Chapter 8. Bad Things
Hayden told me the truth, and I didn’t expect just how bad it was. He left without saying another word to me or giving me time to wrap my head around it. I went to bed that night, and when I woke, I tried to call him and text him, but he didn’t answer me. He hadn’t been at home or at the coffee shop for a week.
Sean told me he hadn’t seen him either, and he had no idea where he went. Sean said he hadn’t been at Mateo’s place either. I didn’t tell Sean that I knew the truth, but I knew that Sean was mixed into the same things as Hayden.
They hired a girl to take Hayden’s spot at the coffee shop, and I had to train her. I hadn’t seen Ryan at the coffee shop either, not that I had any desire to see Ryan. I could care less if I ever saw him again. Hayden defended the fact that Ryan was drunk the night he said the things he did, but it didn’t make it hurt any less.
Stormy slid down the red slide. She giggled when she reached the bottom.
Dark clouds rolled toward us. Thunder shook the sky. The clouds were practically black. The wind blew my hair back. We were in for a severe thunderstorm tonight with many tornado warnings in the area. Stormy’s hair clung to her forehead from the humidity.
“Come on, baby,” I called to Stormy.
Stormy stomped towards me. “Can’t we stay a little longer?”
I picked her up and looked up at the sky. Stormy’s gaze followed mine. I looked back at her. “What do you think?” I asked and chuckled.
Stormy sighed. “I think it’s time to go home.”
“I think that is about right,” I said. I carried Stormy to the car. I buckled Stormy in and climbed into the driver’s side.
We managed to beat the storm home.
“What do you want for dinner?” I asked as I headed for the kitchen.
“I don’t know,” Stormy said and shrugged.
“Spoken like a true woman,” I said and giggled.
“What?” Stormy tilted her head.
“Your dad used to tell me that I never knew what I wanted to eat. I couldn’t make up my mind. There were too many options,” I told her.
Stormy smiled for a moment, then she frowned. “Mommy? Where is Hayden?”
“Um, I’m not sure,” I said and shrugged. “He hasn’t been home.”
“Do you think he’s okay?” Stormy asked.
I sighed and turned to face Stormy. “Yeah, baby, I think he’s just fine. He’s a tough guy, and he can take care of himself.”
“Okay,” Stormy said. “Can we get Pizza Hut?”
I chuckled. “No cooking and no dishes? Sounds good to me,” I agreed.
After we ate dinner, I put Stormy to bed and took a shower. I put on a robe and kept the towel on my head to let my hair dry. I grabbed a can of soda from the fridge and sat down on the couch. I turned on the TV.
The wind blew hard against the apartment complex. Lightning flashed, and thunder shook the building. Rain hit hard against the windows. I stared at the window and thought about Hayden. I regretted not stopping him from walking out that night, but the text I sent him and voicemail I left made it very clear that I accepted what he told me.
After about an hour, I stood off the couch and took the towel off my head. I started down the hallway, but a few raps on the door made my steps falter.
I stared at the door for a long moment before I sighed and went to answer it. My lips parted in surprise.
Water dripped from Hayden’s hair and rolled down his face. His clothes were dry. It looked like he just got out of the shower. He had on a black muscle shirt and black silk shorts. He didn’t have on any shoes.
“Hi,” I said and smiled. I opened the door wider and moved out of his way. He walked into the apartment silently. I closed the door and turned to face him. I stumbled up against the door, not expecting him to be so close.
His eyes swept over me, and his body pinned mine against the door. His blue eyes locked with mine. A deep craving clouded his eyes.
I swallowed hard. “I-I tried to call and text you. Where were you?” Impossible as it was, I ignored the heat that crept up my thighs.
He ignored my question and traced my bottom lip with his thumb. The look in his eyes left me breathless. Hesitantly, he lowered his lips to mine.
My body responded to his without hesitation. I leaned into him and put my hands on his hips. My reaction only seemed to intensify things.
Hayden’s lips warmed mine to the point it felt like the rest of me went up in flames. His tongue traced my bottom lip before his lips trailed up my jaw. His breath tickled my face and sent a shiver down my spine. He took both of my hands in one of his and pinned them above my head against the door. He mumbled something in Spanish and tugged where my robe was tied.
