Drowning on dry land an.., p.5
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       Drowning on Dry Land: an erotic short story, p.5

           Megan Hart
 
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  That was what this was all about, and the release of it was a rush as fierce and defining a moment as any climax could’ve been. Bette shook with it, a pleasure she hadn’t expected. It made her light, unburdened. It made her shake.

  He said her name in a low rasp. His cock throbbed on her tongue. Bette released him from her heat but moments later sheathed him again with her cunt, panties pushed to the side. She rode him with her nails digging into his chest and her head tipped back so the weight of her hair tickled his thighs as she moved.

  “It’s so good with you,” he said. “Fuck, it was always so good…”

  It was the truth. The sex had always been good. It was everything else that had gone wrong, and she hadn’t forgotten any of that. Not even when the pleasure overtook her, coiling tight and tighter until it sprang free. She looked into his eyes, at last, when she came, and he followed her within seconds. Neither of them looked away.

  Sweating, the bitterness of salt on her lips, Bette eased herself free and rolled onto her back beside him. Their shoulders touched. So did their hips. After a moment when he rolled to press his lips to her shoulder, she didn’t move away.

  “That was amazing,” he said.

  “It was always amazing.”

  She waited for him to sleep, but he didn’t. He pulled her close, nuzzling against her, and she allowed it because even now, the memory of how much she had loved him was enough to keep her from being unkind. He deserved cruelty, she thought. But she did not. She’d become better than that.

  “You know…you don’t realize how much something hurt until it stops hurting.” Bette said this to the ceiling without looking at him.

  There’d been lots of times when he’d pretended he didn’t understand what she was trying to say, but not this time. “I’m sorry I hurt you.”

  She rolled to face him, cupping his face with a tenderness she hadn’t felt until just now. “You did. And more than once, but I let you do it, over and over, so who’s the fool? You or me?”

  “I didn’t mean to. You know that.”

  She stroked his cheek with her thumb, then took away her hand to sit up. “You can’t make someone love you, if they don’t.”

  “I loved—”

  She stopped him with a kiss that didn’t linger; she looked deeply into his eyes. “I told you. No lies. I deserve better from you. Be the man I thought you were, for once, and not the man you are.”

  “I wanted to love you,” he said.

  It was the best answer, because it was the truth. She kissed him again. Then she got up from the bed and began to dress. Her back was still turned when he spoke.

  “Did you mean what you said? About this being only fucking?”

  She tied the waist of her dress and smoothed it, then turned. “Yes. I have someone else in my life, now.”

  He’d pushed to sit up against the headboard, the sheet covering him, and at her words he winced. “What? You do?”

  “Yes. He’s very special to me.” She found an elastic band in her bag on the dresser and used it to twist her hair into a messy bun on top of her head without bothering to check her reflection.

  “So…why did you…with me?”

  “I told you. Because I didn’t want to regret not taking the chance. I’ve regretted enough of the choices I made about you,” she said. “I didn’t want this to be one more.”

  “I’m sorry you regret anything about me,” he said.

  Bette nodded, fixing her gaze on his. “So am I.”

  “Did you get what you wanted, then? From this? From me?”

  “I never got what I wanted from you,” she told him quietly. “But I’ve given up hoping I ever could. So…there’s that, at least.”

  He was silent at that. She couldn’t read his expression, but the way he cut his gaze from hers told her more than he probably wanted her to know. She waited for him to speak, not surprised when he did not. Also not surprised, somehow, that his voice called her back just as she reached the hotel room door.

  “Do you love him?”

  “He loves me,” Bette said. “More than I deserve, probably. But we’re good together, and I care about him enough to try to deserve him.”

  “I see.”

  It was what he’d always said when he thought she was being ridiculous. It used to drive her mad. She no longer cared.

  He surprised her with more words. “I don’t want you to hate me, Bette.”

  “I don’t hate you,” she told him after a second or so. “I just don’t want to love you, anymore.”

  Chapter 11

  Darkness greeted Bette when she got home. The sun would be up in an hour or so, bringing the start of a new day, but at the moment everything in her house was black. Hushed. She put her keys on the table. Her coat on the back of the chair. She slipped off her shoes and went on cat-quiet feet up the stairs to the bedroom.

  She knew Damian would be waiting for her, though her heart had lodged in her throat with anticipation at how she would find him. Damian sat in the corner armchair, a book laid over the arm. The reading lamp cast a soft glow over his sleeping face.

