Fable of Happiness (Fable 2) - Page 115

“You found me a few hours later. The reason you woke in damp clothes was you poured me a bath. You washed me clean and gave me a release, and I pulled you into the bath with me.” I touched his elbow, doing my best not to flinch when he stumbled backward. “I wanted you, Kas. I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I wanted you. I confessed things to you about my brother. You told me things about your family. None of it was planned but—”

“It wasn’t planned because it didn’t happen,” he snarled. “You honestly think I could fuck you, twice, according to you, and not have a single memory of it? I remember everything! Every fucking rape and every shitty beating. Just because I choose to keep them buried doesn’t mean I’m not aware.” He stabbed a trembling finger in my face. “You’re lying because if any of what you said was true, I would know. I would hoard that memory instead of swallow it. I would live in that memory. I would replay it over and over again. If I had you, willingly had you, I would fall to my knees and never, ever let you go. Do you hear what I’m saying?” He stepped into me, casting me in shadow and trembling confusion. “I’m saying that if you gave me yourself last night and I took you—” He wiped his mouth with a shaky hand. “If I had you and forgot you? Jesus Christ.” He looked at the ceiling before shrugging helplessly. “I can’t handle that. I can’t fucking cope with that.”

Rage filtered through his voice, filling with sharp smoke. “So I’ll tell you again. What you’re saying is a lie. It has to be a lie. It has to be because if it’s not, then I might as well carve out my fucking heart and be finished with it because I’m done. Do you hear me? I’m done with this shit. I’m done wanting you, craving you. I’m done with time-skipping and my head throbbing and the damn world never standing still.”

He raked both hands through his hair, backing up as if my presence set fire to him. Molten anger flowed in his stare as he bared his teeth. “I have nothing in my head. Nothing about last night. Nothing but my past that doesn’t give me a goddamn break. Why can I remember that, huh? And not have a shred of recollection about what you say happened?”

He didn’t wait for me to reply. He wasn’t asking me. He was asking himself. Asking the prison inside him that would never let him free.

“I’ll tell you why.” He shook harder, looking as if he’d break apart. “I don’t have any memory because it doesn’t exist because it didn’t fucking happen!” His voice slipped into a harrowed breath. “It just...can’t.”

Something cracked inside me.

Something fragile and new and far too delicate to be pulverized so early in the morning.

I wanted so much to go wrap my arms around him, but my instincts prickled that I wasn’t safe. He walked the edge of sane and insane. One push in the wrong direction, and I would pay. “It’s okay, Kas. You can choose to trust me, even if you can’t remember right now. Trust what I’m saying is real and—”

“Stop.” Drawing himself up to his full height, his hands balled and eyes etched with anger. Behind his anger lurked emotional carnage. A sacking of his soul as he howled for help, all while incapable of asking for it. “I-I’ve heard enough. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.” He shook his head. “Even if what you said was real, how do you expect me to believe that you willingly wanted me?” He paced in front of me, wobbling a little as he turned. “It’s a trick. It has to be.”

“There is no trick.” I kept my voice low, forcing myself not to meet his temper. “Everything I just said was true. Everything we did affected me. It affected you too. And that’s why you can’t accept it. Give your mind a chance to replace what you’ve forgotten. Deep down inside yourself, you know what I’m saying is real. That you feel something for me. That you’re afraid because things are changing between us. They’ve already changed—”

“I’m not afraid.”

I smiled sadly, my heart bleeding all over my ribs. “You’re so afraid, you’re willing to deny every incredible thing we experienced. You’re consumed with darkness. You’ve repressed so much evil that it’s killing you. It’s stopping you from living, Kas. It’s stopping you from loving—”

“Careful.” His tone was pure ice. “I’d be very, very careful. I’m hanging on by a thread. Push me any harder, and I won’t be responsible for what happens.”

He sounded like the man from a few days ago. The man who’d woken from a concussion with so many facets inside him. A man lost to me, to himself, to any love we might have shared.

Tags: Pepper Winters Fable Erotic
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