Authors: Cheryl McIntyre
a Sometimes Never novella
By Cheryl McIntyre
I would like to thank all those who took the time to not only read Sometimes Never, but also went a step further to leave feedback. I read and appreciate all my reviews and messages. A lot of you wanted to know what happened in the time between the final chapter and the epilogue.
You spoke. I listened. Blackbird was born.
Though Blackbird can be read on its own, I feel it is better enjoyed if read after Sometimes Never. You can find Sometimes Never here:
And if you loved the supporting characters as much as I do, don’t worry, their stories are on the way.
Thank you for all your support. I hope you enjoy this novella.
Table of Contents
My eyes fall to Hope’s bare feet as she swings them subconsciously from her perch on the counter. I’m reminded of the moment I noticed her for the first time, her bare feet captured my attention then, too. I move forward, pressing myself into the space between her legs. She sets her drink down and skims a finger under her lip, wiping away a drop of water.
“Are you nervous about today?” I ask as I rest my hands on her hips.
She nods. “I could use a distraction,” she whispers. “Any ideas?”
Oh I have plenty of ideas
. “Hm. I might be able to come up with something.” I wrap one of her legs around my waist and trail my fingers up the other. “Unless you already have something in mind?”
She cocks her head to the side as if deep in thought. “We could play Scrabble.”
I crinkle my nose.
Not what I was thinking at all. “You want to play Scrabble?”
“Dirty words only and loser has to do whatever I—I mean, the winner—says for the next…” She looks down at her cell phone and glowers. “Uh, I only have a little over an hour.”
“An hour isn’t enough time for all that.” I grin at her. “What else can we possibly do for the next hour…?”
“I guess I could repaint my nails. They are a little chipped.”
I shake my head slowly. “Nu-uh. That’s no fun for me and I can’t stand the smell of that shit.”
“Huh. Well, I’m sure there’s a court show on. I love that little lady judge with the big attitude.”
I glide my fingers into her multi-colored hair, gripping the back of her neck. “Hope, if you aren’t naked in the next thirty seconds I’ll—”
“You’ll what?” she challenges.
I bring my mouth down on hers and run my tongue across her bottom lip. She opens immediately, meeting me eagerly. I take her face into my hands and tilt her head back to deepen the kiss. She hooks her other leg around my hip and squirms closer to me.
I’m already hard. She always feels so good.
. An hour. I want more than that. I want to take my time, working her into a blissful frenzy. I want us sweaty and breathless, our muscles rubbery and tired.
Hope tightens her legs, pulling me into her hard.
Fuck it. I’ll make it work.
I break away from the kiss to tug her shirt over her head. “Where?” I pant. We’ve been christening my apartment since I moved in. A new place each time. We’ve already covered all the counter space in the kitchen.
“Fifty-five minutes, Mason. I don’t care where. Just get inside of me now or I’ll—”
“You’ll what?” I tease her through a smirk.
“Implode,” she breathes.
I lean back, unbuttoning her jeans. “We
She drops her lashes, hooding her eyes, and licks her lips. God, she’s perfect. Sliding her hands under my shirt, she caresses my stomach in slow circles. My muscles twitch at her touch and I drag her off the counter. Resting her on her feet, I make quick work of removing the rest of her clothing. I kneel in front of her to free her feet from the bunched material at her ankles, pausing to place a wet kiss against each scar on her inner thigh.
Hope shivers and traces my jaw with her fingertips. “I love you,” she murmurs.
I grin as I pull her down to the floor with me. We haven’t made love here yet and I can’t wait any longer. She works my belt free and I lick the skin on her neck right where her pulse is throbbing furiously. “I love you,” I say against her heated flesh.
I raise up and help her get my jeans off. She pushes me until my ass is on the cold tile floor and my back is pressed against the chilly surface of the cabinet door. It does nothing to cool my desire.
She straddles my thighs, guiding me inside herself. She feels incredible. I growl into her shoulder. “The kitchen floor,” she says softly, “is christened.” As she moves quicker, I let my head fall back against the cupboard and grind my teeth.
Ever since she got on the pill and we stopped using condoms, my performance time has taken a hit. It’s even worse when she gets on top and rides me like this.
Guess we aren’t going to need the whole hour after all.
“Mason,” she sighs, “you feel so good.”
. I nearly release my load right there, but I slide her off me and lay her back. She trembles against the frigid floor, but I have full intention of warming her up. I lower my mouth to her stomach and trail kisses over the bone of her hip, down her thigh, working my way in between. I flick my tongue out and taste her. Her legs try to close and I hold them open as I continue to devour her.
It doesn’t take long before her hips are coming off the floor, her fingers knotting in my hair, and she’s panting my name. She claws at my shoulders, pulling me up her body until I’m hovering over her. I grip her bare hips as I rock into her. Her legs circle my waist as she closes her eyes and moans.
