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Made of steel (made of s.., p.51
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       Made of Steel (Made of Steel Series Book 1), p.51

           Ivy Smoak
 

  Chapter 41

  Thursday

  My bus wouldn't be coming for another hour. I walked into Central Park. It was the only place that really felt like home in this city. I had told myself I felt comfortable in my dorm and with the new people in my life, but it was all a lie. All I knew were lies. Which made the decision about where to go even easier. For ten years, all I had wanted was to go home. Now I was actually allowed to. Hopefully Don would follow me out west and then I'd work harder to disappear. I had to draw him out of the city. It shouldn't be that hard, darkness always had a way of following me.

  I walked off the path and sat down in the grass. I leaned against the rock behind me and stared up at the dim stars. If I looked really hard, I could see Sagitta. Maybe the arrow was pointing me home. Maybe I could finally get some peace if I went back there. Maybe I could let some of this pain go. I lightly touched the center of my chest.

  "You can't leave," a voice rumbled behind me.

  I wasn't surprised that he had figured out my plans. He was always watching. "It's what you wanted." I continued to look up at the stars. There had already been so many goodbyes. I wasn't sure I had another one in me. Besides, it would just end up with me not trusting him either, leaving me with nothing.

  "Not now." He stood in front of me, blocking my view of the stars.

  "Nothing's changed. You don't even know me. I'm putting everyone in danger by staying, including you." I stood up and started to walk away from him.

  "Some risks are worth taking."

  His words made me freeze in my tracks. I'm not worth it. I'm not worth any of this. "You killed someone."

  "I didn't have a choice."

  "You always have a choice." I hadn't even realized it, but I was mad at him. How could he take someone's life so easily? Mine had been taken from me. No one had given that a second thought.

  "He was hurting you." He took a step closer to me.

  I could smell his cologne. It made me feel slightly dizzy. "I'm used to being hurt."

  "And I refuse to let anything else happen to you."

  "Which is exactly why I have to go. I'm not going to let you get hurt when I'm the one being targeted. I already have my bus ticket. It's too late, I'm not changing my mind."

  "I know you feel it too," he said, ignoring me. "I know that you're conflicted." He placed his gloved hand on the center of my chest.

  I did feel it. It was like he could feel my pain. It almost felt like he was taking it away, putting it on himself. I was suddenly able to breathe a little easier. But it was way more than that. I felt this undeniable connection between us. I didn't understand it. I didn't even know him. I shook my head. "You told me to stop thinking about you."

  "It'll kill me if you leave," his voice rumbled.

  "Why? Why do you care so much about me?"

  "Because I see the real you, the you that you try so hard to hide. But you can't hide from me. I've always seen you. Your beauty, inside and out, captivates my soul. There's a goodness in you that I crave. I can feel the pain in your heart. It cripples me. I'm tormented by your frowns. I'm only at peace when I see you smile. You're everything to me. You're the calm to my chaos. The silence to all the noise. You're the air that I breathe. And I know you understand me, the way no one else possibly could. Because you know what it's like to hide behind a mask too," he whispered.

  He knows? He could have meant anything by that. Maybe he thought I was hiding something else from him. But it didn't seem like it. He knows that I'm Summer. "Let me see your face."

  He stepped closer to me until I could feel his body heat. "You don't need to see me. I'm the one you dream about. I'm the only one you need."

  "You can't stalk my dreams like you stalk me in real life."

  "Your words may push others away, but not me. Tell me that I'm wrong." He put his hand on the side of my face. "Tell me that you don't shiver at my touch. Tell me that you don't dream of my lips. Tell me you don't want to know what it feels like to have me inside of you." His breath was hot in my ear.

  Jesus. I swallowed hard.

  "You don't understand. It's more complicated than that." I moved my head back so that our lips were only an inch apart. My body did shiver under his touch. I had dreamt of his touch so many nights. And I had dreamt of so much more.

