Bitter Sweet Love (The Dark Elements 0.5) - Page 26

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“God, I hate that you ever thought that,” he said. “You were just so strong. You lost your mom. You saw her die, but you were strengthened by it. You didn’t let the hate swallow you up. I would’ve. I’m not proud to admit that, but...”

My hands shook as I wrapped them around his wrists. “But what?”

“But when your father announced his intentions for us, I knew I had to purge myself of the rage, because loving you... loving you was bittersweet,” he whispered against my lips. “Because I knew if I didn’t do this, if I didn’t get all the hatred out of me, I would never be the mate you deserved.”

“Oh, Dez.” My breath caught. “I...”

“I know it’s probably too little, too late.” He kissed me softly, just a brush of his lips, and then pulled back, his fingers trailing down my face. “But what I’ve told you is true. And like I said before, I’ll wait. No matter how long it takes to prove that I do love you, I will.”

So much was running through my head that it took a moment for me to process everything. “Too late? Dez, it’s not too late. God, we’ve both made such a mess of things.”

He opened his mouth, closed it, and then opened his mouth again. “What are you saying?”

There were so many things I was trying to tell him, but words or the lack thereof had been our problem all along. Either we weren’t telling each other what was really going on or we were saying all the wrong things.

Words sucked sometimes.

So I did the one thing that I knew we’d both understand. I crossed the small distance between us and placed my hands on his chest. He watched me intently as I stretched up. Sliding my hands up his chest, I circled my arms around his neck. He shuddered an instant before I pressed my lips against his.

I poured everything I wanted to say and should’ve said into the kiss. I pulled him close, breathing him in when he responded, when he took the kiss to a deeper level, sweeping his tongue over mine, drinking me in.

“I love you,” I gasped.

His hands settled on my hips. “Say that again.”

“I love you.”

“One more time.”

My lips curled up. “I love you, Dez.”

And that’s all I said. Dez kissed me, and that kiss—that kiss scorched me. It was everything that I felt given back to me. His hands slid up my back and our lips parted just enough for him to say my name and I knew the sound of it would stay with me to the end of my days.

We ended up on the bed, our limbs tangled together, our hearts pounding in our chests. I didn’t tell him yes. He didn’t ask. It didn’t need to be spoken. Because I had been his and he had been mine all along, and one day we would make that lifelong promise to each other. When we were both ready. And while that was bucking tradition, neither of us cared. Because right now, as his lips moved against mine and he pressed me closer to his body, I felt the way I did when I flew over the mountains back home. During the precious seconds when I was free-falling and there was nothing but that rushing sensation, of not being able to form a thought or breathe. In Dez’s arms, I had found what I’d been searching for every night I took to the sky.

I was free.

I was home.

Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout The Dark Elements Fantasy