Finding Kate: Continued
Disclaimer: Adult Content
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I pushed damp hair off my face and panicked. There was already an ice cream stain on my shirt. I looked like shit. I was hungover and bloated. I didn’t have time to fix my appearance and cursed under my breath for not thinking. This dangerously hot, and insane, man was making his way up to my apartment. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about another round of heartbreaking sex, I was definitely bringing none of that to the table.
He knocked on my door. I looked through the peephole, trembling.
“Open up, Kate. I’m already here,” he said through the door, lifting up the coffee. His eyes seemed gentler than they did last night.
One breath and I unlocked the door. I had sworn I didn’t care about death, and it certainly seemed like I was inviting it into my apartment with open arms. He stood at the threshold and stared at me. I couldn’t tell if he was amused with my appearance or appalled. He smiled.
“Kate, I’m not going to come in without permission. I understand what you’re feeling and I will not terrify you. Changing your life has to be your choice.”
I nodded and waved him in. Who the hell was he to think that he was here to change my life? He was no angel, no savior. My cheeks burned red and he caught it from the corner of his eye. He set the coffee on the table and sat down on my couch as if he owned the room. A fire flashed in his cold eyes before he tucked it away. My bravery caught in my throat.
“Sit down and talk to me. You have every right to be mad. Yell at me, Kate. Feel something for once. Stand up for yourself. Stop living in nonchalance. You might hate me, but at least I make you recognize the life you’ve buried inside a numb existence.”
I boiled beneath my skin, but I stood there. He was right. I had spent so long detaching from the trauma that I had forgotten how to be a participant in the world around me. He laughed quietly and patted the couch.
“Sit down, Kate. We can go at your own pace. Let’s talk about last night.”
What a cocky motherfucker. Coming to my house, inviting me to sit on my couch. He was going to solve all my problems. The problems that existed because of him. I clenched my fists and sat down. As far away as possible.
“You’re an asshole, you know that?”
He blinked. I knew he was trying to hide his pain and it pissed me off. He was also a hypocrite. A really hot, hypocritical asshole.
“I deserve that.”
“I don’t even know your name,” I stuttered, feeling the adrenaline rise under my baggy clothes.
“My name is Eli. Does that help you feel safer?”
“Stop being so condescending. You’re the one you killed my brother, you have no right to hold anything over my head.”
He leaned in, focusing in on every detail of my face.
“At least I had the courage to face what happened and continue forward, Kate. I may be a monster but I can look in the mirror and accept that. Can you look in the mirror and accept what you see?”
I held my breath. He was inches from me, calling me out on all my bullshit and the only thing I wanted to do was rip his clothes off. He smirked.
“Give it up, Kate. You won’t get to touch me until you wake up from your daze.”
I slapped him. Hard. He sat back against the couch, a little surprised but pleased. He was actually pleased. Of course he was, he was a sadist.
“I just touched you, Eli,” I hissed. “I broke your rules. What’s going to happen now that I ruined your little plan? I don’t want you to touch me, you sick bastard.”
My lip was trembling. He was silent for a moment. The two versions of himself battled inside. He was tapping his foot slowly against the floor, staring out the window behind the television. I stared at him.
“You don’t have anything to say? Where are all your fancy tricks and blunt opinions now?”
My body was shaking, tears welled in my eyes and all the anger and hurt stirred in my body. His silence only reminded me of the constant silence that had filled the air after the accident. I could see the rain falling on the windshield. The red lights flashing as they pulled me from the driver’s seat. The dark, limp silhouette of the brother I’d never see again. I cried. I covered my face with my hands, unable to show anyone the pain. I couldn’t look him in the eye. I couldn’t hear Eli as he sat silent and unmoving next to me. The dispassionate background sounds of the hospital room filled my apartment. No one had come to visit me, no one had cared if I had lived or not. They were busy mourning Luke. I curled into the corner of the armrest, trying to find comfort against the onslaught of memories.
“Kate,” Eli whispered. “Kate, come back.”
I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to have to face him. He had shown me the truth of my importance without even knowing it. My entire life had been lived in the shadow of my brother. I felt Eli’s hands wrap around mine and I strained against him, curling harder away from the world.
“Kate, let me help you,” he cooed, unfolding my body.
I gave in against his persistence. He wrapped his hands around my face.
“Open your eyes.”
Swollen lids rolled slowly upward. He looked straight through me, gracefully dissecting all that laid behind the irritation and brightened anguish. I could feel myself grow cold. He was reading me too well.
“It’s time to stop lying, Kate,” he encouraged softly. “Tell me what’s in that expansive mind of yours.”
“I can’t,” I cried quietly, closing my eyes to his interrogation.
His lips brushed against mine. His grip around my jaw tightened a moment before he ran his fingers through my hair. I moaned reluctantly, and parted my lips, losing his to the delicate skin on my neck.
“Tell me,” he asked, raising goosebumps over my entire body.
His hands slipped under my shirt, cupping my breast. I could faintly hear the buzzer on my intercom.
“It’s Dee,” I pleaded. “She’s waiting for me.”
He pushed my shirt up my body and rolled his tongue over my nipple. My head fell back against the couch. I had already played this game. I knew what he was doing. There wasn’t a need to talk, to argue. He wasn’t going to stop until he had what he wanted. And I wasn’t going to get what I wanted until he was placated. My body ached for him as he continued to explore the tender flesh along my ribcage, his hands never leaving my breasts unattended. He wouldn’t go farther and I cursed under my breath.
“I hate my parents for leaving me alone that night.”
His mouth trailed farther, his hands toying with the waistband of my sweats. He lingered and my legs shook.
“No one had come to see if I was okay, and I hated myself.”
He slid my sweatpants to my knees. I was bare in front of him. He wanted to give me what I needed and his hands clenched around my thighs with impatience. I bit my lip. I was suffocating on the confession.
“Part of me was relieved that my brother had died. Without him, I hoped my parents could finally love me.”
I cried when his tongue darted between my legs, his fingers working mercilessly to find my release. I arched against the rise, digging my fingers into the leather, finally blowing above the misery and the secrets. I sighed and he slowly pulled my sweats back over my body. He slid my shirt down over my chest, my skin sensitive to every graze of his fingers. I rolled my head to the side, lazily looking to see the chiseled features of his face. His eyes were broken and he opened his mouth, breath ragged, to speak.
“Kate, I had no idea..”
The apartment door opened.
“I’ve been ringing forever, Kate. What the fuck are you doing?”
I scrambled to recover my composure and twisted to look over at my best friend, who was standing in the door way with coffee and an incredulous smile on her face.
“Well, this is a first,” she laughed.