  "I do understand. You told me you were strong enough to face your fears here. You told me you wanted to help. So stay." He pushed the hoodie off my head and let his fingers tangle in my hair as he pressed himself against me. "Please stay."

  "I was wrong." I let the tears fall down my cheeks. "I'm in trouble and I don't know what to do."

  "I know. But I won't let anything happen to you."

  I shook my head. I'd get him killed. "I'm so tired of living in pain. But I'm not strong enough to fight it."

  He wiped my tears away with his thumbs. "Yes you are. You're made of steel, Sadie."

  Sadie. He didn't know. No one would ever know. I wanted to forget the pain. I wanted to become the person he saw. And it had been far too fucking long since I hadn't felt scared when I heard my name affectionately spoken on someone's lips. It was like I had no control over my body. I grabbed the back of his hood and pulled his face to mine.

  He didn't hesitate to kiss me back. His mouth completely possessed me as his hands pulled me even tighter against his chest. It wasn't just a kiss. I could feel it. He wanted more. And I wanted him to make me forget about my pain. I wanted to overcome my fears.

  His lips wandered to my neck as his fingers found the zipper of my hoodie. "This looks much better on you."

  Just the sound of it unzipping made me want him even more. What was I doing? I didn't know him. How could I feel safe doing this if he didn't let me see him? "Let me see your face."

  "You won't like what you see," he growled.

  "I don't think that's true." I grabbed the bottom of his mask and rolled it up his neck until I felt the scruff on his chin.

  He pushed me backwards until my back hit the cold rock. It sent a shiver down my spine.

  I could have told him to stop, but I didn't want to. His fingers trailed up the insides of my thighs. Maybe I was losing my mind. But I knew he could take the pain away. I knew he was stronger than I was. "Please let me see your face." My voice was less demanding this time.

  He knew he had me right where he wanted me.

  He hooked his fingers in the waistband of my shorts and pulled them and my thong down my thighs.

  "We can't..." We were in the middle of Central Park. Yes, we were off the path, but that didn't mean people couldn't see us. My words were completely meaningless. I wanted him and he knew it.

  He pulled my face back to his. "We can." His lips found mine again as his hands wandered to my ass.

  Fuck. I could feel his hardness pressed against me. It was almost like I needed him. I couldn't remember the last time I had felt truly needed. Wanted, yes, but needed? I could hear it in his voice. He didn't just want me, he needed me. Could I make his pain go away like he could mine? Is that what this was? For some crazy reason, we needed each other because no one else could want us with our masks on?

  He grabbed my ass and I immediately lifted my thighs around him.

  I couldn't even think straight when his hands were on me. Maybe I didn't feel the fire because of his gloves. But I didn't care. All I knew was that I felt safe. And I hadn't felt truly safe in ten years.

  I had also never been more excited by anyone's touch before. Maybe I had just walked away from the love of my life. Maybe a part of me would always regret turning down Miles. But I didn't have to live forever in pain. I couldn't do that. I was already holding on to so much. Help me forget. Help me move on.

  I was panting when I pulled my lips away from his. I put my hands on both sides of his masked face. There was no doubt that he had a strong jaw line. And his lips were heaven. But I wanted to truly see him. "Let me see you," I whispered against his lips.

  He pulled my hands from his face and pr
essed the backs of them against the cold rock. "Feel me instead," his voice rumbled as he thrust himself deep inside of me.

  Oh God. My fingers tightened around his.

  "Fuck," he groaned into my mouth.

  He was huge. All I could feel was the pressure of him pushing against all my walls. I thought the first time I did this on my own accord would be gentle and loving. But I knew deep down I could never have that. And maybe this was what I wanted. Raw. Rough. Passionate. Savage. Each thrust of his hips felt better than the last. I wrapped my legs tighter around his waist.

  It could have been naive, but I did feel love. He watched me. He protected me. That was love in its own twisted way. All I really knew was twisted. Because the first time I had truly given myself to someone, I wanted to fuck instead of make love. What was wrong with me?