  He woke when she murmured his name. He rubbed his eyes and held back a yawn. “You’re home.”

  “Yes.” Bette sat on the edge of the bed, facing him.

  For a long moment, neither of them moved.

  “I wasn’t sure,” Damian began, but stopped himself.

  He loved her, she thought. And she wanted to deserve that.

  “Come here, love,” was all she said.

  He went to her at once, kneeling at her feet and pressing his cheek to her knee. He closed his eyes when she stroked a hand over his hair. He waited, patient and silent.

  “It’s late,” Bette told him when she’d had her fill of the softness of his hair, the steady pulse of his breathing. She tapped his shoulder to get him to look up. Damian’s gaze searched hers, and when finally he smiled at the promise she hoped he could see in her eyes, so did she. “Let’s go to bed.”

  Chapter 12

  The last time she kissed him was in a doorway. She stepped through. He did not follow, and she left him behind.

  Finally, she left him behind.

  Excerpt

  Tear You Apart

  At least there’s video chat.

  “I’m just your little lady in the box,” I tease. “Your genie.”

  “You gonna grant me a wish?”

  I wish I could. “Depends what it is.”

  Will laughs, and his phone shakes a little. “I’m getting ready for bed now. Come with me?”

  “Do I have a choice? I’m in the box. I go wherever you take me.”

  I watch my laptop screen carefully as he lifts his phone. The sensation is disorienting; for a moment I can imagine I am actually in a box, being carried in his hand. That I am tiny, that I am small. That I am made of magic.

  I’ve been in his bathroom before, of course, but the angle is different and everything is off-kilter. Will props his phone on the sink and bends to look at me.

  “Hi.”

  “Hi,” I reply.

  We’re both grinning like idiots, like dogs in August, as my grandmother would say. She had a lot of folksy sayings, most of which I never understood. This one, I do. We grin and grin because there are no words, because joy is manifesting itself in my face.

  Will runs the water in the sink and brushes his teeth, making a show of it. Eyeing me once in a while while he makes a grand display of scrubbing. Suds foam from the corners of his mouth. I’m totally charmed, incapable of doing anything more than watch raptly as he mugs for the camera.

  With an audience, I discover, Will is a showman.

  He rinses. Spits delicately. Looks at the camera.

  “See what you’d be in for,” he says, “if you had to face that every day.”

  But I want to, are the first words that come to my lips, and of course they’re bitten back. I’d love to. I want you.

  I say nothing.

  I smile and he smil
es, and he leans again across the counter, his face immense, and then only his smiling mouth is on my laptop screen. I wait. He retreats a little, peering into the lens as though he’s looking into my eyes.

  “What next?” he says.

  “You tell me,” I say, then boldly add, “I think you need a shower.”

  “Do I?”

  “Oh, yes.” Excitement quickens in my stomach, the beat of my heart, the pulse and throb of my blood in my throat and wrists and cunt. “Definitely.”

  Also by Megan Hart

  Perfectly Reckless

  Clearwater

  Castle in the Sand

  Ride with the Devil

  Stumble into Love

  The Resurrected: Compendium

  The Darkest Embrace

  Reawakened Passions

  Precious and Fragile Things

  Crossing the Line

  Lovely Wild

  The Space Between Us

  Hold Me Close

  Dirty

  Broken

  Deeper

  Tear You Apart

  About the Author

  I was born and then I lived awhile. Then I did some stuff and other things. Now, I mostly write books. Some of them use a lot of bad words, but most of the other words are okay.

  I can’t live without music, the internet, or the ocean, but I have kicked the Coke Zero habit. I can’t stand the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves me cold. I write a little bit of everything from horror to romance, and I don’t answer to the name “Meg.”

  Megan Hart is a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author who writes in many genres including mainstream fiction, erotic fiction, science fiction, romance, fantasy and horror. If you liked this book, please tell all of your friends to buy it. If you hated it, please tell all your enemies to buy it. If you’d like to tell the author about it, drop her a line, but remember what Thumper’s mom says: if you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best to say nothing at all.

  Find me here!

  @Megan_Hart

  READINBED

  www.meganhart.com

  [email protected]

 


 

  Megan Hart, Drowning on Dry Land: an erotic short story

 


 

 
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