The robe opened but kept my breasts half covered. I was mostly exposed, and the most exposed I had been in front of him. His eyes swept over my mostly naked body. He kept my arms above my head. His free hand slid between my breasts and down my stomach.
My chest rose and fell heavily. Nobody had ever looked at me the way that Hayden did. His hand stopped between my legs, and his eyes locked with mine as he slipped a finger inside of me.
A soft moan escaped me. “I need you,” I murmured.
“You already have me, bebé,” he whispered. “I love how wet you get when I touch you.” He retreated his hand from between my legs and put the finger he had inside of me into his mouth as if he needed to know how I tasted.
My eyes widened, and my lips parted.
His eyes danced in amusement at the shock on my face. He licked his lips. “You taste better than I imagined.” Hayden freed both of my hands and wrapped his arms around my waist. He lifted me and carried me back to my bedroom.
Hayden threw me down onto the bed and stood above me. His eyes swept over me for a brief moment. He kneeled down on the floor, grabbed my legs, and pulled me to the edge of the bed. He nibbled and kissed my inner thigh.
“Hayden,” I moaned.
His tongue pressed against my clit with such force that it triggered a louder moan from me. I suddenly remembered Stormy was in the other room. I grabbed a pillow and threw it over my face.
Hayden’s tongue moved unbelievably fast. The fire rippled through my chest. I think there is something wrong with me. This devilish boy is doing bad things to me. The only one who could put it out is this boy I’ve grown attached to.
My moans were muffled by the pillow. My back arched as the fire exploded through my stomach.
Hayden held my hips to hold me down and buried his face deeper between my legs as I came undone.
I threw the pillow off my face and stared at him bewildered. He kneeled on the bed between my legs and kept his hands on my bent knees which were trembling slightly.
“Bebé, I think you’re still going to need that pillow because I’m nowhere near done with you,” Hayden murmured. He threw his muscle shirt off.
I marveled at his chest and abs.
He kicked his shorts off, and my eyes stopped on his cock.
My eyes widened. “I definitely need the pillow,” I gasped. I grabbed the pillow and threw it back on my face.
Hayden chuckled. He grabbed the pillow and threw it to the head of the bed. He lifted me up and moved me to the top of the bed. Hayden hovered over me. He pressed his lips to my lips, nose, and neck. He grabbed both of my hands in one of his and locked them above my head again. He pushed the robe away from my chest. His lips trailed down to my breasts, and his mouth latched onto my nipple. Hayden’s lust-filled gaze locked with mine. “I’m going to do bad things to you, bebé,” he murmured.
I wrapped my legs around his waist and smirked. “Show me.”
Hayden threw a blanket over us and covered my mouth with his hand, and without warning, he slammed his hard cock inside of me. The headboard hit the wall. A loud moan escaped me, and Hayden tightened his hand over my mouth to drown out the sound.
I arched my head back and looked at the headboard, then back to Hayden.
Hayden chuckled and moved his hand. “Maybe you should be on top.”
“Mommy?” Stormy asked.
Hayden’s eyes widened. “Uh-oh,” he mouthed. He pulled out of me and climbed off of me. I quickly tied my robe. Thankfully Hayden hadn’t taken it off of me. I sat up.
Stormy peeked around the corner. She rubbed her eyes. “Hayden!” Stormy shouted.
I jumped out of bed and grabbed her before she could get to him. “Stormy, he will be here in the morning. He’s spending the night, but you have to go back to bed.”
“But I heard a bang,” Stormy said. “And there’s a storm.”
Hayden threw a pillow over his face, but I could still make out his laughter.
“You won’t hear it again,” I promised. I carried her out of the bedroom, leaving Hayden in hysterics.
I tucked Stormy in. She grabbed my arm before I could leave. “Will he really be here?”
“You’re not fighting anymore?”
“I don’t think you need to worry about that anymore, bug. We worked it out, okay?”
“But what about the storm?” As she spoke, thunder shook the apartment, and her eyes widened with terror.
“Hey,” I said calmly. “Shh. We’re inside where it’s safe. I promise. What happens after every storm?”
