The Struggle (Titan 3) - Page 39

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“Just speaking the truth,” I replied. “You getting hungry?”

She nodded. “I’m always hungry.”

“Glad to see your appetite is back.”

“I don’t think anything could permanently affect my appetite.”

“We can head back. Seems like Alex and Aiden are making breakfast.” The wind was stronger here, tossing her hair across her face. I caught the strands, smoothing them back. “If we make it in time, we can steal their food.”

Josie’s laugh was hoarse, but it was the most amazing sound to hear. I stared at her a moment and then started to head back but stopped. “Can I . . . can I ask you something?”

Her hand was still in my other one. “Yeah.”

My heart started thundering in my chest, and I knew this question could wait. It should wait, but the idea of going another minute or hour not knowing was going to drive me crazy.

So I took a deep breath and opened myself up in a way I’d never done before. “Do you still love me?”

Chapter 21

Josie

Stark vulnerability churned in Seth’s amber eyes. I couldn’t believe he was asking that kind of question—that he even thought he needed to. A tiny part of me wanted to punch him—punch him with love, of course.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t wary. Seth had whispered his love to me before and told me everything would be okay, but then he had left. He’d shut me out more than once. None of that had changed the way I felt for him, and maybe that made me a little crazy, but the world I now lived in was insane.

But I felt so . . . so raw, inside and out.

“I know what you’re thinking,” he said, his gaze searching mine. “And not because I can read your thoughts.”

“Thank God for that,” I muttered.

A brief grin appeared and then disappeared. “I’ve let you down.” When I opened my mouth, he raised his hand. “I have, Josie. More than once I’ve . . . I’ve pushed you away. I’ve made the wrong choices. I know I haven’t come even close to being the kind of man you deserve, but I’m going to change that.”

Oh.

Oh.

“You’ll never have to doubt me again,” he said, voice low and determined. “I’d die before that happened again.”

There was a swelling sensation in my chest like I was an untethered balloon that could lift off the ground and float away. Tears blurred my vision as I drew in a shaky breath. “I wouldn’t be standing here if I didn’t love you, Seth. I wouldn’t have let you sleep in the same bed with me last night if I didn’t,” I said, my breath catching. “There’s a lot I don’t really understand right now, like, for example, the whole ‘you’re a god’ thing. I mean, I get it. You’re a god.” Slipping my hands free, I wiggled my fingers. “Yay! You seem the same—well, you’re more mellow, but I like that, and I love you whether you’re a god or a normal human being. And yeah, there’s a lot we need to still figure out. Like that whole feeding thing, because I am so not okay with you getting all super close with a woman who looks like she could double for Angelina Jolie, and—”

Seth moved so fast I didn’t even register what he was up to until I felt his lips on mine. I sucked in a startled gasp. It felt like an eternity had passed since the last time he’d kissed me.

Just the tips of his fingers cradled my cheeks as his mouth gently moved over mine. He appeared fully aware of the split in my bottom lip, and was careful to not injure it further. His kiss was tender and so sweet, bringing a wave of fresh tears to my eyes. My hands went to his chest, and I could feel his heart pounding under my palm. My lips parted, and the kiss deepened, sending my pulse racing as the tip of his tongue touched mine.

I was immediately lost to him—to the feel of his lips, to the touch of his hands, and to his taste. I was lost and a part of me never wanted to be found.

He made a raw, hungry sound as his fingers glided down my throat and over my shoulders. “Say it again,” he ordered huskily.

Dazed with desire, I opened my eyes. I knew what he meant without any further explanation. “I love you, Seth.”

Seth kissed me again, and this time if he hadn’t circled his arm around my waist, I probably would’ve fallen right over, because this kiss left me breathless and yearning. If he had tried to tug me down on the sandy grass and strip off my clothes, I probably wouldn’t have stopped him. I would have been tearing at his clothes just as frantically.

But it was Seth who stopped, lifting his mouth from mine once more. “Sorry,” he said, voice thick and sexy. “I just . . . I just had to kiss you.”

Leaning in, I rested my head against his chest and sighed. “I’m not complaining.”

Seth’s deep chuckle sent a warm shiver across my skin. “I hope not.”

I met his gaze. “We’re in this together, right? For real? No more making decisions that you think are for the best without coming to me. You won’t leave me again, because if you do, I don’t think I could forgive you for that. Not anymore.”

“I’m not leaving you. We’re in this together, Josie.” His gaze searched mine. “If there is anything in this world, there is us.”

Closing my eyes, I let out a soft sigh. So much was going on in my head. I hadn’t forgotten about Mitchell or what had happened to Lauren. I missed my mom and Erin, and when it was quiet, I thought about those long, terror-filled hours in that dark, dank room. My head was a mess.

But having this—having the issues somewhat resolved between Seth and me cleared up some of the space in my head. A little of the tension eased from my muscles, and even though there were still so many problems, I had Seth.

And Seth had me.

He pulled me against him so our bodies were flush, and I could feel his arousal against my belly. “I missed you.” He curled one hand through my hair and he rested his chin atop my head. “I missed you when I was with you.”

Looping my arms around his waist, I closed my eyes. “How did you miss me when I was with you?”

He was silent for a moment. “I don’t know. It’s hard to explain, but I guess I wasn’t . . . I wasn’t entirely me, so there was a part of me that wasn’t actually there.”

I lifted my head and stared into his eyes. “And you’re completely here now?”

“I am.” His lips brushed my forehead. “For the first time in my life, I’m actually me.”

~

We stayed out on the cliffs until my stomach rumbled so obnoxiously loud that people on the other side of the island could’ve heard it. Seth had laughed like it was the funniest thing ever, and while I debated hitting him again, he took my hand, leading me back inside.

Seth and I stopped at the same exact time as we entered the kitchen. My first impression was that the room was ridiculously huge, with pale gray countertops and multiple islands. I had no idea why anyone would’ve needed a kitchen of this size unless they were hosting their own reality chef show, but it wasn’t so much the kitchen I was staring at.

It was Alex and Aiden.

They were in the middle of the room, near a multiple-burner stovetop. It looked like they had been in the process of making eggs to go with their bacon, but the eggs remained in a bowl, uncooked, whisked and frothy. It also appeared they’d forgotten everything except each other.

Alex was sitting—barely—on the counter near the stove. Aiden’s hips were pressed between her thighs, and one of his hands was somewhere under the loose tank top Alex was wearing. She was grabbing the back of his head with one hand and the other had Aiden’s shirt balled, tugging it up. Their mouths and hips were practically fused together.

Oh my.

Heat invaded my face as I glanced up at Seth. His brows were raised. “I think they’re about to make a baby,” I whispered. “And maybe eggs.”

Seth snickered as Aiden stiffened and then slid his hand out from under Alex’s shirt, dropping his palm to the smooth countertop. His forehead pressed against hers, and what I could see of Alex’s face was blood red.

“I would like to be able to eat food out of this kitchen again,” Seth commented. “And actually use the counter to prepare food.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Titan Fantasy
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