Home > Hush (Black Lotus #3)(6)

Hush (Black Lotus #3)(6)
E.K. Blair

But aside from Pike, I was a split second away from killing Richard last night, and it would’ve been all for Declan. In a sick way, it was going to be my gift to him. To rid the world of the man who took my love’s mother. Declan wouldn’t let me pull the trigger though—he did it for himself, robbing me of the satisfaction. I wanted it selfishly, but if there was one kill Declan deserved, it was that one.

Declan’s eyes dig into mine, and I know I’ve touched a nerve by questioning his love for me.

“I’m sorry,” I tell him, running my hands over his, which are tensed around my neck.

“I’ve never been anything but honest with you.”

“I know. I didn’t mean to be dismissive of your words.”

His grip loosens as he relaxes, resting his shoulders against the back of the tub.

“I’m having a hard time processing everything,” I add.

“Then talk to me. Don’t hold it in.”

Declan made his feelings known last week when I read the file on my mother. He made it clear he wants me to deal with my feelings instead of hiding them and locking them away the way I’ve done my whole life. I owe him anything he asks of me because of everything I’ve done to him, but sometimes it’s just easier to go numb.

“Maybe later. I’m still really tired from the pain pill.” But there won’t be a later. I can’t cut myself open like that for him because there’s nothing that will stop the blood gushing from the wound. Declan’s ability to connect me with my emotions scares the shit out of me. There’s too much to feel. There’s too much termagant despair inside me. I need it to go away and disappear so I can find relief.

I’m in the arms of the man I love, the man I was so desperate to have again, and here he is. Flesh on flesh—every part of me touching every part of him, and here I am—scared and closed off. He’s wrapped around me, and I should be content, but in this moment, I crave another man’s arms. It’s Pike I wish I had right now. He’s the only one who can numb me.

He’s safety.

He’s constant.

He’s my painkiller.

“You’ll rest better if you get your thoughts out,” he suggests.

Leaning forward, breaking the contact, I lie, “I’m really tired. Can you help me back to bed?”

“Don’t shut me out, Elizabeth.”

“I’m not. It’s just the tub is uncomfortable, and I really am exhausted and not feeling well.”

I hate lying to him when I swore to him and to myself that I never would, but the alternative is unbearable to even think about. It’s best for the both of us if I don’t go down that road.

Declan dries me off, brushes my teeth, and dresses me. I give him these things because he needs them. I know him well enough to see that he needs his hands on me, to control and take care. He’s always needed that, and I can’t even imagine what these past few days have done to him with not knowing where I was and having that authority taken away by another man.

After he applies the ointment to my cuts, he grabs the prescription bottle and shakes out a pill.

“Here,” he says, holding the mood stabilizer that was prescribed to me by the doctor who examined me the first night I arrived here.

It’s the pill I’ve been tossing in the toilet because I don’t want to lose Pike, and that pill will vanish him from me. I can’t say goodbye though. I don’t want to. I need him. His smell, his voice, his presence. I’m not willing to let him go.

I take the pill from his hand, and when he gives me a glass of water, I cheek it instead of swallowing.

Another lie.

Another deception I swore I’d no longer partake in.

Another broken promise.

“Good girl.”

He walks me back to the bedroom and helps me get into bed.

“I’m going to run downstairs to get something to drink. Are you thirsty?”

I nod my head and watch him as he strides out of the room. When I hear the creaking on the stairs beneath his feet, I spit out the pill. Being in too much pain to get out of bed to flush it down the toilet, I shove it into my pillowcase until I can throw it away. When he returns, he slips under the covers beside me and pulls me into his arms.

“By the way, Lachlan’s going to be staying here,” he tells me. “I want security, and with all that he’s already seen, he’s the only one I trust.”

“Okay.”

“Are you comfortable with that?”

“Yes,” I respond. “From the time I’ve spent with him, I’ve come to like him.”

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