Dark (Dangerous Web #2) by Aleatha Romig
The conclusion of DUSK, book #1 Dangerous Web
Later that night as I settled into bed next to my husband, I turned to Reid. “I wish you knew more about what happened to us.”
His deep voice overpowered the distant ringing within my ears. “Has anything come back? Do you remember anything else?”
I shook my head. “It feels like the information is close, yet I can’t find it.” I let out a long sigh. “You know, it’s like when you lose something, yet you’re sure it’s right there.”
Reid gently encouraged me to lay my head on his broad shoulder as he wrapped his arms around me. “I have you back.” He kissed my hair.
While he was gentle, I winced at the pressure on my tender scalp.
“Sweetheart, I’m sorry.”
“No, don’t be.” I turned my gaze to his and as my eyes adjusted to the dimness, I took in his handsome features—his loving gaze, the flawlessness of his mahogany complexion, his high cheekbones, and his strong chin. I ran my finger over his lush lips, imagining them on mine or other more sensitive places. As my insides twisted, I said, “I’ll take your affection, no matter how much it hurts.”
Reid’s brows knitted together. “I never want you to hurt, not from me or anyone else. Whoever did this to you will pay. I promise, you’re safe and they’ll never hurt you again.”
Sighing, I settled into the crook of his strong arm. “I don’t care if they pay. I would like to know they can’t do this to anyone else.”
“I love you, Lorna. I didn’t need to lose you to know that.”
A smile crept across my face as I hugged his arm. “I love you too. I feel” —I searched for words— “...safe, secure, loved...” When our gazes met, I confessed, “When we’re together, I feel like I’m somebody.”
“You, Lorna Murray, are definitely somebody.”
I ran my fingers over his forearm, feeling the warmth of his dark skin under my fingertips and relishing in our familiar differences. The sounds of our breathing filled our bedroom. His breaths became spaced and rhythmic, alerting me to the fact that he’d fallen asleep. Knowing my husband, I doubted that he slept much when I was gone.
Savoring the security of his embrace as well as the fresh scent of his recently showered skin, I cuddled toward his side and listened to the beat of his heart, reminding myself of my safety as I drifted into a fretful sleep.
All at once, I woke with a start.
“What is it?” Reid asked, leaning over me.
With his close proximity, the white orbs surrounding his dark eyes were all I could see in our lightless bedroom. Before I could respond, gently and reassuringly, his lush firm lips came to mine.
“Sweetheart, you’re fine. You’re here.”
A moan came from my throat as I pushed closer, returning his kiss.
His large hands roamed down my lower back and over my behind.
Heat flooded my twisting core as I reached for his cheeks, holding his lips to mine as my tongue sought entrance, ready to dance with his.
My desire waned as a wince replaced my moan when his weight came over my ribs and bruised hip bones. My pulse quickened and breathing stalled as perspiration dotted my forehead.
Before I could analyze what had happened, Reid pulled away.
His stare penetrated mine. “No, Lorna, I won’t hurt you.”
“You aren’t,” I said, not being fully truthful. “You’re loving me.”
Holding his toned and hard torso above me, Reid teased a strand of my hair away from my face as he scanned my bruises. “I do and will forever love you. You are still the most beautiful woman in this world. I fucking want to show you that by bringing the head of whoever did this to your feet.”
My lips curled upward. “I don’t want anyone but you.”
“Then I want to show you by making love all night long...but not until you’re ready.”
“I’m ready. I just need to be on top.”
His head shook as a small grin graced his lips. “Sweetheart, I want you on top, under me, with me. Please, for now, humor me. Let me just hold you in my arms and you can tell me what caused you to wake.”
I knew he was right, yet I yearned to be with him, connected in a way only we can be.
With a sigh, I settled back onto his shoulder and thought about what had awakened me. “I-I had a dream or nightmare.” My body shivered. “It seemed real.”
He gently rolled until his front was to my back as he held me safe in his embrace. “You’re here and safe.”
“It’s so weird. It’s like I have dreams or memories and I don’t know which.”
“It’ll sound crazy,” I admitted.
“Your crazy hasn’t scared me away yet. I don’t think it will now”
“It’s probably nothing. I was talking with Araneae today, and for some reason the subject of my mother came up.”
Reid sat up, turning me back toward him. “Your mother?”
“Yeah, I know it’s stupid. I mean, I haven’t seen or heard from her—”
“What about your mother?”
“I was just telling Araneae why I’m hesitant to take pain pills.”
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