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Authors: A.M. Madden

Stone Walls (30 page)

BOOK: Stone Walls
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Ella moves through the apartment in a daze. It’s not big, very similar in size to Andrea and Rob’s. Furniture’s sparse, new and classic. She’ll have everything she needs. It has an oceanfront balcony off the bedroom. There’s a small electric treadmill pushed up against one wall. She may not be able to run on the beach, but she can stare at it as she does. The bed’s positioned facing the slider. Her suitcase sits in the corner beside mine. With the door open, you can smell the ocean on the breeze.

“It’s so nice,” she admits. She turns and smiles shyly. “I feel guilty liking it.”

“I knew you would.” Pointing to the slider, I say, “You’ll be able to see the sunrise from bed.”

She comes closer, wrapping her arms around me. “I know you tried to make this nightmare as tolerable as possible. Thank you.”

“Ella, you are giving up your life to help the FBI catch a murderer. This is the least they can do for you. I merely reminded them.”

“This is more than the FBI trying to make me comfortable. This is all you.” She leans up on her tiptoes and kisses me. “It means a lot to me.”

mean a lot to me.”

We unpack leisurely and talk about memories she had of visiting little cape towns in New England with her mother. So many places they visited, all having their unique flavor.

“I never saw a beach before moving to New York.”

“Ben, that’s a crime in itself.” A reflective look passes over her face. “What were you like as a hormone raging teenage boy? Would we have had the same chemistry if we met years ago?”

“Absolutely,” I admit. “I would most definitely have noticed you in school. You’re exactly my type. I probably would have taken you to the prom, only to book a hotel room afterward, hoping to get lucky. We would have dated, and I probably would have wanted to spank you on several occasions when you were a pain in my ass. But in the end, I don’t have a doubt that we would have fallen in love, eventually.”

She giggles and agrees.

Once we’re fairly settled and lying on the bed lost in thought, she wants to make love.


“Please? I need you.”

I can’t ever deny her. Even as I slowly make love to her, I worry she’s using this connection to cancel her pain. Even when her voice sounds dreamy as she says she loves me, snuggles up to my side, and falls asleep, I fear she’s avoiding reality.

As she sleeps beside me, I can’t help but worry her reaction to this whole mess just isn’t normal. Since her panic attack and fainting, she hasn’t shown any other signs of distress. Not that I want her to, but I’m concerned she’s repressing, and it will worsen her attacks, nightmares, and PTSD. I suggested she speak to the therapist more than just once a week. She understood my point, but stubbornly said that she was fine. Why would she be less stubborn even in a crisis?

Since falling in love with her, my demons haven’t haunted me in quite a while. I guess my subconscious is busy, as well as my heart and my mind. I’m too busy loving, worrying, and thinking about Ella.

I’ve been trying to put myself in her shoes. If I were told I’m not who I thought I was, but instead I was the son of a mob boss, how would I feel? She explained she felt detached to the person she is by birth. I guess I can understand that. By suddenly having someone thrust a piece of paper in my face, claiming I’m someone else, would that suddenly make me that person? Good or bad?

It wouldn’t. It would also mean nothing to me. Unless my behavior followed some sort of pattern and answers were revealed, I don’t think it would affect me in the least. I can’t ever know for sure how I would react in such a situation. I do know that I’ll be here for her to ensure the shock of the truth doesn’t ultimately alter who Ella Parker really is.

I also feel the scope of the situation hasn’t hit her, because she has no idea who her father was. Farley gave her all the facts surrounding her bloodline. She hasn’t opened the folder yet. It sits ominously on the table in the living room. She confided that once she reads the facts on her parents and who they were, it would cause a connection that she doesn’t want to have. They are strangers to her, and she’d like to live in the fantasy that Virginia Parker was the teenage girl who ran away from home to have her only child.

I understand her mentality completely, but sooner or later she’ll have to face the truth and when she does, I’ll be there to keep her grounded. Her sordid family history ultimately caused my family’s demise. How can I continue to loath, hate, and despise a man who created the love of my life? We both have some soul searching to do. She needs to come to terms with who she is and where she came from. I need to come to terms with the hatred that’s filled my heart for so many years.

Of course, I don’t blame her for what happened to my parents. That blame is solely on my father and Politto. My need for retribution against Politto hasn’t changed. It has only cultivated, because now not only do I need justice for my family, I need it for Ella even more so.

Ella now knows of my hatred. She knows why my father killed my mother and for who. She knows that decision my father made only nurtured my swelling resentment toward him, and it grew to the hatred I’ve been carrying with me for a decade. I fear that she’ll avoid her past because of me. By acknowledging who she is, she’d become what I detest. She couldn’t be farther from the truth. She has nothing to do with the hostility I carry deep in my core.

