Everlasting Bonds ( A Reverse Harem Story)

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Chapter 34

POV: Colt

I was just about to fall asleep when I heard a soft knocking at my door. I had a feeling I knew who it would be.

Ever since that first night when Lark slept in my room, she had begun staying with me whenever she slept over at the house. Sometimes she would knock at 11 pm and other times it wouldn’t be until almost 2 or 3 in the morning.

I think she was forcing herself to try and sleep without me when she stayed here. A fighter. That’s what she was. What she always had been.

I opened the door to see her swaying back and forth, her hands fiddling in front of her. “Is it okay if I sleep in here tonight?“, she whispered. The guys all knew she had been staying in my room, so I wondered why she was whispering.

“You know you can”. I moved to let her glide past me.

I shut the door behind her and made my way back over to the bed. The dark sheets seemed to absorb all the light from outside, making the space seem darker than it actually was.

As I lowered myself beneath the sheets, I repeated the same sentence I had since the second night she stayed with me. “You don’t have to knock, Lark. You can just climb into bed. And before you ask, even if I’m sleeping you can still just come in”.

She huffed softly and rolled over to face me. “I don’t want to invade your space, that’s all”. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. She sounded so earnest. I hated that she thought there could ever be a time when I wouldn’t want her next to me.

“You aren’t invading anything. I want you here and I want you to feel like you can call this place home. If sleeping in my bed helps you rest, then I’m cool with that”.

I didn’t tell her that having her sleep in my bed felt so f*cking natural that when she wasn’t here it didn’t feel right.

“I think I’m just overly sensitive to personal space,” she began in hushed tones. “It wasn’t something I was afforded a lot of and I don’t want to feel like a nuisance or a burden to you”.

I thought about her words and worked to calm down before I spoke next. “I appreciate that. But you aren’t a burden. You aren’t a nuisance. If anything you are a god d*mn gift”. The warmth that entered her eyes let me know I had said the right thing.

Aidan and I were both quiet people. His quiet was one of contentment, whereas mine was one of convenience. People didn’t like silence and would often fill it with words that allowed me to understand who they truly were.

Being with Lark made me want to be loud though. I wanted to talk to her and laugh with her until we ran out of things to say.

“Try to get some rest,” I whispered before kissing each of her eyelids.

She was quiet for so long that I thought she had fallen asleep. I was wrong, and she asked me a question that made my heart hammer in my chest. “What is this flower on your chest, Colt?”

It was the only piece of artwork that covered my chest. Most of my back, arms, and stomach were filled with tattoos. I couldn’t bring myself to put anything next to the flower I had put on my chest eight years ago. It was the first tattoo I had ever gotten.

“It’s a larkspur”, I began softly. “I’m sure by the name you can guess one of the reasons why I got it”.

She gave me a slight nod. “It sounds like my nickname”. The happiness in her voice gave me the confidence to tell her the rest of the meaning.

“It is your nickname. I don’t know if you remember, but Greyson bought that book of flowers and plants so he could use it for his poetry when we were younger. Aidan found a poem he had forgotten in his jeans pockets before tossing them in the laundry hamper. After reading the poem, he told me and Luka about it. We started calling you Lark a few days later”.

The silence I was so used to crept between us as she waited for me to continue.

“But there’s a little more to it than that. The larkspur flower represents everlasting bonds and open hearts. After you were taken I wanted something that would remind me of you. Even if I never got to see you again, I wanted you and what you meant to us to always be a part of me”. Tears fell from her eyes and her voice was thick when she spoke next. “I’ve seen that same tattoo on Greyson...,” she trailed off.

“When the guys and I reconnected, they saw it on me and asked if they could get the same one. You were important to all of us so it seemed fitting that we would all have a piece of you always etched into our skin”.

She let out a shaky breath and quickly wiped the tears away from her eyes. Suddenly, she began laughing. Holding out her wrists, my eyes took in the matching bird tattoos she had on each one.

“You know I thought you called me Lark because of that stupid bird’s nest I found back in middle school! The one I begged David to let me keep in the window box on the porch. After everything happened and I got settled here, I got these tattoos to remind me of you guys. Little did I know I wasn’t even getting the right thing”. She shook her head, a rueful smile playing on her lips.

Laughing along with her, I cut her some slack for the mistake, “To be fair we did let you think that was our reasoning for calling you Lark. We couldn’t have you knowing that you had four teenage boys wrapped around your finger”.

Our laughter died down and the two of us fell quiet once again. She looked at me and something different seemed to light her gaze. I couldn’t tell what it was though.

“Goodnight, Colt”.

Her eyes drifted shut as she snuggled in closer to me. The warmth of her body lulled me into a state of calm, reminding me of close to sleep I had been before she found her way to my room.

I could tell when she finally fell asleep because the tension she always seemed to carry within her eased.

I could die tomorrow and be okay with that. Knowing that I got this moment with her. Knowing that she was safe and happy.

Before I fell asleep, I spoke to her in a way I had longed to for years.

“I love you,” I said. “So f*cking much”.

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