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Never been loved, p.26
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       Never Been Loved, p.26

           C.M. Kars
 

  “I want a man who comments on my nerdy shirts and allows me to give his kid a bit of nerd-flair. Can you do that?”

  Fuck yeah, I can. I nod again.

  “I want a man who will kiss me every morning because he knows how fraking lucky he is to have me. Can you do that?”

  “Abso-fucking-lutely.”

  She keeps looking at me, like maybe for her, I might be the only option. That makes me the luckiest man in the whole damn world.

  “I want a man who accepts my help when he needs it and even when he doesn’t. I want a man who knows that I’m never going to make fun of him or think less of him because of what his life has made him into. Can you do that?”

  You’re killing me, Sera. “I’ll try.”

  She smiles, and I move in closer to get a taste of her.

  “Can I kiss you now?” I ask.

  “You can kiss me anytime you want.”

  I love her little gasp when I don’t get my mouth on hers right away, the way I hold it there over her lips like that’s as close as we’re gonna get. My eyes practically roll back in my head when she puts her hands on my head, running her fingers through my hair, and crushes herself against me, planting those tits against my chest.

  I’ve died and landed in paradise.

  We get our mouths working on each other’s, and Christ, the taste of her, the smell of her like sugar and vanilla, her body on me, I go mental. My tongue’s in her mouth, her tongue’s now in mine, and it’s lazy and driving me nuts.

  My dick starts throbbing and there’s nothing more I want to do than get this skirt off her and sink into her, watch her face when she comes apart, listen to her say my name.

  I’m struggling to relax. I push her too far and that’s it.

  I set her back, my fingers digging into her hips. I’m panting, but shit, her taste is all I have in my mouth, and when I open my eyes, Sera’s cheeks are glowing with pink, and she’s chewing her bottom lip.

  We’re on the bed already. No time like the present.

  The kid, dickweed. The kid.

  Right.

  “Thank you for buying Matty that t-shirt. You didn’t have to do that.”

  She kisses me again, doing amazing things to my bottom lip, and, goddamn it, I’m going to need a cold shower, but who the hell cares? I’ve got a goddess in my lap, and one day soon, we’re going to fuck without worrying about Matty bursting in.

  When she pulls back, she gives me a sly grin, and says, “You’re welcome. Now, what have you got to eat? I’m starved.”

  I let her move off of me, wondering what she’s gonna do when gets a peek of Junior saluting through my jeans. I keep her still ’cause what I have to say next is important, even though I’m worse for wear.

  “I’m wondering if you’re getting that I’m fucked up.”

  “Well, I’m fucked up, too. No one is completely normal a hundred percent of the time. We’re all struggling to find a little slice of happiness.”

  “I don’t want a slice of happiness. I think I deserve the whole fucking cake.”

  “If you deserve the cake, then I deserve a Reese’s peanut butter cup one, with chunks of Reese’s pieces on top of it. Yeah. I mean, what’s better than peanut butter and chocolate? Lemme guess, uh, nothing.”

  Sera makes me laugh. She’s magic.

  “I want you warned. And once you’re warned, if you continue to stay with me, then I’m not letting you go. You and I are opposites.”

  “You’re beautiful and I’m not.”

  What the fuck, NO! I never said that. Who the hell told her that?

  “Underneath what you think is dark and ugly is a light that shines so bright, you might just chase the shadows in me away.” Smooth one, motherfucker. Absolutely smooth. Hope she doesn’t call out the cheese.

  I meant every word, and I’m not one for prettying up what I have to say – it just came out. But it looks like I nailed it, because Sera uses my mouth again with hers, and holds out her hand when she pulls away, moving us towards the kitchen.

  You’ve got her to concede a point this round, MacLaine. Now all you gotta do is somehow keep her.

  I’ve got the kind of bone-exhaustion that makes me wonder how I’m moving. Another two weeks have gone by since I went ape-shit over Matty’s new shirt. All has been forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten. Today was a shitty day.

