

“Always.”

“How much do you love me?”

Against my temple, he quietly says, “I just showed you and yelled it when we made love. And don’t you dare say I only fucked you. You know it was more than that, baby. It always is. I felt our love between us, didn’t you?” I nod against his head, his beard scratching me. “I also came here to surprise you because I knew how much you wanted me by your side.” He’s making my speech easier than I thought.

I say, “We’re a couple, and I do want you by my side forever.” He doesn’t reply, but he finds my hand and holds it in his. I swallow to open my closing throat before I turn around. He lets go of me, thinking we’re walking somewhere else, but I only walk out of the water to dry sand, feeling sick. I don’t know how to do this. When I look back at him, he regards me with growing suspicion. I suppose I am acting cagey.

I clear my throat and go with the obvious. “We’ve been together for three years.”

He arches a dark eyebrow and tentatively says, “Yeah…”

“I know how you feel about… things, but you also know how I feel.” He instantly plunges his gaze to the ground, uncomfortable and possibly on the edge of alarm, which I expected. I have to keep going.

Lifting my sweatshirt, I take out the black box, almost dropping it as I open it. At the sound of the creaking lid, Finn looks up. The silver edges of the ring gleam around the black center. “I don’t know how to do this.” I fall to my knee in the sand, and that’s when his eyes and body freeze. Shit. I need to get through this fast before I lose him completely. “I love you, Finnigan Robert Wilder. Always. With every single beat of my heart. I want you to be forever mine and only mine. Just as I’m only yours, please tell me you’ll take this gigantic leap of faith with me and truly mean it. This is it, Sparks. I won’t ask you again. My only want is for you to be my husband and for me to be your wife.” Breathing deeply, I take my own leap of faith. “Finnigan, I’m giving you the ultimate dare. Will you really marry me?”

My proposal echoes that of the ring’s inscription. I dare you to marry me.

I watch as his eyes go through every emotion I think exists, except for one. Hopefully, it’s still in there somewhere. The only other overt move is his jaw alternating between tightening and slackening. I don’t see him breathing.

“Sparks?” He doesn’t respond, which scares me. Still on my knee holding out the box, I quietly ask, “Won’t you say anything?” His intent stare bores into me, yet I have no idea what’s going through his head. Does he want to bolt like Morgan wanted to earlier? Does he want to jump up and down as he squeals? Does he want me to get up and stop embarrassing him for a change? The only answer I receive is the ocean. It had sounded soothing. Now, it’s condescending.

He finally whispers, “Becks.” I fearfully peer up at him, waiting for him to say more, but he stays silent as he continues to gape.

My voice shakes. “Finn?” My heart thunders in my ears as I beg, “Please say something.”

He blinks, and his eyes fly around me. “I… I can’t believe you’re doing this.”

“Why, really? You said we could get engaged.”

“Yeah, but your engaged means something entirely different than mine.”

“Yours is slightly askew.” He cringes and bows his head. “I gave you time.”

To the sand, he mumbles, “Not enough.”

And then I feel it. The knife. The familiar stab cuts through me, and rejection floods my body like a dam breaking, reminding me of the club in front of all those Finnatics shrouded over him. However, this is a thousand times worse.

Licking my salty, dry lips as the tears threaten, I hoarsely ask, “Are you turning down my dare? Are you saying no?”

He remains mute. Needing him to verbalize his answer, I restlessly probe, “Is this a no?” I watch him struggle as he bites his lip and closes his eyes since this is something he doesn’t want to face. What the hell is going through Finn Wilder’s mind and heart right now?

When he finally pops his eyes open, he defeated his internal battle with resolute determination. “Yes, Becks. It’s a no.”

His answer misleads me, and I have to strive to comprehend what he just said. When it gradually sinks in, I gasp and look down at the ring. How could I have been so incredibly stupid to think he would change his mind because I bought him a piece of jewelry and got down on my knee? Why would this piece of metal mean anything to him? He’d rather see me on my knees to give him a blow job, not for a promise of a future with me.

I wipe the tears streaking my face while Finn is quiet. I knew this was a huge probability —him saying no—but for Finn to actually reject me is different from just imagining it. Still, I was hoping and praying he’d say yes, and we’d hug, kiss, and cry happy tears. We’d go back upstairs and make love again to celebrate his promise to marry me.

I snap the box shut and squeeze it in my fist until I feel it buckling. I glance up at him. “You’re saying no?” He doesn’t make me relive it again as he doesn’t reply. His hands are in his pockets as he glowers at the sand between us, circumventing my eyes. “You said you wanted to be my husband.”

“Becks.”

“What?” I bite. “I guess that was another one of your lies?”

He meekly answers, “No.”

“You’re so good at saying that word.” Standing, I impulsively stuff the box into my pocket and grab my shoes.

He finally raises his head. “Where are you going?”

“Anywhere, but here.” I didn’t think I’d feel like this. I have to be the most idiotic woman on the planet to believe this deep repercussion wouldn’t wreck our relationship. How can we go back to normal?

