Where We Meet Again (Arrow Creek 1)

Page 77

“Let me just… stop crying… and I’ll go.” The words stuttered as I tried to breathe through the tears.
“My son is an idiot.”
My eyes flew to his at those words. His eyes were the only thing the two of them had in common. Looking into them hurt me so badly.
“He’s got such a good thing right in front of him, and he’s throwing it away for nothing. That girl has been chasing after him for months. If he doesn’t get his head out of his ass, he’s going to regret this for the rest of his life.”
I whimpered, the words hurting what’s already damaged. “You aren’t helping.”
He smoothed the strands of hair away from my forehead. “You’re beautiful, and my son is a damn idiot.”
The compliment warmed me and made me feel understood.
What was happening here?
His eyes unfocused as he stared just above my forehead. “He’s still a boy. Doesn’t know how precious women are. But I’m a man, Cami. I know,” he muttered. I shouldn’t have asked. I knew it wasn’t right, but I did it anyway. “What do you know?”
His eyes focused back on mine, and he dropped his elbow to the bed to lean in closer. The tips of his fingers skimmed my hip. My body froze. The air evaporated from my lungs as I held my breath.
“I know how a beautiful woman deserves to be treated. How to make her feel good. I can show you, Cami. Being with someone doesn’t have to hurt this much.”
I didn’t think I answered. Maybe my subconscious took over and my head gave an imperceptible nod. Maybe my lips whispered yes, and I just don’t remember. Or maybe it was on my face. My features gave the invitation, and he gladly accepted.
Whatever it was, the next thing I knew his mouth was on mine. Firm, yet exploring.
The first second felt wrong, but then my body softened. A man kissing me felt good. Everyone wants to be loved. To be wanted. Why was this so different?
I knew why, but in that moment, it was easier to pretend. It was easier to tell myself that I was worthy of attention when I felt anything but. It was easier to shove Law’s choices under the rug to be dealt with at another time. It was easier to push down the sickness at what was happening and imagine I was kissing someone else.
His body moved to cover mine more fully, and I stiffened.
“Relax. You’re so beautiful.”
He reached between us and unsnapped my jeans. Exhaustion from the crying jag set in, and my vision blurred. A haze overtook me.
The puzzle tore into jagged snapshots at that point, ones I could only seem to recall if I really tried.
His hands and mouth touching me. The pain of him pushing inside. The angry bite of stretched and shifted clothing. The sensation as he found his release.
The urgency of his voice coaxing me to get dressed.
The silence of him driving me home.
The forceful suggestion that we should keep what happened a secret, which only reminded me I wasn’t cared about at all.
Three weeks later, after missing my usually regular period, I took a pregnancy test that came out positive.
That same night, Law showed up at my house when I got home from work at the local diner to get me back.
I’d said no.
The next day, when I should have been in school, I walked back to Law’s house. His father was home, as I’d expected, and seemed almost terrified to let me in the door.
“What happened before can’t happen again.”
He thought I was there to have sex. I was so dead inside that there wasn’t room for playing games. “I’m pregnant.”
He’d let me in long enough to try to talk me into an abortion. When I’d refused, not because I wanted something from him–but because I couldn’t imagine letting a doctor murder the baby growing inside of me–he got angry.