I pause in the doorway and look back, determined to memorize this moment. Shane is sprawled on his back, the sheets bunched around his waist, his broad chest on display. It’s almost enough to tempt me back to bed. To pretend our deadline hasn’t come. To take him up on everything he’s offering me.
I jump. “I didn’t realize you were awake.”
“I was the moment you moved.”
I shift, torn between walking out the door and running back to the bed. “I have to go, Shane. I…”
“It’s too soon.” He sits up. “You need time to work through your shit.”
“Yes.” I exhale in something like grief. “It’s a lot of shit.” It will take longer than seven days to get over this. It’s not even getting over Max as much as it’s getting over the failed relationship. I need time and space to process, but I don’t know how long it will take. “I can’t ask you to wait for me.”
“You don’t have to.” He drags his hand through his hair. “You’re it for me, Lily. I’ll wait as long as you need.”
My chest aches, but I don’t argue. I don’t ask him what happens if he’s waiting forever. “I’m going to go.”
“I’ll walk you out.”
“No.” I take a quick step back, even though he’s barely shifted. “If you get up, I’m going to second-guess myself and then I’ll end up on your cock again. Which means we’ll be having an identical conversation next time we surface.”
He curses softly. “Text me when you get home.”
I don’t tell him that even that much communication is probably crossing a line. “I will.” I pause. “Do you want the videos?”
Shane holds my gaze. “Only when you’re ready to start again. Send them to me when you’re ready to be mine, baby girl.”
“Yes, Daddy,” I whisper.
And then I flee.
Shane: How are you holding up?
Me: It’s been rough.
Shane: What can I do?
Me: I just need time, I think.
Shane: Take all the time you need, Lily. I mean it.
Me: I want to fuck.
Shane: Lily, are you drunk?
Me: Maybe. Girl’s night!
Me: But they’re gone and I want my Daddy’s cock.
Shane: Where are you?
Me: The Silver Spoon.
Shane: Give me fifteen minutes.
Shane: Do not leave with anyone.
Me: I only want to leave with you.
Me: I am so mad at you.
Shane: You won’t be tomorrow.
Me: You turned me down!
Shane: You’re drunk, baby girl.
Shane: You’d regret fucking me.
Me: You’re an asshole.
Shane: Guess I’ll have to live with that.
Me: I’m sorry.
Shane: How are you feeling?
Me: Like I’m dying.
Me: I’m never drinking again.
Me: I shouldn’t have text you.
Shane: You can always call me for a ride.
Shane: I’d rather you be safe.
Me: Thanks. For everything.
Shane: Any time, Lily.
Me: I saw you today.
Me: Yeah, pulling out of the store parking lot.
Shane: Sorry I missed you.
Me: Me too.
Me: I do.
Me: Miss you.
Shane: I miss you, too.
Me: I just need more time.
Shane: Take as long as you need.
Me: You keep saying that, but you won’t wait forever.
Shane: Let me worry about that.
I don’t know how it happens. One day, I’m still struggling to stay afloat, the pressure easing a little with each week that passes. The next I wake up determined to start living again. I hate that it took me six months to work through this, but every time I felt like the ground might be steadying under my feet, something would happen.
So I keep my head down and focus entirely on work until the end of the school year. And then summer vacation starts and I feel… Okay. Better than okay. Almost like myself again.
I miss Shane so much, it’s like I actually carved out my heart that weekend and left it behind in his house. No matter how much an asshole I act, he’s been a goddamn saint since. Never pushing me. Never trying to play dirty. Just patient and understanding and I am so done with all my bullshit.
It’s time to move forward. I finally feel ready.
The fact that it’s an unseasonal blistering hot June day only seems to spur me on. Like I’ve been standing still for so long, treading water, and now I’m ready to sprint. There’s only one direction for me to sprint to: Shane.
If he’ll still have me.
I pick up my phone and flick through to my secret folder where I keep the videos from that weekend. I’ve watched them more times than I care to admit. Bringing myself to orgasm at the sight of his fingers in my pussy or me riding his mouth, riding his cock. My hands are nowhere near as good as the real thing.
He said to send the videos when I’m finally ready to move forward.
My thumb hovers over the button to do it, but I hesitate. Is it too late? Have I lingered too long? Nervous energy has me texting him instead.