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I lean against the island and sigh, dropping my head back. “I just…I feel bad for you.”


“I can’t help it.”

“You can.”

“No. I can’t.”

He opens the microwave and pulls out his bowl. He sets it on the counter to cool off and then faces me again. “This is my life, Low. And I can’t do anything about it. You feeling sorry for me doesn’t help.”

I roll my head. “But you’re wrong. You can do something about it. You don’t have to live like this, day in and day out. There are facilities, places that can take much better care of her. She’ll have more opportunity. And you and Crew won’t be tied to this house every day for the rest of your lives.”

Jeremy’s jaw hardens. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything. “I appreciate that you think I deserve better. But put yourself in Verity’s shoes.”

He has no idea how far I’ve walked in Verity’s shoes over the past two weeks. “Believe me, I have been.” I make a frustrated fist and tap it on the counter, trying to find a better way to word it all. “She wouldn’t want this for you, Jeremy. You’re a prisoner in your own home. Crew is a prisoner in this home. He needs to get away from this house. Take him on vacations. Go back to work and put her in a facility where she can receive full-time care.”

Jeremy is shaking his head before I even get the sentence out. “I can’t do that to Crew. He’s lost both of his sisters. He can’t go through another loss like that. At least if she’s here, Crew can still spend time with her.”

He didn’t indicate his own desire to have her here. Only Crew’s.

“Take moments, then,” I tell him. “You can put her in a facility part time so it’s not weighing you down. Bring her home on the weekends, when Crew is out of school.” I walk over to him and take his face in my hands. I want him to see how much I worry for him. Maybe if he sees that someone actually cares about his well being, he’ll take this conversation more seriously.

“Take moments for yourself, Jeremy,” I say quietly. “Selfish moments. You deserve to live a life where you have moments that have nothing to do with her and everything to do with you and what you want.”

I feel his teeth clench beneath my palms. He pulls away from me and presses his hands into the granite, dropping his head between his shoulders. “What I want?” he says quietly.

“Yes. What do you want?”

His head falls backward and he laughs, once, like that was a stupid question. Then he says one word, like it’s the easiest question he’s ever answered.


He pushes off the counter and marches toward me. He grips my waist with both hands and presses his forehead to mine, looking into my eyes with nothing but need. “I want you, Low.”

My relief is met with a kiss. It’s different from our first kiss. This time he’s patient as his lips move lazily against mine and his hand curves around the back of my neck. He’s savoring the taste of me, drawing up my desire with every motion of his tongue. He bends a little, lifting me, and then he wraps my legs around his waist.

We’re leaving the kitchen, but I don’t want to open my eyes until we’re alone behind a locked door. Verity isn’t ruining it for me this time.

Once we’re in the master bedroom, he releases his grip on me and I slide down him, our lips slipping apart. He leaves me standing next to my bed as he walks toward my bedroom door.

“Take off your clothes.” He says it without facing me, as he’s locking my bedroom door.

It’s a command. One I’m eager to follow now that the door is locked. We watch each other undress. He takes off his jeans as I’m taking off my shirt, and then his shirt comes off with my jeans. I remove my bra as his eyes move over me. He’s not touching me, not kissing me, just watching me.

So many emotions flood me as I remove my panties: fear, excitement, irritation, desire, trepidation. I slide my panties down my hips, over my legs, and then kick them off. When I stand up straight, I am on full display.

He soaks me up with his eyes as he removes the last of his clothing. Something inside me shifts, because no matter how accurate Verity’s physical descriptions of him were, I wasn’t prepared for the full magnitude of his body.

We’re both standing there, naked, our breaths exaggerated.

He takes a step closer, his eyes on my face and nowhere else. His warm hands slide up my cheeks and through my hair as he brings his mouth down on mine again. He kisses me, soft and sweet, with just a tease of his tongue.

His fingers trickle down the length of my spine and I shiver.

“I don’t have a condom,” he says as he cups my ass and pulls me against him.

“I’m not on the pill.”

My words don’t prevent him from lifting me and lowering me to the bed. His lips circle my left nipple, briefly, then brush across my mouth as he hovers over me. “I’ll pull out.”


The word makes him smile. He whispers, “Alright,” against my lips as he begins to push into me. We’re both so focused on connecting, we aren’t even kissing. Just breathing against each other’s mouths. I squeeze my eyes shut as he tries to fit his entire length inside me. It hurts for a few seconds, but when he starts to move, the pain is replaced by a pleasurable fullness that makes me moan.

Jeremy’s lips meet my cheek, and then my mouth again before he pulls back. When I open my eyes, I see a man who, for once, isn’t thinking about anything other than what’s right in front of him. There’s no distant look in his eyes. It’s just him and me in this moment.

“Do you have any idea how many times I’ve thought about being with you?” It’s a rhetorical question, I’m assuming, because his kiss that immediately follows prevents me from answering it. He cups my breast while he kisses me. After about a minute of this position, he pulls out of me and rolls me flat onto my stomach. He enters me from behind, lowering his mouth to my ear as he pulls out. “I’m going to take you in every position I’ve imagined us in.”

His words feel as though they settle in my stomach and catch fire. “Please,” is all I say.

With that, he places a palm against my stomach and pulls me onto my knees, pressing my back against his chest without slipping out of me.

His breath is warm against the back of my neck. I snake a hand up and grip his head, pulling his mouth against my skin. That position lasts about thirty seconds before his hands slip to my waist. He rotates me so that we’re facing each other and then slides me back onto him.

I feel weak against his strength, his arms effortlessly moving me around the bed every few minutes. I realize, in all the times I’ve read about his intimacy with his wife, she always had to have some form of control over him.

I relinquish all my control to him.

I let him take me however he wants me.

And he does, for over half an hour. Every time he seems close to release, he pulls out of me and kisses me until he takes me again, kisses me, repositions me, takes me, kisses me, repositions me. It’s a cycle I never want to end.

Eventually, we’re in what I’m assuming is one of his favorite positions, him on his back, his head on a pillow, my thighs on either side of his head. But I’m not sure if we ended up in this position because of him or because of me. I’ve yet to lower myself onto his mouth because I’m staring at the teeth marks on his headboard.

I close my eyes because I don’t want to see them.

His palms are sliding up my stomach, to my breasts. He cups my breasts in his hands, and then he begins to slowly part me with his tongue. I let my head fall back and I moan so loud, I have to cover my own mouth.

He seems to like the noise because he does the exact same thing with his tongue again, and the ecstasy that surges through me propels me forward until I’m gripping the headboard. I open my eyes, my mouth inches away from the headboard. Inches away from the bite marks Verity left behind from all the times he had her in this same position.

When Jeremy’s fingers slide down my stomach and accompany his mouth, I have nowhere for my screams to go. With the position he has me in, I’m compelled to lean forward and stifle the sounds of my climax.