He snags my arm. “Wait.”

I choke on a sob. “I’ve waited long enough. I’m tired of waiting for you to grow up.”

“You knew how I felt. Why did you put yourself in this position?”

I whip around to face him. “And you knew how I felt! How could you not move from yours?” I put my hand on my chest and shout, “Why do I have to give up everything? I’ve changed so much in my life for you, but you won’t do me any favors! I went off the Pill for you! I agreed to move in with you without marriage! I gave up waiting for you to propose to me! I gave up having your kids because that’s not what you want! What are you giving up, Finn? A ball and chain? Dirty diapers?” I fight not to cry harder, but I’m losing. I swallow more sobs. “Oh, those aren’t ever happening! So, nothing! You’re giving up nothing for me!”

He drops his hand from my arm, puts it on his hip, and swings out his other arm. “I’m giving up a better-paying job in a bigger market to stay in Richmond with you!” He could’ve punched me in the face and hit a line drive to my stomach all at once, and it wouldn’t hurt as much.

My hand flies to my mouth, choking back vomit and more cries. “I never said you had to!” As I sob, my stomach muscles cramp underneath my bruise. The pain there doesn’t compare to the pain in my heart. Again, he lied when he said I wasn’t keeping him from taking the job.

I suddenly turn to leave, but he blocks me and grabs my upper arms, holding me prisoner in my misery. “I’m sorry. I didn’t—”

“You said I wasn’t holding you back! And before that, you rejected my proposal!” I lower my head, and as I cry harder, I garble, “Where does that leave us now?”

“Becks, don’t—” I glance up to his terrified expression. Why would he be afraid? Finn Wilder isn’t afraid of anything not worth fighting for. Like that fucking bridge.

“Morgan’s right.”

“About?”

“She said you’ll only break my heart!” I bury my face in my hands. “I’m such a fucking dumbass!”

His grip tenses and I feel him shaking his head. “No, no, you’re not. It’s me, baby.”

I snap my head up. “Oh, so it is you and not me?”

He nods. “It’s all me.”

“You’re so fucking confusing. You make my damn head spin.” I jerk my arms, but he won’t relent.

His eyes are wide and continue to scour my face. “Stay here.”

“Why? I just proposed with a ring, and you rejected me. I’m such a moron to think you would change your mind.” I swallow the bile rising in my throat.

Finn tilts his head close to my face. “You’re not. I want so fucking much to say yes to you, but I can’t.”

I morosely look at him. “So again, you’re turning me down. Nice.” I vainly yank my arm and tearfully plead, “Let me go, Finn.”

His voice is wobbly. “No, because I never want to let you go.”

“At least you got laid one last time!” As that cold statement leaves my mouth, I crumple to the sand, bringing him down with me.

“Becks, no! No! That’s not true. Don’t let it be.”

Sitting in the sand, I bring my knees up, so I’m curled into a ball, wheezing as I slip my arm around myself to hold my aching stomach. He drapes over my body and holds on to me, so we’re a huddled mass. He whispers, “Baby, we’ll work through this. I promise I’ll get there. I just won’t promise I’ll marry you soon when I know I can’t.” He lays his forehead on my shoulder as I shake us both with my weeping. He keeps whispering empty promises and maybe more lies. “I love you so much. I need you in my life. I can’t live without you. You’re my Becks. I’ll never love anyone else. You’re my best friend.”

With a jumbled mind, I contemplate what to do next. I thought I would mope back to my apartment, but this feels so much more devastating than I thought it would. This feels final.

We’re quiet with only the sounds of the waves crashing and our close breathing. “Baby, talk to me. Yell at me. Knock me on my ass. Just don’t go.” He takes an unsteady breath. “Becks, you’re my life. Without you, I’m nothing. We have to be okay. Please tell me you still love me.”

I sniff and wipe my cheeks and nose on my hand. Abruptly, I shift, and he hesitantly moves, watching me, panicked, as I stand. “Becks, where are you going?”

“I’m leaving.”

“Me?” I give him a pointed look and notice his beautiful brown eyes are reflecting the light, making them shine. Is Finn Wilder going to cry? No. He would never shed a tear for me. He coolly turned down my proposal without blinking an eye.

“I don’t know.” As I walk past him, he clips my hand, but I elude his grasp and run to the hotel for my car keys.

Outside of the lobby, I quickly put my shoes on, rush to the elevator, and repeatedly hit the call button, as if that really helps speed things. I get to my room and hurriedly dump what I can into my suitcase, leaving what I don’t need. I just want to get out of here.

I run over to the window and see a huddled figure still sitting on the sand in the distance. Feeling somewhat less frantic, I finish packing. I toss my room key on the table and head to my car. Before I leave the lot, I call my dad to tell him I’m on my way. I don’t care if it’s four hours away from here. I’ll drive all night to get as far away as I can from Finn and my broken heart.

From the ultimate dare to the ultimate rejection.

Beckett is down for the count.

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