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Cursed ecstasy cursed se.., p.10
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       Cursed Ecstasy (Cursed Series), p.10

           t. h. snyder
 
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  Breaking down is something I’ll never do again. I’ve been through hell and back. It’s not a pretty sight, and the whole reason I’ve sheltered others from who I really am is because I don’t want them to be burdened by me and my hellish ways.

  Punching my hand into the mattress, I fall back against the pillow.

  I don’t know where to begin, where to start and make things right between us. Hell, I don’t even know if she’ll give me the time of day to explain myself.

  Shit!

  I feel like a fucking chick going through PMS or whatever the hell it is. My emotions are all over the place and I can’t seem to grasp what I want…no, what I need to do.

  My head is spinning and I now know more than ever what needs to happen. There’s no looking back, no more regrets, and no second guessing what my mind and soul are telling me to do.

  Propping myself up on my arm, I roll off the bed and make my way out of my room and down the stairs.

  As I stand by the front door, I let out a heavy sign and turn the knob…there’s no turning back now.

  I have to talk to Etty and tell her she’s meant to be mine.

  I step over to her side of the house, and with trembling hands, I turn the knob to her door and push it open.

  My eyes set on hers as she stands from the couch in the living room.

  “What the hell, Dault? What are you doing here?” she questions with a look of shock on her face.

  Stepping into the house, I shut the door and move as close as I can to her.

  “You deserve much better than me, Etty. You would never know it with the way I’ve acted, but I miss your laugh, your smile, and the way your body feels up against mine. I may not be the perfect man, but I do know that I want to be the one that’s perfect for you.”

  “Dault,” she says, taking a step back.

  “No, Etty, let me talk. I’m a mess of a man. You thought Linc has issues? Well, you’ll second guess everything once I tell you who I really am. I can’t stand to be away from you, Etty. I know I really fucked up when it comes to you, but if you only knew what my past consists of, how I grew to be who I am today. I want to tell you because you’re all I think about, all that I want to be near, and you make me want to be a better man.”

  She shakes her head back and forth and takes a step back, lifting her arm to put space between our bodies.

  “I understand that I’m not the one you want here right now, or hell, maybe even ever, but just please let me let you in for just once. I deserve that much. Please, Etty.”

  “How can you say that you deserve anything from me, Dault? You’ve pushed me away ever since that night. You have no idea what you’ve done to me and how much you’ve hurt me. You tore me apart after one of the most amazing nights of my life.”

  Without a second thought, I step forward and pull her body against mine. Crashing my lips against hers, I can’t stop myself from wanting to taste the one thing I’ve been dying to have. Her.

  My tongue sweeps out of my mouth and licks the seam between her lips. Gasping for breath, her mouth opens and I take the chance to touch her tongue with the tip of mine. The sweetness of her consumes me and I tangle my tongue with hers until she gives in and allows herself to fall into me. My hands pull her closer to me so that our bodies are flush against one another. She deepens the kiss by standing on her tiptoes and grabbing for the back of my head, pressing my lips harder against hers.

  I’m swept away in the moment as a chill sweeps through my body. I’ve wanted this moment regardless of how long I’ve fought the feelings I have for this woman.

  Pulling away from our kiss, she steps back down, her feet flat on the ground and her green eyes staring up into mine. Before I know her next move, I feel the sting of her hand slapping my face.

  “Dault, stop!” she shouts. “Stop this…whatever you’re trying to do right now. I’m not your toy. I won’t be one of the girls you take home and assume you can fuck whenever you want.”

  Shaking my head, I reach my arm out to her as she takes a few steps away from me.

  “You don’t understand, Etty. It’s not like that with you, I want you…I want us to be different. I know it now and I won’t screw up and lose you again.”

  She looks to the floor and then back up to meet my eyes.

  “What? Lose you? Fucking hell, Dault, you never even had me and now…now that you’ve seen that another guy wants me, you’re deciding that I’m good enough for you?”

  Tears are streaming down her face, her chest heaving from the sobs pouring from her body.

  “It’s not like that. What do I have to do to prove it to you, Etty?”

  “Dault, coming over here and saying you want me isn’t going to do it. You’ve hurt me, ignored me, and pushed me away ever since I got here. What else am I supposed to think?”

  Stepping away from her and falling onto the couch, I lean my elbows onto my legs and let me head crash into my hands.

  “I don’t know what to do, Etty, I’ve never felt like this. I’m a fucking ass, prick, monster, or whatever else you want to call me. You have no idea how hard this is for me. I want to let you in, but I’ve been trying to protect you from the man I really am—a man that can never be good enough for you. Can’t you see? All I’m trying to do is stay away from you so I don’t hurt you.”

  My heart hurts and my chest is as tight as it’s ever been. I’m using all the strength I have in this moment to fight the attack raging inside of me. It’s useless; no matter how much I try, I’ll never be enough for her.

  The breaths coming in and out of my lungs are becoming shallower and the numbness is starting to take over my body. I’m falling into the pit once again and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull myself back out.

  The love of a woman that I crave is something I’ll never be able to regain.