  But God, it felt so right. And each time he thrust into me, I felt the pain slipping away and bliss taking its place. He made me feel whole. He made me feel like my demons were smaller than they actually were. He made me feel so fucking alive.

  "I can't stop thinking about you." His breath was hot against my neck.

  "I don't want you to stop."

  He groaned at my words. "Say you'll stay." He pulled out of me pressed the tip of his erection against me.

  I watched his Adam's apple rise and then fall. I wanted to touch it. I wanted to taste it. I wanted all he'd give me. "I'll stay."

  He thrust himself inside of me again, even harder.

  Fuck. My lips found the skin on his neck. He tasted as good as he smelled. If this was all he felt comfortable with me seeing, I'd take it. I'd revel in it. I kissed underneath his jaw and relished in the rough feeling of his 5 o'clock shadow on my lips. I was lost in him. I was lost and I never wanted to be found again.

  He tilted his hips slightly and I swore I saw the stars. Nothing had ever felt so good.

  "Please don't stop," I moaned.

  I felt his smile against my neck. "I'm not the one threatening to go anywhere." His lip traveled down my clavicle.

  "I'll stay. I promise I'll stay."

  His pushed aside my tattered shirt with his nose as his lips found my breast. His tongue slowly encircled my nipple.

  What was he trying to do to me?

  "You're perfect," he said.

  My body arched toward him and he lightly bit down on my nipple.

  I couldn't even help the moan that escaped from my lips. I was so close. His mouth. His cock. His hands. He was the perfect one.

  He lifted his face to look up at me. And from the angle, it was the first time I had ever seen his eyes. They were a deep brown. I felt like I stopped breathing when our eyes met. He was staring at me like no one ever had before. Complete smolder. I could feel the heat from his gaze. He let me see him. He trusted me. And that trust made me lose control. I could feel myself clenching around him.

  He immediately closed his eyes and groaned. His eyelashes were long. For some reason I found them irresistible. I wanted to kiss every inch of his face. I so badly wanted to see him.

  I felt his warmth spread up inside of me. It was the best feeling in the world. I had never felt so whole before.

  "Look at me," I whispered as soon as I was able to speak again.

  He squeezed his eyes shut tighter as he released my hands.

  I grabbed both sides of his face. "Please."

  He lowered his head, hiding his eyes underneath his hood again, and slowly pulled out of me.

  I felt empty. How could I feel so lost when he had just made me feel so completely full?

  He had taken away the pain, emotional and physical. But as soon as he placed me back down on my feet, it returned. My chest ached. I put my hand on my hurt shoulder.

  He knelt down in front of me and pulled my shorts back up. He kissed my hipbone and then pushed the hoodie farther up my stomach. He kissed the jagged scar along the side of my bellybutton. Somehow that was even more intimate than what we had just done. How did he even know that I had it? He's been watching me. But for how long? I gulped as he slowly lifted his head.

  He seemed to wince when his eyes landed on my shoulder. He released the baggy hoodie. "I hurt you." He quickly stood up and took a step away from me.

  "What? No." I removed my hand from my shoulder. "No. You made me forget about the pain. I couldn't feel it," I said softly.

  "You were just in a hospital. You should still be there."

  "I'm okay."

  He clenched his hands into fists.

  It was like I could truly see him for the first time. He was tormented. How could two souls so destroyed possibly feel complete with each other? He told me that I wouldn't like what I saw if he took off his mask. I'd probably see a reflection of myself.

  He took another step away from me.

  "Where are you going?"

  "You're safe here. That's all that matters. Call me if you're in trouble." He pulled his hood down even more over his eyes.

  "And what if I'm not in trouble?" What if I want more of you?

  He pressed his lips together. "I don't know how to stay away from you."

  I didn't say a word as I watched him disappear into the darkness. I can't stop thinking about you. I don't know how to stay away from you. I was his weakness. It was just like Liza had said.

 
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