It has been nearly a week since I finished this one and to say that I may have had a meltdown during the first 30% of this book would be putting things rather mild.
I was destroyed. And not so much about what did or did not happen but what it did to these men. I am tearing up just writing this...even now a week later.
The love between these two men is so strong and yet they fail to realize at times that they physically cannot live without the other. So damage and destruction they attempt and when they fall apart...I fall apart.
...it was this last confession that undid him. As the words eased out on the exquisite delight of Nikolas once more pulling out and then opening him up and entering again, Ben’s throat seized up, a deep sob emerged, and before he could stop himself, he flung his arms across his face for privacy, and the pleasure was buried under a desolate confusion at who he was.
Nikolas faltered. Ben felt him withdraw, but then he took him in another way. Nikolas’s arms came around him, dragging him into a tight spoon, just holding him as the humiliating sobs wracked his body. He didn’t even know what he was crying for. Once he’d started, he was distraught for that—for the fact that he was so unlike himself, so unmanned by everything in his life that he didn’t know who he had become any more.
It was only when he heard an agonised whisper, “Please don’t, Ben, you’re killing me,” that he turned, forcing himself to calmness, to find Nikolas’s stressed and worn face creased with anguish.
Nikolas turned his gaze back from the darkness in the courtyard, which he’d been studying with such intense concentration, and Ben saw the tracks of tears on his cheeks.
It wasn’t the first time he’d seen Nikolas cry. But in over ten years, he could count the number of times on the fingers of one hand. He rose swiftly and embraced him, wrapping his arms around Nikolas’s battered head tightly, pressing it to his shirt. He pushed his own face into the greying blond hair, and with the familiar smell of vanilla and coconut, he came home.
Fucking hell. Just kill me now.
Now having said all that, I will say this is likely one of my favorite in the series so far. Nik continues to puzzle me at times and it is hard to totally put your hands on what all makes up this man and ultimately I have decided that this is the point. Because at times even Ben is puzzled as well. And even with that said, no matter what...you love him. Ben loves him and will continue to do whatever has to be done for his Nik.
“You are not alone, Nikolas. Never. I’m right here with you, if this is how it has to be. I will kill the whole fucking world for you, if that is what you need.” Ben shook him. “Do you understand me?”
And yes, I am officially in tears wrting this review.
Life wasn’t sunlit uplands and glass houses, vast wealth and running around with your pretty boyfriend in the expensive toys he bought you.
Life was wearing armour too heavy to bear and carrying weapons too eager to be used.
Life was learning to swim hard and fast and keep your head above the shit.
Life was having someone alongside you in every single manoeuvre, every fall, every painful rise again, and knowing that, win or lose, the war was never fought alone.
I guess being destroyed means I love this book and this couple. I eagerly await more.