“The sun shines,” Stormy murmured with a smile.
“That’s right, bug.” I leaned in and kissed her cheek.
“Goodnight, Mommy,” she said. She rolled over and closed her eyes.
I left Stormy’s bedroom but left the door open and her nightlight on.
I closed my bedroom door and locked it. I stopped and noticed my bed wasn’t against the wall—I giggled. “Did you really move my bed?” I whispered.
“Mhm,” he hummed and smirked. He pulled me on top of him and stared up at me.
I leaned closer to him, and my long hair fell over my face.
Hayden pushed my hair out of my face. “I’m going to wear you out tonight and deal with her tomorrow,” he said and chuckled.
“W-what do you mean?” I asked, confused.
“I mean, while you’re sleeping it off in the morning, I’m going to take Stormy out for breakfast and to the park for a little while.”
“Really?” I arched a brow. My hands fell to his chest, and I stared at him with a mix of disbelief and awe. Jason never did things like that with or for Stormy. She was lucky if he made her a bowl of cereal in the morning. He rarely tagged along to the park with us and certainly never took her without me.
Hayden tangled a hand into my hair and brought my face to hover less than an inch above his. “Is that okay?”
“I think she would love that. She missed you. Probably as bad as I did.”
Hayden pressed his lips to mine. “Same here.”
“Now. . .” I trailed off. “Where were we?”
He chuckled and forced me to hover over his cock. He opened up my robe, and it fell off my shoulders. “We were right about. . .” he trailed off. He thrusted into me unexpectedly. “Here.”
A loud moan escaped me. I placed my hands on his chest and rocked my hips back and forth.
Hayden’s eyes fell to where our bodies met. He gripped my hips, lifted me, and thrusted hard back into me. “Damn, you feel amazing,” he murmured. His eyes flickered back to me. “Ride me, bebé.”
I bounced up and down on him. The bed squeaked at the fast pace, but because Hayden slid the bed away from the wall, it didn’t make any banging noises.
Hayden’s eyes would move from my face to my chest to where our bodies met and back again. His eyes were lust-filled with mixes of other emotions.
My hair fell over my eyes. I flipped it back, wanting to see his gorgeous blue eyes. A loud moan escaped me as my stomach started to tighten. “Oh, fuck, so close,′ I moaned.
Hayden gripped my hips and forced me to go faster. His lips parted, and he groaned in pleasure. His eyes didn’t leave mine.
I broke our stare and threw my head back, and moaned his name loudly. The orgasm rocked through me, freeing me from months of built-up sexual tension, and it was better than anything else that I experienced. He bit down on his lip as if to contain himself.
As soon as I came down from my high, Hayden pulled out and released. I collapsed on his chest breathlessly. His chest rose and fell heavily like mine. He tangled his hand into my hair and wrapped his other arm around my waist.
I crawled off him but hovered over him and looked at him curiously.
“What do you want?” he asked and chuckled.
I bit my lip to hide a smile. “You never did answer my question.”
“Where were you?”
Hayden smirked. “I’m a little surprised that you didn’t figure it out, bebé.”
I tilted my head, confused, and thought about it, but I came up blank and shrugged. “Tell me.”
“Well, I wasn’t home for a week. I suddenly disappeared. I wasn’t at work for a week. I’m sure you already know that I got fired from the coffee shop. I went to jail,” he said.
Hayden scoffed. “Ryan pressed charges against me for assault, obviously. I mean, not that I blame him. If I hadn’t stopped, I would have put him in a hospital bed. . .permanently.”
Hayden’s cold eyes and threat sent a shiver down my spine. “Yeah, well, he kind of deserved it,” I muttered darkly. “I haven’t seen him at work.”
Hayden sighed. “He’s probably at home sleeping off his beating. I hurt him pretty bad. He was in the hospital, but I don’t think he’s still there. Part of me thinks I shouldn’t have done what I did, and part of me thinks I’m stupid for thinking that.”
I pressed my lips to his. “So, how much trouble are you in?”
“I got out on bail, so unless he drops the charges, I’m going back for a lot longer. I have a court date coming up soon. With my history, it could be really bad, like a really long time, and pleading insanity isn’t going to work this time.”
