12 Rounds (Knockout 1) - Page 69

He silences me with a finger to my lips then he leans closer to my face. I can see the definition in his long dark lashes and the way they curl up almost touches his eyebrows. I can see the emotion in his eyes. Even if he didn’t place his finger against my lips, seeing him look so raw, so real, so emotional, that alone would be enough for me to swallow my words. “I know I don’t deserve you. I know I’ll never be good enough. But I want to try Hadlee. Please just let me try.” His lips flutter softly against mine and send shockwaves to my already racing heart. He pulls away slightly and caresses my cheek with the back of his hand. “You’re so good, Hadlee. So pure. So true. I wish you’d let some of that rub off on me.”

“It’s not that,” I say trying to control my breathing, “it’s not that I don’t want you or want this. It’s that I’m so screwed up inside and I’m not sure when, or if , I’ll ever get better. I’m terrified of doing something wrong because of the state I’m in.”

His fingers sweep across my cheek as he tucks a strand of hair behind my ears. “Don’t you think I’m just as fucked up as you are? I might even be worse.” He pulls me closer and tightens his grip around me. “All I know is that you, Hadlee Flax, are different than any other girl I’ve ever met and I’m willing to give this my all. Yes, we’ve both got issues. We’re both mentally and emotionally fucked up. But I’ve got this theory that we just might be what each other needs to make it through our broken and fucked up lives and live to see the next day.”

I fan my fingers across his cheek, gazing deep into his eyes, and I know what he’s saying is real. I know what he’s saying is the truth. When you’re as fucked up as we are, going through life is much harder alone. I know I have Lara, but it’s not the same. She doesn’t understand everything. I get this gut feeling that Sean does. He knows what it’s like to lose control of who you used to be and let the self-hatred eat you alive. He knows what it’s like to be damaged and broken into a million pieces, not knowing when or if you’ll be able to piece yourself together again. The watery depths of his eyes pierce my soul and I whisper, “You saved me.” In more ways than one.

In one swift motion, he rolls on top of me, brushing my hair away from my forehead and answers me with, “That’s what you don’t get, Hadlee. You’re saving me too. Every second I spend with you, you save me a little more. When I’m around you, I want to better myself. I want to be a better man.” His leans in so close so close so close to my lips that I’m breathing his air. When his lips almost touch mine he whispers, “Can I?” I lock eyes with him, certainty flashing in specs around my irises.

Can he kiss me?


Can he hold me?


Is he the one person who can piece back the person I used to be?

I hope so.

Oh God, I hope so.

I tilt my head up and caress his bottom lip with a soft sweep of mine. He deepens the kiss and my mouth parts wider as his tongue slips past the barrier of my teeth twirling around it in a circular motion. Everything’s hazy. Blurry. Closing my eyes, I trail my fingers up his shirt and dig my nails into th

e hard, rigid muscles of his back. He straightens slightly, pulls of out of the kiss, and with a soft caress of his tongue licks my ear.

That does it for me, I’m completely unglued and I arch my back with a moan.

“Can I try something?” he murmurs, his voice husky and inside my head, I swear he’s singing to me. I can hear him in the darkened corners of my mind soothing me. Crooning. I can feel his lilting accented voice cradle my eardrums.

“Yes,” I hiss.

Then I feel his finger trail down my neck. I stiffen. It’s going to happen. I’m going to lose it, I know it. I pant and wait for his hands to flash before my mind. I wait for my throat to close off.

I’m waiting, waiting, waiting.

But it doesn’t come.

I don’t see him.

I can’t hear him.

Feel him.

I open my eyes wide when Sean’s lips brush against my neck, feeling not only like a weight has been lifted from my chest, but feeling an undeniable amount of pleasure spreading like the venom from some poisonous insect throughout my entire body. As he leaves a trail of kisses from my neck to my collar bone, short raspy breaths leave my throat and the urge, the want, for him to do more is unbearable. I want it so much my legs are trembling.

Turning my head, I hold back a groan as his tongue flecks against the base of my neck and I bite down on my lip to keep myself from letting the garbled words I want to say come out. Then it’s like his lips disappear. Vanish. Evaporate into the burst of stars shining down from the heavens. I puff out my bottom up and prop myself up on both elbows. I face Sean who’s wearing a devious smirk, also propped up on his elbow, but on his side. “Why did you stop?” I ask, pouting. I was really really enjoying that.

He tilts his head to the side and purses his lips. “I think you’ve had enough for one night.”

My mouth drops open and I close it quickly. Then I say with a bit of attitude, “Since when do you get to tell me what I’ve had enough of?”

I lie back as he reaches for my hand. He kisses each fingertip before lacing his fingers through mine. “I don’t want to force you into anything you’re not comfortable with or not ready for.”

“You’re not forcing me. I was into it,” I huff. To me it’s not just a lust thing either. I feel that connection to him. That bond that I’ve always wanted to share with someone. Tiny tingles travel across my skin. It’s the can’t eat, can’t sleep kind of feeling. It’s a feeling I’ve always wanted to experience, but never have. Until I met him.

It’s crazy how sometimes you just know how you feel about someone before you know them. I find it crazy that I knew I wanted something more from him the first time he locked eyes with me at the gym. And knowing how he saved me, that just enhanced the emotions I was already feeling.

Tags: Lauren Hammond Knockout Romance
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