“Look at me, Hope.” She does, her blue eyes meeting mine. “I love you,” I tell her again. I dip my head to capture her mouth, kissing her deeply. And I know the best decision I ever made was staying in Ohio.
I’m dragging ass today. Mason’s distraction techniques wore me out, plus I had too much on my mind to sleep last night. I have a lot going on this week.
The first being the reason I’m trudging through this cold downpour toward the shitty brick building in front of me.
It’s my first day of therapy.
I find the right door and stare at it. Mason wanted to come with me. He begged, actually, but I wanted to do this alone.
Now I’m realizing how stupid that idea had been. I pop a piece of gum into my mouth, wishing I had a bag of candy. I should have brought some Starbursts to chew on.
My hand is shaking as I reach for the doorknob. I drop it quickly and head back the way I came. Pacing back and forth under the small awning, I pull out my cell and debate over who to call. The rain is hitting the aluminum hard and I can’t concentrate.
If I call Mason, he’ll show up and I’ll feel… I don’t know, but I’ll feel like I’m doing this for him and not for me. I’ll end up pretending I’m okay and I’ll go in there just to make him happy. This will help
, but it has to be done for
My finger hovers over Guy’s name. If I call him, he’ll be sweet. He’ll comfort me and give me some encouraging bullshit about how I can do anything I put my mind to.
It’s so cold. My teeth won’t stop clicking together as I shiver.
I can’t do this.
My head falls back into the cool brick wall and I pinch my eyes together tightly.
I will not cry
I blow out a frustrated breath and scroll through my contacts until I find the right name, hitting send before I can change my mind.
“What the hell are you doing?” Chase asks immediately. No greeting—just cuts straight through the BS.
“I can’t do it,” I mutter.
“Shut up with the Debbie Downer crap. You can go to an appointment—you just don’t want to. There’s a difference. You’re already…five minutes late.”
I watch a car pull into a parking space and a young guy gets out of the passenger side. I mean, really young. He can’t be more than thirteen or fourteen. He looks up as he approaches the door that I’m huddled in front of. Our eyes meet and he pauses. Something passes silently between us and he nods. Without a word, he reaches around me, forcing me to move, and opens the door. But he isn’t going in—he’s holding it open for me.
Panic rises in my chest and my heart pumps furiously.
“Hope, you can do this,” Chase states firmly. “Quit fucking around and go.”
I nod. I don’t know if I’m responding to Chase even though he can’t see the gesture, or if I’m acknowledging the kid. Either way, I end the call and tuck my phone into my back pocket as I pass through the threshold into what I expect is the entrance to Hell.
I get the first text nearly an hour later, at exactly five o’clock on the dot. I know Mason is worried and he wants to know how the session went. But I haven’t even stepped out of the office, and I’m just not ready to talk about it yet.
I need to take a minute to organize my thoughts and sort my emotions.
I need to breathe
This is only the first day and I already had to unearth so much. Veronica Kohl is probably a nice person outside the office, but behind those doors, she’s pure evil. She pissed me off. She made me cry. And she made me say it out loud.
“Own it, Hope.” Those were her words.
So I did. After glaring at her for close to ten minutes while she sat there patiently, I said it. I told her that my mom’s boyfriend molested me when I was twelve. I told her that my mom was a worthless addict. I told her my mom died and left me behind.
And then I told her that I cut myself. That I’ve come up with many unique ways to hurt myself in order to control the emotional pain.
When I was done spilling my guts, Veronica smiled at me and claimed we made progress.
But as I sit in my car watching the rainwater blur my windshield, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything.
I feel shaky and my stomach hurts. My mind won’t shut up. It’s so fucking loud and I just want it to stop.
My fingers grip the steering wheel, squeezing until my knuckles are strained and white. I know how to silence it. I can make it all go away, if only for right now. One swipe of a razor. That’s all it would take.
I press my forehead against the space between my hands. It’ll most likely leave a big, red steering wheel impression, but it’s cool and it feels good.
My phone beeps again, alerting me to another text.
My jaw clenches as I fight against the stinging in my eyes. No more tears today. Just—
I start the car and get some music going. That will help. I put on my seat belt, adjust the heat, and check my mirrors. When I’ve run out of ways to stall, I open the messages on my phone.
The first one’s short and simple.
Him: HOW’D IT GO?
The second one—not so much.
Him: ARE YOU OKAY? DON’T SHUT ME OUT. I’M HERE. PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOU’RE ALL RIGHT.
I shiver and it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m wet and cold. It’s this boy. This man. This incredible person that is mine.
I don’t want him to worry about me, so I send him back exactly what I’m thinking.
Me: I’M NOT ALL RIGHT, BUT I WILL BE. JUST NEED A MINUTE. LUV U.
I don’t wait for a reply. I throw my phone into the passenger seat and head out of the parking lot. It’s the first time since I met him that I don’t think I’ll find what I need in Mason.
Right now, what I need is a mom.
It’s just too damn bad I don’t have one.