The Struggle

The Struggle

Page 48

I chuckled. “What a shame.”

She dragged her finger over my chest. “Did you go somewhere when I fell asleep earlier? I thought I felt you leave the bed.”

Surprise shuttled through me. I had left briefly so I could feed. “I met with Basil for a few moments.” Which wasn’t entirely a lie. I had met with him on my way back. Josie hadn’t asked about the whole feeding thing, and I was hoping she wouldn’t—at least for the time being while I figured out how to explain that I still needed to feed. “I’m surprised you even noticed me gone. You were snoring so loudly—”

“I was not snoring!” She slapped my chest. “That’s insulting.”

“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” I teased.

She shot me a dirty look. “You’re a jackass.”

“You love me.”

“You’re lucky that I do.”

My damn heart clenched in response. Fuck. I couldn’t help it. I was lucky. Hearing her say that did things to me I couldn’t even begin to describe.

Reaching over, I tugged on the thin straps of the tank top she was wearing. I knew that, under the blankets, she wasn’t wearing any pants, and I struggled not to focus on that little fact. I was behaving myself. Toying with the strap, I thought about what Aiden had told me upon bringing him and Alex back. A community in East Texas had reported a larger than normal number of pures going missing. Hopefully that was our lead and Hyperion would be found nearby. I’d close out the week by turning that fucking bag of dicks into nothing but a smear on the ground. Maybe, if I killed Hyperion, then Josie wouldn’t be so haunted, so terrorized.

“You look like you’re about to break your brain,” Josie said.

I raised a brow, but the smartass response died on the tip of my tongue. “I want to help you.”

Her gaze flicked to mine as she placed her palm on my shoulder. “You are.”

“Really? I’m not so sure about that. You have nightmares every night, sometimes twice a night. You’re still exhausted all the time and you’ve been sick.” I drew in a shallow breath. “I just want to help you. Tell me how I can.”

Josie didn’t respond for a long moment, and I knew she was trying to think of a way to change the subject. Talking about her time being held captive wasn’t something she wanted to do. Couldn’t really blame her for that, but I also knew just how badly unspoken words and unwanted memories could fester.

“Distract me,” she whispered finally, running her hand up my chest and around to the nape of my neck. Her fingers slid through my hair and then over to my cheek. “Kiss me.”

I didn’t hesitate.

There was no way I could deny her.




Seth lowered his head, his eyes lit from within by an amber fire. The moment his lips brushed mine, I wasn’t thinking about the way the packed, cold dirt floor felt against my skin.

The kiss started off sweet, a little bit of pressure that left me aching for so much more than just a sweep of his lips on mine. When he started to lift his head, I caught him around the nape of the neck and held him there.

“More,” I whispered in the space between us.

His chest rose sharply. “Are you sure?”

I started to frown. “Why wouldn’t I be?”

Seth’s eyes searched mine. “You’ve been through a lot. I’m trying not to rush you into anything—”

Lifting my mouth to his, I cut his words off. He was startled for a second and held still. I wasn’t exactly great at initiating the whole kissing thing, but I touched the tip of my tongue to the seam of his lips and he opened immediately for me. I deepened the kiss, hoping to show him that what I needed right now was for him—for us—to be like the way we were before he left, before Hyperion reappeared. Since we’ve been reunited, all we’d done was kiss. Nothing more. He’d just recently started holding me in bed instead of making sure there was space between us. And I needed more.

Seth’s hand tightened on my shoulder, and I felt the tremble rock his body. I almost held my breath, fearing that he would pull away, but he didn’t. He made this sound that came from the back of his throat, a sound that was animalistic and purely sexual as he finally, really kissed me. His hand slid down my arm and found its way to my stomach. “Okay,” he murmured. “Distraction is something I excel at.”

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