As I hold her now, I want so badly to erase everything that was dumped on her today. It may be a false sense of security to think that by not knowing a truth it can’t hurt you. I don’t give a fuck if I’m kidding myself or not. There isn’t a person on earth that can convince me that Ella wasn’t better off never finding out the truth about herself.

Her warm naked body rests against mine. She mumbles and jerks in my arms. I tighten my hold while kissing her head. When she gasps for breath, her eyes fly open.

“I’m here, Ella.” She pants in my arms, but otherwise doesn’t speak. I can feel her heart racing. “What is it? Tell me.”

“It’s that same dream. The one where I see my mother being killed.” She looks up at me in fear. “Lately, everything is the same as that night, except it’s you. You’re the one lying on the floor bleeding from the same wound as my mother did.” Her eyes dart over my face as she clutches me tighter.

“It’s just a dream. I’m here. Nothing is going to happen to me.”

“Ben, I’m so scared.”

“I know, baby. Don’t be scared.” I hold her chin to keep her focus on me. “I’m your Superman.” I tease. “Just do not ask me to wear blue tights and a cape.”

She smiles wearily, but it doesn’t reach her eyes. She’s channeling her fear toward me. “Are you hungry?” I pathetically try to change the subject.

“What time is it?”

“It’s about eight, I think. You’ve been asleep for a while.”

“Don’t you have to get back to headquarters?”

“Not until morning. I’m not going anywhere all night.” She settles against me, and I can feel her calm slightly.

“Every time you leave, I’m going to be terrified.” Her mind is fixated on my safety. “I need you to promise me something.”


“Please send me a signal, a text, something that tells me you’re okay. Rob sends Andrea…”

“An xo. I know. I used to bust his chops over it. I’ll never admit it to him, but I’m stealing his idea.”

She nods against my chest. I can feel her warm sigh of relief against my skin. “It would make me feel better getting that from you whenever you can.”

“I promise. Whenever I can.”

She looks out the sliding door that leads to the balcony. It’s dark and hard to tell where the sky ends, or the ocean begins. The waves hitting the sand are the only indicators we are on the beach.

“I’m never going to tire of looking at that.”

“If we don’t keep the blinds closed, the sun will wake us like a beacon to the face.”

She giggles adorably. “I wouldn’t mind being woken up that way every day. Only one thing would make such a beautiful sight even better.”

“What’s that?”

She looks up at my face and adds, “Watching it with you beside me.”

I lie back, aligning her above me. “That can be arranged.”

Her lips are begging to be kissed, so I do. As are her flushed cheeks and her upturned nose and her silky neck, and I kiss all those, too. Her rosy nipples pebble before my eyes. Of course, I need to kiss those as well.

The energy between us is palpable. That connection that I felt the first time I kissed her hasn’t waned or weakened. It’s still as strong and as powerful as that first time. It’s that energy that changed me as a person. I’ve never had that connection with anyone. I scoffed whenever people claimed they felt it with their partners, Rob included. It was all a bunch of bullshit. Crap like that didn’t happen to guys like me.

Fuck, do I look like an ass now?

Not only did it happen, that connection kicked my ass.


“Yes, babe?”

“I need you.” Without warning, she slowly slides over my length, taking me in inch by inch.

Am I a shit for letting her do this, for allowing her to evade her fears through sex?

My inner conflict does nothing to lessen the desire I have, the need I have to be inside her. The look of ecstasy on her face is overwhelming to me. I’ll never get tired of watching her face when we make love. The emotions transform her gorgeous features to something angelic like, unearthly in beauty. I can’t deny her this, even if it is a coping mechanism for her.

I skim my hands down her back, placing them on the curve of her ass to hold her still. She gasps when I thrust below her, increasing my force and my speed with each thrust. Her hair fans around us, creating a curtain blocking our vision from everything but each other’s face. The only sounds are from our panting and our moans. Her breasts are so close. With minimal movement, I easily pull her nipple into my mouth and suck forcibly. The more I suck, the louder she gets. She tilts my head to kiss me, driving her tongue inside my mouth. I apply the same force to now suck on her tongue.

My hands roam over her back and shoulders. When the pressure becomes too much to bear, I wrap my arms around her to eliminate any space between us. Nose to nose, lips to lips, we watch each other’s eyes as the pleasure created by being deep inside her takes hold, making our breaths ragged and our heartbeats frantic.

She comes first. Her body stills, as she flexes and holds her position practically motionless. Except for the short puffs of air she releases erratically, except for her pussy contracting around me, she doesn’t move otherwise.

The hold she has on me makes me come violently. My response is opposite from hers. My legs jerk with each spurt, causing my muscles to spasm and my fingers to grip her skin until one final thrust, one final grunt ends it all.

Her eyes swell with tears as she watches me.

“What’s wrong, baby?” I ask with concern. “Why are you crying?”

“Because, I love you,” she states matter-of-factly. “So much so that it scares me.”

“Don’t be scared. I’m here. I’m always going to be here.”

BOOK: Stone Walls
3.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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