Chapter 31- Oh Towel
Cassy is gone. She has finally moved on and her step father is going to jail. However, the only thing I feel is exhausted. Mentally and physically exhausted. My body hurts, my head hurts, and I just want to lay down.
Trying to force my eyes to stay open, I turn slowly, hobbling my way up the small hill back to the house. I didn’t make it far before Arden comes up behind me, scooping me up in his arms in a bridal carry. I didn’t fight him or even try to argue. I just laid my head down on his shoulder and could feel myself drifting off.
He places me gently on the bed and I, with much effort, open my eyes to look up at him. “You should go comfort Charlie. He lost his sister again tonight. You both could use each other right now.” I softly speak, the sleepiness in my voice clear.
Arden tries to shake his head, to decline or say why he shouldn’t, but I give him a stern look, “Go, please. I’ll be right here when you get back, probably asleep.” He sighs in defeat before kissing my forehead and leaving the room, and I let the darkness surround me.
When I woke up, I was wrapped in the warmest embrace and I snuggle in closer. Letting out a content sigh. Peeking through my half-closed eyes, I take in Arden’s sleeping appearance. His hair hassled, his cheeks slightly rosy, and his mouth slightly opened as soft breaths escape.
He looks peaceful, but I know that he is hurting all over again by Cassy leaving. Maybe not the same hurt he was feeling, but I know it is like cutting open an old wound. And the worse part of me can’t help the little green monster that flares at the thought that he still cares deeply enough for her to mourn her loss again.
I know, it is an awful thought, and I shouldn’t be like that, but if I’m being honest with myself, I’m feeling insecure in myself. Shaking myself mentally, I peek towards the window, seeing that the sun is just starting to shine. I shuffle easily out of Arden’s grasp and off the bed, being careful to not make much noise, but to also not topple over.
Grabbing the crutch that was placed at the side of the bed, I hoist myself up, and quietly make my way to the bathroom and do my morning routine. I may not be able to submerge my casts into water but I can still cleanse myself using a washcloth with soap and water and drying myself as I go.
Wrapping a towel around me to the best of my ability, I decide to hold it up using my casted arm and limp through the door, hoping to stealthily make it to the closet without waking Arden. I steal a peak at the bed, glad that Arden was still sleeping peacefully.
However, with my attention on Arden, I hit my casted leg on the stand that was placed between the bathroom and closet, hissing in pain as I tumble to the floor, causing a curse to fall from my lips as I use both my arms to soften my fall which shoots a pain up my arm. This could not be any more embarrassing.
Arden jumps out of bed on high alert, looking around for the cause of the sound until his eyes land on me. His eyes widen, but instead of running to help me up like I thought he would, he was frozen, eyes wide as he took in the sight.
I furrow my eyebrows not sure what he was so shocked by. It isn’t like he’s never seen me on the floor before. I look down to see if my leg twisted in a weird way and notice that the towel, the one that was supposed to be wrapped around me- covering my most private areas, was on the floor a step away from me.
My cheeks turning the color of cherries. What do I do? If I try to grab the towel, Arden will get a view of everything, and I mean everything! I slowly move to where I’m lying flat on my stomach, crossing my arms and burying my head in my arms. “Oh God. This is so embarrassing.” I mutter.
Arden finally moves off the bed and crouches down beside me after picking up the towel. “Ya know, I’m not sorry this happened to you. Besides the part of you falling on your face, I love this wake-up view.” I swatted at his arm playfully as he softly wraps the towel enough around me that when I push myself up I can move it around to cover the rest of me.
Arden helps me stand up but pulls me against his chest, his hands gently kneading my hips. His gaze falls to my lips and subconsciously I lean into him, tilting my head up to give him the go ahead.
Without wasting another minute, he bends down, capturing my lips in his. I moan at the contact, loving the feeling of his warm lips caressing mine in a beautiful dance as we pull each other closer. I almost lose my control and let my towel fall again, but when it started to slip, I grasped it tighter, pulling away to fill my lungs with air.
Arden, with swollen lips that I’m positive that matches my own, smirks at me as he looks behind me. “Do you need help getting dressed? I’d be more than happy to assist.”
Clicking my tongue at him, I turn more gracefully than I thought I was capable of and walk into the closet, closing the door all but a crack. “How did last night go? How is Charlie doing?” I question.
I could hear Arden flop onto the bed, letting out a deep sigh as he did. “It was fine. We both have sort of already made peace with Cassy being gone. Last night, while it was emotional, we are glad it is over. I think Charlie is definitely still hurting, but it isn’t as bad as the first time. He left shortly after to go visit him mother. He wanted to make it there before the police so his mother isn’t blindsided and there by herself.”
I nod, even though I know he can’t see it as I pull on a shirt, not even bothering with a bra. Searching through my sweatpants for ones that was stretchy enough to fit over my cast. I clear my throat. “And how are you doing with it all?”
I know that I shouldn’t push it, but I needed to know, and besides that, I wanted to be here for him if he was hurting again. I will just have to toss the small jealousy aside and just be there for him.I didn’t hear anything for a moment, as I finally decide to just pull some soft cotton shorts on.
“Honestly?” Arden asks, but then continues to talk. “I feel a million times better now that she is gone. I’m not going to lie and say seeing her and hearing her reasons, didn’t put me at ease. I think that I needed that. I did miss her… But seeing her, like that, it wasn’t right.”
I open the door and lean against the door frame, watching him try to work out all his thoughts. His eyes meet mine, as he sits up and smiles. “I think, it gave me closure. A closure that I was desperately missing.” Standing, he strides over to me, kissing my forehead. “I’m ready to move forward. I’m ready to truly start living, and I would like it to be with you.”
I smile sweetly up at him. his words warming my insides and causing any doubt I have had to just melt away. I lean into him, wrapping my arms around him waist. “That sounds good to me.” I agree. His smile is bright as he stares down at me.
“How can I love you this much with us only being together such a short amount of time?” He asks amazed. Admiration clear in his gaze. My knees wobble as they turn to jelly at his words, my arms sliding up and around his neck as his arms wrap around my waist.
“The feelings are definitely mutual. And Arden?” I look up at him. He raises an eyebrow. “I will move in with you.” His grin spreads across his face, but quickly turns to surprise as I yank on the back of his neck crashing his lips to mine.
He gently pushes me against the wall and pressing into me, our kiss turning heated in a matter of seconds as we both roam our hands all over the other. With him only in his boxers and me in thin shorts, the feeling of his arousal presses into my stomach.
Moaning against his lips, I trail my hand down his abdomen, until my fingers brush against his clothed erection. He hisses out grabbing my hand to stop me, breaking the kiss as I slump against the wall breathing heavily. “No yet, Abby.”
I frown with confusion at him. “Why?” I have never begged for sex or even ever wanted it before, but I want Arden like I’ve never wanted anyone before.
He pecks my lips, groaning as he tries to control himself. “I want you completely healed before anything sexual happens between us.” I let out an unashamed whimper of frustration, but Arden speaks before I could protest. “Don’t worry, baby girl. I’ll make it worth the wait.”
Before he is giving me one last lingering kiss before striding to the bathroom and shutting the door. Damn him, and his ability to turn me on even more with that simple promise.