  Chapter 16

  As the tears fall from my cheeks, I wipe my face with the sleeve of my shirt. Dault is sitting on the couch, his body looking so weak and frail. It’s like all the energy he had moments ago is now gone.

  My instinct is to go to him, to comfort him and tell him I want nothing more than to have him in my arms.

  But I can’t, at least not now. The rollercoaster of emotions he’s put me through is insane. One minute I want him to take me as his, the next I wish I’d never met him.

  Right now I’m not sure what the hell to think. He’s just told me that he cares about me. At least that’s what I’m pulling from his confession a few moments ago.

  I’m so fucking confused and it’s causing my head and heart to ache.

  How am I to know if he really wants this because he truly cares or because he’s seen me with another man? I’m not a prize he can win while playing a game; I’m a human being with feelings and emotions that are scattered all over the place.

  I won’t let him take advantage of me just because he’s jealous of Christian…or whatever his deal is.

  My eyes scan his slouched body and his breath hitches. Worry sets in and I push aside my emotional feelings for a brief moment.

  Moving in closer to him, I can see that sweat is beginning to bead along his forehead.

  I know he’s upset and frustrated, but something isn’t right. I’ve never seen Dault react like this before.

  Kneeling down in front of him, I get a better look at his face hidden by his large hands. He’s pale white and his body is trembling.

  “Dault, what’s wrong?” I ask in a whisper, placing my hands on his knees.

  Silence follows and then a deep exhale comes from his lungs as he sits back against the couch.

  His blue eyes meet mine and a look of panic hits me. He’s not okay…not fucking okay at all.

  “Talk to me, Dault, what’s wrong?”

  I watch as he shakes his head and closes his eyes. Taking in a deep breath through his nose, he holds it for a few seconds and then exhales through his mouth. He repeats this pattern a couple of times, my eyes never leaving his face.

 
; “You’re scaring me, Dault, should I get Linc?” I ask, shifting myself to stand.

  He reaches for my hand and holds it next to his leg.

  He looks so upset. I can tell he’s hurting and I don’t know what to do to help him. A pang of guilt hits me with the concern that I’m the cause of his anxiety.

  His eyes flash open and those baby blues stare back at me.

  “No, Etty, just give me a second.”

  I remove my hand from his grasp and get up from the floor, taking a seat next to him. I have an idea what’s happening, but I don’t know why.

  Am I the one that’s causing him to have an anxiety attack?

  Is this my fault?

  He leans forward, resting his head in his hands once again. My arm rests along his broad shoulders for a moment and then I begin to run my nails up and down his back in a soothing motion. If nothing else, the least I can do right now is try calming him down.

  “You have to tell me what’s going on, Dault. For right now, right this second, I want to be here and help you. I don’t know what’s happened or why we are the way we are together, but this has to stop.”

  Another deep breath escapes him and he pushes himself back against the couch, his eyes still closed.

  Moving myself over just a bit, I get a better look at him. His face is regaining color and the sweat on his brow is dissipating.

  “Dault, please talk to me,” I beg.

  Turning his head to face me he opens his eyes and looks me in mine.

  “I’m fine, Etty.”

  Letting out a heavy sigh of my own, I roll my eyes in his direction.

  “Well, you didn’t look fine a few seconds ago. What the hell happened?”

  “It’s nothing.”

  Starting to get frustrated, I stand from the couch and walk into the kitchen. He said he wanted to let me in, yet when I need him to explain things to me he shuts back down. He can be the most infuriating person, but still there’s a part of me that wants to cradle him and take away all of his pain.

  I hate feeling so conflicted, it drives me nuts.

  Opening the fridge, I grab a bottle of water and carry it back into the living room.

  Dault is in front of the couch, pacing a short path along the coffee table with his arms crossed over his chest.

  “Here, take this,” I say, handing him the water.

  “Thanks, Etty,” he replies, grabbing the bottle from my hands.

  For a second, our fingers briefly touch and chills run up my spine. I quickly pull my hand from his and take a seat back down on the couch.

  “I’m sorry for what just happened. I haven’t had an anxiety attack like that in years.”

  He turns to look at me, his face filled with sorrow.

  “Do you want to talk about it?”

  Putting the bottle to his lips, he takes a long sip. My eyes are drawn to his throat as his Adam’s apple bobs up and down with each swallow.

  An instant ache in my core surfaces and I clench my legs together. I can’t stand the way he makes me feel. It’s as though my mind plays tricks on me even though I know I shouldn’t want what’s happening to me.

  He walks toward me and takes a seat on the couch.

  Setting his water down on the coffee table, he leans back against the couch and situates himself closer to my trembling body.

  He extends his hand for me, but all I can do is stare at it.

  I don’t know what’s happening to me right now. My emotions are all over the place. I want to push him away and kick him out, but at the same time I want him to pull me closer and kiss me, never letting me go.

  I’ve wanted this man to be a bigger part of my life ever since I got here. He’s hurt me, torn me apart, and made me feel like a worthless piece of shit. Yet, I can’t help but want him here with me…in more ways than one.

  Reaching out for his hand, we sit in silence for a few moments.

  He clears his throat and turns his body to face mine.

