Home > Hush (Black Lotus #3)(5)

Hush (Black Lotus #3)(5)
E.K. Blair

Never in my life have I seen so much heartache in anyone’s eyes, and I hate that it’s in hers that I see it. She wants answers, but I have none to give her, and it kills me.

“I thought I made him happy.”

Setting the ice pack on the bedside table, I turn back to her, and with her face cradled in my hands I assert, “I promise you I’ll do everything I can to give you answers. We will find him.”

“What if he doesn’t want me finding him?”

“It doesn’t matter what he wants. It’s not his choice to make.”

This isn’t the woman I know. She’s something else entirely. She may have been putting on an act to deceive me, but she always had a bold-spirited backbone that a person can’t fake. Beneath the lies, that part of her was real, but now it’s lost somewhere inside of her violated body.

She takes in a small pain-filled gasp as she shifts her body.

“Why don’t you soak in a hot bath?”

“What’s the point? Rot is rot.”

“That’s bullshit,” I lash back. “Rot has hurt you, but it hasn’t claimed you. And I suggested a bath to help with your pain, not to clean you.” My words are half truths; I do want to clean her. Clean all the filth from the sack of shit that did this to her. I want to erase him from her skin because the thought sickens me. I want her covered in me, in my scent, with my hands all over her body. I want her to taste like me, smell like me. It’s a feral need to mark her as mine. To own her, every single piece of her.

Pulling her up to me, I press my lips to hers, kissing her softly when I really want to devour her, but she’s much too fragile. Her breath on my tongue sparks a shudder through my veins, causing my pulse to race. It takes control not to throw her down, spread her thighs, and bury my cock deep inside her. I want to fuck her so hard she feels me in her bones.

I force myself back, gripping her neck in my hands as I take in a deep breath that I release slowly.

“I’ve missed having your taste in my mouth,” she says, her words not doing much to help me calm myself.

“I want more than just my taste in your mouth, but I can’t let myself be that selfish with you right now. I won’t be able to control myself, and I’ll just hurt you.”

Getting out of bed, I go to start the bath before returning to her.

“Give me your hands,” I tell her and then help her onto her feet. “Lift your arms.”

Moving slowly, I undress her, careful not to hurt her. When I have her naked in front of me, I quickly remove my clothes and then walk her to the bathroom. I step into the tub first and then hold on to her as I help her into the water. She sits between my legs, leaning back against my chest with a grimace of pain.

Her body is hard to look at. The bruises are enough to get my blood boiling. It coils my gut in a retching of turbulent emotions. There’s a serrated bite mark on her left breast that I didn’t notice last night when I showered her.

“What?” she questions, looking up at me. “What’s wrong?”

“What do you mean?”

“Your body tensed up.”

“I’m sorry . . . I just . . .” I start, trying for gentle words.

“What?”

But gentle doesn’t come easy for me, so I go with honest. “I want to take all these marks away. All the ones that aren’t from me.”

“I’ll always be marked by someone else’s touch. I always have been.”

“I’d give anything to take them away,” I tell her, knowing now that the scars on her back and wrists came at the hands of her foster dad.

“You can’t make me into something I’m not, you know?”

“You’re not my charity case, if that’s what you’re inferring,” I snap with irritation.

“Was I ever? Even in the beginning?”

“No. You were never a woman I pitied.”

“If not pity, then what?”

“There’s no easy answer. I don’t understand you or your reasoning for all the shit you’ve done. All I do know is that I must be crazy for loving you, because dammit, I do love you. I’ve tried not to, I’ve fought it, but I can’t stop.”

“But what about what you said last night? You still hate me?”

“Yes.”

She drops her eyes, but I bring her back to me, saying, “I love you, Elizabeth.”

“Do you really?”

“Of course I do. I’ve killed for you.”

HIS WORDS, HIS truth, they may haunt some people, but for my decrepit soul, they soothe. It’s true—he has killed for me—and I have also killed for him. I murdered Pike when I thought he killed Declan. And it’s also a murder that I wish every day I could take back. But I can’t. The only way I can have Pike is through my mind’s trickery.

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