  My sugars were out of whack and I was too tired to go work out to burn some of them off. What’s worse, I’m craving chocolate and knowing it’ll make me sick just ups the ante on my irritation.

  I feel bad that I’ve been shit for company once Sera came in and had dinner with us, but she didn’t make me feel like I had to front a good mood just for her and the kid. She gave me a smile anyway, like it’s an A for effort.

  I wonder if she’s figured it out, yet. How much I love her.

  Maybe not. I’ve been cloaks and daggers with those words my entire life. Saying them to her might kill me if she doesn’t say them back. I’d rather sign myself up to be the pork in a meat grinder than just stand there and have her pat my cheeks while I watch her hips sway on her out of our lives.

  Jules, are you trying to get back at me?

  After my shower, I listen in the hall to Sera reading to Matty. He loves it when she reads to him, but man, does he ask a ton of questions.

  “It shows what you want most, right?” Matty asks. “Wanna know what I’d see, Sera?”

  “Tell me,” she says, patient as always with him.

  I don’t want to hear this part. What I’ve gathered so far is that this mirror in Harry Potter is some sick shit, and I don’t want my nephew involved with it. I mean, the kid’s an orphan to begin with and his aunt and uncle make my mom seem like an angel.

  You thought it would be a prime way to get your girl to spend more time with you. The plan backfired, bucko, since reading is her favourite thing in the world.

  Well, maybe I’ll be her favourite thing soon.

  “I see myself like you. I can run around all day and never get tired. I’m like Harry, Sera. I could sit in front of that mirror all day long.”

  Hell, the kid’s just flayed me. I lean harder into the wall, needing its support. I’ve fucked up badly. I haven’t done enough to make him feel good about himself, to show him what’s right and wrong, to teach him about the world and what it is to be a man.

  He’s just a boy, and he doesn’t understand.

  I don’t want him to know the truth of what we are – how everything sucks all the time.

  “I don’t want that Matty,” Sera says, and whatever heat I’ve got building in my chest, that’s all for her, every single piece of it. “I want this Matty.”

  I can hear the kid start to cry, and they don’t sound like crocodile tears either. They’re the kind that come out after a skinned knee, or a tumble on the ground.

  “You’re amazing, little man. I promise you,” Sera murmurs. While I’m pissed at myself and jealous if I admit it—that she knows exactly what to say to him, at exactly the right time—I’m glad she’s here.

  “People lie, Sera. And people go away. And they never come back, like Harry’s parents. They left Harry all alone.”

  “You’re not alone, kid. You have your dad and you have me.”

  “What if you go away?”

  “Then you come find me, that’s all. I’ll always be your friend, Matty.”

  “Don’t you want to be my mommy?”

  Jules, what do I do? How can I make this better for him? Would you hate me if Sera took your place? Didn’t you bring her to me in the first place?

  Jules, I miss you, I wish I could talk to you. I wish you could tell me how to fix this. I’ve screwed everything up.

  I pull in a few deep breaths trying to shake off the feeling that I’ve ruined the kid’s life. I can’t deal with that right now, not tonight.

  I move away from the door and go turn off the lights, checking the lock, and the slider, then move back to Matty’s room.

&nb
sp; Sera’s fallen asleep with my kid on top of her, her hand on his back like she soothed him to dreamland.

  “Sera?” I call from the doorway, watch her eyes jerk open and look around like she doesn’t remember where she is.

  “Yeah. I’m alive, just gimme a sec.” She wiggles out from under Matty, and stumbles over to me, her eyes half-closed. I want to wrap her up in a blanket and let her fall asleep on me. Fuck, I’d like that a lot.

  She moves to the couch in the dark, and sits down, yawning all the while.

  “Want some water or something?” I ask from the kitchen, opening the fridge to see her curled up in on herself, head down between her knees and arms.

  “No. I’m good. Come and sit.”

  Even if there’s tons of space on the couch, what the hell am I going to do with the leather when I’ve got her body waiting for me?

  Two weeks after she’s forgiven me, it’s torture being around her like this. Especially when she turns those eyes on me and eye-fucks me whenever I’m walking around without a shirt. I do that a lot.

