“Oh. How did that go?”
“Not great. I’m pretty sure he hates her and is going to demolish her home.”
“He can do that?”
“Well…can you blame him?” Megan’s reply startled me a bit. “Don’t look at me like that, Kate. I hate your mother for what she did to you. It makes no sense to me how you can even look at her, let alone support her. She’s a crazy bitch.”
My eyes burned with liquid fire at the comment. I knew my mom was unbalanced—crazy. But hearing it out loud stung. At the end of the day, that crazy bitch was still my mother. She was a part of me.
“She didn’t get diagnosed until I was much older,” I said, as if trying to defend her. As though if she had known she was unstable and gotten help sooner, she wouldn’t have tried to claw me to death. Or throw me across the room. Or bash my head into the floor.
“Nope.” Megan came to sit next to me. “I know where you’re going with this, and you’re wrong.”
“You don’t even know what I was going to say.”
“Yeah, I do. You were going to say that at some point you could just wham, come into this disease. Turn bipolar just like her.”
Okay, so that may have been close to what I was thinking.
“Kate, you’re not her. You’re not sick the way she is. Your mom has had this illness her whole life. You are a level-headed, smart woman. You’d never hurt anyone. You have to stop running from yourself and start trusting that.”
That was the problem. I didn’t feel very level-headed. I felt out of control and lost.
A knock sounded at the door. Megan got up to answer it. “Probably Brian.”
When she opened the door I heard the familiar rumble of a deep voice. I launched to my feet just as Megan held the door open and Adam walked through it.
“Hi.” He stood, his tie loosened and his hair slightly disarrayed from the wind. His thick black coat covered his broad shoulders.
“Hi,” I choked out.
Megan looked between the two of us and said, “I’m going to my room.”
I appreciated her discretion, because right now, I just wanted to fix what had happened between Adam and me.
He closed the door behind him and in two long-legged steps, ate up the distance between us. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me into him. My toes came off the floor. His cold wool coat tickled my nose as he hugged me tight.
He let me down slowly and cupped my face, looking at me with those blue eyes burning.
“You trust me with so much.” His thumbs brushed my cheekbones. “It’s a gift, I know this, and you make me a better man for it.” He kissed me softly on the lips. “From the moment I saw you on the street, I wanted to possess you. Keep you. Take care of you. Not because I question your own ability, but because I want to.”
A sharp tingle raced along my spine. I hadn’t expected this from him.
“I’m sorry I was harsh earlier. When I saw the pictures and read your file, I lost it.” He trailed his lips along my hairline and to my jaw.
“I understand,” I whispered. “Because I feel the same way.”
He leaned back and looked me in the eye.
“I hate your stepfather for hurting you.”
That mask of rage I was becoming very familiar with took over his expression. “I never said he hurt me, Katelyn.”
“You didn’t have to. I saw it on your face. Felt all the pain and anger—”
I snapped my mouth shut.
“Katelyn, I want you to understand something. My feelings for you are strong, stronger than anything I’ve felt for another person. But the issue of my stepfather and my past is off limits.”
“So, nothing? We can’t talk about any of it?” I placed my hands on his chest. “Adam, I just want to be there for you. Comfort you.”
He ran his hand through my hair. “You do. Just you, with me, that’s all I need.”
“But the rest you won’t talk about?”
“No. And I don’t want to be asked about it again.” His eyes bored into mine and I realized this line was clearly drawn. Adam had told me once that he respected the word no. Say it, and things would end. This was his deal. Could I accept that he would keep part of himself closed off?
I had to.
I didn’t want to push him, I wanted to help him. Take some of the burden from him. Maybe in time he could trust me. I wanted the chance to earn it. More of it. In the meantime, I could only be honest with him and take small steps.
“Adam, the property you bought…you can do what you want with it, but if you tear it down, I will have to find my mother another place to live.”
“She can find another place herself.”
I shook my head. “No, she can’t. She’ll call me for help and I’ll go.”
“You give her loyalty where she deserves none.”
“You have my loyalty.”
“Yes, but I’ve earned it.”
“And have I earned yours?”
He looked at me for a long time. It was a loaded question. We both knew it.
“Yes.” He slid his hand down my yoga pants and cupped my sex. “You belong to me, Katelyn. Your body, your mind, your soul. I won’t stop until I have it all.”
I was breathless when his finger toyed with my clit. “I want a fair exchange.”
He chuckled and his lips skimmed mine. “Of course you do.”
I gripped his wrist, stilling his movements and trying to regain my focus. “I mean it, Adam. I need you. All of you. It hurts when we’re apart. Sometimes I think you’ve gotten me under some kind of voodoo, but…I need all of you back.”
He bit my bottom lip. “It is you who have bewitched me.” He softly brushed his lips over mine. “I’ll give you everything I’m capable of giving.”
“Stay with me tonight.”
He picked me up and I wrapped my legs around his waist as he carried me to my bedroom. My fingers dug into his hair and when he’d kicked the door shut behind us, he laid me on the bed. His hands, mouth, were everywhere. He made quick work of our clothing and joined me on the mattress. Lying flat on his back, he gripped my hips and I straddled his impressive erection.
“I want to watch you move on me, lover.”
His voice was raspy, but his eyes were clear and shone in the darkness. I sat there, his hot c**k pressing against my clit. I timidly slid up, then back down, rubbing that steel rod against my most sensitive spot. Shivers raced from my nape to my toes.