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The Struggle

The Struggle

Page 10

I wanted to burn this room.

Why did I want to come here? This wasn’t a place of happy, happy memories.

Emptiness poured into my chest as I surveyed the cold and lifeless bedroom. Coming back to this house meant I’d be near only a few thousand people. Andros wasn’t heavily populated. Coming here was a smart move, but walking into this room was a mistake.

I rubbed my palm over my chest, but nothing filled the gaping hole there, because that void had nothing to do with this house or this bedroom.

Exhaling roughly, I walked toward the heavily shrouded window and pulled the curtain back. Dusk had begun to settle over the courtyard down below. I closed my eyes, and instead of being sucked back into those long nights and mornings of staring out this window, watching my mother, I saw Josie’s face and I wanted to be there. I wanted to see her—

And then it happened.

My heart took a beat and every cell in my body scattered. One second I was in my old bedroom and the next I was standing in a small room that appeared to be a hotel. I took a step back as my gaze swung around the room. Heavy curtains were drawn, blotting out the sun. I caught a glimpse of blonde hair splayed out across a pillow.

Shit.

I hadn’t meant to do this.

But I had.

I’d brought myself to Josie.

Holy shit.

It had only taken a second, a freaking second, and I was suddenly within feet of her, and she was right there, lying on a bed, curled onto her side. Her back was to me, but I knew that was Josie. I knew the line of her body, even under a thin white blanket. That was her curve of the hip and waist. That was my Josie—that was psychi mou. My soul.

Only hours had passed since I’d left her, but it felt like a fucking eternity. I took a breath and it got stuck somewhere in my chest.

She was right there.

I didn’t move or dare to breathe too loudly. She couldn’t wake up. If she did and she said my name—if she looked at me, I couldn’t walk away again.

I shouldn’t be here.

Seconds slid by in a slow succession as a hundred questions rose in my head. Where was Josie? This didn’t appear to be the house we’d been in. Were they still in Malibu or had they left? If I concentrated hard enough I swore I could hear the ocean outside. Where was everyone else? Alex and Aiden? The boys and Poseidon’s son? How in the hell had I come all this way without realizing I was doing it?

The gnawing in the pit of my stomach rumbled like hunger pangs.

I needed to be gone from here. Josie wasn’t safe with me.

One foot followed the other and then I was at her back. My heart thundered in my chest as muscles along my back and shoulders tensed. All thought processes were clicking off and common sense dive-bombed off a cliff. My fingers grazed over her soft, silky hair. I lifted a thick strand and curled my fingers around it. My gaze crawled up over the slope of her bare shoulder and the thin strap of one of those tank tops she was always wearing. I laid the strands of her hair down on the pillow as my gaze tracked the deep rise and fall of her chest. Lowering my hand, I snagged the edge of the thin blanket and drew it down, revealing the deep dip of her waist. The tank top she wore had ridden up, showing off a section of skin and the lacy edges of her panties.

Josie squirmed in her sleep, shifting halfway onto her back. I held my breath as those thick lashes fluttered. Any second she could open her eyes, and I’d be lost. I’d be found. And there would be no going back.

Those eyes didn’t open.

Her hand fell to the side, slightly brushing my arm. It was like a jolt of electricity, lighting up every cell.

Wake up.

That order whispered in my thoughts. It was wrong, so very wrong, but if she opened her eyes and saw me, I . . . I couldn’t walk away.

I wanted to wake her up. I wanted to touch her—hold her. I wanted to curl my body around hers. I needed to feel her skin flush against mine. I needed to hear my name on her lips. My gaze flickered to the swell of her breasts, and the hunger raging inside me mixed with stark arousal. I needed everything about her.

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