Moonlight Sins (de Vincent 1) - Page 78

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“I know enough to know that you’re the man I love.” She cut him off with words that were like a knife to the chest. “I know that you’re fiercely loyal and protective. I know that you’re amazingly talented and generous. I know that you’re smart and you’re funny. I know that I can’t even stay mad at you even when you’re annoying the hell out of me. I know—”

“You know that I’m bad for you?” His voice hoarse.

She shook her head. “You’re not.”

“Baby, you don’t understand. This fucking house, this fucking family is going to ruin you just like it rots everyone.”

“That’s not true. I know it’s not,” she insisted. “Because it didn’t ruin you. It didn’t rot you.”

God, those words ripped his chest right open, because he wanted to believe them so badly. He wanted them to be true.

Julia stopped a few feet from him, standing beside the pile of sheets and blankets. “You can get mad at me. You can tell me to leave, but I’m not going to.”

His breath—his actual breath—fucking caught in his throat.

Her hands balled into tiny fists. “I accept what you are—I know you’re fucked up. I know your entire family is messed up, and I accept all those broken pieces. I can handle your real. I can handle you.”

He stilled. Fuck. He wasn’t even sure if he was breathing. Those words broke through the haze of anger and pain.

“I love you,” she continued, holding his gaze. “And because I love you, I’m not going to give up on you—on us. I’m going to fight for you. So get used to it. I’m yours. You’re mine.”

Lucian broke.

He didn’t know what part of what she said did it. Maybe it was all of it. Maybe it was the fact that she came back, she was standing here in front of him, fighting for him—for them, when no one in his entire life had truly ever done that for him.

Whatever the reason was, it didn’t matter.

Julia was his.

And he was hers.

Lucian sprang forward, closing the distance between them. He grasped her cheeks as his mouth came down. “God, Julia. I’m sorry. I love you. I’m so fucking sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“It’s okay,” she said, grabbing a hold of his shoulders. “I love you, Lucian. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m going to be here. We’ll figure it out.”

“I don’t deserve you, but fuck, I love you.” His lips slammed down on hers. He tried to be gentle, to slow it down. He tried to hold back, but he was broken wide open.

Words he’d never spoken spilled out of him. He told her how he felt when he came into this room, how torn apart he was over his sister. He spoke to her about his fears of ruining her. He did this all between kisses, between unhooking the button on his jeans and undoing the zipper. He told her how it killed him to send her away as he gripped the stretchy black pants she wore, tugging them and her panties down, helping her step out of them. Lucian told her over and over that he loved her as he took her to the floor of his father’s bedroom, parting her thighs and thrusting in so deep, so hard, it was like he was trying to fuse them together.

Julia clutched at him as things spiraled madly out of control. Her legs were wrapped around his plummeting hips, one of her hands digging at his hair and the other holding on to his arm. She anchored herself to him as his body pounded into hers, and she took it—took him, furiously whispering against his mouth her love, her forgiveness that he didn’t deserve but he would damn well honor for the rest of his life.

And that was what he’d do. He’d honor Julia. He’d cherish her like the fucking light in his life that she was, and nothing—not his family, not him—would ever come between them again.

This was them.

This was forever.

His hand slammed into the floor beside her as she cried out, her body spasming tightly, clenching him. Release powered down his spine and he lost all sense of himself. Sweat beaded and dripped off him. The sound of her wetness, of their lovemaking filled the room. Their mouths clashed together and he tasted the salt of her tears—of their tears, because fuck, he might’ve been crying.

He might’ve been redeemed right there.

Lucian came brutally, her name a ragged and rough burst of air from his lips. His weight came down on her. He tried to stop it, but couldn’t, and in the end, he realized it was okay, because she could handle him—she was handling him.

Panting, he dragged his sweat-slick forehead over hers. Her body twitched around him, her breathing fast and shallow. For several moments neither of them spoke. They just held each other, their bodies still connected, their hearts slowing down.

It was Julia who broke the silence. “I think we might’ve broken some floorboards.”

He chuckled hoarsely as he eased out of her and shifted so that most of his weight was on his side, on the floor. “Did I hurt you?”

“No,” she whispered. “But I don’t think I’m moving anytime soon.”

“Neither am I.” His gaze traveled down her length, over her rucked-up shirt, bare lower half and her glistening thighs. “Ms. Hughes,” he murmured, lifting his gaze to her. “I’ve made a mess of you.”

Her cheeks flushed such a pretty pink. “You’re terrible.”

“I am. Really, I am.” Serious now, he smoothed his hand over her cheek. “I’m sorry. I should’ve never sent you away—said those things. You belong here. You’ve always belonged with me.”

“Stop. I know. It’s okay.” She clasped his jaw in her hands. “There’s nothing to apologize for. You’re going to be okay—”

“We’re going to be okay.” He dropped his forehead to hers again. They needed to get off the floor and go somewhere that wasn’t filled with a lifetime of bad memories. An idea occurred to him just like that and immediately it was all that he wanted.

Lucian lifted his head. “We’re going to move.”

Her brows knitted as she stared up at him. “What?”

“We’re going to move out. We’re going to find a new place—maybe in the city. You’d like that, I think.” He nodded. Nothing felt more right. “We’re not going to stay here.”

“Maybe ask me if I want to move in with you?” she said, clearly teasing.

“You came back. You’re kind of stuck with me now.” He pecked a quick kiss on the tip of her nose. “But seriously. I don’t want to stay here. Not anymore. We’ll take our time. Find the perfect place, but we aren’t going to live here.”

She slid her hand to his chest. “I think that’s a brilliant idea.”

It was. “Fuck this house.”

A small smile formed on her lips. “Screw this house.”

“Yeah,” he murmured, searching her eyes.

The smile on her face grew. “I mean, besides the obvious, it would be great to live somewhere where I don’t have to worry about being pushed down the stairs by vengeful ghosts or the house mysteriously burning down all around me while I’m sleeping. So I’m totally down with all of that.”

“We’ll make sure the next place isn’t haunted.”

Julia laughed as she folded her arms around him, holding him tight to her, and that laugh went a long way to chasing out some of the darkness crowding his soul, his heart. It was just a laugh, and he already felt a little lighter, a little brighter.

Lucian kissed her, pouring everything he felt for her into the kiss as his hand slid up, fingers curling into hair. Julia was right. So was he.

He was going to be okay.

And they were going to be more than okay.

As long as they were together.

Chapter 35

Two months later

Lucian woke before Julia, like he did every morning. Well, except for that weekend she’d gone home to tell her parents she was staying in Louisiana, staying with him.

And like every morning, he rose onto his elbow and stared down at her, still not quite believing that she was here, that this was their life and that he’d found himself in love and was loved in return.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout de Vincent Romance