  She leans into me more, shuffling her cold toes under my leg, and slinging an arm over my abs, until I feel a tickle along my ribs. I check my groan and tell Junior to stand the fuck down.

  We’re going to have sex, yeah. I’m twenty-eight years old, and while I’d love nothing more than to toss Sera on my bed and have us having a good time, Sera’s been skittish around me, and she stays out my room unless it’s to sleep.

  I’m pretty sure she’s a virgin, and maybe I should come right out and ask her, but you know, I’ve already fucked up a few times and I don’t want to add to that list.

  “What are you doing?” I ask. I know exactly what she’s doing. I just like seeing her caught – it’s adorable, and sexy at the same time. She has no idea what she does to me.

  “Sorry not sorry.”

  I’m about to kiss her, I’m about to make out with my girl like I’m back in high school and there’s no unwritten rule that we can’t have sex, and I’m not a total dick trying to get my cock inside a pussy or I’ll die.

  It’s my phone that buzzes on the coffee table that has my shoulders rising up, and I’ve snatched before it can wake up the kid.

  “Fuck.” Just my goddamn luck. “Aly’s here. I don’t know how she got in the building, she either conned her way or some asshole let her in. Shit.”

  Not this shit again. She’s downstairs in the lobby and she wants to come up.

  Jules, is this some kind of joke?

  I have to get Aly out of here. She’ll ruin everything.

  Stupid idiot, trying to move me in the way that she wants. Trying to get what she wants. I scratch my head and pull in a breath, coming to a decision.

  Sera might hate me, but at least I’d get one poison out of my life.

  “I need to get her out of here. She’s going to come up and wake up Matty. Not to mention, she’s going to be pissed when I’m not available to screw around with.”

  “Who raised her? I mean, frak, was she raised in a barn? Where the hell are her manners? Bloody hell.” Sera waves her arms, and it’s got me grinning.

  I move quick and kiss her mouth hard, and smile when I pull back and she’s pouting, wanting more.

  When I get back upstairs, it’s all I’m going to be wanting, too.

  “How do you always do that? Make me laugh?”

  “I’m actually Hermione Granger, but you can’t tell anyone.”

  I kiss her again, because Jesus, she’s being cute and I need more of it. I pull back, then kiss her on the corner of her mouth.

  “I know who she is. And babe, you’re hotter than Emma Watson.”

  “Okay,” she says, kissing me to distract me from the whole hot thing. I hate that she does that, and I want her to tell me who told her that shit so I can get my fists dirty.

  “I don’t like that,” I tell her, pulling away while she follows for more of me.

  “Huh?”

  “I want you, Sera. You’re the only one I want.”

  “Okay.”

  I’ve made sure I’m all that she sees, and her eyes are wide and scared, but they keep dipping to my mouth like she needs the distraction.

  Baby, please stop that.

  “No one has loved Matty before, like he’s a part of me, not like he’s an extra person. No one’s ever read to him in his whole life. He’s happier when he’s with you. And so am I.”

  “Okay. Go see her, tell her to go home. Then come back upstairs.” Sera keeps looking like she might catch me in a lie, but her eyes skitter away.

  “I’ll be ten minutes, tops.” I kiss her again, trying to get her to understand that she’s the only one I want. I get into it with her, standing over her and pushing her back into the couch. She makes this moaning-purring sound that has my dick waving hello in my pants. I pull away before Aly comes up here and starts something she’s not going to get to finish. “Then I’m coming back upstairs and I want more of this. I want more of you.”

  With that, I move down the hall, grab a shirt of the floor in my room, and turn back the way I came.

  “I’ll be right back,” I tell her as I walk out the door.

  As the elevator doors shut slowly, I hear an apartment door opening, and keep my grin to myself in the elevator car. Sera’s going to follow.

  Which means maybe I got through to her, and now she’s going to make sure that Aly knows I’m the one she wants.

  Jules, I’d bet you’d want to see how this play out.

