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The Struggle

The Struggle

Page 37

My lips parted. So many words rose and died on the tip of my tongue. I stopped thinking—thinking about everything. Scooting over, I lifted the covers for him. Seth didn’t hesitate for a moment. Within a blink of an eye, he was in the bed, his body curled so he was facing me. There were a few inches between us, but my heart was pounding like there was nothing separating us.

Before . . . before everything happened, there wouldn’t even be a scant inch between us. Seth was a very physical person. A cuddler. But maybe he worried that he’d accidentally hurt me by holding me close. Or maybe he sensed that I . . . that I wasn’t ready for that kind of closeness.

He was silent as he placed his right hand in the space between us. My gaze fell to where his palm was flipped up, waiting. My heart started thundering against my ribs. Closing my eyes, I reached down and placed my left hand over his.

Seth curled his fingers around mine and he held on.

Chapter 20

Seth

“You sure you’re up for this?”

Josie was standing on the tips of her toes, trying to see over my shoulder. Basil was out in the hallway, waiting to be of some sort of service, so he was just standing there.

Really needed to get him a computer with an internet connection.

Her blue eyes darted to mine only briefly. “Yes. I feel better.”

I studied her closely. She only looked marginally better. The bruises had faded a shade or two. The patches of clear skin were still too pale and the heavy shadows under her eyes were present.

She didn’t look ready.

Josie bit down on her lower lip as her gaze found mine again. “Seriously. I’m okay. I can leave this room.”

After she fallen asleep beside me, she’d woken up a few hours later, like she had before, in the throes of a nightmare, struggling and screaming. I’d held her through it, smoothing my hand up and down her spine and whispering in her ear until she quieted and fell back to sleep.

I didn’t think she remembered.

I did.

Hearing those screams was something I’d never forget. They’d embedded themselves deep inside me. Unable to fall back asleep, I’d lain there fantasizing about slowly, painfully dismembering every single Titan with only a rusty butter knife.

“You can’t keep me in this room,” she said, crossing her arms.

Despite how dark my thoughts had turned, I was thrilled to see that she was a little more like her old self this morning. “You do realize that I could easily keep you in this room.”

Her eyes narrowed. “I’d like to see you try.”

That was hot.

Hell, everything about her was hot. Josie had slept through the rest of yesterday and all night, waking only for that nightmare. When I’d woken up this morning, which had only been about an hour ago, I’d done so with a raging hard-on. Kind of felt like a creep about it, but I couldn’t help it. After the nightmare, I dozed back off holding her close. She’d gotten turned around and her ass was pressed against my dick, and I was a male, so it happened.

All right. It wasn’t just because I was a male.

I’d missed her—missed looking at her, listening to her voice and her laugh, and I’d freaking missed touching her. Gods, had I ever missed touching her. Even right now it took everything in me not to have an arm around her shoulders. I wanted her under me and I wanted me in her. I wanted to lock her in this room for a month and that desire had nothing to do with making sure she was well-rested.

But I did hold back, because I knew Josie wasn’t ready for any of that. I still wasn’t one hundred percent sure she was being honest about all that had happened to her during her captivity. Even if she was, she’d been through some shit and then she’d come to me, and the first thing she’d seen was me feeding. The last thing she needed was for me to be all over her like a boy who just discovered he had a functional dick.

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