And that was it.
My mind abducted me, wrenching me back into a black void.
Her scream fed the mania inside me as I rutted harder, faster and faster, fucking her like an animal on the library floor.
Her face twisted with tears. Her legs spread wide as my ass pumped between them.
I viewed it as an outsider.
I saw precisely what I’d become.
My hips pumped harder, aggressive and mean, crazed with violence and nightmares.
She gasped and cried, tears glittering on her cheeks as I plunged deep, taking her against her will. She was nothing beneath me. Nothing but a vessel for me to purge all my dementedness into.
“Please!” she screamed, tears catching in her throat, disbelief etching her panic-stricken face. “Please, stop, please—”
She locked eyes on the ceiling as I ignored her.
My hips worked harder.
I took her so hard, she inched along the carpet, her skin rubbing raw.
I fucked her.
My body pinning hers down while I did something un-fucking-forgivable.
I was exactly what the guests had been.
Taking her against her will.
Making her helpless and traumatized.
“This can’t be happening,” she moaned, stricken and broken as I continued to ride her without permission.
Her legs flopped wider as I crawled into her body.
She closed her eyes and gave in.
She gave up.
She went lax beneath me and still I rode her like a monster.
I tripped backward.
I fell with my jeans looped around my ankles, smashing to my ass.
I couldn’t stop trembling. Shaking. Convulsing.
Sweat drenched me.
Nausea climbing up my throat.
But I had.
I remembered it all.
How I’d chased that release like a maniac.
How she’d stopped fighting beneath me.
How I hadn’t stopped—
“Jesus Christ,” I groaned, wiping my mouth with a quaking hand.
“Oh—” Gemma’s voice dragged my gaze to her. “Are you okay?” She reached out to me in surprise. Her face no longer pinched with pain from when I’d hurt her but lax with lust and welcome. “What happened? Did you trip?”
I glanced past her to the blood on the wallpaper and down to the carpet.
And I retched.
I’d done it right here.
In this very fucking spot, I’d raped the girl I was in love with.
I’d had my cock deep inside her, my body punishing hers, and I hadn’t even been aware of it. I’d been trapped in a nightmare. A hallucination. A goddamn curse.
I’d hurt her past anything redeemable.
Nausea spilled from my gut, lightning quick.
“Oh, shit.” I scrambled to my hands and knees, giving in to the repulsive abomination inside me.
I wanted to spew it all out.
I wanted every twisted and nauseating memory out of me.
Gemma dropped to her knees beside me, her hand landing on my back and drawing soft circles. “It’s okay. Was it the soup? What can I do?”
Nothing came up.
Acid burned my soul.
I wanted to die.
I wanted to grab a knife and stab it into my worthless heart.
Instead, I laughed.
A cold, empty laugh that cut like a blade. A blade that made me bleed, giving me a thousand cuts of sorrow.
Even after I’d raped her, imprisoned her, taken everything she had to give, she still offered more. And because I was a motherfucking bastard, I would continue to take and take until she had nothing left.
Scrambling to my feet, I yanked my jeans up and fought the wave of headaches and imbalance.
I couldn’t do this.
She had to leave.
Before I did something worse.
Shouldering past her, I snapped, “Pack your bag, Gemma Ashford. We’re done here. I want you gone in the morning.”
I left before she could argue.
I broke into a run, crashing off a wall, struggling to stay standing through my horror.
Wrenching open the front door, I bolted from Fables, from her, and myself.
I didn’t stop running.
Barefoot and dressed in a nightgown and hoodie, I ran as if the hounds of hell were on my heels.
What the hell happened?
Why on earth had he left like that?
“Kas!” I ran harder, leaping over long grass, flinching as debris hurt my soles.
No sound of him.
No sight of him.
Just an empty, pitch-black night.
Slamming to a stop, I planted my hands on my knees and sucked in air. I tried to calm my galloping heart and rapidly building fear.
Where had he gone?
Why had he run?
“Kas! Where the hell are you?”
Holding my breath to listen better, I closed my eyes for sounds of his footsteps. The only thing that came back were the low rush of the river, the soft scurryings of animals, and the crushing hushness of darkness.
I pushed off again, jogging into shadows, doing my best to see the track we’d used to walk to the river when I’d helped him with the hydro generator.
Not that I’d helped him that day.
But maybe tonight? Perhaps tonight, I could finally help him.
He’d remembered something, I was sure of it.
He’d been on the brink.
He’d pushed me away because something had changed inside him.