I couldn’t tear my eyes off where she touched me. Willingly touched me. “Seems you know more about me than I know about you.” My voice was rough and full of cracks.
She shook her head, sending her hair dancing on the water. “Not nearly enough.”
My mouth went dry as she studied my face with such compassionate eyes.
Once again, the air thickened until it was syrup and sex. I didn’t know how much longer I could prevent myself from touching her. I was dying with it. Utterly starving.
“What else do you want to know?” I muttered, cursing her questions but not wanting her to pull away.
“Everything,” she breathed. “Every scar, every nightmare. I want to know what you’ve buried inside. I want to know if I can save—”
I shut her up with a kiss.
Launching forward, I slammed my lips to hers. Her taste exploded in my mouth. And goddammit, she was wet and hot and mine. Every urge inside howled to let loose. I felt rabid and wild. I wanted to plunge inside her and show her that she already knew everything. Everything important anyway.
I needed her to survive.
That was it.
Pure and fucking simple.
It didn’t matter she was slowly teaching me how to be human again. I was still a creature alone in a valley. A creature who hadn’t had sex in over a decade until she came along. A creature who’d crawled from the dirt and would always be aware of his origins but would give absolutely anything to keep her.
Our tongues slipped and teeth nipped and oxygen vanished, leaving us breathless, disorientated, and aware that whatever was happening between us wasn’t just physical. It wasn’t just emotional. It was spiritual and the galaxies above watched it all as I pulled away, shifted from where I’d kneeled behind her to kneel alongside the bath instead, and shoved my arm into the water. It lapped around my bicep, stinging my cuts as I cupped my hand between her legs.
“Oh!” Her eyes flared wide, locking onto the velvet sky as my fingers found her slippery heat.
I knew it.
Wet as I was hard.
Her body shot straight as her hands latched around my wrist, stopping me from sinking a finger inside her. “Wait.”
I sucked in a tattered breath, so fucking close to ignoring her. All it would take was a single push. An arch of my wrist and I’d have Gemma all over my fingers.
And what does that make you, huh?
An animal only too willing to make the same mistake twice by taking her without her permission. I tried to pull my hand away. I truly did. But I physically didn’t have the power to stop.
I stroked her clit, making her arch upward.
“What are you doing?” she gasped.
“Washing you.” My voice was a lusty growl.
She laughed uncertainly. “I don’t believe you.”
I dropped forward, pressing my forehead to her wet cheek. “I want to fuck you, Gemma. Not with my cock but my hand. This isn’t about me. I’ll happily stay in agony while you find pleasure. I want you boneless. I want to make you come. I need to pay you back because what you did for me tonight? Jesus, Gem. No one has ever cared about my well-being. No one. Not a single fucking person. Yet you...” My voice cracked. “You care. You see. You accept me, and I—” I rolled my wrist, trying to get free to touch her. “I can’t stand knowing that you deserve so much better than me. That you deserve to be back home. That I should let you go all while knowing I can’t. If you left, Christ I-I’d—” I looked up, drowning in her wide, worried stare. “I wouldn’t fight anymore. I tried, I really did. After those five years when my memory finally came back, I packed a bag and prepared to leave. I was so full of hope of finding them and leaving this goddamn place behind. But when I went to go...God, I couldn’t. What if he came back? What if the guy with the beard came back to check if I was dead and found something I’d missed? Some note showing where my family had gone? Some clue I was too stupid to recognize? I know others are suffering out there, but I couldn’t go. I couldn’t. I promised I’d protect them, but now...I’m so fucking tired. I have nothing left. I don’t want to live alone any—”
“Kas...” Her soft voice stopped my spewing words, drawing me up short. “Hush.”
I swallowed hard, blinking back tears that dared to spring, unable to look away from her.
For the longest moment, we just stared at each other.
My ugly confession bobbed on the water around her like warships with tattered sails. Most of what I’d said, she wouldn’t understand. I’d shared things I’d never even shared with myself. Yet she continued to watch me as if I’d given her exactly what she needed. Answers to questions I doubted she knew how to ask.