“Tell me you didn’t. Tell me you didn’t pull a full-on Felicity and come to school in New York to follow this Will guy.”
“Felicity’s my jam! Whatever, don’t judge me. I have an older sister. What the hell’s your name, anyway?”
“Ooh, are you one?”
“Um. No. I’m a Pisces, I think? I always forget the dates of it. Wait, what’s your name? In my head I’ve just been calling you Skinny Jeans.”
“Oh, weird, that is my name.” He bumped me with his shoulder, and I felt this wave of warmth just from some dude palling around with me.
“No, seriously,” he went on. “Everyone said to my parents, ‘You can’t name him that; those aren’t even in style yet!’ but my folks were all, ‘Well, we can’t call him Boot Cut, it’s not black enough!’”
I started giggling a little, and we both jumped up to sit on the side of the wall.
“It’s Milton,” he said.
“Whoa. Heavy name.”
❤️❤️❤️ I love Milton.
“You are my heart,” he said unexpectedly. The amount of care in his voice settled over my chest like a warm cloak. “I do not easily confess emotions in the way you do, but know I feel the same. The words I once spoke to you hold true: I will kill any man and turn the whole world to ash for you, my warrior. I fear neither battle nor death, but I fear the day you are not by my side. Never question where my heart lies, because it is forever yours. In this life and the next.”
“Before, I was—before I met you was… terrible. Everything was terrible. I was… terrible. I didn’t mean to be. I just… I couldn’t—and then I met you and now, I can’t—if you weren’t—I don’t… I—”
“In prison, people build themselves up. They construct a… a version of themselves that they think is most likely to get them out of the situation with as little damage as possible. It’s not a lie, exactly, but they emphasize some traits, cover some up. They say certain things but keep others private. And it’s armor, just like doing push-ups and lifting weights to build up their bodies. And you just… I don’t know, if you pay attention, you learn to translate it. You see which parts are armor and which parts are weapons.”
He strokes his thumb against my neck. Our faces are so close I can feel his breath warm on my cheek, see the jagged scar that breaks his eyebrow and the frown lines on his forehead.
“Armor,” he goes on. “Armor’s not dangerous. That’s for survival. It’s weapons you have to watch out for. And you—” He strokes my lips with his thumb. “It’s mostly armor, Colin. And when you’re with me, the armor falls away. Who you are without it… it’s beautiful.”
❤️❤️❤️ Still one of my favorite scenes. ❤️❤️❤️
“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you,” he whispered, pressing his forehead to mine. “I would kill any man, go any distance, and burn the whole world down if it meant keeping you safe.”
His words rang true. I felt it in every part of my being—in my soul. Felix had been correct. There had never been anyone like me and Eryx. We were connected on a level that was beyond comprehension.
Good grief. I'm a mess already.
As the leather tore into my flesh, I shut my eyes, but fortunately refrained from crying out. Wet trickled down my spine, and my skin pricked where it’d been scourged. I hadn’t made a coward of myself, and it was over. For now.
When I looked at Eryx, he gave a swift nod of his head. His eyes appeared pained, though, as if seeing me hurt had the same impact on him as it did with me upon seeing him.
“I treasure you,” he finally spoke. “Not a day passes where I do not thank the gods for placing you in my life.”
Mike was back beside the bench for the afternoon, stuffed full of ribs and coleslaw. He groaned the whole walk back, complaining that he’d fall asleep for sure during the afternoon session. Tom promised him that he’d charge him with contempt of court and sentence him to perform a song and dance routine on the bench if he heard one single snore.
“Careful, Colin.” His hold on me turns to a caress, fingers stroking the nape of my neck. His eyes may be teasing, but the heat there is real. What would he do if I leaned up and kissed him? If I wrapped my arms around him? God, have I ever hugged a man before? When Mom died, Pop hugged me, I think. Luther did at the funeral, too. But not since then. A few girls have hugged me at bars. Flirtatious pressings together that I think were mostly about rubbing their tits against my chest. The idea of Rafe hugging me—shit, even the word sounds childish—pressing against me, holding me, our whole bodies in contact—makes my heart beat faster.
Damn. As with so many shorties...this is too damn short. Geez I would love an expanded full length novel with these two. ❤️
“I’m nothing now. An empty shell. But all these weeks, I’ve still tasted your kisses and felt your hands on my body. I’ve dreamed of you—and demons never dream. I want to serve you. I want you to fill me. Be my heart and soul, Charles, and I will be your wings.”
The creature was magnificent. He wasn’t pretty, not by a long shot, although he certainly wasn’t as ugly as the demons Charles had destroyed. They had been twisted, sharp and gnarled. But this one was only beautifully broken, his head bowed, his horns grimy, his eyes clouded, his body heavy, his cock and balls hanging like ripe fruit waiting to be plucked. There was nothing angry about him, none of the fury Charles had seen in other demons. Just... surrender and despair, as sweet as a candy apple.