  “I wasn’t lying with what I said earlier. You have no idea how much I want to be near you, with you, and make you happy. I have a shitty way of expressing myself and it’s something that I’ll need to work through, but when I’m with you I want to be better. You’re the only woman that has ever made me second guess my choices in life, Etty. I can’t fight it anymore; I have to make things right between us. I don’t want another day to go by without telling you how I really feel; it’s just hard for me. You have to really know me—who I am and who I want to be—to understand why I’ve been the way I have. Can you give me that chance, the time to explain? It’s all I can ask.”

  A sense of hope fills my soul. How can I say no to him? The way he makes me feel is like nothing I’ve ever experienced, but with the snap of a finger I’m scared he’ll turn and hurt me again. I can’t bear to deal with all of it a second time.

  He takes his hand from mine and places his thumb and forefinger on my chin. Looking at me with those eyes, my heart skips a beat.

  “Dault,” I respond breathlessly.

  “It won’t be easy, Etty, but I can only hope that you come along with me for this ride.”

  I close my eyes and swallow the lump of fear that’s sitting in my throat. There is so much doubt coursing through me and I don’t know what to do.

  Opening my eyes, I see him staring back at me.

  “How do I know that you really want this, want us? What if you change your mind tomorrow? I can’t deal with you hating me again, it hurts too much.”

  Leaning in, he presses his lips against mine. I sit motionless, not wanting him to move.

  Pulling away, he presses both hands on either side of my face.

  “I could never hate you, Etty, even if I tried…and believe me, I tried. If it takes me the rest of my life to prove to you how much I want you with me, I’ll do whatever I have to.”

  His words come across so sincere, so passionate, and so full of hope.

  “This is really what you want?”

  “You have no idea, Etty,” he replies with a smile, his dimples peeking out at me, screaming for me to pull him closer.

  I pull his hands from my face and lean in. With our faces mere inches apart, I wait for him to make the next move. I want to know that he’s really in this with me and not just for a quick thrill.

  He moves in, leaning his head upward to place a gentle kiss to my forehead. A smile spreads across my face—it’s as though he could read my mind.

  “We’ll take this day by day, Etty. No need to rush something that we both know we want.”

  “Day by day is just fine with me. When you’re ready, I’m willing for you to tell me everything. I want to be the one you turn to when you need someone the most. I want to be that person for you.”

  “You already are, Etty. It just took us a bit to figure it out.”

  “There’s still so much we need to work through, Dault.”

  “I know, babe, we’ll get there. I told you I’ll do whatever I have to so that you know how much I care. There will be good times and bad ones, but if we do it together we’ll be fine.”

  With a happy heart, I turn my body and rest my back against his chest. He reaches for my hands and interlaces our fingers while crossing his arms over my chest.

  Closing my eyes, I listen to the steady rhythm of Dault’s heart.

  Even though he has a rough exterior, a varied personality, and a reputation as a hard ass, he still has a heart that beats with compassion, love, and longing to find his one and only. I can only hope that together we can make this work and show each other what happiness really is.

  I feel more content right now, in this moment, than I have in a long time. It’s not going to be easy to find a happy medium with one of the most stubborn men I’ve ever met, but as long as he’s willing to try… so am I.

  Chapter 17

  “It’s your big day today, Dault, I’m so proud of you," my aunt says while adjusting the knot of my tie.

  Stepping away from her, I look myself ove
r in the mirror hanging from my wall.

  “I feel like a troll,” I reply, trying to unfasten the top button of my shirt.

  “You look so handsome, Daulton, stop fussing.”

  “You know I hate wearing this shit,” I respond, turning to face her.

  “Just for one day. Let me look at you and marvel at the man you’ve become,” she says with a smile, swatting my hand away from my shirt.

  “Thanks, Aunt Kellie, I couldn’t have done this without you,” I remark, pulling her into my arms for a tight squeeze.

  She steps back and reaches to pull a tissue out of the box on my dresser. Starting to dab at her eyes, a sob escapes her lips.

  “Don’t cry, Aunt Kellie, it’s just graduation.”

  “It’s a big deal to me, Daulton. It feels like just yesterday I brought you here to live with me. You know how proud your mama would be.”

  Pulling her into my arms, I hold her while she begins to sob. A sudden pain hits me in the chest. I miss Mama more and more every day, and the fact that she isn’t here with us today is hard.

  It’s been eight years since she’s been gone. Eight long years that she’s missed seeing me grow up to be the tattered man that I am today.

  Aunt Kellie has given me everything I could have ever wanted, but it still hasn’t stopped me from causing trouble and wanting to run away.

  Tomorrow, I leave with Linc to start a new chapter in our lives. There’s nothing more that I want than to get out of this town and start over.

  As much as Aunt Kellie has tried to make me stay and use my baseball scholarship, I just can’t do it. I need to leave, remove myself from the hell of my past, and find a way to break free from the pain that surrounds me every day.

  The memories are enough to drown me in my sleep; there has to be something bigger and better out there for me.

  With Linc by my side I know we’ll find it, even if we have to travel the country. It’s out there for us and I’ll be damned if I stay here and regret it later in life.

 
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