I stared at him in disbelief. “You’re kidding,” I whispered.
“I wish,” he muttered. “Just let me worry about it. Okay?”
“Sure,” I said and dropped it. However, I wasn’t letting it go, not by a long shot.
Hayden didn’t wake me up the next morning. He and Stormy were gone. I knew that meant that he took her out like he said he would. He wasn’t wrong about me being worn out. We had sex one more time before we fell asleep, and I woke up later than usual.
I sat down on the couch and turned the TV on. I stared longingly at my coffee cup. Steam rolled out of the cup, so I knew it was still too hot to drink. I sat it down to wait for it to cool down enough to drink.
The door opened up. Stormy danced into the apartment with Hayden behind her. He chuckled as he stared after her.
“Mommy, do you like my new dress?” Stormy asked and spun in a circle.
Hayden set down a few bags and kicked his shoes off.
“Oh, that’s pretty,” I said. I gazed up at Hayden, surprised. “She didn’t need any clothes.”
“She saw it, she wanted it, she got it,” he said and shrugged.
I threw my hands over my mouth and bursted into a fit of giggles. “Oh my god, Hayden! You can’t just buy her whatever she wants.”
Hayden plopped down on the couch and looked at me in disbelief. “I’m sorry, bebé, but I’m about as good at saying no to her as I am to you.”
Stormy grabbed her bags and started carrying them back to her bedroom.
“How much did you buy her?” I asked, surprised.
“A couple of outfits, shoes, toys, and a pink jeep,” he said and shrugged.
“A pink what?” My eyes widened.
“You know one of those power wheel things,” he said.
I jumped to my feet and spun around to face him. “Holy shit! Hayden, those are expensive!” I scolded.
“Well, I had some money saved up, and I’m going to jail anyway, so it isn’t like I’m going to be spending it,” he said and gave me an innocent smile.
“You have to take it back.”
“Are you crazy? Stormy would have a heart attack if I told her we had to take it back. Besides, I might not be out when Christmas or her birthday rolls around,” he said. He stood off the couch and grabbed my face in his hands. “Chill out, Abby. It was only a few hundred dollars. Who cares,” he scoffed.
“You make it sound like a few hundred dollars is pocket change,” I whispered. “A few hundred dollars is an entire paycheck.”
“Well, for you maybe,” he countered. “I make a lot of money, and I saved a lot because I had nothing to spend it on. I don’t go out and blow a lot of money. I make it faster than I can spend it. I’m sorry. I should have called and asked, but she wanted it.”
I sighed and stared at him for a long moment. “Are you serious?”
“Dead serious.” He pecked me on the lips. “I have to go downstairs and get it out of my car.”
Hayden left the apartment. I turned and headed for Stormy’s bedroom. I opened the door. She was putting her things away that Hayden got her.
“Did you have a good time?”
“Yes. We had pancakes for breakfast and went to the park. Why didn’t you come?”
“I was tired.”
“Yeah, Hayden said that.”
I chuckled. “I’m not a breakfast person, anyway. You know that.”
For a few minutes, I watched her play with the new toys that Hayden bought her. “You’re spoiled, bug.”
Stormy turned to me and smiled widely. “Hayden got me a pink jeep, Mommy.”
“Yes, I heard. You know, Stormy, it’s not nice to ask people for things.”
She frowned. “I’m sorry, Mommy.”
“It’s okay, but next time he takes you out, don’t put him on the spot like that, or he might run out of money,” I said and giggled.
Hayden grabbed my arm suddenly. He pulled me out of the room and pushed me against the wall.
My eyes widened in surprise. “What?” I murmured.
“She didn’t ask for all of it,” he whispered. “Some of it I bought because she kept staring at it. She only asked for the dress. Don’t make her feel bad. I wanted to get it for her.”
My lips parted. “I-I just don’t understand why,” I said. I couldn’t fathom why he would spend that kind of money on a toddler that isn’t his. Not even Stormy’s real father spent that kind of money on her—he hated shopping for Stormy. He always said it was the woman’s job.
