“Hey,” he said gently as he kissed her forehead. “Are you okay? How bad is the pain?”
“It’s actually much better. I don’t know if it was the amazing orgasm you gave me or the meds, but I feel good.”
“Then why are you crying?”
She gave him a shaky smile. “I don’t want you to think I’m sad about becoming your wife. That’s not it at all. I’m just a little overwhelmed right now, is all. I’m sorry.”
“You have nothing to apologize for.” He slowly stroked his fingers up and down her arm. “I’m sorry for putting this additional pressure on you. It’s selfish of me to add to your burden.”
“No, no, it’s okay. Seriously. I am happy to be your wife. Very happy.” Letting out a sigh, she pulled his disheveled braid over his shoulder and ran it slowly through her fingers. “It’s just…it feels so unfair, you know? Why now? Why, when things are finally going good in my life, does this have to happen? Am I being punished for something? Why me?”
“I wish I had the answers for you, but I don’t think this happened because you’re a bad person. Sometimes bad shit happens to good people. It’s the way of the world.” Pain laced his deep voice as he held her close.
“Yeah, well it sucks.” Her throat closed off as she whispered, “I don’t want to lose you.”
“You won’t,” his chiseled jaw tightened, and the chords of his muscled neck flexed. “I swear to you, I’ll be with you every step of the way. You won’t face this battle alone.”
Somewhere deep in the house, an old-fashioned clock chimed, the mellow brass notes rolling through the air. Exhaustion pulled at her, making her aware of how warm it was there, safe in his arms, how good it felt. With her headache almost gone, her eyelids began to feel heavier and heavier. Hawk must have noticed, because he began to stroke her arm again in a way that made her feel like a pampered kitten.
“I love it when you stroke me like a kitty. I want to try pet play,” she said in a thick, sleepy voice.
His touch froze on her arm. “What?”
“I want to try pet play,” she repeated as she closed her eyes and curled into him. “And bondage, and roleplay, and everything else Club Wicked has to offer.”
“Okay,” he said in a slow, obviously confused voice.
“I want to experience it all, so if the worst does happen, at least I’ll have my memories of what it felt like to be whole. To know what it is like to have you as not only my husband, but also as my Master.”
His touch resumed, and she nosed aside his shirt so she could rest on his bare skin.
“Anything you want, my beloved. Anything.”
She had no idea how much time had passed, but when she began to resurface from a deep, restful sleep, she had a moment of confusion.
The bedsheets didn’t smell like home, they smelled like Hawk.
Opening her eyes, she found herself staring at a perfectly white ceiling streaked with thin beams of sunlight.
Turning her head, she followed the light to two big windows covered with thick, dark green and blue plaid curtains that blocked out most of the light.
Her mind finally caught up to the present as she looked around the familiar bedroom. Her skirt was draped over one of the chairs by the fireplace, but she didn’t see Hawk anywhere. Reaching out, she found the bed next to her still warm and sat up, holding the thick comforter to her chest. She still wore her peasant top from yesterday, but her panties were missing.
“Hawk?” she called, looking around the big room for him. “Where are you?”
The door to the bathroom opened, and a hint of steam and men’s soap filled the air as Hawk walked out. He’d tied a thick cream towel around his waist and he dried his long hair with another towel. Her heart gave a hard thump at the sight of all his delicious muscles, dappled with water that slowly slid down his smooth chest to his defined abdominals. A warm burn flared to life between her legs, and her nipples grew stiff with desire. The sight of her name tattooed on his chest sent a flare of possessive pleasure through her.
He casually tossed the hair towel on the wooden bedroom floor as he stopped next to the bed. “How are you feeling?”
“Good. I mean, I have a little bit of a headache, but not as bad as before.” She tried to keep her gaze on his face, but his body was right there within touching distance. “I’m feeling kind of dumb for not taking my meds earlier.”
He picked up his phone from the glossy amber wood bedside table next to her pillow. “I was going to wake you up soon for your next dose.”