  Chapter 27

  “I missed you, baby,” Aly says, as I step out of the elevator and into the lobby. “How come you won’t answer my calls, huh? Weren’t we good together, Hunter? Didn’t you like what we did?” She hops on me like I’m a train about to take her for a ride.

  “Aly, maybe there’s a reason I’m not answering your calls or texts; it’s been four months. Maybe that reason is I don’t want to talk to you anymore,” I say, getting her arms and legs away from me. Sera doesn’t need to see this.

  This was a bad idea.

  I should’ve just let her come up and refused to open the door. Then again, I can’t remember if she has a key or not.

  Now she’s got her hands in my shirt and is dragging me closer. I don’t want to do this. The swirling sensation in my head is starting to hit and that can only mean one thing. Yeah, my sugar’s starting to drop.

  “I know you didn’t just say that to me, Hunter. Shall I call your mother to get this all settled out?”

  “Yeah, call my mom, Aly, at night. Go complain to her that I’m not following your plans. We’re not getting married, and we’re sure as fuck never sharing the same bed again.”

  Aly makes a show of getting her phone out of her pants. I’m disgusted with all of this. How easy I was to play, how much Aly wanted to be part of the game.

  “How are you going to survive without your mom’s money? How are you going to take care of Jules’ kid, huh? Oh, poor Hunter, don’t try to get a brain now, and start thinking for yourself.”

  She’s got her stride now, and I try to breathe normal. Sera’s heard everything. “You marry me, we have enough money to keep us going for the next fifty years. Aren’t you tired of fighting, of struggling every single day? Aren’t you tired of it all?”

  Aly just had to say it.

  The swirls in my brain move faster now, and my head’s too heavy for my neck. Sera’s here and she’s listening; she’s seeing everything.

  I’m just tired, beyond exhausted of my life, of moving forward only to be pushed a hundred steps back. I’m tired of struggling with my finances, with the kid, with Sera, even though she’s made everything in my life easier.

  I’m just tired of fighting it, tired of trying to be normal.

  “That’s right, baby. You know you want me over her anyway. My way is the easy way, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Aly says, but it sounds far away, from a stony tunnel rather than standing right in front of me. I’m somehow in her arms.


  “You don’t need her when you can have me,” Aly whispers in my ear. “Everything will be so easy for us, baby. We can do whatever we want, we can buy whatever we want. You won’t have to work and be so tired anymore.”

  “I’m tired,” I repeat, just wasted with the thought of the fight that’s never going to end.

  “You love what we do together, Hunter. We’re good together, you know it, baby. We explode together, and I love your mouth. Here, call that girl you have upstairs, tell her to go home, and we’ll go upstairs to your bed.” She gets her phone in my hand.

  I stare at it, completely dumb.

  I don’t know why I have it in my hand.

  Swirls of colour get in the way of my sight, and Aly’s face is twisted down into something like fury.

  “Hunter, I’m getting tired of this. Call that fat bitch upstairs and tell her to go home. Wait, tell her to take the kid, too, and we’ll be all alone. I’ll do whatever you want, baby, I swear. You know how much you love my mouth on your cock.”

  Her mouth’s on me? Is that what that is?

  Where’s Sera? Is she here? Why isn’t she here with me? What the fuck is Aly doing?

  She’s fucking kissing me, when my girl’s hiding somewhere in this lobby.

  I get my hands on Aly’s shoulders and shove her away from me, getting her as far as I can. I tear myself away, feeling like I’ve been almost drowned.

  “Get the fuck out.”

  God, what the hell is Sera thinking right now?

  I’m never going to dig myself out of this.

  I need her out of here. I push her out the way she came, towards the doors, her phone now in her hands, and shove her out enough that I get the inner doors shut and lock her out. Some asshole better not let her in again.

  She cracks her fists against the glass, not caring who she bothers, screaming. “You’re throwing everything away, for her?” Aly points at Sera behind me. “What the fuck is wrong with you, Hunter?”

  Grasping the horizontal bar on my side, I hold myself back from pushing it in and going out there to do… what exactly? I can’t hit her, and I can’t do anything else than what I’m going right now.

 
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