“Because I—” he stopped and knitted his eyebrows together. “I care about her, and I care about you. I like seeing her get excited just like I like seeing you get excited, which is why I got you something too.”
“Are you fighting? If you’re fighting, just take it all back. I don’t want it if you are going to fight,” Stormy mumbled. Tears built in her eyes.
“We’re not fighting, Storm,” Hayden said.
Stormy sniffled. “You’re not?”
“No,” Hayden said and stepped back. “I was just explaining to your mom that you didn’t ask for all of that stuff.”
I could see how it would look like we were fighting. Jason used to slam me against the wall so hard that my head would bounce off of it, and he would slap me across the face when he got angry at me. Unfortunately, Stormy saw it happen a few times. Hayden only wanted to get me out of earshot from Stormy.
“We’re fine, bug. Go play,” I said.
She looked back and forth between us worriedly. She turned and went into her room.
I stared up at him for a long moment.
“From now on, I’ll talk to you about it first. I didn’t think you would be so upset.”
“No. No, I’m not. I’m sorry. I just don’t want you to feel obligated to buy her things.” I stopped as I considered telling him the rest of what I thought. I hated dredging up the past, especially when it had to do with Jason. Jason and I had a complicated history, and most people knew it.
“Whatever you’re thinking about not telling me, just tell me,” he insisted.
Am I that obvious? Nobody understood me or knew my facial expressions the way he did. It was like he could read what I was thinking. “Jason never did those types of things for her. I always did the shopping. It just caught me off guard. You’re not like him, and I’m still trying to get used to that.”
“He bought her the teddy bear,” he argued.
“You know, that damn thing is special to her because it’s the only time in her entire life that he bought something for her. I always picked out her things. I always worked, so he never paid for her stuff because most of his money went to drugs and drinking. What little he had left he used for bills. He stopped at the store on his way home from work for something. He just happened to see the bear, and he grabbed it. The only time,” I emphasized.
He moved closer to me and caressed my cheek. “I’m sorry, but you’re right. I’m not like Jason. You’ll never have to worry about that with me. I can’t even fathom why he would mistreat the two of you. He didn’t deserve what he had, and that’s why he lost it.” His soft lips brushed against mine. He kissed me in a way that made my legs shake. The kiss was gentle, as if he had to prove that he could be careful. However, that wasn’t true. It seemed that I knew better than he did that he wouldn’t hurt me. Not physically, at least.
He broke the kiss and rested his forehead against mine. “You set my heart on fire,” he whispered.
My eyes flickered to his, and I smiled. “Ditto.”
Hayden pulled me back out to the living room. He plopped down on the couch and pulled me onto his lap. He handed me a small box.
I stared at it for a long moment. My hand shook slightly as I opened it. “Oh, god.”
“A while back, when we passed that small jewelry shop, you were staring at them. I didn’t realize until a couple of weeks ago why you were so infatuated with them. That’s Stormy’s birthstone,” Hayden said. “You would have had them sooner, but I had them engraved.”
Tears built in my eyes. “After every storm, the sun shines,” I read the small words aloud on the earrings.
The earrings were silver and dangly but with ice blue diamonds. They were also about the same color as Hayden’s eyes. I had no intention of buying the earrings. Of course, I wanted them, but I never thought I would wind up with them. They were outrageous for a pair of earrings.
“These cost way too much,” I mumbled.
“Get over it. They’re non-refundable. They’re engraved,′ he said and chuckled.
I smiled and shook my head. “Why did you put those words on it?”
“I’ve heard you say it to Stormy when it storms. She doesn’t care for storms much, especially at bedtime. When you say that to her, it makes her feel better. You say it anytime someone is having a hard time with anything. You’ve said it to me too. I don’t even think you realize how often you say that. You told me once that you named Stormy because she came during the storm of your life. It just fits,” he said and shrugged.
“I love them so much,” I murmured. I loved them even more than the first time I saw them. They were the most extraordinary thing anyone ever got for me. I guess I didn’t realize how often I said that. As hard as it was for me to believe, Hayden knew me so well because he paid such close attention to me. I turned around in his lap. I tangled my fingers into his hair and smashed my lips to his.